Published: February 2nd, 2015
Updated: April 22, 2015
Today, President Obama released his budget proposal for fiscal 2016. The defense portion of the national budget would amount to $534 billion; roughly eight percent above that enacted for fiscal year 2015. But only a small portion of that increase will end up in the pockets of our Servicemembers.
Unless Congress can find the monies required, the (Read the rest of the article…)
Published: January 8th, 2015
Updated: April 3, 2015
In 2009, only a month after his Inauguration, President Obama released his first national budget proposal. The FY-2010 proposal included priorities he promised during his campaign; healthcare, education, clean energy, and for those in uniform, a few items that may have been unexpected.
While reviewing President Obama’s first budget proposal, it becomes apparent that his concern for the wellbeing of the nation’s military and its Veterans was also a priority.
For the Department of Veteran’s Affairs, the President’s budget proposal, “…provides the resources for effective implementation of the post-9/11 GI Bill”, and, more importantly, it (Read the rest of the article…)
Published: December 18th, 2014
Updated: April 3, 2015
The Navy is in the process of ditching its 1968-design Nimitz-class carrier, a class near and dear to my heart, for the new and improved Ford-class supercarrier. While the new class is not equipped with lasers and a waterslide per my request, there are some pretty neat upgrades. One of these upgrades is a beefed up engine.
The U.S.S. Gerald R. Ford is expected to be commissioned in 2016 and will replace the Enterprise, which was retired in 2012. Don’t worry though, the third planned Ford-class carrier will take up the name Enterprise, at least until the Starship Enterprise (NC-1701) is commissioned in 2245. Interesting fact, the first space shuttle, Enterprise, was originally slated to be called Constitution until Gerald Ford stepped in and asked that the shuttle be named Enterprise. I digress . . .
The coolest feature, (Read the rest of the article…)
Published: December 11th, 2014
Updated: May 26, 2015
Our branches of the military work always work closely together with an earned mutual respect and a strong desire that each succeeds beyond even their wildest dreams; well, except during two events… budget negotiations and sports! Each year, the service academies will meet on the gridiron to see which academy will win the Commander-in-Chief’s Trophy, which by the way, I think was just something thrown in to make the Air Force feel like their games were important because the only game that really counts is the Navy-Army Game!
Currently, the Navy Midshipmen have a 12 game winning streak over the Army’s Black Knights.
In recent years, the services have brought the rivalry to the Internet with each service producing “Spirit Spots”. This year, I have produced my first one — yeah, I still need work improving my video skills, but here it is; GO NAVY! BEAT ARMY! (Read the rest of the article…)
Published: December 8th, 2014
Updated: April 13, 2015
UPDATE: The pilot program has ended and the changes have been made permanent. Mandatory female haircuts at boot-camp are no longer required.
Over the years while serving as a member of Navy Recruiting Command, I have interviewed a large number of women with an interest in joining the Navy. Many times those same women chose a different service because for the Navy, once a woman arrived at Recruit Training Command, they were required to get their haircut to the length where it could touch but not fall below a horizontal line level with the lower edge of the back of the uniform collar. Well, starting next month, that requirement to lop off the locks will be on hiatus.
According to the Navy’s All Hands magazine article, “Updated Hair Policies for Navy Women” published today, beginning in January 2015, Navy boot-camp will initiate a pilot program (length of time program will run has yet to be announced) to cease mandatory female haircuts. From All Hands: (Read the rest of the article…)
Published: October 31st, 2014
Updated: April 3, 2015
This morning at 0830EST, the United States Employment Cost Index (ECI) was released. The releasing of the ECI by the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics is an eagerly awaited quarterly economic indicator for those in the stock market and politics; but what makes this morning’s release important to our military it that one of its indicators is used to determine any pay raise amount for 2016’s raise.
According to U.S. Code Title 37, that is how it is supposed to work unless the President determines that the state of the economy is such that he must intervene. For both 2014 and 2015, ECI dictated a 1.8% raise. For 2014, President Obama stepped in and followed the recommendation of the Department of Defense (DOD) to mandate just a one percent raise, and because Congress did not find the money in the budget to pay for the additional 0.8%, his one percent carried the day. The 2014 story looks to be repeating itself exactly for 2015. Without Congress finding the money in the budget to pay for the (Read the rest of the article…)
Published: October 25th, 2014
Updated: October 25, 2014
To reduce the cost associated with hosting and updating two Websites, Navy Recruiting Command will be shutting down navyreserve.com according to its Fiscal Year 2015 Business Plan published Thursday. The content from navyreserve.com will be incorporated into navy.com. When released, the new navy.com site is expected to allow for a better overall user experience by providing a single resource for learning about the Active Duty and Reserve Components of the United States Navy. The newly upgraded navy.com Website is expected to be live between November 14, 2014 and February 15, 2015. According to the plan, the delay in deployment hinges on the Navy’s general upgrade to Internet (Read the rest of the article…)
Published: October 17th, 2014
Updated: May 21, 2015
When determining what issues can be a medical, dependency, drug, or conduct waiver for the military, the data for those who received an untimely discharged is gathered by the service’s and the Department of Defense where a continual analysis is performed. The data collected will include such information as prior service issues, type of waivers conducted, etc. Based on the trends indicated by the data, modifications are made as to whether it is cost effective to allow waivers for certain issues and behaviors to become more restrictive or whether they should be allowed consideration at all.
For example, when it was found that a significant number of people joined the military who had a history of shoulder dislocations later had a high recurrence rate of injury that led to limited duty or even a medical discharge, it became less likely that people who had a history of shoulder dislocations would be allowed to serve. Restricting them from joining helps maintain the general readiness of the fleet, and it saves the taxpayer dollars. This is generally how medical disqualifications are established. The same can be said for other types of waivers.
Having a history of even one time cocaine usage requires a drug use waiver for enlistment and commissioning. The reason a waiver is required is for the same reason as for the shoulder example; Servicemembers who had a prior history of that type of behavior showed a greater risk of repeat behavior, downtime, or discharge than those who did not. As a matter of fact, for drug usage and abuse and the problems it caused in the fleet, that is what initiated the military’s in-service drug policy of zero tolerance in the early 1980s.
As long as we continue to mitigate the costs through analysis, I (Read the rest of the article…)
Published: September 30th, 2014
Updated: April 25, 2015
Navy Recruiting Command’s Admiral’s Accelerator Award (AAA) is a quarterly award that provides, in part, an incentive for recruiters and job classifiers to fill ratings and programs that could use a boost in qualified personnel. The current guidance runs from October 1 through December 31, 2014 (the first quarter of the fiscal year). Of course, any rating could be available on any day, but due to the emphasis, the following ratings and programs listed should have a higher visibility from the first processing day October. Yes, tomorrow.
Some of the programs and ratings on the list remain the same as the last AAA, but there are some new arrivals!
Expect the ship date to be with in FY-2015 (ship to boot-camp by September 30, 2015)
(Read the rest of the article…)
Published: September 11th, 2014
Updated: April 3, 2015
The sun comes up pretty early down in Southern Louisiana, but not before the hardworking souls that toil away over the lands to produce the nourishment required to live. You get used to the heat, the humidity, and even the insects, but you never get used to pains of hunger, especially when it is pain felt by those of your own family.
Fred Gill Jr. was born on October 19, 1923, just outside of Kentwood, Louisiana. Even before the Great Depression, life in the rural South was tough. Fred recalls, “If you didn’t have a farm and work, you didn’t eat.” As a kid growing up, there wasn’t much time to contemplate the problems outside his own. His entire world was his family and friends of that small country town.
Patriotism in rural America has always been strong. When the radio announced the attack on Pearl Harbor, Fred, just like every other red-blooded American was ready to answer the call, but leaving at that time would have put unbearable strain on the family. His father needed his help to feed his younger siblings. His mother was very ill. Fred’s war was much closer to home.
The urge to serve our country was strong. After his mother’s passing, and life started to stabilize at home, he was ready.
In late 1942, Fred made his way about 90 miles south to New Orleans where he ended up at the door (Read the rest of the article…)