This week in Military Community & Family Policy 13 MAR 2010
PLEASE PASS TO ALL PERSONNEL
In the days following the announcement of a temporary pause of the
Career Advancement Account - MyCAA - we have heard your feedback,
suggestions and concerns.
We are pleased to announce that the MyCAA program has resumed
operations as of March 13, 2010, at 12 p.m., noon (EST), for military
spouses who currently have existing MyCAA accounts. Those who have an
existing account will have access to the entire Web site, including the
ability to create and have financial assistance documents approved.
We are currently developing long-term options for the program and
expect to announce the details soon. Until then, no new accounts can
be created. During this time, Military OneSource Spouse Education and
Career Consultants will continue to be available to provide education
and training, career exploration, assessment, employment readiness and
career search assistance.
States Assisting Military Members and Their Families – Update
Child Custody: On March 3rd, Governor Jim Douglas of Vermont signed
legislation addressing what the Department believes is the
consideration that should be given to separations due to mobilization,
temporary duty or deployment when determining custody and visitation
rights of Servicemembers. The Department believes the welfare of the
child is paramount; however, it also believes that absence due to
military service should never be the sole basis for a loss of custody
or diminished visitation rights. With this legislation, Vermont
becomes the first state this year, and the 33rd overall, to have
addressed military-specific issues of child custody and/or visitation
in some manner.
In September, the Secretary of Defense assessed that the States were in
the best position to balance the equities of the child and the Service
member. He stated that the Department would (1) continue to encourage
the States (through the DoD-State Liaison Office -- DSLO) to pass
military-specific child custody protections, (2) revise its Family Care
Plans to emphasize the importance of addressing potential conflicts
between the custodial Service member and the non-custodial parent well
before actual deployment, and (3) to work closely with the American Bar
Association (ABA) to publicize, emphasize, and support the ABA’s
Military Pro Bono Project. SECDEF sent a letter to the governor of
each state that had yet to address the custody considerations.
Interstate Compact: On March 9th, Governor Bill Richardson of New
Mexico signed legislation approving the Interstate Compact on
Educational Opportunity for Military Children (the Compact). New
Mexico becomes the 28th state to approve the Compact, which provides a
vehicle for states to follow common guidelines in handling issues that
impact children of military families as they transition between
schools. These issues include class placement, records transfer,
immunization requirements, course placement, graduation requirements,
exit testing, and extra-curricular opportunities, among others. The
Compact establishes a commission of member states to oversee the
implementation of the compact and provide for education,
administration, limited rulemaking, and enforcement.
For more information on these issues and the other eight issues
impacting the quality of life of our Service members and their families
which the Department is working with state governments, visit
usa4militaryfamilies.dod.mil or usa4militaryfamilies.org.
Respite Child Care through the YMCA
Many family members of deployed guard, reserve and active duty
personnel serving on Independent Duty and their families live far from
a military installation and are isolated from the family programming,
support services and recreational opportunities offered at these
Respite child provides temporary relief or a “short break” to the
parent or guardian who is responsible for caring for their child. The
care is free for children up to age 12 for up to 16 hours of care per
month, per child. Respite child care is not intended to offset or
substitute for full-time, daily child care or for a part-time preschool
program. Eligibility for the Respite Child Care program is extended
- Families of National Guard and Reserve personnel who are deployed
under title 10, United States Code, regardless of the length of the
- Families whose Service member is serving at an Independent Duty
- Service members assigned to a Community Based Warrior in Transition
For a listing of the specific YMCAs who are participating in the
respite child care program and for a copy of the registration form,
visit www.militaryonesource.com. In addition, families eligible for
the YMCA fitness membership program can also take advantage of free on-
site child care while they are in the facility. This ‘respite’ child
care is available wherever on-site child watch care if offered.
Coming Together Around Military Families (CTAMF)
Coming Together Around Military Families (CTAMF) is an initiative
developed by ZERO TO THREE (ZTT), which strengthens the resilience of
very young children and their families who are experiencing trauma,
grief and loss as a result of a service member’s deployment to
Afghanistan and/or Iraq. This initiative increases parent and
professional awareness of the impact of trauma, grief and loss on very
young children; as well as to build professionals’ knowledge and
capacity to support families in promoting positive development and
emotional health during the course of these stressful experiences. A
core component of the CTAMF initiative is the Duty to Care (DTC)
training series, which is designed to bring together and build
collaboration between a multidisciplinary audience including health,
mental health, family support and early childhood education
professionals to increase the resilience of very young children and
The DTC training will be provided at 65 installations, Joint Family
Support Assistance Program (JFSAP) states, and medical facilities over
the next 30 months.
“Duty to Care I (DTC I): Supporting Young Children through Challenging
Times,” is a training event that provides information about the core
needs of infants and toddlers; explore how stress, trauma, grief, and
loss stemming from complicated deployments, psychological and/or
physical injury, and death of the service member might affect very
young children and their families; give details about existing
resources available to families, as well as to dialogue over creating
new resources; and convene multidisciplinary professionals in an effort
to enhance collaborative relationships and promote systems building,
within both the military and the surrounding civilian communities.
Upcoming trainings are scheduled for the following locations:
15-16 March 2010 JFSAP State: Massachusetts
7-8 April 2010 JFSAP State: California
8-9 April 2010 JFSAP State: Pennsylvania
22-23 April 2010 Joint Base Lewis-McChord
28-29 April 2010 Eglin AFB
New Resources Added
Over 50 new disability-specific resources have been posted to the
Special Needs Resource and State Resource section on MilitaryHOMEFRONT
Plan My Move
Given the current state of our economy, the Employment Overview in Plan
My Move, http://www.militaryhomefront.dod.mil/moving, and
MilitaryINSTALLATIONS, http://www.militaryinstallations.dod.mil, is
extremely important to the relocating service members.
The Employment article contains information on Employment Options both
on and off the installation; the Employment Documentation required to
obtain a job; how to obtain/continue Unemployment Benefits; and
information on Transition and Tuition Assistance.
Family Matters Blog
Elaine Wilson, editor and writer for American Forces Press Services,
launched the Family Matters blog to provide resources and support to
military families, as well as to encourage a dialogue on topics ranging
from deployments and separations to the challenges of everyday life.
MC&FP’s Special Needs/EFMP Family Support Program Manager, veteran and
military spouse, Isabel Hodge, contributes regularly to the Family
Matters blog as a guest blogger. Read Isabel’s latest blog titled
"Parent of a Special Needs Teen Shares Journey,"
New Records Organizer for Adults with Special Needs Available on
The new Special Care Organization Record (SCOR) for Adults with Special
Health Care Needs is available for downloading from MilitaryHOMEFRONT.
The SCOR is specifically designed as an organizing tool for families
with an adult member with special health care needs. This includes
spouses and adult children with special health care needs as well as
any other adult dependent family member. The SCOR for Adults is
intended to help track and organize information in one central location
and to make it easier for someone to care for your family member when
you are unable to do so. The SCOR was vetted by national disability
expert, author, and advocate, Dr. Ann Turnbull. It completes a set of
records organizers available under Tools for Families in the Troops and
Family Member section of MilitaryHOMEFRONT.
eSponsorship Application & Training (eSAT) Soft Launch
MC&FP initiated a “soft launch” of eSponsorship Application and
Training (eSAT) (http://apps.mhf.dod.mil/esat). It was designed and
developed with the Military Services to bring standardized sponsorship
training to all appointed unit sponsors regardless of Service. Under
Public Law, relocation managers in Family Centers worldwide are charged
with the responsibility of training unit sponsors. Using the eSAT
application, after the sponsor completes his/her online training, they
receive an official certificate for their files.
Once training is complete, the application allows the sponsor to create
an online registration and record for their newcomer. The system
generates a customizable congratulations message from the sponsor to
the newcomer with a link to a detailed online needs assessment for the
newcomer to complete. Upon completion and electronic submission of the
needs assessment, the sponsor is notified electronically that the needs
assessment is available. The sponsor then has the ability to send a
custom electronic welcome correspondence which is Service and unit
The entire process, between sponsor and newcomer, is tracked online and
creates a high level audit trail of important touch points in the
sponsorship process. The application has been released to the Services
for their use at all levels.
Financial Industry Regulatory Authority Military Spouse Fellowship
Applications are now being accepted for the annual FINRA Foundation
Military Spouse Fellowship Program from 1 March to 30 April for
military spouses to be selected for a free fellowship to become
certified as an Accredited Financial Counselor (AFC), a professional
financial certification maintained by the Association for Financial
Counseling and Planning Education (AFCPE).
Approximately 200 spouses (all Services, all Components – Active Duty,
National Guard, and Reserve) will be selected for this prestigious
fellowship. After completing the required curriculum, passing the
necessary tests, and completing the assigned practicum hours, spouses
will be certified as an AFC, which can lead to a portable career as a
financial counseling professional. Applications are being accepted at
www.nmfa.org; to receive e-Notificiations, go to:
The Learning Center for Child and Adolescent Trauma offers a series of
presentations and podcasts, "Essentials for Those Who Care for Military
Children and Families," assist providers in caring for military
children and families. The learning series was developed through a
partnership betweenthe Uniformed Services University of the Health
Sciences, the Center for the Study of Traumatic Stress and the National
Child Traumatic Stress Network.
Learning opportunities include a master speaker series and 20 minute
audio presentations. The next presentation, "Impact of the Military
Mission and Combat Deployment on the Service Members," will be offered
on 23 March 2010 at 1300. For more information about this presentation
and others, visit:
Joint Service Training – Inclusive Recreation for Wounded Warriors.
Attendees have been selected for the seventh “Inclusive Recreation for
Wounded Warriors Training Course” on March 14-18 at Penn State
University. The four-day course recognizes the important role
recreation and sports can have in the recovery process. Taught by
highly credentialed Penn State faculty, the course includes discussion
on post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), limb amputations, traumatic
brain injury (TBI), and spinal cord injuries, adaptive/specialized
equipment, accessible design, age appropriate inclusive recreation
programming, and societal and cultural issues.
Students develop a plan of action to add inclusive recreation programs
at their installation, which will be evaluated six months after course
completion. There are 176 recreation programmers from all military
Services that have completed the training. Feedback has been very
positive with enhanced programming skills and lots of networking among
dedicated professionals. The next course will be held on April 11-15,
2010. The final four courses will be offered beginning in the fall of
Iraq War Veteran Named U.S. Flag Bearer for Opening Ceremonies of the
2010 Paralympic Winter Games
The U.S. Olympic Committee announced that alpine skier Heath Calhoun
(Bristol, Tenn.), a veteran of the Iraq war, has been selected as flag
bearer for the U.S. Paralympic Team at Opening Ceremonies of the 2010
Paralympic Winter Games on March 12.
Calhoun lost both his legs above the knees while he was serving as a
Squad Leader for the famed 101st Airborne Division. After enduring
nine months of rehabilitation at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in
Washington D.C., Calhoun became involved with the Paralympic Military
Sports Program, and then in 2008, dedicated himself to competing at the
2010 Paralympic Winter Games.
2009 Paralympic Military Program Highlights include:
• Within the Paralympic Military Program, approximately 10,085
injured service members have been introduced to physical activity
through ongoing sports programs at 64 Military/Veteran Medical
Treatment Facilities and/or installations.
• Training in the development and implementation of sports programs
for injured service members has been provided to nearly 1,800 community
leaders within the past year.
• More than 175 injured service members have been identified as
individuals who have demonstrated the potential to pursue higher levels
of athlete training and performance.
• Paralympic Sport Clubs have been developed to support injured
service members/veterans in 112 local communities.
The USOC and Paralympic Organizations throughout the country continue
to utilize existing infrastructure and resources to meet the needs of
injured service members and veterans, thus making the program extremely
DoDEA joins schools around the country in the observation of March as
Music in Our Schools Month (MIOSM). The purpose of MIOSM is to raise
awareness of the importance of music education for all children.
"Music! Just Imagine" is the official theme.
Beginning School Year 2010-2011, we will change the name of the
Professional Technical Studies (PTS) program to Career Technical
Education (CTE) to match the designation given in other state education
programs. This change will allow DoDEA students to have smooth
interface between the US public school systems and the DoDEA system.
The U.S. Department of Education reviewed and researched this name
change over the last few years for state offices of education. When
the change is completed, the HQ, area, district and school staff will
use a common language which will make us compatible with US stateside
DoDEA joins the nation and the DoD this month in celebrating National
Women's History Month. This year’s theme is "Writing Women Back into
History." To learn more about DoDEA’s celebration of National Women's
History Month, please visit the DoDEA celebrates website at
DoDEA will be featured in an “Armed with Science” Webcast on March 17,
2010. Dr. Lynn Smith, European Regional Junior Science and Humanities
Symposium (JSHS) Director, will lead a team of students in this program
hosted by the Defense Media Activity. The Junior Science and
Humanities Symposium is a program that allows high school students the
support and resources to design and conduct original research in the
areas of Science, Technology, Engineering or Mathematics (STEM) areas.
The Armed with Science webcast features 30-minute interviews with
Defense Department scientists, engineers, and other subject experts.
A college education may be the key to success. But how do you decide
what kind of career path to take? TSgt Sean Devine shows us a program
at Aviano Air Base that gives students real-world experience to help
make the choice a little easier. Weblink:
DeCA is excited to announce the Grand Opening of the Keesler AFB
Commissary scheduled for April 6, 2010. This new facility will
replace the temporary store which began operations after Hurricane
Katrina hit the installation in late August 2005. AAFES also plans to
open their new exchange in April. This month, the MCX opens the newly
constructed Marine Mart Manana at Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii.
DeCA is delivering the benefit at the following Guard and Reserve
March 13 Oregon National Guard Roseburg, OR
March 13-14 West Virginia Nation Guard Charleston, WV
March 14 Coleville Family Housing Coleville, CA
There are no on-site sales scheduled for the week of 15 March at Guard
and Reserve locations.
Financial Tip of the Week
Who’s Calling? Recognize & Report Phone Fraud
Every sales call you get by phone is an opportunity for a gut check:
Ask yourself these questions — and if the answers give you some doubt
about the caller’s intentions or methods, end the call.
Who’s calling - and why? Telemarketers must tell you it’s a sales call,
the name of the seller and what they’re selling before they make their
pitch. If they don’t, say “no thanks,” and get off the phone.
What’s their hurry? Fast talkers who use high pressure tactics could be
hiding something. Take your time. Most legitimate businesses will give
you time and written information about an offer before asking you to
commit to a purchase.
If it’s free, why are they asking me to pay? Question charges you need
to pay to redeem a prize or gift. Free is free. If you have to pay,
it's a purchase - not a prize or a gift.
Why am I “confirming” my account information - or giving it out at all?
Some callers have your billing information before they call you.
They’re trying to get you to say “okay” so they can claim you approved
What time is it? The law allows telemarketers to call only between 8 am
and 9 pm. A seller calling earlier or later is flouting the law.
Do I want more calls like this one? If you don’t want a business to
call you again, say so. If they call back, they’re breaking the law.
Report Phone Fraud
• Recognizing fraudulent callers is important; reporting them to
the appropriate law enforcement authorities is critical, too. When you
report, you can help stop telephone scammers. Report telephone
hucksters to the FTC and your state Attorney General so they can
prosecute fraudulent telemarketers who try to steal your money.
• If your number is on the National Do Not Call Registry, you
should get calls only from those companies with which you do business -
or those that have your permission to call. If you get calls from a
company you don’t have a relationship with - or from a company you have
told not to call you - report it. Jot down the name and number of the
caller, and the date and time of the call.
• To report phone fraud, visit FTC.gov or call 1-877-FTC-HELP.
• To report violations of the National Do Not Call Registry, visit
DoNotCall.gov or call 1-888-382-1222.
• Your complaint is entered into the Consumer Sentinel Network, a
database that is used by law enforcement agencies across the country
and around the world. It can help them track down scam artists, detect
patterns in their calls, find other victims, and ultimately, stop the
Register Your Number
• You can limit the number of telemarketing calls you receive by
placing your phone number on the National Do Not Call Registry. Once
your number is registered, feel free to hang up if you get a cold call
from a company with which you don't already do business - or report it!
• You can register your phone number at DoNotCall.gov, or by
calling 1-888-382-1222 (TTY: 1-866-290-4236) from the number you wish
to register. If you register online, you must click on the confirmation
email you receive to complete your free registration.
Your registration will not expire. Your number is on the list until you
take it off, or your number is disconnected and re-assigned to someone
• Placing your number on the Registry stops most telemarketing
calls, but not all. Once your number has been on the Registry for 31
days, you still may get calls from, or on behalf of:
- Political organizations, charities, and pollsters
- Companies with whom you have an existing business relationship
- Companies you’ve given permission to call
• Companies that you do business with may call for 18 months. If
you ask a company for information, it may call for three months.
However, if you request that the company place your number on its own
do-not-call list, it must honor your request. You should keep a record
of the date you make the request.
• The Registry accepts personal cell phone and home phone numbers.
Federal Communications Commission regulations prohibit the use of
automated dialers to call cell phone numbers, so most telemarketers
won’t cold-call consumers on their cell phones – despite urban myths
and emails to the contrary.
• To learn more about how to recognize and report phone fraud, and
how to place your phone number on the National Do Not Call Registry, go
Military Spouse Tip of the Week
Are you taking care of an elder parent or relative? Military OneSource
offers comprehensive information on issues such as caring for seniors,
living arrangements, paying for healthcare, advocating for seniors, and
end-of-life planning. Military OneSource also provides an opportunity
for you to speak with an Elder Care Specialist. Contact Military
OneSource at 1-800-342-9647 for further information or visit
Parenting Tip of the Week
Each year in the United States, more than 4,500 infants die suddenly of
no obvious cause. Half of these Sudden Unexpected Infant Deaths (SUID)
are due to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), the leading cause of
SUID and of all deaths among infants aged 1–12 months. The American
Academy of Pediatrics recommends the following to help prevent SIDS:
• Place your baby in a safety-approved crib with a firm mattress
and a fitted sheet.
• Never put your baby to sleep on a chair, sofa, water bed,
cushion, or sheepskin.
• The safest place for your baby to sleep is in the room where you
sleep, but not in your bed.
• Place your baby's crib or bassinet near your bed (within an arm's
reach) to make breastfeeding easier and help you watch over your baby.
• Blankets, if used, should be tucked in around the crib mattress.
They should not reach any higher than your baby's chest. Try using
sleep sacks or sleep clothing instead of a blanket to avoid the risk of
• Keep pillows, quilts, comforters, sheepskins, and stuffed toys
out of your baby's crib. They can cover your infant's face—even if she
is lying on her back.
• Pacifiers may help reduce the risk of SIDS. However, if your baby
doesn't want it or if it falls out of his mouth, don't force it. If you
are breastfeeding, wait until your baby is 1 month old before using a
• Give your baby plenty of "tummy time" when he is awake. This will
help strengthen neck muscles and avoid flat spots on his head.
• Share this information with anyone who cares for your baby,
including babysitters, grandparents, and other caregivers.
Nutrition Tip of the Week
If 2½ cups of vegetables daily seems like a lot, look at it this way:
Six baby carrots and two celery sticks with your lunchtime sandwich,
and three spears broccoli along with one small sliced tomato with
dinner adds up to 2½ cups. For more information on making healthy and
nutritious food choices, check out the Commissary’s website at
. Commanders can request support and resources from the Joint
Family Support Assistance Program by calling the Joint Family Resource
Center at 1-888-256-9920.
. Military OneSource:
This free 24-hour service, provided by the Department of Defense, is
available to all active duty, Guard, and Reserve members and their
families. Consultants provide information and make referrals on a wide
range of issues, including financial issues. You can reach the program
by telephone at 1-800-342-9647 or through the Web site at
Military OneSource (MOS) continues provide free tax filing services and
free tax consultations to military service members and their families
during the tax season. Visit the website or call the phone number
above for more information.
Have a great week. Your MC&FP Team!