Military Report - Week of August 13, 2012
Vet Virtual Career Fair Aug 21
Military.com and Monster are hosting a Veterans Virtual Career Fair on August 21st. It's free to join and you'll be able to communicate and engage with exhibitors and attendees in a collaborative virtual environment. Fast Track Your Military Experience to a Civilian Career. (http://www.veteransvirtualcareerfair.co ... RC=mrvr.nl) Get more details and register for the event now.
(http://www.military.com/career-expo/?ESRC=mrvr.nl) View a full calendar of Military Career Expos.
(http://www.military.com/veteran-jobs?ESRC=mrvr.nl) Visit the Military.com Veteran Career Center to search for jobs and get tips on your career and job search.
(http://www.military.com/veteran-jobs/sk ... RC=mrvr.nl) Translate your military skills, experience and training to find career opportunities that best align with your capabilities.
Marine Corps Leadership Program
The Leadership Scholar Program (LSP) is sponsored by Marine Corps Community Services. Marines who qualify for and are accepted into the program are given special consideration for admission into participating colleges and universities. To qualify, applicants must be active duty, reserve or veteran Marines planning to attend a school as freshmen or transfer students. Applicants must have an Armed Forces Qualification Test score of at least 70 and a General Technical score of at least 115, and be high school graduates. Waivers for all the above requirements are available on a case-by-case basis. For more information, including a list of over 200 participating schools, visit the Leadership Scholar Program website at (http://www.leadershipscholarprogram.com/maredu/) www.leadershipscholarprogram.com/maredu/ or contact LSP at (760) 429-4124.
For more on military education programs and benefits, visit the (http://www.military.com/education) Military.com Education Center.
AF Travel Card Changes
The terms and conditions for the Air Force's travel charge card are changing, but Airmen can keep their blue cards. Through the end of September, the Air Force Banking Office will e-mail 300,000 Airmen, informing them that their controlled spend account card will convert back to a government travel card, which will operate like a standard charge card. For most Airmen the transition will be automatic. They must complete a training course found at the Department of Defense Travel website at (http://www.defensetravel.dod.mil/passport) www.defensetravel.dod.mil/passport and sign a statement of understanding. The current blue CSA card will now operate just like the GTC that was used for many years prior to the CSA.
For travel discounts for servicemembers, veterans and families, visit the (http://www.military.com/discounts/) Military.com Discount Center.
Walgreens, Express Scripts Reach Agreement
Walgreens and Express Scripts announced a new network agreement on July 19, 2012. Walgreens left the ESI retail pharmacy network when their contract with ESI expired on Dec. 31, 2011. At this time, it has not been determined how the new agreement affects TRICARE. Specific details have not been released, but the new agreement will go into effect until Sept. 15, 2012. The impact on TRICARE of a new retail pharmacy agreement between Express Scripts, Inc., (ESI) and Walgreens pharmacy has not yet been determined. For up-to-the-minute news about this issue, or to find a nearby network pharmacy please visit Express Scripts online at (http://www.express-scripts.com/TRICARE) www.express-scripts.com/TRICARE or call 1-877-885-6313.
For more on TRICARE, including guides to all TRICARE options, visit the (http://www.military.com/benefits/tricare) Military.com TRICARE section.
Using Gift Cards to Save On AAFES Food
If you pay for your purchase with your Star Card, an AAFES gift card, or an AAFES food court gift card, they will give you 10% off your purchase. (http://paycheck-chronicles.military.com ... ESRC=mr.nl) Read the full article on how to save on AAFES Food.
(http://www.military.com/discounts/?ESRC=mr.nl) Visit the Military.com Discounts Center to find hundreds of exclusive Military Deals.
DEERS: The Facts
If you are a servicemember, retiree, or dependent, Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System (DEERS) registration is the key to getting your TRICARE benefits eligibility established. DEERS is a computerized database of military sponsors, families and others worldwide who are entitled under the law to TRICARE benefits. (http://www.military.com/benefits/tricar ... ESRC=mr.nl) View a full overview on Military.com Registration, updating DEERS information and things to keep in mind.
(http://www.military.com/benefits/tricar ... ESRC=mr.nl)
Deal of the Week: Military Save Here
Exclusive Military & Gov't Only Discounts up to 70% off retail. Save on Outdoor, Lifestyle & Tactical Gear. We carry Sunglasses, Golf Clubs, Apparel & More! (https://www.govx.com/milcom/?utm_source ... tarycom_v1) Signup is Free!
Deal of the Week: Sandals for Military
Sandals Resorts is offering a 10% year-round discount to any existing promotional rate for all U.S. and Canada Military personnel to include Active or spouse, Retired, Reserves, U.S. National Guard, U.S. Veterans, U.S. Department of Defense and Canada Department of National Defense. (http://www.military.com/discounts/deal- ... RC=mrvr.nl) Get this deal.
(http://www.military.com/discounts/?ESRC=mrvr.nl) View all Military Deals and Discounts
VA Loan Limits for High-Cost Counties
The VA loan guaranty program does not impose a maximum amount that an eligible veteran may borrow using a VA loan but limits the maximum guaranty amount to $417,000 for 2012. However, if you live in a high-cost county the maximum changes. (http://www.military.com/money/va-loans/ ... RC=mrvr.nl) Get a full chart to determine the VA's maximum guaranty in your county.
(http://www.military.com/money/va-loans/ ... RC=mrvr.nl)
(https://secure.military.com/leads/VALoa ... rvr0813.nl) Next Step: Search for lenders ready to help you use your VA Loan Benefit.
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2012 COLA Overview
As a servicemember, you can expect to be stationed virtually anywhere in the country. During your career, you are likely to be assigned to a variety of low-, moderate- and high-cost locations. To help offset the effects of higher cost areas, military servicemembers may be eligible for a Cost-of-Living Allowance (COLA). COLA is designed to compensate for being stationed in certain "high-cost" locations in the continental United States (CONUS). (http://www.military.com/benefits/milita ... ESRC=mr.nl) Get a full overniew and Calculate your COLA.
Last Chance to Switch to USFHP
The U.S. Family Health Plan will soon be unavailable for some older TRICARE beneficiaries.
Any military retiree who chooses to enroll in the (http://www.military.com/benefits/tricar ... -plan.html) U.S. Family Health Program after September 30, 2012 will be required to exit USFHP on their 65th birthday and enroll in (http://www.military.com/benefits/tricar ... -life.html) TRICARE for Life and Medicare. Those enrolled in the program before the deadline will be grandfathered in and allowed to retain their USFHP/TRICARE Prime insurance for life. Those who are currently enrolled in TRICARE Standard or TRICARE for Life have until August 20, 2012 to switch their enrollment.
Read more on the (http://militaryadvantage.military.com/2 ... proaching/) Military Advantage Blog.
AF Rules for Private Organizations
If you're part of an on-base organization that engages in fund-raising activities, it is likely your group is a Private Organization. Private organizations are self-sustaining, special interest groups set up by people acting exclusively outside the scope of any official capacity. Any group whose average monthly assets exceed $1,000 over a 3-month period must take the steps to become a private organization and operate on Air Force bases only with the written consent of the base commander. Once approved to operate on base, private organizations can use fund raising to put money back into their squadrons and communities, but certain rules and regulations must be followed. For more information on private organizations, contact your installation force support squadron.
For more links to support resources, visit the (http://www.military.com/spouse) Military.com Spouse and Family Center.
Featured Employer: AT&T Wants Military Talent
AT&T is hiring veterans and transitioning servicemembers. (http://www.military.com/jobs-in/employe ... ESRC=mr.nl) Visit the AT&T Veteran Talent Portal to apply for jobs, translate your military skills and network with other veterans. In the military, you contributed to a disciplined, motivated and successful team. You'll be right at home with AT&T. We continuously recognize the contributions of our armed forces. In every area of AT&T, you'll find retired military and active reservists who made the transition to civilian life. (http://www.military.com/jobs-in/employe ... ESRC=mr.nl) Visit the AT&T Veteran Talent Portal Now.
VA Health Care Eligibility
Eligibility for VA health care is dependent upon a number of variables, which may influence the final determination of the services for which you qualify. These factors include the nature of a veteran's discharge from military service (e.g., honorable, other than honorable, dishonorable), length of service, VA adjudicated disabilities (commonly referred to as service-connected disabilities), income level, and available VA resources among others. (http://www.military.com/benefits/vetera ... RC=mrvr.nl) Get a full summary of eligibility on Military.com.
AF NCO Retraining Program
More than 1,300 Air Force noncommissioned officers may now apply for retraining under the fiscal 2013 NCO Retraining Program (NCORP). Voluntary applications will be accepted through Oct. 5. However, Airmen in restricted career fields will only be able to apply for specific career fields and will also have a shorter Phase I application window: July 30-Sept. 3. The master vulnerability list is available on the virtual Military Personnel Flight website from the (https://www.my.af.mil/faf/FAF/fafHome.jsp) Air Force Portal or the (https://mypers.af.mil) myPers website) and affected Airmen must check it weekly. For more NCORP information, visit the (https://mypers.af.mil) myPers website and enter "retraining" in the search box.
For more Air Force news, visit the (http://www.military.com/daily-news) Military.com News Center.
CDC Concerned by New Flu Variant
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) is preparing a vaccine for a new H3N2 variant influenza virus that recently appeared in Indiana, Ohio, and Hawaii. The reason the CDC is concerned about this particular virus is that it contains an element seen in the pandemic 2009 swine flu strain, strongN1, which may make it more likely for the virus to spread from person-to-person. The CDC is watching this situation closely. To prevent contracting this flu, the CDC advises people to limit their contact with swine and avoid contact with sick swine. People who have contact with these animals should take precautions such as washing their hands, not eating or drinking in areas with swine and controlling their cough.For more information, visit the (http://www.cdc.gov/flu/spotlights/h3n2v_us_cases.htm) CDC H3N2v webpage.
For military news updates, visit the (http://www.military.com/daily-news) Military.com News Center.
Finding the Right Provider
If you realized that you wanted mental health counseling, sought out a provider and then found that things just weren't working out, what would do you do? Dr. James Bender, a former Army psychologist, who blogs for the Defense Centers of Excellence for Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain Injury, has (http://www.dcoe.health.mil/blog/article ... postid=394) outlined a step-by-step list of suggestions to help find a new mental health provider if you find yourself in this situation. Read Dr. Bender's suggestions on the (http://www.dcoe.health.mil/blog/article ... postid=394) Defense Centers of Excellence Blog and learn more about Mental Health on the (http://www.health.mil/News_And_Multimed ... ealth.aspx) Military Health System website.
For more on military health benefits, visit the (http://www.military.com/benefits) Military.com Benefits Center.
Camp Lejeune Vets Get Help
President Obama has signed into law legislation to extend medical care for Veterans and their families who were stationed at (http://www.publichealth.va.gov/exposure ... /index.asp) Camp Lejeune. Eligible veterans will receive extended care now for 15 illnesses caused by exposure to toxins in the base water. For more read (http://www.military.com/features/0,15240,248599,00.html) Tom Philpott's latest Military Update.
New Air Force Career Specialty
924 enlisted aviators will find themselves with a new Air Force specialty code Oct. 31. The new career field, 1A9X1 Special Missions Aviation, will merge aerial gunners with flight engineers on vertical lift aircraft with loadmasters on AC-130 Gunships and other non-standard aircraft used by special operations forces. Airmen or new recruits interested in joining the special missions aviation career field need to: (1) pass a class III flight physical, (2) score at least 60 on the mechanical portion or 57 on the general portion of the armed services vocational aptitude battery test, (3) be able to lift 70 pounds and (4) obtain a secret security clearance. Airmen looking to retrain into this career field can call (703) 697-1717.
For more Air Force news, visit the (http://www.military.com/daily-news) Military.com News Center.
AF "Spouse Tool Box"
A new guide book has been developed to give Air Force spouses a "toolbox" of information, as well as a way to familiarize them with such things as the Air Force mission, organization, rank structure and traditions. "Air Force 101" was developed in response to requests for a "spouse battlebook" - a one-stop resource on the basics of life in the Air Force. The "Air Force 101 Back to Basics" guide book is available on the (https://www.usafservices.com/Home/SpouseSupport.aspx) U.S. Air Force Spouse Support webpage.
For more spouse resources, visit the (http://www.military.com/spouse) Military.com Spouse and Family Center.
Good Grades Pay Dividends
The Army and Air Force Exchange Service rewards military students who excel. Schoolchildren who receive a report card with an overall "B" average or better can pick up an array of free and discounted products through their local exchange's "You Made the Grade" program. To receive a "You Made the Grade" coupon booklet, eligible students must present a valid military ID and proof of an overall "B" or better average to their local exchange. Students can receive one booklet for every qualifying report card and may enter the gift card drawing only once per grading period. For more information, contact your local exchange.
For more discounts for servicemembers, veterans and families, visit the (http://www.military.com/discounts/) Military.com Discount Center.
VA Loan Foreclosure Facts
It is no coincidence VA loans have the lowest foreclosure rate in the country. Free mortgage counseling and the VA guarantee help make veterans' mortgages less vulnerable in tough financial climates. A foreclosure can happen when a borrower defaults or cannot repay a mortgage debt, and the lender chooses to take possession of the property to recover some of the loss. View a (http://www.military.com/money/va-loans/ ... RC=mrvr.nl) quick Q and A that helps you understand your options and the consequences of foreclosure.
Last Chances to See Twilight Tattoo
The yearly performances of the Twilight Tattoo are scheduled for every Wednesday night for the remainder of August only. The time-honored tradition takes place at Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall, Va. The performances are free and open to the public. For more information and schedule details, visit the U.S. Army Military District of Washington's (http://twilight.mdw.army.mil/) Twilight Tattoo website.
For more military-related entertainment news, visit the (http://www.military.com/entertainment) Military.com Off-duty section.
AF Staff Sgt Promotion List
More than 13,400 senior airmen have been selected for promotion to staff sergeant for a selection rate of forty percent. The promotion list is available on the (http://www.afpc.af.mil/promotions/ssgt.asp) Air Force Personnel Center website. Weighted factor point averages were 131.59 for enlisted performance reports, .98 for decorations, 70.35 for the promotion fitness exam and 57.33 for the specialty knowledge test. For more information about promotions or other personnel issues, visit the (https://mypers.af.mil) myPers website.
For more Air Force news, visit the (http://www.military.com/daily-news) Military.com News Center.
Get $100k Coverage: $7.26 a Month
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Report Suggests Freezing Military Raises
The RAND Corporation recently issued a research report for the Office of the Secretary of Defense after it was asked to determine if it would appropriate to slow the rate of increase in military basic pay. The report suggests that DoD should begin to curb the growth in military pay and offered three possibilities to accomplish this slow down: 1) A one-time increase in pay set at half a percent below the Employment Cost Index, 2) A single-year pay freeze (no pay rate increases for one year) or 3) A four-year series of smaller raises set at the ECI minus half a percentage point. For more details, visit the (http://militaryadvantage.military.com/2 ... pay-freeze) Military Advantage Blog.
Program for Transitioning Sailors
Sailors transitioning from the Navy who would like to pursue a career in teaching may be eligible for assistance and monetary compensation from a federal program called Troops to Teachers (TTT), which helped nearly 2,000 former servicemembers begin new careers as teachers last year. State TTT will help applicants identify teacher certification requirements, programs leading to certification and employment opportunities in their state. TTT offers funded and unfunded assistance based on an individual's military service. Math, chemistry, physics, special education and foreign languages have the greatest demand for teachers. For more information, visit the Troops to Teachers website at (http://www.proudtoserveagain.com) www.proudtoserveagain.com.
For job listings across the nation and civilian job guides and tips, visit the (http://www.military.com/veteran-jobs) Military.com Veteran Jobs Center.
Political Activity Guidelines Available
With the 2012 Presidential election less than 90 days away, there are a number of directives and guidelines that servicemembers and government employees need to keep in mind when it comes to being in military or government service and being involved in political activity. The Department of Defense (DoD) has included guidelines for using social media related to political activities and issues in the ' (http://www.dod.mil/dodgc/defense_ethics ... idance.pdf) Public Affairs Guidance for Political Campaigns and Elections', the (http://usarmy.vo.llnwd.net/e2/c/downloads/254327.pdf) DoD Memo on Civilian and Military Personnel Participation in Political Activities, the (http://www.dtic.mil/whs/directives/corr ... 34410p.pdf) DoD Directive on Political Activities by Members of the Armed Forces and the (http://www.slideshare.net/USArmySocialM ... dbook-2012) U.S. Army Social Media Handbook.
To keep up with political issues and legislation that affects military benefits, visit the (http://capwiz.com/military/home/) Military.com Legislative Center.
Navy-Wide Alcohol Survey
The U.S. Navy has launched a Navy-wide survey to learn more about Sailors' alcohol use and the best ways to communicate abuse prevention and responsible use of alcohol messages. The survey is completely anonymous and will take only five to eight minutes to finish. Sailors responses to the survey will help to inform a new social marketing campaign aimed at reducing alcohol abuse in the Navy. To take the survey, visit (http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/Z3LNH7P) this page. The survey password is "Navy," which is case sensitive. For security purposes, participants can only take the survey once from an IP address. The survey will be online until Aug. 27.
For more military family support resources, visit the (http://www.military.com/spouse) Military.com Spouse and Family Center.
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