AFSA HQ Newsletter – April 5th

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 Recess – contact lawmakers at state offices
  • House: In Recess – contact legislators at district offices
  • CapWiz: open 24/7/365 – communicate with Congress at any time on any subject

What’s Important to You?

In his first policy speech, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel on Wednesday previewed the Pentagon’s coming review of management in an era of budget constraints, vowing to work with Congress to trim expensive military health benefits and proposing to transfer some resources from Defense to the State Department.  Next week, President Obama is scheduled to present his fiscal year 2014 Budget Proposal. Congress will use this document as they begin to craft funding legislation for the coming fiscal year.

As part of that process, your AFSA advocates will meet with lawmakers and testify in front of key Committees. At some point the question may be asked, “AFSA, which benefits are most important to your members?”

To get a better sense of how to answer this question, we’ve created an informal Poll so you can indicate what you value the most. You can complete the Poll via CapWiz.  Please take a few minutes and participate. Your collective voice will be used to set the tone for AFSA’s message on Capitol Hill, policy discussions with the DoD, and in dealings with other government agencies.

AFRC Cuts Chief Course

Citing sequestration as the reason, the Air Force Reserve Command has cancelled the Chief Orientation Course (COC) until further notice.  COC is taught at the Professional Development Center of Robbins AFB Georgia and is a prerequisite for assuming the highest enlisted rank in the AFRC.  Promotions for those with a line number to Chief will not be withheld as long as those affected sign a statement of understanding acknowledging the need to fulfill the requirement within one year of COC resumption.

Commissaries to Minimize Sequestration Impacts

The Defense Commissary Agency is thoughtfully developing its plan to minimize the impact of sequestration on commissary patrons.  If the Department of Defense implements furloughs, commissaries are likely to close one day per week, in addition to their current operating schedule.  While there will be definite impacts to commissary patrons – and certainly to employees – if furloughs are implemented, the principles guiding DeCA’s planning efforts are to lessen the impacts of sequestration wherever it can.

Because the agency’s planning for sequestration is fluid and subject to change, commissary patrons can quickly find out about any changes to their local store’s operating schedule by using www.commissaries.com.  The “Locations” link and subsequent “Alphabetical Listing” leads them to their “Local Store Information” page.

Month of Military Child

April brings with it many things; we start off with a “foolish” observance, the end of March Madness, opening day for Major League Baseball, and usually Easter.  It’s easy to get distracted with all the headline grabbers, but one of the most precious demographics in America should get center stage for the entire month.  Whether it’s your own child, your neighbor’s, or even if you’re single – AFSA challenges you to consider getting involved with your local youth programs who directly benefit military children.  Need ideas on how to get involved, go to: (http://www.monthofthemilitarychild.com/)

Airman vs. Military

Over the years program names change as a reflection of the inevitable evolution of military culture and operations.  One such place is the Airmen & Family Support Center.  Formally the Airman & Family Readiness Center, the current name reflects the full spectrum of services provided. These services are not just for active duty or just for deployment times, but thee entire military community, yes to include retirees.  Another twist on the name is for those installations realigned under BRAC Joint Basing.  At those bases, you’ll hear the Airmen & Family Support Center referred to as the Military & Family Support Center.  In any case, there are a plethora of services offered including numerous self-help classes, financial planning, as well as Transition Assistance Programs.  When you PCS to your next duty station, don’t confuse yourself with names, the Airman (or Military) & Family Support Center is one in the same, with a great staff and programs ready to serve you.

LEADERSHIP THOUGHTS

From Colin Powell (former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and Secretary of State) as compiled by Oren Harari.

“Organization doesn’t really accomplish anything. Plans don’t accomplish anything, either. Theories of management don’t much matter. Endeavors succeed or fail because of the people involved. Only by attracting the best people will you accomplish great deeds.”

“In a brain-based economy, your best assets are people. We’ve heard this expression so often that it’s become trite. But how many leaders really “walk the talk” with this stuff? Too often, people are assumed to be empty chess pieces to be moved around by grand viziers, which may explain why so many top managers immerse their calendar time in deal making, restructuring and the latest management fad. How many immerse themselves in the goal of creating an environment where the best, the brightest, the most creative are attracted, retained and, most importantly, unleashed?”

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:  webmaster2@hqafsa.org

AFSA MEMBER BENEFITS

AFSA Insurance – Life & Health

For information and applications on any of these insurance plans please contact Marsh Affinity Group Services toll-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

Bellevue University $500 AFSA Grant

Bellevue University offers AFSA members a $500 military grant to attend Bellevue University as part of our Military Partners program.  Bellevue University will also waive the application fee and provide a Personalized Degree Plan for each student.  To apply for the grant, please click here and select “AFSA” as your military partner.  For more information, contact our prior service enrollment team at 866-676-3614 or at military@bellevue.edu.

Discount Prescription Card

AFSA members & dependents have a Prescription Discount Benefit. Cut your prescription costs up to 20% on brand-name drugs and save as much as 50% on generic medicines with the RxAmerica program. To print your prescription card click here, select “wellness”, then choose “RX AmericaPrescription Plan”.

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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