The Intersect
March 8, 2011

High Court rules for reservist in USERRA case
Navy Times
The Supreme Court ruled 8-0 in favor of an Army reservist who alleged his civilian employer fired him because of bias against his military service. It is the first case heard by the High Court involving the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act since the law was enacted in 1994.More

Court cases reaffirm law prohibiting discrimination against workers serving in the military
Government Executive
The law protecting the jobs and benefits of employees on active or reserve military duty received a boost earlier this week from two separate court decisions. The rulings, handed down in separate cases by the Supreme Court and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, involve the 1994 Uniformed Services Employment and Re-employment Rights Act, which prohibits employers — including the federal government — from firing or otherwise discriminating against a worker who is serving or has served in the military. The two courts decided in favor of the plaintiffs, both of whom sued their employers for violating USERRA.More

DoD to survey reservists' civilian employers
Military Times
The Pentagon is launching a nationwide survey of businesses to learn more about the ups and downs of hiring members of the National Guard and reserve. Hiring reserve component members who may be called up for deployment can be a big challenge for some employers, particularly small businesses that may be devastated by costs and inconvenience of a worker's potential absence of a year or more.More

$100,000 for New Mexico guardsman who was wrongfully fired
The Associated Press via Army Times
A jury has awarded $100,000 to a guardsman who claimed he was unfairly fired from his job with a New Mexico agency. After a three-week trial, jurors in a Gallup court found that the New Mexico Children, Youth, and Family Department violated the Uniformed Service Employment and Reemployment Rights Act.More

Defense Secretary Gates chides US House Panel for protecting AM general
Defense Secretary Robert Gates chided a key House committee for failing to approve a budget shift he says is needed urgently to protect troops in Afghanistan. Three of the four primary defense spending committees in Congress have approved taking $900 million from funds set aside for AM General LLC Humvee vehicles the Army says it doesn't want. Gates seeks to use the money for enhanced intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance requested by General David Petraeus, the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan.More

VA promises benefits
The Washington Post
The Department of Veterans Affairs said that help is on its way as early as this summer for family members of Iraq and Afghanistan veterans who have been waiting for a long-delayed program to help care for the severely wounded. But the announcement didn't satisfy senators unhappy about how many families will be helped.More

Lt. Gen. John Kelly, who lost son to war, says US largely unaware of sacrifice
The Washington Post
Before he addressed the crowd that had assembled in the St. Louis Hyatt Regency ballroom last November, Lt. Gen. John F. Kelly had one request. "Please don't mention my son," he asked the Marine Corps officer introducing him. Four days earlier, 2nd Lt. Robert M. Kelly, 29, had stepped on a land mine while leading a platoon of Marines in southern Afghanistan. He was killed instantly.More

Casey: Two-year dwell time will be reality by October
Stars and Stripes
Starting this fall, all active-duty Army units will have two full years at home between deployments, and National Guard and reserve units will get four years between deployments, the service's chief of staff said. In testimony before the House Armed Services Committee, Gen. George Casey said Army officials are also hopeful that they can reach their goal of three years home between deployments in the near future, if drawdowns in Iraq and Afghanistan take place as scheduled.More

Gates urges new Air Force leaders to think creatively
U.S. Department of Defense
Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates urged U.S. Air Force Academy cadets to have the courage to speak up as they move forward as the next generation of military leaders. "As officers, you will need to show great flexibility, agility, resourcefulness and imagination," Gates said. "Because your Air Force will face different kinds of conflict than it has prepared for during the past six decades, it will need leaders who think creatively and decisively in the manner of Air Force legends like Billy Mitchell, Hap Arnold, Bernard Schriever and John Boyd. You will need to challenge conventional wisdom and call things as you see them to subordinates and superiors alike," he added.More

National Guard (in federal status) and Reserve activated as of March 1
U.S. Department of Defense
This week the Army, Air Force, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard announced a decrease in activated reservists, while the Navy announced an increase. The net collective result is 215 fewer reservists activated than last week. At any given time, services may activate some units and individuals while deactivating others, making it possible for these figures to either increase or decrease.More