WASHINGTON -- The Navy will begin training for leadership and support elements to be ready to provide eligible benefits to same-sex domestic partners of servicemembers and their children beginning August 31. "Extending these benefits reinforces the principle that all those who volunteer to serve are treated with dignity and respect and ensured fairness and equal treatment to the extent allowable under law," said Rear Adm. Tony Kurta, director military plans and policy. Training must be accessed by all current and prospective, active and reserve command triads via Navy e-Learning and must be completed by August 23 according to NAVADMIN 152/13.
The training will assist leadership in a knowledgeable and professional extension of benefits beginning August 31 when servicemembers will be able to submit a "Declaration of Domestic Partnership for DEERS Enrollment" (DD653) and obtain a Department of Defense identification for their same-sex partners to access benefits detailed in the February 11 memo by Secretary of Defense. Earlier this year, the Department of Defense identified family member and dependent benefits that the services can lawfully provide to same-sex partners and their families through changes in Department of Defense policies and regulation. To make all of these benefits available to same-sex partners of our servicemembers, Navy reviewed and is modifying all necessary instructions, notices, and MILSPERMAN articles, and conducting training to ensure a clear understanding of the benefits and documentation requirements.
Benefits that will be extended to same-sex domestic partners and families include: * Dependent ID cards (DD Form 1173) which will be renewed in accordance with existing policies * Commissary and Exchange * Access to Morale, Welfare and Recreation (MWR) * Access to child and youth programs. This includes child care, youth programs and youth sponsorship. * Space-Available Travel on DoD Aircraft * Joint duty assignment (collocation) for dual-military partners * Access to Legal Assistance * Access to most Family Center Programs * Emergency leave and emergency leave of absence for the military member to attend to partner emergencies. * Access to sexual assault counseling program. Emergency care provided; additional care determined by medical eligibility. * Exemption from hostile-fire areas for dual-military if partner is killed in a combat zone. * Transportation to and from certain places of employment and on military installations * Transportation to and from Primary and Secondary school for minor dependents * Disability and death compensation: dependents of members held as captives * Payments to missing person * Authorization to participate in surveys of military families, including the quadrennial quality of life review. * Authority of Service Secretary to transport remains of a dependent Changes to instructions, notices, and MILSPERMAN articles needed to implement extending eligible benefits to same-sex partners will be completed by August 31.
Benefit FAQ's are posted on Navy's DADT Post Repeal website on Navy Personnel Command's web page under Support and Services http://www.public.navy.mil/bupers-npc/support/dadt/Pages/default.aspx .