Military Report - Week of February 16, 2015

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Military Report - Week of February 16, 2015

#1 Postby boardman » Mon Feb 16, 2015 11:55 am

Military Report - Week of February 16, 2015

American Legion Hosts Workshops, Career Fair
The American Legion's Veterans Employment & Education Division will host a series of events Feb. 19-20 at the Washington Hilton to help veterans, servicemembers and spouses find meaningful careers in the civilian workforce. On Thursday, Feb. 19, The American Legion will be hosting its Employment and Empowerment Summit from 8:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. With workshops and educational sessions that include one-on-one career coaching, resume review, corporate panels and benefits discussions. On Friday, Feb. 20, the Legion and Easter Seals will host a Resume Writing Workshop. A Hiring Our Heroes Career Fair will also be held that afternoon from 1-4 p.m. All of the events are free, and pre-registration is not required. For more information and to register, visit the U.S. Chamber of Commerce website at (http://www.uschamberfoundation.org/even ... iring-fair) www.uschamberfoundation.org/event/ameri ... iring-fair.
For more on upcoming veteran job fairs around the country, visit the (http://www.military.com/veteran-jobs/ca ... fairs.html) Job Fair calendar.


VA Choice Card
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Choice Card Program is a new, temporary benefit that will begin to cover non-VA care for eligible veterans already enrolled in VA health care. Veterans are eligible for Choice Card benefits if any of the following conditions apply: (1) they were told by their local VA medical facility that they need to wait more than 30 days from their preferred appointment date or the date medically determined by their physician; (2) their current residence is more than 40 miles to the closest VA health care facility; or (3) they face significant travel hardships to get to the nearest VA health care facility. For more information on the Choice Card Program, call 866-606-8198 or contact your county veterans service officer.
For more veteran benefits news and updates, visit the (http://militaryadvantage.military.com) Military Advantage blog.


Retired Military Change of Address
Kate Horrell from the Paycheck Chronicles has received many questions about how to change an address on file with the Defense Finance and Accounting Service (DFAS). It is important that you keep your address up-to-date. It will make things a lot easier if you need to get a replacement document, or make any other changes to your account. There are four ways to change your address: through the myPay system, through the Fast Forms program, via the regular mail, or by fax. For more details, read the (http://paycheck-chronicles.military.com ... f-address/) Paycheck Chronicles article.


Recap of Military Pay Commission Report
The Military Compensation and Retirement Modernization Commission recently released a comprehensive report reviewing military compensation and retirement benefits. The commission compiled input and suggestions from more than 150,000 servicemembers and veterans nationwide over a two year period, guiding their decisions to suggest 15 reform recommendations. President Barack Obama said he will review the commission's proposals and gather feedback on the recommendations from senior and military leadership. The final report is available on the Military Compensation and Retirement Modernization Commission website at (http://www.mcrmc.gov/index.php/reports) www.mcrmc.gov/index.php/reports.
For more veteran benefits news and updates, visit the (http://militaryadvantage.military.com) Military Advantage blog.


Free Tax Preparation for Veterans
Here are links to free tax preparation services for veterans: (1) IRS' (http://www.irs.gov/Individuals/Free-Tax ... Volunteers) Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) and (http://www.irs.gov/Individuals/Free-Tax ... Volunteers) Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) programs are available to taxpayers that earned less than $53,000 in 2014. To locate the nearest VITA or TCE site near you, use the VITA Locator Tool at (http://irs.treasury.gov/freetaxprep/) irs.treasury.gov/freetaxprep/ or call 800-906-9887. MyFreeTaxes at (http://www.myfreetaxes.com/) www.myfreetaxes.com, operates the only free online tax preparation and filing assistance platform available in all 50 states and Washington D.C. for veterans who earned $60,000 or less in 2014. For more information, read the VA VAntage Point Blog at (http://www.blogs.va.gov/VAntage/16726/f ... -families/) www.blogs.va.gov/VAntage/16726/free-tax ... -families/.
For more tax season tips and preparation assistance, visit the (http://www.military.com/money/personal-finance/taxes) Military.com Tax Center.


New Air Force Tuition Assistance Rules
New tuition assistance (TA) changes have been made that may affect Air Force members. Beginning with courses starting on or after Jan. 5, members who must pay back any money to tuition assistance due to a failing grade must do so in a lump sum. Students will no longer have the option of monthly payroll deduction. Also, any TA requests that are not authorized by the student's supervisor will be auto-disapproved at midnight of the term start date. It is important that students stay involved with their supervisor to ensure requests are reviewed prior to term start date to avoid being auto-disapproved. For more information, contact your base education office.
For more on tuition assistance, visit the (http://www.military.com/education/money ... rview.html) Military.com Education section.


$400,000 Family Protection Only $29 a Month
Family Protection for less. Get $400,000 Coverage from just $29 a Month. (http://www.military.com/insurance/?lpid ... rvr0216.nl) Could your family survive if something happened to you?


AF Seeks Innovative Suggestions
The Air Force Airmen Powered by Innovation (API) program was created to help gather cost-saving ideas. The program averages more than 100 submissions per month. Suggestions approved to date vary in scope and complexity. The API webpage on the Air Force Portal provides a wealth of information including tools that can help refine and enhance potential submissions. Airmen can see if an idea has already been submitted, see previously approved ideas, submit new ideas, check the status of their submissions. For more information about API, visit the (https://www.my.af.mil/faf/FAF/fafHome.jsp) Air Force Portal and enter "API" in the search window. To submit an idea, visit (https://ipds.afpc.randolph.af.mil) this site or contact your local AFSO21 office.
For more Air Force related news, visit the (http://www.military.com/daily-news) Military.com News Center.


SCRA Ruling Means Millions to Troops
The Justice Department has announced that under its settlements with five of the nation's largest mortgage servicers, 952 servicemembers and their co-borrowers are eligible to receive more than $123 million for non-judicial foreclosures that violated the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA). Borrowers should use the following contact information for questions about SCRA payments under the National Mortgage Settlement: (1) Bank of America borrowers should call Rust Consulting, Inc., the settlement administrator, toll-free at 1-855-793-1370; (2) Citi borrowers should call Citi toll-free at 1-888-326-1166; (3) GMAC Mortgage borrowers should call Rust Consulting Inc. Toll-free at 1-866-708-0915; (4) JP Morgan Chase borrowers should call Chase toll-free at 1-877-469-0110; and (5) Wells Fargo borrowers should call the Wells Fargo Home Mortgage Military Customer Service Center toll free at 1-877-839-2359. Servicemembers and their dependents who believe that their SCRA rights have been violated should contact an Armed Forces Legal Assistance office.
For more on SCRA, visit the (http://www.military.com/benefits/milita ... tters/scra) Military.com SCRA page.


Senator Defends Military Retirement Changes
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), new chairman of the Senate armed services' subcommittee on military personnel, has signaled he will defend retirement reforms proposed for a new generation of service members by the Military Compensation and Retirement Modernization Commission. (http://militaryadvantage.military.com/2 ... s-critics/) Read the full Military Update article.


Navy Launches Crypto Game
The Navy Recruiting Command Cryptology & Technology Facebook page is launching a new cryptology game: Operation Sleeper Shark. The game will challenge followers on the social media site with puzzles to help stop a fictitious opposition group. The storyline will publicly play out through one challenging puzzle each day on the U.S. Navy's social media sites. The game is designed to increase social media traffic and raise awareness of the tasks U.S. Navy cryptologists perform on a daily basis. (https://www.facebook.com/navycryptologyandtechnology) Check out the challenge.
For more entertainment-related military news, visit the (http://www.military.com/off-duty) Military.com Off-duty Center.


New DISA Instant Messaging
The Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) is rolling out a new online collaboration tool that offers Department of Defense (DoD) employees anywhere in the world secure web conferencing and secure instant messaging and chat capabilities. Defense Collaboration Services (DCS) is available to anyone worldwide with a Common Access Card (CAC) on the Non-Secure Internet Protocol Router network (NIPRNet), or to anyone with a Secure Internet Protocol Router network (SIPRNet) token on the classified network. Through DCS Web conferencing, users can communicate securely using voice and video and have the ability to share documents, PowerPoint slides, photographs and spreadsheets in different formats. DCS also leverages milCloud to provide secure Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) in a military data center.
For more military related news, visit the (http://www.military.com/daily-news) Military.com News Center.


AF Enlisted Developmental Ed Board
The CY16 Enlisted Developmental Education Board will convene May 18 at the Air Reserve Personnel Center. Both the Invitation to Apply and EDEB Application can be found on (https://gum-crm.csd.disa.mil/app/answer ... 6,18/c/549) myPers located under the red "News Alert" tab or on the vPC Dashboard under the "Actions Request" tab. Applications are due to ARPC by April 13; however, applicants are urged to check with their units and RIO Detachments for local deadlines. For more information, call the Total Force Service Center at 210-565-0102 or DSN 665-0102.
For more Air Force related news, visit the (http://www.military.com/daily-news) Military.com News Center.


Navy Offers COOL Credentialing
Information on the Geospatial Intelligence, GEOINT Professional Certification (GPC) are now available on (https://www.cool.navy.mil/index.html) Navy Credentialing Opportunities Online (COOL). The (https://www.cool.navy.mil/index.html) Navy COOL website provides prospective candidates information regarding all aspects of GPC, eligibility, registration, and assessment processes. The GPC is available to uniformed Navy and civilian personnel who are performing specific work roles associated with GEOINT tradecrafts such as enlisted intelligence specialist, intelligence officer and Department of the Navy civilians in the capacity of imagery analysts and GEOINT collection managers.
For more on COOL, visit the (http://www.military.com/education/findi ... -cool.html) Military.com COOL overview.


AF Announces Changes Due to Budget
The Air Force has released force structure changes resulting from the fiscal year 2016 President's Budget. The Air Force will invest in nuclear, space, ISR (intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance), the Guard and Reserve, and has discontinued its personnel downsizing programs. The budget will re-phase the U-2S and E-3 Sentry (AWACS) divestitures, restore E-8 Joint STARS and F-15C Eagle planned divestitures, and retire the A-10 Thunderbolt II fleet.
For more information, watch the video on the C-Span website at (http://www.c-span.org/video/?324123-5/u ... et-request) www.c-span.org/video/?324123-5/us-air-f ... et-request and read the (http://comptroller.defense.gov/Portals/ ... w_Book.pdf) Overview of the U.S. Department of Defense Fiscal Year 2016 Budget Request.


Tactical Fitness: Getting Army Special Forces Fit
In this week's fitness Q&A with fitness expert Stew Smith, an Army recruit recovering from an injury asks for the best approach to getting healthy and getting fitter. In an injured state, you have to treat yourself like a beginner. Throw any workouts you were doing prior to the accident out the window and start over with a beginner program. This may be too easy for you at first, but the goal is not to jump right into smoke sessions after rehabbing an injury. The goal is to rebuild the foundation that you lost. That goes for running, lifting, even pushups, sit-ups, and pull-ups. For more details, including some workout plans, visit the (http://www.military.com/military-fitnes ... ial-forces) Military.com Fitness Center.


New Navy Qualification Designators
The U.S. Navy has created five Additional Qualification Designators (AQD) to identify officers with experience and education relating to the U.S. Pacific Command (PACOM) area of responsibility (AOR). The five PACOM AOR-focused AQDs align with the regional proficiency skill level guidelines outlined in the Department of Defense (DOD) Instruction 5160.70 at (http://www.dtic.mil/whs/directives/corr ... 16070p.pdf) www.dtic.mil/whs/directives/corres/pdf/516070p.pdf. More information on the AQD series and corresponding requirements for each level are found in the Manual of Navy Officer Manpower and Personnel Classifications, Volume I at (http://www.public.navy.mil/bupers-npc/r ... fault.aspx) www.public.navy.mil/bupers-npc/referenc ... fault.aspx, and on the Navy Language, Regional Expertise, and Culture (LREC) website at (http://www.public.navy.mil/bupers-npc/c ... ault2.aspx) www.public.navy.mil/bupers-npc/career/l ... ault2.aspx. Officers who already have qualifying experience and/or education may self-nominate for an APAC Hands AQD.
For more Navy related news, visit the (http://www.military.com/daily-news) Military.com News Center.


AF Officer Promotion Lists
The Air Force has selected 456 lieutenant colonels for promotion to colonel, and 2,126 captains for promotion to major. Eligible officers were considered during the calendar year 2014C Colonel (Chaplain/Line of the Air Force), CY14D Colonel (Nurse Corps) and the CY14C Major (LAF) selection boards. To see the promotion lists, visit (http://www.military.com/daily-news/2015 ... tions.html) Military.com.


Your VA Loan Benefit: $0 Down, No PMI & Up to $417k Financing
Now is the time to use your VA Loan. Rates are near historic lows and 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 ... rvr0216.nl) Use your VA Loan Benefit today.
(http://www.military.com/money/va-loans?ESRC=mrvr0216.nl) Want more information about this great benefit?


Navy Warrior Transition Program
The Navy Warrior Transition Program (WTP) is the Navy's premiere post-combat deployment decompression site. Located in Sembach, Germany, near Ramstein Air Base, WTP has a lodging capacity for more than 400 people and is used to relieve stress associated with combat zone operations. Redeploying Sailors typically spend four days in Sembach where they attend workshops and participate in off-base reintegration activities that prepare them to return to family, friends, and society. For more information, visit the Navy Individual Augmentee Warrior Transition Program webpage at (http://www.public.navy.mil/ia/pages/wtp.aspx) www.public.navy.mil/ia/pages/wtp.aspx, the Navy LIVE website at (http://navylive.dodlive.mil/2013/04/19/ ... g-sailors/) navylive.dodlive.mil/2013/04/19/warrior-transition-program-reintegrates-returning-sailors/ and follow the Navy's Warrior (https://www.facebook.com/NavyWTPWarrior ... achGermany) Transition Program on Facebook.
For more veteran job news, job listings and advice, visit the (http://www.military.com/veteran-jobs) Military.com Veteran Jobs Center.


Budget Vs. Commission -- The Bottom Line
The nearly simultaneous release of the MCRMC report and the President's FY 2016 budget have caused some confusion throughout the uniformed services community, so let MOAA try to clear things up.
Read the rest of the article at Military Officers Association of America (MOAA): (http://www.moaa.org/MRfeb2015bottomline/) www.moaa.org/MRfeb2015bottomline/


AFRC May Add Back 2,100 Positions
The Air Force Reserve Command has announced the possible restoration of 2,100 manpower positions to the Air Force Reserve. One of the best ways for current participating Reserve members to have a voice on what they would like to do is to complete their Reserve Development Plan (R-DP). To complete an R-DP, visit (https://gum-crm.csd.disa.mil/app/login/redirect/home) myPers. Click on the vPC dashboard link, then find the "Action Requests" tab and click on R-DP. To view the DT schedule for 2015, visit myPers and type "DT schedule 2015" in the search box. Individual Ready Reserve members and active-duty members considering the Air Force Reserve should speak with an in-service recruiter for more details on Reserve assignments. For more information, contact the Total Force Service Center at 800-525-0102.
For more Air Force related news, visit the (http://www.military.com/daily-news) Military.com News Center.


Special Monthly Compensation
The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Special Monthly Compensation (SMC) program may provide benefits in addition to, or instead of, disability compensation if there is loss (or loss of use of ) a limb, sight, speech, hearing, mobility, sexual organ or functioning, or for certain other disabilities. There may be eligibility for SMC if the veteran is unable to leave the house or bed without help or is in need of regular help from another person in performing the basic tasks of everyday life, such as eating, bathing, dressing, toileting and transferring. Because VA's Special Monthly Compensation program is one of the most confusing and intricate programs that the VA offers, it is important that you seek assistance from an accredited veterans service officer.
For more veteran benefits news and updates, visit the (http://militaryadvantage.military.com) Military Advantage blog.


VA to Host Entrepreneur Event
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) will host an "Opportunity Showcase" on Feb. 25 at The American Legion's Washington Conference for attendees of the Legion's Small Business Workshop. The event, hosted at the Washington Hilton, will welcome industry experts and successful veteran entrepreneurs from the public and private sectors to discuss best practices in working with VA and bidding for contracts from VA. Attendees will also receive free one-on-one guidance on the workshop topics. Lunch and networking sessions will also be provided. To register, email the names of the attendees and the business name to Doris Grooms at (mailto:dgrooms@legion.org) dgrooms@legion.org or visit the American Legion website at (http://www.legion.org/washingtonconference/events) www.legion.org/washingtonconference/events.
For more on upcoming veteran job fairs around the country, visit the (http://www.military.com/veteran-jobs/ca ... fairs.html) Job Fair calendar.


AAFES "Because of You" Contest
In the Army & Air Force Exchange Service's latest "Because of You" contest, military shoppers have a chance to win a $10,000 Exchange gift card, or a $2,000 gift card for second place. From Feb. 13-28, authorized Exchange shoppers can enter at ShopMyExchange.com. Complete contest rules can be found at (http://www.shopmyexchange.com/becauseofyou) shopmyexchange.com/BecauseOfYou. Winners will be notified on or about March 15.
For military and veteran discounts on everything from shopping to travel, visit the (http://www.military.com/discounts) Military.com Discount Center.


Navy Housing Listings Available
(https://www.homes.mil) HOMES.mil, the official Department of Defense (DoD) housing website, which was activated on Dec. 14, is dedicated to helping servicemembers, families, and DoD civilians find housing, wherever they choose to live. For the first time, the HOMES.mil website is offering Navy housing listings for those living outside the continental United States (OCONUS). The website enables Housing Service Center (HSC) professionals, landlords, and property managers to find and share vital information about community rental listings. OCONUS HSCs work closely with landlords in their communities to assist servicemembers with finding safe, suitable and affordable housing. To find information about your local HSC, including contact information, visit Navy Housing online at (http://www.cnic.navy.mil/contacthousing) www.cnic.navy.mil/ContactHousing.
For more information on military bases and their local communities, visit the (http://www.military.com/base-guide/) Military.com Base Guide.


Navy Enlisted Career Guides
The Naval Education and Training Command (NETC) has announced that the Navy's comprehensive enlisted career guides, Learning and Development Roadmaps (LaDR), have transitioned to a Web application that is easily-accessed and instantly updatable. Available through Navy Knowledge Online (NKO) and Navy Credentialing Opportunities On-Line (Navy COOL), LaDRs are a vital tool that help guide enlisted Sailors throughout their career advancement, and are available for all enlisted ratings and paygrades. By using the newly-launched application, the learning centers are able to review and directly update the LaDRs as needed for their specific ratings and the changes are will be available to Sailors immediately. For more information about LaDRs, visit Navy Knowledge Online at (http://www.nko.navy.mil) www.nko.navy.mil. For more information about Navy Credentialing Opportunities On-Line, visit the Navy COOL website at (http://www.cool.navy.mil) www.cool.navy.mil.
For more Navy related news, visit the (http://www.military.com/daily-news) Military.com News Center.
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