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  • Report: Commissary cost-cutting plan lacks details, fails to ensure customer benefit

    Type of content: News

    The Defense Department’s plan for saving money on commissary operations is thin on details, and decision-makers will need these details to evaluate whether the savings come at the expense of customer benefits, according to a new report from government auditors. 

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    Benefits
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    Family
  • Pentagon seeks to waive troops' debt in California Guard bonus scandal

    Type of content: News

    Top-level Pentagon officials are exploring ways to potentially waive the debts imposed upon more than 10,000 military reservists after the California National Guard sought to force the veterans to repay generous recruitment bonuses that were fraudulently awarded a decade ago. 

    “This has the attention of our leadership, and we are looking at this to see what we can do to assist,” Navy Capt. Jeff Davis, a Pentagon spokesman, said Monday. “We take doing right by our service members very seriously, and the senior leadership of this department is looking very closely at this matter.” 

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  • To Retain More Parents, The Military Offers A Better Work-Life Balance

    Type of content: News

    The military is famous for working long hours, not only on overseas deployments to hot spots like Iraq or Afghanistan but back home, too. It's almost a badge of honor.

    So balancing work and family life can be especially difficult for those in uniform. Take Air Force Maj. Johanna Ream.

    She's working a high-powered, top-secret job. Her husband's an Air Force cargo plane pilot who flies all over the world. And they were the parents of an infant named Jack when this happened:

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    Family
  • Military-connected charities are popular during CFC but still see decline in contributions

    Type of content: News

    Military- and veteran-related charities get strong support from federal employees during the Combined Federal Campaign, but there has been an overall decline in donations since the CFC high point in 2011. 

    “There is no reason to believe the 2016 campaign will enjoy increases,” said Mike May of Maguire/Maguire Inc., a firm that provides support services for independent federations. Two of these federations are umbrella groups for a variety of military- and veteran-related charities, which makes it easier for donors to find charities serving those communities. 

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  • DoD intervenes in Army's plans to cut MWR

    Type of content: News

    The Army has at least temporarily pulled back on reductions in funding that would have required many installations to cut morale, welfare and recreation programs.   

    The decision was made following concerns raised by Todd Weiler, assistant secretary of defense for manpower and reserve affairs, according to an Army source.  

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  • New bank lending rules to protect troops will be enforced starting Oct. 3

    Type of content: News

    Troops and their families will have stronger protections against predatory lenders starting Oct. 3 — and some in the banking industry have expressed concern that stricter rules will cause some loan options to disappear. 

    The 36 percent interest rate cap now applies to all types of consumer credit, such as overdraft lines of credit, deposit advance loans and installment loans, to name a few examples. Lenders have to follow stricter rules for active-duty members and their dependents than they do for civilian borrowers. 

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    Financial Assistance
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  • Expert: Greatest challenge in PTSD recovery is completing therapy

    Type of content: News

    TRIPLER ARMY MEDICAL CENTER, Hawaii — Standing in front of an auditorium full of healthcare professionals, Dr. Charles Hoge described a handful of emerging strategies for treating post-traumatic stress disorder.

    But at the end of his presentation, part of an annual health summit Thursday and Friday, Hoge declared that research is needed on to get patients to stick with their therapy.

    “I think treatment dropouts are still the most critical problem,” said Hoge, a leading expert on PTSD and a senior scientist at Walter Reed Army Institute of Research in Maryland.

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    DoD
    Mental Health
  • Senators: More protection needed for troops who misbehave after trauma

    Type of content: News

    Eight senators have urged Defense Secretary Ash Carter to follow the Navy's lead in ensuring that service members aren't wrongfully discharged for misconduct stemming from a trauma-related mental health condition. 

    The senators -- six Democrats and two Republicans -- wrote Carter on Thursday asking he consider adopting a policy that would prevent the services from discharging personnel involuntarily under less than honorable conditions without weighing whether their discipline problems were related to a physical or mental trauma like sexual assault or brain injury.

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    Benefits
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    Legislation
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    Transition
  • Official warns of service changes after Army MWR cuts

    Type of content: News

    KAISERSLAUTERN, Germany — Programs that support fitness, community centers, libraries and other family and recreational programs at U.S. Army installations are bracing for significant funding cuts in fiscal 2017 that will affect the level of service they can provide.

    Lt. Gen. Kenneth Dahl, the commander of U.S. Army Installation Management Command, said the Army is reducing its financial support to Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation programs so the service can “remain combat ready.”

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    Family
    Recreation
  • Here are the new rules for transgender troops

    Type of content: News

    Transgender people can serve openly in the U.S. military, effective immediately.

    In an historic and controversial move, the Pentagon on Thursday lifted its longstanding ban on transgender troops and began outlining how the military will begin allowing — and paying for — service members to transition, medically and officially, from one gender to another.

    Now transgender troops will no longer be considered “medically unfit” for military service. By October, transgender troops may begin an official process to change gender in the military personnel management systems.

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