AFSA HQ Newsletter – April 12th

This newsletter is produced and released on a weekly basis by AFSA HQ. To read the full newsletter, as well as archived entries, visit the AFSA On Call Newsletter section of www.hqafsa.org.

LEGISLATIVE UPDATES AND NEWS

Congress in Recess

Congress remained in recess this week.  The House and Senate will resume normal legislative activity on Monday, April 16.

Early Retirement Possible for Some Enlisted Airmen

The Air Force on Friday announced that a small number of active duty Staff Sergeants, Technical Sergeants and Master Sergeants in 19 over manned career fields may soon be eligible for early retirement in FY 2012 under the Temporary Early Retirement Authority (TERA). 
“The application window for TERA, commonly referred to as the 15-year retirement, will be open April 10-30 in order to shape the force to meet current and future mission requirements,” said Colonel Kenneth Sersun, Chief of Military Force Policy Division.  “The current voluntary and involuntary force management programs have enabled the Air Force to continue to size and shape congressionally mandated end strength levels,” said Sersun.   “However, we must have the right balance of skills to meet future mission needs, so we will continually assess requirements and force management options.” 

The Air Force plans to approve approximately 250 TERA applications this fiscal year and individuals selected must retire by September 1.  Initially, approval for early retirement will be based on overmanned specialties, time in service of 15 to 19 years, and grade.  If it becomes necessary, additional selection criteria may be considered including active duty service commitment, time in grade, and commander recommendation.  Those approved will have their retired pay reduced by 1/12th of 1 percent for each full month by which the number of months of active service are less than 240 as of the date of the member’s retirement. 

According to an Air Force press release, the eligible over manned career fields include: 

  • 2A0X1P – Avionics Test Station and Components
  • 2A3X3 – Tactical Aircraft Maintenance (technical and master sergeants only)
  • 2A6X3 – Aircrew Egress Systems (technical and master sergeants only)
  • 2S0X1 – Materiel Management
  • 2T1X1 – Vehicle Operations (staff sergeants only)
  • 2T370 – Vehicle Maintenance (technical and master sergeants only)
  • 2T3X7 – Vehicle Management and Analysis (master sergeants only)
  • 3D0X1 – Knowledge Operations Management (technical and master sergeants only)
  • 3D1X3 – Radio Frequency Transmission Systems (technical and master sergeants only)
  • 3D1X5 – Ground Radar Systems (master sergeants only)
  • 3D1X6 – Airfield Systems (technical sergeants only)
  • 3E0X2 – Electrical Power Production (technical sergeants only)
  • 3E1X1 – Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning and Refrigeration
  • 3S0X1 – Personnel
  • 4A0X1 – Health Services Management (staff and master sergeants only)
  • 4J0X2 – Physical Medicine (master sergeants only)
  • 4N071 – Aerospace Medical Service (technical and master sergeants only)
  • 4T0X1 – Medical Laboratory (technical and master sergeants only)
  • 6F0X1 – Financial Management and Comptroller (staff and master sergeants only) 

Earlier this year, Air Force officials said TERA might be used sparingly as the service works to reach desired end strengths.  As a reminder, this early retirement opportunity is for active members in certain over manned career fields only.  At present, the Guard and Reserve are not planning to conduct similar force management action in FY 2012. For more information about TERA and other personnel issues, visit the Air Force Personnel Services website

Transfer of Education Benefits (TEB) Waiver Process for Retirees

DoD recently determined that some service members who retired between August 1st and November 1, 2009, may not have been aware of their eligibility to Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits to a spouse or dependent, or that the transfer had to be approved while currently serving in the Armed Forces. 

Per VA, if you are in this situation, you may be exempted from the rule by applying for a Correction of Military Record.   The Record Correction Boards review personnel files to fix errors or omissions, and can make determinations on a case-by-case basis to decide whether or not to allow you to transfer entitlement under the Post-9/11 GI Bill.  If you believe you are the victim of an injustice, you may apply for relief by filing a DD Form 149, “Application for Correction of Military Record under the Provisions of Title 10, U.S.C, § 1552.”  The form, complete with instructions and mailing addresses for each military branch, is available here.  As a reminder, the retiree must explain how he or she was treated in block 6 on the form. 

VA says approximately 16,000 people retired from the military during the first few months following the August 1, 2009, launch date of the Post-9/11 GI Bill.    Although over 50,000 service members were approved for transfer during that timeframe, service boards have decided in some cases to allow some transfers post-retirement as a result of retiree applications for correction. 

First Military Flying School

101 years ago this week, the first permanent military flying school was established by the US Army at College Park, Maryland, and the facility is considered by many historians to be the “cradle of aviation.”   Established in 1909, the airfield remains operational to this day and it is the world’s oldest, continually operating airport. 

VETERANS NEWS 

Getting the Right GI Bill Information

Many websites offer information on Veterans education benefits and the GI Bill, but only VA offers detailed and accurate information on the benefits you’ve earned.   Learn more at VA’s GI Bill Website

Presidential Memorial Certificates

The Presidential Memorial Certificate (PMC) is an engraved paper certificate, signed by the current President, to honor the memory of honorably discharged deceased Veterans.   VA administers the PMC program by preparing the certificates which express the country’s grateful recognition of the Veteran’s service in the United States Armed Forces.  Eligible recipients, or someone acting on their behalf, can apply for a Memorial Certificate in person at any VA regional office, by U.S.mail or toll-free fax.  For specific details, click here

DFAS Facebook Town Hall Meeting

DFAS plans to host its first Facebook town hall meeting on May 8 from 3 to 5 pm Eastern time.  During this online event, retired pay experts will answer retirement-related questions in real time.  Current military retirees and military members preparing for retirement are encouraged to participate.  Visit their Facebook Page for more information.

Markey to Lead VA Insurance Program

Mr. Vincent E. Markey ofPhiladelphiahas been named director of the Department of Veterans Affairs’InsuranceCenter, the eighth-largest life insurance program in the world covering more than 4 million Veterans, active-duty, Guard and Reserve members, plus 3.1 million spouses and children.  The VA Insurance Center directly administers six life insurance programs and supervises the Servicemembers’ Group Life Insurance and the Veterans’ Group Life Insurance programs.   These programs provide $1.3 trillion in insurance coverage. 

In 2011, VA’s life insurance programs returned $249 million in dividends to 753,000 Veterans holding some of these VA life insurance policies, and paid $2.3 billion in death claims to the beneficiaries of 141,000 Veterans and service members.  The program has grown to meet the challenges of the current conflict through a new Traumatic Injury Protection program under Servicemembers’ Group Life Insurance that provides coverage to 2.4 million active-duty personnel.   Those who suffer certain severe traumatic injuries may receive benefit amounts ranging from $25,000 to $100,000, depending on the loss. 

Markey is a long-timeInsuranceCenteremployee who began his federal service in 1981 at the Philadelphia Regional Office and transferred to thenational InsuranceCenter, which is co-located there, in 1985.   He has held various positions in VA’s insurance program, most recently as chief of the Insurance Service Program Management Division.  He succeeds Tom Lastowka, who retired after serving as director of both theInsuranceCenterand the co-located regional office since 1990. 

HEALTHCARE 

TRICARE’s Clinical Preventive Services

TRICARE beneficiaries are eligible to receive comprehensive health promotion and disease prevention examinations.   This means you can get health services like cancer screenings, cholesterol tests and immunizations at little or no cost.   Get a full list of what’s covered under TRICARE’s Clinical Preventive Services benefit by clicking here

New Baby on the Way?

TRICARE beneficiaries expecting a new addition to the family soon may be interested in a new TRICARE program called Text4baby.   Those registered for Text4baby receive up to three free SMS text messages a week until their child is one year old with pregnancy tips timed to their due date or baby’s birth date.   Get started by visiting Text4baby

AFSA MEMBER BENEFITS 

Insurance: Property & Casualty

Protect what’s important to you with affordable insurance from USAA.  USAA offers top-rated coverage at low rates.  Combine that with award-winning service — in fact, USAA was ranked one of Business Week’s top two “Customer Service Champs” the last four years in a row.  To make it easy for you, you can do it all online — quote, buy, print ID cards, and much more.  Call USAA at (800) 531-8722 or go online here

AFSA Wireless Center

Save on phones and accessories at the AFSAWirelessCenter.  Shop and compare from a vast selection of carriers and products.  You’ll get the same great rate from the carrier you choose, plus a better phone at a better price.  Click here or call (866) 416-3060. 

THINKING AFSA 

Order of the Sword

AFSA congratulates the enlisted men and women of AETC for their selection of retired Major General Alfred K. Flowers to receive the Order of the Sword.    General Flowers was inducted into the Order during an April 6 ceremony at Joint Base San Antonio-Randolph,Texas.  Before his retirement in November 2011, Flowers served as the deputy assistant for Budget at the Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Management and Comptroller inWashingtonD.C.  He is the longest serving military member in DoD history with more than 46 years on active duty at the time of his retirement.  General Flowers served as an enlisted Airman for more than 13 years and was a master sergeant select before commissioning. 

WORTH REPEATING 

“If we all did the things we are capable of we would astound ourselves”

—Thomas Edison 

We want to hear your thoughts and opinions.  What’s your top 10 list for AFSA?  

Go ahead send it.  Don’t be bashful.   Click HERE to send.


Click HERE to receive this newsletter            Click HERE to access AFSA CAPWIZ

This newsletter is produced and released on a weekly basis by AFSA HQ. To read the full newsletter, as well as archived entries, visit the AFSA On Call Newsletter section of www.hqafsa.org.

Ready to join?

AFSA Legislative Action Center

Legislative Action Center
Follow the issues and write letters to your Congressman!

Take Action!

Find and contact your Senator and Representatives!

Subscribe via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this website and receive notifications of new posts by email.