Print & Post: Week of December 12, 2011

New Program for Women Veterans

Women Veterans Igniting the Spirit of Entrepreneurship (V-WISE) program focuses on training, networking and mentorship for women veterans. The three-day, off-site training program, online training and network support structures are delivered in several locations around the nation, and anticipates serving up to 1,400 female veterans over a 36-month period. The Small Business Administration (SBA) has provided a grant over three years to sponsor the program. For more information, visit the ( Syracuse University website and the ( V-WISE Facebook page.

For complete guides to all veterans benefits, visit the ( Benefits Center.

GI Bill 2.0 Changes: Housing Allowance

A New Online Housing Allowance will be payable to students enrolled solely in distance learning (including online education). The housing allowance is half the national average BAH for an E-5 with dependents (the rate will be $673.50 for 2011). This I subject to prorating based on the number of credits being taken.  - Effective October 1, 2011. Note: This does not include active duty or their GI Bill eligible spouses. See a ( list of all GI Bill 2.0 Changes  and ( view the top 10 FAQs.

Next Step: It's important to compare schools to find the one that best fits your needs. ( Get free information from schools now.

National Defense Act Hits Snag

Funding for 2012 military operations, procurement, weapons systems, personnel and military family programs, and the ( proposed 1.6 percent military pay raise face major obstacles due to a last minute insertion in the National Defense Authorization Act of 2012. The controversy is over the insertion of a provision that some fear would allow the government to hold U.S. citizens suspected of terrorism in custody without charges or due process. ( Read more.

Read the ( Military Advantage blog to learn more about this issue and how it will likely delay the 2012 military pay raise.

( Let your elected officials know how you feel about this issue.

Understand Your Military Pay

With basic pay and 70 types of special pays and allowances, including BAH, military pay is customized to your situation. Changes in pay grade, duty status, your military occupation, duty station, or deployment status can have an impact on your pay. ( See 2012 Pay Charts, Flight Pay, Basic Housing Allowances, Advance Pay Enlisted Breakouts and more.


VA Loan Benefit Facts: Get the Guide of the most significant benefits of military service is the VA home loan, which can help you purchase a home with no down payment or refinance an existing loan. Get the guide to learn how to use your ( VA Home Loan.

Top Cities for Job Growth and Raises

Anywhere there's fossil-fuel expansion, skilled workers are in short supply, so companies may have to raise pay to attract employees. NewGeography's top cities for job growth include five Texas towns: Fort Hood, El Paso, College Station, Midland, Austin, Bismark, New Orleans, Dubuque, Manhattan, Pascagoula and more. ( Get a full list on

( Search for Veteran Friendly Jobs on

Get $250k Protection for $12.50 a Month

Give yourself and your family peace of mind without hidden clauses or fine print -- regardless of where or how you served your country. ( Contact Navy Mutual Today for Free Information.

Small Business Boot Camp

The Small Business Administration (SBA) and Syracuse University are expanding the successful Entrepreneurship Boot Camp for Veterans with Disabilities (EBV) program to an eighth school, Cornell University. Since the program's inception, more than 320 wounded warriors have graduated and more than 150 businesses have been launched by graduates. Participating schools include Syracuse University, University of Connecticut, UCLA, Florida State University, Texas A&M University, Purdue University, Louisiana State University, and Cornell University. For more information, visit the ( EBV Foundation website and the ( Syracuse University website.

Looking to start a civilian career upon separation? For national job listings and job seeker guides and tips, visit the ( Veteran Jobs Center.

VA Questioned on Mental Health Programs

U.S. Senator Patty Murray, Chairman of the Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee, recently held a hearing focusing on the long wait for mental health care at some VA facilities across the country. The hearing was a chance for Senator Murray to question the VA on a survey she requested of mental health providers who indicated that in many areas of the country wait times far exceeded the VA's mandated 14 day window. A video of the hearing and other information is available on the ( Senate Committee on Veterans Affairs website.

For complete guides to all veterans benefits, visit the ( Benefits Center.

5 Tips to Test Your Way to a Degree

CLEP tests are widely accepted by colleges and universities to test out of classes. There are two types of CLEP exams -- General and Subject. These exams will save you money, save you time and help you skip ahead. ( Get more information and the 5 tips that will help you test your way closer to a degree.

While you don't need to be enrolled in a school to take CLEP exams, a good next step is to compare schools to find the one meets all your needs including offering college credit for past military training and experience. ( Search for schools now.

Play Military Trivia and Win an iPod
Test your knowledge with our the Trivia Challenge. Think you know military history and trivia? Here's how you win: For each question you answer correctly you'll receive one point, and for each point you'll earn an electronic raffle ticket. At the end of the month we'll have a random drawing of all the tickets and pull out one to determine the winner. Play as little or as much as you'd like during the month, but the more questions you answer correctly, the greater your chances of winning. ( Play Now.

Vet Business Certifications Under Scrutiny

The Subcommittees on Oversight & Investigations (O&I) and Economic Opportunity (EO) of the House Committee on Veterans Affairs recently held a joint hearing to review the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business (SDVOSB) certification process. In addition to questions surrounding a new Government Accountability Office (GAO) ( report released recently on companies fraudulently posing as SDVOSBs to attain government contracts, the Subcommittees also asked about a recent decision by VA that will place veteran-owned businesses at a competitive disadvantage in pursuing contracts at VA. Additional information on the joint hearing, including a Webcast of the hearing, is available on the ( House Committee on Veterans Affairs website.

For national job listings and job seeker guides and tips, visit the ( Veteran Jobs Center.

Vet Small Business Development Task Force

The Small Business Administration (SBA) chairs the Interagency Task Force on Veterans Small Business Development focused on improving and expanding opportunities for veteran business owners. The Task Force recently issued its first Report to the President, which included 18 recommendations to increase access to capital, improve business development opportunities, and meet federal contracting goals for veteran-owned small businesses and service-disabled veteran-owned small businesses. The report is available on the ( SBA website.

Looking to start a civilian career upon separation? For national job listings and job seeker guides and tips, visit the ( Veteran Jobs Center.

Veterans Who Can Help Your Job Search
Meeting the right people can make the difference in your next job search. The Veteran Career Network can connect you to over 1 million veterans working in companies, government agencies, career fields, industries or locations that interest you. ( Search for Veterans willing to help with your job search and career.