27 September 2010

This week in Congress (27 Sept 2010)

The following legislative activities, which affect U.S. servicemembers and veterans or concern military justice issues, are occurring this week in the U.S. Congress:

Wednesday, 29 September 2010

House Veterans' Affairs Committee, Subcommittee on Health, hearing on H.R. 3843, H.R. 4041, H.R. 5428, H.R. 5516, H.R. 5543, H.R. 5641, H.R. 5669, H.R. 6123, H.R. 6127 and draft legislation, 1000 hours, room 334, Cannon House Office Building. To view the live webcast go here.

House Armed Services Committee, Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, hearing on Fighting Superbugs: DOD's Response to Multidrug-Resistant Infections in Military Treatment Facilities, 1330 hours, room 2118, Rayburn House Office Building.

Thursday, 30 September 2010

House Veterans' Affairs Committee, hearing The True Cost of the War, 1000 hours, room 334 Cannon House Office Building, To view the live webcast go here.

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For this week in military justice go to CAAFlog here.

26 September 2010

This week in Parliament, Courts and Tribunals (27 Sept 2010)

The following legislative activities, which affect Australian servicemembers, veterans or concern military justice issues, relate to freedom of information or national security, are occurring this week in the Parliament of Australia:

The new Parliament sits on Tuesday, 28 September 2010. Presently there are no Committee hearings scheduled on the subject matter of this blog.

High Court of Australia

High Court next sits in Perth on 18 October 2010, and then in Canberra on 2 November 2010. None of the cases involve issues relevant to this blog. To view the listings of Perth hearings go here and Canberra hearings go here.

Federal Court of Australia (Full Court)

There are no cases being heard by the full court this week that involve subject matter of this blog.

Defence Force Discipline Appeal Tribunal

The Tribunal currently is currently in recess and next sits on 28 and 29 October 2010.


Veterans' Review Board


For a full list of this week's cases in Brisbane, Canberra, Melbourne, Perth and Sydney go here.

25 September 2010

HMAS Success inquiry to continue Monday

The Australian Defence Force has issued this media advisory which indicates that the Commission of Inquiry into diversity and equity issues an board the HMAS Success will continue on Monday, 27 September, 2010 at 0930 hours, Defence Plaza, Sydney.

19 September 2010

Second interim report on HMAS Success now available

A second interim report on the HMAS Success (a French Durance Class tanker) sex betting allegations is now available. The report dated 20 August 2010, is available here.

I have previously discussed the inquiry here, here and here.

A webpage has been setup by a Senate committee titled "Inquiry into an equity and diversity health check in the Royal Australian Navy - HMAS Success" which can be found here. The terms of reference for the Senate inquiry can be found here.

Acting Chief of RAN sets record straight: Dispels allegations by News LTD media on sailor's death

Acting Chief of the Royal Australian Navy, Rear Admiral Davyd Thomas, has set the record straight over allegations by News Ltd media on the death of Able Seaman Cook Jay Wilkie aboard HMAS Launceston (an Armidale Class patrol boat) .

On 16 September 2010, the Daily Telegraph ran an article titled "Toxic gas inquiry on dead sailor."

But RADM Thomas says "there is no evidence that gas of any nature contributed to the death of Able Seaman Jay Wilkie."

To read RADM Thomas' statement go here.

18 September 2010

U.S. Dep't of Veterans Affairs reviewed Servicemembers' Group Life Insurance & Veterans' Group Life Insurance programs

The Department of Veterans Affairs, or VA, has reviewed the account administered by Prudential that includes Servicemembers' Group Life Insurance (SGLI) and Veterans' Group Life Insurance (VGLI) programs to ensure beneficiaries are protected, being treated fairly, and accorded the utmost care and respect. VA wants to ensure that benefits are delivered in a transparent way that clearly outlines all available options.

Since 1965, VA has delivered life insurance benefits to survivors of our Nation’s Servicemembers and Veterans.

“The most important thing we can do is ensure that beneficiaries have options that are clear, competitive, and come at no personal cost during a time of emotional stress,” said Veterans Affairs Chief of Staff John R. Gingrich. “Providing clear and concise options for the beneficiary is a top priority.”

The department, in a press release, stated that it will provide better clarity of payment options by using new documents that ask the beneficiary to choose one payment option, including a lump sum check, or a lump sum Alliance Account (retained asset account) that allows beneficiaries the option to immediately write a check for the entire payment or any lesser amount. VA will also continue to offer the option for payment in 36 monthly installments.

VA worked with beneficiaries, regulators, and subject matter experts to determine appropriate improvements to provide beneficiaries all benefits due under current life insurance programs to include Alliance Accounts in a secure and timely manner.

“Prudential has agreed to implement these adjustments, and the department will continue to carefully monitor this program to ensure that Servicemembers’ and Veterans’ beneficiaries are well-protected,” said Gingrich.

Information on the SGLI/VGLI programs is available on the VA's website located here.

Release of inquiry officer's report into death of Aussie Sgt Brett Till

Late last week the Australian Defence Force released the inquiry officer's report into the death of Australian Army Sergeant Brett Till which occurred on 19 March 2009. To view the transcript of the press conference of Lieutenant General David Hurley, Vice Chief of the ADF and the report go here.

This week in Congress (20 Sept 2010)

The following legislative activities, which affect U.S. servicemembers and veterans or concern military justice issues, are occurring this week in the U.S. Congress:

Tuesday, 21 September 2010

Senate Armed Services Committee, hearing on General James F. Amos, USMC, for reappointment to the grade of general and to be Commandant of the Marine Corps,
0930 hours, room SD-G50, Dirksen Senate Office Building.

Wednesday, 22 September 2010


Joint House and Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee, Hearing to Receive Legislative Presentation of the American Legion, 1000 hours, room 345 Cannon House Office Building. To view the live webcast go here.

Thursday, 23 September 2010

Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee, Hearing: VA Disability Compensation: Presumptive Disability Decision-Making, 0930 hours, room 50, Senate Dirksen Office Building.

House Veterans' Affairs Committee, Subcommittee on Health, Veterans Health Administration Contracting and Procurement Practices, 1000 hours, room 334 Cannon House Office Building, To view the live webcast go here.

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For this week in military justice go to CAAFlog here.

This week in Parliament, Courts and Tribunals (20 Sept 2010)

The following legislative activities, which affect Australian servicemembers, veterans or concern military justice issues, relate to freedom of information or national security, are occurring this week in the Parliament of Australia:

Parliament is still in recess.

High Court of Australia

High Court sits on Tuesday, 21 September 2010 in Canberra and will be hearing seven cases. None of the cases involve issues relevant to this blog. To view the listings for Tuesday go here.

Federal Court of Australia (Full Court)

There are no cases being heard by the full court this week that involve subject matter of this blog.

Defence Force Discipline Appeal Tribunal

The Tribunal currently is currently in recess and next sits on 28 and 29 October 2010.


Veterans' Review Board


For a full list of this week's cases in Brisbane, Canberra, Melbourne, Perth and Sydney go here.

05 September 2010

Time running out to claim bonus payment for stop-loss

The Washington Post is running this interesting article on bonus back pay for U.S. servicemembers subjected to past stop-loss orders. Any servicemember who was subjected to a stop-loss from 11 September 2001 to 30 September 2009 can apply. Payment is $500 per each month served in a stop-loss status. The deadline is 21 October 2010. Those interested in applying can visit the U.S. Department of Defense website here.