109 == Moments of US History ------------------------- (B-17E Personnel 1942)
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2. Numbers contained within brackets [ ] indicate the number of articles written on the subject. To obtain previous articles send a request to firstname.lastname@example.org.
*ATTACHMENTS* . Attachment - Veteran Legislation as of 28 Dec 2014
Attachment - Iowa Vet State Benefits & Discounts Dec 2014
Attachment - Military History Anniversaries 1 thru 31 Jan
Attachment - Retiree Activity\Appreciation Days (RAD) Schedule as of Dec 26, 2014
* DoD *
MCRMC Update 05 ► Compensation Commission Readies Report A congressionally appointed commission studying military pay and compensation reform is preparing to issue recommendations in the coming weeks, a spokesman for the panel said 29 DEC. The recommendations come as the White House and members of Congress look to reduce the costs of troop benefits amid budget tightening at the Pentagon. "It's fair to say we have identified a number of efficiencies," Jamie Graybeal, spokesman for the Military Compensation and Retirement Modernization Commission, told The Hill on Monday. He said rather than cutting benefits, the panel was focused on making them more efficient, modern and valuable to service members and their families. The commission was created in 2013 to tackle the thorny issues of military pay and benefit expenses, which the Pentagon officials say have become unsustainable.
Military advocacy groups oppose reducing benefits that troops and their families have been promised, after a decade of war and repeated deployments. The commission's recommendations will be submitted to the President and Congress no later than 1 FEB, and will be made available to the public at the same time, Graybeal said. The Pentagon is expected submit its 2016 budget request to the White House at around the same time. The recommendations are not expected to be accounted for, but have been designed so they could be incorporated at any time, Graybeal said. The commission's final report will include the recommendations, how they would be implemented, include draft legislation, and a discussion of the costs of each recommendation. The president will have 60 days to evaluate the commission’s recommendations, or ask for more information. However, the White House is scheduled to submit its 2016 budget request to Congress in March, about 30 days later.
Graybeal said he could not speculate whether any of the recommendations would be incorporated. “It is our hope that recommendations will be considered during the current budget season,” said Graybeal, noting that Congress — which has final say over the Pentagon’s budget — is not barred from considering the recommendations on their own. He said there is a perception that the commission was created to slash benefits, but rather, it has focused on "modernizing benefit design, getting rid of redundancies, and improving benefits not valued by service members." Protecting the all-volunteer force was foremost in their minds," Graybeal said. "The commission has been very focused on modernizing the design of the compensation programs to ensure that they are useful to the services as they try to recruit and retain a quality all volunteer force and that they are valued by the service members and family members themselves." [Source: The Hill | Kristina Wong | Dec. 29, 2014 ++]
ID Card Obtainment in Philippines ►Request by Mail STEPS FOR PROCESSING MAIL IN ID CARD RENEWALS & DEERS UPDATES FOR ELIGIBLE MEMBERS RESIDING IN THE PHILIPPINES. The sponsor must complete and mail in the following to apply for ID Card Renewal or DEERS updates for themselves and their dependents:
At http://www.dtic.mil/whs/directives/forms/eforms/dd1172-2.pdf access and complete DD Form 1172-2 online and download. This must be signed and notarized. A Philippine notary is acceptable as long as it is completed in English and all documents are in English.
SAMPLE NOTARIZATION AT BACK OF PHOTO
This is to certify that the picture appearing at the back of this certification is the true and faithful picture of myself.
(Signature of Applicant) NOTARY CERTIFICATION
This is to certify that the signature appearing above is the true and authentic signature of __________________________________ the same having affixed before me and in my presence.
(First, Middle, Last name)
It is hereby further certified that his/her picture is what appears on the back of this certification, the same having been compared with his/her actual appearance before me with the verification of his/her identity.
Applicants physical characteristics:
Color Hair ______ Color Eyes ______ Height ______ Weight ______
(BK:BN) (BK:BN) (inches) (lbs) WITNESS MY HAND THIS SEAL this _____ day of __________, _____
at _____________________________, Philippines.
Sample remarks and notarization, Block 21 of DD Form 1172-2
This is to certify that the signature of __________________________
(First, Middle, Last name)
Appearing herewith is his/her true and authentic signature, it being affixed before me.
Enclose an 8x10 or 5x7 portrait type photograph of the individual needing the ID Card. Onlyone person per photograph. Either Color or B&W photos with a white background are acceptable and must be notarized on the backside (see above) verifying all physical characteristics of the dependent.
Sponsor must provide supporting documentation such as Marriage Certificates, Birth Certificates, Death Certificates, Divorce Decrees, etc. depending on the situation. All documents must be originals or certified true copies. For a complete list of items for each situation reference Air Force Instruction 36-3026_IP, paragraph 11.12 on page 107. For a list of acceptable forms of identification refer to Air Force Instruction 36-3026_IP attachments 5 and 20.
Mail completed application via certified mail to:
APO/FPO Mail Users
Philippine Mail Users
254 FSS/MPS GUANG
254 FSS/MPS GUANG
Bldg. 21018, Bonins Blvd
APO AP 96543-4021
Andersen Air Force Base
Yigo, Guam 96929
This sample photo is to give you face size perspective keeping in mind that the actual size required is either an 8”x10” or 5”x7” portrait. Photo must be full face portrait and not half or full body portrait.
Note: Recommend you do not wait until your dependent’s ID card expires. Once it does your TRICARE claims will be denied. Submission 6 months in advance would be prudent. [Source: RAO Baguio Director | Dec 25, 2014 ++]
War Costs Since 911 ► Dollar and Human The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and counterterrorism operations have cost the U.S. a combined $1.6 trillion since the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, according to a new Congressional Research Service analysis. Refer to http://media.bloomberg.com/bb/avfile/rU4ypR8jD54M to view the complete Congressional Research Service report:
Dollar Cost - Through fiscal 2014, which ended in September, Congress approved $815 billion for warfare in Iraq, $686 billion for Afghanistan and other operations against terrorism, $81 billion for other war-designated spending and $27 billion for Operation Noble Eagle air patrols over the U.S., according to the report posted on the agency’s internal website. The total includes $297 billion spent on weapon procurement and war repairs. The assessment is the agency’s first full update of war costs since March 2011. About 92 percent of the funds went to the Pentagon, followed by the State Department and the Department of Veterans Affairs. It includes war operations, training and equipping Iraqi and Afghan forces, diplomatic operations and medical care for wounded Americans over the past 13 years, the agency said in the report dated Dec. 8. It also includes most reconstructions costs. “The main factor determining cost is the number of U.S. troops deployed” at different times, the research service said. U.S. troops in Afghanistan peaked at 100,000 in 2011; there are 11,600 there today as the U.S. withdrawal continues. The figures include war-related intelligence funding that wasn’t tracked or spent by the Defense Department, according to the report. It wasn’t updated with the $63.7 billion in war spending for the current fiscal year for Afghanistan operations and the first installment of operations against Islamic State in Iraq and Syria.
Human Costs - The Iraq invasion -- initiated on a pledge to rid Saddam Hussein of weapons of mass destruction he didn’t have -- resulted in 4,491 U.S. military and civilian deaths and 32,244 wounded, according to Defense Department data compiled by Bloomberg. The U.S. invasion to destroy al-Qaeda in Afghanistan and remove the Taliban from power has led to 2,356 military and U.S. civilians deaths and 20,060 wounded as of 16 DEC 2014. In addition, 128,496 U.S. military who deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan have been diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, according to September data from the Defense Medical Surveillance System.
Cost Caveats - Unlike academic estimates, which have calculated total costs as much higher, the Congressional Research Service doesn’t include in its calculations the lifetime costs of medical care for disabled veterans, imputed interest on the deficit or potential increases to the base defense budget deemed to be a consequence of the war, according to Amy Belasco, author of the report. “Such costs are difficult to compute, subject to extensive caveats and often based on methodologies that may not be appropriate,” she wrote. A June cost-of-war assessment by Neta Crawford, a political science professor at Boston University, put the potential total cost of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars and assistance to Pakistan since 2001 at $4.4 trillion, including $316 billion in interest costs and $1 trillion through 2054 for veterans care.
[Source: Bloomberg News | Tony Capaccio | Dec. 19, 2014 ++]
Commissary User Savings Update 03 ► Orange Value Signs New orange "Value" signs may help you spot the best deal in the commissaries. The signs highlight prices that meet the criteria of the Defense Commissary Agency's "Commissary Value Brand" program. Officials picked 300 products across 33 categories that are competitively priced — equal to or below the price of store brands or private label brands of similar items in commercial supermarkets. These value brands offer an average of 25 percent savings over commercial retail stores' private label brands, officials said. In some cases, the savings will hit 50 percent. (This is different from price savings over national brands in other retail outlets, where the average commissary savings is about 30 percent.) That said, some items of nationally known brands are designated as Commissary Value Brands — such as certain Del Monte canned items and ketchup and selected jars of Peter Pan peanut butter. The products are guaranteed to be on the shelves at these low prices for at least six months. The products and prices will be re-evaluated every six months and products will be added or subtracted from the Value Brand program, based on price, sales performance and market changes.
Value brand shelf store signs seen in Commissaries The agency has had value brand programs for about 14 years, but they weren't always obvious to shoppers.
That was highlighted earlier this year in congressional testimony, when a senior defense official and some senior enlisted advisers talked about the need for generics or store brands in commissaries to provide more savings for customers. That effort seemed to envision having the commissary agency create its own "DeCA" store brands. But retail experts said that would require funding for an infrastructure to develop and manage the program and its associated costs, at a time when DoD is trying to reduce the commissary budget. By law, the commissary agency can't create its own official store brand like the Wal-Mart stores' "Great Value" brand or the Safeway brands, or the military exchanges' "Exchange Select" brand. But commissaries have long carried other options as part of programs such as "Best Value Item" and even a previous "Commissary Value Brand" program.
These include "control label" brands, which fill the same role as a store brand or private label brand for grocers without their own store brand program. These products are sold under various names in commissaries, such as a private label brand of ibuprofen called Good Sense. Over the years, the Best Value program splintered into a variety of different forms of savings, according to DeCA officials. This new program is an effort to refocus, reintroduce and more clearly define the program. Consider the Value signs to be a visual reminder to compare prices. Specials and promotions will go on in commissaries, so you still need to compare unit prices — price per ounce of cereal, price per diaper, etc. But this new program, officials said, is meant to point you to the consistently lower prices. [Source: MilitaryTimes | Karen Jowers | Dec. 15, 2014 ++]