Washington DC—The U.S. House of Representatives today passed H.R. 1960, the Fiscal Year 2014 National Defense Authorization Act, which includes several provisions put forward by Representative Duncan Hunter, a member of the Armed Services Committee.  The National Defense Authorization Act is annual legislation that authorizes budget authority and national security programs for the Department of Defense.

“The defense authorization bill passed by the House today was forged with bipartisan cooperation and upholds our commitment to America’s fighting men and women,” said Representative Hunter, a veteran of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.  “All around, this is a good bill and I’m proud to have voted for its passage.”

H.R. 1960 includes the following provisions sponsored by Congressman Hunter:

• DCGS-A Assessment—requires the Director of Operational Test and Evaluation to conduct a full technical evaluation on the Distributed Common Ground System-Army, including an assessment of critical requirements.  A report to Congress is due no later than September 27, 2013.

• Gender Neutral Standards—defines gender-neutral occupational standards for military occupational specialties in light of the Department of Defense’s decision to lift the gender-based ground combat exclusion.  

• Advance Lower Extremity Prosthetics and Orthotics—requires the Secretary of Defense, in consultation with the Secretary of Veterans Affairs, to report to Congress on efforts to advance lower extremity and orthotic products, and making such products available to military members.  The report must also include research and funding available for such technologies.

• Title XI Authorization—authorizes $70 million for Title XI.  Title XI provides for a full faith and credit guarantee by the U.S. Government to promote the growth and modernization of the U.S. merchant marine and U.S. shipyards.

• Reaper Procurement—reinstates six of 12 Reaper Unmanned Aerial Vehicles included in the Future Years Defense Program (DOD) but reduced by the Air Force in the Fiscal Year 2014 budget.

• Peralta Medal of Honor—requires the Secretary of the Navy to submit a report on the Navy’s review, findings, and actions pertaining to the Medal of Honor nomination of Marine Corps Sergeant Rafael Peralta.  The report must account for all evidence considered.

• Fully Burdened Life-Cycle Cost of Military Personnel—requires the Secretary of Defense to provide Congress with a full life-cycle costing model for Ready Reserve components that is comparable to active duty.  

• Emblems of Belief—Creates a foundation in federal law for the inclusion of emblems of belief on military memorials.  Emblems of belief may include those that are currently authorized by the National Cemetery Administration.

• Army Silver Star Awards—requires the Secretary of the Army to consider the Silver Star Award nominations of four soldiers whose award nominations were lost and subsequently downgraded to Bronze Stars.

H.R. 1960 includes the following provisions coauthored and/or cosponsored by Rep. Hunter:

• Military Recruitment—ensures all students from legally operating secondary schools are treated equally and given the same opportunities to enlist in the armed forces.

• Civil Reserve Air Fleet—preserves airlift capability for personnel, cargo and supplies in support of contingency operations.