Legislative Champion Departs

September 25, 2015

Our very best wishes go with Col Mike Hayden, USAF (Ret), MOAA’s Director of Government Relations, who recently departed MOAA to take a new position with the United States Air Force. Mike was selected as Director in 2013 upon the retirement of Col Steve Strobridge, USAF (Ret), after serving 8 years as Steve’s deputy.

Although Mike wished to avoid a fuss over his departure, we can’t let this event pass without recounting the many important accomplishments achieved under his leadership.

On his watch, MOAA worked and won repeal of unfair COLA reductions imposed on retirees and survivors; blocked a proposed $1 billion cut to the federal subsidy for the Defense Commissary Agency; and blunted a large proposed reduction of Basic Allowance for Housing for servicemembers.

On the health care front, he led successful charges to block consolidation of TRICARE health plans into a single plan with less choice, won permanent legislative relief from annual threats of 25 percent cuts in Medicare and TRICARE payments, and blocked proposals to means-test TRICARE Prime and TRICARE for Life fees.

In his earlier role as deputy director, he authored and led a successful legislative effort to correct legislation that significantly undercompensated thousands of disabled recipients of Combat Related Special Compensation.

For MOAA and as Co-Chair of the 31-association Military Coalition, Mike testified before the Veterans Disability Benefits Commission, the House and Senate Armed Services Personnel Subcommittees, the House Government and Oversight Committee, and the Military Compensation and Retirement Modernization Commission.

His extraordinary leadership, insights, and compelling analysis helped improve the quality of life for millions of current and future members of the military community.

We wish Mike continued great success in the next chapter of his career, and appreciate Steve Strobridge’s willingness to be recalled to this key MOAA leadership position.