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Gen. Ray Odierno’s Facebook Town Hall Tackles Retirement Pay, Ranger School Admission Issues

Gen. Ray Odierno
Gen. Ray Odierno

Army Chief of Staff Gen. Ray Odierno has said that the Joint Chiefs of Staff is in talks with Congress to repeal the proposed caps on cost-of-living adjustments for military retirees as part of the Bipartisan Budget Act, the Army website reported Wednesday.

He said during a Facebook town hall that efforts are also under way against a plan that would result in pension reductions but would allow the provision of benefits to soldiers prior to their 20 years of military service, Lora Strum wrote.

Odierno said soldiers on active duty and current retirees are exempted from a proposed retirement initiative that covers government contributions to the Thrift Savings Plan.

“I believe there is strong support for a hybrid retirement program which includes a matching contribution and a guaranteed benefit,” he said.

“But everyone currently serving on active duty is grandfathered.”

He also addressed a Facebook comment by a soldier about female admission to the Ranger School and the possibility of opening up the Sapper School to non-engineers, according to Strum.

“The requirement for Rangers crosses a variety of [military occupational specialties], where Sapper School is specific to [the] 12 series MOS,” Odierno noted.

“If in the future, [if] we believe there’s a requirement for Sapper expertise in other MOSs, we’ll take a look at opening it up.”

Strum reported that Odierno also tackled issues such as personnel reductions, promotion in the service, opportunities for non-commissioned officers and the Islamic State of Iraq and Levant.

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