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  • Congress drops plans to make women register for the draft

    Type of content: News

    Lawmakers have officially dropped plans to make women register for the draft, instead opting for a review of the ongoing need for the Selective Service System. 

    The controversial provision had been part of early drafts of the annual defense authorization bill, and narrowly passed a House Armed Services Committee vote last spring. A Senate panel followed suit a few months later. 

    But conservatives in both chambers objected to the provision and stripped it out of the final legislative draft unveiled Tuesday. 

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    DoD
    Legislation
  • Military members missing out on student loan interest caps, audit finds

    Type of content: News

    American service members are facing unnecessary challenges in taking advantage of interest-rate limits on student loans because they are too often given incorrect information, a federal audit has found.

    The U.S. Government Accountability Office report said the Department of Defense does not always provide active-duty members accurate information about the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act.

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    Benefits
    Education
    Legislation
  • Pentagon Pushes 'Interstate Compacts' for Job Licensing

    Type of content: News

    The Defense Department is pushing state governments to adopt "interstate compacts" to make it easier for spouses to obtain professional licenses, such as those required for physical therapy.

    In the past, military spouses in careers that require a professional license, such as teaching or nursing, needed to meet benchmarks for their state-specific license before going back to work after moving to a new state. But the process can be lengthy and expensive, forcing spouses to put their careers on hold.

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    Employment
    Family
    Legislation
  • 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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    DoD
    Family
    Legislation
  • VA chief sees Congress letting politics slow vet reforms

    Type of content: News

    “I was confirmed 97-to-0,” says Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary Bob McDonald, recalling the Senate vote in July 2014 on his nomination to lead 360,000 VA employees and an aging infrastructure in delivering health care, disability and education benefits, and a host of other services, to millions of veterans.

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    Legislation
    VA
  • Obama signs bill that helps veterans pay for in vitro fertilization

    Type of content: News

    Veterans who suffered injuries that resulted in fertility problems will soon be eligible for federal assistance for in vitro fertilization.

    President Barack Obama on Thursday signed a bill that authorizes the Department of Veterans Affairs to help pay the costs for the next two years. The provision was included in the two-year budget for Veterans Affairs and military construction and was authored by U.S. Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash.

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    Benefits
    Family
    Legislation
  • 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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    DoD
    Financial Assistance
    Legislation
  • UCLA applauds passage of agreement over providing new services for veterans

    Type of content: News

    With strong bipartisan votes of support, the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate have approved an agreement between UCLA and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs that creates a stronger academic affiliation between the university and the VA to benefit veterans.

    UCLA applauded the passage of the West Los Angeles Leasing Act of 2016, which authorizes the VA to implement the Master Plan for the West L.A. VA campus. These votes recognize the agreement UCLA Chancellor Gene Block and Secretary of Veterans Affairs Robert McDonald announced in January.

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    Collaboration
    Legislation
    VA
  • 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
    DoD
    Legislation
    Mental Health
    Transition
  • California Revokes GI Bill Approval for ITT Tech

    Type of content: News

    California revoked GI Bill approval for all 15 campuses of ITT Technical Institute on Thursday, a decision that will affect more than 1,300 California veterans and beneficiaries at the troubled for-profit school.

    The California State Approving Agency for Veteran Education, which grants authority to state-based universities to enroll students in the GI Bill, said the move was to "protect the hard-earned GI Bill education benefits for California veterans," according to a statement.

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    Benefits
    Education
    Legislation
    VA

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