AFAS grant program lessens education cost concerns

By 27th Special Operations Wing Public Affairs Concerned about the soaring cost of higher education for your children? Perhaps the Air Force Aid Society can help. Under its General Henry H. Arnold Education Grant Program, the Society awards $2,000 each to selected applicants. The program continues to be offered to dependent sons and daughters of […]

Airmen sought to become IMA Reservists

Courtesy of Citizen Airman magazine WASHINGTON — Air Force Reserve Individual Mobilization Augmentee program officials are currently looking for airmen from all career fields to fill worldwide taskings, according to a Reserve management group official. “Airmen who are leaving the active-duty force are encouraged to consider opportunities along the continuum of service as an IMA […]

Troops, families have new advocate

By Tom Philpott: Military update James Webb (D-Va.), a take-charge senator who in just his second year conceived and negotiated passage of the Post-9/11 GI Bill, made clear Wednesday he will continue to influence issues that impact on the lives of service members, retirees, reservists and their families. Webb has more leverage now as new […]

TRICARE for ‘gray area’ reservists to be offered

Courtesy of Air Force Retiree News Service from a TRICARE release FALLS CHURCH, Va. —A new program will offer “gray area” reservists the opportunity to purchase TRICARE health care coverage. While qualified members of the Selected Reserve may purchase premium-based coverage under TRICARE Reserve Select, or TRS, retired National Guard and Reserve personnel did not […]

Guardsmen and reservists demonstrate skills

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Freedom New Mexico: Mickey Winfield Carlsbad city employee Art Sena takes a seat in a UH-60 Blackhawk helicopter after one of the rescue training missions Saturday morning at the Melrose Bombing Range. By Mickey Winfield: Freedom New Mexico With war raging abroad and the occasional state-wide emergency calling New Mexico national guardsmen and reservists into […]

Ready reserve activation could break military

By Freedom Newspapers The decision to start calling up Marine Corps reservists who have already served their active-duty obligation but are still subject to being called back is a strong indicator that the war in Iraq is not going well — and that our leaders believe U.S. troops will be required in significant numbers for […]

Raises, benefits top committee agenda

By Tom Philpott: Military Update Billions of dollars in pay and benefits are at stake for active duty members, reservists, disabled retirees and surviving spouses as a House-Senate conference committee begins to negotiate differences in separate versions of the 2007 defense authorization bill. When the process ends, perhaps by late September, military personnel will know […]

Defense bill aims to strengthen recruiting

By Tom Philpott: Military Update Congress has passed a 2006 defense authorization bill that focuses its personnel initiatives on new and improved tools to strengthen recruiting and retention and to help reshape the current force. The final bill leaves behind a host of Senate-passed initiatives to enhance entitlements for military survivors, reservists and disabled retirees. […]

Committee votes to open ‘tricare select’

By Tom Philpott: Military Update The House Armed Services Committee has voted 32-30 to open the new TRICARE Reserve Select (TRS) program to any drilling reservist or National Guard member willing to pay the premiums, now set at $75 a month for member-only coverage or $233 for family coverage. An unprecedented fulltime health plan for […]

Health insurance will cost reservists

Tom Philpott: CNJ columnist Thirty years ago, Congress decided the nation could no longer afford to offer military volunteers a robust draft-era GI Bill, so it concocted VEAP, the most unpopular veterans’ education benefit of the last century. Last year Congress decided the nation couldn’t afford to open active duty TRICARE benefits to all drilling […]

Retirees will benefit from new laws

By Tom Philpott When legislative language misfires, Congress can intend to do one and instead does another. That seems to have occurred twice last October with passage of the 2005 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). It likely reshaped benefits, in unintended ways, for two groups of disabled retirees. One provision, which executive-branch lawyers continue to […]

Lower reserve retirement age not likely

By Tom Philpott: Military Update Advocates for lowering the age-60 threshold for when reserve retirement benefits begin will find little to cheer in a new report from the Government Accountability Office. With numerous bills before Congress to drop the reserve retirement age to 55 or younger, lawmakers in 2002 directed GAO to review reserve retirement, […]

Pay period at hand in committee meeting

By Tom Philpott: Military Update Uniformed leaders of America’s Reserve and Guard components have urged Congress to eliminate a host of “inequities” that mobilized troops face while serving alongside active-duty forces in the war on terror. Compared to active duty brethren, deployed Reserve and Guard members see smaller and fewer re-enlistment bonuses, are ineligible for […]

Take advantage of new health benefits

By Tom Phillpott: Military Update activated reservists, have left thousands of reserve families unable to take full advantage yet of some new pre- and post-mobilization healthcare benefits. The unusual circumstances have TRICARE officials advising reservists to save medical receipts, explanations of benefits and other documents that could be useful weeks or months from now in […]

TRICARE may become available to reservists

Tom Philpott o Critics say move too costly, won’t solve problems. Dr. William Winkenwerder, the Defense Department’s top health official, has a task force working to implement healthcare gains for reserve and National Guard forces that Congress approved this month. That includes opening TRICARE, on a cost-share basis, to non-mobilized reservists who are unemployed or […]

Congress making extra effort

Tom Philpott The more difficult U.S. operations become in Iraq, the more conscientious Congress becomes in addressing weaknesses and inequities in military pay and benefits programs — or so it seems. Three days after insurgents downed an Army helicopter, killing 15 U.S. soldiers and injuring 21, Congress passed tax relief legislation for military families. Two […]

Chief backs unlimited shopping by reservists

By Tom Philpott The director of the Defense Commissary Agency (DeCA) says he supports a House-passed initiative to give drilling reservists and National Guard personnel unlimited shopping privileges in military grocery stores. “They are delivering war-fighting capability just as well and as often as active-duty counterparts and should be compensated as first-team members, including from […]