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Ruben Gromov
Ruben Gromov

An Honorable Defense



From January 2009 through January 2017 he served at the U.S. Department of Defense as the Under Secretary of Defense (Comptroller)/Chief Financial Officer and before that as the Principal Deputy Under Secretary of Defense (Comptroller). He was nominated by President Obama and confirmed by the U.S. Senate for each of these positions. In these roles he advised Secretaries of Defense Bob Gates, Leon Panetta, Chuck Hagel and Ash Carter on all budgetary and financial matters and was responsible for development and execution of annual defense budgets in excess of $550 billion.




An Honorable Defense


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Prior to his service at the Department of Defense, Mr. McCord served for 24 years in the legislative branch, including 21 years as a Professional Staff Member on the Senate Armed Services Committee (SASC) for former Senators and Chairmen Sam Nunn and Carl Levin. As a member of the Senate staff his primary focus was on budget, fiscal policy, and military readiness and installation issues. Mr. McCord also served on the staff of the House Budget Committee as an analyst on defense and veterans programs, and as a cost analyst at the Congressional Budget Office.


Service members separated from the military for refusing the COVID-19 vaccine would have to receive an honorable discharge or a general discharge under honorable conditions under a must-pass defense bill unveiled Tuesday.


That means those troops would mostly still be entitled to veterans benefits under the compromise version of the National Defense Authorization Act, or NDAA. The one exception is that someone with a general discharge under honorable conditions is not eligible for GI Bill benefits.


The Navy, in a memo from its head of manpower, personnel, training and education, had already said that the lowest discharge rating a vaccine-refusing sailor could receive "without extenuating circumstances" would be a general discharge under honorable conditions. Navy spokespeople have also said more guidance on discharges is expected in the coming days.


Barring the Pentagon reversing course, Republicans such as Rep. Mark Green, R-Tenn., have sought to ensure anyone discharged would still have access to veterans benefits by prohibiting dishonorable discharges for vaccine refusal.


"While I'm disappointed that my amendment was changed from only permitting an 'honorable discharge' to permitting either an 'honorable discharge' or a 'general discharge under honorable conditions,' this legislation is still a big leap in the right direction," Green said in a statement Tuesday.


When you are ready to search for a post-separation job or housing you may be eligible for authorized PTDY. PTDY facilitates transition into civilian life by providing time off for house and job hunting. This benefit is for military members being involuntarily separated under honorable conditions, or retiring from active duty.


Personnel being discharged or released from active service as involuntary separatees under honorable conditions may receive up to 30 days of leave, or transition PTDY up to 10 days, as required, to facilitate relocation. However, the leave may not be available if it will interfere with military missions.


Enlisted troops can sell back leave when they re-enlist or when they leave the military with an honorable discharge. Officers can sell back leave only when separating from the military under honorable conditions. Members may sell back up to 60 days of leave over the span of their career.


Transitioning members may sell back any unused leave. Members are authorized to receive a cash payment for any unused leave when they separate from the military if they are retiring or separating with an honorable discharge.


The Honorable Erika P. Reis, Justice of the Boston Municipal Court, will be visiting the Lower Mills branch to talk about civil rights defense and the judicial system. This session is especially for young people interested in careers related to this branch of government. Registration is not required.


While the Department has previously defended DOMA against legal challenges involving legally married same-sex couples, recent lawsuits that challenge the constitutionality of DOMA Section 3 have caused the President and the Department to conduct a new examination of the defense of this provision. In particular, in November 2010, plaintiffs filed two new lawsuits challenging the constitutionality of Section 3 of DOMA in jurisdictions without precedent on whether sexual-orientation classifications are subject to rational basis review or whether they must satisfy some form of heightened scrutiny. Windsor v. United States, No. 1:10-cv-8435 (S.D.N.Y.); Pedersen v. OPM, No. 3:10-cv-1750 (D. Conn.). Previously, the Administration has defended Section 3 in jurisdictions where circuit courts have already held that classifications based on sexual orientation are subject to rational basis review, and it has advanced arguments to defend DOMA Section 3 under the binding standard that has applied in those cases.ii


JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-LACKLAND, Texas - The Honorable Jessica L. Wright, acting under secretary of defense for personnel and readiness, gives the oath of enlistment at the basic military training parade July 19, at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland. (U.S. Air Force photo by Benjamin Faske)


JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-LACKLAND, Texas - The Honorable Jessica L. Wright, acting under secretary of defense for personnel and readiness, renders a salute during pass in review at the basic military training parade July 19, at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland. (U.S. Air Force photo by Benjamin Faske)


JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-LACKLAND, Texas - The Honorable Jessica L. Wright, acting under secretary of defense for personnel and readiness, meets with basic training trainees during a roundtable discussion at the cafeteria July 18, at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland. (U.S. Air Force photo by Benjamin Faske)


By law, the CAPE Director reports directly to the Secretary and Deputy Secretary of Defense, providing independent analytic advice on all aspects of the defenseprogram, including alternative weapon systems and force structures, the development and evaluation of defense program alternatives, and the cost-effectiveness of defense systems.


CAPE is responsible for the management of the Department's programming process, including development of planning guidance (in conjunction with other organizations within the Office of the Secretary of Defense), production of applicable programming guidance, and direction of the annual program review. The ultimate product of the program review is the Future Years Defense Program - the authoritative statement of what the Department plans, year by year, in terms of force structure (how many ships, brigades and divisions, aircraft squadrons and wings, etc., we will operate), procurement (how many ships, tanks, aircraft, missiles, etc., we will buy), manpower (how many people, military and civilian, we plan to employ in each of the services and defense agencies), other supporting programs (such as R&D and military construction), and what it will all cost.


CAPE helps to shape the force in the long-term by providing analysis and advice on resource issues to the Joint Requirements Oversight Council as well as formulating study guidance for analyses of alternatives for major defense acquisition programs. In addition, CAPE plays a central role in conducting analyses and formulating alternatives for major DoD-wide assessments, such as the Quadrennial Defense Review and the Secretary's Strategic Portfolio Reviews.


At the direction of the Secretary, Deputy Secretary, or the Director, the CAPE team also conducts numerous special studies and offers advice in other areas, such as military medical care, school systems for military dependents, information technology, and defense economics. These special studies sometimes include support to other federal agencies, several of which have created their own program analysis groups modeled on CAPE.


As an independent advisor to the Secretary, CAPE conducts analyses to answer the critical questions needed to shape and implement the Secretary of Defense's priorities and direction. Toward that end, CAPE leads the necessary but often unpopular task of fitting the defense program to the budgetary limits set for the Department by the President and Congress. Consistent with its advisory role, the office has no direct decision authority or line responsibility and has no vested interest in any sector of the defense budget.


  • The DoD FY 2020 defense budget executes the NDS by reprioritizing resources and shifting investments to prepare for a potential future, high-end fight. This budget resources the following four focus areas to build a more lethal, agile, and innovative joint force: Investing in the emerging space and cyber warfighting domains to prepare for a complex security environment.

  • Modernizing capabilities in the air, maritime, and land domains to enhance lethality.

  • Innovating rapidly in key operational areas to strengthen our competitive advantage

  • Sustaining our forces and building on our readiness gains to prepare for current operational commitments and future threats.



Mr. Donovan retired from active duty as a colonel in 2008 and became a senior defense policy analyst in the defense industry. He then transitioned to government civil service, culminating as director of staff, Deputy Chief of Staff for Strategic Plans and Programs, Headquarters U.S. Air Force. Following this assignment, Mr. Donovan transitioned to legislative affairs as a professional staff member for the Senate Armed Services Committee. As a professional staff member, he managed all matters for the Committee related to Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marine Corps fixed wing aircraft, manned and unmanned tactical aviation programs, and Air Force bomber, mobility and special mission aircraft, as well as research and development, aircraft procurement and sustainment programs. Most recently, Mr. Donovan served as Majority Policy Director for the Senate Armed Services Committee. 041b061a72


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