Military Report - Week of August 12, 2013

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Military Report - Week of August 12, 2013

#1 Postby boardman » Mon Aug 12, 2013 10:11 am

Military Report - Week of August 12, 2013

DFAS Helping Civilian Employees
Teams from the Defense Finance and Accounting Service (DFAS) are helping civilian Defense Department employees in Europe, South Korea and Japan complete paperwork seeking to have repayment waived for living quarters allowances that were granted to them by mistake. By law, employees who receive housing allowances by mistake are required to repay them once notified. The issue stems from a 2011 ruling from the Office of Personnel Management that the allowances cannot be granted to civilian employees hired overseas who worked for more than one employer locally before joining the Defense Department. DFAS teams were dispatched to sites in Europe earlier this month and will head to Japan and South Korea in September to help process requests for waivers of repayment.
For more on military pay and benefits, visit the (http://www.military.com/benefits/military-pay) Military.com Pay section.


New AAFES Website
The Army & Air Force Exchange Service has updated its official website at ShopMyExchange.com at (http://www.shopmyexchange.com) www.shopmyexchange.com in preparation for the key holiday selling season. Easy-to-find buttons for key features such as sales, customer service, online account management and Military StarTM Card service are now conveniently placed at the top of the page, and the product search bar is now more prominent within the website's layout. To learn more about the new features of ShopMyExchange.com at (http://www.shopmyexchange.com/) www.shopmyexchange.com, visit the Exchange's Learn About Our New Features webpage at (http://www.shopmyexchange.com/newfeatures/default.asp) www.shopmyexchange.com/newfeatures/default.asp.
For more discounts for military families, visit the (http://www.military.com/discounts) Military.com Discount Center.


Navy Updates Advancement Worksheet
The Navy Advancement Center (NAC) has updated the Advancement in Rate or Change of Rating Worksheet (NETPDTC 1430/3 REV 06-13), which is used locally by commands to perform calculations and establish eligibility for enlisted advancement cycles. Advancement information on the form, such as a Sailor's performance mark average (PMA) and individual award points, is copied from the cycle worksheet to the examination answer sheet on the day of the exam. The new worksheet also requires the use of the DOD ID. The form can be downloaded on the (https://neasos.cnet.navy.mil/) Navy Enlisted Advancement System (NEAS) Web. The Navy is also using NEAS Web to help ESOs look up individual advancement candidate DOD IDs to support exam ordering and processing.
For more Navy news updates, visit the (http://www.military.com/daily-news) Military.com News section.


More on VA Claims Processing
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has announced that veterans filing an original fully developed claim for service-connected disability compensation may be entitled to up to one-year of retroactive disability benefits. This is only for veterans who are submitting their very first compensation claim as an FDC. The retroactive benefits are in effect Aug. 6, 2013, through Aug. 5, 2015. FDCs can be filed digitally through the joint, DOD-VA online portal, (https://www.ebenefits.va.gov/ebenefits- ... its.portal) eBenefits. VA encourages veterans who cannot file online to work with an accredited veterans service organization that can file claims digitally on veterans' behalf. For more information, visit VA's (http://www.benefits.va.gov/fdc/) Fully Developed Claims webpage.
For complete guides on veteran benefits, visit the (http://www.military.com/benefits/veteran-benefits) Military.com Benefits Center.


9 Tips for Choosing Life Insurance
Choosing life insurance is a tough task. Here are a few tips to help you: 1. Take your time and make the right decision. Don't rush into a decision. 2. When you purchase a policy, make your check payable to the insurance company -- not to the agent. Be sure you are given a receipt. (http://www.military.com/money/insurance ... RC=mrvr.nl) For more tips, see this article.
Ready to Protect your family's future? (http://www.military.com/insurance/?lpid ... rvr_adv.nl) Find Low-Cost Coverage from Military.com Partners.


Northrop Grumman 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 ... RC=mrvr.nl) Read More.


Be Vigilant to Avoid Lyme Disease
Lyme Disease is common in the United States, particularly in the Northeast, Minnesota and Wisconsin. Infected ticks transmit the disease to humans. Here are several tips to try to prevent the disease: (1) protect your skin by wearing long pants and long sleeves when in wooded areas. If in uniform, wear it properly by tucking pants into your boots to minimize exposed skin; (2) use insect repellents such as (http://hprc-online.org/blog/lyme-diseas ... -and-sweat) DEET or Permethrin; (3) if you are in a wooded area, avoid tall grasses and brush; (4) perform a thorough skin check--especially your hair and the base of your skull along the hairline; (5) shower within two hours of being outside. This can help wash off ticks that are still crawling on the skin; (6) examine gear and pets for hitchhiking ticks; and (7) if you have access to a dryer, put your clothes in it for an hour on high heat to kill any ticks. For more information, visit the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Lyme Disease website at (http://www.cdc.gov/lyme/) www.cdc.gov/lyme/.


AF SNCO Academy Deadline
Students enrolled in Air Force Senior Noncommissioned Officer Academy Course 14 Version 5 have until the end of September to complete the course or they will be automatically disenrolled and will have to complete the new version of the course. Airmen who have not completed version 5 by Sept. 30 will not receive credit for the coursework in version 6. The enrollment and testing processes for the new version also differ from the old version. Instead of enrolling at a base education office to take the course, starting Oct. 1, students will be able to enroll online via Air University's Student Information System (AUSIS). This will help students who wish to access the material while on a network beyond the military domain. Students will also have fewer tests to take. Information on the steps to take to enroll in version 6 will be released in September.
For more on military education benefits and programs, visit the (http://www.military.com/education) Military.com Education Center.


Massachusetts to Hold Special Election
The Commonwealth of Massachusetts will hold a Special Primary Election for U.S. House of Representatives on Tuesday, October 15, to fill the seat vacated upon the election of former Representative Ed Markey to the U.S. Senate. You can register to vote and/or request an absentee ballot by mail, email or fax using the Federal Post Card Application (FPCA) automated tool at the (http://www.fvap.gov/request/request-ma.html) Federal Voting Assistance Program website. Uniformed Services personnel, their spouses and dependents, and U.S. citizens residing overseas must submit an FPCA to request an absentee ballot. Please note that you will not automatically receive a ballot, even if you voted in the November 6, 2012, General Election.
For more on legislative issues that affect the military, and to contact your local representatives, visit the (http://capwiz.com/military/home/) Military.com Legislative Center.


TRICARE to Offer Webinar
TRICARE and Military OneSource will host a webinar to discuss health plan options available to beneficiaries after they lose TRICARE eligibility on Thursday, August 15, 2013, 1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. EDT. These programs offer transitional health care coverage to former servicemembers and their family members after they lose eligibility for TRICARE. To register for the webinar, visit the Military OneSource website at (http://www.militaryonesource.mil/webinar) www.militaryonesource.mil/webinar. Registration is on a first-come, first-served basis and is limited due to system capacity. To get tailored information about TRICARE eligibility, visit the TRICARE website (http://www.tricare.mil/) www.tricare.mil, and answer a couple of easy questions to enter your profile.
For more on TRICARE benefits, visit the (http://www.military.com/benefits/tricare) Military.com TRICARE section.


Navy to Commission New Ship
The Navy will commission a new USS Indianapolis warship, pending authorization and funding. The name will be designated on the next littoral combat ship (LCS). An LCS is known to be a fast, agile surface warship that is able to execute missions close to shore, including mine, anti-submarine and surface warfare. One of the former ships to carry the name was the USS Indianapolis (CA-35), which was commissioned in 1932 and sunk by Japanese torpedoes just after midnight on July 30, 1945. During World War II, the Indianapolis delivered components of the atomic bomb that would be dropped on Hiroshima, which prompted Japan's surrender. For more information on this ship, visit the USS Indianapolis (CA-35) website at (http://www.ussindianapolis.org/) www.ussindianapolis.org.
For recent news on the original USS Indianapolis, see (http://www.military.com/daily-news/2013 ... escue.html) this Military.com article.


Navy Updates Answer Sheet
The U.S. Navy will implement an updated enlisted examination answer sheet for the E4-E6 Navy-wide advancement exams, administered starting in Aug. 2013 for Reserve and Active Duty personnel. The new form, NETPDTC 1430/2 (REV 3-2013), is green in color and replaces the red answer sheet which has been in use for more than 10 years. A key change to the new form is the use of the Department of Defense Identification Number (DOD ID), which is a unique 10-digit number that is associated with personnel and their common access card (CAC). A DOD ID is assigned to each person registered in the Defense Enrollment and Eligibility Reporting System (DEERS). The new green answer sheet must be used for all future examination cycles. Command ESOs should destroy any outdated red answer sheets held. Use of a red answer sheet will result in scanning errors and exam discrepancies.
For more Navy news updates, visit the (http://www.military.com/daily-news) Military.com News section.


Deal of the Week: Save 15% on AT&T Wireless
Save 15% with your AT&T wireless service discount. (http://www.att.com/gov/bb10) Get a BlackBerry Z10 or BlackBerry Q10 smartphone and balance work and life from one device.


AF Changes Fitness Center Hours
Earlier this year, six Air Force installations implemented unmanned hours at their fitness center, making them accessible 24/7. Since February, there have been roughly 25,000 visits between the test bases and every aspect of the initiative is going well. Now with the test phase at these six bases nearing its end, the program is rolling out Air Force wide. Registration for the test bases has already begun for authorized users of the fitness center who are 18 years and older. Users must have a valid government identification card in to register. Dependents, 16-17 years old must register and be with their registered sponsor to enter. For more information, airmen should contact their local base fitness center.
For military fitness guides and tips, visit the (http://www.military.com/military-fitness/) Military.com Fitness Center.


AF Changes Accession Policies
The Air Force recently changed its accession policies to make entering the Air Force easier for Airmen with families. The changes modified dependency and pregnancy policies for Airmen entering the Air Force, enabling Airmen with up to three children to enlist with a waiver and standardizing pregnancy policies across the accessioning sources. The pregnancy policy for both Officer Training School and Basic Military Training School now allows trainees to return to their accessioning program after their pregnancy upon receiving medical clearance. All enlisted applicants with two or less family members under the age 18 who are incapable of self-care are eligible to enlist with an approved family care plan.
For more Air Force news updates, visit the (http://www.military.com/daily-news) Military.com News section.


AAFES to Show Films
The Army & Air Force Exchange Service (AAFES) and The Walt Disney Studios are teaming up to offer first-run films to military families at continental United States Exchange movie theaters. The agreement marks the first time that movies will be shown at continental United States Exchange theaters on the same day of general market release. The First-run shows will start Aug. 9 at the Exchange theaters listed on the (http://www.shopmyexchange.com/AboutExch ... leases.htm) AAFES website.
For more military-related entertainment news, visit the (http://www.military.com/off-duty) Military.com Off-duty Center.


TRICARE Prime Update
The Department of Defense (DoD) will reduce the number of TRICARE Prime service areas in the United States beginning Oct. 1, affecting about 171,000 retirees and their family members. Those beneficiaries affected received a letter earlier this year explaining their options. Current details on Prime service areas and the option for beneficiaries to sign for email updates are available at TRICARE's Changing to Prime Service Areas webpage at http://www.tricare.mil/PSA. A ZIP code tool is available on the site to help beneficiaries determine if they live in an affected area. As always, TRICARE beneficiaries are still covered by TRICARE Standard.
(http://www.military.com/benefits/tricare/prime) For more on TRICARE Prime, visit the Military.com Benefits Center.


Overhaul of Military Retirement Proposed
A recent article by Military Officers Association of America's Director of Government Relations, Mike Hayden, explains how some former Pentagon leaders and "think tank experts" have called for a complete retirement overhaul criticizing the 20-year retirement as either unaffordable or unfair to those who leave before that point, or both. Their points have gotten traction as a new commission -- established as a result of provisions in the FY 2013 National Defense Authorization Act and tasked with reviewing and perhaps overhauling military compensation and retirement benefits -- began its work in July. (http://www.moaa.org/MRaugbottomline) Read the full MOAA article.


SCRA Law Protects Servicemembers
The Servicemembers Civil Relief Act has proven to be an effective tool to give troops and their families some financial peace of mind. The legislation, first enacted in 1940 and substantially re-written in 2003, protects servicemembers' personal affairs and economic interests for individuals entering, called to active duty in the military, or deployed servicemembers. The act protects servicemembers from evictions, default judgments and foreclosure. It also allows troops to delay judicial proceedings and to place caps on interest rates. The act also provides certain tax relief to servicemembers and their spouses. For more information, visit the (http://www.military.com/benefits/milita ... rview.html) Military.com website.


How Much Is the VA Guarantee?
The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs guarantees a generous portion of each VA loan. How much the VA guarantee ends up being depends on the loan amount. (http://www.military.com/money/pcs-dity- ... RC=mrvr.nl) Read More.


Biomed Degree Opportunity for Airmen
The Air Force is seeking applications for academic opportunities in the physical therapy, clinical psychology and physician assistant fields. In addition, eligible Airmen can apply for direct accession into one of three other Biomedical Sciences Corps (BSC) fields. Each program has specific criteria, but applicants for all programs must be U.S. citizens, be medically qualified for worldwide duty, meet minimum commissioning requirements and meet Air Force fitness standards. Details of requirements and application procedures are available on the (http://www.af.mil/News/ArticleDisplay/t ... grams.aspx) Air Force Link website.
For more Air Force news updates, visit the (http://www.military.com/daily-news) Military.com News section.


Veterans Virtual Career Fair
Help move your career to the next level and find your next job at this virtual event. (http://www.veteransvirtualcareerfair.com/) Register now to complete your profile, which can be used to connect with employers when the fair begins.


A 'Hollow' Excuse for Cutting Compensation?
The battle over the 2014 Defense Budget wages on with the same old threats and warnings pitting readiness against pay and compensation. But this seemed to take on a bit of an ironic twist last week. During his testimony before the House Armed Services Committee last week Deputy Defense Secretary Ashton Carter, warned that if congress didn't cut the current rate of growth in personnel costs the training and modernization budgets would be impacted, "resulting in a 'hollowing out' of the force." Ironically it was the fear of a "hollow force," that was used by the DoD to press for increasing pay and compensation back in the 1970's. (http://militaryadvantage.military.com/2 ... ly-hollow/) Read more on the Military Advantage Blog.


Alabama to Hold Special Primary
The State of Alabama will hold a special primary election in the 1st Congressional District on Tuesday, September 24 to fill the vacancy caused by the resignation of Representative Jo Bonner. The 1st Congressional District consists of Baldwin, Escambia, Mobile, Monroe, Washington counties and a portion of Clarke County. You can register to vote and/or request an absentee ballot by using the Federal Post Card Application (FPCA) automated tool at the (http://www.fvap.gov/registration/reg-ba ... st-al.html) Federal Voting Assistance Program website. Do not forget to indicate on the FPCA how you would like to receive your absentee ballot (electronically or by mail).
For more on legislative issues that affect the military, and to contact your local representatives, visit the (http://capwiz.com/military/home/) Military.com Legislative Center.


AF Seeks Public Input
For the first time in its history, the U.S. Air Force is seeking input from the public to help solve three real-world, unclassified projects. Known as "The Air Force Collaboratory," this Air Force initiative is now available at the Air Force Collaboratory website at (http://www.airforce.com/collaboratory) www.airforce.com/collaboratory. The educational online platform will offer the public an opportunity to engage with Airmen. The Air Force Collaboratory features three projects that will challenge participants to be creative and inventive as they work to find solutions. The three projects are "Search and Rescue 2.0" (which began Aug. 1), "Mind of a Quadrotor" (which begins Sept.1) and "Launch of GPS IIF" (which begins Oct. 1). To be a part of this Air Force initiative sign up at the The Air Force Collaboratory website at (http://www.airforce.com/collaboratory) www.airforce.com/collaboratory.
For more Air Force news updates, visit the (http://www.military.com/daily-news) Military.com News section.


Navy Grad School Voucher
Naval officers unable to pursue full-time graduate studies have an additional education option with the FY-14 Graduate Education Voucher (GEV) program. Through GEV, unrestricted line (URL) officers can apply to receive funding for Navy-relevant graduate education meeting the requirements of at least one subspecialty code as specified by the Navy Subspecialty System. Some restrictions apply and enrollment in the program carries a service obligation of three times the number of months of education completed, with a minimum of 24, and a maximum of 36 months obligation. For more information, visit the Navy College Program's (https://www.navycollege.navy.mil/gev/gev_general.aspx) GEV webpage. Program-specific GEV questions should be addressed to Marjoriette Dilworth at 850-473-6064, DSN: 753. Other graduate education programs are listed on the (https://www.navycollege.navy.mil/gev/gev_general.aspx) Navy College Program website.
For more on military education benefits and programs, visit the (http://www.military.com/education) Military.com Education Center.


New Website Teaches Coping Skills
The Defense Department's National Center for Telehealth and Technology and the Veterans Affairs Department's mental health informatics section have partnered to develop a new, interactive online educational and life-coaching program. Moving Forward, at (http://www.startmovingforward.org/) www.startmovingforward.org, is designed to teach problem-solving skills to the military community to address stress. To accomplish this, users navigate through a set of problem-solving exercises. The site also offers quizzes to evaluate stress levels and games to practice counseling progressions. The site is designed to stand alone -- no referral from a caregiver is needed.
For more military family support resources, visit the (http://www.military.com/spouse) Military.com Family Center.


$100k Life Insurance Coverage: As Low as $.25 a Day
Don't wait any longer to protect your family's future. Protection is quick and easy. (http://www.military.com/insurance/?lpid ... rvr0819.nl) Get $100k life insurance coverage starting at $7 a month.


Preparing for Deployment
If you have a family, the single most important thing to think about when it comes to deployment is ensuring that they're well taken care of while you're away. (http://www.military.com/deployment/checklist?ESRC=mr.nl) Read More.


GI Bill Tuition Cap Increased
Those who are using the Post 9/11 GI Bill to fund their education at a private college or university saw their annual maximum tuition cap increased to $19,198.31 per academic year. Last year's annual maximum was $18,077.50. Those attending state operated schools will continue to get up to the full in-state resident tuition and fees covered under the GI Bill. Visit (http://www.military.com/education) Military.com's Education Center to learn more about your education benefits.
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