Print & Post: Week of September 15, 2014

AF Cancels Four Force Reduction Boards

Line of the Air Force officers in four Air Force specialty codes (AFSCs) by year group are no longer scheduled to meet the fiscal year 2015 Force Management Reduction in Force board slated for Oct. 1, 2014. Updated matrices have been posted to the ( myPers website. AFSCs by year group that will not meet the board include 2002 21R logistics readiness, 65F financial management, 2007 61B behavioral science/human factors scientist, and 61D physicist/nuclear engineer. The board will still evaluate LAF and LAF-judge advocate officers for continued retention. To review the updated matrices, or for information about other personnel issues, visit the ( myPers website.

For more Air Force news updates, visit the ( News Center.

DeCA September Case Lot Sales

Case lot sales at your local commissary have a new name, Commissary Customer Appreciation sales, but they offer the same great savings of 50 percent or more on club pack and full case items. Each stateside commissary (including Alaska, Hawaii and Puerto Rico) will have a two- or three-day case lot sale by Sept. 30. Customers can visit the ( Commissary Customer Appreciation page to find out when their store is having the sale. Overseas stores may hold substitute events such as sidewalk sales. For more information, contact your local commissary.

For more discounts for military families, visit the ( Discount Center.

New Navy GMT Requirements

The Navy's General Military Training (GMT) schedule for fiscal year 2015 (FY-15) has been announced and outlines significant changes for the program. The Navy is giving command triads greater flexibility and more say in how their individual commands deliver GMT topics. Command leaders will have the option of what subjects to deliver that satisfy the personal financial management (PFM) GMT requirement. Updated guidance is also available for unit commanders regarding which lessons must be delivered face-to-face. All the required lessons are listed on the Navy Knowledge Online (NKO) GMT page along with the standardized training materials and a planning calendar that lays out suggested months for training delivery coinciding with national and Navy wide communication themes. Content is also available on Navy eLearning for certain topics that are not required to be delivered in face-to-face sessions. Sailors with feedback should submit it to the Center for Personal and Professional Development (CPPD) via email at (

For more Navy news updates, visit the ( News Center.

Navy Relaxes Overseas Screening Schedule

Navy families will now have more lead time on overseas screenings thanks to a new policy. Previously, Sailors and their families had to wait for hard-copy orders to start their overseas screening. Now a Letter of Intent (LOI) will allow them to start the process. The Navy Personnel Command will issue a Letter of Intent (LOI) once a Sailor is identified for an overseas billet. The LOI will go to the Sailor's command and allows the Sailor and dependents to begin the overseas screening process immediately instead of waiting for orders. Sailors have to complete overseas screening within 30 days of receiving the LOI. Their families have 60 days. For more information, call the Navy Personnel Command Customer Service Center, at 1-866-u-ask-NPC (1-866-827-5672) or visit the ( Overseas Screening webpage.

For more Navy news updates, visit the ( News Center.

Navy Restores Aviation Retention Bonus

The U.S. Navy has approved the restoration of the Aviation Command Retention Bonus (ACRB). The bonus will be paid to O5 commanding officers (CO) (operational, operational training or special mission) in two installments of $18K. COs may apply for the bonus upon taking command. COs who take the bonus are obligated to serve through their 21st and 22nd years of service. Specifics will be promulgated in an upcoming NAVADMIN and will be posted on the ( Navy Personnel Command Aviation Career Continuation Pay (ACCP) Bonus webpage. A similar bonus for Surface Warfare Officers is in the works.

For more on military pay benefits, visit the ( Pay section.

Oktoberfest at Your Commissary

Commissary customers will see several sales events during September and October. Shoppers can stage their own Oktoberfest as commissaries have German products ranging from chocolates, cookies, sauerkraut, mustard, and red cabbage, to rich German coffee, and more. With the Year of Balanced Products with Nestle promotion, seven winners will receive a year's worth of Nestle products to help balance their diet. Quaker and Tropicana will present their "Breakfast, It's the Smart Way to Start Your Day" promotion through September 24 offering savings on participating products. For more information, contact your local commissary.

For more discounts for military families, visit the ( Discount Center.

More Veterans Turn to Farming

More veterans are turning to farming. U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) data shows that even though rural America makes up 17 percent of the country's population, it accounts for 44 percent of the men and women who served in the military. One organization trying to connect veterans to farming resources is the Farmer Veteran Coalition (FVC) whose mission is to mobilize veterans to feed America. For more information, visit the Farmer Veteran Coalition website at (

For more veteran job fair listings, job postings and transition advice, visit the ( Veteran Jobs Center.

VA Launches Updated GI Bill Tool

The Department of Veterans Affairs has launched a new version of the GI Bill Comparison Tool, which was first launched in February 2014. The GI Bill Comparison Tool is designed to make it easier for veterans, service members, and family members to estimate their GI Bill education benefits and learn more about VA's approved college, university, and other education and training programs. The updated version of the tool has new functionality, including a more robust GI Bill benefits calculator and additional information pertinent to the veteran population. For more information, visit the ( GI Bill Comparison Tool website.

Airmen and Suicide Prevention

While Suicide Prevention Month is observed across the United States in September, the month-long event is a reminder of everyone's 24/7, 365-day responsibility to be a true Wingman. That means knowing our fellow Airmen, family members, coworkers and what is happening in their lives, as well as being willing and able to support them when they are facing challenges that test their resilience. Resources available include ( the Air Force Suicide Prevention website, ( the Airman's Guide for Assisting Personnel in Distress, the Military Crisis Line by calling 1-800-273-8255, press 1, text 838255, or chat with trained counselors at the Military Crisis Line website at ( You can also find help by contacting your local agencies who make up the installation Integrated Delivery System. For more information and resources, visit the Air Force Suicide Prevention website at (

For more mental health guides and tips, visit the ( Mental Health and Wellness section.

AAFES Homeward Bound Giveaways

The Army & Air Force Exchange Service's Homeward Bound campaign is offering a wide variety of giveaways in September. Military shoppers can visit the Exchange's Facebook page at ( can enter to win prizes throughout the month. From Sept. 19-25, Dish Network is giving away a Sony PS4 game system while Deli Express will award three $500 Exchange gift cards. From Sept. 26-Oct. 2, Sony is offering shoppers a chance to win three great prizes. For more information about Homeward Bound, including additional upcoming promotions, visit the Homeward Bound webpage at (

For more discounts for military families, visit the ( Discount Center.

Gen. Welsh Urges Airmen to Take Survey

AF General and Chief of Staff Mark A. Welsh III has written a letter to airmen. The general asks those who have been invited to participate in the survey, the 2014 RAND Military Workplace Study, to complete the survey. General Walsh's letter to airmen is available ( online.

For more Air Force news updates, visit the ( News Center.

Navy Seeks Subject Matter Experts

Naval Education and Training Professional Development Technology Center (NETPDTC) is seeking volunteers to serve as subject matter experts (SMEs) for exam development. Navy chiefs (E7 to E9) on active duty, Full Time Support (FTS), and reservists on Active Duty for Special Work (ADSW) are encouraged to apply. Chiefs who volunteer and are selected for panel membership work closely with the NAC staff of exam development professionals and play a vital role as a rating fleet subject matter expert (FSME). For application forms, details and additional requirements, visit ( Navy Knowledge Online (NKO).

For more Navy news updates, visit the ( News Center.

Find Your Next Career at A+E Networks

A+E Networks strongly supports the hiring of our servicemen and women as they transition back into civilian life or seek career changes. We believe that veterans possess identifiable and transferable skills proven in real-life situations, and it is our intention to foster a business culture that recognizes, supports and develops the unique characteristics of our veterans.  ( Read more.

VA PTSD Center Celebrates Anniversary

The Department of Veterans Affairs' National Center for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (NCPTSD) is celebrating its 25th anniversary. VA created the Center in 1989 to address the needs of Veterans and other trauma survivors with PTSD. A list of accomplishments of the center is available on the ( VA website. For more information on PTSD and ways to raise awareness of this mental health problem, visit the National Center for PTSD website at (, and the ( Mental Health and Wellness section.

Army Launches Safety Campaign

The U.S. Army has launched the first installment of its new two-year seasonal safety awareness campaign called "Ready... or Not?" The campaign is designed to heighten awareness of risk factors by causing individuals and leaders to ask themselves, 'Are you and/or your organization ready for what is about to happen?' The campaign will be divided into four installments or 'mini campaigns' that serve to raise awareness of the increased hazards associated with the different seasons. The campaign runs through August. 2016. For more information, visit the ( U.S. Army Combat Readiness/Safety Center website.

For more Army news updates, visit the ( News Center.

Navy Energy Connects on milSuite

The Chief of Naval Operations Energy and Environmental Readiness Division (OPNAV N45) has created three milSuite groups that facilitate energy discussions. MilSuite is a Common Access Card (CAC) enabled tool that allows DoD personnel to create virtual communities, share ideas, and participate in a collaborative work environment. The first group includes a Navy Energy dashboard to which members can post energy-related articles, submit blog posts, or engage in discussions. The other two groups consist of a library that serves as a repository and an open forum called the Navy Energy Innovation group. The following group links are available by registering for a milSuite account and are CAC enabled: ( Navy Energy, ( Navy Energy Library, and ( Navy Energy Innovation.

For more Navy news updates, visit the ( News Center.

Veterans Job Fair in Austin

Veterans, service members and spouses are invited to a free career fair Sept. 24 in Austin, Texas, at the Omni Austin Southpark Hotel, Ballroom D, 4140 Governor's Row, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Hosted by the American Legion's Department of Texas, about 60 employers from the private and public sectors will be in attendance. Attendees are encouraged to pre-register at for the event. Attendees should also come in business attire and bring copies of their resumes, as employers on hand will be evaluating job candidates and even hiring or interviewing.

For more veteran job fair listings, job postings and transition advice, visit the ( Veteran Jobs Center.

New VA Cemetery in Nebraska

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has selected the name Omaha National Cemetery for the national cemetery that VA will construct in the Omaha region of Nebraska. The cemetery will serve more than 112,000 veterans in eastern Nebraska and western Iowa. Veterans with a qualifying discharge, their spouses and eligible dependent children may be buried in a VA national cemetery. Also eligible are military personnel who die on active duty, their spouses and eligible dependents. Information on VA burial benefits can be obtained from national cemetery offices, from VA's National Cemetery Administration website at (, or by calling VA regional offices toll-free at 800-827-1000. To make burial arrangements at any VA national cemetery at the time of need, call the National Cemetery Scheduling Office at 800-535-1117.

For more on veteran memorial services and benefits, see ( this section.

VA Needs to Plus Up Medical Staff

The Department of Veterans Affairs needs "tens of thousands" more personnel working in VA hospitals and clinics to meet patient demand, the new VA Secretary, Robert McDonald, told lawmakers Tuesday at a hearing of the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee. The size of the staff shortage explains the VA's "big recruiting effort" which he kicked off recently with visits to Duke University and University of Pennsylvania medical schools to tell students there why "VA is where they want to work." Congress is pressing to clarify the VA staff shortage as the department struggles to recover from a patient wait-time scandal, as demand for care grows due to a force drawdown, and as the nation at large also copes with a shortage of health workers, particularly in mental health care.

( Read more in Tom Philpott's Military Update.

PepsiCo Is Hiring Vets

PepsiCo has a long legacy of military hiring and remains committed to veteran hiring across all lines of business and roles. PepsiCo believes in providing opportunity for military hires, not just in the name of service, but because they help the business win.  ( Read more.

NEXCOM Launches New Web Store

The Navy Exchange Service Command (NEXCOM) has launched a new web store, ( Upgrades customers will see when they visit the new web store include a lower price on standard shipping at $4.95, one-time authentication, mobile shopping via smartphone and tablet, enhanced product search and filters, product sharing via email, Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest, the ability to create and email a wish list, the ability to purchase NEX Gift Cards, and ship-to-store capabilities in select locations. This is the first phase of a multi-year project. Additional phases will include the addition of Navy military clothing into the same shopping journey, collecting email addresses at point-of-sale and the ability to go on line and verify that an NEX has quantities on-hand before driving to the store.

For more discounts for military families, visit the ( Discount Center.

TRICARE Help in Arizona Flood Emergency

The Governor of Arizona has issued a state of emergency due to flooding in the counties of Marcopa and La Paz. Emergency prescription refill procedures are in place from September 8, 2014 through October 8, 2014. To get 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 possible, visit the pharmacy where the prescription was filled. 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.

Personal Data Loss Alert in South Carolina

The Dorn Veterans Administration Hospital in Columbia, South Carolina, says some old records are missing, and is warning veterans that their personal information could be compromised. Four boxes of pathology reports that were stored in a locked area in the medical center laboratory are gone. The records include patients' names, Social Security numbers, and pathology reports from the years 1999, 2000, and 2002 only. The hospital is in the process of notifying 2,179 veterans that could be affected. As a precaution, the hospital is offering one year of free credit monitoring is available to veterans who are notified in writing. Veterans who receive a letter in the mail can call the Dorn VA Privacy Officer at (803) 776-4000 extension 7692 with any questions.

For more veterans benefits info and updates, visit the ( Military Advantage blog.

VA Secretary's Latest Press Conference

Secretary of Veterans Affairs, Robert A. McDonald, recently held a press conference at VA's Washington, D.C., headquarters where he shared observations from his travels to VA facilities over the past month and outlined the way ahead for the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). A transcript of Secretary McDonald's comments is available on the ( VA website.

For more veterans benefits info and updates, visit the ( Military Advantage blog.

AF Revamps Expeditionary Force Construct

The Air Force will deploy Agile Combat Support Airmen under its redesigned air expeditionary force construct October 1. The primary purpose of the redesign was to look at ways to deploy more ACS Airmen with their units and standardize dwell times across the Air Force as much as possible. Under the revised AEF construct, installations will deploy larger numbers of Airmen from the same unit under a 1:2 deploy-to-dwell ratio for active component, ACS Airmen. The revised construct establishes an 18-month battle rhythm where an Airman may deploy for six months and be home for 12. For more information on AEF battle rhythm and individual base dwell times, Airmen should contact their local unit deployment manager or base deployment manager.

For more Air Force news updates, visit the ( News Center.

Navy Conducts Leadership Survey

Sailors with opinions or ideas about how to best develop enlisted leaders are being asked to provide input on two Navy courses that are currently under review, the Petty Officer Second and Petty Officer First Class Selectee Leadership courses. The survey project is called Enlisted Leadership Requirements Review (ELRR). The online surveys are open to E-1 through O-6 Active or Reserve Component Sailors. Three surveys are planned. The first survey is currently open and assesses how much time Sailors spend on technical, management and leadership tasks. All feedback will remain anonymous. Sailors interested in participating in the first online survey can access it ( online. Links for follow-on surveys will be announced later.

For more Navy news updates, visit the ( News Center.

Vet Couples Counseling in Massachusetts

Veterans in Massachusetts who are reintegrating back into civilian life are invited to participate in a free, confidential series of couples therapy sessions with their spouse or partner. The project focuses specifically on how the veterans and their partners manage Post Traumatic Stress Disorder symptoms, while addressing the issues in the relationship that may emerge. The project is headed up by Kathryn K. Basham, a licensed clinical social worker working with Jean LaTerz. There will be a brief interview on the phone with the couple to make sure they are prepared and that they meet the criteria. Both individuals in the relationship must be willing to participate in the counseling. Those interested in participating in this program can contact Basham at (413) 585-7959 or (

For more family support resources, see this ( Family Center.

VA Launches "The Power of 1"

The Department of Veterans Affairs is launching 'The Power of 1' campaign to commemorate September as Suicide Prevention Month. The new campaign is a joint project coordinated by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD). A new public service announcement, "The Power of 1," will reinforce this message by focusing on the small, everyday actions that can play a pivotal role in improving a Veteran's life. Also, a new ( Suicide Prevention Month webpage offers interactive tools to learn more about the Veterans Crisis Line and how small acts make a difference. For more information about VA mental health resources, visit VA's Mental Health website at ( If you are in crisis, or know someone who is, call 1-800-273-8255, press 1, text 838255, or visit (

For more mental health guides and tips, visit the ( Mental Health and Wellness section.

Help Prevent Suicide Among Vets

September is Suicide Prevention Month. Help is available through the Vets4Warriors peer support chat line at 855-838-8255 or at the Vets4Warriors website at ( This line will connect an individual with veteran peers can assist with problem solving and resolution. Veterans can also find help through the Military Crisis Line by calling 1-800-273-8255, press 1, text 838255, or chat at the Military Crisis Line website at ( For more information and resources, visit the Air Force Suicide Prevention website at (

For more mental health guides and tips, visit the ( Mental Health and Wellness section.

Help with Spouse Job Search

The Military Spouse and Corporate Career Network (MSCCN) is a 10-year-old not-for-profit organization that provides employment readiness and job placement solutions. The agency, along with a sister organization Corporate America Supports You (CASY), has already helped more than 20,000 military spouses and 8,000 transitioning active military and veterans find jobs. The organization is working with the National Guard and others in various ways to help transitioning veterans find employment. For more information, visit the ( Military Spouse and Corporate Career Network website.

For more spouse job postings and transition advice, visit the ( Jobs Center.

Save up to 66% on TRICARE Costs

Save on the out-of-pocket costs that TRICARE doesn't cover.  ( Save now.

Bottom Line on the Drawdown: Cut With Dignity

Recent headlines have shed light on the Army providing pink slips to nearly 1,200 captains and 550 majors -- several while serving in combat zones. The Army is caught between a rock and a hard place. It is in the midst of drawing down over 120,000 active duty troops from the peak of 570,000 members to 450,000 by 2019. This drawdown is far from over -- if you escaped round one, don't think you're necessarily safe in round two or even three. Read the rest of the article at Military Officers Association of America (MOAA): (

OPM Announces Upgrades

The Office of Personnel Management has announced recent upgrades to their electronic personnel filing system. The OPM eOPF is a secure electronic personnel folder which provides civilian employees virtual access to their personnel records. Employees who have not done so should set up an eOPF account and review their records to ensure they are correct and up to date. To create an eOPF account, visit ( myPers. Under the "I would like to..." section, select "Learn how to access my Electronic Official Personnel File." Scroll down to the "Creating eOPF Account" section and follow the instructions. Employees must have a valid work email address in the eOPF in order to create their user account. The eOPF can only be accessed from a government or military computer network. To learn more about self-service updates, visit the myPers self-service page, accessible via the home page "I would like to" section at ( myPers.

For more Air Force news updates, visit the ( News Center.

SGLI/VGLI Celebrate Centennial

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) recently commemorated one hundred years of the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Life Insurance program, which began as the War Risk Insurance Act, Sept. 2, 1914. VA directly administers six life insurance programs and supervises the ( service members' Group Life Insurance (SGLI) and ( Veterans' Group Life Insurance (VGLI) programs that provide $1.3 trillion in insurance coverage. To learn more about the 100th anniversary commemoration, visit the 100 Years of VA Life Insurance webpage at ( If you have a question about VA's life insurance protection policies, please call toll-free at 1-800-419-1473.

For more on SGLI and VGLI, as well as other insurance options, visit the ( Insurance section.

Vet Hiring Event in Chicago

Hiring Our Heroes, one of the largest efforts to help Veterans and their family members find employment, returns to Chicago on Thursday, September 18. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation, Illinois Department of Veterans Affairs (IDVA) and Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES) are primary hosts. The Aon-sponsored event is from 10 a.m. To 1 p.m. At the Hyatt Regency, 151 E. Upper Wacker Drive, Chicago. Veterans and military spouses should pre-register at ( prior to the event. Job seekers also are encouraged to take advantage of a free employment workshop at 8:30 a.m. Veterans also should register with ( Free parking for job seekers is available at Grant Park north and south garages, Millennium Park Garage and Millennium Lakeside Garage. Parking validation is required.

For more veteran job fair listings, job postings and transition advice, visit the ( Veteran Jobs Center.

Saving Lives: An Honest Discussion about Suicide Prevention in the Military

"37 percent of veterans return from deployment with mental health disorders. Only half seek help." Our Guard and Reserve members and many who have not deployed are also committing suicide at an alarming rate. is joining the Veterans Affairs Department, Department of Defense and Disabled American Veterans to reach spouses, coworkers, family members and military members with practical solutions and advice for preventing suicide among our service members.  ( Please RSVP to watch our LIVE Google Hangout.

SGLI/VGLI too Much? $100k Coverage from $7 a Month

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Fall is the Perfect Time to Use Your 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?

SeaWorld Offering Half-Off Admission

SeaWorld in San Diego, Calif. will offer half off admission for those who are in or have served in the military, along with up to five companions. Those who qualify must be on active duty, retired or honorably discharged. Tickets must be purchased by Nov. 11, Veterans Day, and redeemed by Dec. 21. To purchase tickets, visit the ( Discount Center or buy tickets at participating military bases. SeaWorld requires proof of service to qualify for the discounts. Discounts offered in the "Waves of Honor" program do not include Discovery Cove in Orlando or Aquatica, SeaWorld's Waterpark.

For more travel and amusement discounts, visit the ( Discount Center.

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