RETIRED: STILL PROUD, STILL SERVING, STILL SALUTING!
Since 1980, the Army in Europe Retiree Council has represented the interests of Retired Soldiers and their survivors and families living in Europe, Africa and the Middle East to the Commanding General, USAREUR/7A, and all of the Army in Europe leadership, and, on his behalf, to the Chief of Staff, Army, Retiree Council in Washington.
The council operates under the aegis of the USAREUR DCofS G1, but is designated as the Army in Europe Retiree Council to reflect its focus, reflecting that of USAREUR, on supporting Army retirees, their family members and survivors throughout Europe (as, for example, in England, France or Spain), and not just those in areas supported directly by USAREUR garrisons.
Working together, the Army in Europe leadership and the Army in Europe Retiree Council have achieved much on behalf of our military retiree population, but we still have work to do. Retired Soldiers are encouraged to help in that effort by volunteering to serve on garrison retiree councils and with garrison retiree associations and by raising issues and concerns to their garrison commanders, either directly or through their garrison retiree councils.
This website provides information on the Council, how it functions and how it relates to other retiree councils serving the retiree community in Europe.
The Army in Europe Retiree Council serves as the principal advisory body to the CG, USAREUR/7A, and the Army in Europe leadership on Retired Soldier matters with the following objectives:
- Provide the CG, USAREUR/7A, and the USAREUR staff, Region Director, IMCOM-Europe and the IMCOM-Europe staff, and other Army in Europe commanders, including garrison commanders, and their staffs with an insight into vital issues and concerns of Retired Soldiers and their Family members or surviving spouses.
- Provide the Retired Soldier community within Europe, Africa and the Middle East a means of participating and communicating with the active Army at USAREUR headquarters level.
- Receive advice on, analyze, and provide input on those decisions, policies, and laws that affect the retired community.
- Review ongoing programs, proposals, and initiatives and provide Retired Soldier comments.
- Develop programs that will create a strong communication between the Active Army in Europe and the retired community.
- Provide advisory input on decisions, policy, and laws that affect the retired population.
- Develop support by Retired Soldiers for Army, Army in Europe, USAREUR, and IMCOM-Europe programs.
- Bring attention to the special concerns of Retired Soldiers and their surviving spouses living outside the United States by formal submission of agenda items to the Chief of Staff, Army (CSA), Retiree Council.
In 1980, GEN Kroesen, then CG, USAREUR, established the USAREUR Retiree Council to function under the aegis of the USAREUR DCofS G-1, as a conduit between the retired military population and the active Army at USAREUR/Seventh Army level.
The Councilís first president was COL (USA, Ret) Bernard Greenbaum who, serving in this capacity until 1998, established for the Council its key role in representing the interests of retired service members and their survivors and family members in Europe to a succession of USAREUR commanders.
In 1985, the Council was assigned two seats on the Chief of Staff, Army Retiree Council in Washington. Henceforth, interests and concerns of the military retiree population residing in the USAREUR footprint were represented at the level of the Army Chief of Staff and the Secretary of the Army.
In 2002, Installation Management Agency-Europe, later re-designated Installation Management Command-Europe (IMCOM-Europe) became the executor in Europe to manage, through its subordinate garrisons, the delivery of retiree services to the retired military community. USAREUR then shifted its focus to the strategic quality of life and retiree issues, and the Army in Europe Retiree Council focused on theater-level and above concerns of the retiree population in Europe, Africa and the Middle-East.
In 2004, the Councilís name was changed to Army in Europe Retiree Council to conform to the transformation that was taking place in the Army in Europe.
Since its founding, the Council has worked, with the support of USAREUR and, through the European Tri-Component Retiree Council and the Chief of Staff, Army Retiree Council, to address key concerns of the Army in Europe military retirees, their survivors and families. Together, we have enjoyed remarkable success, but there remains work to do.
Owing to the close and continuous collaboration between the Council and the USAREUR staff, the support of successive USAREUR commanders and, in turn, that of the Department of the Army, notable Council achievements specifically benefiting the retiree community in Europe and elsewhere overseas include:
- Establishing TRICARE-for-Life to benefit overseas retirees previously ineligible for CHAMPUS because of age or because Medicare coverage is not available overseas (2001).
- Establishing the TRICARE Senior Pharmacy program, extending the TRICARE pharmacy program to overseas Medicare-eligible beneficiaries (2001).
- Expanding the TRICARE Retiree Dental Program for overseas retirees with Enhanced-Overseas TRICARE Retiree Dental Program (2008)
- Securing a TRICARE managed care support contract, primarily for overseas Prime beneficiaries to facilitate locating qualified local physicians and filing for and obtaining reimbursement (2009).
- Establishing International Direct Deposit (IDD) of local currency payments to retirees and their survivors to overseas commercial banks by the Defense Finance and Accounting Service and the Department of Veterans Affairs, thereby facilitating check-cashing by retirees and survivors distant from US military banking facilities and reducing currency conversion charges.
- Authorizing retirees equal placement with active duty personnel in Category I Space Available (MAC) Travel for emergency travel to CONUS once the family emergency is verified by the American Red Cross.
- Establishing the RetireeInfo list service to disseminate promptly to all subscribers information of interest to the retired military community.
- Authorizing space-available air transport to CONUS to repatriate remains of a retired service member who dies overseas at no cost to the survivor.
- Establishing an annual theater-level Retiree Appreciation Day event for all retirees and annuitants in Europe. This eventís speakers program typically consists of the CG, USAREUR; Region Director, Installation Management Command-Europe, CG, European Regional Medical Command; and Chief, Department of the Army Retirement Services.
The Army in Europe Retiree Council, with the support of the Army in Europe leadership, the European Tri-Component Retiree Council, and the Chief of Staff, Army Retiree Council, continues to seek on behalf of Retired Soldiers, their families and survivors in the USAREUR footprint these objectives:
- Increasing from the current 16 oz to 5 lbs the restriction on retiree APO services imposed by DOD. As an interim measure, starting a one-year pilot program at APOs in Germany to measure incremental costs involved.
- Encourage use of the TRICARE mail-order pharmacy program to permit filling of prescriptions written by preferred providers, including those overseas.
- Providing Veterans Administration ďpost-retirementĒ counselors in Europe.
- Providing VA Foreign Medical Program beneficiaries with the option of receiving reimbursement in US dollars or in local currency.
- Providing permanent Defense Finance and Accounting Service representation in the US consulate in Frankfurt.
The Council consists of up to fifteen members plus three advisory members and three associate members.
- Council members are appointed to four-year terms in the name of the CG, USAREUR/7A, from among Retired Soldiers residing in the Army in Europe. For selection, nominees must have a history of service to the Active Army and retired community and be knowledgeable and conversant with retiree issues and concerns. Members are representative of the grade, gender, component and geographic distribution of retirees in Europe. They include at least one female retiree and, if practicable, one Soldier retired for disability and one retired Reservist or National Guard Soldier.
- Individuals are normally nominated for appointment to the Council by garrison commanders, but interested Retirees may also make direct application for membership by completing the application and sending it to the Council president at firstname.lastname@example.org
- Council officers are appointed for two-year terms in the name of the CG, USAREUR/7A, from among members of the Army in Europe Retiree Council. These officers are a President, a Vice President and a Secretary.
- The advisory members are a designated field-grade officer from the staff of the USAREUR DCofS, G1, a designated field-grade officer (or civilian equivalent) from IMCOM- Europe; and the IMCOM-Europe Retirement Services Officer.
- The associate members are the senior retiree representatives of the US Air Forces in Europe and the US Naval Forces Europe and a representative of the U.S. European Command.
To accomplish its tasks, the Council:
- Maintains liaison with the Army in Europe leadership, including key members of the USAREUR and IMCOM-Europe staff and the leadership of Army in Europe subordinate and supporting units.
- Recommends to the USAREUR DCofS, G-1, issues to be forwarded for consideration by the Chief of Staff, Army, Retiree Council.
- Together with the USAREUR DCofS, G-1, representative, represents the Army in Europe on the European Tri-Component Retiree Council.
- Recommends to the USAREUR DCofS, G-1, nominees for be recommended for membership on the Chief of Staff, Army Retiree Council.
- Provides oral and written reports on issues and concerns to the USAREUR DCofS, G1, following each Council meeting.
- Assists the USAREUR DCofS, G-1, in coordinating support for a theater-level Army in Europe Retiree Appreciation Day hosted annually by US Army Garrison, Baden-Wuertemberg.
- Maintains a RETIREEINFO Email List Server on an official USAREUR server for rapid dissemination of official information to subscribers via email. View instructions on how to subscribe.
The Council provides representation as follows:
- For annual meetings of Chief of Staff, Army Retiree Council (CSARC) in Washington
- Represents the Army in Europe on the CSARC.
- Receives, evaluates and makes recommendations on issues submitted from retiree councils worldwide.
- Presents USAREUR-approved issues to the CSARC.
- For biannual meetings of the European Tri-Component Retiree Council (ETRC) hosted by EUCOM, represents the Army in Europe to coordinate theater-level action on concerns of the military retired military population in Europe, Africa and the Middle East.
The Council maintains liaison with the follows:
- Department of the Army Retirement Services Office
- Chief of Staff Army Retiree Council
- Retiree councils/senior retiree representatives of USAFE and USNAVEUR
- Retiree representatives at EUCOM
- Presidents of garrison retiree councils in the Army in Europe