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General Military Blog

Operation Live Well

Updated: October 20, 2014

Recently, I had the opportunity to discuss an important health initiative with Marine Corps Master Gunnery Sgt. William Mahoney, Senior Enlisted Advisor to the Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel & Readiness and the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs, and Navy Command Master Chief Terry Prince, Senior Enlisted Advisor for the Defense Health Agency, going on within the Department of Defense (DoD). The initiative, “Operation Live Well”, now celebrating its one year anniversary, helps focus members of DoD on healthy living and beating tobacco use.

The topic is of major importance to those of you seeking enlistment. Many of you do not currently have a routine of fitness, some of you are battling weight issues, and a few of you use tobacco products which impedes your progress toward success. Remember, while at boot-camp, (Read the rest of the article…)

Funeral Honors

Updated: August 16, 2014

The funeral honors for those who served in our military is guaranteed by Section 1491 of Title 10, United States Code. For those eligible, the Department of Defense shall provide the following:

“(c) CEREMONY.—A funeral honors detail shall, at a minimum, perform at the funeral a ceremony that includes the folding of a United States flag and presentation of the flag to the veteran’s family and the playing of Taps. Unless a bugler is a member of the detail, the funeral honors detail shall play a recorded version of Taps using audio equipment which the detail shall provide if adequate audio equipment is not otherwise available for use at the funeral.”

Although not specifically provided for by law, (Read the rest of the article…)

Sovereignty Saved

Updated: April 15, 2017

At the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month of the year 1918, the combatants in “a war [that was supposed] to end all wars” laid down their weapons, and the process of establishing an everlasting peace was to begin. Through his Fourteen Points, the President of the United States, Woodrow Wilson, presented a clear vision of how the ground work for world peace should be set up. He was successful in getting a majority of his Fourteen Points included in the treaty, but because of Wilson’s stubbornness, exacerbated by his poor health, and the alienation of key members of the Senate, the process of ratifying the Treaty of Versailles became an impossible task.

Woodrow Wilson was an intelligent and deeply religious man who steadfastly stood by his convictions and beliefs. He routinely accepted counsel when formulating a direction. If he was satisfied that proper resources and preparation were used to come to a decision, the decision would be final. He would become inflexible, some would say to a fault, and he would not modify his stance even when the circumstances may prove change to be more advantageous.

After the armistice, the United States (Read the rest of the article…)

Coming Soon, Educational Tier Tweeners

Updated: October 20, 2014

The current rendition of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012 that hit the full Senate for consideration this past Friday contains some language that should make a whole lot of people thinking about a future in the military, happy. If passed as written, expect a lot of currently evaluated Tier II schools to be treated as Tier I.

According to SEC. 526, equal treatment will be given for individuals who graduate from a legally operating secondary school. I would think that would encompass state recognized charter schools, Home School, and other schools that don’t fit the old idea of a regular traditional public high school. It should take away the requirement for a 50QT minimum for Home School graduates. Gone should be the days when a recruiter would need to advise an applicant who graduated a non-traditional, state approved high school that their diploma wasn’t enough, and that they needed to go to college and obtain at least 15 college credits.

Well, hopefully.

As with just about all laws that are written, there are loopholes. Competing interests get involved, and those in congress try and make everybody as happy as they can be – a little give and take, as it were. This section mandates “Equal treatment“, (Read the rest of the article…)

When the GI Bill Entitlement Exhausts During a Term

Updated: June 3, 2016

In a McDonald’s up in State College, PA soaking up some free WiFi and decided to post the following information about the GI Bill. Hope it makes sense, and I hope this barbeque sauce is easy to get out from between the keys of my keyboard.

With a new college semester starting at the end of this month, it was time to follow-up with the VA to ensure they received all the paperwork required to ensure the book stipend, BAH and tuition gets paid on time. Before I made the call, I realized that my oldest son, who also is in college, was doing the same thing to ensure everything is in order. He informed me that although this is his last year of school, this coming semester was the last one he would receive his GI Bill benefit. As a matter of fact, he only has 16 days of benefit left, but after reading statements like, “If an individual’s entitlement exhausts during a term, benefits may be extended until the end of the term.” he thought this upcoming semester was taken care of… he was wrong. (Read the rest of the article…)

Military Austerity Suggestions

Updated: January 24, 2015

Department of Defense (DoD) Secretary Robert Gates (SECDEF) recently delivered a policy speech in which he suggested that politicians must do something to fix the military compensation system in order to make it more efficient or DoD will not be able to meet its obligations in the coming years. With a strong call to reduce the national debt, which is nearly $15 trillion, the DoD budget will most certainly be less and less in the coming years. Change is coming.

I think there are modifications we can make in the areas of pay, retirement and education, some painful, (Read the rest of the article…)

Child Care and DOD Education Increases For 2012

Updated: June 12, 2017

Today, December 15, 2011, the Department of Defense released the 2012 Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH) rates, which take effect Jan. 1, 2012. Overall rates will increase an average of 2 percent this year; regrettably, the 2% average raise in BAH is over two percent less than first proposed by President Obama in his initial budget proposal for 2012.

Note for those attending school utilizing the Post 9/11 GI Bill: According to the Veteran’s Administration, if your housing rate decreased for 2012, you will continue to receive the higher 2011 rate unless you change schools or have more than a six month break in school attendance.

14 Feb 2011, President Obama released his “Budget of the United States Government, Fiscal Year 2012.” I have taken the liberty to extract the portion within the Defense budget overview that related to our members and families.

Also in the budget, it is projected that Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH) will increase an average of 4.2 percent, and Basic Allowance for Subsistence (BAS) will increase 3.4 percent.

DoD schools and child care are to receive roughly $3.6billion.
(Read the rest of the article…)

Honor Those Who Gave Their All

Updated: May 25, 2012

To a large part of the American population, Memorial Day is just a paid day off from work that traditionally we fire up the backyard grill, and enjoy time with our family and friends.

Countless heroes have died while in the service of this great country, we should be honoring them everyday, but Memorial Day does provide a focus. At 1500, your local time (3pm), take a moment to remember the supreme sacrifice of our fallen heroes. During that moment, take the time to tell the stories of men like;

HM3 Wayne M. Caron, “…HM3 Caron was hit in the arm by enemy fire. Although knocked to the ground, he regained his feet (Read the rest of the article…)

2010 Milblog After Action Report

Updated: April 12, 2017

Originally published 12 APR 2010.

For the past five years, military bloggers have formally congregated, either in Washington D.C., or Las Vegas, NV, to discuss the challenges and the future of military blogging, share ideas and best practices, and meet new people and further strengthen the bonds previously forged in the depths of cyberspace.

My wife, Bonnie, and I, look forward to these events for a multitude of reasons, but none more important than meeting up with folks who are becoming closer friends with each visit …even if I still don’t know some of their real names (CDR Salamander)!

The Navy was pretty well represented this year – Navy Bloggers (Read the rest of the article…)

911GIBill Certificate of Eligibility

Updated: August 17, 2014

May 1, 2009 was the first day you could submit your application via the VONAPP web site for the Post-911 GI Bill (911GIBill). It was on that day I filled out the remarkably easy to follow form, and submitted my request. Then I waited.

Today I received my answer via snail mail. (Read the rest of the article…)

A Navy recruiting blog that delves into the military enlistment process and benefits of service. This is NOT an official United States Navy or government web site. The opinions expressed are my own, and may not be in-line with any branches of the government or military.

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Unless otherwise noted, content written by Thomas Goering, NCCM USN(RET).

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