Military Report - Week of May 26, 2014
PBS Mini Series on Soldier's Return
The Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) recently debuted a new documentary miniseries entitled "Coming Back With Wes Moore", which will air consecutive Tuesdays on most PBS stations. The host, Wes Moore, is an Army captain who served in Afghanistan. The three episode series tells the story of Wes Moore's search for answers to some of the most difficult questions related to returning from war and follows the lives of several soldiers. The next installment of the series airs May, 27, 2014 at 8 p.m., ET, on most PBS stations. Please check your local television listings for exact air dates and times in your area. For more information, (http://www.pbs.org/coming-back-with-wes-moore/home/) visit the Coming Back With Wes Moore webpage.
Mental Health Awareness Month
May is Mental Health Awareness Month. Nearly one million cases of mental health conditions in servicemembers were documented between 2000 and 2011. The Defense Centers of Excellence (DCOE) for Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain Injury is leveraging this month's recognition to relay four key messages: "Psychological health is essential to one's health, prevention works, treatment is effective, and people recover. Resources abound in the area of military mental health. A range of issues such as depression, PTSD, anxiety, stress, grief, relationship problems, and sleep difficulties can often be treated effectively in primary care. To learn about the signs, symptoms and treatment of psychological ills, contact the DCOE Call Center at 1-866-966-1020. Anyone in a psychological crisis should call the Military Crisis Line at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).
Wings of Blue 50th Anniversary
The U.S. Air Force Academy parachute team, Wings of Blue, is celebrating its 50th anniversary. From its humble beginnings, the Wings of Blue has become an aspiring venue through which many leaders and officers have grown from and commanded. The team has produced at least 10 general officers, including two 4-star generals, and one Medal of Honor recipient. Each year, the Wings of Blue conduct more than 22,000 training jumps, awarding more than 700 jump wings to the students who pass through the Airmanship 490 program at the Academy. For more information, visit the Wings of Blue website at (http://wingsofblue.com) http://wingsofblue.com.
Navy Study Looks at Deployment
A recent study led by Naval Health Research Center shows that brain behavior, or mechanisms related to stress, can be modified in Marines prior to deployment. Of two groups of Marines studied, the group who underwent mindfulness-based techniques before exposure to stress had changes in their physiological responses to stress and their molecular brain activity. The results were further supported by neuroimagery, which showed a decrease of activity in the relevant areas of the brain. Eight infantry Marine platoons participated in the study. An abstract of the study is available on the (http://ajp.psychiatryonline.org/article ... ID=1873666) American Journal of Psychiatry website.
$100k Family Protection: Only $7 a Month
Protection for less. Get $100,000 Coverage from only $0.25 a day. (http://www.military.com/insurance/?lpid ... rvr0526.nl) Could your family afford their lifestyle if something happened to you?
Continued Service in Guard, Reserve
Palace Chase and Palace Front offer Airmen a unique opportunity to continue serving while filling critical total force needs in an Air Reserve component. The Air Force Reserve (AFR) and Air National Guard (ANG) have numerous positions available. Interested Airmen should first contact their local in-service recruiter (ISR) for additional information. If unable to locate the local ISR, call 800-257-1212 or visit the Air Force Reserve website at (http://afreserve.com) http://afreserve.com for the AFR and call 800-TOGOANG, or visit the Air National Guard website at (http://goang.com/careers) http://GOANG.com/careers for the ANG.
A Promise Kept
The American Legion reports that as Americans prepare for Memorial Day it is comforting to know that our friends in Europe continue to care for those American troops who never made it back across the Atlantic. At cemeteries in Britain, France, Belgium, Luxembourg, Italy and The Netherlands, America's sons rest gravesites European families have adopted. There are 124,909 American war dead buried at cemeteries in Europe--30,921 from World War I and 93,238 from World War II. For more information, read the article on the (http://www.legion.org/landingzone/222358/promise-kept) American Legion website and visit the (http://www.abmc.gov/cemeteries-memorials) American Battle Monuments Commission website.
New TSP for Civilian Employees
The Thrift Savings Plan has launched the "Take FIVE for Your Future" educational campaign encouraging civilian employees to take advantage of free government TSP matching contributions by putting at least 5 percent from each paycheck into their account. The campaign which also includes a (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V9fy7oE5Af8) YouTube video that highlights the plan's five core funds and five lifecycle funds available for employee investments. Air Force civilians can make TSP elections through the Employee Benefits Information System (EBIS). To learn more about the TSP "Take FIVE for Your Future" campaign, visit the (https://www.tsp.gov/whatsnew/plan/planN ... l#takefive) TSP website. For more information about other personnel issues, visit the (https://mypers.af.mil/) myPers website at (https://mypers.af.mil/) https://mypers.af.mil. To access EBIS select the link under the 'I would like to' section. Use your social security number and EBIS personal identification number to log into the site.
Save Up to 60% in TRICARE Costs
The AMRA TRICARE Supplement saves money and time. The TRICARE Supplement Plan for individuals and families protects you when out-of-pocket health care expenses rise. (http://offers.military.com/i/tricare/in ... rvr0526.nl) Find out more.
Courage Awards & Benefit Dinner
Join the Wounded Warrior Project as they honor Wounded Warriors, their families, and their most influential supporters on May 29, 2014 at the Waldorf Astoria in New York City. (http://www.woundedwarriorproject.org/co ... media.aspx) Click here to learn more about the event or reserve your seat now by visiting (http://wwpcourageawards.org) wwpcourageawards.org.
Submarine Center Renews Accreditation
The Submarine Learning Center (SLC), headquartered in Groton, Conn., recently announced reaffirmation of their accreditation by the Council on Occupational Education (COE), including all SLC learning sites. The reaffirmation process requires the SLC to continually evaluate how well it achieves its mission, standards and goals. The mission of SLC is to plan, program, budget, and execute individual and team training for Undersea Warfare Enterprise mission readiness. Additionally, it develops, assigns, and coordinates future undersea warfare training and education solutions and allocates resources to execute undersea warfare training in fleet concentration areas. SLC blended learning combines instructor-led classes, hands-on labs, simulation, interactive course ware, and computer-based training. For more information, visit the Submarine Learning Center website at (http://www.netc.navy.mil/centers/SLC/) http://www.netc.navy.mil/centers/SLC.
House Passes Bill with Pay Raise Intact
The U.S. House of Representatives passed a $601 billion defense bill that would spare cuts to military (http://www.military.com/benefits) benefits next year, despite a veto threat from the White House and major areas of disagreement in the Senate. The House voted 325-98 in approving its version of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2015, which sets policy goals and spending targets for the fiscal year beginning Oct. 1. The bill would give troops, with the exception of general and flag officers, a 1.8 percent (http://www.military.com/benefits/military-pay) pay raise.
(http://www.military.com/daily-news/2014 ... raise.html) Read the full story on Military.com.
Navy Releases Advancement Quotas
The U.S. Navy has released Spring Advancement Quotas for active duty and FTS petty officers. More than 20,000 Sailors will advance to E4, E5, and E6. Overall opportunity for active duty Sailors decreased by 4.26 percentage points following a spike in 2012. Command triads were be notified via BUPERS Online (BOL) of their command's results on May 22. Individual Sailor advancement notification on BOL, Navy Enlisted Advancement System (NEAS) and Navy Knowledge Online (NKO) occurred May 23. The names of selectees will be posted on the Chief of Naval Personnel website at (http://www.navy.mil/cnp) www.navy.mil/cnp. (https://twitter.com/usnpeople) Follow @usnpeople on Twitter to learn when the names are posted online.
Arlington Marks 150th Anniversary
On May 13, Arlington National Cemetery was a scene of harmony and reconciliation as it marked the 150th anniversary of its first burial. The first military burial at Arlington was Pvt. William Henry Christman on May 13, 1864. The 67th Pennsylvania Infantry soldier was buried a good distance north of Arlington House. The cemetery was officially opened in June 1864, and thousands of burials followed. The cemetery became a focal point during Decoration Day. Thousands of Americans journeyed to Arlington to place tributes on the graves of those buried at Arlington. For more information, visit the Arlington National Cemetery website at (http://www.arlingtoncemetery.mil) http://www.arlingtoncemetery.mil.
Catholic Chaplains Needed
Roman Catholic priests who are interested in becoming Air Force chaplains can learn more about this career opportunity through the "Come Be With Us" tour sponsored by Air Force Recruiting Service. Tours are held twice a year at Creech and Nellis Air Force Bases in Nevada. Each tour hosts 10 to 12 priests from around the country. Priests who want to become chaplains must also enter active duty prior to their 42nd birthday. The next "Come Be With Us" tour is scheduled for June 16-20. For more information about becoming a chaplain, call 1-800-803-2452 or visit the Air Force Chaplain Corps website at (http://www.airforce.com/chaplain) www.airforce.com/chaplain.
What is the Civil Air Patrol?
The Civil Air Patrol, the official auxiliary of the Air Force, is a nonprofit organization with 60,000 members nationwide, operating a fleet of 550 aircraft. CAP, in its Air Force auxiliary role, performs about 85 percent of continental U.S. Inland search and rescue missions as tasked by the Air Force Rescue Coordination Center and is credited by the AFRCC with saving an average of 70 lives annually. Its unpaid professionals also perform homeland security, disaster relief and drug interdiction missions at the request of federal, state and local agencies. The members play a leading role in aerospace education and serve as mentors to more than 25,000 young people currently participating in the CAP cadet programs. For more information, visit the Civil Air Patrol website at (http://www.gocivilairpatrol.com) http://www.gocivilairpatrol.com.
Navy Updates Advancement Policy
The U.S. Navy has announced changes to its current enlisted advancement policy, including a new formula for the Final Multiple Score (FMS) and changes to the Command Advancement Program (CAP). In the new FMS, the value of the advancement exam becomes the largest factor considered for advancement to E4 and E5. For E6 and E7, Performance Mark Average (PMA) becomes the largest factor in determining Sailors' FMS. The new policy also limits Pass Not Advanced (PNA) points to the top 25 percent of Sailors. The new policy also establishes the period from July 1 to Sept. 30 as the Navy's CAP Season, and that timeframe is the only time that commands can CAP Sailors. For more information, call the Navy Personnel Command Customer Service Center (CSC) at 1-866-U-ASK-NPC (1-866-827-5672).
Prudential is Committed to Hiring Veterans
Start your civilian career with Prudential. As one of the world's largest financial services institutions they can provide endless opportunity and a career path that lets you choose where you want to be. (http://www.military.com/jobs-in/employe ... =mr0526.nl) Read More.
Retirement Planning for All Ages
It is important to plan for the future today, including knowing how and where you should invest your money to have a comfortable future. (http://www.military.com/money/retiremen ... =mr0526.nl) Read More.
AF Commander's Responsibilities Instruction
The Air Force recently issued its new Air Force Instruction 1-2 "Commander's Responsibilities." AFI 1-2 is a six-page document that details the responsibilities of commanders, from training and equipping Airmen, to resource management. The AFI 1-2 PDF is available at the (http://www.af.mil/Portals/1/documents/csaf/afi1_2.pdf) Air Force Portal.
Consultation Available in Clinics
Airmen, dependents and veterans now have access to behavioral health services through their primary care manager (or PCM) at any military treatment facility. The Behavioral Health Optimization Program, or BHOP, was developed to employ internal behavioral health consultants, or IBHCs, psychologists and social workers, into primary care clinics. Some of the major conditions the BHOP program provides services for are: depression, anxiety, panic disorder, tobacco use, alcohol misuse, diabetes, obesity, insomnia and chronic pain. For more information, talk with your primary care manager.
AAFES 2014 Summer Catalog
Military shoppers can find savings on name-brand outdoor gear, appliances, sportswear and more with Summer 2014, the (https://www.flickr.com/photos/aafespa/1 ... 1/sizes/l/) latest catalog from the Army & Air Force Exchange Service. The catalog offers patio furniture and grills along with a wide selection of decor and name-brand sportswear. The catalog is available at all main stores and online at (http://www.aafes.com/) shopmyexchange.com. Exchange purchases are always tax free. Online orders of $49 or more and orders placed with a Military Star(R) card qualify for free standard shipping. Prices in this all-services catalog are valid through June 30 for any authorized exchange customer. Toll-free orders can be placed from the United States, Puerto Rico or Guam at 800-527-2345.
2014 Navy Retention Survey
Active duty Sailors are urged to visit (http://www.dodretention.org) www.dodretention.org and participate in the survey currently underway. It only takes 10 minutes, and your response will tell Navy leaders how you feel about your time in uniform, why you want to stay in, and what makes you want to get out. Don't wait -- survey ends May 31st. Spread the word! You can also check out the (https://www.facebook.com/navyretention?ref=stream) 2014 Navy Retention Study on Facebook.
AF Officer Development Programs
Eligible active duty officers interested in 2015 advanced academic degree and experience broadening opportunities can now apply for various developmental programs. Some officers may also be eligible to apply for instructor pipeline programs with the U.S. Air Force Academy and Air Force Institute of Technology. Officers must submit a completed Air Force Form 3849, PME/AFIT/RTFB Officer Worksheet, to the appropriate agencies by suspense dates identified in the 2015 AAD/SPEED Guide, available on the myPers website at (https://mypers.af.mil/) https://mypers.af.mil. For more information and complete application instructions, go to myPers at (https://mypers.af.mil) https://mypers.af.mil, select "search all components" in the drop down menu and enter "AAD/SPEED" in the search window.
Buy or Refi this Summer with Your $0 Down VA Loan Benefit
Now is the time to use your VA Loan. You don't have to pay PMI or have a large down payment. Plus you can get financing up to $417,000. (https://secure.military.com/leads/VALoa ... rvr0526.nl) Use your VA Loan Benefit today.
(http://www.military.com/money/va-loans?ESRC=mrvr0526.nl) Interested in finding out more about the VA Loan?
VA Says Wrongdoing Not Yet Verified
The acting inspector general for the Department of Veterans Affairs, Richard Griffin, said at a recent Senate hearing that no evidence had been found so far of patient deaths attributed to long wait times at the Phoenix VA Health Care System. Whistleblowers and the House Committee on Veterans Affairs have said as many as 40 veterans might have died while waiting for appointments at the Phoenix system. Griffin's office has already reviewed 17 of these cases and has not found a single instance of a patient death because of excessive wait time. Testimonies, statements, and a video of the hearing are available on the (http://www.veterans.senate.gov/hearings ... are-051514) U.S. Senate Committee on Veterans Affairs website.
Multiple VA loans for Homeowners with PCS Orders
If you are a service member, chances are high that springtime means relocation. Thanks to Permanent Change of Station orders, military families move on an average of every two to three years. That's 2.4 times more than civilian families. (http://www.military.com/money/va-loans/ ... =mr0526.nl) Learn more about getting multiple VA Loans.
Legion Reports on VA's Smoking Gun
The American Legion reports that a Department of Veterans Affairs memorandum written four years ago warned that "inappropriate scheduling practices" were being used at some VA medical facilities "in order to improve scores on assorted access measures." These practices were sometimes referred to as "gaming strategies." The document, dated April 26, 2010, was written by William Schoenhard, who then served as VA's deputy under secretary for health operations and management. The nine-page memo lists several specific scheduling practices to avoid.
(http://www.legion.org/documents/pdf/gam ... system2010 memo.pdf) Click here to view the nine-page memo on the American Legion website.
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