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Navy Cyberspace Blog (2)

2015 DoD Budget Released

Today, March 4, 2014, President Obama released his budget proposal for Fiscal Year 2015. This current budget proposal once again looks to reduce the amount of pay Servicemembers should be getting per U.S.C. Title 37. This will be two years in a row if the proposed 1% flies past Congress as it did last year.

From the President’s official release:

Since 2001, military pay and benefits have grown 40 percent more than in the private sector. The Budget proposes reforms to slow this cost growth, including changes to TRICARE, lower commissary subsidies phased in over time, and modestly slower growth in the Basic Allowance for Housing, while still providing a robust compensation and benefits system that honors the service of our men and women in uniform and their families. For calendar year 2015, the Budget provides a 1.0 percent increase to basic pay, a 1.5 percent increase in the Basic Allowance for Housing, and a 3.4 percent increase in the Basic Allowance for Subsistence. All of these changes have been recommended by the uniformed military leadership and are necessary to slow the growth in compensation and benefit costs in a responsible way and preserve funding needed for investments in platforms and readiness.

By what measure has there been a (Read the rest of the article…)


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Today, Navy Cyberspace is Ten

Ten years ago today, February 16, 2004, navycs.com was registered and this journey began.

What started as a prototype to demonstrate ways for Navy Recruiting Command to interact with potential applicants through online games, Navy Cyberspace has evolved into a hobby for me. One that has became an unshakable passion. It has influenced my decision as to how to use my GI-Bill benefit. It has been a platform to allow me to interact with, and help when I can, potential applicants and Sailors from all over the world, and moreover, it has allowed me to personally meet some great people with a similar passion.

A special shout-out to NavyDoc, Sir, thank you. The time that you spend answering the questions posed by prospective applicants and the Future Sailors, Soldiers, Marines and Airmen saves recruiters from all services countless hours. You are amazing.

I look forward to the future.

Thank you!

A little video to help commemorate the occasion:
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The Army’s Kickback Scandal

According to Tom Vanden Brook of USA TODAY in a story entitled, “Recruiting fraud, kickback scandal rocks Army”,

Fraudulent payments total in the “tens of millions,” with one soldier allegedly pocketing $275,000 in illegal kickbacks, according to documents obtained by USA TODAY. At least four others made more than $100,000 each.

And this;

An Army audit found that 1,200 recruiters had received payments that were potentially fraudulent, and another 2,000 recruiting assistants had received questionable payments. More than 200 officers remain under investigation, McCaskill said. As of January, there were 555 active investigations involving 840 people, she said.

In all, as many as 100,000 soldiers will have to be screened to determine whether they scammed the system, she said.

“Frankly, a halfway sophisticated high school student could have seen ability to commit fraud here,” McCaskill said.

Sad.

I think it was sometime late in 2004, we, the senior enlisted leadership made up of members of the Career Recruiting Force at Navy Recruiting Command, on many occasions, sat in a room with our Naval Reserve counterparts. We were discussing the the best way forward for the merger of the active and Naval Reserve recruiting commands. I remember that during one such meeting a question, the question of, should we, recruiting command, be hiring civilian recruiters who would be paid a bounty, and also be paying referral bonuses for recruits — the uniformed recruiter was not supposed to see any additional funds beyond their Special Duty Allowance Pay (SDAP).

The question was very quickly dismissed, with most us almost laughing out loud, and for the very reasons that are plaguing the news today — because the potential for fraud was just too great.

The Army needed to do something, they were hurting — they were trying some new “pilot program”, it seemed, just about every month. Those programs (Read the rest of the article…)


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FEB 2014 SLRP and EB Update

Effective 01 FEB 2014, the Navy Student Loan Repayment Program (LRP) will include one additional rating for those enlisting on to active duty over the previous release; Cryptologic Technician (Technical). It has been a while since we have seen a change.

Starting Monday, the first processing day in February, the Musician, Hospital Corpsman (HM-SG) and Cryptologic Technician – Interpretive (CTI-Advanced Technical Field (ATF)), Cryptologic Technician (Maintenance — SG), Cryptologic Technician (Networks — ATF), Cryptologic Technician (Technical — AEF), Information System Technician, and the Special Warfare Operator (SEAL) ratings are eligible for the Student Loan Repayment Program.
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My Last Semester

On January 16, 2014, I will be starting what will be my last semester of college using the Post 9/11 GI-Bill. Today, I received my what should be my last letter explaining my eligibility, and it states, “As of February 21, 2014 you have 0 months and 0 days remaining.” It is kind of like the end of an era for me.

Now, of course, my next semester does not end on the 21st of February — it will extend until sometime Mid-May — but my benefit (tuition, books, BAH, etc.) will extend until the semester’s completion because I will not bump up against the (Read the rest of the article…)


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Happy Thanksgiving 2013

For my first Thanksgiving in the Navy, I was a recruit in my 4th week at RTC Orlando. Of my 51 years on this planet, it is the one I recall with the most fondness. Not because of the food, we certainly didn’t get to watch any football, and there wasn’t a blood relative in sight the entire day; however, there was something that made it special, my number one. For the first time in my life, I was actually thankful — I truly felt I understood the day’s meaning. It wasn’t due to a speech or event that day that grabbed my attention, no, it was just being there with a bunch other other folks enduring the same adversities, and we absolutely loved it.

You can learn a lot about yourself when you miss a traditional holiday for the first time. For me, I (Read the rest of the article…)


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Navy SRB Guidance as of 26NOV2013

The following NAVADMIN DOES NOT announce changes in rates, SRB award levels, or the process for submitting a request.

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Private Sector W&S at 1.8%, Again

Today, November 19, 2013, the United States Employment Cost Index (ECI) was released; yes, much later than normal — blame that on the recent government shutdown. Today’s release has the data that contains some important stuff for the serving Members of our military.

Up until this current year, it is the quarterly release that presidents have used to make a proposal for the military pay increases for over a decade in order to ensure our military member’s compensation keeps pace with that of the private sector. For 2014, President Obama, at the strong request of (Read the rest of the article…)


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USS Maryland Logalbum 1925

When I first entered recruiting duty, I proudly displayed the cruise book from my 1982 deployment aboard the USS Forrestal. Over the years, hundreds of applicants perused the book; eventually, it was destroyed. It did in fact help a lot of folks make the decision to join the Navy, so its death was not in vain.

It was due to the untimely death of my cruise book that I decided to make an effort to save one such book from the same fate. Not long ago, the distant family member of a Sailor walked into a local recruiting station and left his relative’s cruise book for applicants to see and enjoy. The applicants will get that chance, but not before I make a copy of all the original images and documents — I will then use the copies to make a new book. The other will either be displayed in a case or turned over to the Naval History and Heritage Command (as discussed with the LPO — if they will take it). The History and Heritage Command has a number of cruise books listed in (Read the rest of the article…)


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Eligibility Updates

Yesterday, November 5, 2013, Navy Recruiting Command released a change to the manual used to provide instructional guidance for enlistment and program eligibility. The following is a quick rundown of some of the highlights.

Over the years, I have received numerous inquiries about how to enlist into a Navy Challenge Program (incidentally, that is another change, it is now (Read the rest of the article…)


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