- The Washington Times - Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Dear Sgt. Shaft:

I just read your response to Retired Army Capt. Paul A. regarding TRICARE fees.

I retired from the U.S. Navy on Dec. 30, 1976, as an E7. In 1994, I lost my Civil Service job as the result of a reduction in force (RIF) and combined my military time with my civil service time to qualify for a civil service retirement as a GS12.

My question is since I receive a civil service retirement and not receiving military retirement pay, how would my TRICARE For Life be affected?

Thank you,
Retired CPO Al R.

Dear Al R.:

I referred your missive to the Military Officers Association of America (MOAA) and received the following response: “Nobody knows the answer to this question, yet. In fact, no one seems to have thought of it besides your reader! We have the issue on our radar now and will remind DoD that they will have to address this issue if the ‘means testing’ part of the proposed legislation passes. We’re hoping we can have these provisions shot down, but will make sure that this isn’t forgotten. It’s a good question.”

Shaft notes

The Sarge was honored to attend the Armed Services YMCA’s Angels of the Battlefield Awards for 2012. Silver Star recipient Chief Petty Officer Amlicar Rodriguez, a Navy Corpsman, is one of 10 who were honored. The annual event highlights the individual men and women on the front lines who are saving lives and have demonstrated extraordinary courage.

The Armed Services YMCA works with the military services to select Corpsmen, Medics and Pararescuemen from the Army, Army Reserve, Navy, Navy Reserve, Air Force, Air Force Reserve, Marine Corps, Coast Guard, Air National Guard and ArmyGuard, who accepted the awards on behalf of their fellow Corpsmen and Medics for their dedication and commitment to service.

• Staff Sgt. Jack Williams, a bronze star recipient for exceptional meritorious service in Afghanistan and 2012 Angels of the Battlefield recipient, said, “It is an honor to be selected to represent the entire medical corps. And the Armed Services YMCA does such great work for military families at their branches; I wish we had one where I am currently stationed, at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio.”

• Sgt. Terry Derr accepted the Angels of the Battlefield Award on behalf of Army Medics around the world. Sgt. Derr has served a total of 20 years, with a total of seven deployments. Sgt. Derr was awarded the Air Service Medal for flying into dangerous a sandstorm to save the lives of two soldiers injured by an IED, while serving as a flight medic in Salerno, Afghanistan. Sgt. Derr, originally from Watson, Pa., is currently stationed at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center.

• Chief Petty Officer Amilcar Rodriguez accepted an award on behalf of the Navy Corpsmen supporting the United States Marine Corps around the world. Chief Petty Officer Rodriguez has served 13 years, with a total of five deployments.

• Petty Officer 2nd Class Owen Pitrone accepted the Angels of the Battlefield Award on behalf of Navy Corpsmen around the world. Petty Officer 2nd Class Pitrone has served seven years, with a total four deployments. He has been awarded a Joint Service Medal for his time in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, as well as, two Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medals for exceptional service while at Bethesda and Bastion Role 3 UK Hospital in Afghanistan.

• Staff Sgt. Jack Williams accepted the award on behalf of Air Force medics around the world. Staff Sgt. Williams has served a total of six years, with two deployments. He has been awarded the Bronze Star for meritorious service in Afghanistan, as well as the Air Force Combat Action Badge, the Army Combat Medical Badge, the Army Order of the Gold Spur, the Air Force Commendation Medal and as a CSAF Portraits in Courage

• Staff Sgt. Gino Kahaunaele accepted on behalf of Air Force Pararescuemen around the world. While acting as the primary rescue specialist for a joint task force unit in theater, Staff Sgt. Kahaunaele was shot in the shoulder at close range with an AK-47 during a direct firefight against an enemy of the United States. He continued to aid and triage the wounded while wounded himself. After an insurgent threw a grenade, wounding additional women, children and team members, Staff Sgt. Kahaunaele was hit by fragments severing several major arteries. He took immediate, inventive action to stop the bleeding and save his own life. He continues rehabilitation with the support of his grateful unit and family.

• Petty Officer 1st Class Brian Richardson accepted on behalf of the United States Coast Guard Corpsmen around the world. Petty Officer 1st Class Richardson has served a total of 14 years, with five deployments. He has been awarded the United States Coast Guard Commendation Medal, four United States Coast Guard Achievement Medals, and has been selected as the Enlisted Person of the Year twice — by Sector Delaware Bay, and the CGC Harriet Lane, respectively.

• Staff Sgt. Nicolas Crouse accepted on behalf of the Air National Guard Medics around the world. Staff Sgt. Crouse has served a total of six years and has deployed to Afghanistan. He has been awarded an Army Commendation for his time as primary medic for the First Joint Force, Multi-National Police Operational Mentor Liaison Team in Afghanistan, the Lithuanian Armed Forces Medal of Distinction and the Air Force Achievement Medal. Staff Sgt. Crouse has had a family member serve in every major U.S. conflict since the Revolutionary War.

• Sgt. Major Pamela Duggan accepted on behalf of the Army Reserve Medics around the world.

• Technical Sgt. Chante’ Richardson accepted the Angels of the Battlefield Award on behalf of the Air Force Reserve Medics around the world. Technical Sgt. Richardson has served a total of eight years and has deployed to Incirlik Air Force Base in Turkey. She has also been awarded two Achievement Medals. Technical Sgt. Richardson is originally from Oxon Hill, Md., and is currently stationed at Joint Base Andrews, Md. She is currently a Ph.D. student in Molecular Medicine at the University of Virginia.

Send letters to Sgt. Shaft, c/o John Fales, P.O. Box 65900, Washington, D.C. 20035-5900; fax 301/622-3330, call 202/257-5446 or email sgtshaft@bavf.org.

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