Moving The Veterans Administration Under The Department Of Defense

Editor’s Note – Submitted by: MG Paul Vallely (retired) – Chairman of Stand up America and the Legacy National Security Advisory Group.

 

LEGACY

September 9, 2015

Moving the Veterans Administration under the Department of Defense.

In view of sequestration and the questionable readiness condition of the U.S. military, another pathetic circumstance is the Veterans Administration. One of the oldest and most expensive government agencies, today the VA is constrained by unions, lack of oversight and failed stewardship.

It is time to change the course of discussion, reportability and accountability and move the entire Veterans Administration under the Department of Defense.

The justifications are endless to reposition the VA under the Department of Defense, those most notable and listed below

  • The VA services process system was created during the FDR years and since has had an almost manual custom coded software upgrades where no cutting edge technology exists. The VA process and procedure platform is perhaps one level above a paper and pencil system. The hardware is up to date but the software systems are archaic. Making full use of more advanced computer structure would be a giant leap forward.
  • At the VA, there is no integrated database integrated system connecting the VA’s to each other, or to the Social Security Administration, or the Pentagon or to locations where vital service records are stored. At issue, when a vet seeks medical service from a different VA facility, he/she must have their own complete records with them, when burial services are requested, the VA does not recognize death notices/certificates from the SSA or the Pentagon. Under the Department of Defense, connectivity and approvals and sped-up considerably.
  • Vets today are allowed a 30 minute appointment with the doctor, 20 minutes of that the doctor is working the input process into the computer, paperwork too cumbersome. Having a feature like Dragon, voice to text is required, an inexpensive and forward-leaning solution managed by dedicated active military software personnel.
  • The VA personnel has no empathy, compassion or recognition of the veterans, there is no respect, no honor, no appreciation, hence no customer service. Brothers keeping watch over brothers will immediately cure this condition.
  • 30% of medical cases are for hearing loss, the veteran must prove military service where hearing loss was probable, 50 mm howitzers, canons, artillery etc. Research and development under which the medical community as DoD contractors can address this condition on veteran case files while being assertive in curing and addressing hearing loss prognosis that would relieve medical case backlogs.
  • At the VA, there is no pier support staff, meaning VA ambassadors that promote and market the services offered by the VA, items like housing, education, loans, job searches benefits go unknown to those former active duty uniformed personnel.  Incorporation of other current Department of Defense benefits for active personnel is a prudent and pro-active.
  • Doctors at the Veterans Administration have no structure or set schedule or term. VA doctors see about 2-3 patients a day, in the civilian world, doctors see 6-10. If a doctor does not show up for a work day and veterans have scheduled appointments, there is no call made to the veteran and to reschedule appointments go out another 3-4 months. Using automated scheduling and an active outward call program is the solution and the DOD currently applies these technologies.
  • Veterans are forced to be self-advocates such that they have to navigate a labyrinth and bureaucracy that is not understood and leads to erroneous ratings and alters benefits. Words have meanings, where clarity and protocols within the Department of Defense offers an immediate change to the culture and attitude.
  • The VA is union heavy, where up to 5 unions exist in some locations, where the worst is SEIU, the most corrupt and felonious of all labor organizations, hence no one can be fired for dereliction of duty, altering paperwork, malfeasance, drug abuse, etc. Under the UCMJ, this behavior would be eliminated immediately.
  • Phone numbers for assistance to VA locations are voice mail and push #’s hell only to receive countless recordings, having the Department of Defense apply the existing telecom structure would eliminate this condition.
  • Veterans cannot seek simple medical procedures from civilian locations like a’ doc in the box’, dentist or even a closer military base for items like stitches, x-rays and even prescriptions like an anti-biotic. The vets should have a choice card, demonstrating military service that is accepted at any local medical facility and could even have a modest co-pay. Under the Department of Defense, oversight of this process would be expedient.
  • The VA has no process to educate or seminars to aid in advancement for jobs for existing employees or for returning vets to gain an education and work at the VA in R&D, IT, the medical field, vets should work for vets due to the fraternity/sorority and military ethos. This issue is readily adaptable within existing programs at the DOD.
  • All VA locations should have random polygraphs or voice testing to determine honesty, work ethic (not selling narcotics or theft). These systems are currently in use at thousands of Defense and military posts domestically and globally.
  • Protect ‘whistleblowers’ inside the VA.

Department of Defense Cyberspace – ROE

Editor’s Note – This Department of Defense Cyberspace 14-page report speaks to the new Rules of Engagement (ROE) that will be applied to cyber space wars on hacking, intelligence theft, and viruses. Investigations and evidence will now likely be met with military action in spite of the group, the government, or the hired guns behind cyber hacking and damage. Hacking is now considered as acts of aggression by the Department of Defense and fair warning has been delivered to targets that appear to be complicit. This may result in a new kind of arms race, which has the probability of seizing deeper national security systems and missile systems. Hacking is a proxy war condition, this will require careful and calculated decisions.

Download the report here: NDAA Section 934 Report

Department of Defense Cyberspace

Policy Report

A Report to Congress

Pursuant to the National Defense Authorization

Act for Fiscal Year 2011, Section 934

November 2011

Introduction

This report is submitted in accordance with the requirements of Section 934 of the Ike Skelton National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2011. Cyberspace is a critical enabler to Department of Defense (DoD) military, intelligence, business and, potentially, civil support operations. While the development and integration of cyber technologies have created many high leverage opportunities for DoD, our increasing reliance upon cyberspace also creates vulnerabilities for both DoD and the Nation.

To more holistically capture these dynamic challenges and opportunities, the Department published the Department of Defense Strategy for Operating in Cyberspace (available at www.defense.gov/news/d20110714cyber.pdf), which identifies five distinct, but interrelated strategic initiatives to support DoD’s cyberspace operations and its national security mission:

  • Treat cyberspace as an operational domain to organize, train, and equip so that DoD can take full advantage of cyberspace’s potential in its military, intelligence, and business operations;
  • Employ new defense operating concepts, including active cyber defense, to protect DoD networks and systems;
  • Partner closely with other U.S. Government departments and agencies and the private sector to enable a whole-of-government strategy and a nationally integrated approach to cybersecurity;
  • Build robust relationships with U.S. Allies and international partners to enable information sharing and strengthen collective cybersecurity; and
  • Leverage the Nation’s ingenuity by recruiting and retaining an exceptional cyber workforce and enabling rapid technological innovation.

Download the rest of the report here: NDAA Section 934 Report