Military Report - Week of February 24, 2014

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Military Report - Week of February 24, 2014

#1 Postby boardman » Tue Feb 25, 2014 12:58 pm

Military Report - Week of February 24, 2014

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Military Retiree COLA Cap Repealed
On February 15,President Obama signed the law which excludes current retirees and servicemembers from the 1 percent Retirement COLA reduction. The law does not exclude servicemembers who joined on or after January 1, 2014. ( ... efits.html) Read the full article on

Why Was the Fight for COLA So Important?
Getting Congress to repeal the cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) cuts to military pensioners was important because it goes beyond a the righting of a single wrong. It is part of a battle to ensure servicemembers and veterans who have served our nation can count on the government to keep the promises made to them in return for their commitment to defend America. ( ... la-battle/) Read the full article on the Military Advantage blog.

Traumatic Brain Injury Report
As of Feb. 20, more than 2,500 veterans suffering from traumatic brain injury (TBI) and/or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) have participated in The American Legion's online survey that seeks to determine the effectiveness of treatments for these two conditions. During the Legion's month-long survey, the Institute of Medicine (IOM) released a report on Feb. 13, "Gulf War and Health: Long-Term Effects of Blast Injuries," that examines how blast exposure increases the likelihood of developing TBI, PTSD and other long-term health ailments among veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. For more on the survey and the Legion's recommendations to VA, see ( ... urvey.html) this article.

Join the Air Force Reserve
Force management programs will push thousands of active-duty Airmen out of their jobs, but opportunities exist in the Air Force Reserve for Airmen. One key difference between active and Reserve service is that Citizen Airmen will not have to relocate to suit the needs of the Air Force. Many reservists spend the majority of their career with one unit and only agree to a permanent change of station when the timing is right for them. Airmen who are ready to separate do not have to wait until their original enlistment or commission obligation is complete. The Palace Chase program enables Airmen to separate from their active enlistment or commission as long as they continue their service with the Reserve Component. For more information, visit the Air Force Reserve website at ( or Facebook page at (
For more resources and tips on joining the military, visit the ( Join the Military section.

AF Flight Training Program Selectees
More than 100 Air Force lieutenants and captains have been selected for the undergraduate flying training program (UFT). The UFT annual selection board convened in January to consider active duty candidates for the program, and those selected will attend pilot, remotely piloted aircraft, combat systems officer or air battle manager training. UFT selection is highly competitive. Officers interested in UFT should plan ahead if they intend to apply in the Fall. For more information about rated opportunities and other personnel issues, visit the ( myPers website. To see the UFT selection list, enter "Undergraduate Flying Training" in the search window, and select PSDM 14-13.
For more Air Force news updates, visit the ( News Center.

Navy Chaplains 5-Year Ministry Plan
The U.S. Navy Chief of Chaplains has announced the release of the Department of the Navy's Strategic Plan for Religious Ministry 2014-2019. Navy chaplains support the religious freedom of Sailors, Marines, Coast Guardsmen, DoN Civilians, and families by: (1) providing and facilitating religious ministry; (2) caring for all with complete confidentiality, dignity, respect, and compassion; and (3) advising commanding officers on the accommodation of religious needs and religious matters that affect the command's mission. The strategic plan will serve as the foundation for policy and programming for the professional delivery of religious ministry across the Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard. For more information, read the DoN ( ... nistry.pdf) Strategic Plan for Religious Ministry 2014-2019 and read the ( ... _Final.pdf) Impact of Religious Ministry slide.
For more Navy news updates, visit the ( News Center.

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Video Library: VA Loan FAQ's Answered
Thinking of using your VA loan? Are you eligible and will there be fees applied by using the loan? Find the answers you're looking for to the questions you have today: ( ... View the VA Loan FAQ Video Library.

Vets' Personal Data at Risk - Again
According to a report ( by CNBC , a draft internal memo by the VA's Office of Information & Technology Risk Management Team warns that veterans and VA employees are at risk of a personal data breach within 12 to 18 months. The report says that a breach of financial, medical, and personal data is "practically unavoidable." The breach could affect approximately 20 million American veterans, dependents, and VA employees.
( ... dable.html) Read the full article on
For more veterans benefits info and updates, visit the ( Military Advantage blog.

The Army's Combat Studies Institute
The U.S. Army's Combat Studies Institute provides a wide range of military historical and educational support to the Combined Arms Center, Training and Doctrine Command, and the United States Army. CSI researches, writes, and publishes (via the CSI Press) original interpretive works on issues of relevance to the Army and the defense of the Nation. The Institute conducts an Oral History program that features interviews war fighters from sergeant to general. CSI also conducts Leader Development opportunities in the form of virtual and live battlefield Staff Rides for the Army. For more information on CSI, visit the ( CSI website.

Sailors and Motorcycle Safety
Navy and Marine motorcycle riders must recognize their skill level and develop a ride plan that limits themselves to within their safe operating limits. Sailors and Marines must complete two mandatory courses within 60 days after declaring intent to ride a motorcycle and then complete refresher training every three years. The training is designed to make riders safer. COMPACFLT policy directs servicemembers who have not completed the required training to cease riding until all training is completed. The training is provided on installations worldwide. For more information and to find Navy motorcycle training classes, visit the Navy Motorcycle Rider Training Registration website at ( and the ( Navy Safety Center website.
For more on car and motorcycle safety, and auto maintenance tips, visit the ( Auto Center.

Don't Waste Your VA Loan Benefit
Don't wait any longer to use your VA Loan Benefit. Benefits include $0 down, no PMI payment required, and home ownership means you can write off closing costs and deduct your interest for 2014. ( ... Use 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.

CNP to Hold All-Hands Call
The Chief of Naval Personnel is scheduled to talk with Sailors around the world in an All Hands Call broadcasting and streaming online live March 5 at 2 p.m. EST. The Chief will update Sailors on the issues that affect them and their families and open the floor to live questions from fleet via satellite and social media. Sailors are encouraged to begin sending in questions and comments now by tweeting @USNPeople or emailing ( Sailors can also use this opportunity to share their feedback--what's working in the fleet, what isn't and what ideas do they have to make our existing policies better. Online streaming will be available on the following websites: (1) the U.S. Navy website at (, (2) The Pentagon Channel at (, and (3) the U.S. Department of Defense website at (
For more Navy news updates, visit the ( News Center.

Live Chat for Personnel Support for Airmen
Air Force Personnel Center officials have implemented a live chat capability on the ( myPers website to allow real-time communication between Airmen in the field and personnel specialists. The chat feature comes up automatically when members search for key topics like retirement, separation or retraining. Following the session, the Total Force Service Center (TFAC) e-mails a chat transcript to the member for his or her records. Records of a member's previous chats are also available on the myPers website. Chat hours are Monday-Friday, 7:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m. To contact the TFSC, call 210-565-0102, DSN 665-0102 or toll free 800-525-0102. Airmen can also select the myPers "contact us" link to email questions to the TFSC.
For more Air Force news updates, visit the ( News Center.

Army iBook Wins Award
The U.S. Army's 'Vanguard of Valor' iBook has won the 2014 George C. Marshall Foundation Prize for the use of Digital Technology in Teaching Military History. The iBook shows how interactive technology can make learning history an immersive experience. Much of the audio and video included in the iBook came from Soldiers themselves who recorded their combat actions. To download the interactive edition of Vanguard of Valor, visit the ( ... 8666?mt=11) iTunes website.
For more military book news and reviews, visit the ( Off-duty Center.

Replacing Lost CAC ID Gets Harder
Beginning in late March or early April, the Department of Defense is going to begin fully enforcing current common access card policy, which will require individuals to bring supporting documentation if they have had their ID cards lost or stolen. If you have your card lost or stolen, you should work with your local security office or the individual sponsoring you for that ID card. Police reports that accounts for the theft may also be used as documentation. The supporting documentation will be scanned and stored in the Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System (DEERS). This policy will affect all common access card-eligible individuals, both military and civilian. It will be important for people to bring this documentation with them to have a card reissued.
For more military news updates, visit the ( News Center.

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Navy E-Learning Adds Internet Access
The Navy Education and Training Command (NETC) and the Sea Warrior Program Office have announced the availability of direct Internet access to Navy e-Learning (NeL) content. Most Navy Learners were previously accessing NeL through Navy Knowledge Online. Going directly to NeL will make searching for their desired content much easier. Although direct access to NeL is available through the Internet, a Common Access Card (CAC) is still required for NeL login. Courses on NeL have been standardized to run using the Internet Explorer (IE) browser. Since 2001, Sailors have depended on Navy e-Learning (NeL) to help advance their careers and stay current with training requirements. For more information about Navy e-Learning, visit the Naval Education and Training Command (NETC) website at ( and the ( Navy Knowledge Online (NKO) website.
For more on military education benefits, visit the ( Education Center.

Navy COOL to Add Working Dog Handlers
The Center for Security Forces (CENSECFOR) announced the release of its 10th and newest apprenticeship trade that is specific to military working dog handlers. Enrollment for the Working Dog Handler apprenticeship is open to both Sailors and Marines. Enrollees must be assigned to a formal unit/activity where they perform appropriate duties with a military working dog. Sailors must serve in the Master-at-Arms (MA) rate and have completed MA "A" School. The apprenticeship requires a total of 2500-hours of documented experience. For more information or to enroll in an apprenticeship, visit the ( USMAP Self-Service System website. For more information about Navy credentialing opportunities, visit the ( Navy COOL website.
For more on pets and the military, visit the ( Pet Corner.

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VA Warned About Apnea Claims Surge
In this week's Military Update, Tom Philpott reports that last June the VA Advisory Committee on Disability Compensation privately recommended to Allison A. Hickey, under secretary for benefits, that the VA should consider taking steps to address a "recent surge" in VA compensation awards for sleep apnea. The proposals to deal with the jump in sleep apnea include having VA Doctors do the exams and final determinations and conducting studies to ensure apnea is a true disability. ( ... surge.html) Read the Military Update to get the whole story.

New USAF Civilian Development Website
The Air Force recently made available a new tool to assist civilians with their professional development. The Civilian Development Resource Center (CDRC) is an online clearinghouse providing access to development roadmaps, learning programs and thousands of no-cost courses, books, videos, job aids, simulations, articles and more. Formerly known as the Supervisor Resource Center, the site offers easier navigation and a broader array of resources that support professional development for non-supervisory and supervisory career tracks. To help users focus on the most beneficial areas for development, an assessment tool is available on the site that provides feedback and identifies the skills development needed to improve performance. The CDRC is accessible via the ( Air Force Portal main page under the Career and Training tab.
To create a customized transition plan and get more transition guides and tips, visit the ( Transition Center.

Change in DoD's PCS Shipping Policy
The Department of Defense has changed their policy on transporting a servicemember's professional books, papers and equipment (PBP&E) shipped in household goods during permanent change of station moves. Known as "pro-gear," the new PBP&E policy will impact orders issued on or after May 1. PBP&E will be limited to a maximum of 2,000 pounds, and will include items in a member's possession needed for the performance of official duties at the next assignment. The new policy does include a grandfather clause to allow anyone stationed overseas who transported more than 2,000 pounds of PBP&E before the change to return the same PBP&E amount to the continental U.S. For more information, see Joint Federal Travel Regulation change 327 and Joint Travel Regulation change 581, dated March 1, 2014.
For more PCS guides, tips and checklists, visit the ( PCS section.

Career Management Process for Sailors
Hundreds of Sailors stationed on installations and tenant commands across the Pacific Northwest were recently trained on how they can better manage their careers. The new system is broken into three separate phases. Everything begins 13 months from the expiration of a Sailor's soft end of active obligated service (EAOS). The first phase, consisting of four reviews, allows Sailors to re-enlist in-rate, convert rates or transition to selected Reserves. The second phase gives Sailors a choice to convert or transition. The third and final phase will only give Sailors the opportunity to transition. Sailors are encouraged to verify their requests and check their status on Career Management System Interactive Detailing (CMS-ID). For more information, visit the ( ... ault2.aspx) CMS-ID webpage.
For more Navy news updates, visit the ( News Center.

National Black History Month
Black History Month is celebrated annually every February in the United States, and was initially a recognition started in 1926 by Carter G. Woodson as a method of educating Americans about the cultural significance and achievements of African-Americans. The 2014 Black History Month theme, "Civil Rights in America," was selected to mark the 50th anniversary of the 1964 Civil Rights Act. For more information on Black History Month, including instructional materials, visit the ( ... e=BH_Index) Black History Month section, the Library of Congress' African American History Month website at ( ( , the History Channel website at ( ... tory-month) ... tory-month, the Biography Channel website at ( ... tory-month) ... tory-month, the Smithsonian Education website at (, the Law Library of Congress website at ( ... erican.php) ... erican.php, and the Family Education website at ( ... 32871.html)

China Spying on U.S. Veterans
China is spying on U.S. veterans and military servicemembers through a breach of the largest veterans' organization. The attack was uncovered by security researchers at FireEye, who have dubbed it "Operation SnowMan." The attack attempted to target anyone who visited the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) website. The attack allowed Chinese hackers to monitor and gain control over users' computers by quietly installing a Remote Access Trojan (RAT). Randi Law, the VFW public affairs manager, said in an email that the VFW National Headquarters was notified of the attack on Feb. 12, after which VFW immediately identified the threat and rectified the code. For technical information, read the ( ... bsite.html) FireEye Blog.
For more military news updates, visit the ( News Center.

Drug Store Chains to Adopt Standards
The White House has announced in a blog post that five major national pharmacy chains with a total of more than 20,000 stores throughout the country have signed on to the ( ... lue-button) Blue Button health information sharing initiative ( ... try/70994/) pioneered by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). The five drug chains are CVS, Caremark, Kroger, Rite Aid, Safeway and Walgreens. Blue Button adoption by the pharmacy chains eventually will eliminate long waits for medication when clinicians who also use Blue Button electronically transmit a prescription. It will also give patients easy and secure access to their own personal pharmacy prescription history and allow them to check their medication history for accuracy. For more information the Blue Button initiative, visit the ( ... lue-button) website.
For more veterans benefits info and updates, visit the ( Military Advantage blog.

USAA Holding Photo Contest
USAA is asking Facebook, Twitter and Instagram users to upload a photo of what they want their life to be when they have earned enough to live it -- for a chance to win $5,000 toward pursuing that passion. To enter to win, participants must upload a photo to Twitter or Instagram using the hashtag #YourFutureYou and @USAA, or upload a photo to the contest tab found on the ( USAA Facebook page. After collecting entries, USAA will select up to 5 finalists. For more information, visit the USAA Facebook page.

Education Complaint System Launched
The Department of Defense launched a new postsecondary education complaint system to help protect tuition assistance and military spouse career advancement account users from educational institutions with unfair or deceptive practices. Before the new complaint system, people who had negative experiences with an educational institution would seek help from their local education center or service representative. For more information and to file a complaint, visit the U.S. ( Department of Veterans Affairs Education and Training Feedback webpage.
For more on military education benefits, visit the ( Education Center.

Navy Evaluating New Boots
New footwear could soon be making its way to the fleet. A new lightweight boot with a composite replacement toe will begin evaluations from Sailors and naval aviators in the 3rd, 4th, 6th, 7th and Pacific fleets, starting this month. The six-month user evaluation is slated to conclude in August. If the new boots get favorable reviews by Sailors, a proposal would be made to Navy leadership to consider using the composite toe caps versus steel toe caps in future footwear production. For more information, visit the Navy ( ... ault2.aspx) Uniform Matters webpage.
For more Navy news updates, visit the ( News Center.

Is the Military Paid Enough?
The Military Officers Association of America is soliciting the opinions of today's CURRENTLY SERVING community on their views on the compensation and readiness of today's force. Many within the Pentagon and Congress are clamoring to reduce personnel costs. MOAA wants to know how well-compensated, trained, and equipped you feel you are. If you are currently serving, please take ( MOAA's brief survey.

DoD Anti-Tobacco Video Contest
The military community is encouraged to kick off 2014 by voting online on the website at ( for the best anti-tobacco video in the Department of Defense-sponsored ( Fight the Enemy contest until March 14. Voting is open to all through the contest's website, which will link individuals to the Military Health System's YouTube channel. To vote, people can click on the "Like" button for any of the five videos. The video with the most "Likes" will be declared the winner of the People's Choice Award. To vote, visit the Video Competition webpage at (
For more military news updates, visit the ( News Center.

The Army Performance Triad
The U.S. Army's three essential components of the Army's Performance Triad for health and wellness are sleep, nutrition and activity. Burn calories at work. Make office exercise a part of your daily routine by adding active activities or 10-minute "exercise blasts" to your office routine. Here are several more tips for staying active at work: (1) look for opportunities to stand or move; (2) organize a walking group; (3) take a one-minute "cardio burst" to march or jog in place, do jumping jacks, simulate jumping rope, or walk up and down the stairs; and (4) turn breaks into a short fitness routine. For more information on the Performance Triad, visit the ( Army Medicine website.
For military-level fitness tips and programs, visit the ( Fitness Center.

Co-Ed Softball Tournament to Benefit Vets
The Combat Vet Riders Club and the City of Pineville in Louisiana is organizing a co-ed softball tournament in Central Louisiana to raise money that will go directly to helping Wounded Warriors at the local VA Hospital Community Living Center. The tournament will take place on March 22 and entry fee is $150 for each team. For more information and to register, contact the tournament organizer Amanda Trantham at 318-787-9912 or (, or Jerry Harvey from the Combat Vet Riders Club at 318-416-7611 or (
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