Military Report - Week of August 25, 2014

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Military Report - Week of August 25, 2014

#1 Postby boardman » Sun Aug 31, 2014 3:48 pm

Military Report - Week of August 25, 2014

Tips for Managing Your Money
Here are some tips to manage your financial resources: (1) Divide your monthly payments on all your debts (auto loans, mortgage, credit cards) by your monthly gross income to calculate your debt-to-income ratio. Anything below 36 percent is considered acceptable; (2) the "excellent" range for your credit or FICO scores starts at 750, but a good score alone is not enough to determine if things are OK; (3) research has determined that an individual should have the equivalent of his or her salary saved for retirement by 35, three times that at 45, and five times at 55--these numbers can be used as benchmarks. For more information and tips, visit the (http://www.consumerfinance.gov/servicemembers/) Consumer Financial Protection Bureau website and the (http://www.military.com/money) Military.com Money section.


VA Loan Grants and Waivers for Disabled Veterans
Zero-down-payment mortgages are a great option, but eligible borrowers can expect access to additional benefits if they are qualified, disabled veterans. And, they may qualify for (http://www.military.com/money/va-loans/ ... rvr0825.nl) fee waivers and valuable grants too.


Beware of Debt Collectors
Any debt collector who harasses or threatens you is breaking the law. Debt collectors may not (1) call you before 8 a.m. or after 9 p.m.; (2) contact you at work if you have told them verbally or in writing that your employer does not allow you to get such calls in the workplace; (3) contact a third party about you for any reason other than getting your contact information; (4) harass or abuse you or anyone else they contact about you; or (5) lie about the amount you owe. They also may not (1) claim to be law enforcement officers; (2) claim that you will be arrested if you do not pay your debt; (3) threaten to seize, garnish, attach or sell your property or your wages -- unless they are permitted by law to do it and intend to do so; (4) give false credit information about you to anyone; or (5) use a fake company name. For more information, visit the (http://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/01 ... collection) Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Debt Collection webpage and the FTC (http://www.consumer.ftc.gov/topics/dealing-debt) Dealing With Debt webpage.
For more personal finance tips, visit the (http://www.military.com/money) Military.com Money section.


Degrees No Longer Used in Some AF Boards
Effective Dec. 1, advanced academic degrees will no longer be considered for officers meeting line of the Air Force promotion boards below the grade of colonel. Officers will be expected to have an advanced academic degree for promotion to colonel. Boards will be instructed to consider those with "select" status as having completed PME. Also, every active-duty captain will have an opportunity to attend Squadron Officer School in-residence. The new policy modifications will be captured in the (http://www.au.af.mil/au/awc/awcgate/edr ... 6-2301.pdf) Air Force Guidance Memorandum to Air Force Instruction 36-2301, Developmental Education and (http://static.e-publishing.af.mil/produ ... 6-2301.pdf) AFI 36-2406 and Officer and Enlisted Evaluation Systems.
For more Air Force news updates, visit the (http://www.military.com/daily-news) Military.com News Center.


AF Completes Force Shaping Board
The Force Shaping Board is complete and the results are scheduled for approval shortly. Senior raters are expected to receive the results by the end of August. Continued service in the Guard and Reserve opportunities remain available for Airmen to continue serving while filling critical total force needs in an Air Reserve component. Interested Airmen should first contact their local in-service recruiter for additional information. They may also visit the (http://afreserve.com) Air Force Reserve (AFR) website or call 800-257-1212 for the AFR or visit the (http://GOANG.com/careers) Air National Guard website.
For more Air Force news updates, visit the (http://www.military.com/daily-news) Military.com News Center.


AAFES Seeks to Allow Vets to Shop Online
The CEO of the Army Air Force Exchange Service is seeking to allow 18.8 million honorably-discharged veterans to shop online through military exchange services, which also operate brick-and-mortar department stores and concessions on base, could boost store profits enough to pump more than $100 million back into base quality-of-life programs. The AAFES CEO recently made his "business case" to the Department of Defense's Executive Resale Board this month.
(http://militaryadvantage.military.com/2 ... op-online/) Read the full Military Update article.


Still Time to Use Your VA Loan in This Year
Now is the time to use your VA Loan. You don't have to pay PMI or have a large down payment. Plus you can get financing up to $417,000. (https://secure.military.com/leads/VALoa ... rvr0825.nl) Use your VA Loan Benefit today.
(http://www.military.com/money/va-loans?ESRC=mrvr0825.nl) Want more information about this great benefit?


Naval War College Marks Centennial
The U.S. Naval War College (NWC) recently marked the centennial year of its NWC's distance education program, having been established by order of the secretary of the Navy in 1914. During the 2013-2014 academic year, the NWC's College of Distance Education (CDE) enrolled 5,372 students and graduated 1,147. With the Navy continuing to implement force-shaping measures, more emphasis is being placed on distance education and the role that education plays in developing leaders in all ranks and rates. NWC's distance education programs encompass the Fleet Seminar Program, a web-enabled course, a CD-ROM course, and the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California. For more information, visit the (https://www.usnwc.edu/cde) Naval War College Distance Education webpage.
For more Navy news updates, visit the (http://www.military.com/daily-news) Military.com News Center.


AFCMS Offers Insight on ACA
Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force James A. Cody addressed the Airman Comprehensive Assessment, or ACA, how it influences enlisted performance reports, and how those reports will affect future promotions during his latest CHIEFchat. According to Cody, performance will be assessed by how well an Airman meets or exceeds established standards. Airmen not eligible for promotion will still receive a performance assessment annually, with a static close-out date for each rank. Cody said Airmen will start to see changes to the system over the next year and a half. Cody also gave his thoughts on what he thinks are important skills a new NCO should obtain. The CHIEFChat is available on the (http://www.af.mil/News/ArticleDisplay/t ... ports.aspx) U.S. Air Force website.
For more Air Force news updates, visit the (http://www.military.com/daily-news) Military.com News Center.


Back to School With TRICARE
TRICARE and Military OneSource are co-hosting a webinar to educate TRICARE beneficiaries about back-to-school health services. The webinar will take place on Thursday, August 28, 2014 at 1:00PM EST. To sign up, visit the (https://www2.gotomeeting.com/register/881316114) Go to Meeting website. Registration is on a first-come, first-served basis and is limited due to system capacity. Participants must avoid sharing personal health information when asking a question. This webinar will take the guess work out of TRICARE's covered immunizations, physicals and well-child care benefits. To learn more about TRICARE benefits, visit the TRICARE website at (http://www.tricare.mil) www.tricare.mil.
For more on TRICARE, visit the (http://www.military.com/benefits/tricare) Military.com TRICARE section.


Tips to Improve Your Voc Rehab Relationship
The key to getting the most out of your VA benefits from the Department of Veterans Affairs is to get educated about the VA benefits you seek because that will, in most instances, make most VA employees love you. Why, you might ask? (http://wp.me/p24rMN-1EV) Find out -- Read the full article in the Military Advantage.


TRICARE Isn't Enough - Save on Copays, Rx and More
Save on the out-of-pocket costs that TRICARE doesn't cover. (http://offers.military.com/i/tricare/in ... rvr0825.nl) Save now.


AF Sets Up Virtual IT Help Desk
The Air Force Enterprise Service Desk is going virtual, and Joint Base San Antonio - Lackland will be the first to see it as it rolls out across the Air Force, starting the end of August. The new Virtual Enterprise Service Desk (vESD) is a client-based application that allows the user to solve common issues and self-initiate trouble tickets for e-mail, desktop, laptop, mobile devices and will eventually include network, software, hardware and other user account capabilities. Two town hall meetings will be held at JBSA - Lackland in the next couple of weeks to provide a demonstration and information on the vESD. These sessions will also be available virtually via Defense Connect Online. As the roll out continues, these demonstrations will be conducted at each base where the vESD is being implemented.
For more Air Force news updates, visit the (http://www.military.com/daily-news) Military.com News Center.


Navy Senior Enlisted Continuation Board
The U.S. Navy's fiscal year 2015 (FY-15) performance-based Senior Enlisted Continuation board (SECB) will convene Oct. 27. Active component (AC) and Full Time Support (FTS) E-7 to E-9 Sailors with at least 19 years of active service computed from their active duty service date as of Feb. 28, 2014 and three-years' time-in-rate (TIR) as of June 30, 2014; and selected Reserve (SELRES) and Voluntary Training Unit (VTU) E-7 to E-9 Sailors with at least 20 years qualifying service as of Feb. 28, 2014, and three-years TIR by June 30, 2014, will be considered by the board. The performance indicators are detailed on the Navy Personnel Command (NPC) Enlisted Continuation page at (http://www.npc.navy.mil/boards/enlistedcontinuation) www.npc.navy.mil/boards/enlistedcontinuation. Names of board-eligible Sailors will be posted Aug. 29 to the Navy (https://neasos.cnet.navy.mil) Enlisted Advancement System website, and individuals can view their board eligibility profile sheet on (HTTPS://wwwa.nko.navy.mil) Navy Knowledge Online. For more information, visit the NPC Enlisted Continuation page or call the NPC Customer Service Center at 1-866-U-ASK-NPC (1-866-827-5672).
For more Navy news updates, visit the (http://www.military.com/daily-news) Military.com News Center.


TRICARE Expands Lab Test Coverage
Beginning in September, TRICARE will cover certain laboratory developed tests under a demonstration project. TRICARE will cover approved laboratory developed tests retroactively if the coverage guidelines for the specific test are met. If a TRICARE beneficiary has paid for a laboratory developed test since Jan. 1, 2013, and it is now included in the demonstration, they may be eligible for reimbursement. Beneficiaries will have to file a claim with their regional contractor to receive payment. To find out which laboratory developed tests are covered, and which are eligible for retroactive reimbursement, visit the (http://www.tricare.mil/ldt) TRICARE covered services section to see the full list. Most tests must be preauthorized by the regional contractor and be offered by an authorized provider before they can be covered. TRICARE will continually update the list as new tests are reviewed and approved for coverage.
For more on TRICARE, visit the (http://www.military.com/benefits/tricare) Military.com TRICARE section.


Navy Cutting Benefits for Tuition Assistance
Beginning Oct. 1, U.S. Navy tuition assistance will reimburse sailors only for the tuition cost of the course. TA funds will no longer pay for the following: additional fees for equipment, supplies, books/materials, exams, admissions, registration, fines and costs associated with distance learning. It is among several changes the Navy announced Thursday to its popular program.The changes are meant to align the Navy's TA program with the Defense Department's policy on voluntary education programs that was released last month, the Navy said in a release. For more details, see (http://www.military.com/education/2014/ ... nefit.html) this Military.com article.


Navy Professional Career Track
The U.S. Navy's Professional Apprenticeship Career Track (PACT) program provides unique career opportunities for some first-term Sailors through apprentice-level formal and on-the-job training within a 24-month period. The main purpose of PACT is to provide Sailors who are unsure about which Navy career fields interest them an opportunity to learn about different Navy jobs without having to make a decision at the time of enlistment. The PACT program has three apprentice tracks encompassing career fields within aviation (A-PACT), engineering (E-PACT) and surface (S-PACT). For more information, visit the Navy Personnel Command's PACT webpage at (http://www.public.navy.mil/bupers-npc/e ... iling.aspx) http://www.public.navy.mil/bupers-npc/e ... iling.aspx, and the Navy COOL website at (https://www.cool.navy.mil/enlisted/pact.htm) https://www.cool.navy.mil/enlisted/pact.htm.
For more Navy news updates, visit the (http://www.military.com/daily-news) Military.com News Center.


GI Bill Payment Updates for October 1
The Veterans Administration has announced its new GI Bill payment rates for active duty, Reserve and Guard members, effective October 1, 2014. For more details and the updated pay numbers, see the GI Bill (http://www.military.com/education/gi-bi ... rates.html) active duty and (http://www.military.com/education/gi-bi ... rates.html) Selected Reserve overviews on Military.com.


AF Retains Only 5,700 Airmen
Air Force commanders recently notified Airmen who met the service's enlisted retention boards. The board retained 5,700 Airmen in the ranks of senior airman through senior master sergeant. These numbers represent significant reductions from the matrices originally published. Senior NCOs not selected for retention will retire by Dec. 1. Senior airmen and NCOs not selected for retention will either separate by Jan. 31, 2015, or retire through temporary early retirement authority by Feb. 1, 2015. Updates to information on force management and other personnel programs will continue to be available on (https://mypers.af.mil/) myPers. Airmen can also click the force management graphic on the (https://www.my.af.mil) Air Force Portal which will take them to updated matrices and force management program details.
For more Air Force news updates, visit the (http://www.military.com/daily-news) Military.com News Center.


$100k Coverage = Family Security from $7 a Month
Protection for less. Get $100k Coverage from only $7 a month. (http://www.military.com/insurance/?lpid ... rvr0825.nl) Could your family survive if something happened to you?


Marine Reserve Enlisted Retention Survey
The Marine Corps is conducting the fiscal year 2014 Selected Marine Corps Reserve (SMCR) Enlisted Retention Survey. This survey allows Reserve Marines the opportunity to communicate to senior leaders their views regarding their experience and possible future service in the Marine Corps Reserve. All SMCR Marines ranked lance corporal to sergeant are encouraged to complete the survey no later than Dec. 31, 2014. For more information, visit the (https://www.manpower.usmc.mil/application_noncac/) Manpower and Reserve Affairs website and search for the FY14 Drilling Reserve Retention Survey. Marines taking the survey on a computer without Common Access Card capability should select the non-CAC login when prompted to begin the survey.
For more Marine Corps news updates, visit the (http://www.military.com/daily-news) Military.com News Center.


AF Judge Advocate Programs
Air Force officers interested in continuing to serve as a judge advocate are able to apply to the Funded Legal Education Program (FLEP) and the Excess Leave Program (ELP). Officers selected for FLEP have the opportunity to attend law school at the Air Force's expense while officers chosen for ELP are responsible for law school expenses. FLEP applicants must have between two and six years active-duty service, and ELP applicants must have between two and 10 years active-duty service. To be considered for FLEP or ELP, applicants must have completed all application forms, applied to at least one ABA approved law school (acceptance is not required at the time of application for FLEP/ELP), and received their Law School Admissions Test results by Feb. 10 2015. In addition, applicants need to complete an interview with a staff judge advocate before March 1, 2015. Officers must also provide a letter of conditional release from their current career field. For more information, visit the (http://www.airforce.com/jag/entry_progr ... itary/flep) Air Force FELP page and the (http://www.airforce.com/jag/entry_progr ... litary/elp) ELP page.
For more Air Force news updates, visit the (http://www.military.com/daily-news) Military.com News Center.


Veterans, Find Your Next Career At Bankers
Bankers is offering veterans a career and not just a job. Successful Agents come from all backgrounds, are supported by nationally recognized training, and operate with a level of service unmatched in the insurance industry. (http://www.military.com/veteran-employe ... =mr0825.nl) Read more.


AF Professional Reading List
For the past eight years the Air Force has created a comprehensive reading list of motivating and inspiring material. Airmen are being asked to help create the 2015 CSAF Professional Reading Program with submissions that center on the profession of arms and more specifically the Air Force core values: Integrity first, service before self and excellence. To view the current 2014 CSAF reading list, visit the (http://static.dma.mil/usaf/csafreadinglist/index.html) Air Force Chief of Staff Reading List 2014 website and follow the link for the CSAF Reading List Comments Form at (https://www.formrouter.net/forms@HAF/CS ... tions.html) https://www.formrouter.net/forms@HAF/CS ... tions.html to make your suggestions.
For more Air Force news updates, visit the (http://www.military.com/daily-news) Military.com News Center.


Comprehensive Airman Fitness
The goal of Comprehensive Airman Fitness (CAF) is to build and sustain a thriving and resilient Air Force community that fosters mental, physical, social and spiritual fitness. The new (http://static.e-publishing.af.mil/produ ... 90-506.pdf) AFI 90-506 (published April 2) establishes flexibility for commanders and community support coordinators to facilitate resilience events and/or coordinate resiliency skills training in conjunction with or independent of commander-themed wingman days. CAF emphasizes the wingman concept of Airmen and families taking care of themselves and each other. The Air Force has also increased the ratio of master resilience trainers (MRTs) from one trainer per 1,000 Airmen to one trainer per squadron. Individuals wanting to self-nominate to be an MRT or resilience training assistant for their squadron or unit, can do so through their local leaders and their installation community support coordinator. For more information, visit the Air Force Portal and click on the CAF icon tab, (https://www.my.af.mil/gcss-af/USAF/ep/g ... 52DC91061A) on the main page.
For more fitness tips and military-level fitness programs, visit the (http://www.military.com/military-fitness/) Military.com Fitness channel.


Elevator Speeches--Do You Really Need One?
This week's career building tip comes from one of MOAA's Deputy Directors for Career Transition Services, and answers the question with an emphatic: Absolutely. You've heard it before. "Elevator speeches are a waste of time." Critics of them say to avoid them like the plague, that you want to appear natural and come across as a real person, not someone spouting an awkward little spiel. (http://www.moaa.org/MRElevatorSpeeches/) Read the rest of the article at Military Officers Association of America (MOAA) website.


7 Reasons Your Team Won't Tell You the Truth
One of the key factors in military and civilian leadership is having a team that encourages truth in both directions. Your troops decide what you can handle. If you've got a short trigger, or a propensity to rush in and help, they'll go a bit slower to put all their cards on the table. Like parents protecting young children, they'll safeguard you and themselves. They'll anticipate your reactions and work around them. Your troops may even throw in a few things "they're worried about," to make you feel better. Don't blame them. Previous leaders have taught them well. Well-intended intensity sends troops to the nearest diaper genie to package their story. To get the real deal, and avoid these common traps, see (http://www.military.com/veteran-jobs/ca ... rship.html) this Military.com article.
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