Military Report - Week of March 16, 2015

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Military Report - Week of March 16, 2015

#1 Postby boardman » Mon Mar 23, 2015 10:42 am

Military Report - Week of March 16, 2015

Nissan's Got Your Back with Exclusive Savings
You watch our back. Now we've got yours. Nissan is proud to provide eligible military personnel with the best savings program in the country. It's the same pricing we give our family & friends. ( ... z=1x1;ord=[timestamp]?) Read More.

Navy Testifies on Sequestration
Navy officials recently testified that the Navy and Marine Corps will be challenged to carry out their parts of the national defense strategy if billions of dollars in sequester-related budget cuts take effect Oct. 1. Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Jonathan W. Greenert told the Senate Armed Services Committee the service is still recovering from a $9 billion shortfall triggered in 2013 by the mandatory across-the-board budget cuts known as sequestration. Further reductions, he added, would put U.S. Sailor's and Marines' lives at increased risk, and negatively impact military readiness and national security. Testimony from and a video of the hearing are available on the Senate Armed Services Committee website at ( ... f-the-navy) ... f-the-navy.
For other recent news on sequestration, visit the ( News Center.

Veteran Small Business Owners Wanted
StreetShares, an innovative online platform that facilitates loans to small businesses through a marketplace of investors, has launched a Veteran Business Campaign specifically targeting veteran-owned small businesses. StreetShares allows small business owners to pitch their business plans to a cadre of investors, who compete to fund a portion of the loan to the small business through an auction-style lending platform. The investors offering the lowest interest rates for the loan "win" the auction and their bids are consolidated into a single loan for the small business. Also, StreetShares' team of experts is available to provide consultation to veteran small business owners at (800) 560-1435. For more information, visit the ( StreetShares website.
For more veteran job news, listings and resources, visit the ( Veteran Jobs Center.

Operation: Military Kids Ending
Operation: Military Kids (OMK), a U.S. Army initiative that supports children and youth affected by a parent's deployment, recently announced that its program will be ending March 31. For more information and to find other resources to support children, visit the Operation: Military Kids website at (
For more veteran and family support resources, see ( ... vices.html) this Spouse Channel article.

Navy SWO Retention Bonus
The U.S. Navy has reauthorized the Revised Surface Warfare Officer Critical Skills Retention Bonus (RSWOCSRB) allowing contracts to again be written. Authority for the bonus lapsed in December due to staffing delays in coordinating the approval for reauthorization. Those officers who went over the six years of service during the lapse may sign a contract on a prorated basis. Eligible lieutenant commanders who had not yet signed up for the SWO Critical Skills Bonus (SWOCSB) before Dec. 16 can sign-up for the total bonus amount as long as they sign prior to the second anniversary of their promotion to O-4. Officers who have questions on bonus requirements or status may contact the surface warfare community manager at (901) 874-3173 or DSN 882-3173.
For more on enlistenment and reenlistment bonuses, visit the ( ... nuses.html) Benefits section.

AF Changes Suicide Prevention Training
The Air Force recently changed its annual suicide prevention training from a computer-based (CBT) course to face-to-face training. The new, in-person training, which went into effect Feb. 11, 2015, replaces the annual computer-based training for active-duty and Reserve Airmen, while civilians have the option to attend the face-to-face training or complete the CBT. The goal is to have all Airmen attend face-to-face training by the end of 2015. The face-to-face training will be an annual mandatory requirement. The new training is outlined in detail in the Suicide Prevention Training Facilitator Manual. All training, including the facilitator manual and training videos, can be accessed visiting the Wingman Online website at (
For more guides on mental health and wellness, visit the ( ... d-wellness) Mental Health and Wellness section.

Find a Career at DynCorp
At DynCorp International we recognize the experience and dedication that veterans contribute to our business, as employees, business partners and suppliers. ( ... We are hiring -- learn more and apply.

Leaders Demand Answers from VA
Leaders of the House and Senate Committees on Veterans' Affairs this week called on the Department of Veterans Affairs to address the ongoing problems that have plagued the replacement Denver VA Medical Center hospital, including mismanagement that has led to hundreds of millions in cost overruns and repeated delays. In a letter to VA Secretary Robert McDonald, several U.S. Senators and representatives requested a detailed analysis of the project's construction costs and updates on efforts to hold those responsible for the cost overruns and delays accountable. The letter is available on the ( ... a-hospital) U.S. Senate Committee on Veterans' Affairs website and also on the ( ... .15_Letter from 4 corners to McDonald concerning Denver VA construction.pdf) House Committee on Veterans' Affairs website.
For more on veteran programs, visit the ( Benefits Center.

Brain Injury Awareness Month
March is National Brain Injury Awareness Month, a time to recognize and support the more than 5.3 million Americans who are living with traumatic brain injury-related (TBI) disabilities. Those suffering from traumatic brain injury can display a wide variety of symptoms based on the severity of the injury. Common signs and symptoms include headache or neck pain; memory loss; slowness in thinking, speaking, acting, or reading; getting lost or easily confused; fatigue and mood changes; blurred vision; and ear ringing. Signs and symptoms of TBI may be subtle and might not appear until days or weeks following the injury, while some symptoms can be missed altogether. For more information, visit the U.S. Army TBI webpage at (, the Defense and Veterans Brain Injury Center website at (, the Defense Centers of Excellence for Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain Injury website at (, the Deployment Health Clinical Center website at (, and the website at ( ... ury?page=2) ... ury?page=2.
For more on TBI and disability compensation, see this ( ... rview.html) TBI page.

Nine New AF Diversity Initiatives
Secretary of the Air Force Deborah Lee James recently spoke about the steps the Air Force is taking to strengthen its diversity and inclusion by introducing nine initiatives. The initiatives SecAF discussed were career path tool transformation, diversity and inclusion perspective for development team boards, promotion board memorandum of instruction (MOI), Career Intermission Program, increased female officer applicant pool, Reserve Officer Training Corps rated height screening, identifying high-performing enlisted Airmen for Officer Training School, post pregnancy deployment deferment, and the use of panels in civilian hiring. For more information, read Air Force Diversity Inclusion Memo 1 at ( ... _Memo1.pdf) ... _Memo1.pdf and Air Force Diversity Inclusion Memo 2 at ( ... _Memo2.pdf) ... _Memo2.pdf.
For more Air Force news, visit the ( News Center.

Navy Revitalizes ShipShape Program
The Navy and Marine Corps Public Health Center (NMCPHC) has announced the launch of the revitalized ShipShape Program. The ShipShape Program helps participants achieve healthy weight loss and maintain a healthy weight by facilitating changes in eating and exercise habits. NMCPHC has modernized the ShipShape Program curriculum and reporting forms, unveiled a new logo, adopted "Get Ready. Get Fit. Get Healthy" as its tagline, and redesigned the ( ... shape.aspx) ShipShape Program website.
For military-grade fitness tips and workouts, visit the ( Fitness Center.

Deal of the Week: 15% Off at LifeLock
LifeLock is offering service members, guard, retirees, veterans and their families 15% off Standard Membership with 3 Layers of Protection. Live freely knowing every day LifeLock is searching for potential threats. ( ... ilitarycom) Learn more and save 15%.

VA Loan Closing Costs: An Added Benefit
Besides the advantage of requiring no down payment for qualified VA borrowers, there's also a distinct advantage for the borrower regarding closing costs. VA Loans are limited to the types of closing costs that may be paid, helping the veteran save money at the closing table. But if there are costs associated with a VA mortgage and the veteran isn't allowed to pay for them, who does? ( ... Find out more information.
Did you know you can buy or refinance a home without a full 20% down? ( ... Find VA Loan Lenders While Rates are Low.

Ansbach Troops Could See COLA Fall to Zero in Coming Days
Military personnel stationed in Ansbach could see their ( ... -cola.html) cost-of-living allowances reduced to zero over the coming weeks as adjustments to the ( ... harts.html) pay supplement, which offsets the cost of living in high-priced overseas locales, take effect across Germany. Personnel stationed in Wiesbaden and Garmisch will also see significant reductions in their cost-of-living allowances, known as COLA, while those in Grafenw?hr, Vilseck and the Kaiserslautern military community will experience modest cuts. The adjustments are the result of an annual survey of overseas goods and services, which found prices in some German locales have fallen relative to prices stateside, according to U.S. Army Europe's human resources division, which coordinated the assessment. For more details, see ( ... -days.html) this article.

A Look at the Wounded Warrior Project
Despite the increase in VA and DoD funding to support wounded warriors, the non-profit organization Wounded Warrior Project continues to grow. According WWP CEO Steven Nardizzi, the organization is busier than ever filling gaps in education, counseling, and other activities needed to "honor and empower" warriors of recent wars.
Read ( ... ng-bigger/) Tom Philpott's Military Update to learn why the organization continues to grow even as the number of wounded combat vets appears to have plateaued.

USMC Reserve Officer Opportunity
The U.S. Marine Corps has issued guidance on the qualification process of the 2015 Active Reserve Officer Accession Board. Headquarters Marine Corps is currently accepting applications from qualified Marine officers, ranking from first lieutenants to majors, who are interested in joining the AR program. First lieutenants who are transitioning from the active component, Reserve officer commissioning program Marines or other officers must have a mandatory drill stop date of Oct. 1, 2015 or earlier in order to qualify for the selection board. In addition, captains who have not previously been passed for promotion in the Reserves, and majors with a date of rank of Sept. 1, 2012 or later, also qualify for the selection board. The complete application must be received by April 14, 2015. Upload the reserve application and command-endorsed package in .PDF files to the ( USMC Manpower and Reserve Affairs website.
For more Marine Corps news, visit the ( News Center.

South Carolina In State Tuition Gains Ground
The South Carolina Higher Education Subcommittee approved a bill by Sen. Tom Young, R-Aiken to immediately offer in-state tuition to veterans at all state colleges and universities. The bill now heads to the full Senate Education Committee. Senator Young's bill also allows a veteran who chooses not to use the benefit to transfer it to a spouse or child. For more details, see ( ... round.html) this article.

Researchers Identify PTSD Biomarkers
Researchers have located genetic biomarkers linked with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The PTSD markers are also associated with gene networks that govern innate immune function and interferon signaling. Researchers at the Veterans Affairs San Diego Healthcare System and University of California, San Diego School of Medicine say an improved understanding of the gene networks connected with PTSD may help improve diagnosis and treatment of patients. The same knowledge may also help physicians identify patients who are genetically prone to the development of PTSD. The study was published recently in the ( ... 0159a.html) Journal of Molecular Psychiatry.
For more on PTSD, and tips on mental health and wellness, visit the ( ... d-wellness) Mental Health and Wellness section.

Leave Act Includes Same-Sex Spouses
The Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 gives eligible employees of covered employers the right to take up to 12 weeks of unpaid time off for specific family and medical reasons. Eligible employees who need time off to care for a service member who becomes ill or injured in the line of duty may take up to 26 weeks of unpaid leave. On Feb. 25, the Department of Labor (DOL) amended the definition of "spouse" to include legally married same-sex spouses. Further, the rule clarifies that, if an otherwise eligible employee is currently living in a state where same-sex marriage is not recognized, as long as the person and his or her spouse were married in a state that does recognize same-sex marriages, the employee will still be eligible for benefits under the FMLA. The revised rule becomes effective March 27. For more information, visit the Department of Labor website at (
For more on spouse employment issues, visit the ( Spouse Center.

$100k Family Protection from Only $7 a Month
Protection for less. Get $100,000 Coverage from only $7 a Month. ( ... Could your family survive if something happened to you?

TRICARE Offers Insurance Webinar
If you have any health insurance other than TRICARE, it is called 'other health insurance' (OHI). TRICARE and Military OneSource are co-hosting a webinar to explain how TRICARE works with OHI on Wednesday, March 18, 2015 at noon EST. Registration is on a first-come, first-served basis and is limited due to system capacity. Sign up ( ... 5923037698) online. You can get OHI through your employer or a private insurance program. By law, TRICARE pays claims only after all other health insurance plans pay. For more information, visit the TRICARE OHI webpage at (
For more on TRICARE, visit the ( TRICARE section.

Air Force Career Assessment
The new Airman Comprehensive Assessment (ACA) is a comprehensive worksheet that aids in creating feedback between a supervisor/rater and their ratee. According to the Air Force Form 931, Air Force Instruction 36-2618, " ( ... 6-2618.pdf) The Enlisted Force Structure" should be utilized by the rater as the "standard of expected performance commensurate with the Airman's rank." To review the guidance memo explaining how to use the ACA worksheet, visit the e-Publishing website at ( ... and enter AFI36-2406 in the search window. To review the new ACA worksheets, select the forms tab in e-Publishing and enter AF931 or AF932 in the search window. For more information about enlisted evaluations, and other personnel issues, visit the ( myPers website. Select "search all components" from the drop down menu and enter "Enlisted: Evaluations Home Page" in the search window.
For more Air Force news, visit the ( News Center.

Renters Insurance for On-Base Housing
Airmen signing a lease to live in privatized homes on base may no longer be covered by a renters insurance provision. The Department of Defense opted to eliminate the renters insurance component of BAH, an average of $20 dollars each month per member, as of Jan. 1. As a result, the Air Force removed requirements to provide renters insurance to military tenants at no cost previously included in privatized housing project. The policy change does not negate current lease obligations to provide renters insurance. The Air Force does not require Airmen to maintain independent rental insurance coverage. For more information on the Air Force's Housing Privatization Program, visit the Air Force Housing website at (
For more on BAH, including the latest BAH rates, visit the ( ... rates.html) BAH section.

TRICARE Rx During a State of Emergency
The States of New Jersey, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Tennessee, Kentucky, and West Virginia have issued States of Emergency due to a winter storm. Emergency prescription refill procedures are in place in those states from March 4, 2015 through April 3, 2015. To get an emergency refill, take your prescription bottle to any TRICARE retail network pharmacy. To find a network pharmacy, call Express Scripts at 1-877-363-1303 or search the ( network pharmacy locator. If you use a retail chain, you can fill your prescription at another store in that chain. If your provider is available, he or she may call in a new prescription to any network pharmacy. You can request assistance at another pharmacy, but it is at that pharmacy's discretion to help you.
For more on TRICARE, visit the ( TRICARE section.

MyVA Advisory Committee
The Department of Veterans Affairs has announced the establishment of the MyVA Advisory Committee. The Committee brings together skilled experts from the private, non-profit and government sectors to assist in reorienting the Department to better meet the needs of veterans. This Committee is charged with advising the Secretary of Veterans Affairs with a focus on improving customer service, Veteran outcomes and setting the course for long-term reform and excellence. For more information, see ( this article.
For more on veteran programs, visit the ( Benefits Center.

AAFES Home Makeover Giveaway
The Army & Air Force Exchange Service is offering one lucky winner a home makeover in the $18,000 Home Makeover Giveaway. The giveaway is part of the Because of You program, a yearlong effort to recognize and reward service members. Authorized shoppers can enter at the Because of You webpage at ( from until March 31. One entry will be chosen at random to receive the prize. The winner will be notified no later than April 19. No purchase is necessary to enter or win.
For more guides on discounts for the military, visit the ( ... itary.html) Military Discount Center.
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