Capital Area Coast Guard Retiree Council Newsletter
July 2013
Thought Of The Day
“ It is difficult to live in the present, ridiculous to live in the future, and impossible to live in the past. ”
Release Number: 13-02
Date: 12 July 2013
Well, summer’s begun and wishing you a good 2nd half of the year. Many things happening in
our Coast Guard and some breakthrough activities concerning Retirees nationally and
particularly Retirees within the Capital Area. Lots to report.
Commandant Signs Instruction Establishing New CG Retiree Services
Extract from RADM (Ret) Ron Silva email
“It is with the greatest pleasure that Vince and I forward to you the signed and approved COMDTINST 1800.5G
which establishes and defines the new Coast Guard Retiree Services Program (CG RSP). We appreciate your
efforts and inputs over the past over two+ years that contributed to achieving this milestone. We also very much
appreciate the efforts of VADM Manson Brown, RADM Dan Neptun, RADM Steve Day, CAPT Steve Nye, CDR
Jim Garzon and all the others that worked on this project at CG HQ.
In spite of the most difficult of times regarding budgets and resources, this approved COMDTINST reflects the
Commandant, ADM Papp’s, priority and belief that “Our retirees are forever part of our Coast Guard family, the
long blue line”.
This COMDTINST establishes the start of the CG RSP with the mechanism to improve in the future. Efforts of the
CG-13 staff will now focus on the implementation of this new COMDTINST and the new CG RSP. Please review
this COMDTINST carefully and when we meet for our CCGNRC 2013 meeting we’ll have plenty of opportunity to
discuss and provide input towards implementation”
Co-chair Capital Area CG Retiree Council Comment – this is a major achievement which significantly enhances &
formalizes the Retiree support structure within the CG. It is the result of 3 years work by RADM Silva, MCPOCG
Vince Patton and the National CG Retiree Council. I’ve attached the instruction to the email which attaches this
U.S. Coast Guard 2012: Year in Review
Written by: Craig Collins on March 25, 2013
Categories: Coast Guard, Homeland Security
Tags: Disaster Response, drug interdiction, US Coast Guard, U...+
Comments: No Comments
The Coast Guard Cutter Bertholf receives supplies during an airdrop from an Air Station Kodiak HC-130 Hercules airplane in
the Arctic Ocean, Sept. 14, 2012. By working together, the Bertholf was able to stay under way conducting operations
without having to come back to port. Bertholf was on patrol as part of Operation Arctic Shield 2012. U.S. Coast Guard photo
by Petty Officer 1st Class Timothy Tamargo
The U.S. Coast Guard, with nearly 42,000 men and women on active duty, is a unique force that carries out
an array of activities affecting almost every facet of the U.S. maritime environment. The Coast Guard is a
regulatory agency, a law enforcement organization, and a military force – the fifth branch of the U.S. armed
forces. In peacetime, the service is housed within theDepartment of Homeland Security, but upon
declaration of war or when the president directs, it operates under the authority of the Department of the
The Coast Guard Cutter Alex Haley gets underway on winter Bering Sea patrol in Kodiak, Alaska, Monday, Dec. 10, 2012. The
Alex Haley was taking the place of the Coast Guard Cutter Sherman as the law enforcement and search and rescue presence
in the Bering Sea. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Jonathan Klingenberg
With 11 different statutory missions, executed by more than 1,200 units around the world, life in the Coast
Guard is never dull – but 2012 seemed an especially interesting year in the challenges and opportunities it
presented to the service. In the 10th year of Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan, the commitments
of Coast Guard deployable special operations forces to the U.S. military continued to evolve, while back at
home in the Western Hemisphere the service was confronted with a daunting series of events, including the
second-costliest hurricane in U.S. history, a new tactic for drug smugglers in the Caribbean Sea and Gulf of
Mexico, the worst Midwestern drought in 56 years, and the continuing emergence of a new maritime frontier
in the warming Alaskan Arctic.
The following highlight reel of the year’s events, while just a small sample of the Coast Guard’s varied
workload, illustrates how its service members – among the most agile and versatile people working for the
federal government – live up to what has been their motto for nearly two centuries: Semper Paratus, or
“Always Ready.”
More at
Action to Address Delayed Opportunities for Enlisted
From: Papp, Robert ADM
I am proud to lead the men and women of the world's best Coast Guard. In order to be the best, we rely upon
a mix of proficient, dedicated and enthusiastic officers, enlisted personnel, civilian employees and Auxiliarists.
We earn jobs and careers in the Coast Guard based on demonstrated performance, conduct, continuous study
and education, and competition for promotion and advancement. The Service must always be mindful of
providing reasonable opportunities for promotion or advancement. We are currently at risk of failing to
provide those opportunities.
High retention rates are impacting the entire service, including the officer corps. However, for the past two
years we have taken tough but necessary measures to manage the officer corps, primarily by significantly
reducing opportunities for selection at promotion boards. So far we have employed only limited measures to
manage the size of the enlisted workforce, and the blockage on schools and advancement is getting worse. We
must act now to address this problem, improve proficiency and meet the Coast Guard's future needs.
Two critical workforce dynamics are combining to result in a slowdown in advancement opportunities for junior
and mid-grade petty officers across ratings, and non-rated personnel are facing extremely long waiting periods
(3 or more years for some) to attend "A" School. Fewer enlisted personnel are retiring or leaving the Coast
Guard, and our retention rate is now above 94 percent. Also, there has been a reduction in the number of
Coast Guard billets over the past fiscal year due to budget constraints. This situation breaks trust with our
personnel who joined the Coast Guard with the desire and motivation to grow professionally and personally in
an enlisted rating and advance based on demonstrated knowledge and performance. Our personnel system
must provide the training necessary to build proficiency and the opportunities for advancement within a
reasonable timeframe.
I have directed implementation of specific measures to better manage the enlisted workforce and maintain
trust with our personnel. These are difficult choices that will ultimately impact the career plans and choices
of a small segment of mid to senior rank enlisted personnel who have honorably served. It is important that all
Coast Guardsmen understand why and how we will do this.
I have directed the reactivation of the High Year Tenure (HYT) process as outlined in Chapter 1.F of the
Military Separations Manual, COMDTINST M1000.4. The HYT process identifies those personnel who have not
reached specific milestones for advancement to the next pay grade based on pay grade and time in service.
These milestones, called Professional Growth Points (PGP), set the maximum time in service for each pay
grade. If a member exceeds that limit, they are subject to separation from service or retirement, if eligible.
This will be a phased approach. This year, initial PGPs will apply across all ratings to only those personnel who
are retirement eligible (with at least 20 years of service). Those retirement eligible personnel who are at or
beyond these initial PGPs by June 1, 2014 should request a retirement date on or before September 1, 2014, or
they will be separated. Starting next year, PGPs will become more stringent and beginning in 2015 will include
personnel who may not be retirement eligible. In future years, we will analyze the health of individual ratings
and may tailor PGPs to balance the needs of the Service and its members.
Personnel will have the ability to request a waiver to the PGP requirement to allow them to continue to serve.
Personnel Service Center (PSC) will develop specific waiver criteria and evaluate all requests for waivers based
on the member's overall record of performance, conduct and professional achievement, and the needs of the
Service to retain critical skills.
The process is described in detail in Chapter 1.F of the Military Separations Manual, COMDTINST M1000.4 at
http://www.uscg.mil/directives/cim/1000-1999/CIM_1000_4.pdf. The Assistant Commandant for Human
Resources (CG-1) will shortly release a general message to provide further guidance on PGPs and the HYT
process, with additional guidance from PSC to follow.
The Career Retention Screening Panel (CRSP) process remains in effect. If a member meets the 2013 CRSP
candidate criteria and will exceed the HYT PGP for the current pay grade on or before 1 June 2014, then the
HYT determination takes precedence.
I have also directed PSC to develop clearly understandable standards for unit COs/OICs and PSC to determine
suitability of personnel for re-enlistment or extension at the expiration of their regular term of enlistment.
CG-1 will provide further information on the criteria and process in the coming months.
Our military personnel system is based on the principle that members continuously improve their proficiency in
leadership and craft, and seek opportunities to apply their skills at higher levels of the Service by advancement
and continued upward career progression. Reimplementation of HYT, carefully managed by the Human
Resources Directorate, will help ensure upward mobility across all of our enlisted ratings.
I realize reactivation of HYT may be an unpopular decision among those Coast Guardsmen who will be directly
impacted. I have resisted reactivating HYT while Commandant. However, the situation has reached the point
where action is needed now. We must balance the desire of some to remain in the Service without advancing
at the expected pace against the obligation we have to those who are prepared and motivated to attend "A"
School and advance in rating, but are unable to do so. We must invest in our future.
We are confident this is the right thing to do for our Service and our enlisted Coast Guardsmen.
Semper Paratus. Stand a taut watch.
Admiral Bob Papp, Commandant
Master Chief Michael Leavitt, Master Chief Petty Officer of the Coast Guard
Papp talks Coast Guard High YearTenure, servicewide PT
The Coast Guard reactivated high-year tenure this year and is making final determinations on how many
retirement-eligible Coast Guardsmen will be forced to leave. On the bright side, it is expected to mean faster
advancements for younger Coasties.
Commandant Adm. Bob Papp, in an exclusive interview with Navy Times, talked about not only high-year
tenure, but also plans for a servicewide physical training program and the continued struggle to reduce sexual
Excerpts from the interview edited for space and
Q. What were your goals when you reactivated high-year tenure this year, and how long do you think it will be
necessary to have it?
A. We have a lot of young people now who have joined the Coast Guard over the last four or five years, and
because of our high retention at the top of the pyramid, it has been very difficult for them to advance.
I've never seen it before like this in the Coast Guard.
Where I will go to a unit, I'll talk to a seaman or a fireman and say: "Have you put in for 'A' school?"
and they say "Yes." "How long have you been on the list?" "Three years, four years." You can't expect a young
person to join and sit around for three or four years before they can become a petty officer. We like to see
them advance. So that was our primary purpose, to get the flow going again. We are being a little more
surgical with high-year tenure than last time; last time was in the late 1990s, and we went through a reduction
in force, and we had to reduce by about 4,000 people quickly, and it was used rather bluntly. It was more like
a meat cleaver.
This time we are being more surgical about it. First of all, we started looking at people who are already
retirement-eligible, and if they have been languishing around at the 20-year point, or 22- or 23-year point, and
they just haven't advanced or shown no inclination for advancing and they haven't reached those professional
growth points, then we are going to ask them to retire and that will open up some space to start advancements
for our younger people. And we'll get a chance to look at the results this year, twist the dials a little bit for the
next year, make adjustments. I have asked our personnel folks to look very carefully at rating-specific concerns
to make sure we are not losing some talent.
Q: You have people waiting three years for "A" school.
What has that done to morale?
A: They have been willing to wait. From a very practical point of view, the economy probably has something to
do with it. But from my idealistic, optimistic point of view, I think people may come in the gates because they
are looking for a job, but most of the people that I talk to are really psyched about what they are doing. They
love the business of the Coast Guard, so they are willing to stay around and wait. But they are getting a little
impatient in terms of the opportunities for advancement, so we are trying to free that up for them a little bit
Coast Guard Chief Petty Officers Association (Cpoa) 45th National Convention And Coast
Guard Enlisted Association (Cgea) 13th National Convention
The CPOA and CGEA will hold their annual national convention from
12-15 August 2013 at the Hilton Houston North, 12400 Greenspoint Drive, Houston, Texas.
For more information, contact CPO Kim Lorigan, CPOA national president at coastguardcpoa(at)gmail.com, or
CPO William Segelken, CPOA convention chairman at cpoaconvention(at)gmail.com. Convention information
will be posted on the CPOA website, www.uscgcpoa.org.
Coast Guard Academy takes new tack toward preventing sexual assaults
Dedicated full-time staffer, peer reporting, improved training among Coast Guard's new prevention approaches
By Jennifer McDermott
The Day
New London - In four years at the Coast Guard Academy, seven classmates have come to Tahnee Zaccano to
report that they had been sexually assaulted, and about 30 more complained of being sexually harassed.
As co-president of Cadets Against Sexual Assault, Zaccano, a first-class cadet, is trained to take confidential
reports from her peers and help them get treatment and counseling.
Zaccano's experience mirrors the findings in the academy's 2013 report to Congress on sexual harassment and
violence during the 2011-12 school year, and a Department of Defense student survey on gender relations.
The report and survey show little improvement over previous years - many of the figures increased slightly or
stayed the same. While few cadets had reported incidents to academy officials, nearly 10 percent of the
women surveyed said they had experienced unwanted sexual contact. Forty percent of women and 10 percent
of men said they had been sexually harassed.
The academy, like the rest of the military, has struggled to deal with these problems. Now, its leaders are
taking a new approach.
Rear Adm. Sandra L. Stosz, the academy's superintendent, hired a new full-time sexual assault response
coordinator who previously had worked with the Marine Corps to combat such crimes. Training on the topic is
being revamped so cadets will know better how to protect themselves and how to help others in dangerous
And the academy is depending on cadets like Zaccano to help their peers and to set an example in the fleet
once they graduate.
Stosz wants more to join the 30 members of Cadets Against Sexual Assault. The academy can change the
culture in the Coast Guard by graduating leaders who will not tolerate sexual assault and harassment, she said.
"We need to make that part of our mission," Stosz said.
"We're developing leaders of character, so why not develop leaders who will say no and not tolerate this
Across the Coast Guard, the number of reported sexual assaults increased from 70 in 2009 to 80 in 2010,
88 in 2011 and 156 in 2012.
Before the Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on Wednesday on sexual assaults in the military, the
Coast Guard's judge advocate general testified about efforts to reverse the trend. A new prevention council,
with senior admirals and experts as members, is implementing the recommendations of a task force that
recently studied the problems for more than a year.
One of the main findings was that the Coast Guard needs more victim advocates to cover its widely dispersed
The Defense Department may change the military's criminal code as part of its review of the way sexual
assaults are investigated, prosecuted and adjudicated.
Adm. Robert J. Papp Jr., the Coast Guard commandant, said he rejects the assertion of some experts that
sexual assault is an unavoidable element of military culture.
"Not in my Coast Guard," he said in his recent State of the Coast Guard Address.
[email protected]
URL: http://www.theday.com/article/20130317/NWS09/303179934/1017
1. On April 10, the President delivered his Fiscal Year (FY) 2014 Budget to Congress, which includes funding
requests for all Federal agencies. For the Coast Guard, the FY 2014 budget requests resources to address our
greatest maritime safety, security and stewardship needs. It makes necessary investments in new cutters and
boats, and sustainment of aircraft, systems, and infrastructure necessary to ensure the Coast Guard can
continue to serve the Nation well into the future.
2. In support of these priorities, the Presidents budget requests 7.9 billion in discretionary funding for the
Coast Guard, including 6.7 billion for operating expenses and 909 million to continue recapitalizing our aging
assets. This funding will enable the Coast Guard to sustain our most critical front-line operations and advance
our highest priority recapitalization projects. Completing the FY 2014 budget request demanded difficult
decisions by the Coast Guard, Secretary and the President that weighed competing priorities in a very
constrained fiscal environment.
3. As your Commandant, I will proudly testify before Congress today and in the coming weeks to highlight the
Coast Guards accomplishments and great value to our Nation, and address what the FY 2014 budget means to
our Coast Guard. I urge you to view the 2013 Coast Guard Posture Statement and FY 2014 Budget-in-Brief
4. I am proud of what the Coast Guard accomplished this past year, and the American public is grateful for your
Service. We will sustain mission excellence as we move toward FY 2014 and look to the horizon.
5. Thank you for your continued dedication and service in our Coas tGuard.
6. Semper Paratus.
7. ADM Bob Papp, Commandant, Sends
Coast Guard's finest enter Hall of Heroes
New London - When members of the Coast Guard Academy Class of 1976 learned that retired Capt. Paul
Langlois was going to be inducted into the Hall of Heroes, a "Swabo," an immediate call to action, was
initiated. Lt. Michael Shevock sent the "Swabo" via email to get members of the class to attend the ceremony
that honors the accomplishments and heroics of academy graduates. About 70 members of the Class of 1976 on
Friday gathered at the Officers' Club for an afternoon of activities, including a regimental review by the corps
of cadets.
"Don't you know, he's 'Paul the hero,'" Shevock said. "He participated in a daring helicopter rescue, plus he's an
all-round great guy." Langlois was overwhelmed with the show of support. He expected only about five or six
classmates to attend. "It's such an honor," he said. "I'm proud to be here. The Coast Guard has taught me so
many life lessons."
Langlois received the Distinguished Flying Cross for his daring rescue on the night of Feb. 12, 1997, while
serving as aircraft commander of a Coast Guard HH-65A helicopter. Commander William F. McMeekin, Class of
1982, also was inducted. He received the Distinguished Flying Cross for rescuing dozens of people during
Hurricane Katrina. McMeekin flew through treacherous weather conditions to hoist people from flood zones,
high-rise buildings and roof tops.
"It was a surreal experience," McMeekin said. "Katrina enlightened people to the work that we do." Langlois was
sent to rescue two people from the sailing vessel Gale Runner that was taking on water in a gale south of the
Quillayute River, off the Washington Coast. He flew the helicopter more than 85 miles on instruments alone,
aided only by radar and his co-pilot's night vision goggles. While en route to the distressed vessel, Langlois was
diverted to search for a Coast Guard motor lifeboat, which also had been dispatched to assist Gale Runner.
Communication with the motor boat had ceased and it was feared that the vessel also was in distress.
After a search for the motor boat, Langlois was again diverted to rescue those aboard Gale Runner, which was
in immediate danger of going on the rocks.
Contending with 40- to 50-knot winds, 30-foot seas and the rocks, Langlois twice positioned the helicopter over
the heaving and rolling sailboat to hoist the victims safely. The three people aboard the Coast Guard motor
lifeboat, however, perished. "The Coast Guard's motto is Semper Paratus, Always Ready, and that is what you
have to be," Langlois said. "You train and train, but I don't think anything can really prepare you for what we
faced that night. The emotions were very high and low at the same time. We saved lives, but lost three of our
Two years ago, Langlois underwent a heart transplant after being diagnosed with amyloidosis, a rare blood
disease that destroyed his heart. A national championship winning bicyclist, Langlois said he knew something
was wrong when he suddenly became fatigued while doing the slightest things.
There is no known cure for the illness. "I will fight and continue to fight," he said. "I will never give up. That's
what the Coast Guard taught me."
The Hall of Fame inductees' plaques will be on display at the academy in the Hall of Heroes in the main lobby
of Chase Hall on the Wall of Gallantry.
Hall of Heroes Inductees, 2013
Capt. Paul Langlois, Class of 1976
Commander William F. McMeekin, Class of 1982 .
Rear Adm. Stephen H. Evans, Class of 1927 .
Capt. William A. Earle, Class of 1940 .
Capt. Francis X. Riley, Class of 1943 .
Capt. Robert E. Emerson, Class of 1943 .
Cmdr. John S. Davis, Class of 1961 .
Capt. Kenneth W. Thompson, Class of 1964 .
Cmdr. Richard W. Walton, Class of 1965 .
Capt. Gerald L. Underwood, Class of 1966
Copyright © 1998 - 2013 The Day Publishing Company
URL: http://www.theday.com/article/20130426/NWS09/130429618/1017
The New York City Coast Guard Works Harder Every Night Than You Do All Week [PHOTOS]
The "Deadliest Catch" fishermen have got nothing on New York City's Coast Guard unit, Sector New York. We
embedded with the unit on a routine nighttime stop and search mission to intercept two ships coming into New
York harbor. The conditions were tough, and they conduct these missions year-round through any kind of
weather and in the heat of day or dead of night.
They do it 12 miles out in the Atlantic ocean where American waters begin, the wind charges in from the north,
and if things go wrong, there's no one to call for help until it's too late.
The boarding team we're with is made up of six Coast Guardsmen ranging from their early 20s to mid-30s. The
three-man crew in the 47-foot Motor Life Boat (MLB) is no older. Regardless of age or responsibility, none of
them complain and they all work equally hard in the harsh conditions. This was a difficult assignment for us
and we were only taking photographs. Click on the link below to follow these Coast Guardsmen through the
night and into morning as they search two ships — the Isola Corallo and the CMG Amber — off the coast of New
Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/photos-coast-guard-stop-and-search-mission-2013-
Arlington's Coast Guard memorial gets facelift
The Navy Times
Monday, March 18, 2013
By Antonieta Rico
Staff writer
Restoration of the Coast Guard World War Memorial at Arlington National Cemetery will be completed earlier
than expected, thanks in part to donors who exceeded the project's fundraising goals by more than $40,000.
Originally slated to wrap up in April, improvements to the pyramid-shaped memorial, on the cemetery's Coast
Guard Hill, will be completed this month, said Michael Bivens, operations manager for the Marble Doctor, the
company fixing the monument.
The Washington, D.C., chapter of the U.S. Coast Guard Chief Petty Officers Association raised the money for
the restoration on the almost 85-year- old memorial. The marble monument, set on a foundation of granite,
needed a total restoration, said Carol Frysiek, manager of business development with the Marble Doctor.
Frysiek said work done on the memorial included fixing discoloration, filling in holes and cracks on the marble
and polishing. The project cost about $98,000 but the group raised $140,000, said Senior Chief Boatswain's
Mate Jon Ostrowski, chapter president.
The rest of the money will be put into a trust fund at the Coast Guard Foundation to pay for future contracts to
maintain the 12-foot monument, he said.
Recommended maintenance for the memorial includes cleaning and resealing the pyramid and base, repair of
loose grout, and resealing the seagull in the monument, according to Marble Doctor staff. Once the money runs
out, Ostrowski anticipates the association will conduct more fundraising to pay for further maintenance.
The memorial was dedicated May 23, 1928, to commemorate Coast Guardsmen who lost their lives in World
War I, said Chris Havern, a historian at the Coast Guard Historian's Office in Washington, D.C. Although the
monument was originally intended to honor those World War I vets, Ostrowski said it has come to represent all
Coast Guardsmen.
"It is the main historic symbol for us in the cemetery,"
he said.
The commandant and the master chief petty officer of the Coast Guard attended the rededication. Donors to
the restoration effort were honored during a reception at the Women in Military Service for America Memorial
auditorium at Arlington.
© 2013, Gannett Government Media Corporation
The website where everyone can view the rededication photos is at http://cpoa.shutterfly.com.
The Washington DC Chapter of the Chief Petty Officers Association sponsored the USCG World War
Memorial unveiling at "Coast Guard Hill" in Arlington National Cemetery on 23 May 2013. The ceremony was
followed by a donor awards reception at the Women in Military Service to America (WIMSA) memorial. Joe
Battaglia (representative received the award for him) and J.D. Powers (of J.D. Powers and Associates) were
two major donors who received crystal awards containing replicas of the monument.
Please note there is no "I" after World War in the name of the memorial because at that time it was thought
there would never be another world war. Thanks for including this information in the newsletter.
Coast Guard Aviation Association Annual Convention Upcoming
The 37th annual gathering of the CG Aviation Association (Ancient Order of the Pterodactyl) will be at the
Fairview Park Marriott Hotel in Falls Church, VA from 26-29 September. There will be highly relevant
professional discourse sessions, excursions and other roost events to make this the best roost ever. We hope
that you’ll be able to attend.
We’ll be honoring two unique aviation commands and missions — CDR Frances M. Messalle, CO, and the crew of
Air Station Washington who provide long range command and control transportation for the Commandant and
Secretary of DHS and CAPT Nicholas A. Bartolotta, CO, and the crew of Air Station Atlantic City who provide
the 24/7 National Capital Region Air Defense (NCRAD) aerial umbrella in the Washington, D.C. area.
The beautiful Fairview Park Marriott is located at 3111 Fairview Park Drive ( just off I-495 and US 50 east) in
Falls Church, Virginia 22042. The Hospitality Suite will be up and running at 1300 on Thursday. Our group is
booked under "Pterodactyl Roost" for $99/night plus tax. That rate is available from 24 thru 30 September.
Parking is free. Reservations can be made by calling the hotel at 1-800-228-9290 or on line at
http://www.marriott.com/hotels/travel/wasfp-fairview-park-marriott/ , the Group Code to type in
the "Group Code" box is AOPAOPA. The website has all you care to know about the hotel and its amenities.
Further info regarding excursions, activities, and registration will be available on the Ptero website
www.aoptero.org after 15 July.
Follow Brian
Help build the Coast Guard Enlisted Memorial
Hello All,
I am SCPO Brian Diner and am the Vice President of the Coast Guard Enlisted Memorial Foundation. The
Foundation is gathering donations to build a memorial in recognition of the over 1500 Coast Guardsmen who
have lost their lives in the performance of duty. The memorial is planned for construction on the grounds of
Training Center Cape May, NJ. We need to raise $450,000 to make this happen and need your help. There are
various ways to help. From helping spread the word to sponsoring actual sections of the memorial. Any help is
greatly appreciate. Lets do the right thing and get our people recognized for the ultimate sacrifice.
Check out our website or Facebook Page.
Honoring the enlisted heroes of the U.S. Coast Guard cgemf.org
Honoring the enlisted heroes of the U.S. Coast Guard As of March 2013 there are over 1,500 names to be
engraved. Honoring the enlisted heroes of the U.S. Coast Guard Planned for the grounds of Training Center
Cape May,
USCGC Unimak Reunion WHEC 379
We were able to solicit some suggestions from our shipmates and we decided to hold the reunion in Baltimore
MD in the spring of 2014 (official date and location to be determined). We selected Baltimore for some of the
following reasons:
1. Ease of travel. The Baltimore area has major airports with flights from almost every major city in the
country. It is also easily accessible by Amtrak and by highway.
2. Historical significance. The Unimak underwent all her major yard availabilities in the CG yards at Curtis Bay,
3. CG Support. There are several CG units in the Baltimore area that can provide us support for our reunion.
The inner harbor of Baltimore is the home port of the USCGC Taney.
4. Local attractions. The inner harbor of Baltimore is a great place to visit. Also spring means baseball. You
may consider catching a Baltimore O’s game.
As always, we would appreciate any and all help from anyone that is local to the Baltimore are that can assist
us with the logistics, as well and any info on where we might consider holding the reunion. We would need a
hotel that can accommodate 100 shipmates with rooms, and banquet facilities. Any help would be greatly
As usual, we will need to know how many are interested in attending. We are looking at spring of 2014 to allow
you all plenty of time to plan and prepare. The exact dates will depend of course on the availability of the host
location. Believe it or not, these hotels book up over a year in advance with weddings and other events.
Here’s hoping that 2013 is a great year for all of you and we look forward to hearing from you!
Email: [email protected]
USCGC Unimak WHEC 379 unimak379.org
US Coast Guard Network The Drone Boat is here...
It is believed to be the first stealth drone capable of operating in the water. This 35 foot long boat is designed
to invisibly glide across the ocean acting as a spy and spotting pirates.
The 'stealth drone' boat set to hunt for pirates and go undercover around the world dailymail.co.uk
This 35 foot long boat is designed to invisibly glide across the ocean acting as a spy and spotting pirates.
Coast Guard Caregiver’s Guide – Posted on Capital Area CG Retiree council Website
The Capital Area Coast Guard Retiree Council (CACGRC) voted today during their quarterly meeting to post the
Caregivers Guide developed as a CACGRC project by 2 members, on the CACGRC website, with the other CGRCs
websites linked to it, as a DRAFT and solicit comments. This will allow retirees access to the DRAFT, as there
is currently a need for this document and allow the opportunity for improvements to it, while CG-13
determines how to adopt this document as a sister document to the CG Survivor's Guide, presently owned by
This initiative was first presented to the CCGNRC during the 2011 Annual Meeting and further refined during
the 2012 CCGNRC annual meeting. After identifying a void in the support of the Coast Guard Retiree
Community, after considerable research, the CCGNRC drafted a Coast Guard Caregivers' Guide to fill that void.
The Commandant’s Coast Guard National Retiree Council (CCGNRC) anticipates that the Coast Guard
Caregivers' Guide will serve the needs of Coast Guard Retirees whose caretakers are unfamiliar with military
benefits and entitlements. This is an important and growing need as the people in the US (including our Coast
Guard Retirees) are living longer and requiring more elder care. It is hard enough for the Coast Guard Retiree
to know where to get information on their military benefits and entitlements after separating from the Coast
Guard and extremely difficult for a non-military caregiver to understand these military benefits and
entitlements. The Coast Guard Caregivers' Guide provides an important tool to assist elderly Coast Guard
Retirees or Annuitants and their caregivers.
The CCGNRC recommended that the Coast Guard Retiree Services Program Manager assume ownership of the
Coast Guard Caregivers' Guide, after the CCGNRC submitted it to CG-1 by 1 July 2012, and keep the Coast
Guard Caregivers' Guide up-to-date. It recommended that the Program Manager partner with the CCGNRC
whenever a review or changes are required and the CCGNRC will assist in identifying to the Program Manager
additions or changes needed in the Coast Guard Caregivers' Guide. Additionally, the CCGNRC recommends that
the Coast Guard Pay and Personnel Center (PPC) assume responsibility for posting this Coast Guard Caregivers'
Guide on their web site.
This initiative to post the Caregivers Guide as a DRAFT is NOT meant to be a substitute for CG-13 response and
final action on this issue but only to get this fine work out to the retiree community that needs it. Thanks.
Please note that a Working Draft of the CG Retirees Caregiver’s Guide has been posted on the Capital Area
CG Retiree Council (CACGRC) website. This working draft was prepared by CDR (ret) Bruce Russell and
CAPT (ret) Bud Schneeweis of the CACGRC. This initiative was endorsed by the CCGNRC at the 2012
Annual Meeting in its Report to the Commandant.
During a recent CACGRC meeting, the CACGRC decided to post this working draft for use by the CG Retiree
Community until officially promulgated by the CG. To access this working draft of the CG Retirees
Caregivers Guide please go to CACGRC home page -http://www.uscg.mil/ccs/carc/ And it is a link in the left navigation bar.
Governors Island Bldg - once home to members of the Coast Guard and their families demolished .. ( intentionally )
Coast Guard Building Demolished! military.com
Do you remember seeing this Building from your Governors Island training days ??
The 11-story building, now stripped of its facade, was once home to members of the Coast Guard and their
families, but had been vacant since 1996. Now, to accommodate a city plan to turn the island into a park, and
the site into two softball...
New Coast Guard headquarters ready for August move-in
The new Coast Guard headquarters in Washington, D.C.includes 11 levels, green rooftops and a nearby gym.
The Coast Guard will begin moving 3,700 personnel into its new Washington, D.C., headquarters Aug. 1.The
new digs include vegetation-laden "green" rooftops, six landscaped courtyards and "open office" designed
cubicle space with a lot of windows, said Jeffery Orner, chief readiness support officer with the Department of
Homeland Security.DHS staff provided Navy Times a guided tour of the facility May 15."It is a building designed
for the Coast Guard, so it's ideally suited for the functions of the Coast Guard,"
Orner said.
This will mark the first time the Coast Guard has owned its headquarters. It currently is leasing space in
southwest Washington.The service's new facility survived cutbacks that have stalled the consolidation of other
DHS facilities at the same location, the St. Elizabeths west campus. The site has a long history of government
use. In 1855, it was the home of the Government Hospital for the Insane, later renamed St. Elizabeths Hospital.
While there are plans to renovate existing buildings for DHS, the Coast Guard is in a new building. It is about
1.2 million square feet and has 11 levels, including a mechanical level, that cascade down a hillside in view of
the Potomac River.
An official ribbon-cutting ceremony is scheduled for July, Orner said.
Additional features:
-- A "green" roof parking garage next door with about half of the 2,000 parking spaces designated for Coast
Guard employees. Shuttles from the building to the Metro subway system will run continuously during rush hour
and at regular intervals throughout the workday, Orner said.
-- An on-site child development center with a 120-child capacity. The CDC opens into a playground. Also, the
building has designated rooms for breast-feeding moms, Orner said.
-- A gym across from the headquarters with a weight room, cardio room and basketball courts. A Coast Guard
Exchange should also be open by move-in time.
-- A renovated, on-campus dining hall that seats 275.
The headquarters will have several snack bars run by a vendor.
-- A 400-person capacity multipurpose room.
-- Elevators named after lighthouses in the Coast Guard districts.
-- A muster of turkeys and a herd of deer also make their home at the St. Elizabeths campus, and an eagle has
a nest in a wooded area of the grounds. The animals will be allowed to roam the campus, Orner said.
Copyright © 2013 www.navytimes.com. All rights reserved.
Stepping the Mast at the New Coast Guard Headquarters
Mast Stepping is the process of raising the boat's mast. It also refers to the CEREMONIAL OCCASION involving
placing or welding one or more coins into the mast step of a ship, and is seen as an important ceremonial
occasion in a ship's construction which is thought to bring good luck.
In the spirit of our naval tradition, the Commandant recently placed his 2 coins* in a floor niche in his future
office at the new Coast Guard Headquarters at St. Elizabeths. This small niche will be covered by an epoxy
resin and then covered again by wood flooring. We won't be able to see the coins, but they ARE there!!
See the pictures at the link below:
We are now very close to our move date of 19 Sep 2013. The first wave of moves will begin on 1 August 2013
with increments of staffs moving weekly. As of right this very minute, we're 168 days, 21 hours and 46 minutes
away from the big day for the Commandant's and Vice Commandant's staffs.
Process for the CRSC/CRDP worksheets
We have an article coming out in the next Retiree Newsletter that addresses the process for the CRSC/CRDP
worksheets. Normally we are able to keep up with our time line however the COLA in December puts us a bit
behind each year. We do have several people auditing the worksheets. Have a great day.
Debbie Farley
Chief, Retiree & Annuitant Services
Pay & Personnel Center Topeka
Phone: (785) 339-3420
Fax: (785) 339-3770
House Appropriations proposes $1.22 billion Coast Guard acquisition budget
By David Perera
The House Appropriations homeland security subcommittee fiscal 2014 spending bill, to be marked up by the
subcommittee May 16, proposes $1.22 billion for the Coast Guard acquisition budget, an increase from the
$951 million in the White House proposal--but also still far less than the approximately $1.46 billion annually
the service has been appropriated in recent years.
The proposal would overall fund the Coast Guard at $9.9 billion--a decrease of $297 million below the fiscal
2013 enacted level, notes a House Appropriations statement.
Coast Guard acquisition, even in relatively flush years, has been less than the service says it needs to fully
modernize its infrastructure; Coast Guard Commandant Adm. Robert Papp has repeatedly called the fiscal 2014
budget proposal the result of "tough decisions."
"It gets my highest priorities, but we have to either terminate or reduce to the minimum order quantities for
all the other projects we have going," Papp told the Senate Appropriations homeland security subcommittee
during a May 14 hearing.
House Appropriations says its proposal would ensure acquisition of four new Fast Response Cutters (an amount
for six was appropriated in the current fiscal year), two additional MH-60 helicopters, and a C-130J aircraft, as
well as long-lead materials for an eighth National Security Cutter.
Under the House proposal, the Coast Guard would have
$149.7 million for aircraft acquisition and repair--significantly more than the $28 million in the White House
proposal, an amount that would constitute an inflation-adjusted decrease of about 92 percent from the fiscal
2013 continuing resolution amount of $353.4 million.
During the May 14 Senate hearing, Papp said the White House acquisition proposal "almost creates a death
spiral for the Coast Guard" since it would require the service to replace its aging fleet at a slower pace,
requiring a greater percentage of dollars to be used for costly sustainment.
Volunteers restoring rare Coast Guard boat
By Merryly Cassidt
Cape Cod Times
CHATHAM, Mass. - One of the few remaining motorized Coast Guard surfboats has come back home to the
Under the fluorescent lights of the garage at Coast Guard Station Chatham, volunteers have been painting the
26-foot wooden boat and restoring its Buda diesel motor.
South Dennis resident Dick Boonisar donated it to the Cape Cod National Seashore. The boat, which has four
rowing stations, will go on display at the Old Harbor Lifesaving Station in Provincetown.
"I really felt it should stay on the Cape because that's where it came from. I thought the Seashore would be a
good custodian of it," said Boonisar, noting that he also approached other maritime organizations.
Boonisar has always had an interest in the Coast Guard. He remembers his summers growing up next to Gurnet
Point Lifesaving Station in Plymouth. When the Coast Guard decommissioned the station he bought it and has
spent years restoring it.
When the old Coast Guard surfboat became available, Boonisar bought it from an Eastham man in 1973. "It was
something I had room for," he said. "I bought it to use it and I did use it."
But maintaining and storing the 4,000-pound boat got to be a bit much, Boonisar said. He ended up mothballing
it and putting it on exhibit at the Gurnet station. Last month, it was taken to Chatham where Coast Guardsmen
are among those who have volunteered their time to sand and repaint the boat and also restore the motor.
The boat has a long history on the Cape. It was originally thought to have been built in the mid-1940s and was
part of the Nauset Coast Guard Station in Eastham. It might have been on the Coast Guard cutter Bibb.
Navy Federal welcoming Coast Guard members
Good morning Captain,
Please find below the blurb for your newsletter about Navy Federal welcoming Coast Guard members. I
apologize that this took us so long to get to you. In combination with a few major events, it took us a little
while to secure approval on this internally.
Please let me know if you have any questions about the content provided. Would you be able to let us know
when you've included this content in your newsletter, perhaps with a copy of the newsletter attached?
Thank you again for your interest!
Navy Federal is Proud to Serve the Coast Guard
Navy Federal Credit Union is proud and excited to have the opportunity to serve members of the Coast Guard
and their families. They are honored to welcome Coast Guard members to Navy Federal and invite them to
take advantage of all that Navy Federal has to offer, such as:
24/7 live telephone support
Over 229 branches worldwide
Over 50,000 free ATMs
Mobile Banking, including Mobile Deposits
Exceptional loan offers, including a current auto loan rate starting as low as 1.49 % APR and Navy
Federal's zero money down mortgage.
If you are Coast Guard Active Duty or Civilian personnel, a Coast guard retiree or annuitant, please click here
to join or contact Navy Federal with any questions that you have about membership*. You can also learn more
about Navy Federal offerings at www.navyfederal.org.
Refer an eligible Coast Guard member for membership, and you'll each get $25. Download the form, fill it out,
and take it to your nearest branch, or call 1-888-842-6328. Navy Federal looks forward to serving you.
*Navy Federal is federally insured by NCUA.
Best regards,
Raleigh Miller
Raleigh Miller
Public Relations Specialist
Media Relations | Corporate Communications
Web * Facebook * Twitter * LinkedIn * YouTube
Thrift Savings Plan
The Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) is a retirement savings and investment plan for Federal employees and members
of the uniformed services, including the Ready Reserve. It was established by Congress in 1986 and offers the
same types of savings and tax benefits that many private corporations offer their employees under 401(k)
plans. It's a defined contribution plan, meaning that the retirement income you receive from your account
depends on how much you (and your agency, if you are eligible to receive agency contributions) put into your
account during your working years and the earnings accumulated over that time.
When you were active duty or serving in the Guard/Reserve, you may have had an allotment set up for regular
contributions to your TSP, which is a supplement to your military retired pay. Once you retire, however, you
are responsible for continuing to manage or contribute to your TSP yourself. You should be receiving periodic
statements regarding your balance. If you are not, this may indicate that they no longer have your current
contact information. Managing your TSP can be done conveniently online now, so don't just let that money sit
Reserve Retirement: Points Without Pay
AMRA members may be aware that the Reserve retirement system is based on "points" as well as rank and time
in service. Points are the way that time on duty is recorded in order to measure the number of "good" years a
reservist has under their belt to qualify for a retiree pension at age 60. However, even some Guard/Reserve
may not be aware of a rather unusual option of service called "Points Without Pay." (Please Note: the DOD
refers to all Guard/Reserve members collectively as the "Reserve" as the benefits are the same.)
While the active duty may scoff at working for (literally) less than peanuts, Points Without Pay has benefits for
both the duty unit and the member. It allows the member to earn points to boost their retirement pay down
the line while keeping them in a lower tax bracket for the here and now. It also keeps the operating budget for
the military unit manageable. There's one catch: bookkeeping.
If you have recently retired from the Guard/Reserve, or are still in the "Gray Area" and you have done duty
days without pay, be sure to review your Points Summary and retain copies of your duty records for those days.
Some AMRA members have reported that the unit or installation they served at had closed. As a result, they
were unable to locate anyone to make the necessary corrections or corroborate information to ensure that they
will be credited the correct number of points and thus receive the amount of retired pay at age 60 which they
Read more about Reserve Retirement and Earning Points.
Army Retired Guard Pay
Navy Reserve Retired Pay
Air Force Reserve Retired Pay
Coast Guard Reserve Retirement
Ingalls to build Coast Guard cutter
By Associated Press
PASCAGOULA - Ingalls Shipbuilding has been awarded a $487 million contract to build a sixth national security
cutter for the Coast Guard.
The vessel will be called the Munro (WMSL 755). Ingalls says construction will begin in October
A third cutter, Stratton (WMSL 752) was commissioned in 2012. Two more are currently under construction at
Ingalls in Pascagoula.
Ingalls has delivered the first three of eight planned cutters.
Bertholf (WMSL 750), Waesche (WMSL 751) and Stratton are in service.
The Legend-class ships are the Coast Guard's newest class of technologically advanced cutters. They are
replacing Hamilton-class cutters built in the 1960s.
The new cutters can be used for a multitude of tasks, including drug interdiction, law enforcement, search and
rescue, environmental protection and national defense missions.
Coast Guard Academy christens research vessel Michael J. Greeley
New London - The U.S. Coast Guard Academy christened the Michael J. Greeley, a new research vessel, on
Friday, April 26, at the campus.
According to the academy, the vessel will allow the school to enhance the marine science curriculum with
more oceanographic research. The Michael J. Greeley, which is capable of long-distance trips, will be operated
by military personnel and civilians who complete a qualification training program.
The vessel was a gift from the academy's Class of 1961 through the academy's Alumni Association. The academy
supplied the engines and hydraulic equipment.
Copyright © 1998 - 2013 The Day Publishing Company
URL: http://www.theday.com/article/20130506/NWS09/130509843/-1/NWS
Coast Guard celebrates centennial of International Ice Patrol
Mystic - The Coast Guard celebrated the centennial anniversary of the International Ice Patrol Friday, April 26,
during an open house at the Mystic Aquarium where guests including viewed the Titanic exhibit.
The Ice Patrol was established as a result of the sinking of the Titanic on April 15, 1912. At that time, there
was no established notification system to safeguard mariners against the danger of icebergs.
"There is much pride in the prevention side of the Coast Guard," said Rear Adm. Daniel Abel, the commander of
the First Coast Guard District. "It's the rescues that we didn't have to do and the preventative work that 16
people here in New London, Conn., do to prevent tragedy at sea, a mission that started 100 years ago."
URL: http://www.theday.com/article/20130506/NWS09/130509844/-1/NWS
Washington Coast Guard Crew Deploys to South Korea
By Coast Guard Petty Officer 2nd Class Etta Smith
Through chilling winds and choppy seas, five-man crews aboard small, gray security boats worked tirelessly for
10 days patrolling the waters around a massive 348-foot petroleum vessel near the coast of Pohang, South
Boat crews from Port Security Unit (PSU) 313 worked night and day to enforce a safety zone around U.S. Naval
Ship Vice Adm. K.R. Wheeler and an eight-mile submerged pipeline that extended from the ship to the shores
of Dogu Beach.
During Combined Joint Logistics Over-the-Shore Exercise (CJLOTS), the Wheeler simulated providing fuel for
the more 1,200 personnel involved in the exercise by pumping water through the pipeline to large bladders on
shore. These bladders would then be used to fuel military vehicles and equipment in a real-world scenario.
URL: http://www.marinelink.com/news/washington-deploys-guard354388.aspx
USCG POV Decal Program Preliminary Notice Of Termination
A. Physical Security and Force Protection Program, COMDTINST M5530.1
1. This ALCOAST announces the termination of the USCG POV DECAL program and amplifies the requirement for
100 percent ID card checks at all CG units. All designated CG issuing units shall plan to cease issuing CG POV
decals no later than 01 JAN 2014. The formal termination of the CG POV DECAL Program is 30 SEP 2014. All CG
issued decals should be remonved from POV and destroyed by 31 DEC 2014.
Members that access DOD bases requiring decals can apply/obtain a DOD decal from that installation.
2. Presently, the CG POV decal program is an optional program designed to provide Commanding Officers a tool
to help regulate private vehicle traffic on CG units. It has also been used as a tool for security forces to ensure
only authorized vehicle were aboard CG units. The program has become a redundant security and access
control system over the past 8 years because a 100 percent personal ID check is now required to access all
CG/DOD facilities. All vehicle occupants must possess a valid CG, DHS, or DOD issued identification card to gain
access to CG units.
3. These policy changes do not impact the requirement that POVs seeking entrance to all CG/DOD facilities
must be registered, inspected, and insured iaw State and local laws.
4. Iaw ref (a), a CO may disestablish their unit decal program prior to 30 Sep 2014 by following the below
a. A unit inventory must be conducted indicating the final disposition of all decals, issued and unused.
b. All unused decals shall be destroyed locally either by means of cross cut shredding or incineration.
c. Any unaccounted for decals shall be noted and reported to
DCMS-34 via your cognizant Security Manager.
d. A memo signed by the issuing unit Commanding Officer shall be submitted to SECCEN with a copy to
DCMS-34 and their cognizant Security Manager verifying local termination of the POV decal program.
5. Any questions concerning this ALCOAST should be directed to Randall Reau at (202)372-3703 or David Byrd at
6. VADM Manson K. Brown, Deputy Commandant for Mission Support, sends.
Response to Email Discussion on Decal Termination - For Clarification
Hey John. Good to hear from you. A couple of things…., First, as I read this, no DOD or any other kind of decal
is needed. Dispensing with the decal was a DOD decision, not exclusively CG. Decision was that Government ID
is the only thing that’s needed. Decal is redundant since we always have to show our Government ID on
entering a base in any case. On the Grandkids & recruiting (& by the way, I do the same ), all that’s needed is
a visitor’s pass which is usually secured at the pass office near the base entrance.
Trust you’re doing well.
Warm Regards (& warm memories)
David Bernstein CAPT USCG (Ret)
Co-chair, capital Area CG Retiree Council
Coasties make cameo in Mark Wahlberg's "Pain & Gain"
By Toni Rico
If Mark Wahlberg and Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson are not enough reason to draw you into the movie theater to
see "Pain & Gain" - the top-grossing movie in America last weekend - how about the fact that several Coasties
make cameos in the movie?
As the good guys, of course.
Coasties with a law enforcement detachment from Tactical Law Enforcement Team South, out of Opa-locka,
Fla., had a chance to be extras in the movie and meet Marky Mark.
On screen, the Coasties were the guys escorting Wahlberg from a helicopter to turn him over to Miami
authorities, said Boatswain's Mate 1st Class Peter Hutchison, one of the LEDET members who was an extra.
"Pain & Gain," based on a true story, follows a group of personal trainers who get drawn into crime, according
to the movie's website. The movie is based on a three- part series published in 1999 by the Miami New Times.
The article, also titled "Pain & Gain," tells the story of Daniel Lugo (played by Wahlberg) and other
bodybuilders at Sun Gym who form a gang and resort to kidnapping, torture and murder.
The Coasties' role in the movie was to catch the bad guys and bring them to justice, Hutchison said.
As part of the LEDET, the Coasties conduct counterdrug and counterpiracy interdictions, so their roles weren't
much of a stretch.
Coast Guard rescuers honored for saving 14 from sinking tall ship
By Richard Adkins
Elizabeth City, N.C. - The American Red Cross honored
22 members of the United States Coast Guard Thursday evening for their rescue of 14 people on a famous tall
ship that sunk off the North Carolina coast last October.
Hurricane Sandy was roaring up the East Coast when the HMS Bounty left port. Reports say the Bounty's captain
thought the ship would be safer at sea.
But rough water threatened the Bounty and the crew abandoned ship. That's when Coast Guard helicopters and
rescue swimmers plucked 14 people from the turbulent water.
"When we got out there to the Bounty, the weather was what you would expect in a hurricane," Lt. Michael
Meyers said. "Once we got over head, it looked like a big ol' pirate ship." Lt. Jane Pena remembers searching
the water for survivors. "Once we got on scene, it was a big debris field," she said. Captain Robin Walbridge
and one crew member, Claudene Christian, died in the wreckage.
As the rescued crew members were brought to shore, it was the Red Cross that was waiting there to feed,
clothe and comfort them. "There is a fair amount of irony being called a hero by the Red Cross," Meyers said.
Red Cross spokesman Jim Self said it was easy to help the shipwreck victims once he put himself in their shoes.
"It's not difficult if you look at it like, 'What if it were me?'" Self said. "If you've had a life so good, and you
come across someone whose life, suddenly, is so bad, and you can do a little bit to make it better, then it's
worth it."
Self and his wife, Carolyn Self, have each been with the Red Cross for more than 20 years. "I love what I do,
and I'm making a different in people's lives," Carolyn Self said.
Copyright 2013 by Capitol Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved.
Coast Guard honored for rescue of 14 HMS Bounty survivors
ELIZABETH CITY, N.C.-- More than two dozen Coast Guard rescue personnel were honored for their role in the
rescue of 14 people in the sinking of HMS Bounty during Hurricane Sandy last October.
Coast Guard rescuers flew directly into the 1,000-mile-wide Category One storm in the early morning hours of
October 29th, after the vintage wooden sailing ship took on too much water, its pumps failed, the vessel listed
90 degrees, and the crew had to abandon ship.
Bounty Captain Robin Wallbridge and one of the ship's mates died, but the Elizabeth City Coast Guard Station
team managed to save 14 other crew members.
In all, 25 Coast Guard team members received various medals Wednesday. Rear Admiral Steven Ratti,
commander of the Fifth Coast Guard District, presented the Distinguished Flying Cross to two rescue swimmers,
Petty Officer 2nd Class Randy Haba and Petty Officer 3rd Class Daniel Todd.
Coast Guard 5-year plan funds 8th National Security Cutter, says Napolitano
By David Perera
The 5-year Coast Guard capital investment plan includes funding for an eighth National Security Cutter,
Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano told an April 23 Senate panel. The Coast Guard's fiscal 2014
budget proposal, which generally calls for some deep cuts, would fund acquisition of the seventh of eight
planned NSCs, but was silent on the fate of the eighth, pending completion of the capital investment plan.
The plan "provides ultimately we will have eight of the National Security Cutters," Napolitano said.
Nonetheless, it "calls for a radical change to [Coast Guard] capitalization efforts," said Sen. Mary Landrieu (DLa.), while chairing a hearing of the Senate Appropriations subcommittee on homeland security. It "would delay
Offshore Patrol Cutters, decrease the number of Fast Response Cutters to a level that, in my view, jeopardizes
the program, ends acquisition of marine patrol aircraft prematurely, defers several cutter and aviation
sustainment projects," Landrieu said.
In addition, it would not fund development of a new heavy icebreaker, she added. She noted that the budget
proposal would fund construction of the National Bio- and Agro-Defense Facility in Manhattan, Kan., with $714
million--money she said was taken "out of the Coat Guard acquisition budget, primarily...."
Ingalls Shipbuilding lays keel on Coast Guard cutter James in Pascagoula
By April M. Havens
The Mississippi Press
PASCAGOULA, Mississippi -- Joshua James is said to have saved more than 600 lives in the 1800s during a 60year career with the U.S. Life Saving Service.
Ingalls Shipbuilding laid the keel Friday on a ship named after James, the shipyard's 5th Coast Guard national
security cutter in the Legend-class series, whose ships are named after people who defined the legacy of the
Coast Guard's service. Charlene Benoit, the great-great niece of Joshua James, is the ship's sponsor. Her initials
-- welded into a metal plate Friday morning -- serve to authenticate the keel. Benoit, of Connecticut, said the
family has a seaworthy past and present.
Her great-grandfather, Sam James, was Joshua James' brother and part of his crew. They family always knew
that, but during a museum trip on the 100th anniversary of Joshua James' death, they also learned Sam James
designed the hull of the ship they served on together.Benoit's son, Jamie Benoit, is also a naval architect, a
career he knew he wanted his whole life. "Somewhere that blood line came through," she said, laughing.
Ingalls' deputy program manager Jim French noted the keel, or "backbone" of the ship, is made up of 6 units.
There are 45 units total that make up the cutter.
Former Coast Guard cutter Storis up for auction
The federal government is putting a former Coast Guard cutter up for auction after efforts to send it to a
museum in Juneau failed. The cutter Storis was listed for auction last week on the General Services
Commission website at an opening bid of $60,000, KMXT reported.
"Well I think we had been hoping to be able preserve the Storis, and find it a place specifically in the museum
in Juneau," said Heather Handyside, a spokeswoman for U.S. Sen. Mark Begich, D-Alaska. "However, as you
probably know, it does take a little bit of money to maintain these older, historical vessels, and so,
unfortunately, we weren't able to keep it and it's being auctioned off. Joe Geldhof, the secretary for the Storis
Museum in Juneau, said he and others were surprised when the ship showed up on the auction site. The hope
was to have the Storis taken to the museum in Juneau where it was homeported for 10 years during the 1940s
and 1950s.
Besides it being an artifact for the museum, Geldhof told the Kodiak radio station it could have been used to
train young mariners. "What we had hoped when we heard about this not too long ago is that we'd be able to
obtain the vessel for training purposes through the Sea Cadets program run by the Navy League of the United
States. And the GSA wasn't willing to work with us and they just wanted to put it out to bid," he said.
Now that it appears the museum won't get the ship, Geldhof said the next step is to save it from the scrap yard
- though that means the ship won't be retired in Juneau. "Our plan at this point is to work with some folks in
Ohio and out in the Midwest, to acquire the Storis.
That means it may wind up in Toledo where the ship was built, but we are still trying to save the Storis and
preserve a ship that spent most of its career in Alaska, but started out in Ohio," he said.
"Frankly, we are scrambling at this point to preserve a ship that was enormously important to Alaska's maritime
history and to the maritime history of the United States." The cutter saw service in World War II and spent
much of the time after the war patrolling Alaska waters. Besides calling Juneau home for about a decade, it
was also homeported in Kodiak for 50 years. It was decommissioned in 2007.URL:
Huntington-Ingalls Wins Another Coast Guard Contract
It's been barely a month since shipbuilder Huntington Ingalls Industries landed its $487 million contract to build
the sixth National Security Cutter (NSC), the Munro, for the U.S. Coast Guard -- and already it's time to start
work on the seventh.
On Friday, the Ingalls Shipbuilding division announced that it has won a $76.8 million fixed-price contract from
the Coast Guard to begin purchasing "long-lead materials" needed to build the Kimball NSC. Specific items on
Ingalls' shopping list include steel, engines, generators, electrical switchboards, and major castings.
As Ingalls NSC program manager Jim French explained in a statement: "Advance procurement funding helps us
procure equipment and materials at favorable prices from our suppliers, and it keeps their production line
flowing as well."
So far, Huntington has delivered three NSCs to the Coast Guard, is about 40% through construction of a fourth,
and 17% through a fifth. Construction of the sixth, the Munro, is slated to begin later this year.
Lockport-based Bollinger Shipyards has delivered its fifth fast-response cutter to the Coast
The 154-foot Margaret Norvell was delivered last week to the 7th Coast Guard District in Key West, Fla.
It will be commissioned in New Orleans in June and will be based in Miami.
The shipyard won a $250 million contract last year to build six of the cutters; company officials said the work
preserves about 800 jobs at the Lockport yard. Bollinger has built or been contracted to build 18 of the boats
with a total contract value of nearly $850 million.
Each coastal patrol boat is named for an enlisted Coast Guard hero who distinguished himself or herself in the
line of duty. The new coastal patrol boat is named after Norvell, who served 41 years with the U.S. Lighthouse
Service in Louisiana from 1891 to 1932. She served as keeper of both the Port Pontchartrain Light and the West
End Light.
Norvell is credited with numerous rescues and acts of heroism during her career, including the 1926 recovery of
a naval aviator whose aircraft crashed in Lake Pontchartrain during a fierce squall. Norvell battled through the
storm for two hours in a rowboat to reach the site of the crash. She rescued the surviving aviator and rowed
him back to safety.
She is also remembered for sheltering more than
200 residents from her small community of Milneburg, La., during a devastating storm in 1903. The Port
Pontchartrain Light was able to withstand the storm, which had destroyed every other structure in the
community, and Norvell cared for the displaced residents that sought shelter in the lighthouse.
The Coast Guard plans to acquire 58 of the cutters to replace the service's 110-foot Island Class fleet, whose
boats range from 20 to 27 years old. Nine of the fast-response cutters, which have a top speed of
28 knots or 32 mph, are in production at Bollinger in Lockport.
Bollinger is also one of eight shipbuilders vying for a contract to build all or some of the 25 offshore-patrol
cutters the Coast Guard hopes to build. National Defense Magazine reported this month that the Coast Guard
plans to spend about $8 billion to design and build the boats, though some experts say federal budget problems
could delay or scuttle the work.
Plans now call for design work to begin this fall, with construction of the first boat to start in 2016, taking two
years to complete.
Copyright 2013 HoumaToday.com - All rights reserved.
Coast Guard budget cuts have long term effects
By David Perera
In the race against time and money that Coast Guard recapitalization turned into once austerity became the
watchword in Washington, D.C., time and money appear to be winning.
For evidence, let's look at the fiscal 2014 Coast Guard budget request, which shows a 13 percent inflationadjusted cut relative to current levels. Included in that is the decimation of the aircraft acquisition budget,
which would go down by 92.24 percent. Vessels, it is true, would actually go up by 13 percent to $743 million,
and that amount would fund construction of the seventh National Security Cutter.
But the budget is silent on the fate of the eighth NSC, and given pressure from some parts of the Homeland
Security Department and the Government Accountability Office to cut the NSC program of record, it's easy to
suspect that the Coast Guard is right now fighting a rearguard action to prevent its elimination.
The budget is also hazy on icebreaker acquisition. It includes $2 million for continued studies on the matter after having requested $ million last year - but doesn't make any projections about procurement funding for
future years. Despite the Arctic's clear pattern of disappearing sea ice and resultant likely increase in shipping,
it's not difficult to again suspect that budget concerns may be forcing a Coast Guard retreat.
In a year when spending caps imposed by the Budget Control Act of 2011 have forced many agencies into an
unwilling position of austerity, it can be difficult to argue that the Coast Guard should be an exception. I'd
argue that the current round of cuts is far worse than need be, and that political flexibility on revenue
collection would do much to alleviate conditions, especially since taxes are at historic lows as measured by
percentage of gross domestic product. But that's an argument for another day - for now we are faced with a
spending situation that's forcing many agencies to cut their noses to spite their faces.
But it just so happens that that the Coast Guard is in period of its history where what occurs during ht next few
years will affect its ability to execute its mission for decades to come - and greatly affect America's ability to
be a strong presence in the melting Arctic. The Coast Guard budget should be funding long term capabilities,
and failure to do so will hurt us more than the short term gain of spending reductions. In short, the Homeland
Security Department should find a way to fund the Coast Guard at a level greeter than its proposed for fiscal
2014 - if not in the coming fiscal year, than in the year after it.
Coast Guard Reactivates High Year Tenure
WASHINGTON -- U.S. Coast Guard Commandant Adm. Bob Papp announced April 15 that the service has
reactivated High Year Tenure to address delayed opportunities for enlisted advancement.
The decision to reactivate High Year Tenure was motivated by personnel retention rates of more than 94
percent, waiting periods of more than three years for "A" Schools for most enlisted ratings, a slowdown in
enlisted advancement, and a reduction in enlisted billets during past fiscal year due to budget constraints.
"This situation breaks trust with our personnel who joined the Coast Guard with the desire and motivation to
grow both professionally and personally in an enlisted rating and advance based on demonstrated knowledge
and performance," said the Commandant. "We must act now to address this problem, improve proficiency and
meet the Coast Guard's future needs."
High Year Tenure reactivation is not due to sequestration and does not reduce the number of billets within the
enlisted workforce. Instead, it is a force shaping measure that identifies personnel who have not reached
specific milestones for advancement based on pay grade and time in service. If a member does not meet their
respective milestone this year, they are subject to retirement.
More information about the High Year Tenure process can be found at Chapter 1.f of the Military Separations
Manual, COMDTINST M1000.4 http://www.uscg.mil/directives/cim/1000-1999/CIM_1000_4.pdf
or at the High Year Tenure Frequently Asked Questions at http://www.uscg.mil/psc/epm/HYT/FAQS.pdf.
Fierce Government IT
Thursday, April 25, 2013
Configuration management still challenges Coast Guard financial systems management
By David Perera
The Coast Guard continued to have poorly designed and operated script change control policies over its core
general ledger software during the last fiscal year, although those practices are improving, say auditors in an
annual assessment of Coast Guard financial systems.
The audit, conducted by KPMG for the Homeland Security Department office of inspector general, says the
Coast Guard has taken corrective action to address prior year IT control weaknesses. Auditors say they found 21
weaknesses during fiscal 2012 that limited the service's ability to assure the confidentiality, integrity and
availability of its financial systems. Fourteen were repeats, five were new, and two were resolved during fiscal
A persistent systemic condition has been the script process the Coast Guard uses to update its core general
ledger software--so old at this point that it's no longer supported by the vendor that designed it, making script
changes necessary to its continued existence. Past financial system audits have noted a lack of consistent
testing requirements or prior approval for deploying script updates, as well as lack of documentation.
Maritime Security: U.S. Should Recommit to Supporting the Coast Guard
Testimony before Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure United States House of Representatives
By Steven P. Bucci, Ph.D.
Director, Douglas and Sarah Allison Center for Foreign Policy Studies The Heritage Foundation
My name is Dr. Steven P. Bucci. I am the Director of the Douglas and Sarah Allison Center for Foreign Policy
Studies at The Heritage Foundation. The views I express in this testimony are my own, and should not be
construed as representing any official position of The Heritage Foundation.
My responsibilities at The Heritage Foundation involve leading research and analysis for the foundation's public
policy work concerning defense and homeland security issues. Prior to coming to The Heritage Foundation I
served as an Army Special Forces officer for three decades and led deployments to eastern Africa, South Asia,
and the Persian Gulf. I also served as Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Homeland Defense, where I
facilitated cooperation between the Department of Defense and the Department of Homeland Security.
The United States Coast Guard provides critical security to America's coastal regions, waterways, and ports.
With missions ranging from search and rescue to ice operations, the Coast Guard responds to numerous threats
in myriad environments. As a federal law enforcement agency, the sea service also performs critical missions
such as drug interdiction, marine safety, migrant interdiction, and protecting living marine resources.
U.S. citizens and interests face daily threats within America's territorial waters. Last year The New York Times
recounted an incident where the sea service interdicted an illegal semisubmersible vessel smuggling cocaine
from Colombia. U.S. security forces have long combated smugglers bringing drugs and other contraband into
the country via the Gulf Coast; however, semisubmersible and fully submerged vessels are emerging as a
preferred means of transportation for these shipments, as it improves the smugglers' chances of going
In the most recent run-in with these illegal vessels, the Coast Guard Cutter Mohawk utilized information from
an interagency intelligence effort to locate the submersible and then pursued it with its deck-launched
helicopter and fast boat. Though the smugglers were able to sink their vessel before the Coast Guard could
salvage most of the cargo, this effort is considered a success both for the joint preparatory work performed in
locating the smugglers and the proficiency the Mohawk crew showed in executing their interdiction mission.
The New York City Coast Guard Works Harder Every Night Than You Do All Week [PHOTOS]
ROBERT JOHNSON MAY 16, 2013, 10:37 PM 128,265 7
Robert Johnson/Business Insider
The "Deadliest Catch" fishermen have got nothing on New York City's Coast Guard unit, Sector New York.
We embedded with the unit on a routine nighttime stop and search mission to intercept two ships coming into
New York harbor. The conditions were tough, and they conduct these missions year-round through any kind of
weather and in the heat of day or dead of night.
Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/photos-coast-guard-stop-and-search-mission-2013-
'Coast Guard' series expanding to 3rd show
By Antonieta Rico
Staff writer
The Weather Channel is expanding its "Coast Guard"
franchise with a new show based in the Pacific Northwest.
"Coast Guard Cape Disappointment," the working title for the show, is the third in the series and will focus on
the men and women of Coast Guard District 13, said Maureen Marshall, director of corporate communications
for the Weather Co., the channel's parent company.
Located at the mouth of the Columbia River, an area known as "The Graveyard of the Pacific," Station Cape
Disappointment is the Coast Guard's largest search-and- rescue station on the Northwest coast and responds to
300 to 400 rescue calls a year, according to the service.
"They want to highlight the way that the Coast Guard carries out their missions out here," said Lt. Regina
Caffrey, 13th District public affairs officer.
"Coast Guard Cape Disappointment" is scheduled to premiere in 2014.
Copyright © 2013 www.navytimes.com. All rights reserved.
Vice President Addresses Coast Guard Graduates 'Not Your Father's Coast Guard,'' Biden Says
By DANIELA ALTIMARI The Hartford Courant
NEW LONDON -- Vice President Joe Biden told graduates at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy commencement
ceremony Wednesday morning that they will face new responsibilities in a changing and dangerous world.
"This is not your father's Coast Guard," Biden told the newly commissioned officers who sat before him in their
dress whites beneath a gray sky.
Biden spoke for a half hour and emphasized a new role for the Coast Guard, one where the old hierarchy of the
Cold War is long over. He told the graduates that they will find a world filled with "stateless actors who have
stepped into the breach in a desire to smuggle weapons of terror into American ports in the belly of cargo
The responsibilities facing the Coast Guard extend beyond the service's traditional role of securing and
95,000 miles of U.S. shoreline. They include global missions fighting piracy and human trafficking as well as
dealing with the impacts of climate change, Biden said.
"No graduating class gets to choose the time in which they graduate,'' Biden said. "You are graduating into a
world that is rapidly changing . your job is only getting more complicated."
Biden spoke from a platform on the academy's football field along the Thames River as 227 graduates looked
There are 161 men and 66 women in the class of 2013.
Biden handed each graduate their commissions as they strode across the stage after collecting their diplomas.
Four years ago, these newly minted ensigns were among the top achievers in high school, Biden said. "No one
would have blamed you for taking an easier road, with greater physical security and more material gain,'' he
told the graduates. "But that's not what you were made of...
the American people are in awe of what you do."
GSA weighing potential reuse of Coast Guard's Buzzard Point headquarters
By Daniel J. Sernovitz
Staff Reporter- Washington Business Journal
The General Services Administration is weighing alternative uses for the Coast Guard's Buzzard Point
headquarters once that agency moves this summer to new space at St. Elizabeths in Southeast D.C.
That includes turning it over to other federal agencies given a multimillion-dollar lease exposure the federal
government will be responsible for through May 2015 - an exposure that's become a flashpoint in the larger
Capitol Hill debate over the federal government's real estate costs.
GSA Spokesman Dan Cruz said the GSA has exercised an option to terminate its lease at the Transpoint Building
2100 Second St. SW, saving about $60 million by not having to lease space in the 600,000-square-foot building
through May 2018. But that will still leave the federal government on the hook for about $48 million in rent and
related payments.
U.S. Coast Guard: 2012 Recreation Boating report: drop in fatalities, accidents & injuries
by Howard Sheppard
The U.S. Coast Guard released its 2012 Recreational Boating Statistics Monday, revealing that boating fatalities
that year totaled 651, the lowest number of boating fatalities on record.
From 2011 to 2012, deaths in boating-related accidents decreased from 758 to 651, a 14.1 percent decrease;
injuries decreased from 3,081 to 3,000, a 2.6 percent reduction; and the total reported recreational boating
accidents decreased from 4,588 to 4,515, a 1.6 percent decrease.
The fatality rate for 2012 of 5.4 deaths per 100,000 registered recreational vessels reflected a 12.9 percent
decrease from the previous year's rate of 6.2 deaths per
100,000 registered recreational vessels. Property damage totaled approximately $38 million.
"We're very pleased that casualties are lower, and thank our partners for their hard work over the past year,"
said Capt. Paul Thomas, director of Inspections and Compliance at U.S. Coast Guard Headquarters. "We will
continue to stress the importance of life jacket wear, boating education courses and sober boating."
Tower Federal, Coast Guard credit union merger approved
State and national regulators have given Tower Federal Credit Union approval to acquire U.S. Coast Guard
Community Credit Union (USCGCCU) in a move that will boost the Laurel firm's assets by $33 million, according
to a May 13 news release. The expected merger date is June 30. The Office of the Maryland Commissioner of
Financial Regulation and the National Credit Union Administration approved the merger on April 29.
USCGCCU members voted to merge with Tower on Feb. 28. Its members will automatically become Tower
members at the completion of the merger. Tower Federal has more than $2.6 billion in assets and has 126,000
members worldwide. It has 11 branches in Prince George's, Howard, Anne Arundel and Baltimore counties
including locations in Annapolis, Gambrills, Hanover, Pasadena and Millersville.
USCGCCU has branches in Pasadena and Curtis Bay. The merger will expand Tower's membership and branch
locations and will increase its assets by approximately
$33 million.
© 2013 CapitalGazette.com. All rights reserved.
Coast Guard dedicates new barracks in NC
ELIZABETH CITY, N.C. - The Coast Guard has dedicated a new barracks and galley complex at Elizabeth City.
The Daily Advance of Elizabeth City reported the new complex dedicated Tuesday carries the name of the
facility it replaced, Thrun Hall. The name honors the late Charles Theodore Thrun, one of the Coast Guard's
first aviators. He was killed in a 1935 crash off New Jersey. The new three-story barracks has 155 rooms to
house 310 Coast Guard members. The new galley can seat 112 for meals inside with space for three dozen more
outside. The $17 million complex replaces a building constructed in 1968.
Copyright 2013 by The Associated Press. All rights reserved.
Coast Guard Deploys to South Korea
By Petty Officer 2nd Class Etta Smith
U.S. Coast Guard|
It was a journey that would take more than five weeks, six 32-foot security boats, two pick-up trucks, six boat
trailers and 15 five-ton storage containers. This journey included traveling more than 5,000 miles across the
Pacific Ocean from Everett, Wash., to Pohang, South Korea.
Coast Guard port security units 311, 312 and
313 mobilized 80 tons of gear and more than
100 personnel to participate in one of the largest, international military exercises on the Korean peninsula,
Combined Joint Logistics Over the Shore Exercise.
This annual exercise was comprised of more than
1,200 U.S. military personnel from 43 commands working in conjunction with the Republic of Korea's military
For Coast Guard Lt. j.g Logan Huffman,
PSU 313's assistant logistics officer, this deployment would prove not only to be a unique experience, but a
challenging one as well.
"Combined Joint Logistics Over the Shore Exercise gave me a valuable education about the Army, Navy and
Marines, in terms of what they could provide and how they conduct business," Huffman said. "That's what's
invaluable about working within a combined command - if you can't get something done, you can go to your
counterparts for help and support."
Working side-by-side with Republic of Korea military, Coast Guard crews provided 24-hour force protection
security on the water and on shore testing the PSUs ability to deploy within 96 hours of being recalled for duty,
to be operational within 24 hours of deployment and to be self-sufficient for 30 days in support of operational
commanders worldwide.
The Weather Channel said to plan year-long documentary set here, with 13 one-hour
episodes to air
[email protected]
LONG BEACH - We all know that local U.S. Coast Guard rescues, searches and other actions are some of the
most dramatic stories in the Pacific Northwest. Now, the rest of the country is also about to get on this
excitement, according to the mayor of Ilwaco.
Meeting Monday night with his peers in Long Beach, Ilwaco Mayor Mike Cassinelli said The Weather Channel will
be taping a new TV series named "Coast Guard Northwest."
This will add to the network's current roster of true-life maritime adventure programming that currently
includes the popular "Coast Guard Alaska" and "Coast Guard Florida"
© 2013 Chinook Observer. All rights reserved.
Coast Guard headquarters is only sure part of DHS consolidation
By Andy Medici
The Coast Guard headquarters will be the only part of the Department of Homeland Security's planned
consolidation to be completed, as of now, the General Services Administration's top official said Tuesday.
"There is only so much we can do given that there aren't additional resources for construction," acting
administrator Dan Tangherlini told reporters after a hearing of the House Appropriations subcommittee on
financial services and general government.
GSA will continue working with DHS on preliminary designs for a more ambitious headquarters consolidation,
but there is not enough funding this year to do much besides the Coast Guard headquarters project, he said.
The continuing resolution, which expires March 27, authorizes GSA to spend $50 million for new construction
and $280 million for renovations. Rep. José Serrano, ranking member of the subcommittee, said a pending
spending bill for the remainder of this fiscal year will not likely add more money for construction projects.
The Coast Guard headquarters is to be completed in the next few months for nearly 4,000 employees. The
initial DHS consolidation plan had called for more than 14,000 DHS employees to be housed in dozens of
buildings at the St. Elizabeth's Hospital site in Southeast Washington site by 2016.
Low funding also has forced GSA to cut back on maintenance for federal buildings it manages and could result
in boilers breaking down or roofs failing, Tangherlini said.
"The lack of investment is going to come back in the form of dramatic concerns," he said.
© 2013, Gannett Government Media Corporation
Bollinger delivers 6th cutter to Coast Guard
The Associated Press
LOCKPORT, La. -- Bollinger Shipyards, Inc. has delivered the sixth fast response cutter to the U.S. Coast Guard.
Executive vice president of new construction Chris Bollinger says the 154-foot Paul Clark was delivered to the
7th Coast Guard District in Key West, Fla.
It will be stationed at Miami, where the Coast Guard is scheduled to commission the vessel in August.
Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.
NEWARK, N.J. (AP) — Two international shipping firms pleaded guilty Thursday to obstruction and other charges
in connection with what the U.S. Attorney's Office characterized as a pattern of falsifying records to hide the
illegal dumping of engine sludge and oil-contaminated waste into the ocean.
The four ships in question docked in New Jersey, Delaware and California, but the criminal cases were
consolidated in New Jersey.
The German firm Columbia Shipmanagement and Cyprus-based Columbia Shipmanagement Ltd. agreed to pay a
combined $10.4 million penalty, U.S. Attorney Paul Fishman said. Of that, $2.6 million will go to addressing
environmental damage caused by Superstorm Sandy in New Jersey and Delaware.
Coast Guard finishes cleanup of Curtis Bay Superfund site
By Pamela Wood
The Baltimore Sun
After nearly a dozen years, $16 million and the removal of some 50,000 tons of contaminated dirt, the Coast
Guard declared the Superfund site at the Coast Guard Yard south of Baltimore cleaned and ready for duty
The yard landed on the Superfund list - a national registry of sites designated for federally supervised cleanup after a century of building and repairing ships. Blasting paint off ships, storing oil and batteries, burning waste
and dumping bilge left the ground polluted with dioxin, pesticides, metals, PCBs and other contaminants some of which spilled into nearby Arundel Cove and Curtis Creek.
New London Site Officially Chosen For National Coast Guard Museum
Mayor Daryl Finizio says preliminary agreements and endorsements identify location and call for an over $100
million investment in the city; details to be revealed on April 5
By Dirk Langeveld
A New London site has officially been chosen for the location of a national Coast Guard museum, Mayor Daryl
Finizio announced this afternoon.
Finizio said the National Coast Guard Museum Association unanimously approved a site within the city for the
museum. He said the preliminary agreements and endorsements also included input from property abutters,
stakeholders, Coast Guard officials, and representatives of the local, state, and federal government.
Details of the project-including the location, investors, a model design of the museum, and a booklet on the
exhibits to be featured-will be unveiled in a reception at 10 a.m. on April 5 at the Science and Technology
Magnet High School.
Attendees will include Admiral Robert J. Papp, commandant of the Coast Guard; James Coleman, chair of the
National Coast Guard Museum Association; and Gov. Dannel Malloy.
Finizio said the museum will be one of the "largest tourist destinations in all of eastern Connecticut," with
visitor estimates ranging from 250,000 to 1 million people per year.
In 2004, Congress passed a bill approving the construction of a national Coast Guard museum at or near the
Coast Guard Academy, following the 2002 selection of Fort Trumbull as a preferred site.
The eminent domain battle at the peninsula, coupled with stalled fundraising efforts during an economic
downtown, put a stop to this effort.
Last year, Finizio traveled to Washington, D.C. to meet with Papp on issues related to New London and the
service. He later announced that the Coast Guard would be looking at sites within New London for building the
The National Coast Guard Museum Association passed on an idea to incorporate a 62,000 square foot museum
into Union Station.
The service has a significant presence in New London.
In addition to the Coast Guard Academy, Fort Trumbull houses Coast Guard Research and Development, the
International Ice Patrol, and Station New London.
The tall ship Eagle, a training vessel, is also berthed there along with the cutter Chinook.
Robert Schwentke in Talks to Direct Disney Coast Guard Film 'Finest Hours'
By Borys Kit
The project adapts the book from Casey Sherman and Michael J. Tougias which tells the true story of a 1952
rescue at sea. Robert Schwentke, whose R.I.P.D. opens this summer, is in negotiations to direct The Finest
Hours, Disney's period coast Jim Whitaker is producing the project, which has a script from James Tamasy and
Eric Johnson (The Fighter) that adapts the true-life book by Casey Sherman and Michael J. Tougias.
In 1952, a Noreaster hit the New England coast, with two oil tankers caught in the middle. The ships split in
two, casting its crews into the ferocious seas, and it was up to the valiant effort of the Coast Guard to attempt
a rescue. The move marks a return to Disney for Schwentke, who directed the Jodie Foster thriller Flightplan
for the studio.
Schwentke turned to action with Red, the comic book adaptation starring Bruce Willis and John Malkovich, and
now has R.I.P.D, based on a Dark Horse comic, being teed up for a July 19 release. The movie, which stars Ryan
Reynolds and Jeff Bridges, is a franchise hopeful for Universal.
Coast Guard Mandating Worker ID Readers for High-Risk Vessels, Facilities
The agency's NPRM says 38 vessels and 532 facilities are affected by its proposed rule.
Increased security for vessels, ports, and other facilities against theft and terrorism are the main benefits of a
new proposed rule from the U.S. Coast Guard that will require 38 vessels and 532 facilities to use electronic
readers that work with the Transportation Worker Identification Credential, or TWIC, according to the agency.
The proposal will build on existing Coast Guard regulations meant to ensure that only authorized individuals are
granted unescorted access to secure areas at certain types of locations.
The proposed rule would implement the Maritime Transportation Security Act of 2002's transportation security
card requirement, as well as the SAFE Port Act of 2006 electronic TWIC reader requirements.
"The main benefit of this regulation, decreased terrorism risk, cannot be quantified given current data
USCG said in the NPRM.
Copyright 2013 1105 Media Inc.
Makah, Coast Guard pact a first on several fronts
SEATTLE - The first written statement of the collaboration between the Makah tribe and the U.S. Coast Guard
in vigilance against oil spills in the Strait of Juan de Fuca was celebrated with a traditional potlatch and
blessing in the Henry M.
Jackson Federal Building in Seattle last week.
"It was an amazing event," said Makah general manager Meredith Parker, one of several tribal members who
"The Makah hosting a potlatch at the federal building in Seattle - that's unprecedented," she said.
Coast Guard Go-Team Responds to Boston Bombing
By Lt. Cmdr. John Kousch
U.S. Coast Guard
Boston is uniquely a maritime city, steeped in maritime heritage. Joshua James is credited with saving more
than 600 lives as a lifesaver for the Massachusetts Humane Society and the U.S. Life-Saving Service; Boston is
the homeport of the USS Constitution, the world's oldest commissioned warship afloat; and Boston is indeed the
cradle of the American Revolution.
As Bostonians looked to celebrate their historic past on Patriot's Day, and welcome the world with open arms to
cheer on runners of the 117th Boston Marathon, Maritime Safety and Security Team Boston stood on guard.
Designated as Coast Guard Atlantic Area's "go-team," poised to respond to any incident within six-hours, Lt. j.g.
Alicia Flanagan was at the ready when the senseless attacks on the Boston Marathon occurred.
Flanagan, who reported to Boston nine months ago, responded to the attacks by reporting to the Sector Boston
command center and establishing a critical pathway of support to the sector commander. As deployable team
leader, Flanagan is the primary coordinator for the safety and security team's assets assigned to Sector Boston.
As Station Boston launched two 25-foot small boats, Flanagan recalled MSST Boston's "go-team" and launched
four small boats to immediately begin protecting Boston Harbor.
Launch of CG Exchange ONLINE STORE
From: [email protected] [mailto:[email protected]]
Sent: Tuesday, May 21, 2013 2:50 PM
To: [email protected]; Vince Patton
Cc: [email protected]; Perciak, Matt F CDR; [email protected]
Request your assistance in helping us spread the word on our newest CGX "store" opening. After some hard
work, our team has been able to create a website available for all of our valued patrons. We had to overcome
a few hurdles with the on-line validation process through DEERS but are now fully up and running. Getting the
DEERS validation was
We are going to continue to add product as the store picks up more usage and based on customer feedback.
For instance, you will find just a few items that are specific for retirees (i.e. CG logo "Retired" license plate)
but that will grow over time. We are merchandising the store by incremental steps to help control inventory
costs so as we continue to see success
(hopefully) we will continue to broaden the merchandise offerings.
Request your help in sharing through your networks and can you maybe point me in the right direction for
getting this to the right publications that target our CG retiree community?
Thanks in advance!!! And don't hesitate to provide any feedback or concerns.
Have a great CG day!
Capt Bob McKenna
Commanding Officer
Community Services Command
Ph: 757-842-4901
Cell: 757-621-4168
Launch Of The Coast Guard Exchange (Cgx) Online Store
1. The Coast Guard Exchange System (CGX) is proud to announce the opening of its newest store, one that is as
close to our patrons as their home computer or smart phone. All eligible beneficiaries can now shop CGX online
at www.shopcgx.com. The CGX on-line store makes the savings that are available on quality goods in CGX
stores available to our patrons, anywhere, anytime.
2. Authorized patrons are validated on www.shopcgx.com using the Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting
System (DEERS) which includes all active duty, retired and reserve members of the military, their dependants
and Coast Guard civilian employees. Members of the Coast Guard Auxiliary are also eligible patrons and are
validated using the AuxOfficer Directory.
3. This expansion into the web-based storefront will help CGX continue its support to the Coast Guard Morale,
Well-being, and Recreation (MWR) programs and to aggressively revitalize CGX stores to provide our Coast
Guardsmen and their families the shopping experiences they want and deserve.
4. Over the last 10 years, CGX contributed over 22 million dollar to Coast Guard MWR programs and invested
over 22 million dollars I recapitalizing aging stores or opening new stores for the convenience and benefit of
Coast Guardsmen, their family members and other eligible CGX beneficiaries. In addition, documented price
comparisons consistently demonstrate that CGX offers an average savings of 20 percent or more when
compared to private sector retailers outside the gate.
5. Over the course of the coming months, more products will be continuously added to the CGX online store,
but we need your feedback on products that you want but cannot find. Contact us directly o Facebook
www.facebook.com/coastguardexchange or by email customerservice(at)shopcgx.com to tell us what products
you ar looking for and we will work hard to get them for you.
6. CGX is part of the United States Coast Guard Community Services Command (CSC) with a vision to be your
destination of choice fo exchange and MWR benefits. Our mission is to deliver outstanding
value, service, and convenience to the Coast Guard family and suppor the readiness and retention of those
who protect and defend the homeland.
7. POC for this matter is Mr. Scott Poteet, USCG CSC Director of Marketing. He may be reached at 757-8424946 or by e-mail at SPoteet(at)cg-exchange.com.
8. RDML Dave Callahan, Commander, CG Personnel Service Center sends.
9. Internet release authorized.
Checklist for retirees and their family members
Shift Colors (USN Retiree Newsletter) periodically provides a checklist for retirees and their family members.
This checklist is designed to provide retirees and their loved ones with some help in preparing for the future.
The checklist is not all-inclusive and should be used with other estate planning tools.
1. Create a military file.
__ Retirement orders
__ DD 214
__ Separation papers
__ Medical records
2. Create a military retired pay file.
__ Claim number of any pending VA claims
__ Address of the VA office being used
__ List of current deductions from benefits
__ Name, relationship and address of beneficiary of unpaid retired pay at the time of death
__ Address and phone number for DFAS:
Defense Finance and Accounting Service
U S Military Retirement Pay
Post Office Box 7130
London, KY 40742 7130
(800) 321-1080 option #3 (for deceased members)
3. Create an annuities file, to include:
__ Information about the Survivor Benefit Plan (SBP)
(Additional information regarding SBP annuity claims can be obtained from the DFAS-Cleveland Center office at
__ Reserve Component Survivor Benefit Plan (RCSBP)
__ Retired Serviceman's Family Protection Plan (RSFPP)
__ Civil Service annuity
4. Create a personal document file.
__ Marriage Records
__ Divorce decree
__ Adoptions and naturalization papers
5. Create an income tax file.
__ Copies of state and federal income tax returns
6. Create a property tax file.
__ Copies of tax bills
__ Deeds and any other related information.
7. Create an insurance policy file.
__ Life Insurance
__ Property, accident, liability insurance
__ Hospitalization/Medical Insurance
8. Maintain a listing of banking and credit information, in a secure location.
__ Bank account numbers
__ Location of all deposit boxes
__ Savings bond information
__ Stocks, bonds and any securities owned
__ Credit card account numbers and mailing addresses
9. Maintain a membership listing of all associations and organizations.
__ Organization names and phone numbers
__ Membership fee information
10. Maintain a list of all friends and business associates.
__ Include names, addresses and phone numbers
11. Hold discussions with your next of kin about your wishes for burial and funeral services. At a minimum the
discussion should include cemetery location and type of burial (ground, cremation or burial at sea). This
knowledge may assist your next of kin to carry out all of your desires.
12. You could also pre-arrange your funeral services via your local funeral home. Many states will allow you to
pre-pay for services.
13. Investigate the decisions that you and your family have agreed upon. Many states have specific laws and
guidelines regulating cremation and burials at sea. Some states require a letter of authority signed by the
deceased in order to authorize a cremation. Know the laws in your specific area and how they may affect your
decisions. Information regarding Burials at Sea can be obtained by phoning Navy Mortuary Affairs at (866) 7870081.
14. Once your decisions have been made and you are comfortable with them, have a will drawn up outlining
15. Ensure that your will and all other sensitive documents are maintained in a secure location known by your
loved ones.
Organizations to be notified in the event of a retiree death:
1. Defense Finance and Accounting Service, London, KY
(800) 321-1080
2. Social Security Administration (for death benefits)
(800) 772-1213
3. Department of Veterans Affairs (if applicable)
(800) 827-1000
4. Office of Personnel Management (OPM)
(724) 794-8690
5. Any fraternal group that you have membership with: e.g., MOAA, FRA, NCOA, VFW, AL, TREA
6. Any previous employers that provide pension or benefits.
Help for Survivors
If you have lost your loved one, there is nothing that can really compensate you for the loss of your spouse or
parent. It seems that no amount of pre-planning can help enough. However, the VA offers a variety of benefits
and services to spouses, children, and parents of Servicemembers and Veterans who are deceased.
Note: Survivors of military retirees may or may not be entitled to some of these same benefits and services, as
well as other important entitlements as a result of their loved one's service. Visit DFAS to learn more.Here are
a few of the benefits and services available for survivors through the VA:
Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC)
Parents' Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC)
Survivors' Pension
Dependents' Educational Assistance Program (DEA)
Home Loans
Educational and Vocational Counseling
Civil Service Preference
Commissary and Exchange Privileges
Your Military ID Card
The Department of Defense (DOD) is committed to protecting the security of our nation and its people by
issuing identification (ID) cards only to individuals requiring and eligible for access to government systems and
facilities. The process consists of several steps to ensure the correct ID card is issued and the appropriate
benefits and privileges are assigned to the correct person. An important step is the verification of a customer's
identity by reviewing the two required forms of identification and their information in the Defense Enrollment
and Eligibility Reporting System (DEERS).
It's crucial for military retirees from active duty, guard/reserve, family members and/or survivors, as well as
eligible disabled veterans and their families, to insure that their military ID cards are current. Be sure to watch
that expiration date! Some big changes to look for: Turning age 60 for Gray Area Retirees, turning age 65,
and/or death of the sponsor. If the ID card still displays your Social Security number, you may (and should)
request a replacement as soon as possible.
Find the nearest Military ID card issuing location using the Rapids locator. Did you know that there are seven
different types of Military ID Card?
Social Security and You
Generally, there is no reduction of Social Security benefits because of your military retirement benefits. You'll
get your full Social Security benefit based on your earnings. For survivors, the Social Security Offset (SSO) for
Survivor Benefit Plan (SBP) was eliminated in 2008; all survivors enrolled in SBP now receive the full fifty-five
percent of their late military retiree's pay.
While your Social Security number is required to get a job, collect benefits and some other government
services, it's a number you should memorize. You won't have to actually show it very often, but carrying it with
you could leave you open to identity theft if you lose your wallet, so don't carry it with you.
Lost in a Disaster? If you've lost your SSN card in a disaster, you can request a SSN Printout, aka a "Numi-lite." It
displays your name and SSN, which the issuing office then stamps and signs. While third-party requests for SSN
verifications require the consent of the individual, if the requester is an agency that provides disaster relief,
such as FEMA or the Red Cross, consent is not required.
Did you know? You might be entitled to Extra Earnings for Military Service from Social Security. Also, some
businesses advertise that they can provide name changes or Social Security cards for a fee- don't fall for it!
These services are provided free by Social Security.
Help for Homeless or At-Risk Veterans
Being homeless means having no roof over your head. However, it can also mean that you do not have
permanent housing. By that definition, a veteran "couch surfing," or drifting from friend to friend, shelter to
shelter, is also homeless. Understanding this, we may see that homelessness may be a "hidden" problem in a
community, since people may not be literally living in a box or under a bridge.
There are many reasons Veterans can become homeless, including illness, poverty, lack of support from family
or friends, substance use, or mental health challenges that may develop or worsen as a result of trauma they
experienced while serving. The VA's goal is to provide comprehensive, individualized care including health
care, housing assistance, job training, and education to help veterans secure safe, stable housing and achieve
If you know a Veteran who has lost their home or is at risk of homelessness, help them to contact the VA's
National Call Center for Homeless Veterans at 1-877-4AID-VET (1-877-424-3838) so they may speak to a trained
VA responder. The hotline and online chat are free and more importantly, a veteran does NOT have to be
registered with the VA or in the VA healthcare system to get help. Callers will be connected to a trained VA
responder who will ask a few questions to assess needs. Veterans may then be connected with the Homeless
Program point of contact at the nearest VA facility to them.
Many others are trying to help veterans at risk of homelessness. Soldier On is a nationally recognized non-profit
organization which works in partnership with the Department of Veterans Affairs and other agencies, to serve
veterans struggling with homelessness and addictions. They also offer peer support, counseling, financial
support, training, education and employment services. The group is expanding its outreach into several states.
Learn more at Soldier On.
AMRA knows that recent military retirees have a lot on their plates. If attending your retirement briefings and
out-processing from the base hasn't confused you enough, there's more work at home. There's the family
budget, which took a hit when active duty pay changed to retiree pay. You may even have to find a new
home, relocating to be nearer work or family. Still, if you're a very recent retiree from the active duty, guard
/reserve, there are some things you need to take care of ASAP. Even if your second career has great benefits,
disregarding some important deadlines could imperil some of your benefits and entitlements.
Obtain your military retiree ID card and any cards for family members. This is your key to benefits such
as base access, healthcare and more!
Want to change your life insurance from SGLI to VGLI?
Doing this as soon as possible after retirement eliminates the need for a new physical by a doctor.
If you opt to pay for TRICARE Retiree Dental Plan within 120 days after retirement, there is no waiting
period before coverage begins.
Sign up online at MyPay, DFAS's website which will allow you to download tax statements, Retiree
Account Statements (the retiree version of your active duty pay statement), update your contact info
and manage your retiree pay allotments from home. Be sure to keep your address current so you don't
miss crucial mailings regarding your pension. Coast Guard retirees can manage their pension at Pay and
Personnel Center.
Request and obtain a copy of your military medical records; safeguard them; they will be indispensible
if you later need to pursue a service-connected disability claim.
Make copies of your retirement documents, such as DD214 and certificates. These will be essential
down the road to you and your family members.
Visit the nearest Department of Veterans Affairs to enroll in the VA Healthcare system.
Become acquainted with your local Veterans Service Officer and learn what benefits may be available
locally to veterans, such as property tax exemptions.
Obtain copies of your military education transcripts; they will save time and money if you pursue
further education later on.
Finally, don't forget to check out your AMRA Member Benefits, which may be worth some real savings to
Wide Range of Entertainment at Discount at Fort Myer FMWR Counter in Community Center
The JBM-HH Family Morale Welfare and Recreation ticket counter in the Community (Recreation) Center on
McNair Road on Fort Myer has a broad range of discount tickets available to DoD ID card holders. Attractions
include the major regional amusement parks, movie theater chains, Colonial Williamsburg, Luray Caverns,
Madame Tussaud's, Crime and Punishment Museum, and Medieval Times dinner and tour. Prices are shown at
Department of Defense extends TRDP contract
The TRICARE Management Activity (TMA) of the Department of Defense has extended the current TRICARE
Retiree Dental Program (TRDP) contract – which runs from October 1, 2012 through September 30, 2013 – to
continue through December 31, 2013.
The contract extension brings no change in premiums or scope of benefits. However, the annual maximum for
enrollees in the Enhanced program will be increased to $1,500 for this period. Those in the Basic program will
see their maximum increase to $1,250. And, although the maximums are being INCREASED for the extended
period, enrollees will NOT be asked to pay a higher deductible.
These changes were implemented April 1. If you had already reached your maximum for the year, please have
your dentist resubmit your claim(s) that were not made due to exceeding the maximum.
Delta Dental also will serve as administrator of the new five-year TRDP contract, which will begin January 1,
The TRDP, authorized by Congress as part of the National Defense Authorization Act for fiscal year 1997, offers
affordable dental benefits as a voluntary option to the nation's 5 million-plus Uniformed Services retirees and
their family members. With current enrollment of more than 1.3 million, the TRDP is the nation's largest
voluntary, all-enrollee-paid dental programs.
The TRDP will continue as a worldwide, combined fee-for-service/preferred provider program that offers
enrollees access to any licensed dentist in all 50 states, plus the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam, the
U.S. Virgin Islands, American Samoa, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, Canada and overseas.
Thank you and If you have any other questions or need any assistance, please call Joe Montoya at 715-824-2940
or e-mail him at
[email protected]
At Cost Hearing Aids for Veterans
The DoD sponsored Retiree-At-Cost Hearing Aid Program (RACHAP) and the Retiree Hearing Aid Purchase
Program (RHAPP) are designed to help military retirees purchase hearing aids through an Audiology Clinic at a
special government negotiated cost. The hearing aids available through this program are the same state-of-the
art technologies available to active duty service members. The program is open to all military retirees who
have hearing loss or tinnitus (ringing in the ears). Dependents of military retirees are not eligible for this
program. Retirees can buy hearing aids at a significant savings by using the program. For example, a set of
hearing aids (one of the best available) that retails for about $5000.00 costs a retiree as little as $755.00 or
about 15% of the retail costs. Services for the hearing evaluation, hearing aid fitting and follow up hearing aid
checks are part of the retiree benefits and are available at no cost to you.
The list of facilities providing RACHAP\RHAPP in the RETVET-INFO message was obtained from the Military
Audiology Association (MAA) webpage at http://militaryaudiology.org/site/aids/. The website indicates the
list was last updated on 19 February 2013.
60+? Get One-Time Shingles Vaccine, Had Shingles?NIH SeniorHealth is featuring educating those who may be saved a painful disease, shingles, by getting the
shingles vaccine. (web site: http://nihseniorhealth.gov/shingles/prevention/01.html ). Shingles is a painful
skin disease caused by a reactivation of the chickenpox virus. It is distinctive because it affects only one side
of the body. The early signs of shingles usually develop in three stages: severe pain or tingling, possibly itchy
rash, and blisters that look like chickenpox.
Shingles is very common. Fifty percent of all Americans will have
had shingles by the time they are 80. While shingles occurs in people of all ages, it is most common in 60- to
80-year-olds. Shingles frequently reoccurs. Links at the cited web page discuss symptoms, treatment, and
frequently asked questions
A vaccine has been approved to prevent shingles in those who are 60 or older. The vaccine increases immunity
and continues to protect as the recipient ages and becomes more vulnerable. There is no maximum age.
Getting only one dose is recommended. Shingles vaccinations (Zostavax vaccine) is available at local military
treatment facilities listed below. Those seeking to be vaccinated will be screened before receiving the vaccine
for counter-indications (e.g., an active case of shingles).
Walter Reed National Military Medical Center Allergy/Immunology/Immunization Clinic 301-295-4510 4th
floor of America Building, walk-in OK, screening performed at clinic
Fort Belvoir Community Hospital Allergy/Immunization Clinic 571-231-1812/3, 1st floor, 1st reception, Eagle
Building, walk-in OK, screening performed at clinic
Rader Clinic- Available only to those who are enrolled for primary care at Rader Clinic and following
screening or concurrence by the primary care provider. Those seeking the vaccination may walk-in but will be
referred to the Primary Care desk for concurrence. It is recommended that Primary Care be called before
making a special trip for the shot (703-696-3630/2977). That Clinic should respond with a concurrence or nonconcurrence by phone.
Locations and Periods of Service for Presumption of Agent Orange Exposure for VA Disability
The Department of Veterans Affairs can presume that specific afflictions were caused by exposure to Agent
Orange based on locations and times of active military service, shown below:
1. Vietnam - between 9 January 1962 and 7 May 1975
2. Korea - between 1 April 1968 and 31 August 1971
3. Thailand - between 28 February 1961 and 7 May 1975
4. US Navy and Coast Guard ships operating on the waters of Vietnam - between 9 January 1962 and 7 May
1975 (the VA maintains a list of ships that could have been exposed to Agent Orange. Go to
www.publichealth.va.gov/exposures/agentorange/shiplist ).
5. Installations where Agent Orange and other herbicides were tested and stored inside and outside of the
United States (dates vary by location).
Vietnam service may also be classified as duty in a combat zone and thereby the recipient of a VA disability
compensation based on service there may also be eligible for Combat Related Special Compensation (CRSC).
The current list of medical conditions that can be related to exposure to Agent Orange is at
Your "Home Base" In Retirement Now, More Than Ever!
According to a recent American Forces Press Service item, dated March 15, 2013, Senator John Conger feels
that there are too many military installations...and says that's not good for the DOD and Federal Budget. "If
we assume our bases were either appropriately loaded or were carrying excess capacity," he said, "...force
reductions will increase that surplus."
In last year's budget request, the Pentagon asked Congress for permission to initiate two more rounds of base
closings, under what is known as BRAC, the Base Realignment and Closure Authority. Conger said the last round
of BRAC closings, in 2005, produced $4 billion in annual recurring savings.
In the BRAC process, an independent groups does studies and creates a list of installations it considers
dispensible, which is given to Congress to review. However, since 2003, the DOD has returned over a hundred
sites to host governments of its own accord, and the Army plans to close an addition 33 sites in Europe- savings
which will not appear immediately.
How is this important to military retirees? Usually, BRAC closings hit installations in outlying, little-populated
regions outside of the Southern states most favored by the military. Sadly, the closing of any installation
throws a monkey wrench into the old-age plans of military retirees and/or surviving spouses who may have
relocated to areas specifically to be near bases where they may save money by utilizing their military retiree
benefits to the fullest.
Not only do base closings "disenfranchise" military retirees from their earned benefits, which are generally
calculated into any equations made on the military retirement systems, but closings also shift the burden over
to state National Guard units. This increases taxes for residents and leaves Guard and Reserve retirees adrift as
well - a poor thank you to these service members, who have been carrying out 50% of overseas deployments
since the events of September 11, 2001. When bases close, retired members are cut off from their most
valuable advocate: the base Retiree Services Officer.
Find a base Retiree Office near you, before they're gone:
Coast Guard: email [email protected], call 866-664-6245 or visit CG Pay & Personnel Center (PPC)
The National Veteran’s Art Museum Chicago , Illinois
Did not know this existed!
When visitors first enter the museum, they will hear a sound like wind chimes coming from above them and
their attention will be drawn upward 24 feet to the ceiling of the two-story high atrium.
Dog tags of the more than 58,000 service men and women who died in the Vietnam War hang from the ceiling
of the National Vietnam Veterans Art Museum in Chicago on Veterans Day, November 11, 2010. The 10-by-40foot sculpture, entitled Above & Beyond, was designed by Ned Broderick and Richard Stein.
The tens of thousands of metal dog tags are suspended 24 feet in the air, 1 inch apart, from fine lines that
allow them to move and chime with shifting air currents. Museum employees using a kiosk and laser pointer
help visitors locate the exact dog tag with the imprinted name of their lost friend or relative.
The National Resource Directory
The National Resource Directory is a federal government website that connects wounded warriors, Service
Members, Veterans, families and caregivers to thousands of services and programs at the national, state and
local levels that support them during recovery, rehabilitation and reintegration. Visitors to the website can
find information on topics such as post-traumatic stress disorder, military and Veterans' benefits, health care,
educational opportunities, homeless assistance, employment and much more.
Throughout the past few months, more than 60 new resources have been added to the NRD, bringing the total
number of resources that can be accessed from the site to nearly 15,000. You can subscribe to any or all of the
following subject area(s) to receive updates about:
Benefits & Compensation
Education & Training
Family & Caregiver Support
Homeless Assistance
Transportation & Travel
Volunteer Opportunities
Other Services & Resources
In The News
Site users can also log in and personalize it, or site visitors can sign up to receive email updates. Also, there
are resources for those who want to volunteer to help veterans in their community.
Time To End Tricare’s Bloated-But-Untouchable Status
By Charles Lane
The Washington Post
Published: March 26, 2013
The U.S. government’s fiscal predicament has many causes. But if you had to reduce them to one sentence, it
might go like this: “Congress responds to the short-term demands of particular groups, not the long-term needs
of the nation as a whole.”
Case in point: the seemingly unstoppable growth of medical benefits for former military personnel under
Tricare, the Defense Department’s health program. This mushrooming expense is a major reason that Pentagon
health care spending rose from $19 billion in fiscal 2001 to $52.8 billion in fiscal 2012.
The latter figure represented nearly 10 percent of that year’s defense budget.
President Barack Obama has tried repeatedly to rein in this category of spending, on the very sound theory that
resources are finite and that dollars spent on retiree health care cannot be spent equipping and training the
active-duty armed forces for war — the Pentagon’s primary mission.
Military health care’s traditional role was to serve active-duty troops and their families, at no out-of-pocket
cost. Tricare still does that, except for small prescription co-payments. That makes sense as an incentive to
sign up for service and its attendant sacrifices.
Since 2000, however, Congress has repeatedly expanded the access of former military personnel to Tricare. By
2010, the eligible population had increased from 6.8 million a decade earlier to 9.7 million — nearly 85 percent
of whom were not active-duty service personnel, according to an excellent May 2012 Armed Forces Journal
article by Brittany Gregerson, of the Institute for Defense Analyses.
Obama’s reforms have been rebuffed every time, by Democrats and by supposedly fiscally conservative, prodefense Republicans. On a per capita basis, Tricare for Life is the most expensive Tricare program of the
Defense Department, Gregerson writes. Beneficiaries’ utilization rate far exceeds that of the other Tricare
programs’ participants — no surprise, since Tricare for Life beneficiaries have zero incentive to conserve.
Obama’s 2013 budget plan would have saved $12.8 billion over five years by gradually increasing the annual
enrollment fees of Tricare’s working-age retirees, with discounts for lower-income participants, and then
indexing the fees to the rate of national growth in health spending.
SOURCE: Stars and Stripes article at www.stripes.com/time-to-end-tricare-s-bloated-but-untouchable-status-
Streamlined DEERS Procedures
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, (April 10, 2013) - - A modification in the Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System (DEERS)
is expected to streamline personal records for better efficiency, the director of the Defense Manpower Data
Center said here yesterday. Information will now be entered into DEERS in personnel offices, rather than
identification card offices.
Family members can continue to use the identification card office to change their vital information, Dixon
added, and others will be referred to their personnel office when the change takes effect, expected to be by
the end of this month. The change is expected to increase accuracy of records, Dixon said, noting that any
time data is moved around, there's the possibility of typing mistakes. While cost-saving figures are not yet
available, Dixon said, the change will be a time-saver. In the past, she explained, the hope was that in addition
to going to the ID card office to update DEERS information, people also went to the personnel office and
changed the information in their personnel records so the records would match. However,when they did not go
to both places, it created mismatched data.
Dixon encouraged people enrolled in DEERS to check their records at MilConnect to make sure their information
is accurate and to report any errors they find to their personnel office.
You may find the nearest military ID card office by entering your zip code at RAPIDS.
What do you need to bring to obtain a military ID card? Find out at Required Documents.
Note: Don't forget! 100% service-connected disabled veterans and their families may be eligible for military ID
cards. Not to be confused with the VA Healthcare card, a military ID card will allow you and your eligible
dependents to enter military installations and use facilities such as the Commissary, Exchange and MRW
Download Your Own VA Medical Records
Hopefully, AMRA members remembered to request a copy of their military health records prior to leaving the
service. Then came more decisions: what healthcare plan to go with when, and where to find providers. If you
also use VA Healthcare, then you have another problem: forgetting what happened when, and which doctor
took care of it. Healthcare patients can always sign a release form from their doctor's office to give access to
other caregivers as needed, but the VA now offers another option to veterans: the VA's My HealtheVet's Blue
My HealtheVet's Blue Button feature allows you to view, print, or download and store information from your VA
personal health record (PHR) and share it with your VA and non-VA providers. Veterans or military retirees who
had an electronic health record while in the military can also set their preferences so that some VA and/or
DOD records feed into your VA Blue Button copy of your PHR, such as your military service information. Your
downloadable PHR can show you information for emergency contacts, health care teams and insurance
providers, over-the-counter medications, allergies, military health history, medical events and lab tests and
recorded Vitals & Readings (blood pressure, blood sugar, cholesterol, heart rate, body temperature, weight,
pain level, etc.) and prescription history.
There's a lot to explore at MyHealtheVet. (Note: to get an upgraded Premium My HealtheVet account, you will
need to go through authentication. This is a process by which VA verifies a Veterans' identity before allowing
access to his or her VA health record.)
Your DD214
It's the key to more Federal, State, County and local benefits than we can name here, so we sure hope you
have taken good care of your DD214. But, if a tornado blew it over to Kansas, there's help at hand. DD Form
214, Report of Separation is generally issued when a service member performs active duty or at least 90
consecutive days of active duty training. The Report of Separation contains information normally needed to
verify military service for benefits, retirement, employment and membership in veterans' organizations.
Information shown on the Report of Separation may include the service member's: date and place of entry into
active duty, home address at time of entry, date and place of release from active duty, last duty assignment
and rank, MOS, military education, decorations, and total creditable service. If you served in the
Guard/Reserve and were called up a few times, you may have a small collection of these...and they are all
important! Lost yours, or want one for a deceased loved one? You may order them through the National
Archives. Alternately, visit the Retiree Affairs/Retiree Services office at your local installation, or your local
County Veterans Service Office
Hagel Eliminates Distinguished Warfare Medal
WASHINGTON (April 15, 2013) -- Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel has eliminated the Distinguished Warfare
Medal, DOD officials announced today. Instead, the military will recognize service members who directly affect
combat operations without being present through distinguishing devices that will be affixed to already existing
"The Joint Chiefs of Staff, with the concurrence of the service secretaries, have recommended the creation of
a new distinguishing device that can be affixed to existing medals to recognize the extraordinary actions of this
small number of men and women," Hagel said in a written release. "I agree with the Joint Chiefs' findings, and
have directed the creation of a distinguishing device instead of a separate medal.
Are You an Atomic Veteran?
Every veteran comes across potential hazards during their service; some avoidable, some unavoidable.
Sometimes, well...No one knew at the time how bad it could get.
Veterans who served in any of the following situations or circumstances may have been exposed to damaging
radiation. They may qualify for VA benefits under Presumptive Conditions related to radiation exposure.
Fukushima nuclear accident: Japan from March 12 to May 11, 2011, following a nuclear accident on March 11,
Radiation-risk activity: participation in nuclear weapons testing and the American occupation of
Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
Military occupational exposure: Various military occupations, such as nuclear weapons technicians and
dental technicians, include routine and usually safe exposure to radiation.
Depleted uranium: During an explosion, pieces of depleted uranium used in tank armor and some
bullets can scatter and embed in muscle and soft tissue.
LORAN radiation: U.S. Coast Guard Veterans who worked at LORAN (Long Range Navigation) stations
from 1942 to 2010 may have been exposed to X-ray radiation from high voltage vacuum tubes.
McMurdo Station, Antarctica nuclear power plant: The U.S. Navy operated a small nuclear plant from
1964 to 1973, which was decommissioned after a leak was discovered.
Nasopharyngeal (nose and throat) radium irradiation treatments: Certain pilots, submariners, divers,
and others were given this treatment during service in 1940 to the mid-1960s to prevent ear damage
from pressure changes. These Veterans are eligible for a free Ionizing Radiation Registry health exam.
Radiation therapy: Ionizing radiation can be used for the treatment or diagnosis of disease, most
commonly cancer.
Veteran eMentor Program:
The Veteran eMentor Program leverages the internet to create a dynamic information sharing, learning and
support community that extends far beyond the veteran's current network. Protégés can receive personalized
career guidance, advice, support and inspiration from more experienced veterans, career mentors and veteranfriendly employers. This is how it works:
Mentors and protégés are matched through a state of the art virtual mentoring website
New Mentors and Proteges complete an online profile, providing background information and interests
that help match them to a suitable mentoring partner
Once their profile is complete, protégés can immediately seek a mentor, ask a question, join a
discussion forum, review posted resources, and more.
When a mentor accepts a protégé’s invitation to connect, the pair work together to establish goals,
develop an action plan, and measure progress against the stated objectives.
Most relationships take place mainly online using either the platform's messaging tool or via regular
email. Mentor pairs may choose to connect on the phone (which is highly encouraged) or meet in
The relationship is supported with periodic training emails, newsletters, and online training
opportunities for mentors and proteges, and the availability of phone or online coaching on any aspect
of mentoring.
Whether paired or unpaired, mentors can interact with protégés by posting in a discussion forum,
answering protégés' questions, posting an article, or messaging specific protégés they would like to
There are no fees or costs associated with this program. If interested go to
UCMJ Applicable to Retirees:
Have you ever heard a retiree say, “They can’t touch me now; I’ve retired.”? Fortunately, for the sake of
military justice, this is not true when it comes to retirees who violated the Uniform Code of Military Justice
(UCMJ) while they were on active duty or in a retired status. Under Article 2 of the UCMJ, the Armed Forces
maintain court-martial jurisdiction over retired personnel. Army Regulation 27-10, Military Justice, states
“Retired members of a regular component of the Armed Forces who are entitled to pay are subject to the
provisions of the UCMJ . . . and may be tried by court-martial for violations of the UCMJ that occurred while
they were on active duty or while in a retired status.” Department of the Army policy, however, does limit
these trials to cases where extraordinary circumstances are present. The Army normally declines to prosecute
retired Soldiers unless their crimes have clear ties to the military, or are clearly service discrediting. If
necessary to facilitate courts-martial action, retired Soldiers may be ordered to active duty. The regulation
adds that “Retired Reserve Component Soldiers are subject to recall to active duty for the investigation of
UCMJ offenses they are alleged to have committed while in a Title 10 duty status, for trial by court-martial, or
for proceedings under UCMJ, Article 15.” Forfeitures imposed under the UCMJ, Article 15 may even be applied
against retired pay. [Source: Army Echoes MAY-AUG 2013 ++]
DOD Self-Service Logon:
The Department of Defense Self-Service Logon (DS Logon) is a relatively new, secure, self-service logon ID that
allows Department of Defense (DOD) and Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) members and affiliates to access
numerous government websites using a single username and password. Besides the convenience of needing
only one username and password to access these websites, DS Logon provides a high level of authentication
that goes beyond simple username/passwords used by most websites. This allows government agencies to
provide real-time, personalized information to users. A DS Logon is also useful in situations where Common
Access Card (CAC) authentication is not available or the member does not have a CAC like most Retirees.
Currently, the following groups of people can obtain a DS Logon:
 Service Members (Active Duty, Guard/Reservists, Retirees).
 Veterans.
 Spouses (including Surviving Spouses).
 Eligible Family Members (18 and over).
Users must be enrolled in the Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System (DEERS) to obtain a DS Logon
account. There are two types of DS Logon accounts: a basic account and a premium account. The main
difference is:
 The basic account can be obtained online without verification of your identity, but it does not provide
access to personal information in VA or DOD systems. The main advantage of a basic account is that it
enables you to upgrade more quickly to a premium account when you go in person to a VA Regional
Office or a TRICARE Service Center.
 The premium account allows users to access websites that contain their personal information. This
logon can be used across DOD and VA applications such as the eBenefits portal; TRICARE Online (TOL)
portals; Beneficiary Web Enrollment (BWE); MilConnect: Transferability of Education Benefits; Health
Net Federal Services; Humana Military; MyTricare.com; and TRICARE-overseas.com, to name a few. It
will be the primary method of single sign-on for all DOD and VA web authentication in the not-toodistant future, and for the Army, will replace the Army Knowledge Online (AKO) login.
There are several ways to obtain a DS Logon account: First, visit the “DS Logon – My Access Center,”
https://www.dmdc.osd.mil/appj/dsaccess/. A basic account can be established immediately on this site. Upgrading
to a premium account may also be accomplished at this site. The quickest and most convenient method of
obtaining a premium account is to complete the “remote proofing process” on this site which involves using a
secure ID that users may already have, such as a Social Security Number, and answering three basic, personal
questions. CAC holders may upgrade their accounts immediately using their CAC. Individuals who do not have a
CAC and who cannot complete the remote proofing process for some reason may request an activation code
from the Defense Manpower Data Center (DMDC) if they have a myPay account established at the Defense
Finance and Accounting Service.
TRICARE Shingles Coverage:
TRICARE covers the shingles vaccine, Zostavax, as recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and
Prevention (CDC). Zostavax is recommended for beneficiaries 60 and older. To learn more about shingles and
the vaccine, visit the CDC Web site http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/vpd-vac/shingles/default.htm. You may
receive the shingles vaccine at no cost from your doctor's office or at a participating TRICARE retail network
pharmacy. To find a pharmacy that participates in the vaccine program, search for a participating pharmacy
online at http://www.express-scripts.com/TRICARE/pharmacy/ or call 1-877-363-1303. If you get the vaccine
from your provider, you may have to pay copayments or cost shares for the office visit or other services
received during the office visit. Before getting the vaccine at a pharmacy, you should call the pharmacy first
 Verify the days and times you can come in for a vaccine.
See if there are any restrictions.
 Make sure the pharmacy has the vaccine you need as some, such as shingles, may be in short supply.
 Make sure a pharmacist gives the vaccines and not a provider from an in-pharmacy clinic to avoid potential cost
shares or copayments.
A Note for TRICARE For Life Beneficiaries: If you get the shingles vaccine from your provider, its covered
under the TRICARE medical benefit as a preventive service. Because the cost sharing waiver for preventive
services does not apply when using TRICARE For Life (TFL), you will be responsible to pay the TRICARE cost
share after you've met your annual deductible. If you have TFL related questions, please contact TFL Customer
Service: In the U.S. and U.S. Territories, contact WPS TRICARE For Life at 1-866-773-0404 (TDD 1-866-773-0405)
If outside the U.S. and its Territories, use the International SOS web page at http://www.tricareoverseas.com/ContactUs/default.htm to find applicable overseas TFL Customer Service contact info. [Source:
TRICARE Website www.tricare.mil/CoveredServices/SeeWhatsCovered/ShinglesVaccine.aspx?sc_database=web
Jun 2013]
Tricare Pharmacy APPs:
TRICARE beneficiaries have new pharmacy options available and accessible in the palm of their hand just by
using TRICARE pharmacy contractor Express Script’s enhanced mobile application. The new additions let
beneficiaries use their smartphones to safely and securely manage their TRICARE pharmacy benefit. The
updated app includes medication reminders and an account registration tool. The reminder feature gives
beneficiaries the option to set up daily alerts to make sure they take their medications as prescribed and don’t
skip a dose. The account registration feature lets beneficiaries create their ESI accounts right on their smart
phones. “The Express Rx mobile app gives beneficiaries access to their prescription information anytime,
anywhere,” said Rear Adm. Thomas J. McGinnis, chief of TRICARE Pharmacy Operations.
Currently, the Express Rx app and mobile-optimized website allow beneficiaries to register for TRICARE
Pharmacy Home Delivery and change current prescriptions over to home delivery. They can also order home
delivery refills and check order status. Another feature lets beneficiaries look up information on their current
prescriptions. For GPS-enabled smart phones, the app can direct beneficiaries to the nearest network retail
pharmacy. Smartphone users can download the app for free by going to http://www.express-scripts.com/mobile or
using services like the Apple App Store or Android Marketplace. The mobile-optimized pharmacy website is
accessible at http://m.esrx.com. For more information about TRICARE pharmacy program, visit
www.tricare.mil/pharmacy. To learn how to switch to TRICARE pharmacy home delivery refer to
http://www.tricare.mil/homedelivery. [Source: Army Echoes MAY-AUG 2013 ++]
New "Emergency Rooms" and TRICARE
TRICARE beneficiaries may have noticed new kinds of "Emergency Centers" popping up in their area.
This may seem like a tempting health care option, helping you avoid long waits, but TRICARE's definition of an
ER is an organized, hospital-based facility available 24 hours a day providing emergency services to patients
who need immediate medical attention. Emergency departments affiliated with a hospital are most likely
TRICARE-authorized providers. However, if they are NOT, then TRICARE is prohibited from paying it "facility
fees." That can leave a beneficiary stuck with a BIG bill!
Your best bet? Check out freestanding ER's BEFORE you get sick by calling your regional contractor.
Learn more about emergency care under TRICARE.
National Women Vets Hotline Update:
A new national hotline is operated out of the Canandaigua VA (Department of Veterans Affairs) Medical Center
and has the special focus of helping female veterans. The National Women Veterans Call Center opened in
late April and is staffed by women employees. Female veterans from across the country can call the hotline
and get information about benefits, resources for homeless veterans, education benefits and those seeking
help for mental illness and military sexual trauma. Currently about ten female staff members man the phones
so that women veterans feel comfortable asking questions. “Women veterans who have any sort of questions
or concerns, they can call us and we will provide them the answers they need,” said Director Krista
Stephenson. “We see ourselves as one-stop shopping for women veterans. We will get them the answers and
refer them appropriately.”
National Women Veterans Call Center
Since opening in late April, the call center has reached out to more than 16,000 female veterans to let
them know they are eligible for VA benefits. They also get, on average, about 100 calls a day from female
veterans seeking help or information. Stephenson said that women make up 15 percent of today’s active duty
military and the number of female veterans grows each year. However, Stephenson said many female veterans
don’t seek help or benefits from the Department of Veteran Affairs. She explained that it may be because they
don’t know they are eligible veterans. “Unfortunately, women do not see themselves as a veteran and they
don't identify as a vet. Maybe because they were in a support role or they've never been deployed, so they
don't see themselves as veterans.”
Mother Kelly Ayer, the executive director of the Zion House in Avon, also said women veterans often do not
seek help. The Zion House is a transitional home for female veterans and Ayer has seen women veterans who
live on the streets because they don’t reach out for help. Ayer said, “One of the current residents did a full
three-year tour in the Army and Navy. She served a total of six years in the military and had no clue that she
was eligible for service. She's 60 years old and she was ready to pitch a tent and live under a bridge.” Ayer
said, for a long time, the problem was that there weren’t many resources for female veterans. She feels that
that’s slowly starting to change and she supports this new hotline. “They can call this hotline and potentially
get some resources and plugged into resources that would keep them from becoming homeless in the first
place,” Ayer explained. “That's huge. These women served honorably and served with distinction. I think it's
about time we be intentional about serving them so I'm very encouraged.”
Stephenson also acknowledges that the VA has recently improved its efforts in helping female veterans.
“The VA has come a long way in providing women-specific services. I think where the VA was 20 years ago and
where it is today is drastically different,” Stephenson said. If you would like to contact the National Women
Veterans Hotline, call 1-855-VA-WOMEN (1-855-829-6636) [Source: ABC WHAM-13 | Angela Hong | 6 Jun 2013
Commissary Elimination Update:
A 2 JUN Washington Post editorial on the difficulty of reining in military spending criticizes the commissary
benefit while repeating misleading and outright wrong information on personnel costs. MOAA's president set the
record straight in his letter to the editor.
June 3, 2013
Washington Post
Dear Editor,
Rajiv Chandrasekaran’s “Plan to shut military supermarkets…” (June 2) criticizes commissary benefits while regurgitating
misleading and wrong information on military personnel costs as if servicemembers who serve more than 20 years to their
country are a liability.
Chandrasekaran parrots the myth that for “troops who remain in uniform for 20 years or more, the military provides an
annual pension immediately upon retirement…equivalent to half of their final-years' salary.” The fact is non-commissioned
officers retiring today with 20 years earn retired pay that replaces 31% of their Regular Military Compensation “salary.”
The author highlights “personnel costs now account for more than a quarter of all defense spending” as if spiraling out of
control. The fact is personnel costs have remained steady and consumed the same share of the defense budget for the past 30
If military pay and benefits are so great, why aren’t more people joining? Because few are willing to endure the demands and
sacrifices of uniformed service for a single term, let alone 20 or 30 years.
The author glossed over and thus inadvertently devalues the extraordinary contributions made by the fewer than 1% who
wear the military uniform on behalf of the remaining 99% of Americans.
Norb Ryan, VADM, USN (Ret)
Military Officers Association of America
[Source: MOAA Leg Up 7 Jun 2013 ++]
Sequestration Impacts Commissaries
The Fort Myer Commissary (and essentially all other Defense Commissary Agency commissaries) will be closed
each Monday from 8 July through 30 September. The Fort Myer Commissary will maintain its present hour
schedules on all of the other days as shown at
http://www.commissaries.com/stores/html/store.cfm?dodaac=HQCNFH The DeCA news release on the response
to sequestration is at http://www.commissaries.com/press_room/press_release/2013/DeCA_36_13.cfm
Rader Clinic Sequestration Furlough Plans
The Rader Clinic provided a briefing in which the Clinic's plans to meet the sequestration requirements were
described. The Clinic will be closed to all but "urgent care" appointments on Fridays July through September.
Walk-in services such as laboratory, pharmacy refills, or pharmacy filling of initial prescriptions (except
prescriptions entered for urgent care patients prescribed that day), and x-rays will not be available those
Health Care Reform Update:
The Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, requires everyone to purchase health insurance by 1 JAN
2014 or pay a penalty, but a new survey indicates that many of the uninsured still aren’t sure about getting
coverage. InsuranceQuotes.com released the survey, which initially included 1,001 adults, 134 of whom were
uninsured. They interviewed an additional 152 uninsured adults to get better data. Among the uninsured, 64
percent said they had not yet decided to purchase insurance, 19 percent planned to acquire coverage by the
deadline, and 10 percent planned to simply pay the penalty for not buying it. That penalty starts small, but
gets bigger over time, the site says: In 2014 [the penalty] is the greater of $95 or 1 percent of income for an
adult. For children under 18, the penalty is half the adult amount. The penalty increases each year, up to the
greater of $695 or 2.5 percent of household income for an adult in 2016. And a family would pay a maximum of
the greater of $2,085 or 2.5 percent of income then, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation. Here are some
additional findings from the survey:
 61 percent of the uninsured said they don’t have health insurance because they can’t afford it.
 58 percent aren’t sure if they qualify for tax credits that will lower their insurance costs under Obamacare.
 68 percent of those with incomes under $30,000 a year are not sure of their eligibility.
 61 percent of Americans believe Obamacare will increase the cost of health care.
Tax credits will be available to households with incomes between 100 percent and 400 percent of the
federal poverty level, Healthcare.gov says. That is currently $45,960 for an individual or $94,200 for a family
of four, Families USA says. You can estimate the size of your potential tax credit with the Kaiser Family
Foundation subsidy calculator at http://kff.org/interactive/subsidy-calculator/. For an individual making
$30,000 a year, Kaiser says minimum coverage would cost about $1,964 per year after a $538 tax credit —
working out to a monthly payment of about $165. (Although it’s worth noting that someone with minimum
coverage would face higher out-of-pocket costs.) [Source: MoneyTalksNews | Brandon Ballenger | 3 Jun 2013
VA Mental Health Care Update:
For veterans with mental health conditions, prompt and continuous access to mental health care can be
lifesaving. However, research shows that after deployment, veterans often go years without obtaining mental
health care, and when they do, their care is often fragmented. A recent study found that, among veterans with
mental health conditions such as post-traumatic stress disorder and depression, the average time between
return from deployment and initiation of mental health care was two years. The study, which looked at
veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars who visited Veterans Affairs (VA) medical centers between 2001 and
2011, also found that an average of seven and a half years lapsed between the first mental health visit, and the
start of treatment that would be considered "minimally adequate" for these conditions — which would be eight
treatment sessions within a year.
By the end of the study, 75 percent of veterans had not received minimally adequate care. The findings
were published in the December 2012 issue of the journal Psychiatric Services. Prompt care is important
because mental illness can impair people's lives and interfere with their relationships and jobs, said study
researcher Shira Maguen, a psychologist at the San Francisco Veterans Affairs Medical Center who treats
patients with PTSD. "If we can get them into care sooner, that’s less time that they have to live with some of
those challenges after they return from deployment," Maguen said. Many factors can interfere with veterans
getting mental health care, including the stigma associated with mental illnesses (such as the belief that
seeking care is a sign of weakness), concern that seeking care may jeopardize their careers, trouble finding
transport to VA centers, and trouble getting appointments. (Last year, a report from the VA inspector general
found that about half of veterans seeking a mental health evaluation waited an average of 50 days for an
To broaden access to mental health care, the VA says it has taken steps to increase staffing and to partner
with community health care centers. In a report released last week, the VA said it has made agreements with
15 local clinics in seven states to allow veterans to be treated at those clinics The inspector general report said
the VA needs to improve its effort to reach out to patients who do not show up for mental health
Rudd said the VA may want to consider conducting home visits for psychiatric patients who have trouble getting
to VA centers. The inspector general report said the VA should consider expanding the use of telemental health
services, such as videoconferencing. The VA also said this week it has increased capacity of its Veterans Crisis
Line to connect veterans in crisis with trained mental health providers. [Source: MyHealthNewsDaily | Rachael
Rettner | 31 May 2013 ++]
GI Bill Update:
The Federal Savings bank has been informing Student veterans that they will now receive extra assistance with
accessing their benefits through a new program called 1 Student Veteran. The initiative was created through a
partnership between the Student Veterans of America (SVA) and the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW). Any
student veteran having difficulty with a GI Bill or other VA benefit can email the 1 Student Veteran hotline at
[email protected] to report the problem. A response will be sent within 24 hours during the
workweek, and VFW staff will then either intervene or recommend further action, according to the SVA. "This
partnership with the VFW will ensure student veterans are provided with the necessary support needed to gain
access to their earned benefits and navigate the complex education claims process," said Michael Dakduk,
executive director of SVA. If you are having trouble accessing other veterans benefits such a VA home loan,
the Federal Savings Bank can help. Call (877) 788-3520 or 312-738-6000 to learn more. Because the VFW has
direct access to the regional VA processing offices, it hopes to solve student veterans' issues expediently, as
reported by The Marine Corps Times. The 1 Student Veteran hotline will also be modeled after the way the
VFW assists with VA disability claims. [Source: PRWEB.com Newswire article 1 Jun 2013 ++]
According to an AP report, the Senate may soon have the chance to vote on whether or not to remove the
time limit for GI Bill benefits. Currently veterans have 10 years to use their Montgomery GI Bill (or 15 years to
use their Post-9/11 GI Bill). The so-called delimiting date is determined by the veterans last discharge date.
Senator Richard Blumenthal announced his new bill on 28 MAY, saying the new bill that would repeal the
“unfair and arbitrary time limits.” Blumenthal said more than 2 million veterans who missed the 10-year
expiration date have been denied the benefits despite paying the required Montgomery GI Bill enrollment fee
of $1,200. While the Veterans Back to School Act of 2013 (S.863) would not have an immediate effect on Post9/11 vets, it would restore the GI Bill for many Vietnam, Cold-War, and Gulf-War era veterans who were
unable to take advantage of their benefits within the 10 years after discharge. [Source: Military.com | Terry
Howell | 30 May 2013 ++]
Retiree Appreciation Days Update:
Retiree Appreciation Days (RADs) are designed with you in mind. They're a great source of the latest
information for retirees and Family members in your area. RADs vary from installation to installation, but, in
general, they provide an opportunity to renew acquaintances, listen to guest speakers, renew ID Cards, get
medical checkups, and various other services. Some RADs include special events such as dinners or golf
tournaments. Due to budget constraints, some RADs may be cancelled or rescheduled. Also, scheduled
appearances of DFAS representatives may not be possible. If you plan to travel long distances to attend a RAD,
before traveling, you should call the sponsoring RSO to ensure the RAD will held as scheduled and, if
applicable, whether or not DFAS reps will be available. For more information ,call the phone number indicated
below of the Retirement Services Officer (RSO) sponsoring the RAD.
RSO Phone Number
Fort Belvoir, VA
20 September
Fort Detrick, MD
10 October
JB Myer-Henderson Hall, VA
11 October
Aberdeen Proving Ground, MD
19 October
Ft. Meade, MD
19 October
JB Anacostia-Bolling DC
26 October
202 767-5244
Stolen Valor Update:
If you lie about being awarded military honors for profit, you can now be subject to criminal prosecution,
according to a new law signed by President Obama 3 JAN. The Stolen Valor Act of 2013, introduced in January
by Rep. Joe Heck (R-NV), “makes it a Federal crime for an individual to fraudulently hold oneself out to be a
recipient of any of several specified military decorations or medals with the intent to obtain money, property,
or other tangible benefit,” the White House said announcing the signing. The law was the latest attempt by the
government to help protect real military heroes from phonies. The original iteration of the bill, the Stolen
Valor Act of 2005, had been in effect for six years before the Supreme Court ruled it was unconstitutional.
At the time, the law was written to say it was a crime simply to lie about military service and awards — a broad
characterization the Supreme Court said violated a person’s First Amendment right to free speech. A new
version of the bill, introduced by Heck in late 2012, narrowed the act to say the liar must be attempting to
somehow materially profit from the lies, making the would-be crime more akin to fraud. A tweaked version of
that bill was reintroduced in 2013. President Obama took a hard stance against military phonies last year when
he announced a new government website to track awards for legitimate heroes. “It may no longer be a crime
for con artists to pass themselves off as heroes, but one thing is certain – it is contemptible,” he said in
reference to the Supreme Court’s ruling in 2012. “…No American hero should ever have their valor stolen.”
[Source: ABC News | Lee Farren | 3 Jun 2013 ++]
Vet Hiring Fairs:
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s (USCC) Hiring Our Heroes program employment workshops are available in
conjunction with hundreds of their hiring fairs. These workshops are designed to help veterans and military
spouses and include resume writing, interview skills, and one-on-one mentoring. For details of each click on
the link next to the date and city in the below list. If it will not open refer to
www.uschamber.com/hiringourheroes/events. To participate, sign up for the workshop in addition to registering for
the hiring fairs which are presently scheduled for: For more information about the USCC Hiring Our Heroes
Program, Military Spouse Program, Transition Assistance, GE Employment Workshops, Resume Engine, etc. visit
the USCC website at http://www.uschamber.com/hiringourheroes/events
Hiring Our Heroes, a program of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce (USCC) Foundation,
Launched in March 2011 as a nationwide initiative to help veterans and military spouses find meaningful
employment. Working with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce's vast network of state and local chambers and
other strategic partners from the public, private, and non-profit sectors, the USCC goal is to create a
movement across America in hundreds of communities where veterans and military families return every day.
Hiring Our Heroes has hosted more than 530 hiring fairs in all 50 states, Puerto Rico, and the District of
Columbia. Through December 31, 2012, more than 18,400 veterans and military spouses had obtained jobs.
Hiring Our Heroes is proud to announce employment workshops are now available in conjunction with hundreds
of USCC hiring fairs. These workshops are designed to help veterans and military spouses and include resume
writing, interview skills, and one-on-one mentoring.
To participate, please use the below listed link, as applicable, to sign up for the workshop in addition to
registering for the hiring fair.
05 Sep 13
19 Sep 13
03 Oct 13
01 Nov 13
Quantico, VA
Richmond, VA
Baltimore, MD http://www.uschamber.com/hiringourheroes/baltimore-md2
JB Anacostia-Bolling, DC http://www.uschamber.com/hiringourheroes/joint-base-anacostia-bolling
Vet Jobs Update (accurate information but a little funny):
The economy isn’t as strong as it used to be, a fact keenly felt by every job seeker. Industries shrink,
companies issue mass layoffs, and hard-working people often fall between the economic cracks. But whether
you’re looking for a career change or something to pay bills, Forbes has compiled a list of weird but lucrative
jobs. They might seem strange, but you’ll be laughing all the way to the bank if you happen to land one. Keep
in mind that all of these wages are averages — there’s no guarantee that each of these positions pay as well
they’re reported to. If you’re willing to step outside the box and experience something different, take a look
at the list below. 
1) Embalmer - Embalmers use a variety of techniques to make the deceased look presentable for the living.
Although the job primarily entails working with bodies, embalmers also have to work out a plan of action with
the deceased’s relatives to determine the best method of preservation including poses and clothing.
Embalmers usually need either an associates or bachelor’s degree in mortuary science. Average Salary: $43,680
2) Hot Dog Vendor – It may sound ridiculous, but hot dog vendors can actually make a tidy profit. Hot dogs are
cheap, and if you pick a high traffic area, treat your customers well, and earn a following, the money will start
flowing. The first step is to obtain the proper licenses — you’ll need one from the city to sell, and one from the
health department to sell food. Don’t go into the job blind: you’ll need to consider the expenses of your cart,
permits, supplies, small business taxes, and whether or not you’re near viable locations to sell. Average Salary:
$30,000 to $100,000
3) Ice Cream Taster (Food Scientist) – You may love stuffing your face with food the world over, but becoming a
proper food scientist is nothing to take lightly. Far from telling companies what tastes good and what doesn’t,
food scientists usually need certification and/or a degree in nutrition, food analysis, food chemistry, or food
engineering among others. If you pursue a masters or PHD in that field, your chances of getting a job are
higher. Average Salary: $56,000
5) Virtual Head Hunter – Headhunting is an industry of specialists: you won’t cut it if you’re not dedicated and
adept. A virtual head hunter finds employers that are offering a reward for a job they've posted online. If
you're able to find someone and the company hires them you get a reward for your findings. While it’s true you
can make a lot of money, the first step is to avoid scams like the plague. The best way, and some would say
the only way, to learn the business is to find a few good firms and start sending out applications. You’ll have to
learn everything from a professional who’s already established themselves. If you have the chops for the job
and persevere, you may be on your way to success. Average Salary: $250 – $10,000 per referral
6) Funeral Service Manager – Managing funeral services takes the right kind of person, but it can be a rewarding
and lucrative job. Taking courses in biology will help build a stable base of knowledge, and while many jobs
require an associates degree, many companies are asking for a bachelors. Courses include grief counseling,
ethics, and business law. Average Salary: $79,930
7) Body Part Model – Is there a part of your body you think might be model material? Modeling isn’t all about
glitz and glamour, some people earn a living on just their hands, feet, or neck among others. If you really think
your particular body part has what it takes, get a professional photographer to take a number of pictures of
that body part and use them to put together a portfolio. Then, scope out casting calls from modeling agencies
that represent body part models and hope for the best. Average Salary: $20 to $1,000 per afternoon
8) Live Mannequin/Human Statue – If you’ve managed to get through drills that require seemingly endless
minutes of standing at ease or at attention, live modeling will either be a natural use of your hard-won skills or
a nightmare come to life. Either way, if you choose to pursue this profession keep in mind that it’s not terribly
different from regular modeling — you’ll need to work with an agency which means selling yourself. Build a
portfolio of professional photos and start applying. Average Salary: Up to $100 per hour
9) Genetic Counselor – Genetic counselors help advise people on what diseases and disorders they may possess
or potentially pass to their children. This job requires no less than a masters degree, but they payout can be
high. Aside from analyzing information and a wealth of medical knowledge, genetic counselor’s must have
strong interpersonal skills to work with clients. Average Salary: 55,820 per year
10) Cruise Ship Entertainer – The job requires talent and physical fitness, but it may be one of the most plush
careers around. Cruise ship entertainers are professional singers, dances, and general entertainers. If you want
to get paid to entertain people on a cruise ship with free room and board, you’ll need to hone your specific
talent. Once you feel ready to apply, build a professional portfolio and seek out cruise ship companies.
Remember that it’ll often take multiple rejections before landing a gig, but the wait is worth it. Average
Salary: $3,000 to $4,500 per month plus room and board
[Source: Military.com | Stphen Bajza | 29 May 2013 ++]
VA Launches Hotline to Answer Questions on VA Health Care and Benefits for Women
1-855-VA-WOMEN (1-855-829-6636)
WASHINGTON – The Department of Veterans Affairs has launched a new hotline —
1-855-VA-WOMEN — to
receive and respond to questions from Veterans, their families and caregivers about the many VA services and
resources available to women Veterans. The service began accepting calls on March 27, 2013.
“Some women Veterans may not know about high-quality VA care and services available to them,” said
Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric K. Shinseki. “The hotline will allow us to field their questions and provide
critical information about the latest enhancements in VA services.”
The hotline is staffed by knowledgeable VA employees who can provide information about benefits including
health care services for women. Callers can be linked to information on claims, education or health care
appointments as well as information about VA cemeteries and memorial benefits. Staff can answer urgent
questions and provide referrals to homeless and mental health services as well as provide Vet Center
Women make up nearly 15 percent of today’s active duty military and 18 percent of National Guard and
Reserve forces. The population of women Veterans using VA benefits including health care is growing rapidly.
Since 2000, the number of women using VA health care more than doubled, from nearly 160,000 in 2000 to
more than 354,000 in 2012. Based on the upward trend of women in all branches of service, the number of
women Veterans—and female VA users—will keep climbing.
VA Benefits Handbook 2012:
The latest edition of the Federal Benefits for Veterans and Dependents Pamphlet can be obtained from the
Department of Veterans Affairs online or by mail. A chapter listing of the pub can be accessed at
http://www.va.gov/opa/publications/benefits_book.asp for quick reference to subjects of interest. It updates
the rates for certain federal payments and outlines a variety of programs and benefits for American veterans.
TRICARE Offers New Prescription Coverage to Help Kick Tobacco
TRICARE beneficiaries living in the United States now have a new weapon in their fight to kick the tobacco
habit. Tobacco cessation medications are now covered through the TRICARE Pharmacy Home Delivery program.
The medications are available to beneficiaries with a prescription who are 18 years or older, but not eligible
for Medicare.
Though a limited number of cessation medications have previously been available in military hospitals and
clinics, beneficiaries trying to kick the habit can now get a wide range of gums, pills, lozenges, patches or
nasal sprays delivered free through safe, convenient TRICARE Pharmacy Home Delivery. For more on using
home delivery go to www.tricare.mil/homedelivery.
Those same medications should also be available soon, also at no cost, through most military clinics and
hospitals. As always, patients with a prescription should check ahead for availability of medications and to see
if their military facility requires participation in a cessation program or class.
For more on covered medications and the TRICARE cessation program go to www.tricare.mil/quittobacco
Photocopying of Military Identification Cards
Recent incidents regarding the photocopying of military identification cards and common access cards (CAC),
by commercial establishments to verify military affiliation or provide
government rates for service, have been reported.
Personnel are reminded that the photocopying of US Government Identification is a violation of Title
18, US Code Part I, Chapter 33, Section 701 and punishable by both fine and/or imprisonment.
Many military members, family members and DoD employees are unaware of this law. Please pass to
the lowest level and include in training for force protection, information security and OPSEC.
*NOTE: This does not apply to medical establishments (i.e. doctor’s office, hospitals,
etc…) who are allowed take a copy for the purpose of filing insurance claims; and other government agencies in
the performance of official government business.
Ditch Funeral Honors for Non-Hero Vets
Columnist (Bill McClellan):
“Bear in mind that most veterans did nothing heroic. They served, and that’s laudable, but it hardly seems
necessary to provide them all with military honors after they have died.” This is the argument offered by the
St. Louis Post-Dispatch’s Bill McClellan ([email protected], Tel: 314-340-8143) in his recent
column on why the federal government should no longer provide military funeral honors to veterans.Give
honors only to those who have died in combat, he writes. If others want honors they should look to their
veterans organizations such as the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VWF) to provide them.
“Everybody knows government needs to cut costs,” he writes. “This is exactly how you do it. You identify
things you don’t need, and you cut them.”
McClellan bases his knowledge of the lack of heroism in veterans off his own experience in Vietnam. “I did
nothing heroic. Nor did any of my close friends. But I knew people who did, and it devalues the real heroes to
say that everybody was one,” he writes. “If everybody is a hero, nobody is.” I can see how he arrived at this
conclusion. He’s saying that in a drafted military you are there because you have no other choice. But he’s still
way off target.
Vietnam or not– not everybody is a hero. But we know that everyone who served IS. Plenty of drafted men
didn’t even show up, placing those who did in a different category. And enduring scorn after homecoming, as
our many Vietnam Vet commenters will happily tell you, is no joke either.
And in today’s wars, again, certainly not everybody is a hero. Less than one percent of Americans volunteer to
serve. That makes more than 99 percent of Americans (with the obvious exclusion of our firefights and cops
who are heroes in their own right) excluded from this category. Ninety-nine percent of Americans are not
heroes. One percent are heroes just by virtue of volunteering for the risk of war.
The other problem with McClellan’s argument is the question of how you define “hero.” McClellan says that the
real heroes are the ones who have given up actual life. And there’s no question about it – that is the highest
But we know from personal experience that plenty who have served have given all but their life. Some have
given some or all their limbs. Some have given their ability to think, to remember, to function. Some have
given their mental health. Our heroes have given their hearing, they’re skeletal integrity, their ability to walk
without a limp, going a week without combat dreams and many more things the 99 percent takes for granted.
Do veterans NEED full honors at their funeral? Probably not. But America NEEDS military veterans. And there’s
no price you can put on that.
Read more and view\post comments at http://spousebuzz.com/blog/2013/03/columnist-ditch-
Correcting Your Military Record
Each branch of the military has its own procedures for correcting the military records of its members and
former members. Correction of a military record may result in eligibility for VA and other benefits, such as
back pay and military retirement, which the veteran (or survivors) could not otherwise get. Generally, a
request for correction must be filed within three years after the discovery of the alleged error or injustice.
If you believe there is an error in your military record, apply in writing to the appropriate Service using a DD
Form 149, "Application for Correction of Military or Naval Record." The form can be submitted by the veteran,
survivor, or a legal representative.
DD Form 149 can be obtained at your local Veterans Service Agency Office, from the National Archives or DOD
Forms Management.
Vet Guide for Government Employment
The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) administers entitlement to veterans' preference in government
employment under title 5, United States Code, and oversees other statutory employment requirements in titles
5 and 38. Title 38 also governs Veterans' entitlement to benefits administered by the Department of Veterans
What's a War?
Interestingly, both title 5 and title 38 use many of the same terms, but in different ways. For example, service
during a "war" is used to determine entitlement to Veterans' preference and service credit under title 5. The
OPM has always interpreted this strictly to mean a war declared by Congress. But title 38 defines "period of
war" to include many non-declared wars, including Korea, Vietnam, and the Persian Gulf. Such conflicts entitle
a veteran to VA benefits under title 38, but not necessarily to preference or service credit under title 5. It's
critically important to use the correct definitions in determining eligibility for specific rights and benefits in
Read the Vet Guide.
Visit USA Jobs for Veterans, where Commissaries, the VA and most other government agencies list jobs. The
Resources page has many important links. Here's one you can use right now for Resumes: Ten Tips.
Don't forget to visit AMRA's Career Center to find or post job opportunities. The site also has resume builders
and other features for AMRA members.
Military Funeral Honors
Every AMRA member who desires Military Funeral Honors when they die should brief their family members on
this benefit. You are eligible for Military Funeral Honors if you served in the active military (with DD214) and
were discharged under conditions other than dishonorable, or if you were a member or former member of the
selected reserve.
Upon request of the next of kin or authorized representative, the funeral director requests the honors from the
Military Service in which the veteran served. The Military Service will provide the Military Funeral Honors to the
eligible beneficiary, consisting of the ceremonial folding and presentation of the American flag and the
sounding of "Taps." The ceremony is normally provided by two uniformed members of the armed forces, at
least one of whom will be from the Service in which the veteran served. The Military Services, based on their
traditions and resources, may render additional elements of Military Funeral Honors. These honors may be
given whether the departed is interred in a private or veterans' cemetery.
Learn more at National Cemetery Administration or the DOD Military Funeral Honors.
There's nothing to touch a veteran's heart like the sound of Taps being played. Sadly, it's not easy finding a
musician who can play it live for a military funeral. If you can, or know someone who can, visit Bugles Across
America and learn how to help this most poignant of military honors be provided.
Pentagon Struggles With High Cost Of Health Care
The Associated Press
Published: April 8, 2013
WASHINGTON -- The loud, insistent calls in Washington to rein in the rising costs of Social Security and
Medicare ignore a major and expensive entitlement program - the military's health care system.
Despite dire warnings from three defense secretaries about the uncontrollable cost, Congress has repeatedly
rebuffed Pentagon efforts to establish higher out-of-pocket fees and enrollment costs for military family and
retiree health care as an initial step in addressing a harsh fiscal reality. The cost of military health care has
almost tripled since 2001, from $19 billion to $53 billion in 2012, and stands at 10 percent of the entire
defense budget.
Even more daunting, the Congressional Budget Office estimates that military health care costs could reach $65
billion by 2017 and $95 billion by 2030.
On Wednesday, when President Barack Obama submits his fiscal 2014 budget, the Pentagon blueprint is
expected to include several congressionally unpopular proposals - requests for two rounds of domestic base
closings in 2015 and 2017, a pay raise of only 1 percent for military personnel and a revival of last year's plan to
increase health care fees and implement new ones, according to several defense analysts.
Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel insisted this past week that the military has no choice as it faces a $487 billion
reduction in projected spending over the next decade and possibly tens of billions more as tea partyers and
other fiscal conservatives embrace automatic spending cuts as the best means to reduce the government's
trillion-dollar deficit.
The greatest fiscal threat to the military is not declining budgets, Hagel warned, but rather "the growing
imbalance in where that money is being spent internally." In other words, money dedicated to health care or
benefits is money that's not spent on preparing troops for battle or pilots for missions.
Hagel echoed his predecessors, Leon Panetta, who said personnel costs had put the Pentagon on an
"unsustainable course," and former Pentagon chief Robert Gates, who bluntly said in 2009 that "health care is
eating the department alive."
In his speech last past week, Hagel quoted retired Adm. Gary Roughead, the former Navy chief, who offered a
devastating assessment of the future Pentagon.
Without changes, Roughead said, the department could be transformed from "an agency protecting the nation
to an agency administering benefit programs, capable of buying only limited quantities of irrelevant and
overpriced equipment."
The military's health care program, known as TRICARE, provides health coverage to nearly 10 million active
duty personnel, retirees, reservists and their families. Currently, retirees and their dependents outnumber
active duty members and their families - 5.5 million to 3.3 million.
Powerful veterans groups, retired military officer associations and other opponents of shifting more costs to
beneficiaries argue that members of the armed forces make extraordinary sacrifices and endure hardships
unique to the services, ones even more pronounced after a decade-plus of wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
"He did lay it out that we're going to have to do something or we're going to end up like General Motors and
spending everything on people not working for us anymore."
SOURCE: Stars and Stripes article at http://www.stripes.com/news/pentagon-struggles-with-high-
Military Health Care Reform Included in Obama’s Budget
By Kedar Pavgi
April 10, 2013
President Obama proposed military health care reforms on Wednesday in his 2014 budget, including higher
fees and new enrollment fees for some TRICARE plans.
New fees and deductibles would be “phased in over a five year period” and would be indexed to increases in
the retiree cost-of-living adjustment, according to an overview of the proposal from the Pentagon. The White
House also wants to implement enrollment fees for TRICARE-for-Life beneficiaries, who are aged 65 and older.
The changes would affect retirees who are in TRICARE.
For TRICARE Standard and Extra plans—Defense’s fee-for-service options—program enrollment fees for fiscal
2014 would be set at $70 for individuals and $140 for families, under Obama’s proposed budget. Deductibles
would rise to $160 for individuals and $320 for families, up from $150 and $300 for fiscal 2013, respectively,
the department said.
TRICARE Prime—similar to a health maintenance organization or HMO plan—would include an increase in the
current annual fee, from $539 to $548, and would charge a percentage of gross retired pay, under the White
House proposal. In fiscal 2014, that number would be set at 2.95 percent of gross retired pay, rising to 4
percent in fiscal 2018. The fee ceiling for most TRICARE Prime enrollees in fiscal 2014 would be $750, with flag
officers facing a $900 ceiling, both up from $539 in fiscal 2013.
The budget also proposes increasing co-pays for pharmaceutical drugs, except for active-duty service members,
and raising the co-pay for a TRICARE Prime non-mental health office visit for retirees and families from $12 to
Congress modestly increased the prescription drug co-pays for some TRICARE beneficiaries in the fiscal 2013
Defense Authorization Act, but not as much as the administration would have liked. That law also caps
pharmacy co-pays beginning in 2014 so that such fees are in line with the annual retiree cost-of-living
Survivors of military members who died on active duty and medically retired members would be excluded from
the new cost increases.
“Despite these changes, DoD will continue to offer the most comprehensive health benefit, at lower cost to
those it serves than most health plans in the nation,” the budget proposal said.
The rising cost of TRICARE has become a major policy concern, with the program now consuming $53 billion, or
10 percent of the Pentagon’s non-war budget. Last year, Sens. Frank Lautenberg D-N.J and Marco Rubio R-Fla.
proposed the Military Health Care Protection Act to bring greater predictability to TRICARE cost increases for
Requiring TRICARE beneficiaries to pay more for their health care is a politically sensitive topic. No one wants
to be seen as breaking faith with troops, their families or retirees, and military service organizations are a
powerful lobby in Washington.
SOURCE: GovExec.com article at http://www.govexec.com/pay-benefits/2013/04/military-health-care-reform-
WRAL-TV (Channel 5, Raleigh-Durham, NC)
Friday, April 12, 2013
Click It or Ticket Campaign a Reminder of Base Enforcement of Virginia or DC Motor Vehicle
The National Click It or Ticket campaign (through 2 June) caused State and Base security personnel to enforce
driver and passenger seat belt requirements as a primary offence during the campaign and issue citations
accordingly. As a "primary offense" the driver need not be guilty of any other infractions to be cited. The key
highway safety laws in Virginia are shown at http://www.ghsa.org/html/stateinfo/bystate/va.html The normal
Virginia law currently makes failure to wear a seat belt a secondary offense for all drivers and front seat
passengers 18 or over. In absence of another, primary infraction gate guards and military police on the Base
will not cite for this seat belt offense. However it is a primary infraction to have persons under 18 without a
seat belt in any seat. Gate guards and MPs will cite the driver for this offense, and as a primary offense is
involved can then also issue the driver citations for the driver or any front seat passengers 18 or over who are
not wearing the seat belt.
DC has stricter laws, which are enforced by JBM-HH Security personnel on Fort McNair, see
http://www.ghsa.org/html/stateinfo/bystate/dc.html . In DC all persons in the car under 8 must have a child
restraint and children 8 through 15 may as an alternative to a child restraint wear an adult safety belt,
regardless of seat location. All other persons in the car require seatbelts, regardless of the seat location. All
of these are primary offenses and can be enforced by the gate guards and military police at Fort McNair.
Distracted driving from cell phone and text messaging has different criteria in Virginia and DC (see cited web
pages). Note that Virginia will enforce the text messaging ban as a primary offence (currently a secondary
offense) effective 1 July 2013. DC enforces as primary offenses the hand-held device, learner permit cell
phone and all of the driver text messaging bans. The above offenses have been committed and may be cited
when an unbelted driver and/or passengers appear at a gate to the Base. The ticket able offense is not
avoided by then buckling up or by making a U-turn and departing the Base.
Retiree Appreciation Days
I have attended several Retiree Appreciation Days (RAD) at Joint Base Ft Myer/Henderson Hall. They have been
outstanding events with just about everything having to do with Retiree support including entetainment and
very good food. I highly encourage you to attend.
Retiree Appreciation Days (RADs) are designed with you in mind. They're a great source of the latest
information for retirees and Family members in your area. RADs vary from installation to installation, but, in
general, they provide an opportunity to renew acquaintances, listen to guest speakers, renew ID Cards, get
medical checkups, and various other services. Some RADs include special events such as dinners or golf
tournaments. Due to budget constraints, some RADs may be cancelled or rescheduled. Also, scheduled
appearances of DFAS representatives may not be possible. If you plan to travel long distances to attend a RAD,
before traveling, you should call the sponsoring RSO to ensure the RAD will held as scheduled and, if
applicable, whether or not DFAS reps will be available. For more information ,call the phone number indicated
below of the Retirement Services Officer (RSO) sponsoring the RAD.
RSO Phone Number
Fort Belvoir, VA
20 September
Fort Detrick, MD
10 October
JB Myer-Henderson Hall, VA
11 October
Aberdeen Proving Ground, MD
19 October
Ft. Meade, MD
19 October
JB Anacostia-Bolling DC
26 October
202 767-5244
[Source: www.hostmtb.org | Milton Bell | 27 May 2013 ++]
Fort Myer's Spates Community Club Resumes Sunday Brunches
Spates Community Club on McNair Road (the building with two canopies) is now hosting Sunday Brunch from
1030-1400 every Sunday. The Brunch is open to all personnel with DoD identification, their family members,
and their guests. Prices are $13.95 for adults, $11.95 for children 6-12 and free for children under 5. Menu
items include omelet station, waffle bar, scrambled eggs, bacon, sausage, biscuits and gravy, home fried
potatoes, beef carving station, sliced ham, salmon, desert station, fresh fruit, salad bar, Danish, croissants and
muffins. Reservations may be made at 703-527-1300 however walk-in's are also welcome.
Bicycle -Mounted Police Patrols on JBM-HH
Bicycle -mounted police patrols have been instituted on the Joint Base. These patrol singly and in pairs. They
are readily distinguished from other cyclists by the large "POLICE" on the back of their jackets. Each is in
communication with the central dispatch desk. The patrols provide visibility to the law enforcement presence
and also a quick response to reports received by the dispatcher.
New DoD Gate Guards Citing Entering Drivers with State Vehicle Code Infractions DoD provides
for the "assimilation" of State (and DC) motor vehicle codes of the State where located into the regulations
enforced by on-base security. The recent replacement of contract gate guards with DoD civilian guard
personnel (and military police) has provided fuller enforcement of Virginia State requirements at the Fort Myer
and Henderson Hall gates, and the issuing of citations that go through the command channels for active duty
drivers and the Alexandria Federal Courthouse for others. $90 first offense fines are typical for the latter.
Two violation areas that are having a significant increase in citations are:
Expired Virginia State license plates
Expired or missing (from vehicles registered in Virginia) safety inspection stickers
Guards at the Fort McNair gates similarly cite violations of the DC Vehicle Code.
Commander’s Rader Clinic Update
The principal current constraints include suspension of enrolling any new patients for primary care. Active
duty personnel are being enrolled at the Fort McNair Clinic. All others seeking military health system primary
care are being referred to other MHS facilities that are enrolling (e.g., Walter Reed National Military Medical
Center). Patients seeking appointments through Rader Clinic or the central appointments office for the
national Capital Region are urged to respond to notice by the appointment clerk that the requested primary
care physician does not have an available appointment with a request for an appointment with "another
member of the team." The appointment clerks should be knowledgeable with this alternative.
The “Relay Health” system was described and discussed. This recently instituted system is intended to stretch
the professional resources by allowing more patient situations to be addressed by other than an appointment
with the primary care physician. Intended operation and some problems were discussed and resolved.
Health Care Reform
National health care reform — officially known as the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) — is the
most ambitious piece of health care legislation since the establishment of Medicare and Medicaid in 1965. But
how will these changes affect military and VA beneficiaries? By law, TRICARE (including TRICARE For Life)
beneficiaries and veterans enrolled in the VA health care system are exempt from the direct impacts of the
ACA. TRICARE and VA health care meet the minimum essential health care coverage requirements, and in
general the ACA does not affect the administration, health care benefits, eligibility, or cost to beneficiaries of
these two systems. However, the sweeping changes made by ACA could still impact TRICARE and VA
beneficiaries in the future. Roughly 32 million uninsured Americans are expected to become insured as a result
of the ACA. How will this influx of covered individuals impact access to health care? Especially in the absence
of a permanent fix to the annual Medicare/TRICARE physician reimbursement rate cut — now estimated to be
at 30 percent — which was critically left out of the ACA. Reforming an industry that accounts for more than 17
percent of our nation’s economy is bound to have unforeseen consequences. [Source: MOAA Leg Up 17 May
2013 ++]
Twilight Tattoo Schedule: through August
The Schedule for the 3rd U.S. Infantry Regiment (The Old Guard) and The U.S. Army Band performances of
"Twilight Tattoo" is shown below. The show is an hour-long military pageant (described at the home and links
at http://twilight.mdw.army.mil/home ). It will be performed weekly on Wednesdays from the beginning of May
through the end of August, except there will not be performance in the week of the 4th of July. The
performances are free and open to the public; no tickets or reservations are required, except that it is
requested that groups register (at 202-685-2888). Due to budget constraints there will not be bleachers for this
year's shows. Grass seating is available, bringing your own blanket or lawn chairs is recommended. Before
attending it is suggested that the above web site be checked for late changes in the schedule.
Twilight Tattoo performances begin at 1900. Pre-ceremony pageantry begins at 1845.
Fort Myer's Whipple Field (overlooking Washington) is the scheduled site for performances on 10, 17, 24,
and 31 July and 7, 14, 21, and 28 August