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Hueys Outbound from 25 Inf Div, Cu Chi RVN 
Photo by Don N

Each year, 29 March is recognized as National Vietnam War Veterans Day

The below Youtube presentation was developed by the Atlanta Vietnam Veterans Business Association (AVVBA).  Whether you served in Vietnam or not, the video is important to "set the record straight"!

Truths and Myths About The Vietnam War

Also. If you are a Vietnam Veteran, click on for info about AVVBA.  DD214 proof required.  ALL Service Branches Grades and Ranks welcomed.



Messages From MOAA

Many of you will receive multiple communications from us covering both our MOAA Charities and our MOAA membership-upgrade drive. It is a important season for our association. A vibrant, active membership gives us a louder voice on Capitol Hill along with a stable financial future, while our important charities rely on steady donations to flourish and make a real difference to our uniformed services community. Thank you for your continued support on all fronts!

Support The MOAA Foundation

Donate to help address emerging needs among currently serving and former uniformed servicemembers, retirees, and their families.


MOAA Appreciates Our Military Spouses – the Bedrock of Our All-Volunteer Force

By: Brian T. Kelly

MAY 10, 2023

MOAA Appreciates Our Military Spouses – the Bedrock of Our All-Volunteer Force

Illustration by Meghan Aloshen/MOAA

Our spouses are an amazing and essential piece of our all-volunteer force!  

While our uniformed services recruit individuals, retention and long-term stability is a family business with the sacrifices and selfless efforts of spouses playing the central role. Today’s military spouses juggle supporting their servicemember with raising and educating children, arranging child care, keeping the family together during long deployments and separations, and volunteering to help other families, all while typically managing their own military or civilian careers.  

They endure and often execute permanent change-of-stations on their own, moving households, getting kids in and out of new schools, and creating family normalcy and stability out of what just isn’t a normal life. Sacrifice is inherent and accepted in uniformed service, and nobody in our families sacrifice more in the name of freedom than our spouses. 

My own spouse, Garrety, put her career on hold and had to leave jobs on multiple occasions including not being able to work for four and half years while we were stationed in Europe. I will work for the rest of my lifetime to make up for the sacrifices she made for me and my career, and I won’t come close to repaying her. 



Lt. Gen. Brian T. Kelly and wife Garrety with the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds in the background at the Milwaukee Air and Sea Show in 2019. 

Our spouses are force multipliers, and we at MOAA appreciate them and everything they do to support the all-volunteer force and keep our nation free.   

In recognition of our appreciation and underscoring the essential role played by our spouses – in all our uniformed services – MOAA has and will continue to support legislation that helps reduce and ease the burdens our families face. Our current efforts include: 

  • A new type of aid: MOAA has advocated for The Military Spouse Hiring Act, bipartisan legislation which would provide tax relief for employers as encouragement to hire military spouses. This approach would supplement other existing support programs, such as DoD scholarships and licensure support
  • Better BAH: Military families on the move, especially in higher cost-of-living areas, deserve a Basic Allowance for Housing that covers 100% of their anticipated housing Anything less increases the economic strain faced by these servicemembers and their spouses, many of whom must take a step back on the corporate ladder after each move. I was proud to join more than 170 MOAA members on Capitol Hill last month for our annual Advocacy in Action event, which included BAH reform as a key issue. 
  • Improved child care programs: Child care cost and availability remains a key concern for military spouses seeking to join or rejoin the workforce. The work of MOAA and advocacy partners has resulted in regular legislative improvements as part of the annual National Defense Authorization Act; the FY 2023 version included expanded assistance for child development centers, a program designed to increase in-home child care availability, and reimbursement for PCS-related child care. 

(All members can help keep these issues and others critical to MOAA at the top of their lawmakers’ agendas by logging onto MOAA’s Legislative Action Center. The more advocates we have, the louder our voice in the halls of Congress.) 

One of my top priorities at MOAA has been to underscore our organization’s commitment to the wider uniformed services community – not just members, and not just officers. Our work on behalf of military spouses exemplifies this commitment, and it’s work I look forward to championing through the 118th Congress and beyond. 

Support Military Spouses

Donate to The MOAA Foundation and support MOAA’s efforts to help military spouses in their career journeys.



Lt. Gen. Brian T. Kelly, USAF (Ret)

Lt. Gen. Brian T. Kelly, USAF (Ret)


Lt. Gen. Brian T. Kelly, USAF (Ret), is MOAA's president and CEO. He retired from the Air Force in 2022 after more than three decades of service



Advocacy in Action: MOAA Members Bring Our Message to Capitol Hill

By: Kipp Hanley

APRIL 26, 2023

Advocacy in Action: MOAA Members Bring Our Message to Capitol Hill

MOAA members and staff pose on the steps of the Capitol in Washington, D.C., the morning of April 26, 2023, at the beginning of the annual Advocacy in Action event. (Photo by Mike Morones/MOAA)

2023-aia-small-bug-logo.pngMore than 170 MOAA chapter members and board members from across the nation brought MOAA’s legislative message to Capitol Hill on April 26 for the organization’s annual Advocacy in Action (AiA) event.

Members spent the day inside the offices of House and Senate members, informing legislators and their aides about MOAA’s top legislative priorities, including restoring the Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH) to 100% and preserving access to the TRICARE pharmacy network. It was the first time the event was held in person since 2019.

[RELATED: MOAA’s Advocacy in Action 2023]

Jillian Rogers, a member of the MOAA Currently Serving Spouse Advisory Council, and Col. Kim Biever, USA (Ret), a member of MOAA’s Uniformed Services Nurse Advocates Virtual Chapter, enjoyed their first AiA experience. They visited with staff from Texas Reps. Joaquin Castro, Tony Gonzales, and Henry Cuellar, and walked away impressed with the positive reception and their knowledge of military affairs.

“All of them were eager to share what they were doing for military families, veterans and servicemembers,” Rogers said. “It was not what I was expecting.”



MOAA Board Member Col. Rojan J. Robotham, USAF, snaps a selfie with (from left) MOAA President and CEO Lt. Gen. Brian T. Kelly, USAF (Ret), MOAA Chairman of the Board Gen. Gary L. North, USAF (Ret), and Virginia MOAA Vice President of Legislative Affairs Col. Monti Zimmerman, USA (Ret), during MOAA's Advocacy in Action event April 26, 2023, in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Mike Morones/MOAA)

Both Biever and Rogers have seen the impacts of the BAH cuts firsthand. According to Biever, there is a waiting list of over a year to live on base at Joint Base San Antonio, forcing many families to live off base and weigh quality-of-life decisions – commutes, neighborhoods, and school districts, for example – against living expenses. Rogers said despite having two incomes with her husband, a lieutenant commander in the Navy, making ends meet in Northern Virginia is still tough.

“We are seeking the best schools, so that usually means giving up on housing,” said Rogers, who has three young children. “They are taking all of our BAH and a good chunk of the income I bring in [just] to be in a subpar rental house.”

[TAKE ACTION:  Urge Your Legislators to Pay Full Housing Costs for Servicemembers]

MOAA Northwest Arkansas Chapter President Col. Robert Crawford, USA (Ret), had never experienced in an in-person AiA but had participated in the last three virtual events. Crawford met with Rep. Steve Womack (R-Ark.) early Wednesday morning; Womack is working on a bill that would make the Basic Needs Allowance non-taxable for servicemembers, like BAH.

During his meeting with Womack, Crawford expressed the tangible benefits of restoring the BAH to 100%. While BAH rates vary by paygrade, location, and other factors, one MOAA calculation using DoD and other government figures found an E-5 in a military housing area representing the national average would receive $111 more per month if BAH moved from its current 95% of housing costs back to 100%. This would partially lessen a $433 gap between that servicemember’s projected expenses and compensation.

“It’s not going to make up for the shortfall, but it’s going to make a dent,” Crawford told Womack.

[MOAA ISSUE PAPER: Pay Full Housing Costs for Servicemembers]

Virginia MOAA Vice President of Legislative Affairs Col. Monti Zimmerman, USA (Ret), and MOAA board member Col. Rojan J. Robotham, USAF, met with Rebecca Eichmann, a staffer from Rep. Abigail Spanberger’s office, who said the Virginia Democrat would support restoring the TRICARE pharmacy network. Late last year, the network dropped thousands of independent pharmacies; the year before, it dropped Walmart from its rolls.

Eichmann cited her hometown near Orange, Va., where some servicemembers who had been able to use the local Walmart for their prescriptions needing to drive 40 minutes to Charlottesville to find a network pharmacy.

[TAKE ACTION: Help MOAA Fight Cuts to the TRICARE Pharmacy Network]

Illinois MOAA Council President Col. Robert Tyler, USMC (Ret), met with a legislative aide of suburban Chicago area Rep. Brad Schneider (D-Ill.) and spoke about the importance of earned benefits as a way to recruit more individuals to the military. Despite 83% of recruits coming from military families, fewer and fewer veterans are recommending serving their country.

“My son’s father-in-law, who was a Navy captain, is telling his grandkids not to go to the military,” Tyler said.

[TAKE ACTION: Contact Your Legislators and Urge Them to Support the All-Volunteer Force]



Col. Michael Fricano, USAF (Ret), a member of MOAA's Hawaii Aloha Chapter, left, meets with Rep. Ed Case (D-Hawaii) in Case's Washington, D.C., office on April 26 as part of MOAA's Advocacy in Action event. (Photo by Rachel Barth/MOAA)

Overall, this year’s AiA was a successful one, said MOAA Senior Director of Government Relations Cmdr. René Campos, USN (Ret).

“AiA is a great experience for local chapter members to reinforce MOAA’s obligation to care for all who serve and have served,” Campos said.


From MOAA’s President: Call to Restrict VA Benefits Breaks Faith With Veterans

By: Brian T. Kelly

APRIL 12, 2023

From MOAA’s President: Call to Restrict VA Benefits Breaks Faith With Veterans

Soldiers conduct situational training exercises March 14 during Exercise Warrior Shield in South Korea. (Photo by Staff Sgt. Effie Mahugh/Army)

The American military has been an all-volunteer force for nearly 50 years, and that force has served well in protecting our American freedoms and way of life. A scant 7% of our population chooses this path of service, and our country has asked a lot of those volunteers, particularly over the last 20-plus years.

Many of our servicemembers deployed into Iraq, Afghanistan and other locations across the globe as much as six or more times. They lost brothers- and sisters-in-arms. Many were even exposed to toxic chemicals via burn pits. Nevertheless, these volunteer servicemembers continued to fulfill their commitments and serve honorably.

As we approach the 50-year anniversary of our all-volunteer force, it is disheartening to read a call to action from The Washington Post to strip away disability pay and benefits to reduce the VA's growing budget. The April 3 editorial endorses means-testing disability compensation for those harmed by their service, plucking a line item from the Congressional Budget Office biannual report that examines a wide range of cost-savings ideas. The CBO report is always eye-opening and designed to offer outside-the-box ideas many which they admit could be difficult to implement. They are correct.

[RELATED: The VA Has No Plans to Cut Off Wealthy Veterans. Here’s What You Need to Know]

Means testing is typically utilized to ensure those truly in need can receive unearned benefits like social insurance or welfare aid as part of a government grant or gift. Military and veteran health care benefits are not gifts or grants: They are earned based on the sacrifices and commitments made by volunteers and their families. We don’t means test federal medical benefits in any other part of the government, with the president paying the same premiums as the lowest-ranking civilian employee. And unless we want to disincentivize service, or disincentivize success after service, we shouldn’t means test the benefits military members and veterans have earned through their sacrifices, either.

In addition, the timing of this proposal could not be worse, and this idea would prove disastrous for preserving a military force 100% dependent on volunteers and already struggling to recruit. The newspaper's Editorial Board turns a blind eye to sacrifices made by our servicemembers and the promises made to our war veterans. Such actions would undermine landmark legislation like the PACT Act, which will provide benefit to 5 million veterans exposed to harmful and cancer-causing toxins while deployed. 

We fought the War On Terror in a new way, a protracted engagement where many of the same men and women endured multiple combat deployments. The burden of these wars was borne by a far lower percentage of our nation’s citizens than ever before. Advances in battlefield medicine mean more from the Post 9/11 generation were wounded in action, not killed in action. For those who are injured in the line of duty, they may apply for service-connected disability payments to rectify the harm received fulfilling their commitment in service to our nation.


As the CBO states, “VA paid about $110 billion in disability benefits, four times the amount that it paid in 2000 (after removing the effects of inflation).”

Missing from the report is a recognition of 20 years of war and the millions of new servicemembers, veterans, and surviving families. In 2001, we had more than 2.3 million veterans receiving disability compensation. After two decades, that figure rose to more than 5.2 million.

We also can’t discount what’s still owed to our Vietnam veterans, many whose medical ailments were only just now recognized as related to exposure to toxins.

We readily and willingly accept lawmakers must always remain positive stewards of taxpayer money. We must also be clear as to what not honoring past obligations will mean to the future of the all-volunteer force with the Post 9/11 generation now holding the biggest influence over whether or not they’ll recommend service to the next generation. How will that proposition look under means testing?

When someone raises their right hand, swearing an oath to our nation, they are offering their service in an open-ended commitment. Our nation makes a promise back. We swear that we will care for them if they are injured, attempt to make them whole for the harms of service, and care for their family if they make the ultimate sacrifice on behalf of our nation. Not that we’ll only do that if you fall below some artificial financial gate. There is an obligation and commitment made by our government that must be met.

[RELATED: MOAA's Legislative Action Center]

We should never forget, minimize, or ignore the true cost of war and the human toll we pay for our freedom. To means-test service-connected disability payments does exactly that. This attempt to balance the budget on the backs of those who serve and have served is a violation of a social contract we must dismiss outright.



Urge Congress to Roll Back TRICARE Pharmacy Cuts

Why Congress Must Restore Full Housing Allowance


Urge Congress to Roll Back TRICARE Pharmacy Cuts

Thousands of locations have left the network, weakening the benefit for its most vulnerable users. (Learn More | Write Your Lawmakers)

Dates, Topics Announced for 2023 Advocacy in Action Campaign

Learn more about this year's key issues ... and how you can get involved.

Why Congress Must Restore Full Housing Allowance

Weakening this earned benefit has made a bad financial situation worse for young servicemembers and families. (Read More | Share Your Story)

2023-aia-small-bug-logo.pngMOAA's annual advocacy event brings members from across the nation in contact with their lawmakers to address critical topics on MOAA’s legislative agenda.

In 2023, MOAA will return to its signature in-person efforts on Capitol Hill in support of these issues. But we won't stop our virtual advocacy, and we'll still need your help to spread the word. Check back at this page and at MOAA's Legislative Action Center for updates on these efforts, as well as information about the April 26 in-person event and a link for participants.

Continue to follow MOAA's Advocacy News page for ongoing updates regarding all of MOAA's legislative priorities.  

[AIA PARTICIPANTS (Login Required with MOAA Account Credentials):]

Have a question about MOAA legislative efforts? Contact MOAA's Member Support Center at or call (800) 234-6622. To learn more about joining MOAA, click here.





Senate Confirms First Black 4-Star Marine General

Senate Confirms First Black 4-Star Marine General

Lt. Gen. Michael Langley, talks with Marines in the courtyard of Marine Corps Security Force Battalion barracks at Kings Bay, Ga.. (Photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Zachary D. Behrend/Navy)

This article by Jonathan Lehrfeld originally appeared on Military Times, the nation's largest independent newsroom dedicated to covering the military and veteran community.

The Senate officially confirmed Lt. Gen. Michael Langley as the nation’s first Black four-star Marine general.

Langley, who will now lead U.S. troops in Africa as the commander of U.S. Africa Command, was widely expected to land the confirmation following a hearing by the Senate Armed Services Committee in late July.

In the Marine Corps’ 246-year history, more than 70 white men have risen to the four-star ranking, according to The Washington Post.

 The Senate unanimously confirmed Langley and a series of other military leaders to new roles Monday evening, according to a Tweet from the Senate cloakroom.

His confirmation was celebrated by Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-New York, on social media.

Before receiving his nomination to the new role by President Joe Biden in June, Langley, a native of Shreveport, Louisiana, held several leadership roles during his 37 years in both the Pentagon and Marine Corps, according to his Marine Corps bio.

Langley will replace the outgoing commander of U.S. AFRICOM, Army Gen. Stephen J. Townsend., Townsend shared that the threat of violent extremism and strategic competition from China and Russia remain the greatest challenges to the combatant command, according to a Department of Defense news release.

“Some of the most lethal terrorists on the planet are now in Africa,” said Townsend, according to the release.

Langley’s promotion comes as U.S. troops are once again operating in Somalia.

U.S. AFRICOM reported no new civilian casualties in its most recent quarter as of June 30 this year, according to a casualty assessment report released in July.


Thank you for visiting the Military Officers Association of America!

MOAA is the nation's largest and most influential association of military officers. It is an independent, nonprofit, politically nonpartisan organization.

MOAA has plenty of upcoming webinars, seminars, career fairs, and much more for members and nonmembers alike. Below are a few links to help you get started:

  • MOAA's Events Page: Bookmark to keep track of all the latest happenings. Know what you're after? Use the search feature to sort events by topic area.
  • MOAA's Webinar Schedule and Archive: Our in-house experts and guests from all corners of the military and professional community provide detailed guidance on a range of transition, finance, and benefits topics. Premium and Life members can access webinar video recordings at this link.
  • MOAA's Military Executive Transition Program: Looking to register for an upcoming MET event? Visit for more about the program and links to upcoming sessions.
  • Join MOAA!: Not a member, or considering a membership upgrade? Learn about the benefits of membership
  • More MOAA Resources: Visit our topic pages to get the latest on Transition and Career news (plus links to MOAA's Job Board, Powered by Indeed, and other resources), financial information, and up-to-date news on your benefits and other topics of interest.


Have questions? We're happy to answer them: Contact our Member Service Center at (800) 234-6622 or email for more information.


Personal Affairs Guide

By clicking on Personal Affairs Guide and logging-in, you will be able to read the MOAA guidance booklet.

RE-LOOK of a special & successful Conference


'Sky is not even the limit': NASA astronaut visits ROTC students at Clarke Central

JROTC instructor Sgt. Antione Clark, left, speaks with retired U.S. Army Col. Paul Longgrear, and NASA astronaut Shane Kimbrough on Friday, Nov. 18, 2022.

The Clarke Central High School Junior ROTC recently played host to an astronaut who shared how the military not only gave him an opportunity to serve his country but also to serve humanity.

NASA astronaut Shane Kimbrough, who is also a retired U.S. Army colonel, spoke on Friday to the Clarke Central cadets and visiting students from JROTC units from other area high schools.

Kimbrough said he wanted to tell the cadets about the “incredible opportunities the Army provided me” and his space flight experiences that includes missions on the International Space Station, where he served with Russian counterparts.

“I hope they can see that the sky is not even the limit anymore,” Kimbrough said about opportunities in the military.

Being in space gives one insight on the “beauty and fragility” of earth, according to Kimbrough, who has conducted multiple space walks during his missions.

“It never gets old,” he said about being in space. “I’ve been up there a year now in total and every time I am in absolute awe of our planet.”

NASA astronaut Sane Kimbrough was a guest at the JROTC facility at Clarke Central High School on Friday, Nov. 18, 2022.

President Ronald Reagan gave Shane Kimbrough a presidential appointment to West Point

Kimbrough graduated high school at The Lovett School in Atlanta and had his eye on possibly playing baseball for Georgia Tech, before President Ronald Reagan gave him a presidential appointment to West Point.

Prior to his address to the cadets, the astronaut was given a tour of the Clarke Central JROTC facility, where he was taken to the various offices and spaces by Central’s JROTC instructor First Sgt. Antione Clark.

NASA astronaut Shane Kimbrough greets former Clarke Central JROTC members Caleb Miller and Karamyah Harris on Friday, Nov. 18, 2022.

Kimbrough was in Athens where he gave the keynote speech at the Georgia Military Officers Association of America’s annual conference held Saturday night at the Georgia Center on the University of Georgia campus.

Joining Kimbrough on the visit to Clarke Central were members of the Military Officers Association, including retired combat veteran Col. Paul Longgrear. Also attending were retired officers Andrew Neighbors, Hugh Barclay and David Dupree.

Wayne Ford

Athens Banner-Herald


POW/MIA Numbers

In order to comprehend the importance of this movement, all you need to do is look at the sheer number of Americans who have been listed as POW/MIAs.

American POW Numbers

According to a Congressional Research Service report on POWs:

  • 130,201 World War II service members were imprisoned; 14,072 them died.
  • 7,140 Korean War service members were imprisoned; 2,701 of them died.
  • 725 Vietnam War service members were imprisoned; 64 of them died.
  • 37 service members were imprisoned during conflicts since 1991, including both Gulf wars; none is still in captivity

American MIA Numbers

According to the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency, 83,114 Americans who fought in those wars are still missing, including:

  • 73,515 from World War II (an approximate number due to limited or conflicting data)
  • 7,841 from the Korean War
  • 1,626 from Vietnam
  • 126 from the Cold War
  • 6 from conflicts since 1991


State Tax Update: Latest on Grassroots Work to Exempt Military Retirement 

By: Tony Lombardo

JUNE 01, 2022

State Tax Update: Latest on Grassroots Work to Exempt Military Retirement

From left, Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp; LTC Barry Gardner, USA (Ret), president of MOAA’s Georgia Council of Chapters; COL Mayo “Biff” Hadden III, USA (Ret), Fort Benning Chapter President; and Georgia First Lady Marty Kemp. (Photo by Trish Hadden)

Is your state still fully taxing retirement pay? MOAA National serves in an advisory capacity for state-specific issues such as income tax exemption. Please contact your local MOAA council as state legislation must originate at the state level.

Military retirees in three states soon will be eligible for significant tax breaks, with South Carolina and Oklahoma exempting all military retirement income from state taxes, and Georgia exempting a portion of that income for residents under age 62.

MOAA members and affiliates took part in some of the lobbying efforts to secure these new provisions. Here’s an update on these new laws, as well as work underway in Rhode Island on similar tax relief.


Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp signed a law exempting up to $35,000 of military retirement income from state taxes for state residents under age 62. All residents are eligible for a $17,500 military retirement pay exemption, while those declaring Georgia-earned income up to $17,500 can declare an additional amount equal to the income claimed.

Georgia residents ages 62 to 64 can claim a $35,000 exemption on any type of retirement income, while those over 65 can exempt $65,000.

The Georgia law takes effect for the 2022 tax year.

“It was a long, hard battle, but it worked out,” said LTC Barry Gardner, USA (Ret), president of MOAA’s Georgia Council of Chapters. “Every chapter talked to their state rep, their state senator and push this, stressing the brain drain.”

Gardner gave special praise to Georgia Council Legislative Chairman Col. William "Les" Arent, USAF (Ret), who "herded from the Council level."

"He's been working this legislative affairs thing for a good seven, eight years," Gardner said. "He’s always been right there with us."

Gardner said the tax break sends a message to newly retiring military based at Georgia installations.

“You’ve served here in Georgia, and now is your chance to continue serving in the state and contribute your expertise in the state,” he said.

The bill does not address survivor benefits and does not cover members of the commissioned corps of the U.S. Public Health Service or NOAA.    CLICK CURRENT VERSION

South Carolina

Gov. Henry McMaster signed H. 3247 into law on May 13, exempting all military retirement income from South Carolina taxes beginning with the 2022 tax year. The South Carolina Veteran Coalition, with leadership from MOAA members, spearheaded advocacy efforts in support of the change.

“It has been an eight-year journey. It’s a hallelujah day for us,” said Col. Tom Robillard, USAF (Ret), who serves as the vice president for legislative affairs for both MOAA’s South Carolina Council of Chapters and the Columbia Chapter. Robillard also co-founded MOAA’s State Legislative Forum, which allows state-level advocates to discuss experiences and best practices.

[RELATED: MOAA Changemaker 2020: Tom Robillard]

Robillard said a combination of factors led to the legislative victory. The timing was good -- the state was experiencing an excess of funds and had created a new tax on internet sales. And while that played a role, Robillard said a unified drumbeat from nine veterans service organizations made this a reality. In terms of strategy, he said one-on-one meetings between legislators and their constituents proved critical to convey the message.

Robillard said Council President Maj. Gen. Michael Akey, USAF (Ret), and Council Vice President Linda Caldwell, a former Army captain, led the way.

"We are just so thrilled for our fellow veterans that they have this long-awaited exemption,” Caldwell said, adding that this move will keep military retirees in the state. “This is just a huge plus for South Carolina, which is an awesome place to live.”

Robillard said the bill also benefits survivors, although it does not include nonmilitary uniformed services personnel. “That’s probably another battle down the line,” he said.


Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt signed a bill May 26 granting full exemption on military retirement pay.

SB 401 takes effect beginning with the 2022 tax year and would expand the state’s existing tax break for military retirees, which covers 75% of their earnings.

“We’re thrilled about it,” said Lt. Col. Ed Petersen, USAF (Ret), president of MOAA's Oklahoma Council of Chapters. “Looking at the number of surrounding states that already had this it was pretty obvious it needed to be done.”

State Sen. Adam Pugh, a former Air Force officer and a member of the senate since 2016, told the Tulsa World the bill would attract “highly trained professionals” to the state to “help fill the gap in critical industries like aviation and engineering, which will be an incredible boon for our economy.”

Petersen, at risk of sounding like the Chamber of Commerce, noted the state already had clean air, clear skies, cosmopolitan cities (Tulsa and Oklahoma City), a low cost of living, and friendliness to spare.

“Bottom line, this is just another item on the list,” Petersen said of the new exemption. “And one that might tip Oklahoma in favor.”

[RELATED: Check Out This Ranking of the Best (and Worst) States for Military Retirees]

The bill does not cover members of the commissioned corps of the U.S. Public Health Service or NOAA.


Rhode Island

The FY 2023 Rhode Island state budget proposal includes a phased approach to exempting military retirement pay, beginning with a 20% reduction for the 2023 tax year.

The exemption would increase an additional 20% until the 2027 tax year, when the full amount would be covered. Gov. Dan McKee included the change in his proposal, which is now in the state house (H 7123) awaiting consideration.

The measure would not address USPHS or NOAA income, nor would it affect survivor benefits. Rhode Island has no military retirement-specific tax breaks on the books, though taxpayers over 65 are able to exempt a portion of their income if overall income levels fall below a given threshold -- $87,200 for individual filers in 2022. Learn more about the exemption at this link (PDF).

Tony Lombardo

Tom Lombardo spent 15 years working in journalism, most recently as the executive editor of Military Times. As director of audience engagement, he oversees online and print content teams for MOAA’s Communications Department. Follow him on Twitter.

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