New Bill Could Restore COLA Reduction

May 09, 2015

Disclaimer: This list is NOT all inclusive. US Special Operations have dozens of firearms at their disposal. This list is just a sampling and is arranged in NO particular order.

     FN SCAR

The Special Operations Forces Combat Assault Rifle (SCAR) is a modular rifle made by FN Herstal (FNH) for the United States Special Operations Command (SOCOM) to satisfy the requirements of the SCAR competition. This family of rifles consist of two main types. The SCAR-L, for "light", is chambered in the 5.56×45mm NATO cartridge and the SCAR-H, for "heavy", fires 7.62×51mm NATO. Both are available in Long Barrel and Close Quarters Combat variants.

10 Guns of the Special Forces

10 Guns of the Special Forces

10 Guns of the Special Forces

Pictured Above: FN MK 20 MOD 0 Sniper Support Rifle (SSR)
  • 5.56×45mm NATO(SCAR-L)
  • 7.62×51mm NATO(SCAR-H)
Action Gas-operated (short-stroke gas piston), rotating bolt
Rate of fire 625 rounds/min
Muzzle velocity
  • SCAR-L: 2,870 ft/s (870 m/s) (M855)
  • SCAR-L: 2,630 ft/s (800 m/s) (Mk 262)
  • SCAR-H: 2,342 ft/s (714 m/s) (M80)
Effective firing range
  • SCAR-L: 300 m (330 yd) (Short), 500 m (550 yd) (Standard), 600 m (660 yd) (Long)
  • SCAR-H: 300 m (330 yd) (Short), 600 m (660 yd) (Standard), 800 m (870 yd) (Long)
Feed system
  • SCAR-L: STANAG box magazine
  • SCAR-H/SSR: 20-round box magazine
Sights Iron sights or various optics



  Words by Bridget Foster.

The budget deal reached late last December by Rep. Paul Ryan and Sen. Patty Murray included a controversial provision to reduce the cost of living adjustment for working age military retirees by 1 percent. The COLA reduction was designed to save the federal government $6 billion over a period of ten years.  That reduction may soon be replaced if legislation proposed by Sen. Bernie Sanders is passed in the Senate next week.

House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan, R-Wis., and Senate Budget Committee Chairwoman Patty Murray, D-Wash., announce Dec. 10 a tentative agreement between Republican and Democratic negotiators on a government spending plan. (J. Scott Applewhite / AP)

Announced by Sanders on Wednesday, S. 1950, known as the Comprehensive Veterans Health and Benefits and Military Retirement Restoration Bill, incorporates a body of other previously proposed legislation aimed at restoring or improving veterans’ health, education and employment benefits. The bill, which took over a year to cobble together, is a bipartisan effort and has been described as the most comprehensive veteran’s legislation to come before the Senate in decades.

In addition to restoring the COLA, the proposed bill would, in Sanders’ words “deliver on the promises that we have made to our service members…we have to do everything possible to give back to them and their families.” The massive bill has received support from most of the major veteran’s service organizations, including the DAV, the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, and the Military Officers Association of America, which was one of the first organizations to speak out in support of the bill.

In addition to restoring the 1 percent COLA reduction, key provisions of the legislation would:

  • Increase  chiropractic care and alternative medicine programs at VA clinics and medical centers
  • Amend the date of eligibility for medical services for servicemembers exposed to contaminated water at Camp LeJeune, from January 1, 1957 to August 1, 1953
  • Extend by three years a pilot program that provides services for veterans with complex mild to severe traumatic brain injury
  • Expand dental care programs and services
  • Improve care and benefits, including easing the claims process, for victims who were sexually assaulted during their military service. This provision removes the requirement to be initially seen by and receive a referral from the Department of Defense
  • Permanently provide reintegration and readjustment counseling in retreat settings for newly separated female veterans
  • Renew provisions from the VOW to Hire Heroes Act of 2011
  • Make recently separated veterans eligible for in-state tuition rates and improve the level of benefits offered to survivors of certain service members killed on active duty
  • Extend the period of time individuals (including active, Reserve and Guard), are eligible to enroll in the VA healthcare system from five years to ten years post-deployment
  • Assist veterans suffering from reproductive issues related to their military service by providing access to monetary benefits for fertility treatment or adoption

Senate Budget Committee Chairwoman Patty Murray, D-Wash., the architect of a bipartisan budget deal negotiated with Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., the House Budget Committee chairman, discusses the compromise spending plan during a television news interview Dec. 18 in Washington. (J. Scott Applewhite / AP)

The greatest obstacle to passage of the legislation is the proposed funding source: $30 billion dollars from the Pentagon’s war budget of $92 billion dollars.  Senator Sanders considers it a “legitimate use of …money…for the people who defended us.”  The Senate is expected to consider the legislation after next week’s congressional recess.