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Retiree Activities Office
The primary mission of the Retiree Activities Office is providing information and guidance to all retired members seeking assistance on matters related to military service, earned benefits, and entitlements. Over the years our RAO clients have been and continue to be military retirees from all branches of the uniformed services here in Hawaii, their spouses, SBP annuitants, surviving spouses, and former spouses.
One of the more satisfying areas of service for our office is assisting surviving spouses who may lack the knowledge and necessary documentation necessary to receive all the benefits to which they may be entitled.
Hours & Contact
The Retiree Activities Office is located at the Military and Family Support Center (MFSC)
Address: 4827 Bougainville Drive, Room 226, Honolulu, HI, 96818
(2nd floor above the PSD, by the Moanalua Shopping Center).
Phone: (808) 474-0032
Hours of operation are dependent on availability of volunteers but we try to be open 0830-1530 daily.
The RAO Office is Social! Follow us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/RAO.JBPHH
The Retired Activities Office (RAO) is staffed by volunteers who represent the full spectrum of our military
retired community here in Hawaii: Navy, Air Force, Marine, Coast Guard, National Guard, and, yes, Army retirees, spouses and SBP annuitants. These exceptional men and women are here to serve you, the military retired community.
Join our team in providing assistance and information!
Volunteers stand a watch (shift), either in the morning or afternoon, from 2 to 4 hours on a designated day per
week answering the phone and greeting walk-ins.
Volunteer Retired Activities Office Director
For more information on the position, contact us at the RAO. The Director’s position can be extremely rewarding as the incumbent is directly involved in actually organizing and promoting activities such as our seminars and Bulletins and liaison with other military and veterans service organizations.
To become a volunteer, call 474-0032 and leave a message for Jack Power to schedule an interview.
Articles, Forms & Other Helpful Downloads
- Phone List
- A helpful list of phone numbers you may need for all branches of service.
- Agent Privilege Cards, Joint Base PHH (Vehicle Pass Office at Nimitz Gate) 449-0865
- Army Retired Services Office (Schofield) 655-1585/5384/1514
- Air Force Aid Society (Hickam) 449-0301 (Automated phone tree-follow instructions)
- Air Force Mortuary Affairs and Funeral Honors Support (Hickam) 447-2046
- Air Force Casualty Assistance Services (CAS) (Hickam) 449-0310/0303/0313
- Air Force Retiree Services (Randolph AFB) 800-531-7502
- Base Operator (Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam) 449-7110
- Burial at Sea Services (Pearl Harbor) 433-4709
- Cemetery-Hawaii State Veterans Cemetery 369-3575
- Cemetery-National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific (VA) (Punchbowl) 532-3720
- Chaplains Office (Navy) 473-3971
- Chaplains Office (Air Force) 449-1754
- Coast Guard Retiree & Annuitant Services (including NOAA and PHS)(Alternate: 1-785-339-2200) 866-772-8724
- Coast Guard Retiree & Annuitant Services FAX 785-339-3770
- DEERS Support Office 800-538-9552 (Alternate: 1-502-335-9980)
- DEERS Support Office FAX 800-336-4416
- Defense Finance and Accounting Service (DFAS) 800-321-1080
- DFAS FAX 800-469-6559
- DFAS-myPay Customer Service 888-332-7411
- Express Scripts (Tricare Mail-Order Pharmacy) 877-363-1303
- FEDVIP 877-888-3337
- Identification Cards (ID)/DEERS (Hickam Military Personnel Flight) 449-0846
- Identification Cards (ID)/DEERS (Navy PSD) 471-2405
- Legal Assistance Office (Navy) (Region Legal Assistance Office Hawaii) 473-4717
- Marine Corps Retired Activities Coordinator (Kaneohe Bay) 257-7796
- Medicare 800-633-4227
- National Archives and Records Administration Center (NARA) 866-272-6272
- Navy-Marine Corps Mortuary Affairs Office & Burial at Sea Info (Millington, TN) 866-787-0081
- Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society (Pearl Harbor) 473-0282
- Navy Funeral Honors Support & CACO (Pearl Harbor) 473-4512
- Navy Funeral Honors Support & CACO (Pearl Harbor) FAX 473-3614
- Navy-NAVPERSCOM-NAVRES Personnel Management-myNavy Career Center (Millington, TN) 833-330-6622
- Oahu Veterans Center (Foster Village – Venue/Meeting Hall Rental) 422-4000
- Office of Personnel Management (OPM) 888-767-6738
- Retired Activities Office Pearl Harbor (RAO) 474-0032
- Report of Death (DFAS) 800-321-1080
- Social Security Administration (SSA) 800-772-1213
- Tripler Army Medical Center (TAMC) (APPOINTMENTS) 433-2778
- Tripler Decedent Affairs (Navy and Marine Corps) 433-4709
- Tripler Tricare/Retiree Ombudsman 433-7074
- Tricare Customer Services West Region (Health Net Federal Services) 844-866-9378
- Tricare for Life (TFL)-Wisconsin Physicians Service 866-773-0404
- VA-Vet Centers (Counseling, outreach, and referral services) 24/7 line: 1-877-WAR-VETS (1-877-927-8387)
- West Oahu Vet Center (Kapolei) 674-2414
- Honolulu Vet Center (Honolulu) 973-8387
- VA-Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA) 800-827-1000
- VA-Veterans Group Life Insurance (VGLI) 800-419-1473
- VA-Veterans Health Administration (VHA) 433-0600
- VA-Veterans Crisis Line (National Crisis and Suicide Intervention Line) 800-273-8255
- VA-Ambulatory Care Clinic (Tripler campus) (Appointment Scheduling) 800-214-1306
- VA-Service Disabled Veterans Insurance (NOT OSGLI or VGLI) 800-669-8477
- VA-MyVA311 (national number for questions about VA services) 844-698-2311
- Hawaii State Office of Veterans Services (OVS) 433-0420
Meet Our Volunteers!
Dropping out of college without plans, I joined the Navy Reserve. However, after digging a ditch during a Pittsburgh winter as a plumber’s helper, I went back to school. Since I didn’t want a desk job after graduation, I went to OCS instead. As a 23-year-old ensign, going to San Diego couldn’t have been a better start. Then one year in Vietnam on Swift Boats happened. It was an experience never to be forgotten.
My best memories included B-40s(RPGs) and friendly fire missing me. I enjoyed independent steaming, in the middle of the Pacific, on a clear night, with a full moon, calm sea, and no engineering problems. As a facilities manager at Treasure Island I liked traveling around the western United States checking on my 42 reserve sites. I also liked the uniform.
I began thinking of retiring while working at Treasure Island. My detailer mentioned Boise as a final tour. I had been to Boise while inspecting reserve sites. My retort was something like “how about someplace bigger?”. I ended up as CO of the Honolulu Reserve Center. Retirement was good. I landed a job with GSA here in Honolulu, then Sacramento. I also worked for the Rite Aid Corporation in Seattle and San Diego.
My final thoughts… I wish the Navy had sent me to Hong Kong once more before retirement. I would have again taken the tram to Victoria Peak and had dinner in a floating restaurant at Aberdeen. Oh well. Source: Jack Power, LCDR, USN Ret.
I come from a family of 11 children raised on a Maui farm. I saw no future there, so I enlisted in the Air Force in 1963. I enjoyed the lifestyle of discipline and daily challenges and traveling all over the world. My favorite assignment took my family and me to a three-year tour in Madrid, Spain. My least favorite was a one-year tour (1968-1969) to Vietnam.
Throughout my military career I have met many friends (new) from all over the country/world broadening my knowledge of customs, traditions, and cultural differences.
In 1987, I had back surgery at Biloxi, Mississippi, which led to my retirement from the Air Force after 24 years. Transitioning to civilian life went well. I worked for the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) at the Federal Building as Chief of Administration in 1988. In 1990 I transferred to the Maui Vet Center as Office Manager. In 1999 I transferred as a Veterans Benefit Counselor at E-Wing, Tripler Army Hospital. I retired from the VA in 2011.
The Retired Activities Office keeps me busy and I love what I do, helping people. I visit my grandchildren on the mainland whenever I can. I still love traveling and especially enjoy cruises and have visited over 35 countries. Source: Joe Thompson, MSgt, USAF Ret.
My father graduated from the US Naval Academy in 1920. During WWII, he was the captain of a troop transport active in the Pacific, Atlantic and Indian oceans. I recall reading his V-mails, listening to radio reports of D-Day, and finally remembering VE and VJ days. Following in his footsteps, I graduated from the Academy in 1955.
After 18 years of moving from one duty station to another with my parents, I was thrilled by my first assignment as a newly commissioned ensign, assigned to the USS Lexington CV16. I then became aware of the difference between being a Navy Junior and a junior officer; the former takes orders giving none, the latter takes fewer and gives a few. Throughout my life my fondest memories were in moving from one duty station to another and literally seeing the world…new places, faces, cultures and ideas.
I started thinking about retirement as my time in Hawaii grew shorter and prospects of leaving here for Washington, DC, grew longer, and I was offered a civilian job here. My Navy specialty was petroleum logistics, so I worked with an independent oil refinery. Following that were opportunities in private industry, state government, and education. I got over the need for frequent moves and since retiring forty years ago, we stayed in Hawaii, I volunteer and take care of a granddaughter and her grandmother.
My final thoughts… Remember, don’t sweat the petty things; don’t pet the sweaty things. Adapt and overcome. Source: George Mead, CAPT, USN Ret.
Jo Ellen Reynolds
My father, Albert Gallatin Hager II, was career Army. When I graduated as a registered nurse from Southeastern Louisiana University in 1972, I explored joining the military because of the great benefits and retirement at 20 years. I chose the Navy because I loved being near water.
At Naval Hospital Jacksonville, Florida, my first duty station, the job I had occupied for two years was downsized much to my distress. I then joined the Navy Reserve. Except for another eight years active duty in Jacksonville and at Makalapa Clinic, I was a Navy reservist enjoying two weeks active duty at different Navy Hospitals yearly ...from Adak, Alaska, to Sigonella, Sicily.
My most significant active duty memory was being taken to Admiral’s Mast for starting a Depo Provera Birth Control Clinic at Makalapa Clinic in 1993. I started this clinic before at Naval Hospital Jacksonville and I wanted the most up-to-date medical care for Oahu military beneficiaries. I was exonerated but my active duty career was over. It was back to the Navy Reserve for me. I would have remained in the Navy indefinitely. Retirement in 2010 gave me the opportunity to spend time with my three beautiful and bright children, start a businesMeets, do genealogy, substitute teach, travel, and volunteer for the Retired Activities Office, the USO and Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency, where I utilize my research skills.
My final thoughts...do not take democracy for granted. It needs to be continuously nurtured or it will be snatched from us. Source: Jo Ellen Reynolds, CDR, NC, USNR Ret.
Down the hall from my husband’s office was a Navy Recruiter. My husband went and got picked for the Navy Reserve. I thought his work was interesting, so I decided I wanted to do it, too. I joined a program that offered direct commissions to people without service background. Being one of the first with a direct commission, there was no training program available. Therefore, my sister, who was in the Army, taught me how to salute and wear my uniform! The friends I made in the military became my family.
I’m grateful that our mobilization billet was in Japan because I would travel there almost yearly. Women were not a common sight in a military uniform, so it was always a surprise when locals saw me. When the billets I qualified for ran out, I retired after 27 years. My reserve center (one of Jack’s organization) was supportive. There was no formal transition training, but we all helped each other.
Now, in my spare time I help with RAO and other volunteer positions in my old field (college counseling). Eventually, I have plans to acquire and train a puppy for services like visiting hospitals. I love to travel!
My final thoughts… Remember, help is available! Call the RAO, PSD, or Tricare Ask A Nurse service. They can help you or refer you to someone who can. Source: Belinda Chung, CAPT, USNR Ret.
The war in Vietnam was escalating and thousands of Americans were involved in the fighting. I was still in college but several of my classmates had already died in Vietnam. It seemed better to join the Air Force and learn a trade. The first few weeks seemed repetitious with getting up, going to chow, drilling, PT, and marching – just like ROTC in high school.
I had both good and bad experiences in the military. For example, once our shop was ordered to clean and paint our maintenance hangar in Hickam battleship gray. We spent several days removing the old paint and prepping for the new. Our shop chief laughed and ordered only half the paint we needed. Several months later a new general changed the order to go back to the original paint.
I started thinking about retiring after retraining into the security police and being assigned to SAC Minuteman missiles system. Once, I had to face protestors at a missile site and made the 6 o’clock news. After I retired, it was fun for about three months then I realized there was something missing. I went back to school for a teacher’s degree and taught for twenty years at a middle school and retired. Since I retired, keeping busy is hard. I do volunteer work, yardwork, go fishing, care for my dog and travel.
My final thoughts…What I learned in the military taught me to keep trying and you will succeed. Source: Roy Umeda, MSgt, USAF Ret.
I’m from NJ and grew up believing in military service. The USAF sent me to ICBM, which was boring, so I volunteered for combat in Vietnam. I served in several areas, but the VA later claimed 18 months of my records was blank. That’s typical for Spec. Ops. General Daniel “Chappie” James Jr selected me as the outstanding officer in his command, but I received a generic justification due to my project’s national sensitivity.
I retired because I was in a staff job – which I never liked - at the 20-year point as a Lt. Colonel. Afterward, I volunteered for recall IF they would send me to the combat zone because troops were going to the Middle East. They offered a U.S. Base squadron CO billet… No thanks. DoD later thanked me with a “souvenir” cammo hat.
I later worked for the NIH and received the Director’s Award for extraordinary contributions to the NIH mission.… the first and only time it was awarded to a non-doctor. I also managed to marry and have two children – an engineer and a physician and they cranked out some great grandkids.
We moved to Honolulu in 1997 and I’ve been volunteering ever since. I volunteered with the MOAA, HPD, VASH, Citizen Action Projects, and tutored in schools. I’ve been a RAO volunteer 2010 and a coach/pacer for various running clubs since 1998.
My final thoughts… Whether retired or not – go find something you ENJOY doing and volunteer. But don’t think about it… DO IT… Source: Lou Crompton, LtCol, USAF Ret.
Ron Montgomery has volunteered with the RAO for many years. After retiring from both the U.S. Navy and Hawaiian Airlines, he still has a lot to offer the community and does so in different ways. Born and raised in New Jersey, Ron earned an associate degree and an Airframe Powerplant Airplane Mechanic (A&P) license. Instead of waiting for the draft, he joined the Navy with the hope that he could work in Aviation Mechanics - his dream career.
The Navy benefitted from his mechanical skills and he enjoyed serving all over the world. Japan and Hawaii hold special places in his heart. He met and married his beloved wife in Japan, and they relocated to Hawaii where they purchased a home in Ewa Beach and welcomed a son.
However, he jokes about not serving on a ship for even one day in his whole Navy career.
Ron retired after serving 28 years in 1989 having earned the rank of E8 – Senior Chief. He then joined Hawaiian Airlines for another 25 years and retired again at 72. Sadly, he lost his wife in 2009. Their son attended the Naval Academy at Annapolis and is a Naval Radiologist. He has grandchildren who enjoy visiting him in Hawaii.
Ron enjoys volunteering with several organizations and is learning Japanese. “It makes me glad to help.” We are glad to have him for as long as we do. His services are unbelievably valuable. Source: Ron Montgomery, ADCS, USN Ret. Interviewed by: David Ascher, MFSC Staff