Rao bulletin 1 January 2015 html edition this bulletin contains the following articles

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1 January 2015
HTML Edition
Pg Article Subject

* DOD * .
04 == MCRMC [05] ---------- (Compensation Commission Readies Report)

05 == ID Card Obtainment in Philippines ------------------ (Request by Mail)

07 == War Costs since 911 --------------------------------- (Dollar and Human)

08 == Commissary User Savings [03] ------------------ (Orange Value Signs)

09 == Budget Deficit Reduction [01] – (Brainstorming Health Care Budget)

10 == DoD Mobilized Reserve 16 DEC 2014 ------------- (Decrease of 1053)

11 == Other than Honorable Discharge [02] ------- (DoD to Investigate Use)

11 == PTSD Punitive Discharges --------------- (Upgrade Website Launched)

12 == DoD Humvee Auction ---------------- (Selling For Off-Road Use Only)

14 == DoD Fraud, Waste, & Abuse --------- (Reported 16 thru 31 Dec 2014)

16 == POW/MIA [44] -------------- (2nd Lawsuit Questions JPAC Accuracy)

17 == POW/MIA [46] --------------------- (Reform Cuts key JPAC Personnel)

18 == POW/MIA Recoveries ----------------- (Reported 141216 thru 141231)
* VA * .
22 == VA Disability Compensation [11] ----------------------- (Rates for 2015)

23 == VA Women Vet Programs [24] ------------------- (CWV/ CAWP MOU)

24 == VA Health Care Stories [05] ------------- (Denied Colonoscopy Claims)

24 == VA Clinical Reasoning Service ------- (Implementation & Assessment)

24 == Homeless Vets [62] ------------- (IG Report on VA’s Homeless Hotline)

26 == VA Whistleblowers [16] ---------------------------- (Sham Peer Reviews)

28 == PTSD [182] ----------------- (Colorado Funds Medical Marijuana Study)

29 == VAMC Fayetteville [02] -------------- ($40M Wrongful Death Lawsuit)

30 == VAMC Aurora CO [02] ------------- (New Hospital Interim Agreement)
* VETS * .
33 == Team AMVETS ------------------------------- (Welcome Home Program)

34 == Vet Toxic Exposure~Lejeune [52] --------- (Exposure Dates Expanded)

34 == Connecticut Veteran' Home [02] ------ (Major Changes Recommended)

35 == Navy Retired Activities Website ------- (Quick Retiree Reference Info)

35 == Hospital Corpsman Combat Memorial ------- (New Version Dedicated)

36 == Vet Insurance ~ Life [13] -------- (40M Prudential Lawsuit Settlement)

37 == MOH Awards [02] --------------- (NDAA’s William Shemin Provision)

39 == Army Combat Action Badge [03] ------ (Extend Retroactive Eligibility)

40 == Vet Suicide [05] ----- (H.R.5059 Passage Halted by Sen. Tom Coburn)

41 == OBIT | Thomas Richards [01] -------------------------------- (18 Jun 2014)

42 == Vet Jobs [166] ------------------ (Home Base Iowa Seeks to Attract Vets)

43 == Retiree Appreciation Days ---------------------------- (As of 26 Dec 2014)

43 == Vet Hiring Fairs ----------------------------------------- (1 thru 31 Jan 2014)

44 == WWII Vets 77 -------------------------------------------- (DeLucia~Tommy)

45 == America's Most Beloved Vets ----------------------------- (Korean War (1)

46 == Veteran State Benefits & Discounts --------------------------- (Iowa 2014)

46 == State Veteran's Benefits & Discounts ------------- (New York Update 01)
48 == Vet Legislative Wins 2014 ------------------------- (Few But 2 Big Ones)

49 == VA Construction Management Authority -------- (Bill Would Remove)

49 == GOP Agenda ------------------------------------------------ (2015 Wish List)

51 == Vet Bills Submitted to 113th Congress ------------- (As of 28 Dec 2014)

52 == Operation Enduring Freedom [01] -– (Officially Ended Dec. 28, 2015)

53 == MAVNI Program -------- (Special Foreign-born Recruiting to Resume)

54 == POW/MIA [45] ------------------- (How to Handle Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl)

55 == Military Child Custody Protection ------------------- (Deployment Issue)

56 == Navy Rights Wrong after 72 Years ----------- (German U-Boat sinking)

57 == Military Mortgage Foreclosure Relief ---- (Up to 1-yr after Separation)

58 == GhostSwimmer --------------------------- (Navy Tests Tuna-Sized UUV)

58 == Broadsword Suit --------------------- (New Wearable Charging System)

59 == Medal of Honor Citations ----------------------- (Vance~Leon R. WWII)
62 == Aviation Art ----------------------------------------- (Enemy Coast Ahead)

63 == Military History --------------------------------------- (Angeles of Bataan)

66 == D-Day ------------------------------ (LCT Loading for Channel Crossing)

67 == WWII Prewar Events -------- (Nanking Japanese Occupation Atrocity)

67 == WWII Postwar Events ------------ (Tokyo Housing Shortage Oct 1946)

68 == Spanish American War Image 54 - (Naval battle of Santiago de Cuba)

69 == Military History Anniversaries ---------------------------- (1 thru 31 Jan)

69 == WWI in Photos 119 --- (Clearing Turkish Dardanelles Defenses 1915)

69 == Faces of WAR (WWII) ------------------------ (William F. Halsey 1945)
70 == Organ Transplant -------------------- (Walter Reed Transplant Program)

70 == Sexual Function ---------------------------- (Restoral for Injured Troops)

72 == Medical Talk Shows -------------------- (Recommendations Reliability)

73 == TRICARE/Medicare Combined Benefit [01] -------------- (Fact Sheet)

74 == TRICARE Dental Program [08] --------------------------- (Flossing Tip)

75 == TRICARE Operation Live Well! -------------- (Healthy Base Initiative)

75 == Hand Washing ----------------- (When, How & Why | Happy Birthday)

77 == TRICARE Advise Line [01] ----- (Need Urgent Care? Call NAL First)

77 == Tricare Webinar --------------------------------- (Live Stress free in 2015)

78 == Tricare Webinar -------------- (TOP Prime Remote Briefing for TLAC)

79 == Hospital Observation Care -- (Medicare Considers Outpatient Service)
80 == DFAS 1099-R [06] ------------------------ (Obtaining Additional Copies)

80 == Price Increases ----------------- (13 Things Likely to Cost More in 2015)

82 == Price Decreases ----------------- (12 Things Likely to Cost Less in 2015)

84 == Car Insurance [08] ------- (Reasons Other Driver Insurance Won’t Pay)

85 == Renters Insurance [03] ----------------------------- (Facts worth Knowing)

86 == Saving Money --------------------- (Save 10+% on Everything You Buy)

88 == Fall Contractor Scam --------------------------------------- (How it Works)

89 == Veteran Scams [01] --------------------------------------- (How they Work)

89 == Tax Burden for New Mexico Retirees ----------------- (As of Dec 2014)

91 == Tax Burden for Alabama Residents -------------------- (As of Dec 2014)

01 == Thrift Savings Plan 2014 ----------- (Share Prices + YTD Gain or Loss)
94 == Notes of Interest ------------------------------------- (16 thru 31 Dec2014)

95 == 113th Congress [02] -------------- (Not the Least Productive in History)

97 == Expiration Dates ----------------------------- (7 Things Not to Overstock)

99 == Household Aids: Baking Soda --------------------------------------- (Uses)

101 == Consumer Reports ------------------------ (Who is Checking Up on You)

103 == Korean Comfort Women --------- (Victims of Japanese WWII Troops)

104 == Korean Comfort Women [01] ----------------------- (Victims of History)

105 == Jewelry Tips --------------------------------- (Jeweler Tricks of the Trade)

107 == Photos That Say It All ------------------------------------ (Father and Son)

107 == WWII Ads ------------------------------------------ (Mrs. Peek’s Puddings)

108 == Normandy Then & Now -------------------------------- (Carentan France)

108 == Have You Heard? --------------------------------------- (Navy beat Army)

109 == They Grew Up to Be ----------- (Shawna Waldron | Little Giants 1994)

109 == Interesting Ideas ------------------------------------- (Trash Container Tip)

109 == Moments of US History ------------------------- (B-17E Personnel 1942)


1. The page number on which an article can be found is provided to the left of each article’s title

2. Numbers contained within brackets [ ] indicate the number of articles written on the subject. To obtain previous articles send a request to raoemo@sbcglobal.net.

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 *

dod_logo photo overseas civilian contractors

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
The sponsor must complete and mail in the following to apply for ID Card Renewal or DEERS updates for themselves and their dependents:

  1. 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.


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)

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 __________, _____

(Month) (Year)

at _____________________________, Philippines.


Notary Public

Name, Signature

And Seal

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.

  1. Enclose an 8x10 or 5x7 portrait type photograph of the individual needing the ID Card. Only one 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.

  2. 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.

  1. Mail completed application via certified mail to:

APO/FPO Mail Users 

Philippine Mail Users



Unit 14021 

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 ++]

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