Military Report - Week of September 29, 2014

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Military Report - Week of September 29, 2014

#1 Postby boardman » Tue Sep 30, 2014 3:36 pm

Military Report - Week of September 29, 2014

IG Now Says Waitlist Led to Vets Deaths
In a stunning reversal, the Department of Veterans Affairs' acting inspector general now says that long wait times at VA health care facilities in Phoenix did contribute to a number of veterans' deaths. Acting Inspector General Richard Griffin made the statement Sept. 17 in a hearing before the House Committee on Veterans' Affairs. Testimonies from and an archived webcast of the hearing are available on the ( ... nal-report) House Committee on Veterans Affairs website. An additional oral statement by Inspector General Griffin is available on the Department of Veterans' Affairs ( ... riffin.pdf) Office of Inspector General website. The OIG's final report, 'Review of Alleged Patient Deaths, Patient Wait Times, and Scheduling Practices at the Phoenix VA Health Care System' is available ( online. A statement by Rep. Jeff Miller, Chairman of the House Committee on Veterans' Affairs is available ( ... phoenix-va) online.

Hispanic Heritage Month
Since 1968, when President Lyndon B. Johnson was in office, America has observed National Hispanic Heritage Month from Sept. 15 to Oct. 15 to celebrate the contributions and culture of citizens of Latin American descent. Servicemembers are encouraged to join celebrations at bases and installations and to reach out to Hispanics to learn about their stories. For more information, visit the National Hispanic Heritage Month website at (, the Hispanic Heritage Month website at (, the Hispanic Heritage in the U.S. Army webpage at ( ... about.html), and the Department of Defense National Hispanic Heritage Month 2014 webpage at ( ... -heritage/) ... c-heritage.

House Passes Veteran Bills
The U.S. House of Representatives passed four veterans related bills: (1) ( H.R 3593 would direct the inclusion of an outside entity to assist in the management of VA's major facility construction efforts; (2) ( H.R. 5404 would extend a number of expiring current authorities and critical programs at both VA and the Department of Labor; (3) ( H.R. 4276 would require VA to provide reports to Congress on the pilot program for assisted living services for veterans with traumatic brain injury; and (4) ( S. 2258 would authorize a cost-of-living adjustment for disabled veterans receiving disability compensation from the Department of Veterans Affairs. S. 2258 will be sent to the president to be signed into law.
For more veterans benefits info and updates, visit the ( Military Advantage blog.

DoD to Improve Financial Protection Rules
The U.S. Department of Defense issued a proposal that would expand the types of credit products that are covered by the 36-percent rate cap and other military-specific protections under the Military Lending Act. The proposal would close loopholes that have led to lenders skirting the law with products that fall outside the scope of existing regulations. According to the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau, the DoD's proposal would shut down the predatory lending to the military and enable the CFPB to stop lenders from harming servicemembers as the law was originally intended.
For more on credit and debt, and personal finance tips, visit the ( Money section.

VA Develops Mobile App for TBI
To better meet the needs of Veterans and others who have suffered mild to moderate concussion associated with Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), the Department of Veterans Affairs has developed "Concussion Coach," a mobile application that is designed to educate users about concussions, related symptoms, treatments and to enable users to recognize and assess symptoms. It also provides access to crisis resources. Concussion Coach is available for mobile Apple devices (iPhone, iPad, and IPod Touch) from the App Store and will be available to Google Play for Android devices later in 2014. For more information, visit VA's Polytrauma/TBI System of Care website at (
For more news on military apps, visit the ( App page.

AAFES 'Military Brat-Approved' Toys
Military shoppers hunting for the hottest holiday toys can turn to the Army & Air Force Exchange Service as special Toyland sections launched on Sept. 17 worldwide. This year, shoppers can look for the Military Brat-Approved logo on shelves to find the hottest kid-tested toys. From Sept. 19 to Oct. 2, MILITARY STAR(R) cardholders will pay no interest and make no payments until May 2015 with a minimum purchase of $299*. Shoppers can also use the Exchange's fee-free holiday layaway through December. Contact your Exchange Customer Service for more information. The Exchange's website at ( is loaded with this season's best toys, too. Online purchases ship for free when paying with a MILITARY STAR(R) card.
For more discounts for military families, visit the ( Discount Center.

2014 Tax Break, No PMI, $0 Down VA Loan
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. ( ... Use your VA Loan Benefit today.
( Want more information about this great benefit?

Navy Announces Holiday Mailing Deadlines
The Naval Supply Systems Command's (NAVSUP) has released the mail-by dates for pre-Dec. 25 deliveries of holiday cards, letters, and packages. A list of the dates is available on the ( U.S. Navy website. Customers should check with their local civilian or military post offices for information regarding size restrictions, mailing restrictions, non-mailable items, and customs declaration form requirements. Customers should ensure articles are packaged properly for mailing and packages do not display markings related to any type of hazardous material.
For more Navy news updates, visit the ( News Center.

Navy Explains Vehicle Shipment Issues
Peak moving season, a contract protest, litigation and insufficient transition time all have played a part in challenges to the Defense Department's program to ship privately owned vehicles overseas and back to the United States under a new contract. However, the new contract moves more responsibility for performance within established timelines to the contractor, IAL. IAL must reimburse the government and servicemembers for damages, rental cars, and on a case-by-case basis for inconvenience. For claims information for IAL, call 1-855-389-9499, Option 3, or email ( The email address for the TRANSCOM inspector general's privately owned vehicles customer support team is (
For more on the military's vehicle shipping program, see this ( ... rseas.html) overview.

Senator Supports Full MilPay Raise
Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) introduced an amendment to the Senate version of the defense authorization bill to support a ( ... n-pay-cap/) 1.8 percent pay raise for those in uniform. In late August the President exercised his executive authority to notify Congress of an alternative pay adjustment affecting active duty military pay. The President is able to exercise this option if he considers the adjustment necessary due to national emergency or economic concerns. ( ... harts.html) See the proposed 2015 pay charts.
( Get the full story at Military Officers Association of America.

AF Professional Military Education
The U.S. Air Force has released the latest installment of Roll Call, which outlines the way forward for enlisted professional military education. The Air Force has begun to use the blended learning approach -- combining distance and in-residence learning. The Air Force Senior NCO Academy adopted the blended learning approach earlier this year, and the NCO academy will transition to the blended approach during the coming year. This month's Roll Call is available ( ... 1153137099) online.
For more on military education benefits, visit the ( Education section.

VA Caregiver Program Excludes Many
The unprecedented package of caregiver benefits includes training to help to ensure patient safety; cash stipends to partially compensate for caregiver time and effort; caregiver health coverage if they have none, and guaranteed periods of respite to protect against burn out. However, most family members who are primary caregivers to severely ill and injured veterans are excluded.
( ... expansion/) Read the entire 'Military Update' story on the Military Advantage.

DoD Recognizes POWs/MIAs
Nearly 1,500 Airmen are still missing and unaccounted-for from various conflicts and there are more than 83,000 Americans still unaccounted-for across the Department of Defense (DoD). Every year, the nation pauses on the third Friday of September to Commemorate National POW/MIA Recognition Day. This year the observance was Sept. 19. Many organizations reach out to the military services' respective casualty affairs offices for help locating family members of those still unaccounted-for from past conflicts. Personnel Center's Missing Persons Branch, within the Airman and Family Care Directorate. For more information on attempts to find POWs/MIAs, visit the ( National League of POW/MIA Families website, the ( Defense Prisoner of War-Missing Personnel Office website, the ( Library of Congress Vietnam-Era POW/MIA Database, and the ( Air Force Personnel Center's Missing Person's Branch webpage.
For videos relating to prisoners of war, visit the ( ... rs-of-war/) Video section.

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AF Changes Performance Reports
Airmen asked the Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force, James A. Cody, about the new EPR format. Cody explained Airmen can expect the elimination of the numbered EPR. Another significant change is the limit of top-rated EPRs, which will more effectively identify top-performing Airmen. The chief emphasized the new EPR system will not change the number of people that will be promoted; however, it will change the order they will be promoted, since Airmen will be rated by their overall performance. The chief also reported that Air Force leadership has been working to reach proper manning levels so that more Airmen in Air Force specialties can be nominated for developmental special duty assignments.
For more Air Force news updates, visit the ( News Center.

Air Reserve Pay Process Change
Effective immediately, the responsibility for processing Air Force Reserve Incapacitation Pay requests is being transferred from Promotion, Retentions and Customer Service Branch, HQ AFRC/A1KP to the Special Pay & Incentives Branch, HQ ARPC/DPAA. It is now mandatory to submit all Incapacitation Pay requests via the Task Management Tool, routed to HQ ARPC/DPAA - Special Pay and Incentives workflow taskers box. Information on incapacitation pay can be found on ( myPers under the Benefits and Entitlements link. For more information, call the Total Force Service Center - Denver at DSN 665-0102 or 210-565-0102.
For more on military pay benefits, visit the ( Pay section.

'Ready Navy' Emergency Prep Website
( Ready Navy is becoming the Navy's "Go-To" resource for emergency preparedness. Personnel and family members of all ages are able to link to a wide array of hazard information and resources to help guide family emergency plans that take into account individual needs. The Ready Navy Emergency Preparedness Course is also an annual training requirement and is now available through Navy E-Learning CNIC-RNEP-0001. For a consolidated list of resources, view ( Ready Navy's resource page. For more information, visit the Ready Navy website at (, or contact Ready Navy by e-mail at ( or by telephone at (202)433-9348, DSN 288-9348. Follow Ready Navy on Facebook ( (, Twitter ( ( @ReadyNavy), ( ... rw52rZcxiw) YouTube, and ( Instagram.
For more Navy news updates, visit the ( News Center.

Air Reserve BAH Deadline Approaching
The recertification deadline for Individual Reservists who receive the basic allowance for housing (with dependent rate) is Oct. 31. Members must provide their servicing finance office with documentation for all of their dependents. For those Reservists receiving BAH (without dependent rate), no action is required. Reservists affected by this requirement must provide the document -- marriage license and birth certificate(s) -- that is the basis for their BAH entitlement. They must also complete an ( ... af594.xfdl) Air Force Form 594, Application and Authorization to Start, Stop or Change Basic Allowance for Quarters or Dependency Redetermination. This form must be printed and signed. A digital signature is not acceptable.
For more on BAH, visit the ( ... rates.html) Pay section.

TRICARE and Current Disaster Alerts
Disaster alerts are currently in effect in several states including Arizona, California, Hawaii, Mississippi, and Nevada. Specific information on the current TRICARE emergency procedures underway in those states is available on the TRICARE ( website. Emergency prescription refill procedures may be in-place. To obtain an emergency refill, take your prescription bottle to any TRICARE retail network pharmacy. To find a network pharmacy, call Express Scripts at 1-877-363-1303 or search the ( network pharmacy locator. If you use a retail chain, you can fill your prescription at another store in that chain. If your provider is available, he or she may call in a new prescription to any network pharmacy. You can request assistance at another pharmacy, but it is at that pharmacy's discretion to help you.
For more on TRICARE, visit the ( TRICARE section.

Airmen of the Year Named
The U. S. Air Force recognized its 12 Outstanding Airmen of the Year. The award recognizes 12 outstanding enlisted servicemembers who demonstrate superior leadership, job performance, community involvement and personal achievements. The ( ... 6-2805.pdf) Air Force instruction 36-2805, Special Trophies and Awards, outlines the guidelines for submissions. The 12 Outstanding Airmen earn the Outstanding Airman ribbon with the bronze service star device and wear the Outstanding Airman badge for one year. A list of the 12 outstanding airmen is available on the ( ... -year.aspx) Air Force website.
For more Air Force news updates, visit the ( News Center.

Navy Authorizes Hardship Duty Pay
To compensate Sailors and Marines for extended deployments, Hardship Duty Pay - Tempo (HDP-T) will be paid to Sailors and Marines, active duty and reserve, deployed beyond 220 consecutive days, effective Sept. 17, 2014. The Department of the Navy HDP-T proposal was authorized for two years. Sailors and Marines will receive HDP-T on a prorated daily basis of $16.50, not to exceed a monthly rate of $495, when they are operationally deployed beyond 220 consecutive days. For units currently deployed, consecutive days prior to Sept. 17 will count when determining eligibility for payment. Additional details will be provided in coming weeks.
For more on military pay benefits, visit the ( Pay section.

Riverine Force Opportunity for Navy Women
The U.S. Navy has announced that women can now be assigned to the Coastal Riverine Force Joint Terminal Attack Controller (CRF JTAC) training and positions. This decision is part of the Department of Defense's rescission of the 1994 Direct Ground Combat Definition and Assignment Rule. JTAC is a Navy Enlisted Classification (NEC) in the Riverine Squadrons. There are 21 billets available in the CRF. CRF operates maritime security operations in harbors, rivers, bays, across the littorals and ashore. The only remaining community that is still closed to women is Special Warfare.
For more Navy news updates, visit the ( News Center.

Match Your Skills with Jobs at Capital One
Your military experience can translate to a successful civilian career at Capital One. Your problem-solving, leadership, and communication skills will help you thrive. See how your military skills and leadership translate into career opportunities with Capital One. ( ... Learn more.

AF Makes Part of Oath Option
The Air Force has instructed force support offices across the service to allow both enlisted members and officers to omit the words "So help me God" from enlistment and officer appointment oaths if an Airman chooses. The Air Force will be updating the instructions in the coming weeks, but the policy change is effective now. A legal opinion by Department of Defense General Counsel made the change possible.
( ... ional.html) Read the full article on

Women in the Air Force
As the Air Force recently celebrated its 67th birthday on September 18, 2014, the story of women in the Air Force parallels that of the Air Force itself. In fact, for women pilots and early women Airmen, their history dates back five years before the Air Force officially became a separate service. In 1942, a unit of flight nurses who had not yet quite finished their training was sent into North Africa on Christmas Day following the Allied invasion in November of that year. The U.S. Army Air Corps was forced to radically change military medical care, and the development of air evacuation and the training of flight nurses were advanced to meet this need. Finally, in February 1943, the first class of Army Nurse Corps flight nurses graduated. More history of women in the Air Force is available on the ( ... story.aspx) Air Force website.
For more Air Force news updates, visit the ( News Center.
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