Military Report - Week of December 30, 2013

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Military Report - Week of December 30, 2013

#1 Postby boardman » Mon Dec 30, 2013 12:32 pm

Military Report - Week of December 30, 2013

New Senior Enlisted Book Debuts
The military's top enlisted servicemember has written a new noncommissioned officer and petty officer book in what he called a significant moment for all enlisted leaders. Marine Corps Sgt. Maj. Bryan B. Battaglia, senior enlisted advisor to the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, has published "The Noncommissioned Officer and Petty Officer: Backbone of the Armed Forces." Though the book is focused on the military's noncommissioned officer and petty officer force, it carries a larger message. "I think you'll see this book will serve the reader whether they serve in uniform or not," he says. The book is available for download or for reading online at the (http://www.ndu.edu/press/nco.html) National Defense University (NDU) Press website.
For more on military-related books and book reviews, visit the (http://www.military.com/off-duty) Military.com Off-duty section.


Winter Vehicle Safety Tips
Here are several winter safety tips for your vehicle: (1) get regular oil changes, and make sure that you choose the right viscosity for the vehicle for this time of year; (2) make sure that your car battery's posts and connections are corrosion-free, and if the battery is more than three years old, have a certified repair shop test its ability to hold a charge; (3) make sure tires are properly inflated to ensure the best possible traction with the road; (4) check the status of the four-wheel-drive system to be sure it is working correctly; (5) have the properly amount of antifreeze in your vehicle; (6) store a special emergency kit in your car's trunk; and (7) only drive during daylight hours and take 10-15 minute breaks to rejuvenate drivers.
For more auto maintenance tips, visit the (http://www.military.com/off-duty/autos) Military.com Auto Center.


Housing Rates Announced
The recently announced 2014 basic allowance for housing rates for servicemembers represent an average increase of 5 percent, or up to $75 to $80 per month. The new rates will take effect Jan. 1. The impact on each servicemember is local as BAH rates are based on the costs of housing in various areas. The allowance differs by pay grade, location and whether or not servicemembers have dependents. Servicemembers already assigned to an area where BAH decreases in 2014 are "grandfathered" by the program's individual rate protection, and their rate will not go down. For more information, visit the (http://www.military.com/benefits/milita ... or-housing) Military.com BAH section.


DOD Sponsorship of AHRN Ending
On December 31, 2013, the Department of Defense (DOD) will end its sponsorship of the Automated Housing Referral Network (AHRN) website, AHRN.com. AHRN is expected to continue to operate as a commercial listings website. Terms and conditions will be updated to reflect the change in sponsorship. Registered users are encouraged to review them carefully to ensure they agree with any changes. For servicemembers going through a Permanent Change of Station (PCS), the local Navy Housing Service Centers (HSCs) will continue to provide free home finding services, including needs assessment, counseling on housing options, and assistance with the leasing process. Navy Housing has a comprehensive list of frequently asked questions (FAQs) for the end of DOD sponsorship of AHRN on their website at (http://www.cnic.navy.mil/AHRNFAQs) www.cnic.navy.mil/AHRNFAQs.
For more guides and tips on PCS, visit the (http://www.military.com/money/pcs-dity-move) Military.com PCS section.


Dell Committed to Hiring Veterans
Start your civilian career with Dell. As a global technology 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.


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


AF Offers Leadership Program for Officers
Nominations for active-duty line officers interested in the financial management leadership program (FMLP) are due to the Air Force Personnel Center (AFPC) by Feb. 15, 2014. The program is open to most line officer majors and major-selects in the 2002 through 2005 year groups who possess an undergraduate or graduate degree in business, accounting, economics or financial management. An FMLP webinar will be held for those who want more information Jan. 7, 2014, at 2 p.m. CST. To listen in, visit Defense (https://connectcol.dco.dod.mil/r59nbus6k3b) Connect Online. Senior-rater endorsed nomination packages must reach AFPC by Feb. 15, 2014. For more information, visit the (https://mypers.af.mil) myPers website and enter PSDM 13-120 in the search window.
For more Air Force news, visit the (http://www.military.com/daily-news) Military.com News Center.


Navy Video Series: Conversations with a Shipmate
The top admiral and top enlisted man in the Navy, Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) Adm. Jonathan Greenert and Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy (MCPON) Mike Stevens, recently released another installment of the internet video series, 'Conversation with a Shipmate.' To watch the latest episode of 'Conversation with a Shipmate' and other Navy Information Videos, visit the (http://www.navy.mil/viewVideo.asp?id=18906) Navy Video Gallery.
For more military videos covering everything from combat to humor, visit the (http://www.military.com/video) Military.com Video Center.


Avoiding the Flu
During holiday parties, most everyone is smiling and hugging or shaking hands and many forget that basic rule for staying healthy: wash hands frequently. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends washing hands with soap and warm water, but alcohol-based hand sanitizer will work in a pinch. See proper hand washing techniques on the CDC website at (http://www.cdc.gov/handwashing) www.cdc.gov/handwashing. The best way to avoid getting the flu is to get the annual 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 on the Express Scripts website at (http://www.express-scripts.com/tricare/pharmacy) www.express-scripts.com/tricare/pharmacy, or by calling Express Scripts at 1-877-363-1303. Even though flu season has been underway for several months, getting vaccinated is still important.
For more military family support resources, visit the (http://www.military.com/spouse) Military.com Spouse Channel.


Navy to Evaluate Uniform
Secretary of the Navy (SECNAV) Ray Mabus has announced plans to evaluate and redesign elements of the female service dress uniform for both officers and enlisted beginning no later than May, 2014. The Service Dress Blue (SDB) uniform worn by female Sailors E1-E6 will be redesigned along with the female combination cover for E7 and above. New uniform items will be evaluated for fit, comfort and durability. Fleet introduction will begin following approval of the final design and completion of the manufacturing process. The final timeline and costs of the new items will be determined following the wear test. For more information on this topic, see this (http://www.military.com/daily-news/2013 ... ilors.html) Military.com article.


AF Officers Selected for Degrees
More than 300 officers have been selected for advanced academic degree and career broadening opportunities. Officers selected will complete a degree in a discipline consistent with their Air Force career field, and after completion will use that advanced degree in support of Air Force mission needs. Annually, active duty officers from specific career fields compete for one of the programs, including U.S. Air Force Academy Instructor Faculty Pipeline, Education with Industry, the U.S. Marine Corps Expeditionary Warfare School and others. Officers interested in the AAD/SPEED program should review this year's criteria if they want to begin preparing to apply for next year's program. To see the list of selectees, or for information about other developmental opportunities, visit the (https://mypers.af.mil) myPers website and search for PSDM 13-119.
For more on military education benefits, visit the (http://www.military.com/education) Military.com Education Center.


Exchanges Offer Return Policy
Shoppers at the Army & Air Force Exchange Service (AAFES) should be aware that the Exchange's 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. Online shopmyexchange.com orders can be returned to the nearest Army, Air Force, Marine Corps, Navy or Coast Guard Exchange. For more information, visit your Exchange's Customer Service area or visit (http://www.shopmyexchange.com) www.shopmyexchange.com.
For more discounts for servicemembers, veterans and families, visit the (http://www.military.com/discount) Military.com Discount Center.


AF Museum Receives Osprey
A CV-22 Osprey recently landed at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force in Dayton, Ohio, and will be a centerpiece of the museum's new 224,000 square-foot building. Construction is slated to begin in late spring 2014 and be completed in the summer of 2015, with a public opening anticipated in late 2015. The National Museum of the United States Air Force, located at Wright-Patterson AFB, is the service's national institution for preserving and presenting the Air Force story. The Museum is free to the public and features thousands of artifacts amid more than 17 acres of indoor exhibit space. For more information, visit the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force website at (http://www.nationalmuseum.af.mil/) www.nationalmuseum.af.mil.


Keep Your Pets Safe During the Holidays
Keep your pet safer and healthier during the cold-weather season by following these tips: (1) keep indoor pets in a warm, dry area free of drafts; (2) elevate your pet's bed off the floor; (3) provide outdoor dogs and cats with a dry, warm, insulated shelter out of the wind; (4) bring your pet inside if the wind chill or other weather conditions become severe; (5) feed your pet extra calories when temperatures drop; (6) pets like the smell and taste of antifreeze, and a small amount can easily kill them. Thoroughly clean up spills at once; (7) Cats and kittens often nap on warm car engines. Knock on the hood or honk the car, and then wait a few moments before starting the car; (8) groom your dog regularly; and (9) do not leave your dog alone in a car.
For more pet news and tips, visit the (http://www.military.com/off-duty/pet-corner) Military.com Pet Corner.


New AF Secretary Issues Message
In her first video, the 23rd Secretary of the Air Force, Deborah Lee James, gives her first remarks as secretary of the Air Force about what Airmen and their families can expect from her in the future. James is responsible for the affairs of the Department of the Air Force, including the organizing, training, equipping and providing for the welfare of its more than 690,000 active-duty, Guard, Reserve and civilian Airmen and their families. James was confirmed as secretary Dec. 13, and sworn in Dec. 20. The video is available on the (http://www.af.mil/News/ArticleDisplay/t ... irmen.aspx) U.S. Air Force website.
For more military videos covering everything from combat to humor, visit the (http://www.military.com/video/) Military.com Video Center.


AF to Implement Rollback
The Air Force will implement the Enlisted Date of Separation Rollback Program for fiscal year 2014. The rollback will accelerate the date of separation for senior master sergeants and below who meet required criteria: (1) have fewer than 15 years on active duty as of May 31, or 20 years or more on or before April 30; (2) have a May 31, 2015 or earlier DOS for Airmen eligible to be separated, or April 30, 2015 DOS or earlier for retirement-eligible Airmen; and (3) have a 3D or 3E reenlistment code, an 09 assignment availability code or a 3E grade status reason that renders them ineligible to reenlist. Airmen eligible to retire and identified for DOS rollback must submit a retirement application by Jan. 31, 2014, for the May 1 or earlier retirement. For more information about FY14 Force Management Programs and other personnel issues, visit the (https://mypers.af.mil) myPers website. For complete details on the DOS Rollback Program, enter "PSDM 13-122" in the search window.
For more Air Force news, visit the (http://www.military.com/daily-news) Military.com News Center.


TRICARE Retiree Dental Accepting New Enrollments
Available to retired servicemembers and their family, retired National Guard and Reserve members and their family, and Medal of Honor recipients, their family and survivors, the TRICARE Retiree Dental Program (TRDP) is currently open for enrollment. TRDP covers diagnostic and preventive services, like exams and cleanings at 100 percent. Emergency services and basic restorative services, like fillings, are covered at 80 percent. The annual deductible is $50 per person, each benefit year, and $150 per family per benefit year. For more information, visit the TRICARE Retiree Dental Program Costs webpage at (http://www.tricare.mil/Dental/TRDP/Costs) www.tricare.mil/Dental/TRDP/Costs. Eligible beneficiaries can enroll online through the Beneficiary Web Enrollment website (BWE) at (http://www.dmdc.osd.mil/appj/bwe) www.dmdc.osd.mil/appj/bwe or visit the TRDP website at (http://www.trdp.org/) www.trdp.org to print, complete and mail in a TRDP enrollment application.
For more on TRICARE, visit the (http://www.military.com/benefits/tricare) Military.com TRICARE Overview.


Reminder: Tax Season Is Coming
The normal U.S. filing deadline for filing personal income tax returns is April 15; however, there is an automatic extension deadline of June 15 for U.S. citizens and resident aliens whose tax home is overseas. Here are some helpful tax preparation tips: (1) those who have a new child in the family will need to apply for a Social Security number as soon as possible to be able to claim the child as a dependent and to apply for certain tax credits; (2) foreign nationals and others who have tax reporting or filing requirements and do not qualify for a Social Security number, should apply for an ITIN through the IRS; (3) for those who have moved recently, make sure to update the address and contact information with any organization that may send tax documents; and (4) begin gathering receipts and any other documents (W2s, 1098s, 1099s, child care statements, charitable donations, and moving expenses) needed to complete the return. For more information, contact your base's legal center or tax center, and visit (http://www.military.com/money/personal-finance/taxes) Military.com's Tax Center for more tips.


Navy Issues Sexual Assault Reports
The U.S. Navy has issued an overview of alleged sexual assaults based on 13 initial reports across the Navy from Dec. 9 - 15. Among the alleged victims, one was an officer, four were petty officers, and eight were E-3 and below. To contact a Sexual Assault Response Coordinator at the Department of Defense Safe Help Line, call (877) 995-5247. To learn more about Navy's Sexual Assault Prevention and Response program (SAPR), visit the Navy Personnel Command SAPR webpage at (http://www.sapr.navy.mil) www.sapr.navy.mil.
For more military news, visit the (http://www.military.com/daily-news) Military.com News Center.


Hagel, Ryan Defend COLA Caps
Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel and Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), chairman of the House Budget Committee, appear to be in sync in defending the controversial cap that Congress has imposed on cost-of-living adjustments for "working age" military retirees starting in January 2016. They should be, Ryan is suggesting, because the idea for the (http://militaryadvantage.military.com/2 ... stguard.nl) COLA cap came to him from the Department of Defense. And the budget deal he struck will help to ease automatic defense spending cuts from sequestration that military leaders said were decimating force readiness. Hagel and Ryan also agree, however, that it was a mistake for Ryan and his negotiating partner, Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.), chairman of the Senate Budget Committee, not to have shielded more than 100,000 service members retired on medical disability from the planned COLA caps. For more details, see (http://www.military.com/benefits/2013/1 ... -caps.html) this Military.com news article.


It's Official: 2014 Pay Rates
President Obama has signed off on a 1% pay raise across the board for all military pay grades in 2014. To see 2014 pay charts, visit the (http://www.military.com/benefits/2013/0 ... harts.html) Military.com Pay section, or calculate your 2014 pay using Military.com's (http://www.military.com/benefits/milita ... calculator) Military Pay Calculator.


AF Offers Early Retirement
Staff through senior master sergeants and captains through lieutenant colonels in certain Air Force specialty codes may apply to retire with fewer than 20 years of active service under the Temporary Early Retirement Authority (TERA), commonly referred to as the 15-year retirement. Applications will be accepted Jan. 14, 2014, through March 26, 2014. For full application instructions, eligibility requirements and a chart showing eligible Airmen, visit the (https://mypers.af.mil) myPers website and search for FY14 Force Management, or enter PSDM 13-127 for the enlisted program or PSDM 13-128 for the officer program.
For more Air Force news, visit the (http://www.military.com/daily-news) Military.com News Center.


$200,000 SGLI Alternative: Only $14 a Month
Your family's future is important. Could your family survive financially if the unthinkable happened? Prepare your family with (http://www.military.com/insurance/?lpid ... =mr1230.nl) $200,000 quality coverage from only $14 a month.


Travel Card Not for Holiday Spending
Servicemembers are reminded that the Government Travel Card Program was implemented to provide a more efficient means of paying for official travel or temporary duty related expenses for government travelers. Use of the travel card for other than official government travel and travel related expense is considered misuse or abuse. Abuse and misuse seems to prevail during the holiday season, especially during the months of December and January. It is the cardholder's responsibility to ensure the card is used only for its intended purpose, that is, official TDY expenses. If in doubt, do not use it.
For more military family support resources, visit the (http://www.military.com/spouse) Military.com Spouse Center.
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