Military Report - Week of October 14, 2013

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Military Report - Week of October 14, 2013

#1 Postby boardman » Mon Oct 14, 2013 2:09 pm

Military Report - Week of October 14, 2013

AF Updates Shutdown FAQs
The government shutdown is affecting quality of life, family support, and child and youth programs that servicemembers and families use. The U.S. Air Force has compiled a list of frequently asked questions on the effects of the current government shutdown will have on pay, benefits, support programs and commissaries to help airmen and their families understand and prepare for the impact. Check out the ( ... down-faqs/) Military Advantage blog to get the latest information.

AF Promotes More Than 100 Officers
More than 100 captains and majors were recently selected for promotion during the 2013B Lieutenant Colonel Medical Science Corps and 2013A Major MSC Central Selection Boards. The promotion list is available on the ( myPers website. For more information about promotion opportunities and other personnel issues, visit the ( myPers website.
For more Air Force news updates, visit the ( News section.

Exchanges Remain Open
The Army and Air Force Exchange Service (AAFES) remains open during the government shutdown to support servicemembers, retirees and their family members. Because some military installations are located in rural areas, with a few located as far away as a two hour drive to a major metropolitan area, local Exchanges provide an outlet for servicemembers to purchase essential items. The Exchange is largely unaffected by the shutdown since nearly 97 percent of the Exchange's funding is generated by sales and three percent from tax dollar support. To find your local exchange store, visit at (
For more discounts for servicemembers and families, visit the ( Discount Center.

$1 Mil Coverage from Only $41 a Month
Your family's future is important. Could your family survive financially if the unthinkable happened? Prepare your family with $1 Mil quality coverage ( ... from only $41 a month.

AF Tuition Assistance Suspended
With the U.S. government failing to pass a fiscal 2014 budget, all tuition assistance (TA) for classes starting on or after Oct. 1 will be suspended until further notice. As a result, effective immediately, the ability to apply for TA through the Air Force Virtual Education Center is on hold. Airmen with approved TA for FY14 may incur debt with their school should they attend classes. Students should take action to withdraw from their current class or pursue using another funding source, such as the Montgomery GI Bill or the Post 9/11 GI Bill. As information becomes available, it will be posted on the U.S. Air Force website at ( and the AFVEC site, which can be accessed via the ( Air Force Portal.
For updates on military education benefits, visit the ( Military Advantage blog.

VA Home Loan Programs Continue
The Veterans Benefits Administration's (VBA's) home loan guaranty and life insurance programs will continue operation during the appropriations lapse. However, Veterans seeking approval of VA home loans may be impacted, as access to Internal Revenue Service data used by private-sector lenders to verify income may not be available. For more information, visit VA's Home Loans webpage at ( and VA's ( Life Insurance website. The Department of Veterans Affairs ( Field Shutdown Guide outlines the impact of the appropriations lapse on VA activities.
For more VA loan information and guides, visit the ( VA Loan section.

Pre-deployment: Tips on Looking Forward
Many guides and websites with information about helping you through deployment delve into local and national resources, special programs, and other functional aspects. But what about dealing with deployment from a purely emotional standpoint? If you start developing strategies now, you'll pave the way for a less stressful deployment and better mental health and wellness for your entire family. For more tips, see ( ... rward.html) this article.

This Year's Flu Vaccine
TRICARE covers both the flu shot and flu mist. Beneficiaries may be able get their flu vaccine, at no cost, from a military treatment facility, hospital or from a pharmacist at one of the 45,000 network pharmacies that administer vaccines to TRICARE beneficiaries. Find a participating pharmacy at ( , or by calling Express Scripts at 1-877-363-1303. Until now, seasonal flu vaccines have only protected against three strains of flu - two strains of influenza A, which usually causes more cases and more severe illness, and one of influenza B, which is less common but also circulates in multiple forms. The new vaccines include protection against a second strain of influenza B, which experts expect will prevent the vast majority of type B infections. To learn more about flu basics, treatment and prevention visit the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) website at ( Get more information on TRICARE coverage and where to get shots on the TRICARE website at ( For more on TRICARE benefits, visit the ( TRICARE section.

VA Closes Regional Offices
The VA recently furloughed over 9,000 employees forcing the closure of VA regional offices nationwide as part of the ( VA's contingency plan. Because of these furloughs, a number of services were suspended, including: the Education Call Center; personal interviews and hearings at regional offices; educational and vocational counseling; outreach activities and programs; and VetSuccess on Campus. The shutdown of public access to VBA facilities also affects Veterans Service Organizations with office space in VBA facilities, as public access to these VSOs is also suspended. Individual veterans can still initiate claims or check on the status of a claim by dialing 1-800-827-1000.
( ... close.html) Read the full article on and ( view the updated list of services currently suspended by the VA due to the government shutdown (in PDF format).

National University to Cover Tuition Costs During Shutdown
National University, California's second-largest private, nonprofit university, is supporting its active duty military students by covering their tuition costs during the months of October and November. The decision was made by National University President Dr. Michael Cunningham to ensure the Federal Government shutdown does not adversely impact active duty military students seeking their degrees at National University. Active members of the armed forces represent nearly 13 percent of National University's 30,000 students across its 45 locations throughout California and across the nation as well as students taking courses online.
For more information about the program and National University, visit ( For more on military education benefits and programs, visit the ( Education section.

AF Captain Promotions Announced
Nearly 200 first lieutenants were selected for promotion to captain during the 2013B Chaplains, Line of the Air Force Judge Advocate General Corps, Nurse Corps, Medical Service Corps and Biomedical Sciences Corps Quarterly Captain Selection Process. The list is available on the myPers website at ( For more information about promotion opportunities and other personnel issues, visit the ( myPers website.
For more Air Force news updates, visit the ( News section.

Transition Plans During the Shutdown
Don't let the government shutdown stop your transition plans. The Military Officers Association of America (MOAA) is working hard to help ensure you are prepared for your next career. ( Click here to read the rest of the article.

Paralyzed Veterans of America's Mission: ABLE
Pennzoil will donate $250,000 to Paralyzed Veterans of America's Mission: ABLE program which helps veterans with disabilities get the ( ... care, benefits and jobs that they've earned and deserve.

Air Force Aid Society Can Help
Due to the government shutdown, many Airman & Family Readiness Centers, to include their Air Force Aid sections, will be closed. If you have an emergency travel situation or need funds to avoid privation, call the American Red Cross at 1-877-272-7337 -- Service to the Armed Forces, to request AFAS assistance. The AFAS has compiled a list of ( ... tdown.aspx) FAQs to help you understand what we can do and how you can request assistance if needed. If you have a question that is not covered in the FAQs, e-mail the Air Force Aid Society at ( and they will reply promptly.
For more military family support resources, visit the ( Family Center.

Army, AF to Improve E-mail Service
In continued collaboration between the Air Force and the Army, the entire Air Force will migrate to Secure Internet Protocol Router, Department of Defense Enterprise Email over the next year. Approximately 150,000 SIPR Network users will migrate to the Defense Information Systems Agency SIPR email enterprise services over fiscal year 2014. The Air National Guard will be first to transition to the SIPR email enterprise. The SIPR DEE migration is in addition to the new architecture-sharing and modernization agreement among the Air Force, the Army and the DISA focused on next generation network configurations and regional security stacks that will increase bandwidth and network security and avoid more than $1 billion in future costs.
For more military news updates, visit the ( News section.

Deal of the Week: 20-50% Off Premium Brands |
Military and government discounts. From tactical to practical, GovX has 200+ brands. Ray Ban, Nixon, Life Proof, Under Armour, and more. GovX is your life after work store. ( ... al-of-week) Shop Now.

Putting Your Military Experience to Work
"Leadership traits and knowing how to work effectively with a team to accomplish goals are two important factors for members of the military transitioning into the civilian workforce," says Alison, a Program Manager for ( ... Aerojet Rocketdyne.

Get Your VA Loan Answers Here
Wondering how you can get the most out of your VA Loan? Follow the VA loan blog to stay up to date with tips and get the real facts about the benefits of using your VA loan. ( Read More.

Thrift Savings Plan Continues Operations
The Thrift Savings Plan (TSP), the retirement savings program for federal employees and members of the uniformed services, will carry on operations during the government shutdown. Investment activities will continue as usual. If military pay and allowances for uniformed members will continue, so will any scheduled contribution allotments to the TSP funds. For civilians needing to access their previous TSP contributions to supplement for missing income during the furlough, TSP hardship withdrawals, limited to the individual's financial need, are possible. Alternatively, participants may be eligible to apply for a TSP loan. For more information about the effects of a sustained furlough, please view the TSP factsheet ( Impact of a Government Shutdown on the TSP and options to manage your savings, visit the ( TSP website. You can also get TSP program information at the ( ... vings-plan) TSP Overview.

AF Nuclear and Missile Team to Meet
The Air Force Nuclear and Missile Operations Fall Development Team will convene the second week of November to provide vectors to eligible officers for developmental opportunities. Officers who want to be considered must update their ADP and have their supervisors or commanders review and submit it to the Air Force Personnel Center (AFPC) by Oct. 18. The team will identify up to three vectors for squadron commanders who complete their command tours in summer 2014, developmental education designees who graduate in 2014, CY12C promotion board major-selects and CY13A promotion board lieutenant colonel-selects. For more information about developmental opportunities and other personnel issues, visit the ( myPers website.
For more Air Force news updates, visit the ( News section.

Mandatory Training for Deploying Sailors
The U.S. Navy has announced that starting Jan. 1, Sailors will be required to participate in Navy Operational Stress Control (OSC) skills training within the six months prior to deployment. The teams will travel anywhere in the world to deliver the two courses: Navy OSC-Leader (NAVOSC-LEAD) for E7 and above and Navy Deckplate Leader OSC (DPL-OSC) for E4-E6 personnel. The MTTs will consider training underway as an option. To schedule the training contact: (1) MTT West Offices (619) 556-6640 or email ( or (2) MTT East Offices (757) 445-7353 ext 1062 or email (
For more Navy news updates, visit the ( News section.

Celanese 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. ( ... Read More.

TRICARE and the Govt. Shutdown
TRICARE has issued a statement concerning the government shutdown and any potential effects on TRICARE coverage. The statement is available on the ( ... avContext={761E25C5-20A7-4128-A0FE-08E633BED18D}) TRICARE website. If you have questions about your benefits, please contact your regional contractor or the appropriate contractor (i.e. pharmacy, dental, etc.). Visit the TRICARE ( Contact Us page for a complete list of toll-free numbers.
( ... -shutdown/) Read the Military Advantage blog for more information.

Navy Explains the 'Pay Our Military Act'
With the approval of the ( Pay Our Military Act, the Department of the Navy was able to recall almost all of its civilian employees. However, the Navy was not permitted to bring all employees back to work. The U.S. Navy has put together a ( ... itary-act/) webpage that details what is currently known about how Pay Our Military Act affects pay and leave for those employees now excepted from the furlough.
For updates on military pay benefits, visit the ( Military Advantage blog.

Stateside Commissaries Return to Normal Operations
Stateside commissaries that closed due to the government shutdown resumed normal operations on Oct. 7, 2013. Stores normally closed on Mondays reopened for business on their next scheduled operating day. For specific information about your base commissary and its operating hours, visit the store's website, which you can locate by searching for it by name on the website at (
( ... ssary.html) Read Spouse Buzz for more information on how the shutdown is affecting military families.

DoD Recalls Some Civilians
The Air Force has recalled most of the nearly 104,000 Air Force civilian Airmen placed on emergency furlough due to government shutdown. However, a significant number will not yet be able to return. The Pay our Military Act does not permit a blanket recall of all civilians. However, the law does allow the Department of Defense to eliminate furloughs for employees whose responsibilities contribute to the morale, well-being, capabilities and readiness of servicemembers. For current shutdown information, read the ( ... idance.pdf) Guidance for Implementation of the Pay Our Military Act, Defense Secretary Hagel's ( ... seid=16293) Statement of October 5, 2013, the's ( Government Shutdown page, the Air Force Portal and/or contact the Air Force Personnel Center Total Service Center at 800-525-0102.
To keep up with the latest updates about the government shutdown, visit the ( news section.

AAFES Wants Your Feedback
The Army & Air Force Exchange Service regularly seeks authorized shoppers' feedback on how the organization is doing in supporting their needs. As part of this effort, the Exchange Mystery Shopper program identifies a select group from each installation to go about their normal day-to-day shopping for a period of six months and detail their experience in a series of three survey sets. Mystery Shoppers are rewarded for their participation with a $30 Exchange gift card and free movie passes. To apply, visit ( and click the "Mystery Shopper -- I want to apply!" link under the "Exchange Locations" header at the bottom of the page. Exchange shoppers can also offer feedback by visiting ( and clicking the "Catalog/Internet Feedback" and "Exchange Store Feedback" links on the right-hand side of the screen.
For more discounts for servicemembers and families, visit the ( Discount Center.
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