Military Report - Week of August 11, 2014

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Military Report - Week of August 11, 2014

#1 Postby boardman » Mon Aug 11, 2014 1:43 pm

Military Report - Week of August 11, 2014

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Texas Offers Veterans Benefit Programs
Gov. Rick Perry has launched a public service announcement (PSA) to raise awareness of state resources available to help Texas veterans navigate the Veterans Administration health care system. The PSA directs veterans to call the Texas Veterans Hotline at 1-800-252-8387 (VETS) for assistance with accessing VA health care benefits. The Texas Cable Association and Texas Association of Broadcasters will air the PSA on their respective member networks and on-line throughout the state. Perry has also asked Texas hospitals and medical clinics to open their doors to Texas veterans who have faced bureaucratic challenges in accessing health care through the VA. But, but they cannot begin treating VA patients until the VA gives them authorization and ensures timely reimbursement of the cost of care provided. The PSA is available at (

AF Officer RIF Board Scheduled
The officer Reduction in Force board is scheduled to convene at the Air Force Personnel Center in early October. Revised RIF matrices for Line of the Air Force, Line of the Air Force Judge Advocate General and Health Professions were posted to ( myPers recently and included significant reductions in the number of officers eligible for the RIF and the number of losses needed through a RIF. The total target for these boards is now reduced to 468 with approximately 2,800 eligible. These numbers represent significant reductions from the last matrices posted in June, which showed 4,593 eligible officers with a target of 634.
For more information on Air Force boards and other personnel matters, visit the ( myPers website.

President Signs New VA Health Care Law
President Barack Obama signed the bill to improve access to health care for veterans and reform the Department of Veterans Affairs. The $16.3 billion bill will enable VA to recruit more doctors, nurses and other medical providers to care for the surging number of veterans returning from wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Veterans on long VA waiting lists and those who live far from VA facilities may see private doctors or go to community health centers, Department of Defense facilities and Indian Health Centers. The new law will also pay for leasing 27 new clinics in 18 states and Puerto Rico. A summary of the bill is available on the ( ... nline=file) U.S. Senate Committee on Veterans Affairs website. ( ... -get-care/) Read more about the new law on the Military Advantage blog.

AF Enlisted Retention Board Status
The Enhanced Selective Early Retirement Boards (ESERB) and Enlisted Retention Boards (ERB) are complete, and all senior raters of affected Airmen are working through the notification process. Those selected for non-retention through the boards will attend the congressionally-mandated Transition Assistance Program prior to all mandatory separation and retirement dates. For ESERB, officers must retire by Dec. 1. Senior NCOs identified for early retirement by the Senior NCO retention board must also retire by Dec. 1. For ERB, Airmen must separate by Jan. 31, 2015, or retire by Feb. 1, 2015. For more information on force management boards and other personnel matters, visit the ( myPers website. Airmen can also click the force management graphic on the ( Air Force Portal, which will take them to updated matrices and force management program details.

AAFES Homeward Bound Giveaways
The Army & Air Force Exchange Service is offering a variety of prizes during its weekly Homeward Bound giveaways in August. The prizes include: (1) Aug. 8-14, five winners will receive a Serta adjustable mattress set worth $3,000; (2) Aug. 15-21, ten entrants will receive Exchange gift cards each worth $250 courtesy of David Sunflower seeds; and (3) Aug. 22-28, two winners will receive a $3,000 Samsung entertainment package. To enter the Homeward Bound contests and for more information about upcoming promotions, authorized shoppers can visit the ( Exchange Homeward Bound webpage.

Navy Gender Relations Survey
A Workplace and Gender Relations Survey (WGRS) recently began arriving in the email inboxes of active duty and reserve Sailors. The Department of Defense-hosted survey is designed to help better understand dynamics in the military workplace to include the work environment, cultural and personal interactions. This is a confidential survey for those who participate. Sailors who receive the survey are highly encouraged to participate as survey results are critical to inform future Navy policies, programs, training and resources. Sailors can complete the survey on government computers during working hours or off-duty on their smart phones or home computers. The survey will be available until mid-September.

Packaging Tips for Military Mail
Here are several tips for safely getting your package through military mail: (1) have secure labeling on the outside of packaging using tape; (2) provide full, accurate mailing addresses and return addresses; (3) include identical information inside the package, parcel, bag or trunk in case the mailing label comes off; (4) include a phone number and email address inside of the package; (5) track all mailed items when possible and always confirm receipt with the recipient; (6) include secure tags on all items, especially duffel bags or trunks with military equipment; and (7) when searching through the Mail Recovery Center, provide accurate, detailed descriptions of missing items, especially unique items. Servicemembers who call the Postal Service's toll-free customer service number -- 1-800-275-8777 -- should say they are military and provide a tracking number for the missing item.

AF to Change Enlisted Evals and WAPS
The Air Force has announced a series of changes to the Enlisted Evaluation System and Weighted Airman Promotion System (WAPS) beginning in August, 2014 and continuing through early 2016. The current five enlisted performance reports (EPRs) will be replaced by a model using a maximum of the last three EPRs, placing increased emphasis on an Airman's most recent duty performance. Overall EPR points for WAPS will increase while time-in-grade and time-in-service points will be reduced gradually over the next few years. Airmen will also see new EPRs and new processes for completing those reports. The Air Force will also modify Enlisted Evaluation System policy. Static, or fixed, annual closeout dates for each rank tied to active-duty promotion eligibility cut-off dates will be introduced for all Airmen starting this November. Additional information and in-depth articles on each of the major changes will be released prior to each program's implementation.

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Coast Guard Education Fair
Coast Guard Training Center Petaluma will hold an education fair between 1:00 and 5:00pm on Thursday, August 21, 2014. CG TRACEN Petaluma Education Center personnel and representatives from accredited colleges and universities will be on hand to provide information about choosing schools, using CG tuition assistance, enrollment procedures, and more. For more information about the event or for school representatives interested in participating, please contact the CG TRACEN Education Center ( by e-mail or call 707-765-7112.

AF Career "Intermission" Program
The Air Force Career Intermission Pilot Program (CIPP) gives active-duty, Air Force Reserve and Air National Guard officers and enlisted members between one and three years of partially-paid time out of uniform to focus on personal and professional pursuits. Applications will be accepted from Aug. 15 to Oct. 15 and a total force selection panel is scheduled to convene Nov. 12 to select the Air Force's first CIPP program participants. All eligible Airmen regardless of rank or career field are welcome to apply, but some Airmen are not eligible. Detailed application procedures, points-of-contact, and eligibility requirements will be outlined in the Air Force Personnel Center Career Intermission Pilot Program Personnel Services Delivery Memorandum and will be provided to Airmen soon.

Farmers Insurance Committed to Hiring Veterans
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Your VA Loan this Summer = Low Rates, No PMI, $0 Down
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AF Still Processing TERA Applications
The Air Force Personnel Center (AFPC) continues to process officer Temporary Early Retirement Authority (TERA) and Voluntary Separation Pay (VSP) applications for the window that closed June 30 with 309 applications received. The Air Force approved a total of 183 applications, which included 147 VSP and 36 TERA that were eligible for the latest voluntary window. This window was for officers eligible to meet the reduction in force board and officers whose Air Force specialty code and year group remain eligible for voluntary force management programs. Notifications were sent out recently to affected officers and their commanders. For more information on TERA, VSP and other personnel matters, visit the ( myPers website.

AF Tests New Enlisted Performance Report
Air Force leaders will test the newly developed AF Form 912, Enlisted Performance Report (CMSgt), during the calendar year 2014 Regular Air Force Command Chief Master Sergeant Screening Board, which convenes in September. Development of a chief master sergeant evaluation form is one of many Air Force Enlisted Evaluation System (EES) and promotion process changes slated to be implemented in several stages for RegAF over the next 18 months and for the Air Reserve Components over the next 30 months. During this test phase, the form will be used only for RegAF chiefs whose senior raters are submitting them for command chief consideration. For more information about enlisted evaluations and promotions, and other personnel issues, visit the ( myPers website.

DoD Working on POV Shipping Issues
The military is currently addressing concerns military customers are facing when shipping their privately owned vehicles. Navy officials acknowledge the transfer to the new POV contractor did not go as smoothly as it could have. Military personnel and DoD civilian employees who are experiencing delays with their vehicle arrival time should call IAL at 1-855-389-9499 and choose Option 2, or visit ( IAL's website. Customers can be reimbursed for rental car fees incurred after their vehicle's original required delivery date is missed. While the first seven days of rental car fees are handled by the member's local military or government claims office, rental car fees incurred after the initial seven-day period will be reimbursed by IAL via an "inconvenience claim." For details on each of the three options for filing a claim, visit the ( IAL website's FAQ section.

Servicemembers Get Debt Relief
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and 13 state attorneys general obtained about $92 million in debt relief from Colfax Capital Corp. And Culver Capital LLC, also collectively known as "Rome Finance," for about 17,000 U.S. servicemembers and other consumers. A liquidating trust created as part of Colfax's bankruptcy plan will stop collections on about $32 million owed by more than 5,000 consumers for Rome Finance's financing agreements. Servicemembers may keep the merchandise they purchased. The Colfax Trustee must update the credit reporting agencies so that affected consumers are listed as having paid their debt and must also notify all affected consumers that their debt will no longer be collected. For more information, visit the ( ... on-colfax/) Consumer Financial Protection Bureau website.

Warrior Transitions
2014 MOAA/NDIA Warrior-Family Symposium Sept. 10, in Washington, DC addresses warrior transitions & challenges. The 2014 Warrior-Family will address the matters and needs that currently serving, veterans, their children, spouses and caregivers face when navigating the transition from the military into a civilian environment while managing challenges of combat/ operational stress, mental health or behavioral health care concerns. ( Sign up today for the FREE event today.

AF to Consolidate Museums
Two Air Force Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland museums, the Airman Heritage Museum and the Security Forces Museum, will consolidate into the Enlisted Heritage and Character Development Center by October, 2014 and will serve as a stepping stone for a larger $50 million, privately-funded museum set to open in 2017. Both the interim facility and the new building will be accessible to the public and have a role in the education of every new Air Force recruit going through basic military training. The future 85,000-square-foot center, will be built on the north end of the Lackland Air Force Base (AFB) parade field, and is a joint venture between the Air Force and the Airman Heritage Foundation.
To learn more about the center and how to be involved, visit the ( U. S. Air Force Airman Heritage Museum website.

Legion to Feature Employment Workshops
The American Legion's 2014 National Convention will offer training, resources, and networking opportunities for veterans and servicemembers who are looking for jobs. Veterans, active-duty military, and their spouses are invited to participate in the two-day Employment and Empowerment Summit in Charlotte, N.C., from Aug. 25-26, which will feature panel discussions with employment experts, workshops on what employers want and resume writing, networking receptions and wraps up with a Hiring Our Heroes job fair on day two. The event, which is free of charge, coincides with The American Legion's 96th National Convention. ( ... G7W0x.dpuf) Get more details at the American Legion website. Attendees can pre-register for the job fair on the ( ... n-national) U.S. Chamber of Commerce's Hiring Our Heroes website.

Did 'Bold Goals' Spark the VA Crisis?
Some are asking if the unrealistic, unfunded goal to cut wait times in half for patients seeking care finally put VA administrators under such pressure that many chose to manipulate performance data, compromise their integrity and even put patients at risk. ( ... me-crisis/) Read more about the impact the goals had on the VA and veterans health care.

Operation Homefront
Operation Homefront provides direct services to alleviate a military family's or individual's actual/complete emergency financial burden, as well as counseling and/or recovery support. Emergency financial assistance is in the form of checks paid directly to mortgage lenders, auto mechanics, contractors, hospitals, doctors, dentists and other providers. Other emergency funding assistance, which an applicant receives within 24 to 72 hours, can include emergency food, emergency home repairs, critical baby items, furniture and household items, home and appliance repair, local moving assistance, Wounded Warrior transitional family housing, and community events. For more information, visit the ( Operation Homefront website.

Marines Change Special Duty Pay
Most special duty assignment pay rates are scheduled to be revised to meet budgetary constraints beginning Oct. 1. Most Marines reporting to special duty assignments after the effective date will receive a lower rate than in previous years. Special duty pay adjustments will affect Marines serving as recruiters, drill instructors, combat instructors and embassy security guards, among other billets; however, Marines who started serving in special duty assignments before Oct. 1 will be grandfathered and will not experience any pay changes. Some special duty assignment pay allowances will increase after a 12-month introductory period. For example, after serving one year as a drill instructor a Marine's special duty pay will increase from Level 3, $225 to Level 4, $300.
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