By Noriko Kudo, U.S. Army Garrison Japan Public Affairs

CAMP ZAMA, Japan -- Current Army Family housing residents on Camp Zama and Sagamihara Family Housing Area were able to provide direct input and ideas aimed at improving the quality of life for future residents.

Camp Zama's Directorate of Public Works invited residents to participate in the U.S. Army Garrison Japan Family Housing District area development plan, held May 13 through 16, allowing them to discuss housing issues and ideas for improvements with a team of subject-matter experts and outside consultants.

From the Office of the Navy Chief of Information

WASHINGTON (NNS) -- From military installation searches to special family needs, relocation and retirement, the MyNavy Family mobile application is a one-stop shop for Navy spouses and Sailors’ families, combining official information from more than 22 websites.

Developed by the U.S. Navy, the app covers a wide variety of topics: New Spouse Mentorship & Networking; Employment & Adult Education; Parenthood; Special Needs Family Support; Moving & Relocation; Service Member Deployment; Counseling Services; Recreation, Lodging & Travel; Family Emergencies; and Transition & Retirement.

From the Office of the Navy Chief of Information

WASHINGTON (NNS) -- The Navy’s Professional Military Knowledge Eligibility Exam (PMK-EE) mobile application conveniently allows Sailors to prepare for and complete these exams, which they must pass to advance through the E4/5/6/7 paygrades.

Sailors can use their mobile devices to access the PMK-EE app to review topics, access bibliographies and complete the exam that corresponds to each paygrade.

From Navy Personnel Command Public Affairs

MILLINGTON, Tenn. (NNS) -- To support the summer permanent change of station (PCS) season, Navy Personnel Command (NPC) is taking action to improve the PCS move experience for Sailors and their families.

Sailors who have already completed at least one PCS move, know the process can be quite complex – from the household goods shipment to budgeting for potential out-of-pocket expenses. Navy Personnel Command (NPC) is working with numerous partners across the Navy and Department of Defense to rapidly field numerous customer oriented improvements to simplify the process for hardworking Sailors and their families. The new MyPCS Checklist, a tailored and interactive checklist to assist in move preparation and execution, is available now via MyNavy Portal at https://my.navy.mil.

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and Microsoft Corp., recently formed a partnership that aims to improve how Veterans living in rural areas can access VA’s online services and benefits.

The agreement, which was formalized in mid-April, allows VA and Microsoft to work together to advance and improve the quality of life for Veterans by identifying opportunities to extend broadband internet connectivity to underserved rural Veteran communities.

by Amanda Turner

Your home is your safe space, a place where you and your family can come together and unwind, after a long day. That’s why it is so important that you keep your home in tip-top shape so that you and yours can have confidence that when you walk through the door, you’ll feel relaxed and at ease. If you’re ready to spruce up your abode, here are seven tips for freshening up your home and health:

Create a Sleep Routine

Before you can begin to take on your home, you need a good night of rest. In fact, a regular sleep schedule is important for everything from boosting your immunity to increasing patience with your kids. This is one simple health tip that will give you more energy to not just freshen up your home, but to have a refreshed perspective on your life.  

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs’ (VA) National Cemetery Administration (NCA) will host Memorial Day ceremonies from May 25 to May 27 to commemorate the nation’s fallen service members.

“At VA, we honor those who made the ultimate sacrifice by providing them with a perpetual memorial in our national cemeteries,” said VA Secretary Robert Wilkie. “And we also care for their survivors, whether during war or peacetime. It is a profound and personal commitment for every one of us at VA.”

Secretary of the Air Force Public Affairs

The Air Force announced the spouse relicensure reimbursement program, May 15, which would provide financial relief up to $500 to Airmen whose spouses must obtain state occupational relicensures or recertifications during a permanent change of station or assignment across state lines.

The Air Force will reimburse qualifying relicensure and recertification fees incurred during PCS/PCAs authenticated on or after Dec. 12, 2017.

Secretary of the Air Force Public Affairs

All three military service secretaries signed a memorandum today to jointly explore how military spouses can find employment and sustain careers at overseas bases.

“Military service is a team sport that begins with the family," said Secretary of the Army Mark Esper. “Helping our spouses pursue their careers while they support their service members is not only the right thing to do, it improves the readiness of the force and our retention of top talent.”

By Sean Kimmons, Army News Service

The Army recently issued a directive to reduce the financial burden for spouses who wish to continue their professional careers after they move to a new duty station. 

The policy allows spouses to be reimbursed up to $500 for qualified relicensing costs that result from a permanent change of station or assignment to a different state.

By U.S. Army Public Affairs

Senior leaders of the U.S. military, including Secretary of the Army Mark Esper, Secretary of the Navy Richard Spencer and Secretary of the Air Force Heather Wilson, met today with senior executives from nine private companies that manage housing on U.S. military installations. During the meeting, the secretaries presented the executives a proposed Tenant Bill of Rights and discussed modifications to incentive-fee agreements, the implementation of apps and online tools to improve property-management oversight and work-order processing, and the creation of a privatized-housing lease agreement that would be uniform across all departments and portfolios.

by Amanda Turner

Sleep is essential for your physical, mental, and emotional health. It’s also one of the human needs that most people feel like they’re lacking. If you’re ready to start getting your sleep schedule back on track, take a look at these eight easy tips.

Go to Sleep at the Same Time Every Night

Your body craves routine. From your eating schedule to the time of day that you exercise, everything can be more efficient with a schedule. Your sleep schedule is no different. Try and go to sleep at the same time each night, even the weekends, so that your body starts to learn when it is time for sleep.

Try to Avoid Naps

Naps can be great when you need to catch on sleep. However, try to avoid making a routine out of long naps. If you’re having trouble sleeping, you’ll want to do everything in your power to make sure your body is ready to go to sleep at night. If you feel the need to take naps throughout the day, try and avoid taking them after 3 pm.

By Lauren Finnegan, Joint Base Lewis-McChord Garrison Public Affairs

Resilience ... it's one of the first words people think of when they hear military spouse - and for good reason, too. Between the constant moves and family separations, anyone would have to be resilient to walk in those shoes. 

But Joint Base Lewis-McChord spouse, Mandy Kruger, the mind behind the popular travel blog, "Mapping with Mandy," hasn't let the military lifestyle dull her sparkle. In fact, she is using her experiences to her advantage as she continues to build a career no matter what the Army throws in front of her. 

From Chief of Naval Personnel Public Affairs

 The Navy announced that education program information, application processes and deadlines will be announced through personalized notifications to eligible Sailors in NAVADMIN 106/19, May 10.

In an effort to reduce administrative distractions, education program announcements will no longer be disseminated through NAVADMIN messages.  Instead, these announcements will now be delivered to individuals by notifications within MyNavy Education, according to the Fiscal Year 2020 (FY20) Navy Strategic Education and Academic (SEA) Plan.

Posted by Julie Richardson

In classrooms all across America, long hours of curriculum are taught, thousands of papers are graded each day, yet teachers still find the time to constantly brainstorm strategies to support their diverse student population. They stay up late answering emails and stay after class to help a struggling student. On any given day, a teacher may wear the hat of educator, mediator, cheerleader, advocate, disciplinarian, nurse, counselor, and so much more. For many of us, there is no greater job!

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) announced May 13 that Veterans who qualify for a VA Home Loan funding fee waiver are now being notified in their home loan eligibility certificate and disability compensation award letter. 

The recent change to the Home Loan Guaranty program aims to improve benefits delivery to Veteran homebuyers.  

Users may now text, call or chat to learn about resources
 
WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) added a text messaging feature to the Women Veterans Call Center on April 23, providing another convenient way for women to seek information about VA benefits, health care and available resources.
 
Women Veterans can now text 855-829-6636 to receive answers and guidance about VA services.

By Dave Marks, NHTP PAO Public Affairs

Two basic rules of life are: 1. Change is inevitable and 2. Everybody resists change. That’s according to business management guru E. Edwards Deming.

Air Force Maj. Gen. Lee Payne and his team of military healthcare professionals visited Naval Hospital Twentynine Palms April 17 to brief the command on the launch of the new electronic health record, MHS Genesis, which replaces the stand-alone legacy systems (CHCS, Essentris, Ahlta) and integrates all aspects of care in the military health system into one seamless portal. It connects the provider to the patient and offers a host of user-friendly features from messaging to prescription refills.

by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Brian T. Glunt, Navy Office of Community Outreach Public Affairs

Sharing Sailors’ stories and photos with millions of Americans across the country has never been easier, and doing so can help increase Navy awareness nationwide.

The American Connections program tells the Navy’s story in newspapers, on radio and TV stations, in online publications and via social networks through the eyes of individual Sailors by using their local connections to cities and towns across the country. In addition to the recognition the program provides for Sailors and their commands, the stories help Americans throughout the country better understand their Navy, its mission and its contribution to national security.

By Capt. Leanna Maschino

With a faint scent of rusted steel throughout the echoing halls, Oklahoma National Guard (OKNG) children and volunteers had a unique opportunity to spend the night in the historic USS Batfish (SS 310) submarine, Friday, in celebration of the Month of the Military Child.

The event, put on by the OKNG's Child and Youth Program, a sub-division of the OKNG's Family Program Office, gave the youngsters a chance to walk through history, listen to stories of past Sailors and sleep where the Sailors slept in the submarine during World War II.

By Master Sgt. Dan DeCook, Air Force Public Affairs Agency

As the permanent change of station peak season approaches, Air Force officials are reminding Airmen to review the Department of Defense policy on transportation of professional gear to avoid costly charges.

“We highly encourage Airmen get one-on-one counseling with their personal property processing office to learn exactly what is and what isn’t considered professional gear,” said Kevin Kennedy, Personal Property Activity deputy director. “Travelers should also carefully read through the Joint Federal Travel Regulation.”

By Terri Moon Cronk
DoD News, Defense Media Activity

WASHINGTON, May 9, 2018 President Donald J. Trump and First Lady Melania Trump invited military mothers and spouses to the White House today in honor of Mothers Day, and the president signed an executive order to enable military spouses to find work more easily in the private and federal sectors.

Mother's Day, which is this Sunday, is celebrated just one time per year, the first lady said to the gathering in the White House East Room. Today, I want to take this opportunity to let you all know that as mothers who are members of the military community, you deserve recognition for not only your love for your children, but for the dedication and sacrifice you make on behalf of our country each and every day, she said.

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) recently released a new online feature through the My HealtheVet portal that allows Veterans to access their medical images and associated study reports online.

Called VA Medical Images and Reports, the feature allows Veterans with a premium account to view, download and share copies of their radiology studies, such as X-rays, mammograms, MRIs and CTs, from the VA Electronic Health Record (EHR).

By Suzanna Brugler, NAVSUP GLS, Deputy, Office of Corporate Communications and Public Affairs


SAN DIEGO (NNS) -- Naval Supply Systems Command Global Logistics Support (NAVSUP GLS) Household Goods (HHG) provided information and moving tips directed toward Sailors and their families who will be executing a HHG move during the current peak season May 17.

HHG peak season runs from the beginning of May through August.

Start the process early and be flexible.

From Chief of Naval Personnel Public Affairs


WASHINGTON (NNS) -- Following passage of the 2017 Consolidated Appropriations Act, the Navy announced today that Sailors should continue to expect to receive permanent change of station (PCS) orders with approximately two months or less lead time through the end of the fiscal year.

While the Navy will make every effort to ensure PCS orders are released as expeditiously as possible, the service does not have sufficient funds to allow for longer PCS orders lead times.

By Mary Kay Gominger, GCVHCS Public Affairs Officer
Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Air Force Veteran Christopher Bramblett has an appreciation for national parks and public lands that goes back to his youth. Members of his family were large National Park and public land supporters so he grew up hiking, camping, and spending time in the outdoors. Bramblett, resident of Ocean Springs, Miss., said his mom was also a seasonal park ranger and a Veteran (Air Force) as was his grandfather (WWII, Army), so in keeping with family tradition, he joined the armed forces.

Bramblett served 10 years in the Air Force. Using the GI bill, he started working toward his degree in U.S. history. The transition from military to civilian life wasn’t as smooth as he had hoped and soon Bramblett found himself in, as he describes it, a dark place.

By Mika Cross on May 30, 2017

Bradley served 10 years in the U.S. Army as a military police officer, but when he left, the civilian job market he found was less friendly than the one he remembered. Looking for a leg up, he visited an American Job Center in Las Vegas, where he received help updating his resume and determining how to present his military skills in a way that would appeal to potential employers. Soon, he was back to work as a regional representative in the Las Vegas office for Sen. Dean Heller.

Bradley is one of more than 800,000 veterans who get help at the Labor Department’s American Job Centers every year. One of the most important ways our Veterans’ Employment and Training Service supports transitioning military service members and their families is by ensuring a successful transition to a meaningful civilian career, once they have completed their time in service.

GENUINE is casting People with Limited Travel Experience

For example:
· Have you never traveled beyond your immediate community?
· Is the distance you have traveled limited to your state or just beyond?
· Have you only traveled to "tourist destinations"?
· Do you want to travel, but have not had the opportunity?

By Ed Barker, Naval Education and Training Professional Development Center Public Affairs

PENSACOLA, Fla. (NNS) -- For service members interested in pursuing or continuing their education while on active duty, Navy tuition assistance (TA) is designed to help.

"Two of the questions we get asked most often are 'How do I get started with my education?' and 'How do I pay for it?'," said Naval Education and Training Professional Development Center Voluntary Education (VOLED) Program Director Ernest D'Antonio. "The answers are easy. 1) Start with the Navy College Program (NCP) website or Virtual Education Center (VEC), and 2) Talk with your Navy College Education Counselor to ensure TA eligibility, and 3) Apply."

From Naval Sea Systems Command Public Affairs

WASHINGTON, D.C. (NNS) -- The Navy's 7th Annual Veteran and Wounded Warrior Hiring and Support Summit will offer workshops, career resources, and hiring opportunities Wednesday May 24 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Doubletree by Hilton Hotel Seattle Airport in Seattle.

The summit will provide active duty, veterans and Wounded Warriors with an opportunity to speak with more than 65 employers from the Navy, government, and commercial hiring managers, offering jobs and careers in the Pacific Northwest and around the country.

By Staff Sgt. Peter Reft, U.S. Marine Corps Forces, Pacific

ORMOC CITY, Leyte --

U.S. military and Philippine Army engineers at Don Carlos Elementary School have worked nonstop for the past month to build not only a new classroom for local children, but also friendships that will last for years to come.

Despite sweltering heat and torrential downpours, curious children and villagers passing by might not have been able to tell how tired and exhausted military engineers were when they gathered as friends to laugh and smile.

By Janay Powell Navy Installations Command Public Affairs

WASHINGTON (NNS) -- Navy Morale, Welfare and Recreation (MWR) is partnering with the National Wildlife Federation to host its second annual Great Navy Campout June 24-Sept. 3.

Sailors and their family members are encouraged to take this fun, summer-long camping pledge and enjoy some of nature's most scenic campsites on Navy installations, which can offer soaring mountain views, pristine beaches, and crystal-clear lakes. The Great Navy Campout coincides with the National Wildlife Federation's Great American Campout, and aims to inspire participants of all levels to hit the trail and get active.

Congratulations! You’ve been accepted to multiple schools. Now you need to determine which schools are most affordable so you can factor school cost into your decision. If you listed a school on your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®) form and have been offered admission by that school, the school’s financial aid office will send you a financial aid offer. The amounts and types of aid you’re offered will likely vary from school to school, so it’s important to compare your financial aid offers. Here are a few tips and resources to make understanding and comparing your financial aid offers easier.

The birth of a baby is a life-changing event that can trigger all kinds of emotions from happiness and joy to jitters and fear. It can also lead to something you might not expect - postpartum depression.

Postpartum depression - a depression that occurs after having a baby - is the most common complication of giving birth. It affects one in seven new mothers. Left untreated, postpartum depression can have long-lasting negative results, harming the health of new mothers, their babies, and their families.

By Ms. Argie Sarantinos-Perrin May 15, 2017

ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. -- The U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command's science, technology, engineering and mathematics outreach program reaches students from kindergarten to college.

Knocking down a stack of blocks, then backing up to switch directions, a robot effortlessly moves around a local school as a group of children watch and wait for their turn to operate the remote control. The children marvel at the hodgepodge of whirring motors, nuts and bolts, the culmination of their hard work in a STEM robotics competition.

By Col. Aaron Burgstein, Air Force Public Affairs

Editor’s Note: Air Force Col. Aaron “Chewy” Burgstein wrote this unpublished commentary in the fall of 2014 while undergoing medical treatment for a brain tumor. He unfortunately passed away on Jan. 27, 2015. In recognition of Military Spouses Appreciation Day on May 21 and Memorial Day on May 31, Air Force News is publishing Col. Burgstein’s commentary in remembrance of his contributions to Air Force Public Affairs and as a reminder of the timeless contributions made by military spouses every day around the world.

In my nearly 20 years of military service, I have moved 12 times. It is more frequent than most service members, but yet not that unusual. Along the way in my career, I picked up a spouse. She has moved a total of nine times in our 13 years of marriage. Our children are just breaking into double digits and they have moved six times.

By Senior Airman Sergio A. Gamboa 325th Fighter Wing

TYNDALL AIR FORCE BASE, Fla., May 11, 2017 — The 325th Force Support Squadron and the base Family Readiness Center gave military children the opportunity to experience what their parents go through when they deploy overseas during the annual Jr. Raptor deployment experience event held May 6 at the Tyndall Youth Center and Silver Flag Field here.

Jr. Raptor is a program that has been going on for over a decade, benefiting military children by providing educational and hands-on activities with what some of their parents do to support the Tyndall mission.

By Lisa Ferdinando DoD News, Defense Media Activity

WASHINGTON, May 10, 2017 - With military children gathered around him, Vice President Mike Pence saluted military families at an event at the White House yesterday.

"We're grateful that you're here at the White House today," Pence said. "We hope you leave here today with your hearts full of the assurance that the American people are grateful for those who serve in uniform and just as grateful for the families who stand by their side."

DOD Announces Winners of the 2017 Commander in Chief's Annual Award for Installation Excellence
Press Operations
Release No: NR-166-17  May 8, 2017

Secretary of Defense James Mattis recently announced the 2017 recipients of the Commander in Chief's Annual Award for Installation Excellence:

. U.S. Army Garrison Stuttgart, Germany
Commander: Colonel Glenn K. Dickenson

. Marine Corps Base, Camp Lejeune, North Carolina
Commander: Brigadier General Thomas D. Weidley

From the Office of the Chief of Information

WASHINGTON (NNS) -- Acting Secretary of the Navy Sean J. Stackley released All Navy Message (ALNAV) 021/17, April 18, which updated Navy regulations, making it unlawful to share an intimate image of someone without his or her permission for personal gain or to humiliate, harm, harass, intimidate, threaten, or coerce the depicted person or with reckless disregard of harm to the victim.

The new regulation "serves to underscore leadership's commitment to eliminating degrading behaviors that erode trust and weaken the Navy and Marine Corps team," Chief of Information Rear Adm. Dawn Cutler said in a statement. "It provides commanders another tool to maintain good order and discipline by holding Sailors and Marines accountable for inappropriate conduct in the nonconsensual sharing of intimate imagery."

US Department of Labor to establish HIRE Vets Medallion Program

New program created to recognize employer efforts in supporting the veteran community

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Labor announced it will establish the HIRE Vets Medallion Program to recognize employers who recruit, retain, and employ veterans, and who offer charitable services in support of the veteran community. The department is establishing the program under the Honoring Investments in Recruiting and Employing American Military Veterans Act, or HIRE Vets Act. President Donald J. Trump signed the act into law today.

By Senior Airman Jordyn Fetter
11th Wing Public Affairs

JOINT BASE ANDREWS, Md. (AFNS) -- For the first time, Gold Star Base Access ID cards were issued to three family members of fallen Airmen at Joint Base Andrews, Md., May 1, 2017.

These cards are part of an Air Force initiative allowing Gold Star families unescorted access to Air Force installations to visit buried loved ones, attend base events and stop by Airmen and Family Readiness Centers for immediate and long-term emotional support.

By Suzanna Brugler, NAVSUP GLS

SAN DIEGO (NNS) -- Naval Supply Systems Command Global Logistics Support (NAVSUP GLS) Household Goods (HHG) explained specific benefits concerning authorization to ship household goods afforded to military retirees, May 3.

"Our military retirees are entitled to many HHG benefits that they might otherwise not be aware of, or might not even consider, as they contemplate how they will spend the next chapter of their lives after a career of honorable Naval service," said Deborah McGlennon, NAVSUP GLS HHG program manager.

DoD News, Defense Media Activity

WASHINGTON, May 2, 2017 — The Defense Department has rescinded its 2016 policy allowing military service academy and ROTC athletes to be recruited directly into professional sports, chief Pentagon spokesperson Dana W. White announced yesterday.

"Our military academies exist to develop future officers who enhance the readiness and the lethality of our military services," White said in a written statement. "Graduates enjoy the extraordinary benefit of a military academy education at taxpayer expense."

By Cheryl Pellerin, DoD News, Defense Media Activity May 2, 2017

WASHINGTON -- Heads of military centers and programs targeting post-traumatic stress disorder and traumatic brain injury in service members and their families reported progress Friday in the timely recognition and treatment of these and related health conditions.

Testifying before the House Armed Services Committee's military personnel subcommittee on Defense Department clinical research and program assessment for PTSD and TBI were Navy Capt. (Dr.) Mike Colston, director of the Defense Centers of Excellence for Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain Injury, and Air Force Col. (Dr.) Steven Pflanz, deputy director of psychological health for the Air Force.

WASHINGTON — Nearly 800 Veterans of age 55 and older will join volunteers and rehabilitative professionals from across the country for the 31st National Veterans Golden Age Games, scheduled May 7-11 in Biloxi, Mississippi.

This annual competition organized by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and supported by national sponsor Veterans Canteen Service, is the only national multi-event sports and recreational senior competition aimed at improving the quality of life for all older Veterans, including those with a wide range of abilities and disabilities as a senior adaptive rehabilitation program.

By Kat Bailey, Air Force Personnel Center Public Affairs April 27, 2017

JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-RANDOLPH, Texas (AFNS) -- Female Airmen now have up to 12 months after having a baby to request separation from the service under the Air Force's new Diversity and Inclusion initiative.

This policy change, effective April 26, 2017, gives female Airmen more time to better understand and assess how they can balance a military career and family needs, ensuring they have the opportunity to contribute to mission success.

By Staff Sgt. Michael Hughes, 180th Fighter Wing Ohio National Guard April 28, 2017

SWANTON, Ohio - The men and women who serve in America's armed forces have often been called heroes for their courageous acts and warrior ethos.

These men and women in uniform know that our nation's biggest heroes can come in the smallest sizes and make the biggest sacrifices -- our military children.

Happy Military Appreciation Month! All military personnel face tough challenges when readjusting to civilian life upon retirement, which, for the average officer, happens at age 47. Recognizing their brave sacrifices, especially those of our fallen heroes this coming Memorial Day, the personal-finance website WalletHub today released its report on 2016’s Best & Worst States for Military Retirees (https://wallethub.com/edu/best-states-for-military-retirees/3915/).

By Jim Garamone
DoD News, Defense Media Activity

ARLINGTON, Va., May 30, 2016 — It is peaceful at Arlington National Cemetery [ http://www.arlingtoncemetery.mil/?source=GovDelivery ] with impeccably cared-for grounds and row after row of headstones seeming to march down to the Potomac.

It is a shrine that Americans visit each day to see and touch and be moved -- by the precise steps of the sentry at the Tomb of the Unknowns or the sight of a horse-drawn caisson taking another fallen service member to rest.