National Guard November_2016 : Page 20

NEWS BREAKS or campaign contributions. I believe it’s be-cause most of todays’ bureaucrats and elect-ed officials have never faced a real battle or had to risk their very lives in a shared effort.” He points out that 64 percent of the Con-gress had served in 1981. That had fallen to 18 percent in 2015. He said veterans would understand “when mutual sacrifice was necessary to achieve a common goal,” something most members of Congress now do not recognize or are unwilling to do. Punaro says the move from a military draft to an all-volunteer force is the reason for the decline in lawmakers with mili-tary service. He supports the all-volunteer military, but says it is unsustainable “from the standpoint of fully burdened life-cycle costs.” More than half of the DoD budget is spent supporting people, he said. ASSOCIATION NEWS Suicide Risk High First Year as Civilian A new study suggests veterans may be more likely to commit suicide during their first year out of service, according to a Reuters report published last month. Veterans in their first three months out of the military were 2 1/2 times more likely to commit sui-cide when compared with people still in the military, the study found. Those out of the service for three to 12 months are three times more likely to take their own lives, according to the study, which included almost 3.8 million current and former service members from 2001 to 2011 and was published in the journal The Lancet Psychiatry . The lead author of the study was Yu-Chu Shen, a researcher at the Naval Postgraduate School in California. The study also found that service mem-bers who deployed had a 50 percent lower risk of suicide than those who never de-ployed. However, in the first quarter fol-lowing deployment, service members had a 50 percent higher risk of suicide than those who did not deploy. NGAUS Headquarters Fills Key Staff Openings NGAUS has added several people to its Washington, D.C., headquarters staff in recent months, including two mem-bers of the legislative team. The financial staff also has a new face and the association has a new industry liaison. NGAUS welcomed three people to the staff in July. Samuel Ole was hired as staff accountant. He graduated from Haromaya University in Ethiopia and served for eight years at the World Vision International office in Ethiopia. He has worked with several organizations in various accounting and budget positions. Mark Malizia focused on defense and appropriations issues while working on Capitol Hill for Rep. Steve Israel, D-N.Y., before joining the association staff as the legisla-tive assistant. He served as a legislative aide for a member of the Suffolk County Legislature where he was involved with the issues of public health, community relations and the environment. Elle Ross became the NGAUS legislative affairs manager for Army National Guard issues after working on Capitol Hill for Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y., and Rep. Pete Sessions, R-Texas. She has a master of law degree in national security and U.S. foreign relations law and has done legal work. She earned her juris doctorate degree from the New England School of Law in Boston. She is a judge advocate general in the Army Reserves. And Mark Caruso, a first lieutenant in the New Jersey Army Guard, became the NGAUS industry liaison in Sep-tember. Caruso is familiar with the association’s Washing-ton, D.C., operations after serving as one of the first two Guardsmen chosen for the NGAUS Fellows Program in 2015. He is the secretary of his state association. —NGAUS staff report Mark Caruso Samuel Ole Mark Malizia Overweight Troops A Growing Concern The number of U.S. military members who are considered clinically overweight con-tinues to grow, including more than one in 10, according to Defense Department data reported on by Military Times last month. The figures, based on body mass index (BMI), are a concern regarding the health and readiness of the force, the publication reported, as they have risen markedly in recent years while the nation has been at war. For example, 10.5 percent of the Army is overweight now, compared to 1.6 percent in 2001 and 6.4 percent five years ago. About 9 percent of Air Force personnel is overweight, which has doubled from 4.3 percent reported in 2011. In the Navy, 5.9 Elle Ross 20    NATIONAL GUARD   NOVEMBER 2016   WWW . NGAUS . ORG |

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