On June 29, 2005 Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and General Richard Myers hosted a Worldwide Town Hall Meeting for Department Of Defense Service Members.
Rumsfeld claims he never heard of the Uniform Services Former Spouse Protection Act (USFSPA)
by MSgt James T. North
Below is a dialogue of the second to last question asked by an Active Duty female Army Officer who is a victim of The Uniformed Services Former Spouses’ Protection Act (USFSPA).
As you will read in the below transcripts, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld stated he never heard of the Uniform Services Former Spouse Protection Act (USFSPA).
One would think that Mr. Rumsfeld’s DOD General Counsel:
http://www.defenselink.mil/dodgc/ would have informed Mr. Rumsfeld that they are currently in court on his behalf concerning a lawsuit which names Mr. Rumsfeld as the Defendant?
See details of this lawsuit: http://www.usfspa-lawsuit.info/index.htm ……
On April 30, 2004 the ULSG, LLC and 58 named Plaintiffs filed a complaint with the United States District Court, for The Eastern District of Virginia, Alexandria Division. The lawsuit was filed against the Department of Defense. The Plaintiffs have declared that the USFSPA is in violation of the United States Constitution (Amendments Five and Fourteen) and is therefore depriving divorced military, both active duty and retirees of their right of due process. The lawsuit names the Secretary of Defense, Donald Rumsfeld, as the Defendant. Click here or on “Court Documents” in the left hand column to track the status of the lawsuit and to review documents filed with the court.
Worldwide Town Hall Meeting Transcript
Female Army Lieutenant Colonel:
Q Sir, this is for you, Mr. Secretary. I’m an active-duty lieutenant colonel, divorced, full custody of two small children. My ex-husband resigned from the military because it wasn’t lucrative enough for him.
During our marriage, our nine years together, he tripled his income due to the support I provided him while he went to school full- time. And by the way, I supported a family with my military paycheck.
Now I’m living with a divorce decree that not only directs me to provide a large chunk of my retirement pay to him; it also directs me to start paying him upon reaching 20 years in service, whether I choose to retire at 20 years or not. This is forcing me out of the military next year. I can’t afford to write a paycheck — write a check to my ex-husband every month out of my military pay. By the way, he makes thousands and thousands of dollars more than I do.
This is a result of the Uniformed Services Former Spouses’ Protection Act. I’m not the only one affected by this injustice. There are many other injustices that have been imposed on military members for years.
Sir, we are your supporters, some of your biggest supporters in this country, and we would like to get support from our leadership as well.
SEC. RUMSFELD: This is a —
Q And so —
SEC. RUMSFELD: This is a statute, the — GEN. MYERS: Right. It’s a law.
SEC. RUMSFELD: A law.
GEN. MYERS: In the past.
Q Sir. Yes, sir. Uniformed Services Former Spouses’ Protection Act, which, sir, I was told that you supported.
SEC. RUMSFELD: I’ve never heard of it. (Laughter.) Q And, sir, as you may know, or may not know, the divorce rate in the military is much higher than it is in the civilian sector, and it is growing. And — SEC. RUMSFELD: When did this law go into effect?
Q Oh, sir, people have been trying to fight this for 20 years.
GEN. MYERS: Yes, it’s old. It’s a couple — it’s at least 15, 20 years it’s been around, right? Ten, 15, 20 years?
Q Well, before I came into the military, sir.
GEN. MYERS: Right.
SEC. RUMSFELD: Well, I’ll be happy to have David Chu look at it. I’m just not knowledgeable, I’m afraid, about it.
Q Okay, well —
GEN. MYERS: It was different — actually, it was created, I think, in different times. I think was part of the mindset when spouses were normally women — Q Yes.
GEN. MYERS: — and when they probably did not work, and when — Q But sir, even — GEN. MYERS: Yeah. So it needs to be looked at. I think the secretary’s idea is a good idea.
Q May I say one more thing, please, sir? I know that it was set for a much earlier generation. But I will say that since I’ve been in the military, since August of 1986, everywhere I’ve been stationed, and Germany included, even female spouses have had opportunities for jobs, given preference for government jobs, had opportunities for education beyond high school. There’s always some sort of college program.
So although you may look and this may sound a little bit shocking to you because now there’s a woman having to pay an ex-husband who makes just a lot more money than a lot of us in this room, this is an issue that is not a gender issue, it is a military service member issue. And, frankly, we need some support, and we’d like for you to support change or congressional amendment to the current act and actually help promote it, because we can’t get a congressman or anybody to touch this.
SEC. RUMSFELD: We’ll have David Chu take a look at it. Thank you.
Q Thank you, sir.
SEC. RUMSFELD: I am very glad I had a notion — (laughter.) I’ve been around long enough to feel it coming. (Laughter.) Thank you, seriously. We’ll have David Chu look.
After looking at Mr. Chu’s bio, it is noted that he has been working at the Department of Defense before the incorporation of the ill conceived USFSPA law, in one form or another, and one would think he would had already informed Mr. Rumsfeld how the USFSPA is seriously having a negative effect on the recruitment, career development, pay and benefits of his Armed Forces service members?
David S. C. Chu was sworn in as the Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness on June 1, 2001. A Presidential appointee confirmed by the Senate, he is the Secretary’s senior policy advisor on recruitment, career development, pay and benefits for 1.4 million active duty military personnel, 1.3 million Guard and Reserve personnel and 680,000 DoD civilians and is responsible for overseeing the state of military readiness.