Military Report - Week of March 17, 2014

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Military Report - Week of March 17, 2014

#1 Postby boardman » Mon Mar 17, 2014 12:34 pm

Military Report - Week of March 17, 2014

Legion Releases Claims Backlog Report
The March 2014 (http://bit.ly/1idO19I) report of the VA (Department of Veterans Affairs) Claims Backlog Working Group was recently released. The working group's report focused on three areas of improvement: (1) veterans must be given every tool to understand the claims process and what they can do to provide information that the Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA) needs; (2) VBA and VA's regional offices (VAROs) must make structural changes to ensure that claims are being processed accurately and efficiently; and (3) Federal agencies need to transfer requested information more rapidly and to process that information in a timely fashion. The report is available on the (http://www.legion.org/documents/pdf/VA_ ... ort_(FINAL).pdf) American Legion website.
For more on the claims and appeals process, visit the (http://www.military.com/benefits/milita ... ls-process) Military.com Claims and Appeals section.


Win a Jetta in Latest AAFES Sweepstakes
The Army & Air Force Exchange Service (AAFES) and Lindt Chocolates are teaming up to give one lucky shopper a brand-new Volkswagen Jetta. Military shoppers can enter the (http://www.flickr.com/photos/aafespa/12 ... 4/sizes/l/) Lindt Chocolates Sweepstakes at Army and Air Force Exchanges worldwide from March 7 to April 17 for the chance to drive off with a Volkswagen Jetta, valued at $15,000, or the winner can choose to take home $15,000 in cash instead. Authorized shoppers 18 years and older with a valid driver's license can enter the sweepstakes, and no purchase is necessary. The drawing will take place on or about May 15. For more information, contact your local exchange.
For more discounts for military families and veterans, visit the (http://www.military.com/discount) Military.com Discount Center.


Navy Releases New Game
The Navy Alcohol and Drug Abuse Prevention (NADAP) Office has released a mobile game as part of the Keep What You've Earned campaign. "Pier Pressure" was designed to promote responsible drinking among Sailors by incorporating real-life choices in an entertaining work-and-play scenario. The app also enables all Sailors to have important alcohol-related resources at their fingertips 24/7, including a blood alcohol content (BAC) calculator and local taxi search. The app can be downloaded at the (https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/pier-pr ... ?ls=1&mt=8) Apple iTunes or (https://play.google.com/store/apps/deta ... erPressure) Google Play app stores. To help promote responsible drinking within your command, access materials and resources from (http://www.public.navy.mil/bupers-npc/s ... ault2.aspx) Navy Alcohol and Drug Prevention (NADAP) webpage.
For more news on military-related apps, visit the (http://www.military.com/topics/best-apps) Military.com Apps section.


Featured Discount: Shoes.com 20% Off
Shoes.com is offering all Military.com members and their families a (http://www.shoes.com/militarydeal?partnerid=military) 20% discount on their shoes.com purchase plus enjoy free shipping.


Prudential Committed to Hiring Veterans
Start your civilian career with a company that can provide endless opportunity and a career path that lets you choose where you want to be. (http://www.military.com/jobs-in/employe ... =mr0317.nl) Read More.


AF Postpones Promotions Announcement
The 2014 senior master sergeant promotion selection release slated for March 6 has been rescheduled for March 20. The promotion release procedures will remain the same. Public release will occur at 8 a.m. Central Standard Time and individual score notices will be available at the same time on the Air Force secure site (accessible via (https://mypers.af.mil) myPers). Additionally, this change will not delay the pin-on dates for any Airman selected for senior master sergeant. The first month of promotion increments will be April 2014. For more information about promotions and 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.


Low Cost ASMBA Protection + $5,000 AD&D FREE
ASMBA offers military families protection for less. Get $300,000 in coverage from only $21 a month, or choose your own level of coverage. (http://www.military.com/insurance/asmba ... vr_0317.nl) Plus get $5,000 AD&D coverage for joining.


New TRICARE: Higher Fees, More Freedom
If adopted by Congress, the proposed changes to TRICARE would mean that (http://www.military.com/benefits/tricar ... rview.html) TRICARE Prime would cease to exist. Under the "Consolidated TRICARE" plan proposed in the fiscal 2015 defense budget, patients and providers would see the (http://www.military.com/benefits/tricare) TRICARE program transformed into a preferred provider network with higher fees and more choice. (http://www.military.com/benefits/2014/0 ... eedom.html) Read Tom Philpott's Military Update on Military.com for all the details.


AF Plans for Aircraft and Program Cuts
The Air Force has released force structure changes resulting from the fiscal year 2015 President's Budget announced March 4. The Air Force plans to remove almost 500 aircraft across the inventories of all three components over the next five years. The Air Force also plans to divest entire fleets, such as the A-10 Thunderbolt II and U-2 and focus on the multi-role aircraft that can deliver a variety of capabilities combatant commanders require. Divesting entire fleets will save the Air Force billions versus millions of dollars, because divesting fleets also saves the costs associated with infrastructure, logistics, personnel and base operating support. The budget request supports a total force end strength of 483,000 personnel For more information, see the (http://www.af.mil/Portals/1/documents/n ... eSlide.pdf) TFP Adjustments Chart and visit the Air Force Fiscal Year 2015 Budget webpage at (http://www.af.mil/FiscalYear2015Budget.aspx) www.af.mil/FiscalYear2015Budget.aspx.
For more Air Force and budget news, visit the (http://www.military.com/daily-news) Military.com News Center.


New Health Care Apps for Airmen
Two free mobile applications (apps) produced by the Center of Excellence for Medical Multimedia (CEMM) are now available for Airmen and all military health system beneficiaries. The CEMM Virtual Medical Center (VMC) app and a pregnancy app called "My Pregnancy A to Z Journal" are available for free download from the iTunes store as well as the Android Market. The CEMM Virtual Medical Center app includes three main elements: a military treatment facility locator, a TRICARE plan finder and a section on patient education. To find and download the CEMM VMC app and the "My Pregnancy A to Z Journal" app, Airmen can visit the (http://www.cemmlibrary.org/) CEMM library and click on the "Mobile Apps" tab on the left.
For more news on military-related apps, visit the (http://www.military.com/topics/best-apps) Military.com Apps section.


Virtual Town Hall on DoD Budget Cuts
Experts from MOAA, Military.com, IAVA, #KeepYourPromise and Coalition to Save Our Military Benefits recently held a virtual town hall event to help answer questions and address concerns about the proposed defense budget. In case you didn't get a chance to participate, you can see what happened (http://www.moaa.org/MRBudgetBattle/) on MOAA's website.


PCSing this Year? Your $0 Down VA Loan is Ready to Use
Is your family PCSing this year? Now is the time to use your VA Loan. Get the facts from lenders ready to help. This summer/PCS season could you could be in your dream home. (https://secure.military.com/leads/VALoa ... rvr0317.nl) Use your VA Loan Benefit today.
(http://www.military.com/money/va-loans?ESRC=mrvr0317.nl) Want more info on your VA Loan Benefit?


New USMC Family Team Building App
Marine Corps Family Team Building (MFTB) across the Marine Corps has multiple ways of getting Marines and their family members the information they need, 24-hours a day, seven days a week. One of the many tools MFTB uses to provide updates to base personnel is eMarine. eMarine Mobile was created to give family members and Marines the chance to see what is going on in their unit and give them contact information if they have any questions. For more information on a unit's eMarine page or to gain access, contact your unit's FRO or visit the eMarine website at (http://www.eMarine.org) www.eMarine.org.
For more news on military-related apps, visit the (http://www.military.com/topics/best-apps) Military.com Apps section.


Navy Command Operations Report Due
Now is the time for every ship, submarine, squadron and Navy command listed in the Standard Navy Distribution List to submit their annual, CNO-mandated, Command Operations Report (COR). The archive, which collects the reports from the fleet every year by March 1, permanently records command operations and major achievements for future generations. The COR can also serve as a legal document for veterans. The COR template can be downloaded at NHHC's website here: (http://www.history.navy.mil/Commands/index.htm) www.history.navy.mil/Commands/index.htm. For more information, contact Dale "Joe" Gordon at (mailto:dale.gordon@navy.mil) dale.gordon@navy.mil or John Greco at (mailto:john.greco1@navy.mil) john.greco1@navy.mil or call the Naval History and Heritage Command (NHHC) Operational Archive front desk at 202-433-3224.
For more Navy news, visit the (http://www.military.com/daily-news) Military.com News Center.


Sponsored Discount: Up to 50% Off 250 Brands
Up to 50% off 30,000 tactical & lifestyle products from 250+brands plus sports/concert tickets exclusively for military. (https://www.govx.com/AdRegister20.html? ... eportmar14) Register for Free Access Now!


What Benefits Does Congress Get
This week, Tom Philpott's Forum addresses the myths about Congressional Benefits. Philpott helps to set the record straight on what members of the U.S. Congress receive in the way of health benefits and retirement. Many false rumors routinely are spread, particularly on line. (http://militaryadvantage.military.com/2 ... the-myths/) Read the Military Advantage Blog for the full story.


AAFES March Giveaways
The Army & Air Force Exchange Service (AAFES) is offering several March giveaways as part of its Homeward Bound campaign. First, to kick off the month, from March 7-31, authorized shoppers can enter the Beats by Dre gift card giveaway for a chance to win one of 20 Exchange gift cards valued at $500. Then, from March 21-April 3, the Exchange will offer three lucky patrons a $100 gift card for Stylique salon services. Finally, from March 28-April 3, shoppers can enter to win a $5,000 Exchange gift card from Armored Auto Group. More information about Homeward Bound, including additional upcoming promotions, can be found at the AAFES Homeward Bound webpage at (http://www.shopmyexchange.com/homewardbound) www.shopmyexchange.com/homewardbound.
For more discounts for military families and veterans, visit the (http://www.military.com/discount) Military.com Discount Center.


Women's History Month
The Department of Defense (DoD) is observing March as Women's History Month. This year is the 34th anniversary of the National Women's History Project (NWHP). NWHP has established a nationwide presence as the number one resource for information and material about the unfolding roles of women in American history. The overarching theme for this year's observance is "celebrating women of character, courage and commitment." For more information, visit the National Women's History Project website at (http://www.nwhp.org/) www.nwhp.org and the (http://womenshistorymonth.gov/) Women's History Month website.


Navy Hosts Sports Camp
A group of seventeen seriously wounded, ill and injured Sailors and Coast Guardsmen recently participated in Navy Wounded Warrior (NWW) - Safe Harbor's first adaptive athletics camp at Naval Base San Diego. Adaptive athletics -- sports that are modified to meet the abilities of injured or ill individuals -- are proven to have numerous positive effects on these servicemembers, including higher self-esteem, lower-stress levels, and fewer secondary medical conditions. For more information about the Navy Wounded Warrior adaptive athletics program, visit the (http://safeharbor.navylive.dodlive.mil) Navy Wounded Warrior Blog, call 855-NAVY WWP or email (mailto:navywoundedwarrior@navy.mil) navywoundedwarrior@navy.mil.
For more Navy news, visit the (http://www.military.com/daily-news) Military.com News Center.


Navy Organization Begins Fund Drive
The Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society (NMCRS) kicked off its annual active duty fund drive with a ceremony at the Pentagon, March 4. The drive, designed to raise funds necessary to financially assist Navy and Marine Corps personnel and NMCRS programs, will run for six weeks, until April 11. The NMCRS offers a range of programs beyond emergency loans, including financial counseling, education assistance, health education and post-combat support, child budgeting, disaster relief, emergency travel funding, and access to thrift shops. For more information on the Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society and how to donate, visit the NMCRS 2014 Active Duty Fund Drive website at (http://www.nmcrsfunddrive.org) www.nmcrsfunddrive.org.
For more family support resources, see this (http://www.military.com/spouse/military ... vices.html) Military.com Family Center.


USMC Sleeve Rolling Tradition Returns
After a two-year break in rolling sleeves, the Commandant of the Marine Corps recently reinstated the tradition. All Marines returned to rolling sleeves, March 9, 2014. However, with sleeves going up some problems may arise with Marines having out-of-regulation tattoos. Marines and men and women enlisting in the Marine Corps are not allowed to get or have tattoos or brands on their neck, head, mouth, hands, fingers or wrists. Tattoos that are sexist, racist, eccentric or offensive or express an association with illegal substances are prohibited. Enlisted Marines with grandfathered sleeve tattoos are not eligible for any Marine Corps commissioning or warrant officer programs. However, they are still eligible for promotion and re-enlistment, but only as an enlisted Marine. Anyone with questions or concerns can speak with their chain of command.
For more Marine Corps news, visit the (http://www.military.com/daily-news) Military.com News Center.


Navy Flag Officer Adjustments
The Vice Chief of Naval Operations, Adm. Mark Ferguson, announced the next phase of Flag officer billet adjustments, projected to bring the Navy into compliance with Office of the Secretary of Defense guidance. The adjustments are in addition to the reduction of 35 Navy flag officer positions announced in August, 2013. The phased reduction, elimination, or consolidation of flag officer billets is scheduled to be complete by March 2016 and will occur as the officers effect permanent change of station moves or retire. Specific billets affected by this plan are listed on the (http://www.navy.mil/submit/display.asp?story_id=79485) U.S. Navy website.
For more Navy news, visit the (http://www.military.com/daily-news) Military.com News Center.


Retiree Benefits: The Latest Update
What retiree benefits will change or might change in the DoD's proposed budget for 2015? In the latest edition of the Military.com Benefits Podcast, we sit down with benefits expert Terry Howell to get the latest word on COLA, a TRICARE shake-up, retirement compensation, and other benefits that may affect retirees. If you're a retiree who wants to keep track of your benefits, you won't want to miss this. Listen to the podcast on the (http://podcasts.military.com/2014/03/mi ... dates.html) Military.com Podcast Center.


VA Home Loans and New Mortgage Regulations
Lately, all eyes are on the new mortgage regulations. How will these affect VA loan benefits? (http://www.military.com/money/va-loans/ ... rvr0317.nl) Read More.


Sailors to See Boost in Sea Pay
The U.S. Navy has announced an increase in Career Sea Pay (CSP) and Career Sea Pay Premium (CSP-P) for eligible Sailors and Marines serving aboard ships whose primary mission is conducted at sea. All pay grades with at least three years of cumulative sea duty will receive a 25 percent increase in regular CSP, while servicemembers who exceed 36 months of consecutive sea duty will receive an increase in CSP-P from $100 to $200 per month. The new CSP Table is available (http://www.navy.mil/navydata/people/cnp ... Tables.pdf) online. Pending final coordination with the Defense Finance and Accounting Service, it is expected that the new CSP and CSP-P rates will take effect early this summer. An announcement on the exact date is forthcoming. (http://www.military.com/daily-news/2014 ... ecade.html) Read the full story on Military.com.
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