Jan 20 2012 mcfp outreach


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MWR survey results

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Jan 20 2012 mcfp outreach

  1. 1. Image description. MC&FP banner image End of image description.Blog post of Robert L. Gordon III, Deputy AssistantSecretary of Defense (Military Community and FamilyPolicy)Image description. Robert L. Gordon III, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense (MC&FP) End of image description.2011 MWR Survey Results Will Help Shape the New YearSurveys are an important way that service members and their families can be empowered to providetheir valuable input regarding how the Department of Defense (DoD) can best meet their needs andthose of our military community. One such survey that has already helped the Department understandhow it can better serve our service members and families is the Morale, Welfare, and Recreation (MWR)customer satisfaction survey.From June to August of 2011, DoD conducted this military-wide survey to assess customer satisfactionwith MWR programs. I am very pleased to report that more than 17,000 randomly selected servicemembers from the active duty, National Guard, and Reserve participated in the survey, providing uswith valuable information for how we can better align and fund MWR programs in the future. Servicemembers assessed their overall experience with the MWR program, rating items such as customerservice, hours, facility conditions, and the quality of services.The survey found high levels of satisfaction with libraries, automotive skills programs, single Servicemember programs, leisure travel, and recreation centers. Based on the number of participants and theirrelative impact on quality of life, fitness programs and outdoor recreation were again cited as highpriorities for all four Services.We understand that MWR programs are an integral part of your military benefits package, and theMWR survey is one way we can ensure that we are delivering those services and programs of mostvalue to you. This is especially important since MWR programs are linked to mission readiness.Using the results of the first MWR survey in 2009 as a baseline, I am delighted to report that the level ofMWR satisfaction and readiness has improved. We will closely monitor the results of future MWRsurveys to assess our effectiveness in identifying and implementing program improvements that mosteffectively and efficiently impact customer satisfaction and readiness.If you have any questions about the survey or want to share your experiences with your MWR program,please join our discussion. Your feedback is important to us! As we move forward, we will continue to Page 1 of 9
  2. 2. MC&FP Weekly (January 20,2012) 1/20/2012update you on the ways your input is affecting the services and programs that matter most to you. Untilnext time, be well! Page 2 of 9
  3. 3. MC&FP Weekly (January 20,2012) 1/20/2012Joining ForcesJoining Forces2012: Focusing on Military Spouse EmploymentLast Friday, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce kicked off a first-of-its-kind hiring fair focused exclusivelyon military spouses. The Hiring Our Heroes Military Spouse Career Forum, held in Washington, D.C.,was the first of 10 planned hiring fairs for military spouses sponsored by the Chamber around thecountry in 2012.This was a huge event and, walking around, I could not help but notice the incredible energy amongemployers and spouses alike. There was good reason for it -- more than 100 employers came to theforum with hundred of employment opportunities for the 1,000+ spouses in attendance.With military spouse employment well above the national unemployment rate, this forum was a greatstart to a 2012 focus on military spouse employment by the Chamber of Commerce. Joining the effort isthe Department of Defenses Military Spouse Employment Partnership (MSEP). MSEP was rolled outby Dr. Jill Biden at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in June 2011. To date, the 96 organizations andcompanies in the partnership have hired more than 13,000 military spouses around the world.Mrs. Obama and Dr. Jill Biden created Joining Forces to bring Americans together to recognize, honorand take action to support military families as they serve our country and throughout their lives. TheU.S. Chamber of Commerce has supported their initiative by organizing hiring fairs for veterans andmilitary spouses across the country. Visit the Joining Forces website to see what people are saying aboutthe recent hiring fair. Page 3 of 9
  4. 4. MC&FP Weekly (January 20,2012) 1/20/2012Weekly TipsMilitary Community and Family Policy Weekly TipsNutrition Tip of the Week - Making A Balanced PlateA healthy meal starts with more vegetables and fruits and smaller portions of protein and grains. Thinkabout how you can adjust the portions on your plate to get more of what you need without too manycalories. And dont forget dairy - make it the beverage with your meal or add fat-free or low-fat dairyproducts to your plate. To help make this a little easier to do, take a look at the tips below: • Add lean protein. Choose protein foods, such as lean beef and pork, or chicken, turkey, beans, or tofu. Twice a week, make seafood the protein on your plate. • Include whole grains. Aim to make at least half your grains whole grains. Look for the words "100 percent whole grain" or "100 percent whole wheat" on the food label. Whole grains provide more nutrients, like fiber, than refined grains. • Dont forget the dairy. Pair your meal with a cup of fat-free or low-fat milk. They provide the same amount of calcium and other essential nutrients as whole milk, but less fat and calories. Dont drink milk? Try soymilk (soy beverage) as your beverage or include fat-free or low-fat yogurt in your meal. • Avoid extra fat. Using heavy gravies or sauces will add fat and calories to otherwise healthy choices. For example, steamed broccoli is great, but avoid topping it with cheese sauce. Try other options, like a sprinkling of low-fat parmesan cheese or a squeeze of lemon. • Take control of your food. Eat at home more often so you know exactly what you are eating. If you eat out, check and compare the nutrition information. Choose healthier options such as baked instead of fried.Parenting Tip of the Week - Returning Home from a Deployment for Single ParentsApproximately 5 percent, or over 75,000, of active duty members are single parents. If youre one of the5 percent, you know that in addition to the joy and stress that you feel when returning home after adeployment, you may feel particularly anxious about the bond formed by your child and the temporarycaregiver. Here are some tips for transitioning back home: • Communicate openly and frequently with both the caregiver and the child. • Involve the caregiver in the transition. Forcing your child to suddenly separate can be just as traumatic as when you left. • Ask how things were done while you were gone. It will help you plan how to ease your child back into your rules and schedules. • Ask your child about his or her feelings regarding your "new" relationship and how life at home should be. The changes in caregivers and living arrangements may make children feel as though they have no control over their lives. Assure them that you will be a family again.Lets Move/Childhood Obesity Tip of the Week - Tips to Decrease Added SugarsLimit the amount of foods and beverages with added sugars your kids eat and drink. If you dont buythem, your kids wont get them very often. Sweet treats and sugary drinks have a lot of calories but few Page 4 of 9
  5. 5. MC&FP Weekly (January 20,2012) 1/20/2012nutrients. Most added sugars come from sodas, sports drinks, energy drinks, juice drinks, cakes, cookies,ice cream, candy, and other desserts. • Serve small portions. Its not necessary to get rid of all sweets and desserts. Show kids that a small amount of treats can go a long way. Use smaller bowls and plates for these foods. Have them share a candy bar or split a large cupcake. • Sip smarter. Soda and other sweet drinks contain a lot of sugar and are high in calories. Offer water, 100 percent juice, or fat-free milk when kids are thirsty. • Use the check-out lane that does not display candy. Most grocery stores will have a candy- free check-out lane to help moms out. Waiting in a store line makes it easy for children to ask for the candy that is right in front of their faces to tempt them. Choose not to offer sweets as rewards; by offering food as a reward for good behavior, children learn to think that some foods are better than other foods. Reward your child with kind words and comforting hugs, or give them non-food items, like stickers, to make them feel special. • Make fruit the everyday dessert. Serve baked apples, pears, or enjoy a fruit salad, or serve yummy frozen juice bars (100 percent juice) instead of high-calorie desserts. • Make food fun. Sugary foods that are marketed to kids are advertised as "fun foods." Make nutritious foods fun by preparing them with your childs help and being creative together. Create a smiley face with sliced bananas and raisins. Cut fruit into fun and easy shapes with cookie cutters. • Encourage kids to invent new snacks. Make your own snack mixes from dry whole-grain cereal, dried fruit, and unsalted nuts or seeds. Provide the ingredients and allow kids to choose what they want in their snack. Play detective in the cereal aisle. Show kids how to find the amount of total sugars in various cereals. Challenge them to compare cereals they like and select the one with the lowest amount of sugar. • Make treats "treats," not every day foods. Treats are great once in a while. Just dont make treat foods an everyday thing. Limit sweet treats to special occasions. • If kids dont eat their meal, they dont need sweet "extras." Keep in mind that candy or cookies should not replace foods that are not eaten at meal time.Financial Tip of the Week - Paying Off Holiday DebtWe do a lot of overindulging during the holidays. We take an extra day off work, eat an extra piece (ortwo) of pie, and sometimes charge more than we can afford on our credit cards. With the holidays at anend, and post-holiday credit card bills rolling in, its time to create a plan to pay off any debt we mayhave incurred during the holidays. • Cut back on spending. The first step in getting out of debt is to stop borrowing. If you overspent during the holidays you need to cut back your post-holiday spending. It may help to cut up your credit cards or lock them away in a safe place. • Make a budget. Cut out any expenses you can and plan to pay off your debt as quickly as possible. While you are making a budget, figure out the most you can afford to pay each month to reduce your debts, then make those payments without fail. • Create a payment plan. If you have debts on more than one credit card, either pay off the card with the highest interest rate first and work your way down to the card with the lowest rate, or pay off the smallest loan first and work your way up to the largest. • Once youve paid off your debts. Dont give in to the temptation to start over-spending again. Instead, take the money you were paying each month on your debts and begin to save it. Better yet, save it automatically. That will give you a financial cushion the next time an emergency strikes. Page 5 of 9
  6. 6. MC&FP Weekly (January 20,2012) 1/20/2012 • Plan for next holiday season. Start saving now to avoid debt next holiday season. Take a look at what you spent the last few months, on gifts, travel, food, and other holiday related items. Divide that amount by 12 and put that much away in a savings account.Military OneSource Tip of the Week - Identity Theft: What To Do If Your Personal InformationHas Been CompromisedThe bottom line for online threats like phishing, spyware, and hackers is identity theft. ID theft occurswhen someone uses your name, Social Security number, credit card number or other personalinformation without your permission to commit fraud or other crimes. Thats why its important toprotect your personal information. To find out how to deter and detect identity theft, visit Federal TradeCommissions Identity Theft website.According to OnGuard Online, if your personal information is accidentally disclosed or deliberatelystolen, taking certain steps quickly can minimize the potential for the theft of your identity.Place a "Fraud Alert" on your credit reports, and review the reports carefully. The alert tellscreditors to follow certain procedures before they open new accounts in your name or make changes toyour existing accounts. The three nationwide consumer reporting companies have toll-free numbers forplacing an initial ninety-day fraud alert; a call to one company is sufficient: • TransUnion: (800) 680-7289 • Experian: (888) EXPERIAN or (888) 397-3742 • Equifax: (800) 525-6285Placing a fraud alert entitles you to free copies of your credit reports. Look for inquiries from companiesyou havent contacted, accounts you didnt open, and debts on your accounts that you cant explain.Close accounts. Close any accounts that have been tampered with or established fraudulently: • Call the security or fraud departments of each company where an account was opened or changed without your okay. Follow up in writing, with copies of supporting documents. • Use the ID Theft Affidavit to support your written statement. • Ask for verification that the disputed account has been closed and the fraudulent debts discharged. • Keep copies of documents and records of your conversations about the theft.File a police report. File a report with law enforcement officials to help you with creditors who maywant proof of the crime. This report will also help you claim your rights as a victim of identity theft.Spouse Tip of the Week - Applying for Air Force NAF Jobs Just Got a Whole Lot EasierApplying for Air Force Non-Appropriated Fund (NAF) federal careers and employment opportunitieslocated on or near Air Force installations just got a whole lot easier. Their new centralized web portalnow helps job seekers find and apply for open positions at Air Force clubs, golf courses, bowling alleys,outdoor recreation centers, child care centers, and youth centers around the world.To apply for a NAF job, applicants must first create a free NAFJobs profile that includes their workbackground, any military experience, and education information. This system also allows job seekers toupload their résumés and other supporting documentation that will help them successfully competewhen job vacancies are posted to the site. Page 6 of 9
  7. 7. MC&FP Weekly (January 20,2012) 1/20/2012Once the applicant identifies a posted position for which he or she feels qualified, applying for theposition is as easy as point and click. Unlike other systems, NAF Jobs web portal submits all electronicapplication packages to hiring officials for consideration. So, if you submit your profile application anddocumentation through the NAFJobs web portal, you will be considered for the open position.To make sure your nearest Air Force installation and command is participating in this new electronicprocess, contact your local Air Force NAF Human Resource Office. Point of contact information andaddresses are located in the MilitaryINSTALLATIONS web portal which is a very useful tool duringtimes of relocation.Relocation Tip of the Week - Updating Your ID CardAvoid last minute running around by checking the expiration on your ID/Common Access Card (CAC).Also check the ID cards of your dependents and any other eligible individuals in your family. This isreally important if you are deploying overseas. Make sure they are in good condition and current, andwill not expire during your permanent change of station (PCS) move. This may also be a good time toget ID cards for the younger members of your family. To find a nearby office to update and apply fornew CACs visit this website. Page 7 of 9
  8. 8. MC&FP Weekly (January 20,2012) 1/20/2012In the NewsWeve captured the latest Quality of Life (QOL) information, as well as recent additions to the MilitaryCommunity & Family Policy (MC&FP) collection of websites, including MilitaryHOMEFRONT. All inone location! For a complete listing of QOL topic areas and information, please return to theMilitaryHOMEFRONT homepage.In the NewsNotable Quality of Life developments and Department of Defense announcements and alerts.College Grants Up For GrabsThe Air Force Aid Society (AFAS) plans to award up to 3,000 grants to dependents of Air Forcemembers for their college education through the General Henry H. Arnold Education Grant Program.Online applications for these $2,000 need-based grants are now available from the Societys website.Completed forms must be received by AFAS no later than March 9, 2012.Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) Awareness DayThe Earned Income Tax Credit Awareness Day is an annual event where the IRS works with internaland external partners to promote the benefits of this potentially life-changing tax credit.New Spouse Employment Programs Unveiled at Career FairLaura Dempsey, Senior Advisor of Military Spouse Employment for the Chamber of CommercesHiring Our Heroes Program, announced the chambers new Military Spouse Business Alliance,composed of nonprofit, government, and corporate partners dedicated to lifting military spouses out ofunemployment and underemployment.The Military Extension Internship Program is Now Accepting Applications for 2012 SummerInternshipsThe Military Extension Internship Program provides college students and recent graduates a chance toapply their college education and gain practical work experience within the militarys quality, accreditedchild care and youth programs. Summer 2012 Internship applications are due January 31, 2012.Panetta Announces Initiatives Targeting Sexual AssaultSexual assault has no place in the Defense Department, Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta said callingthe crime "a stain on the good honor of the great majority of our troops and their families." Panettaannounced four initiatives designed to aid victims and strengthen prosecution of military sexual assaultcases.Defense Department Launches Website for Military ChildrenThe Defense Department launched a new website for children experiencing the challenges of militarydeployments. The highly interactive website, MilitaryKidsConnect.org, was created by psychologists atDoDs National Center for Telehealth and Technology. It helps children of deployed parents cope withthe stress, changing responsibilities, and concern for the safety of their parents, officials said.Dr. Biden Writes Childrens Book on DeploymentDr. Jill Biden, wife of Vice President Joe Biden, has written a childrens book to raise awareness amongAmericans, particularly children, of military families challenges during deployment. The illustratedchildrens book -- titled "Dont Forget, Nana, God Bless Our Troops" -- will be released in June. Page 8 of 9
  9. 9. MC&FP Weekly (January 20,2012) 1/20/2012Guard and ReserveImage description. Two National Guard service members End of image description.No Sales Scheduled for January 2012Feb. 3-4 - Air National Guard - Portland, ORFeb. 18-19 - 116th Refueling Squadron - Moses Lake, WAMar. 3-4 - Guard and Reserve - Charleston, WVMar. 9-10 - Army National Guard - Walla-Walla, WA Page 9 of 9