1. http://www.health.mil/blog/10-06-24/Family_Resiliency_Webinar.aspx. This Week in MC&FP July 22, 2011 _________________________________ It’s hot. While summer conditions with high temperatures and high humidity aren’tunusual for Washington, D.C. this time of the year, we haven’t seen conditions like this for quite some time.Weather forecasters predict that by the end of this weekend, nearly 300 million Americans in 32 states willbe affected by the dangerous heat wave.Earlier this week, U.S. Office of Personnel Management Director, John Berry, issued a memorandumrequesting federal agencies to be proactive in protecting the health and well-being of employees(http://www.chcoc.gov/transmittals/TransmittalDetails.aspx?TransmittalID=4088). The memorandumreminds all of us to be proactive during potentially dangerous heat waves and provides the National Instituteof Safety and Occupational Health’s information on symptoms and treatment for heat stress injuries athttp://www.cdc.gov/niosh/topics/heatstress/. Exposure to extreme heat can result in occupational illnessesand injuries – and deadly consequences. We all need to be involved in prevention.Have a good week – stay hydrated – and take care. Please note: Some hyperlinks in this text are lengthy, sometimes extending more than one line. For best results,cut and paste the entire link into your Web browser.From the DASD, Robert L. Gordon III• Improving Tuition Assistance Oversight I am pleased to announce that the Department of Defense has established a new Tuition Assistance policy, effective January 1, 2012, that will require all educational institutions that accept funds from the Tuition Assistance Program to sign a new memorandum of understanding with the Defense Department. Schools signing this memorandum will provide one single tuition rate, regardless of the military student’s branch of Service. Schools will also be required to participate in a periodic third party review and be accredited by an agency recognized by the Department of Education. The accreditation requirement increases the chances that credits from one school will transfer to another school the next time the service member relocates. To further protect the interests of our service members, the educational institutions must adhere to the principles established by the Servicemembers Opportunity Colleges (http://www.soc.aascu.org/), and abide by the DoD and the military services’ regulatory guidance on voluntary education. The full blog post is available at http://www.dodlive.mil/index.php/2011/07/family-focus-friday-improving-tuition-assistance-oversight/ Providing policy, tools, and resources to further enhance the quality of life of service members and their families.
2. This Week in MC&FP July 22, 2011From the State Liaison and Voluntary Education Office• States Continue to Respond with Legislation to Benefit Service Members and their Families So far in 2011, states have enacted 87 statutes addressing the 10 key issues, and there are still 23 active bills in 10 states. Most notable among these is that four additional states have adopted the Interstate Compact on Educational Opportunities for Military Children (Key Issue #4) bringing the total states in the Compact to 39. In addition, 14 states have signed into law bills ensuring deployment separation does not determine child custody decisions (Key Issue #2), and 29 bills have been signed into law improving the absentee voting process for service members and their families (Key Issue #8). There has also been much progress in two issues that are new for 2011: spouse and service member licensure (Key Issue #5). Ten bills have been signed into law improving the portability of occupational licenses for military spouses, and eight laws have been enacted making it easier for separating service members to convert their education, training and experience into a state license. Details of all state legislative activity across the 10 Key Issues can be found at www.USA4MILITARYFAMILIES.dod.mil.From the Morale, Welfare and Recreation Program Office• 2011 CISM Military World Games Under Way in Brazil The Fifth Military World Games began July 16, 2011, with the pageantry befitting the more than 5,000 military athletes representing 109 nations. According to U.S. Army reporter, Tim Hipps, “Marching bands from the Brazilian army, navy, air force, military police and firefighters dueled. The Brazilian army’s symphonic band dazzled. The CISM flag was raised. The torch was run around the stadium. Military jets, planes and helicopters performed symmetry, skywriting and acrobatics overhead.” Brazilian President Dilma Rousselff officially declared the 2011 CISM Military World Games open and Edison Arantes do Nascimento, best known as Pelè – the Brazilian national hero widely regarded as the greatest soccer player ever – carried the CISM torch up the steps and lit the cauldron. The games are hosted by the Conseil International du Sport Militaire, known as CISM, or International Military Sports Counsel. The organizations goal is to contribute to world peace by uniting armed forces from foreign countries through sports. The organizations motto is "friendship through sport." For additional information, photos, and results of the competition, go to Defense.gov, http://www.defense.gov/home/features/2011/0711_militarygames/. The games will conclude July 24.From the Resale and NAF Policy Office• Commissary On-Site Sale Events The Guard/Reserve On-site Sales Program provides the commissary benefit to deserving Guard/Reserve members and their families who live in areas that aren’t close to an existing commissary store. These sales are not only for the Guard and Reserve – theyre for any authorized shopper. Currently, there are no on-site sales for online ordering. For more information, visit http://www.commissaries.com/guard_reserve_sales.cfm. In the next few weeks, DeCA will deliver the benefit:Page 2
3. This Week in MC&FP July 22, 2011 July 21-24 Guard and Reserve Chattanooga, Tenn. July 22-23 Guard and Reserve Riverton, Utah July 26 Guard and Reserve Grand Forks, N.D. July 30-31 West Virginia National Guard McConnelsville, Ohio August 6-7 Guard and Reserve Johnston, Iowa August 6-7 Guard and Reserve Summersville, W. Va. August 6-7 Guard and Reserve Topeka, Kans. August 11-13 Guard and Reserve Louisville, Tenn. August 12-14 Guard and Reserve Grenada, Miss. August 13-14 Guard and Reserve Dunbar, W. Va. August 13-14 Guard and Reserve Niagara Falls, N.Y. August 13-14 California National Guard San Luis Obispo, Calif.In the News• From the American Forces Press Service – First Lady takes ‘Joining Forces’ to Oceana First Lady Michelle Obama brought the national “Joining Forces” initiative to Naval Station Oceana in Virginia Beach, Va., today, where she attended a screening of “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2” with hundreds of military family members. Joining Forces is designed to build support for military members and their families in all facets of the U.S. government and American society. “We are working hard for you, to make sure you know how much this country appreciates each and every one of you,” Obama told the military families at the screening. See http://www.defense.gov//News/NewsArticle.aspx?ID=64761• From the American Forces Press Service – First Lady, Soldiers Welcome Extreme Makeover A former sailor who houses homeless female veterans here received the surprise of her life today when hundreds of workers and well-wishers – including First Lady Michelle Obama – were on hand as she became the latest winner on the Extreme Makeover: Home Edition show. The ABC- TV reality show’s host Ty Pennington, as well as design crew, workers and volunteers have been at the home at 120 Langdon St. for 24 hours each day for the past seven days, working to finish the house on time. Between scorching temperatures and a grueling schedule, workers were put to the test. See http://www.defense.gov//News/NewsArticle.aspx?ID=64767• From DoDLive blog – MyPay Goes Mobile myPay (https://mypay.dfas.mil/mypay.aspx), the online pay account management system for all U.S. military personnel, military retirees, and many federal civilian employees, has gone mobile. Now myPay users can check pay statements on the go using a smartphone or other mobile device that has a web browser. See http://www.dodlive.mil/index.php/2011/07/mypay-goes-mobile/• From the American Forces Press Service – Military Games Foster Friendship, Peace Retired Italian Maj. Gen. Gianni Gola cannot recall how many times he has traveled to this famous party city. Sitting in a hotel overlooking the iconic Copacabana Beach, he laughs about it. "Im thinking of becoming an honorary citizen now," he jokes. Along the sandy stretch outside, vendors peddle souvenirs, small huts sell cold beer, children build sand castles, and young and old jog along the winding trail as cool winter breezes sweep in from the coast.Page 3
4. This Week in MC&FP July 22, 2011 It seems an unlikely venue for 7,000 military troops from around the world to descend upon and face their opponents toe-to-toe. But, by facing off here first, Gola said he believes the troops will not eventually see each other on opposite sides of a battlefield. "Through sports we can bring together the soldiers of our nations [who otherwise would not meet]. And this is the only way. There is no other parallel organization," Gola said. See http://www.defense.gov//News/NewsArticle.aspx?ID=64752• From the American Forces Press Service – Pele Lights Torch to Open Military World Games Counseil International du Sport Militaire borrowed a page from the International Olympic Committee to stage the opening ceremony of the 5th Military World Games at Olympic Stadium here July 16. The spectacle had all the pomp, circumstance and pageantry expected of a military gathering of 109 nations dedicated to CISM’s motto of “Friendship Through Sport.” It also resembled the unforgettable opening ceremony of the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, albeit on a smaller scale. See http://www.defense.gov//News/NewsArticle.aspx?ID=64732• From the American Forces Press Service – Soccer Players Fly Athletes to Brazil for CISM Games Military Team USA soccer players Air Force Capt. Wendy Emminger and Air Force 1st Lt. Mandi Messinger were the pilots for a July 13 KC-10 Extender mission that flew teammates and track and field athletes from here to Galeao Air Base in Brazil to compete in the 5th CISM Military World Games. Created in 1948, the Conseil International du Sport Militaire organizes various sporting events for the armed forces of 133 member countries, according to United Nations information. CISM Military World Games are considered the largest military sporting event, with some 6,000 athletes expected to represent 110 countries in competitions in Rio de Janeiro this week. See http://www.defense.gov//News/NewsArticle.aspx?ID=64712• From the American Forces Press Service – Families Share ‘Family of Year’ Honors Families from the Army and the Air Force shared the honors today as the National Military Family Association’s 2011 Family of the Year for their service to the nation and their communities. During its 2011 leadership luncheon here, the association honored a family from each service before announcing the Broesches, an Army National Guard family from Hayden, Idaho, and the Arnolds, an Air Force family from Dyess Air Force Base, Abilene, Texas, had tied for top honors. Army Spc. Jerry Broesch has deployed twice, returning from his most recent deployment as a wounded warrior. He and his wife, Kim, and their daughters, Taylor and Isabella, work with the Army National Guard Military Youth Program and the Army’s Operation: Military Kids to help other families. See http://www.defense.gov//News/NewsArticle.aspx?ID=64764Tips of the Week• Nutrition Tip of the Week – Eating Healthy On the Go with Kids In last week’s tip we learned about eating fruits and vegetables on the go. But what if you have kids with you? No problem. Take a look at these tips which can help you incorporate fruits and vegetables into their on the go meals as well. • When ordering a kids meal, substitute fruit for the fries. • Have your kids help you make a large batch of trail mix at home using seeds, nuts, and dried fruit. Store trail mix in small bags so they are ready to go at a moment’s notice.Page 4
5. This Week in MC&FP July 22, 2011 • ‘Ants on a Log’– spread peanut butter on a piece of celery. Add raisins as ants and you have a fun, healthy treat. For more information on making healthy choices while on the go, check out the USDA’s MyPlate website at http://www.choosemyplate.gov/• Parenting Tip of the Week – Everyone can do something In last week’s edition, you read about the Feds Feed Families food drive campaign. As food banks across the country experience a shortage of donations, now is a good time to donate food and other non-perishables and reinforce with your children the importance of helping families in need. • Start small. Donating can be as easy as dropping off a few cans in the food donation box at your local Commissary. • Model giving. Whether you can donate food, time or funds, model the kind of behavior you would like your children to learn. • Consider volunteering at a local food bank, sorting food or serving meals with your children. Depending on your family’s schedule, you can volunteer for a one-time event or on a recurring basis. For more information, visit http://www.fedsfeedfamilies.gov.• Let’s Move/Childhood Obesity Tip of the Week – What to Look for on the Food Label Choose foods that name one of the following whole-grain ingredients first on the label’s ingredient list: "brown rice" "whole-grain corn" "buckwheat" "whole-grain sorghum" "bulgur" "whole-grain triticale" "millet" "whole oats" "oatmeal" "whole rye" "quinoa" "whole wheat" "rolled oats" "wild rice" "whole-grain barley" • Foods labeled with the words "multi-grain," "stone-ground," "100% wheat," "cracked wheat," "seven-grain," or "bran" are usually not whole-grain products. • Color is not an indication of a whole grain. Bread can be brown because of molasses or other added ingredients. Read the ingredient list to see if it is a whole grain. • Use the Nutrition Facts label and choose whole grain products with a higher % Daily Value (%DV) for fiber. Many, but not all, whole grain products are good or excellent sources of fiber. • Read the food label’s ingredient list. Look for terms that indicate added sugars (such as sucrose, high-fructose corn syrup, honey, malt syrup, maple syrup, molasses, or raw sugar) that add extra calories. Choose foods with fewer added sugars. • Most sodium in the food supply comes from packaged foods. Similar packaged foods can vary widely in sodium content, including breads. Use the nutrition facts label (http://www.nutrition.gov/nal_display/index.php?info_center=11&tax_level=1) to choose foods with a lower percent for sodium. Foods with less than 140 mg sodium per serving can bePage 5
6. This Week in MC&FP July 22, 2011 labeled as low sodium foods. Claims such as “low in sodium” or “very low in sodium” on the front of the food label can help you identify foods that contain less salt (or sodium).• Financial Tip of the Week – Cross-Selling: Think Before You Buy the ‘Extras’ Youre standing at the cash register ready to make a purchase and the sales person asks if you want to buy an extended warranty. Or, youre about to place an online order and the Web site informs you that "other customers who bought this item also bought this." Its known as ‘cross-selling,’ which means trying to make two sales instead of one by marketing add-ons that could complement or protect the original purchase. Dont be afraid to just say no if youre contacted to purchase a product you do not want, and be careful how you ask for additional information so the salesperson cannot construe your request as a yes. Because these additional products and services may be beneficial to certain consumers, how can you tell if that second offer from your bank may be right for you? Here are two products that are commonly cross-sold, plus information to keep in mind. • Payment protection, also known as credit protection, is designed to pay, suspend or cancel a consumers outstanding debt on an account in the event of a specific hardship, such as unemployment, disability, hospitalization or death. These products may provide security and peace of mind, but understand the costs (which could be hundreds of dollars each year) and the limitations. You should also consider other alternatives, such as traditional life or disability insurance. For more guidance, see the Credit Protection: Understand the Costs, Limitations and Alternatives Before You Buy Web page at (http://www.fdic.gov/consumers/consumer/news/cnfall10/creditprotection.html). • Identity theft protection will monitor your credit reports for signs that someone may be attempting to use your name to commit fraud. This service generally costs about $15 a month, but there are cost-effective ways to monitor your credit yourself. Remember that you are entitled to one free credit report (http://www.fdic.gov/consumers/consumer/alerts/facta.html) once every 12 months from each of the three major credit bureaus. By spreading out your requests throughout the year, such as by ordering one credit report in the first few months of the year and another report from a different credit bureau a few months later, you can actively monitor your credit report for warning signs of identity theft, such as loan requests or new accounts you didnt initiate. At a minimum, however, you should order a report once a year. If youre already a victim of identity theft, definitely place a fraud alert in your file at all three credit bureaus, doing so warns lenders to be careful before approving a new loan or credit card in your name.• Military OneSource Tip of the Week – Quick Tips for Overcoming Online Dependency If you think you’re becoming dependent on any activity delivered through the Internet, including simple Web surfing, there are ways you can help yourself before it gets out of hand. The first thing you must do is become fully aware of your patterns of overuse.Page 6
7. This Week in MC&FP July 22, 2011 • Are you spending more time (or money) with the computer than you want to? • Do you downplay or deny to yourself and others the extent of your involvement with online activities? • Do you spend time thinking about online activities when you’re not engaged in them? • Are your online activities hurting the quality of the rest of your life (that is, your relationships, your work performance, your health, or your social life)? Make a plan If the answer to any of these questions is yes, it’s time to take action. You must decide if you need to stop an activity altogether or just reduce it to an appropriate level. Then you need to make a plan and stick to it. Here are some action-plan ideas: • Make a thoughtful decision about the role you want the activity to have in your life – how much and how often, if at all. • Create a schedule for your online time that shows how many hours a week, during what time period each day, and which days of the week. • Set limits on spending. • Keep a log or journal to record the time and money you spend online. • Find a new computer-free activity, sport, or hobby to take the place of the online activity. • Look for opportunities to spend more time with family and friends.• Spouse Tip – How to Get a GED Diploma– The First Step Toward Getting Hired! Did you know that: • Individuals who have academic skills, persistence and motivation are more likely to earn more money and find career advancement opportunities • One in every seven Americans with a high school diploma received a GED diploma • One in every 20 college students received a GED diploma • Seventy percent of GED test takers report their intention is to pursue education beyond high school and that 30 percent are taking the GED test to pursue better employment opportunities The GED diploma – America’s credential that certifies that GED test takers have high school-level academic skills – is known by different names in different state jurisdictions: General Educational Development (most common name); General Education Diploma; General Equivalency Diploma; and Graduate Equivalency Degree. It consists of a series of five sub-tests (listed below) developed by the American Council on Education (http://www2.acenet.edu/gedtest/policy/index.cfm). The GED diploma was most recently updated in 2002 to comply with high school standards for education. There are about 25 versions of the GED battery of tests, so test takers are encouraged to take GED preparation courses and practice tests to get ready for the ‘real thing.’Page 7
8. This Week in MC&FP July 22, 2011 GED sub-tests can be taken at any one of 3,200 official GED Test Centers, on the same or different days within quarterly test cycles. If any single GED sub-test is re-taken in order to pass the overall GED, the highest score for each sub-test is recorded for the purpose of awarding the GED diploma. Test Centers are typically located in adult learning programs at high schools and community colleges in each of the 50 states. These centers and programs can provide GED test schedules, test preparation and test preparation textbook information. Many states give free preparation services and tests for veterans and those under the age of 21, or charge fees as low as $13 for GED preparation, registration and tests. Registration for GED tests must be done in person with a valid government-issued photo ID card (for example, ID card or state issued driver’s license). To take the GED test, the registered test taker must bring his or her photo ID card, test notification letter and other items as instructed. The five GED sub-tests place emphasis on socially relevant topics and problem solving. For example: • Language Arts (Reading) – Understanding a business publication or an instruction manual • Language Arts (Writing) – Writing a well-focused essay or document that others can understand • Social Studies – Understanding the Declaration of Independence or U.S. Supreme Court decisions • Mathematics – Understanding statistics, measurements, algebraic and geometric problem solving • Science – Understanding the impact of science on everyday living – recycling, pollution, health Although state requirements may vary, typical GED eligibility criteria include: • Must be a resident of the state • Must be 17 years old or older • Must be officially withdrawn from school for at least six months and not enrolled in school • Must not have graduated from high school For more information and assistance in choosing a GED preparation course and finding a test location, contact Military OneSource at (800) 342-9647 or http://www.MilitaryOneSource.com • Relocation Tip – Know Your Weight! Of your property, that is. Having a good estimated weight of your personal property and household goods is very important. An easy and dependable method for making this estimate is to figure about 1,000 pounds per room. Keep in mind this is only an estimate and individual shipments will vary. ####Page 8