The White Falcon


The White Falcon - 19.03.1976, Blaðsíða 1

The White Falcon - 19.03.1976, Blaðsíða 1
White Falcon Vokwne XXXII. Number 11 Kertav*. Iceland March 19, 1976 III seeks to make BAQmore equitable The Department of Defense (DOD) is seeking changes in the law which would give the president more flexibility in the way military pay raises are distrib- uted to the three cash elements of mili- tary compensation—basic pay, basic al- lowance for quarters and basic allowance for subsistence. The DOD legislative proposal, if approved by Congress, would allow a larger portion of future mili- tary pay raises to be placed in the non- taxable allowances. The present pay raise allocation sys- tem calls for each of the cash elements to be increased by an equal percentage. However, this procedure does not recog- nize that the amount of the allowances may not properly relate to the costs they were originally intended to defray. The DOD believes that such is the case with the basic allowance for quarters (BAQ), in particular. Military personnel either receive a nontaxable housing allowance, the BAQ, for the purpose of obtaining housing in the private sector, or are housed in government quarters and "forfeit" the housing allowance. Personnel with de- pendents receive a higher allowance— approximately 20 percent — than those without dependents. Personnel in quar- ters, in effect rent the quarters by forfeiting their BAQ. On the average, they pay. less "rent" than military per- sonnel living off post do. The present rates of BAQ have evolved over time and the inherent inequities cannot be corrected all at once, but the DOD proposal is a first step in this di- rection. It is also intended to be a first step toward a "fair market" rental plan for military quarters now being de- veloped in the DOD. Under the proposed legislation, the DOD plans to increase BAQ rates at a faster pace than basic pay by placing a portion of future basic pay raises into BAQ. This action will begin to move BAQ rates closer to the average cost of pro- curing adequate housing in the private sector, and closer to the average value of military family quarters. Because the average value of bachelor quarters, both officer and enlisted, is substan- tially lower than current single quarter allowances, the proposal would permit a partial rebate to members on sea or field duty and in bachelor quarters, in effect reducing the "rental charge" for these quarters. The president would not have unre- stricted flexibility under the proposal. There is a built-in limit on the reduc- tion that can be made in the basic pay increase for the purpose of raising the allowances. At least 75 percent of the increase that formerly would have gone into basic pay must still be placed in basic pay. Another feature of the pro- posed legislation requires that the par- tial rebate to bachelors be at least the amount that was taken from basic pay. It also requires that the annual plan for reallocating the upcoming pay increase be given to Congress 30 days in advance. In addition, an assessment of the re- allocation of the military pay increases and a full report to Congress summariz- ing the objectives and results of past reallocations, would be made in conjunc- tion with the Quadrennial Review of Mil- itary Compensation (QRMC). The QRMC is established by law requiring the Presi- dent to conduct a complete review of the principles and concepts of the compensa- tion system for members of the uniformed services not less than once each four years. The initial plan to be submitted for the upcoming military pay increase would reallocate approximately 25 percent of the expected basic pay increase to the basic allowance for quarters. It would also pay, or rebate, approximately six percent of the new BAQ rate to those members without dependents who are on sea or field duty and in military quar- ters. Pay raise reallocation plans for subsequent years will be based on as- sessments of the compensation structure, the market value of government quarters, and the cost of housing in the private sector, which are .currently In progress within the third QRMC, and in a quarters market rental plan being developed under a joint study by the Office of Manage- ment and Budget and the DOD. This proposal is expected to generate significant cost savings for the DOD. Part of the pay increase, which would be placed in basic pay normally, will now be applied to quarters increases which will be forfeited by married personnel in government quarters. Pay-related items, such as retired pay, reserve drill pay and the Federal Income Con- tributing Act (FICA) payments, which are denominated in basic pay will increase less rapidly. The proposal can be ex- pected to save about $65 million in Fis- cal Year 1977. The effect of this proposal on the cash pay of those living on the economy is negligible since they simply receive more of their raise in BAQ. Those living in family quarters would experience an increase in their effective "rent;" they would have less of an advantage over members living off post than formerly. M U.S. citizens lose right to own land in RP Navy personnel who own land in the Republic of the Philippines (RP) should contact their legal officer or attorney immediately to determine if they are el- igible to keep it. A number of Navy people of Filipino heritage who are now naturalized United tates citizens have expressed concern bout ownership of land in the Philip- pines since the issuance of Philippine Presidential Decree No. 713 which out- lined conditions under which land could be purchased and retained. According to the United States Embassy in Manila and Navy's Office of the Judge Advocate Gen- eral the following conditions apply: Former citizens of RP, now natural- ized U.S. citizens who before July 3, 1974 acquired land, not exceeding 5,000 square meters for private residential dwelling may continue to hold such land or transfer its ownership to a qualified purchaser. Any Filipino who acquired land in RP before becoming a U.S. citizen (and re- tained that land) is exempt from the 5,000 square meter size restriction and the residential requirement for its use. U.S. citizens who have resided in the Philippines continuously for 20 years or »more as of May 27, 1975, who acquired and, not exceeding 5,000 square meters, or private residential dwelling may continue to hold such land or transfer its ownership to a qualified purchaser. If an American citizen is married to a Filipino citizen, land purchased is considered conjugal property and cannot be divided. The RP department of jus- tice is unable at this time to make a ruling on such property's disposition and suggested that only further law- making could resolve the problem of alien ownership. U.S. citizens who purchased land in RP but have not complied with residency requirements are not entitled to retain such land and must transfer its owner- ship to duly qualified persons or enti- ties. U.S. citizens who do not own land in RP but were intending to purchase land, irrespective of intended purpose, cannot qualify to own such land. U.S. citizens qualified to retain ownership of private residential land cannot retain more than 5,000 square me- ters. Any acreage over this limit must be disposed of to duly qualified persons or entities or it will escheat to the government of the Philippines. CH AMPUS^r"0 ionTp,y for V^l 1/TLlTJ.l v/kJ* civilian family counseling imv* Defensive Driving Course instruction is now available to NATO base personnel. According to CM1 Julio Velez, of the Public Works license office, the course has been in operation for only a short time. The course, which is offered in four three-hour sessions, meets each weekday evening except on Thursday. The classes meet at the license office, and up to 25 students may enroll per course. The classes are open to both military per- sonnel and dependents. Course material is based on the National Safety Council's 50 years of experience in traffic accident preven- tion. Each student will receive a 64- page student workbook and manual. Topics covered in the defensive driving class are as follows: analyzing accidents and their causes, safe super- highway driving and timed-interval fol- lowing distance. Passing maneuvers and pedestrian accidents are also studied. When the course is completed, gradu- ates will receive a certificate of ap- preciation and a signed, wallet-sized graduation card from the National Safety Council. Graduates are eligible to join the Defensive Driving League, a voluntary organization of concerned motorists. For further information on the defen- sive driving course,, call CM1 Velez at 7109. New Department of Defense (DOD) guidelines now require certain benefic- iaries of the Civilian Health and Medi- cal Program of the Uniformed Services (CHAMPUS) to obtain a nonavailability statement (DD Form 1251) if they want CHAMPUS to share the cost of pastoral, family, child or marital counseling from a civilian source. The guidelines result from provisions of the 1976/77 Defense Appropriations Act. CHAMPUS can no longer share the cost of such counseling from a civilian source for dependents residing with their active duty sponsor assigned to an installation at which such counseling is available. Nor can CHAMPUS share the cost of such counseling from a civilian source for any beneficiary (including depend- ents residing with an active duty mem- ber) living within 40 miles of a uni- formed services hospital which deter- mines that such counseling is available from a uniformed services source. Bene- ficiaries should apply to the nearest uniformed services medical facility au- thorized to issue nonavailability state- ments. Defense ¦ Department officials point out that dependents living with their active duty sponsor must obtain a non- availability statement regardless of the distance they live from the installation to which their sponsor is assigned. According to the DOD implementation plan, a nonavailability statement may be issued by mail when appropriate documen- tation and/or certification is provided. Requests can also be made by phone. To insure effective use of uniformed services counseling services, the imple- mentation plan limits the life of a non- availability statement to not more than 30 days after it is issued. However, successive statements may be issued for additional 30-day periods, provided that the counseling is still not available from a uniformed services source. The new requirement was effected Feb- ruary 9 when the Defense Appropriations Act was signed into law. All CHAMPUS beneficiaries who believe they might be affected by this new re- quirement and are not sure of the effect should check with a CHAMPUS advisor or health benefits counselor before seeking pastoral, family, child or marital coun- seling from a civilian source. Also, in- formation is available from CHAMPUS,Den- ver, Colorado 80240. Call HM1 Charles Lesher, CHAMPUS/health benefits counse- lor, at 3216. Changes in DOD, JCS Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld has announced additional changes in the Office of the Secretary of Defense and the Joint Chiefs of Staff in an effort to streamline management and organiza- tional functions. These changes, which involve the transfer and consolidation of staff functions, will effect the organization of the Joint Chiefs of Staff in the areas of personnel, plans and policy, communications and electronics, opera- tions and logistics. Other organizational reforms will effect the Office of Safety, the Office of Environmental Quality, Health Af- fairs, the Logistics Division, Manpower Resources Division and the Weapons Sys- tems Evaluation Group. In late February, the functions of the Office of Information for the Armed Forces were transferred to the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs. According to DOD, these transfer and consolidation actions are part of the ongoing world-wide management review which began in October 1973 in an effort to reduce the manpower resources devoted to headquarters and headquarters support operations.

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The White Falcon

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