AFSA HQ Newsletter – March 29th

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.

INTERNATIONAL EXECUTIVE COUNCIL

Mid-Year Meeting

While they obviously communicate regularly throughout the year to guide and lead AFSA, it’s no small affair when your International Executive Council descends upon the Washington DC area to gather at ASFA Headquarters.  International President Dan Yeomans, Vice President Tim Litherland, Senior Advisor Jeff Ledoux, Trustee Dale Nelson, Division President 1 Fred Dembinski, DP2 Colin Gates, DP3 Dale Lutzen, DP4 Jim Crissinger, DP5 Cary Hatzinger, DP6 Jeff Foreman, and D7 VP Dan Guzman all gathered to follow up on issues raised at last year’s PAC and to chart the Association’s immediate short term course.

Aside from conducting business required by AFSA bylaws, the Executive Council received presentations from the HQ Staff regarding the status of each directorate.  Among the many subjects covered, the EC discussed two items of great interest to the general membership.  First, not to be confused with the continuing resolution of the federal budget, the continuing evolution of AFSA’s Communication and Technology Directorate centered on development of an AFSA “app” as well as a smart-phone friendly web page.   Second, with the help of the Military & Government Relations Directorate, the International Legislative Committee Chairman (VP Litherland) formed a solid foundation for the 2013-2014 Legislative Platform that will be finalized and voted upon in San Antonio at this year’s convention.

LEGISLATIVE & OTHER NEWS

113th Congress; 1st Session

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

President Signs FY13 Continuing Resolution

On Wednesday the President signed the FY 2013 spending bill approved by Congress last week.  Among the items in this bill are provisions that direct DoD to restore the military Tuition Assistance program and language haulting a TRICARE fee increases through 30 September 2013.  DoD is still reviewing the CR’s guidance to determine its impact and funding implementation.  AFSA sends a strong caution to Airmen, it maybe some time before the TA education benefit returns.

Furlough Notices for Civilian Employees on Delay

DoD plans to hold off sending its first round of furlough notices to 780,000 civilian workers for up to 2 weeks. The brief reprieve allows the department to analyze the Continuing Resolution (CR) and its impact on the department.  According to a Pentagon press release obtained by AFSA, the department believes the CR could have some impact on the overall number of furlough days necessary to reach budget objectives. Pentagon officials were quick to stress “no decisions” have been made at this time nor will they be until the document undergoes a thorough review.

Introduction of the “Forgiveness Act

Legislation addressing another important Association platform goal has been introduced in the House.  Rep. Walter Jones (R-SC), has introduced H.R. 1360 in the House which would allow the surviving spouse to retain the final monthly paycheck of a military retiree in the event of their passing.  Rep. Jones goal is to end the DFAS practice of immediately recouping funds from a surviving family member at a time they may need it most.

Interstate Compact

AFSA received welcome news the State of Arkansas and the District of Columbia have signed onto the Interstate Compact on Educational Opportunity for Military Children. Now only six states are not participating in the Compact: New York, New Hampshire, Minnesota, Montana, Idaho and Oregon. AFSA continues to work with interested state policymakers in each of these states regarding the need for, and the benefits of adopting the Interstate Compact.

SASC to Open Some of its Doors

For the past several years Senator Claire McCaskill (D-MO) has waged a campaign to increase transparency with the process used to compile the Senate’s annual National Defense Authorization Bill (NDAA). It looks like this time she is finally succeeding. Yesterday the SASC unveiled its plan to compile the FY2014 NDAA in mid-June and for the first time; half of the subcommittees will hold their markups in open session. In past years only McCaskill opened her doors for the markups when she chaired the Subcommittee on Readiness and Management Support.

Do You “Like” AFSA?

There is a full array of multimedia to stay informed on issues relevant to our Association and its membership.  There’s our comprehensive web page, a detailed bi-monthly magazine, weekly newsletters, emails, and even Twitter to help you stay as current as possible.  Growing quickly though is the official AFSA Facebook page, which as of press time had 3,648 “likes.”

One of the neat features on Facebook is to “Like” something.  When you hit the Like button, it will add you to its notification list.  So while you’re on your personal page catching up with friends and family, you will get a feed from the AFSA page keeping you current.  Go ahead and check out our page, make sure you give us the “thumbs up” and a “Like” for AFSA.

For AFSA Facebook, click here

What Do You Do on Recess?

Periodically, Congress takes time off from Capitol Hill allowing lawmakers to focus their time and attention on their district or states they represent. Officially, these breaks from Washington are known as District Work periods, whereby representatives return to their congressional districts for stretches of time to meet with constituents and work issues from their district offices. They often attend local events, host town hall discussions and occasionally travel to other states or countries on fact-finding missions.

Congress is currently in a recess which runs through April 8.  During this timeframe, AFSA members are strongly encouraged to meet with their elected representatives, discuss their concerns and wishes with them. Below are links to help you find “your” elected officials.  Although most Members of Congress are no longer here Washington, our advocacy efforts on your behalf will continue.  Building on our recent advocacy for reinstating TA, we intend to review our strategy in other areas like pay and healthcare.  At the same time AFSA’s Legislative Team will continue to meet with DoD officials and congressional staff to strengthen our ever-important relationships with them

LEADERSHIP THOUGHTS

“Mr. Secretary, chairman, I would happily storm hell in the company of these troops, who I haven’t the words sufficient to praise, so I will not try.  They know how strongly I believe in them, how strongly they have demonstrated to the world that free men and women can fight like a dickens.”

— General James N. Mattis, USMC, at a March 22 ceremony marking his last day as Commander, Commander, U.S. Central Command (USCENTCOM).

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 New Member Term Life Insurance Benefit

New AFSA members under the age of 40 receive $10,000 of Term Life Insurance provided at no-cost for 12 months. For more information click here, or call Marsh Affinity Group Services toll-free at (800) 882-5541.

Air Force Junior ROTC (AFJROTC) Employment Opportunities

AFJROTC has employment opportunities for retired or retiring Airmen. AFJROTC operates 880 units worldwide consisting of over 1,900 instructors and 103,000 high school students. For more information about instructor opportunities, call toll free (866) 235-7682, ext. 35112 or 32535. The DSN number is 493-5112 or 2535. You can also click here for complete instructor requirements and application information.

AFSA Partners with LegalShield

No matter how traumatic. No matter how trivial. Whatever your situation, we are here to help. From real estate to divorce advice, identity theft and beyond, we have your rights covered. In addition to this prepaid legal services plan, you can get the experts on your side with the optional Identity Theft Shield plan. Services include access to your credit report (or consumer credit disclosure), consultations, expert restoration and more. To access and login, click here.

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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