AFSA HQ Newsletter – March 15th

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 & OTHER NEWS

113th Congress; 1st Session

  • Senate: In Session – contact lawmakers via DC offices
  • House: In Session – contact legislators via DC offices
  • CapWiz: open 24/7/365 – communicate with Congress at any time on any subject

HAGEL ORDERS REVIEW OF DRONE MEDAL

The Joint Chiefs Chairman General Martin Dempsey will lead a formal examination of the new Defense Warfare Medal.   We believe, combatants who have helped shaped the battlefield with remotely piloted aircraft, constant vigilance in cyberspace, and other related actions, most assuredly deserve our respect and recognition.   We acknowledge the ever-changing landscape of modern warfare and we support the intent of Distinguished Warfare Medal.   However, like many military and veterans-related Associations, we have concerns with the planned precedence of this medal which would be placed higher than earned battlefield medals like the Bronze Star with the combat “V” device for Valor and the Purple Heart.

USAF TUITION ASSISTANCE ENDS FOR ALL AIRMEN

This week AFSA notified you of the USAF announcement, Airmen (all components) will no longer be able to submit requests for Tuition Assistance (TA).   This change has resulted in Airmen who are currently enrolled in a collegiate program to find another way to pay for their education.   For decades TA has proven to be a “win-win” situation for both the DoD and the military member.   TA has been named one of our most powerful tools for recruiting, retention, career development and military readiness.   AFSA believes the stopping of TA payments to be a “break of faith” with those who chose to serve in the All Volunteer force.   We understand the decision to suspend TA was strictly a matter of financial necessity.   This immediate change will have adverse consequences, on morale, mission readiness and a financial impact on those currently serving now as well as those who may consider the USAF as a career choice or for those who may join and serve in the future.    Furthermore, the Air Force’s decision to suspend TA with less than 24 hour notice should be a wake-up call for all Airmen—those serving and those who have served.

OTHER BENEFITS ARE AT RISK—ALL OF THEM!

Now is your time to act!   Our philosophy remains the same; Congress should not force the 1% of our Country who chose to serve on their own free will to bear twice the budget burden of the other 99% of the country. Now more than ever, we need your immediate help to restore TA and preserve our other benefits subject to Sequestration.   Please take action now and contact Congress via AFSA CAPWIZ.

TREAT THE SYMPTOM AND HELP FIND A CURE

I want to take a moment to stress the importance of sending the TA letter andthe sequestration letter on AFSA CAPWIZ because the two issues are inextricably linked. DoD has made it very clear the suspension of the TA program for the Air Force and its sister services are directly related to sequestration. On Tuesday Pentagon Press Secretary George Little said, “If sequestration were averted, we may be facing a different set of choices on these and other programs.” In short, sequestration caused TA to be suspended and if lawmakers were to fix it, the military’s tuition program could be restored.  For the thousands of Airmen who sent letters this week, you can further our efforts by revisiting the site and sending our generalized letter on sequestration.

AFSA SAYS EXEMPT TECHNICIANS FROM SEQUESTRATION

Mission success requires an available and qualified Total Force! Imagine if the Guard and Reserve manning was reduced by 21%. Operational forecasts would immediately indicate a serious degradation of mission readiness and effectiveness of the Total Force. Unavailable or unqualified reserve components would force already lean Active Duty units to pick up these missions. Therefore, AFSA wants you to understand the following is NOT a component-specific, but a Total Force issue.

Today, legislative language allows for all civilian members of Reserve components to be furloughed via sequestration efforts.   So what is real impact? As we’ve heard, the answer rests in the Arithmetic.   We are hearing this formula being used: In addition to civilians (1,403 ANG + 4,024 AFRC = 5,427 total) potentially being cut and/or furloughed, the numbers rise significantly when technicians (22,333 ANG + 10,400 AFRC = 32,733) are added into the equation. The Result: A reduction of 38,260 personnel accounting for 21% of the Guard and Reserve components’ combined manpower.

Military technicians perform vital training, maintenance and administrative functions that maintain the high level of readiness required for critical domestic and overseas missions.   To prevent this critical loss of manpower Representative Steve Palazzo (R-MS) has introduced H.R. 1014 which would simply put, exempt technicians from sequester furloughs.   Readers of On Call are strongly encouraged to contact their representative using our CapWiz letter entitled Exempt Military Technicians From Furloughs”.

KEEPING THE GOVERNMENT RUNNING

This week the House and Senate spent much of their time working on FY 2013 appropriations.  Both bills now under consideration would fund government beyond March 27 and provide DoD with a full-year spending plan.

6,000-plus Airmen complete new TAP

The USAF reports, in the three months since Transition Assistance Program-attendance became mandatory, more than 6,000 Airmen have attended the revamped course, based on a partnership between the Department of Defense, Department of Labor and Department of Veterans Affairs.   The new program, implemented in November 2012, is a five-day mandatory course which includes greater depth in every area and new curriculum that covers comprehensive information on veteran and retiree benefits, and requires each attendee to create an individual transition plan, resume´ and budget, so when Airmen complete the course, they’ll have tangible tools to help them in the days ahead.   Take note, all bases are on schedule to offer the new course NLT September 2013.   AFSA recruiters, now more than ever, we need to set-up shop and be ready to share our reason for hope in future days via an AFSA membership.

President to Award Posthumous Medal of Honor

Acts of valor in war are always immediately understood by combatants, but recognition of heroism doesn’t always arrive quickly.   Click here to read about Army chaplain Capt. Emil J. Kapaun and his acts of bravery in the Korean War, which will be officially recognized in a posthumous presentation of the Medal of Honor to his family next month.

LEADERSHIP THOUGHTS

“Sequestration is Latin for idiocy”

Rep. Tim Walz (D-MN), March 13, 2013

FROM THE FIELD

What’s On Your Mind?

Is there a particular area of interest you think we should be covering in more detail?   Is there a political situation or definition that we could explain, educate or expound upon that would be beneficial to our membership? Fill in the blanks…

“I THINK AFSA SHOULD __________.”    Send inputs to: afsaoc@hqafsa.org

AFSA MEMBER BENEFITS

AFSA Insurance – Life & Health

For information and applications on any of these insurance plans please contact Marsh Affinity Group Servicestoll-free at (800) 882-5541,or online here.  Please note; coverage may vary or not be issued in all States.

  • Accidental Death & Dismemberment Insurance Plan
  • Cancer Expense Insurance
  • Group Dental Insurance
  • Long-Term Care Insurance
  • Short-Term Recovery Insurance Plan
  • TRICARE Supplement Insurance
  • Life Line Health Screenings

On-Line Shopping Mall

Shop on-line with special AFSA member discounts from over 600 of the best in class retailers.  Your purchases will also earn AFSA cash back rebates!  Shop online here.

DeVry University

Provide to members of AFSA a Veteran’s Appreciation Grant for new and continuing undergraduate and graduate programs. Students who have been discharged from the military are eligible for the Veterans Appreciation Grant – a 25% savings on prevailing tuition rate.  Undergraduate award per semester:  $500 (must be enrolled in 9 hours or more per semester) – Graduate award per session:  $250 (must be enrolled in one class per session) Undergraduate and Graduate lifetime cap per student:  $4,500.  Military Rate – 75% of the prevailing tuition rate applicable to the location they attend.  Textbooks, course materials and fees are charged at the standard rate.  Tuition rate is $250 – $280 per credit hour depending on program and location. Waive the application fee for active duty members of AFSA and provide a Personalized Degree Plan for each student.   Click HERE to visit or call 877-894-6388

Over 20 Other Items of Interest

For a complete and detailed listing of the many benefits to AFSA membership, go to the AFSA webpage and click on the left menu listing “Member Benefits” or just click here.


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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.

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