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2011 aug 5 this week in mc&fp


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2011 aug 5 this week in mc&fp

  1. 1. This Week in MC&FP August 5, 2011 _________________________________ Today is the 147th anniversary of the orders, "Damn the torpedoes, Full speed ahead!"On August 5, 1864, Admiral David Farragut aboard Hartford, entered Mobile Bay, Alabama, in twocolumns, with armored monitors leading and a fleet of following. According to Navy historians, the leadmonitor Tecumseh was demolished by a tethered mine, known then as a ‘torpedo.’ Confusion followed andthe line drifted. As disaster seemed imminent, Farragut gave the now-famous orders, swung his own shipclear and headed across the mines, which failed to explode. The fleet followed and anchored above theforts, which, now isolated, surrendered one by one.On another nautical note, we also wish a hearty “Happy 221st Birthday!” to the men and women of the U.S.Coast Guard. Created August 4, 1790, by President Washington as the Revenue Cutter Service, today’sCoast Guard safeguards our nation’s maritime interests in the heartland, in the ports, at sea, and around theglobe. Thank you for your service!Have a good week and take care.Please note: Some hyperlinks in this text are lengthy, sometimes extending more than one line. For best results, cut andpaste the entire link into your Web browser.From the Office of Family Policy/Children and Youth• The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is looking for you! Now available on bureau’s homepage,, is information for service members, veterans, and their families. Read the latest Blog post – Military Advocates On Duty. Military personnel, veterans, and family members are invited to submit a credit card complaint and ‘Tell Us Your Story.’ From paying for education to personal financial management, from the VA benefits to the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act, the bureau has information to help service members, veterans, and their families. See 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. Providing policy, tools, and resources to further enhance the quality of life of service members and their families.
  2. 2. This Week in MC&FP August 5, 2011 Currently, there are no on-site sales for online ordering. For more information, visit In the next few weeks, DeCA will deliver the benefit: August 11-13 Guard and Reserve Louisville, Tenn. August 12-13 California National Guard San Luis Obispo, Calif. 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 18-19 Guard and Reserve Fort AP Hill, Va. August 20 Guard and Reserve Indian Head, Md. August 20 Guard and Reserve Seal Beach, Calif. August 20-21 Guard and Reserve Moundsville, W. Va. August 26-27 Guard and Reserve Wentachee, Wash. August 26-28 Guard and Reserve Redmond, Wash.In the News• From the American Forces Press Service – Obama Announces Veteran Workforce Initiative President Barack Obama today announced a series of administration initiatives to help military veterans find jobs. During remarks at the Navy Yard here, the president proposed a set of tax credits for companies hiring veterans, announced a new task force to develop reforms that will help service members transition to civilian jobs or higher education, and challenged industry to hire more veterans. “Todays veterans are Americans who have done their duty,” the commander in chief said. “They have fought our wars with valor, from the jungles of Vietnam to the deserts of Iraq to the mountains of Afghanistan.” See . A transcript is available at administrations-work-prepare-our-nations-veterans-work.• From the First Lady and Joining Forces – How the Military Boosts the Bottom Line Over the past few years, I’ve had the privilege of meeting so many of our nation’s men and women in uniform and their families. I’ve laughed with them at baby showers and graduations. I’ve sat with them at hospital bedsides. I’ve listened to their stories, learned from their experiences, and witnessed the strength of the families of our fallen heroes. And each time I speak with a veteran or military spouse, I am awed by their strength and resilience. And I am struck by just how much they’re contributing to our communities every single day. See• From the Department of Defense –Army Announces Nine Month Deployment Period The Secretary of the Army John McHugh announced today a change in the length of future unit operational deployments from 12 months to nine months. This change will be fully implemented by April 2012, and applies to division-level-and-below units. This policy will not affect personnel or units currently deployed or deploying prior to Jan. 1, 2012. The deployment period for high demand and low density units and individual deployers will remain one year.Page 2
  3. 3. This Week in MC&FP August 5, 2011 The reduced deployment length will improve soldier and family quality of life while continuing to meet operational requirements and is an important step in sustaining the all-volunteer-force. This policy change is consistent with secretary of defense policies for utilization of the total force. Implementation of this change is based on the projected demand for Army forces, and is contingent on global security conditions and combatant commander requirements. See• From the American Forces Press Service – Male Spouses Cope With Added Challenge, Expert Says Brian Campbell knew some challenges were in store for him after he left his Navy career to follow his military wife across the country. But what he didnt count on were the additional challenges brought on not by his status as a military spouse, but by his gender. “I was the first [nonmilitary] male spouse in that command ever,” Campbell said in a podcast posted on Military OneSource. Seeking social connections, Campbell looked for a spouses’ club at their new installation, but instead, found a wives’ club. “I didn’t fit into that organization very well,” he said. “In a lot of instances, when you’re talking about a spouses’ organization, you’re going to be the only male in the room.” See• From the Family Matters Blog – Office Helps Families Financially Last week I sat down with Holly Petraeus, wife of Army Gen. David H. Petraeus, to discuss her role as chief of the new Office of Servicemember Affairs, which officially opened for business last week as the military arm of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. The office is intended to protect service members and their families from financial predators and pitfalls through education and enforcement of state and federal laws. Mrs. Petraeus, an Army spouse and longtime financial advocate for military families, was tapped to head up the office earlier this year. As we talked, Mrs. Petraeus’ passion for the topic of families and finance was evident. Helping troops and their families is more than just a job to her, she told me – it’s personal. See• From the CFPB Office of Servicemember Affairs – On Our Way Last time, we talked about the mission of the Office of Servicemember Affairs. Now I’d like to tell you a little about the work the Office of Servicemember Affairs is doing. We’ve assembled a great team of professionals with a whole lot of military experience, and the CFPB is going to hear from us about the financial issues that impact military families. We’re sharing stories from military families within the CFPB and with other government agencies who work with us to address the issues that need to be fixed. We’ve also made sure that the CFPB’s Consumer Response Center is ready for military-specific questions. And they are ready to flag complaints that are coming in from military or veterans’ families. See and• From the Department of Veterans Affairs – VA Reaches Out to Explain Changes to GI Bill The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is reaching out to inform Veterans of recent changes made by Congress to the Post 9/11 GI Bill that take effect in 2011. General Allison Hickey, Under Secretary for Benefits, said “The Post 9/11 GI Bill is incredibly important because it reduces the financial burdens of higher education so that Veterans have an opportunity to achieve theirPage 3
  4. 4. This Week in MC&FP August 5, 2011 education goals. VA believes it is important for Veterans to be aware of changes to the GI Bill this year and learn more about how these changes may affect them.” For more information, see of the Week• Nutrition Tip of the Week -- For Those Who Choose Not to Consume Milk Products We all need calcium in our diets to help build strong bones and teeth. But how do you get the calcium you need if you’re not a fan of milk products? Here are some tips to help you get calcium from some other healthy foods. • If you avoid milk because of lactose intolerance, the most reliable way to get the health benefits of dairy products is to choose lactose-free alternatives within the dairy group, such as cheese, yogurt, lactose-free milk, or calcium-fortified soymilk (soy beverage) or to consume the enzyme lactase before consuming milk. • Calcium choices for those who do not consume dairy products include: o Calcium fortified juices, cereals, breads, rice milk, or almond milk. o Canned fish (sardines, salmon with bones) soybeans and other soy products (tofu made with calcium sulfate, soy yogurt, tempeh), some other beans, and some leafy greens (collard and turnip greens, kale, bok choy). The amount of calcium that can be absorbed from these foods varies. For more information on getting calcium, check out the USDA’s MyPlate website at• Parenting Tip of the Week – Teens and Distracted Driving The statistics on driving for teens are staggering: motor-vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for U.S. teens. Mile for mile, they are involved in three times as many fatal crashes as all other drivers. Here are steps parents can take to help prevent distracted driving: • Establish ground rules. Set up family rules about not texting or talking on a handheld cell phone while behind the wheel. • Set a good example. Put down your phone while driving and only use it when you’ve safely pulled off the road. • Talk to your teen. Discuss the risks and responsibilities of driving, and the danger of dividing their attention between a cell phone and the road. • Educate yourself. The more you know, the more you will understand the seriousness of the issue. You can find more information at Source: The U.S. Department of TransportationPage 4
  5. 5. This Week in MC&FP August 5, 2011• Let’s Move/Childhood Obesity Tip of the Week – Tips to help you eat vegetables At meals: • Plan some meals around a vegetable main dish, such as a vegetable stir-fry or soup. Then add other foods to complement it. • Try a main dish salad for lunch. Go light on the salad dressing. • Include a green salad with your dinner every night. • Shred carrots or zucchini into meatloaf, casseroles, quick breads, and muffins. • Include chopped vegetables in pasta sauce or lasagna. • Order a veggie pizza with toppings like mushrooms, green peppers, and onions, and ask for extra veggies. • Use pureed, cooked vegetables such as potatoes to thicken stews, soups and gravies. These add flavor, nutrients, and texture. • Grill vegetable kabobs as part of a barbecue meal. Try tomatoes, mushrooms, green peppers, and onions. Make vegetables more appealing: • Many vegetables taste great with a dip or dressing. Try a low-fat salad dressing with raw broccoli, red and green peppers, celery sticks or cauliflower. • Add color to salads by adding baby carrots, shredded red cabbage, or spinach leaves. Include in- season vegetables for variety through the year. • Include beans or peas in flavorful mixed dishes, such as chili or minestrone soup. • Decorate plates or serving dishes with vegetable slices. • Keep a bowl of cut-up vegetables in a see-through container in the refrigerator. Carrot and celery sticks are traditional, but consider red or green pepper strips, broccoli florets, or cucumber slices. Keep it safe: • Rinse vegetables before preparing or eating them. Under clean, running water, rub vegetables briskly with your hands to remove dirt and surface microorganisms. Dry with a clean cloth towel or paper towel after rinsing. • Keep vegetables separate from raw meat, poultry and seafood while shopping, preparing, or storing. Source: USDA• Financial Tip of the Week – ‘I’ Savings Bonds This is a three part series about savings bonds, the I Bonds, EE Bonds and a comparison. As of January 1, 2012, paper savings bonds will no longer be sold at financial institutions. This action supports the Department of Treasury’s goal to increase the number of electronic transactions with citizens and business.Page 5
  6. 6. This Week in MC&FP August 5, 2011 ‘I’ bonds are a low-risk, liquid-savings product. While you own them, they earn interest and protect you from inflation. Once sold and redeemed solely as a paper security, they’re now also available in electronic form. As a TreasuryDirect account holder, you can buy, manage, and redeem I Bonds online. A new program called SmartExchangeSM allows TreasuryDirect account owners to convert their Series E, EE, and I paper savings bonds to electronic securities in a special conversion linked account within their online account. Buying I Bonds through TreasuryDirect: o Sold at face value; you pay $50 for a $50 bond. o Purchased in amounts of $25 or more, to the penny. o $5,000 maximum purchase in one calendar year. o Issued electronically to your designated account. Buying Paper I Bonds: o Sold at face value; i.e., you pay $50 for a $50 bond. o Purchased in denominations of $50, $75, $100, $200, $500, $1,000, and $5,000. o $5,000 maximum purchase in one calendar year. o Issued as paper bond certificates. o If you redeem I Bonds within the first five years, youll forfeit the 3 most recent months interest; after 5 years, you wont be penalized. See• Military OneSource Tip of the Week – When a Parent Returns from Deployment As a parent, you know that children learn and change quickly: the middle-schooler who was playing with dolls when you left may have put them away and moved on to softball or computer games. Be sure to: Recognize and accept your children’s new developmental stages. After a long absence, it takes time to get to feel at ease with family life again. Listen to your children and talk to your spouse, teachers, and caregivers to understand who they’ve become. Then you can work to relate to them where they are now and not where they were when you deployed. Excerpted from the Military OneSource article, Adjusting to Civilian Life After Combat Duty with the Guard or Reserve. ####Page 6