As Executive Agent for Individual Augmentee (IA) and IA Family Support across the IA Continuum, one of our goals is to consistently improve the service we provide to our IAs and their families. The IA mission makes very unique demands on our Sailors and their families; it is our priority to give them the support they need from the day they receive orders until they return, rotate to a new job, and reintegrate back into our Navy family. I believe our team throughout USFF has done a good job listening to our IAs and their families and implementing improvements to the program based on their feedback.
A very important change coming for our Sailors this fall is the transition from the Global War on Terrorism Support Assignment (GSA) program to the Overseas Contingency Operations Support Assignment (OSA) program. An assessment of GSA revealed several inequities that were unintended consequences of the program. OSA will resolve the issues with GSA while, at the same time, preserve the more desirable elements of the program. A few notable changes that Sailors and their families can expect from OSA are:
- Under GSA, Sailors were on PCS orders and often had to pay for out of pocket expenses when delays would occur during processing. This will no longer be the case. Sailors on OSA orders will be in a TAD status and will receive per diem as well as other entitlements.
- Like GSA, OSA orders will be executed at the end of a Sailor’s normal PCS tour. The big difference here is that since the Sailor will transition to a TAD status for their IA assignment, they will stay attached to their current command while deployed. This ensures the Sailor and their family will maintain the traditional support of a parent command relationship, including their ombudsman, commanding officer and all the other supporting activities that are familiar and already in place for them.
In addition to the two changes above, there will be benefits to the parent commands as well. For example, although an IA Sailor will remain attached to the parent command, the Sailor will be reflected as an IA, rather than onboard, thus enabling the command to submit a valid request for a replacement.
While the transition to the OSA program is another very big step in the right direction, I know we must keep the press on. And we will do just that.
All the best, JCHjr