Military Report - Week of January 27, 2014

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Military Report - Week of January 27, 2014

#1 Postby boardman » Thu Jan 30, 2014 3:01 pm

Military Report - Week of January 27, 2014

Navy Honors Religious Program Specialists
More than 100 Religious Program Specialists (RPs), past and present, gathered with the chief of Navy chaplains and deputy chief of Navy chaplains/chaplain of the Marine Corps recently to celebrate the 35th anniversary of the RP rating. The ceremony included an anniversary video highlighting the legacy of the rating. Many retired religious program specialists were present including retired Master Chief James H. Graham who was instrumental in the establishment of the RP rating back in 1979. Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy (MCPON) Michael Stevens was the evening's guest speaker. To find photo highlights and a recording of Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy Mike Steven's remarks visit the Religious Program Specialist Facebook page at (
For more Navy news, visit the ( News Center.

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AF Safety Campaign Ends
The Air Force Holiday/Winter Safety Campaign, which ran Nov. 22, 2013, through Jan. 2, ended with four Class A fatalities. Of those, one involved a private motor vehicle, one involved a motorcycle, and two were sports and recreation-related. Overall, there was a decrease in reported mishaps resulting in injuries. During the campaign period, there were 122 Class C mishaps (42 on duty and 80 off duty), representing a decrease of more than 31 percent from the same time last year. For more information on safety, visit the Air Force Safety Center website at (
For more Air Force news, visit the ( News Center.

AF Selects Test Pilot Candidates
Forty-four Air Force captains and first lieutenants were recently selected as primary or alternate test pilot school program attendees. The program exists to develop specially trained pilots, combat systems officers, flight test engineers and remotely piloted aircraft pilots to monitor, manage, and perform flight tests on research, experimental or production-type aerospace vehicles and weapon systems. The list of selectees is available on the ( myPers website -- enter "Test Pilot School" in the search window.
For more Navy news, visit the ( News Center.

AF Okays Squadron T-Shirts on Fridays
The Air Force recently updated the policy governing uniform wear January 17, 2014, Air Force Instruction 36-2903, Air Force Dress and Appearance. Morale T-shirts/patches representing individual squadrons that were worn in the past are now authorized to wear on Fridays. Squadron color T-shirts may be worn with the ABU or flight suit when in-garrison or on-station during unit temporary duty assignments and contingency deployments. Earned Air Force and other services' badges are authorized to wear, but only the command insignia pin is mandatory. Airmen can expect to find the optional badges on the ( Army and Air Force Exchange Service (AAFES) website by mid-July to early August. The commander's insignia pin will be mandatory once the cloth pins go on sale at AAFES. For more information, visit the ( Air Force Personnel Center Dress and Appearance webpage.
For more Air Force news, visit the ( News Center.

VA Loan Benefit: Own Your Home + Tax Write Off
Don't wait any longer to use your VA Loan Benefit. You've earned it! Benefits include $0 Down, no PMI payment required, and home ownership means you can write off closing costs and deduct your interest for 2014. ( ... Start using your VA Loan Benefit today.
Want to learn more about homeownership and your VA Loan benefit? ( Explore the VA Loan Center to get more information.

DoD Religious Accommodations Policy
The Department of Defense has released a new instruction Jan. 22 that details its updated policy on making religious accommodations requested by servicemembers. The new policy states that military departments will accommodate religious requests of servicemembers unless it is determined that mission accomplishment needs outweigh the need of the servicemember. Each request must be considered based on its unique facts, the nature of the requested religious accommodation, the effect of approval or denial on the servicemember's exercise of religion, and the effect of approval or denial on mission accomplishment, including unit cohesion. The DoD Instruction Number 1300.17 updated January 22, 2014 is available in ( ... 30017p.pdf) .pdf format.
For more military news, visit the ( News Center.

MOAA's Spouse Professional Symposium Heads to San Antonio
Military spouses are invited to attend MOAA's Military Spouse Networking Event sponsored by La Quinta Inns & Suites from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 11, at the La Quinta Inns & Suites in San Antonio and the MOAA Military Spouse Symposium "Keeping a Career on the Move(R)," sponsored by JPMorgan Chase & Co. from 9:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 12, at the Pearl in San Antonio. The keynote address will be delivered by Julian Castro, Mayor of San Antonio. Both events are free and open to all active duty, reserve, National Guard, retiree, veteran, and surviving military spouses, servicemembers, and veterans. is the media sponsor. Read more about the event and how to register ( online.

Navy Conserving Energy
Navy Captain Pat Rios, Director, CNIC Facilities and Environmental, recently commented on the U.S. Navy's attempts to conserve energy. Captain Rios talked about the Navy Shore Energy Program and the Navy's Planning for the Great Green Fleet in 2016. For more information, ready Captain Rios' comments on ( ... at-a-time/) Navy Live and visit the U.S. Navy's ( Great Green Fleet webpage and the Navy ( Shore Energy Program webpage.
For more Navy news, visit the ( News Center.

MOAA Fights to Restore Full COLA
Veterans groups, like Military Officers Association of America, are taking on Congress to fight to restore the full cost of living adjustment for working age military retirees. According to MOAA, the passage of the Bipartisan Budget Act (BBA) was rushed through both the House and Senate and bypassed the committees of jurisdiction, which highlights a growing military/civilian divide that fails to recognize the necessary sacrifice that comes with two decades of service.
( Read the full article at the Military Officers Association of America (MOAA) website.

MCPON Outlines Future Force Concerns
Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy Mike Stevens outlined his key concerns about the future force of the Navy during a speech Jan. 16 at the 26th Annual Surface Navy Association (SNA) National Symposium. Stevens said the future force he envisions includes opening more combat roles to women. The Navy has had a 48-percent reduction over the last three years in the number of Sailors in individual augmentee billets. Stevens says there is no plan right now to draw the Navy down any smaller. He also said the number of suicides in the Navy has dropped from last year (2012) to this year (2013) by 18. He is also optimistic about the steps leaders are taking to correct sexual assault in the ranks. For more information, visit the ( Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy website and the ( SNA website.
For more Navy news, visit the ( News Center.

Naval Personnel Update
Chief of Naval Personnel Vice Adm. Bill Moran recently spoke to Sailors about the latest on manning, the budget and uniform changes, among other topics. In his All Hands Call, Moran told Sailors that he was expecting a budget for fiscal year 2014 which should provide more certainty regarding, pay and benefits, training and operations any day now. He also assured them that, despite any rumors, there will be no changes to the current retirement system and no cuts planned to base pay. Moran emphasized improvements in fleet manning, which lead to improved predictability in Sailors' deployment schedules. He also added that they are also working on changes to the E6 and below service dress blue uniform for both male and female Sailors. For more information, visit the ( Chief of Naval Personnel website.
For more Navy news, visit the ( News Center.

Navy Housing Wins Awards
Navy Housing is pleased to congratulate several installations recognized by their customers for their exemplary customer service in 2013 through the recent announcement of the A List Awards For Customer Service Excellence. Each year CEL & Associates, Inc. compiles customer satisfaction survey data from thousands of properties. Navy Housing received a total of 34 A List Awards for Navy-managed properties, including eleven "Platinum" A List Awards for achieving the highest levels of customer satisfaction. A complete list of both A List and Platinum A List awardees can be found on the official Navy Housing blog at (
For more Navy news, visit the ( News Center.

Navy Looks at Suicide Prevention
Navy Rear Admiral Sean Buck, Director, 21st Century Sailor Office, recently talked about the U.S. Navy's progress in suicide prevention. "The biggest change to me: we are seeing positive signs that our Navy's comprehensive strategy to prevent suicide is working," he said. In calendar year 2013, we reduced suicides by 26 percent from the year before. He said the Navy can now point toward a multi-pronged approach, at every echelon of command. For more information, read Admiral Buck's comments on ( ... revention/) Navy LIVE and visit the Navy ( ... revention/) Suicide Prevention website. If you are in crisis, or know a servicemember or veteran who is, call the Military Crisis Line at 1-800-273-8255 and press 1.
For more Navy news, visit the ( News Center.

AF Looks at Recruiting
Military recruiting is going well today, but economic and demographic changes will make the environment more difficult in the future, according to Vee Penrod, the deputy assistant secretary of defense for military personnel policy. To attract the best recruits, the Air Force continues to concentrate on three main areas: (1) an appropriately trained recruiting service, (2) robust marketing and advertising campaign strategies and (3) adequate initial enlistment bonus programs. Fiscal realities also impact recruiting, requiring the services to continuously adjust recruiting programs. For more information on Air Force recruiting, visit the Air ( Force Recruiting Service website. To find an Air Force recruiter, visit the ( Air Force website.
For more on joining the military and recruiting news, visit ('s Join the Military section.

A New Bionic Arm
The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency has developed an artificial arm and hand with human-like function. The robotic arm pivots and flexes like a real hand and could be very valuable to veteran amputees. ( ... brain.html) For more information, read the article on

Some to See TRICARE Prime Restored
The Fiscal 2014 Defense Authorizations Act contains a provision (Sec. 711) that authorizes the Defense Health Agency to allow beneficiaries who lost TRICARE Prime coverage after September 30, 2013, when their network disappeared, a new chance to enroll in Prime, the military's managed care health benefit. TRICARE had viewed their previous networks as too costly to maintain so far from military bases, and therefore forced 171,000 beneficiaries to begin to use TRICARE Standard, the military's fee-for-service option, instead. Congress, however, stepped in to offer some relief at least for those beneficiaries who live within 100 miles of an MTF. They will be given a one-time opportunity to rejoin a Prime network and stay covered as long as they remain in the zip code where they re-enroll.
Read more at the ( ... z2rUazUQuq) Military Advantage blog.

Sailors to Get DITY Payments Faster
Payments to servicemembers for Personally Procured Moves (PPMs), formerly known as "Do-it-Yourself" or DITY moves, will be received sooner via Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) to servicemembers' checking or savings accounts. The Navy PPM checklist is being updated to include instructions along with a form that allows servicemembers to safely and securely provide their electronic funds payment information as part of the PPM process. Payment by EFT is currently voluntary and will remain so until April 1 when it becomes mandatory for all Navy members performing a full or partial PPM. The new capability was developed by NAVSUP in partnership with the Defense Finance and Accounting Service.
For more on PITY moves and relocation guides and advice, visit the ( PCS section.

Bristol Meyers Committed to Hiring Veterans
Start your civilian career with Bristol Meyers. Military and veteran candidates can be among the best providers of talent to support Bristol Meyers' mission ? helping doctors and patients fight disease. ( ... Read More.

Program Helps Veterans' Transition
Transition Goals Plans Success is a comprehensive, mandatory program that helps separating and retiring military members, deactivating reservists, and their families. Known as Transition GPS, the outcome-based program provides opportunities and aids a successful transition into a career-ready civilian. It bolsters and standardizes the transition services that servicemembers receive prior to separating from the military to make them employment ready as well as prepared to enter into higher education, attend career technical training or start their own business. The last part of Transition GPS covers Veterans Affairs benefits briefing and it includes what your entitlements are. For more information, contact your base Family Readiness Center.
To create a customized transition plan for yourself and get more mililtary transition tips, visit the ( Transition Center.

Army Education Initiative Seeking Volunteers
eCYBERMISSION is one of several science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) initiatives offered by the Army Educational Outreach Program (AEOP). The U.S. Army is committed to answering the nation's need for increased national STEM literacy and expanding STEM education opportunities across the country to open doors to new career paths for America's students that lead to a brighter tomorrow. eCYBERMISSION is currently seeking volunteers to help in this program -- to see what positions are needed, visit the ( eCYBERMISSION website.

Update Your Emergency Data
Sailors often do not take the time to update their record of emergency data (NAVPERS 1070/602, or Page 2), or their Servicemembers' Group Life Insurance (SGLI) elections. Sailors are encouraged to review their current documents in the Electronic Service Record (ESR), and check their Leave and Earning Statement (LES) to ensure the deductions for SGLI premiums match their intent. Contact the Personnel Support Detachment or personnel office if changes to beneficiary data are needed. For more information on death benefits, Sailors should contact the Navy Casualty Assistance office at 1-800-368-3202/(901) 874-2501/DSN 882-2501 or call the Navy Personnel Command (NPC) Customer Service Center at 1-866-U-ASK-NPC, e-mail ( or visit NPC's website at (

Naval Artifacts at Symposium
Naval History and Heritage Command's (NHHC) archivists, curators, scientists and historians recently brought naval artifacts and interactive learning to the Surface Naval Association (SNA) Symposium. Using such diverse learning methods as pamphlets, videos, three-dimensional interactive maps, presentations and artifact displays, NHHC continued the conversation on the impact history plays on Navy missions and provide a touchstone to the public and military personnel. Attendees were educated about the Sunken Military Craft Act, a law which provides protection of sunken U.S. military ships and aircraft wherever located, protection for the graves of lost military personnel and protection of sensitive archaeological artifacts and historical information. For more information on the Naval History and Heritage Command, visit the NHHC Facebook page at ( and the NHHC website at (

Why Worry About the COLA Cuts?
The last minute 2014 budget deal (the so-called ( ... -retirees/) Ryan-Murray Budget) calls for cutting the annual retirement cost of living adjustment for working age retirees (under age 62) by one full percentage point -- setting the rate at one percent below the actual rate of inflation. Congress passed a law ( ... -the-mark/) reinstating full COLA for a select group of Chapter 61 retirees, but this still leaves many retirees without a full annual COLA. The Military Officers Association of America is one of the more powerful groups to step into the fray over the one percent cut in military retiree COLA. In an effort to help servicemembers and retirees understand the full impact, MOAA has put together the ( 5 top reasons to be concerned about COLA reductions.

Website Offers Free Tax Services
As preparations begin for the upcoming tax season, Military OneSource, partnering with H&R Block, is offering all active duty, Guard and reserve forces help in preparing their taxes and in filing their federal and state returns, in addition to the variety of other financial planning services it already provides free of charge. No matter where you are, when you call 800-342-9647 or visit the Military OneSource website at (, you can access the programs and services. Reserve component members are eligible for the free service regardless of their activation status, as are veterans within 180 days of being discharged, retired or separated. The program's tax experts are able to help military families navigate changes in tax laws that may have a particular impact on or benefit for members of the military -- as well as any tax implications related to military benefits.
For more Navy news, visit the ( News Center.

2014 CCME Symposium in Savannah
Attendees of this year's Council of College and Military Educators will have the opportunity to choose between 60 different sessions beginning at 1 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 11, and ending on Thursday, Feb. 13. Topics include a wide range of issues that educators who work closely with military and veteran students will be able to apply in their daily life following the symposium. To learn more about the 2014 CCME Professional Development Symposium, "Crossroads in Military Education: Looking Back, Moving Forward," please visit (
For more military education news and benefits information, visit the ( Education Center.

DoD Addresses Human Trafficking
The Department of Defense has stepped up awareness and education efforts to curb the crime of human trafficking overseas. DoD defines human trafficking as the use of force, fraud or coercion to recruit, harbor, transport or obtain a person for commercial sex or labor services. DoD is broadening its training for those who work in contracting, acquisition and law enforcement. A yearly general course on how to recognize human trafficking is already mandatory for DoD civilians. For more information, visit the ( Department of Defense Combating Trafficking in Persons website.
For more military news, visit the ( News Center.

Legion Opposes Threat to Commissaries
American Legion National Commander Daniel M. Dellinger is incensed by a threat to the survival of military commissaries -- the U.S. military's grocery stores. The Department of Defense reportedly is discussing a $1 billion cut over the next three years to the Defense Commissary Agency (DeCA) budget. As a consequence, all but a handful of servicemembers' and military retirees' grocery stores could be closed. For more details, see ( ... mmissaries) this American Legion article.
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