Military Report - Week of December 23, 2013

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Military Report - Week of December 23, 2013

#1 Postby boardman » Mon Dec 23, 2013 12:43 pm

Military Report - Week of December 23, 2013

DEOMI Climate Survey
The Defense Equal Opportunity Management Institute will release in January, 2014 its Organizational Climate Survey, DEOCS 4.0, DEOMI, which is responsible for the primary training of all DOD military and civilian personnel assigned to military equal opportunity billets and civilian equal employment opportunity positions. The climate survey anonymously assesses perceptions of organizational effectiveness, equal opportunity, equal employment opportunity, fair treatment, and sexual assault prevention and response. Several new factors have also been added. Military commanders now are required to conduct a climate assessment within 120 days after assuming command, and at least annually thereafter.
For more military news, visit the (http://www.military.com/daily-news) Military.com News Center.


Combined Federal Campaign Overseas
The mission of the 2013 Combined Federal Campaign Overseas (CFC-O) fund drive is to support and to promote philanthropy through a voluntary program. Sailors first chose an organization from the charity listing catalog or cfcoverseas.org to make a donation. They then filled out a pledge card where a donation is made by 12-month allotment or one-time donation by cash or check. Pledge cards were collected by departmental or divisional CFC-O representatives to give to the CFC-O command coordinator and then sent to CFC-O headquarters in Washington. The CFC-O is the only authorized solicitation of the U.S. military and Federal employees in their workplaces on behalf of approved charitable organizations. For more information, visit the (http://cfcoverseas.org/) Combined Federal Campaign Overseas (CFC-O) website.
For more military news, visit the (http://www.military.com/daily-news) Military.com News Center.


Free Korean War History Book
To commemorate the 60th Anniversary of the Korean War, the Wisconsin Departments of Military Affairs and Veterans Affairs are partnering to distribute a special book to honor those veterans who served in that conflict. "Korea Reborn: A Grateful Nation Honors War Veterans for 60 Years of Growth" is available for free to Korean War Veterans or family members as a gift of gratitude from the Korean government. Request your copy of the book on the (http://dma.wi.gov/dma/dma/bookRequest.asp) Wisconsin Department of Veterans Affairs website or call 608-242-3239. The book is available one per veteran or family. Due to high demand, the book is backordered. So, please be patient.


DoD Releases 2014 BAH
The Department of Defense released the 2014 (http://www.military.com/benefits/milita ... rates.html) Basic Allowance for Housing and (http://www.military.com/benefits/milita ... -cola.html) Cost-of-Living Allowance figures. The average increase for BAH nationwide is 5 percent. As in the past the rates are determined by the housing costs in a specific location along with the members pay grade and dependent status. In 2014 some locations will see an increase of up to 14.9 percent, while others will see a reduction of more than seven percent. BAH rates are protected so servicemembers are shielded from rate reductions, unless they are promoted or otherwise change their status. (http://www.military.com/benefits/2013/1 ... rcent.html) Read more about the new 2014 BAH Rates.
(http://www.military.com/benefits/milita ... calculator) Use the Military.com Pay Calculator to see what your total pay will be in 2014.


AF Defers Basic Officer Training to 2015
The Air Force Recruiting Service has announced it is implementing changes that impact line officer accessions. Currently, a number of selected candidates with previously assigned Basic Officer Training class dates were deferred into fiscal 2015. The results of the 14OT02 BOT Rated Selection Board will be delayed to a later date. All future boards scheduled after the 14OT01 Non-rated Board, have been suspended until further notice. Only individuals with science, technology, engineering or mathematics degrees will be eligible to meet the 14OT01 Non-rated Selection Board Jan. 27-31, 2014. Air Force members can visit the (https://www.my.af.mil/gcss-af/USAF/ep/b ... 0020E329A9) BOT Program website on the Air Force Portal page for the most current information on the program. All civilian applicants should contact their local recruiter for the most current information.
For more guides and tips on joining the military, visit (http://www.military.com/join-armed-forces) Military.com's Join the Military section.


Town Hall Meeting on VA Healthcare
The American Legion will host a local town hall meeting for veterans that will focus on the past, present and future of healthcare at the Department of Veterans Affairs medical center in Roseburg, Ore. The meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m. on Jan. 9 at American Legion Post 16 on 406 SE Oak Street in Roseburg. Those who have served in the U.S. military, especially veterans enrolled in the VA health-care system, are welcome to attend. The town hall meeting and hospital visit are conducted by members of the Legion's SWS Task Force, which travel to about 15 VA medical centers per year. For more information on the town hall meeting, contact Jacob Gadd at (mailto:jgadd@legion.org) jgadd@legion.org.
For more on military health benefits, visit the (http://www.military.com/benefits) Military.com Benefits Center.


AAFES Holiday Return Policy
The Army and Air Force Exchange Service standard policy allows returns anywhere from 15 to 90 days of purchase with a sales receipt, but the holiday return/exchange policy extends these terms through Jan. 31, 2014 for all items purchased between Nov. 1 and Dec. 24, 2013. As is the case throughout the year, refund requests with sales receipts are processed according to the original forms of payment (cash for cash, credit for credit card). Customers returning items without sales receipts will receive Exchange gift cards for the refund amount. To make a return or get more information on exchanges and gift card credits, be sure to stop by your Exchange's Customer Service area or visit (http://www.shopmyexchange.com/) www.shopmyexchange.com.
For more discounts for military servicemembers, families and veterans, visit the (http://www.military.com/discounts) Military.com Discount Center.


Operation Raptor: K-9 Tour
Operation Raptor is a nationwide tour including six Ford Raptors airbrushed with a military theme. Five of them represent each of the five U.S. Military Special Forces Units; the sixth celebrates the 100th anniversary of K-9s in military service. These Special Forces Raptors will tour the U.S. from 2014 through 2015, featuring Special Forces Veterans injured in combat who serve as "tour guides," explaining their service and the obstacles they face as disabled Veterans. For more information, read VA's (http://www.blogs.va.gov/VAntage/11791/m ... niversary/) VAntage Point Blog and visit the (http://operationraptor.com/) Operation Raptor website.
For more on pets and the military, visit the (http://www.military.com/off-duty/pet-corner) Military.com Pet Corner.


Plans to Reduce USAF Workforce
The Air Force will reduce the size of its civilian workforce by about 900 positions in addition to maintaining approximately 7,000 vacancies across the force to meet the demands of a constrained fiscal 2014 budget, officials announced. Specific reductions by location have not been determined. The Air Force plans to maximize the use of Voluntary Early Retirement Authority and Voluntary Separation Incentive Pay to entice employees who are eligible to leave federal service to do so voluntarily. For information about civilian employment, reduction in force and other personnel issues, visit the (https://mypers.af.mil) myPers website.
For more Air Force news, visit the (http://www.military.com/daily-news) Military.com News Center.


Glossary of Military Terms and Slang
Leave your favorite military term in the comments of this glossary and we will include it! (http://www.military.com/join-armed-forc ... RC=mrvr.nl) Read more.


AF Enlisted Supplemental Promotion List
The Air Force Personnel Center has released the December enlisted supplemental promotion list, accessible on the Air Force Portal and on the myPers website. Airmen on the supplemental list tested outside of their required cycle because of an extended temporary duty assignment or deployment in support of a contingency. Promotion selections are tentative until the data verification process is complete; generally 10 days after the promotion release date. To see the list, visit the (https://www.my.af.mil) Air Force Portal and select the promotion news link, or visit the (https://mypers.af.mil) myPers website and enter "18318" in the search window.
For more Air Force news, visit the (http://www.military.com/daily-news) Military.com News Center.


Updated for 2014: VA Loan Limits
The VA loan guaranty program does not impose a maximum amount that an eligible veteran may borrow using a VA loan but limits the maximum guaranty amount to $417,000 for 2014. However, if you live in one the following counties listed in (http://www.military.com/money/va-loans/ ... nties.html) this chart, you will see a higher loan limit for your VA loan. For more details, see (http://www.military.com/money/va-loans/ ... nties.html) this Military.com article.


Pearl Harbor Day on Social Media
Emerging media met World War II history as Twitter, Google+, YouTube and other new media became part of the Pearl Harbor Day commemoration in Hawaii, Dec. 7. A live stream event was the highlight of this year's ceremony, which allowed people to watch the LIVE event from anywhere via the Internet on YouTube at (http://www.youtube.com/veteransunited) www.youtube.com/veteransunited . Navy Region Hawaii @NavRegHawaii hosted a Live Tweet using the hashtag #2013PearlHarborDay. @NavRegHawaii Twitter was flooded with retweets, favorites and additional followers. Also, @NavRegHawaii Twitter flooded with retweets, favorites and additional followers. To view photos of the ceremony, visit Navy Region Hawaii Flickr at (http://www.flickr.com/photos/navyregionhawaii) www.flickr.com/photos/navyregionhawaii.


Dental Insurance Anyone?
Over 8 million enrolled veterans can now purchase an affordable dental plan, including veterans with no dental coverage or those eligible for VA dental care who want to purchase additional coverage. For more information, read the article on the (http://www.va.gov/health/NewsFeatures/2 ... Anyone.asp) Veterans Health Administration webpage.
For more on military health benefits, visit the (http://www.military.com/benefits) Military.com Benefits Center.


AF Force Reduction Update
Air Force leaders recently announced force management programs designed to reduce the force by thousands of Airmen over the next five years as a result of sequestration. Fiscal 2014 force management initiatives are in addition to the announcement made in July, stating the Air Force will implement several force management programs to meet budget reduction requirements. Several programs will be announced in the coming weeks and will apply only to active-duty Airmen. A partial list of these programs is available on the (http://www.af.mil/News/ArticleDisplay/t ... -size.aspx) Air Force website. For more information and force management, force shaping, reduction in force and other personnel programs, go to the (https://mypers.af.mil) myPers website.
For more Air Force news, visit the (http://www.military.com/daily-news) Military.com News Center.


AF Renames Space Badge
The current Air Force space badge will be renamed the space operations badge beginning Jan. 1, 2014. The space operations badge will be awarded to personnel with core 13S, space and missile operations and 1C6, and space systems operations Air Force specialty codes (AFSCs). Space professionals of all other AFSCs awarded the badge prior to Jan. 1, and non-operations personnel awarded the badge after meeting certain criteria, will be authorized to wear the badge as well. There is an approval process allowing eligible individuals to apply for the space operations badge.
For more on military uniforms and insignia, see the (http://www.military.com/join-armed-forc ... guide.html) Military.com Insignia and Uniform section.


6 Money Rules You Can Break
For most people, following basic money rules makes sense, but are there situations when following tried-and-true advice doesn't work? Our professionals weigh in on when to consider the exceptions. For more, and for more savings and credit tips, see (http://www.military.com/money/personal- ... break.html) this Military.com article.


American Commercial Lines Committed to Hiring Veterans
Start your civilian career with American Commercial Lines. As a global diversified technology and industrial leader they can provide endless opportunity and a career path that lets you choose where you want to be. (http://www.military.com/jobs-in/employe ... RC=mrvr.nl) Read More.


2014 Active Duty COLA Released
The DoD has released the 2014 Stateside Cost-of-living-Allowance rates. As with each year, some areas will see increases while other areas will see reductions or lose COLA entirely. Unlike the Basic Allowance for Housing, there is no provision in the law for rate protection for COLA. This means that if your location sees a drop in COLA, you will see the reduction reflected in your military paycheck. (http://militaryadvantage.military.com/2 ... duty-cola/) Learn more about the COLA changes in 2014.
Use the (http://www.military.com/benefits/milita ... calculator) Military.com Pay Calculator to see what your total pay will be in 2014.


ID Cards for Same Sex Dependents
All eligible servicemembers, dependents and retirees -- including same-sex couples -- are now able to obtain Defense Department identification cards in every state. On Oct. 31, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel called on the chief of the National Guard Bureau to work with the adjutants general of several states to fully implement Defense Department policy by providing DOD ID cards to all eligible military spouses, regardless of sexual orientation.
For more on military benefits, visit the (http://www.military.com/benefits) Military.com Benefits Center.


VA Makes Progress on Claims Backlog
A senior Veterans Affairs Department official recently outlined progress made by the Veterans Benefits Administration in reducing the backlog of veterans' disability compensation and pension claims by 36 percent since March, attributing the success to the combined impact of transformation initiatives and increased employee productivity. Allison A. Hickey, the undersecretary of veterans affairs for benefits, detailed the elements of the Veterans Benefits Administration's, or VBA, transformation plan in testimony at a recent hearing of the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee. Testimony and a video of the Dec. 11 hearing are available on the (http://www.veterans.senate.gov/hearings ... n-progress) U.S. Senate Committee on Veterans' Affairs website.
To keep up on military benefits news and updates, visit Military.com's (http://militaryadvantage.military.com) Military Advantage Blog.


USAF NCO Retention Board Set for June
Plans are underway to convene a June Air Force senior NCO retention board to consider eligible master sergeants and senior master sergeants for retirement. Only master and senior master sergeants who are retirement eligible will be considered for retirement during this first enlisted retention board. Specific information, including eligibility cutoff dates and retirement dates, will be provided once plans are complete, but senior NCOs should not wait until then to review and update their records. Airmen who are eligible for retirement within the next 18 months and want to continue serving should review their records to make updates or corrections. To access the secure sites to review your personnel records, or for more information about retirement opportunities and other personnel issues, visit the (https://mypers.af.mil) myPers website.
For more Air Force news, visit the (http://www.military.com/daily-news) Military.com News Center.


COLA Cut Creates Outrage
On Wednesday, the Senate passed the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2013 (BBA) by a vote of 64-36. The two year budget deal includes a provision that reduces working age retirees' annual cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) by one percent until they reach the age of 62 -- and fails to grandfather existing retirees and currently serving members who plan to serve a 20-plus year career. Because of the fast-track nature of the bill, many members of Congress were caught off-guard by the overall financial impact retirees would face. Read the rest of the article at (http://www.moaa.org/MRBudgetDealCOLA/) Military Officers Association of America (MOAA).


CCME to Host Golf Tournament
The Council of College and Military Educators will host a Golf tournament on Monday , Feb. 10, in conjunction with their annual Council of College and Military Educators' (CCME) 2014 Professional Development Symposium. The event is being held to honor the fallen soldiers of the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment (Airborne) " (http://savannahherosoar.org/about_160th.html) Night Stalkers" of Hunter Army Airfield. All proceeds raised will go to the Night Stalker Hero Memorial Fund of Savannah Foundation, Inc. The tournament kicks off at 8 a.m. with a shotgun start at The Club at Savannah Harbor. Tickets can be purchased as an individual, or with the Lil Big ticket package. To learn more about the golf tournament, or to sponsor a hole, please visit (http://ccmeonline.org/) ccmeonline.org.
For more military-related entertainment news, visit the (http://www.military.com/off-duty) Military.com Off-duty section.


Mental Health Services Funding
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) today announced that it plans to issue a $50 million funding opportunity announcement to help Community Health Centers establish or expand behavioral health services for people living with mental illness, and drug and alcohol problems. Community Health Centers will be able to use these new funds, made available through the Affordable Care Act, for efforts such as hiring new mental health and substance use disorder professionals, adding mental health and substance use disorder services, and employing team-based models of care. For more information, visit the (http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/budget/fa ... t-services) White House website. The Obama Administration has also launched (http://www.mentalhealth.gov/) www.mentalhealth.gov a new website featuring easy-to-understand information about basic signs of mental health problems, how to talk about mental health, and how to find help.
For more military family support resources, visit the (http://www.military.com/spouse) Military.com Family Center.


$300k Financial Security: Less than $1 a Day
Your family's future is important. Could your family survive financially if the unthinkable happened? Get (http://www.military.com/insurance/?lpid ... =mr1223.nl) $300,000 quality coverage from less than $1 a day.


Fed Auctions Bad for Vet Businesses?
In a congressional testimony on Dec. 11, American Legion Legislative Director Lou Celli characterized a commonly employed government buying process as unfair and even harmful to veteran-owned small businesses. Celli appeared at a joint hearing of two U.S. House subcommittees examining the practice of utilizing "reverse auctions" in federal agency acquisitions. For more details, read (http://www.military.com/veteran-jobs/ca ... egion.html) this Military.com article.


DoD Augments Drug Testing
The Department of Defense (DoD) has expanded its zero tolerance for the use of illicit drugs to include synthetic marijuana, also known as "spice." The military also randomly tests all servicemembers for marijuana, cocaine, amphetamines, codeine and morphine, oxycodone, oxymorphone, hydrocodone, hydromorphone, Vicodin, and different diazepines, such as Valium and Xanax. Any servicemember who tests positive for either an illicit drug or misuse of a prescription drug falls under any actions deemed appropriate under the Uniform Code of Military Justice, as well actions that are appropriate as deemed by their commander. For more information and resources, visit the (http://www.acsap.army.mil/sso/pages/index.jsp) Army Substance Abuse Program (ASAP) website.
For more military news, visit the (http://www.military.com/daily-news) Military.com News Center.
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