This week in mcfp december 10 2010


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This week in mcfp december 10 2010

  1. 1. This Week in MC&FP December 10, 2010 ___________________________________________________________ The weather outside isn‟t entirely frightful, but it‟s enough to cause a lot ofpeople here in the D.C. area to need coats, hats and gloves. Yes, it‟s cold outside and hard to believethat just a short while ago that we worried about heat injuries! Exposure to cold temperatures, whetherindoors or outside, can cause other serious or life-threatening health problems – anyone can be affected.To keep yourself and your family safe, you should know how to prevent cold-related health problemsand what to do if a cold-weather health emergency arises. We encourage all of you to take a fewminutes to assess your preparedness and identify ways to stay safe and healthy. The Centers for DiseaseControl and Prevention offers some great information at a good week – stay warm – and take care.Your MC&FP TeamPlease note: Some hyperlinks in this text are lengthy, sometimes extending more than one line. For best results,cut and past the entire link into your Web browser.From DoDEA DoDEA‟s Dependents Education Council Meets On December 8th the DoDEA Dependents Education Council met in Arlington for one of two annual meetings. Opening remarks were given by the Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness, Dr. Clifford Stanley. The meeting was chaired by Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Military Community and Family Policy, Mr. Robert L. Gordon, and covered a variety of topics ranging from military construction to virtual high school. The council advises the DoDEA director on the full range of issues affecting dependent education. DoDEAs Teachers of the Year Honored DoDEAs teachers of the year from each of the 14 districts gathered in Washington this week for a teacher forum, hosted by the Education Directorate. The teachers were joined by the DoDEA Principal of the Year, Susan S. Morris. The forum included discussions on a wide variety of topics facing the school system. Teachers had an opportunity to meet senior leaders, tour the Pentagon and meet with the Secretary of the Army. They were interviewed by Center for Naval Analysis to provide input to the Education Review. See: DoDEA Launches New Application for Educator Career Program DoDEA is pleased to announce the launch of a new online application process for the Educator Career Program. The program provides internal and external candidates an opportunity to be considered for principal and assistant principal positions for the 2011-2012 School Year. The new application has been redesigned in accordance with the Presidents Initiative on Hiring Reform. To be considered this year, all candidates must submit their applications using the new online application. This new online application tool will simplify the process by eliminating the narrative knowledge, skills and abilities – KSAs – and a supervisor assessment. To access the online application tool, see All applications must be submitted by 5 p.m. Eastern Standard Time, Tuesday, January 18, 2011. DoDEA‟s „Robotica Santi‟ to Compete in the Maryland First Tech Challenge Championship Department of Defense Education Activity students from the Aviano Middle/High School Robotics Club, in Aviano, Italy, will travel to the Washington, D.C . area to compete in the Maryland First Tech Challenge Championship December 11th. Seven of the 14-member team, named Robotica 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 December 10, 2010 Santi, will travel to participate in this event. For more information on the competition visit: the Office of Family Policy/Children and Youth Webinar to answer the question – „Whats TRICARE Anyway?‟ Military OneSource and the TRICARE Management Activity will sponsor a Webinar Monday, December 13, 2010, at 11:00 a.m. (Eastern Time). Join us for a 90-minute Webinar about the fundamentals of the militarys health care program. What is TRICARE? How Can I Get TRICARE? Program Options Other Benefit Information For Information and Assistance This Webinar requires advance registration. To register for „Whats TRICARE Anyway?‟: For more information, contact Britney Canidate at: Sending a care package this holiday season? Family care packages are always a welcome treat for our deployed servicemembers and especially so during the holidays. Are you looking for postal information? Go to; see the box on the right for "Holiday Mail for Troops." In addition, DoD‟s Office of Community Relations provides some helpful guidelines. For the link to holiday care package guidance, see “Forging the Partnership” Conference Planning Continues If you haven‟t done so yet, mark your calendars to be in Chicago April 27- 29, 2011, at the Hyatt Regency for the interagency family readiness conference, “Forging the Partnership.” The conference will bring together professionals from DoD and USDA and will build connections, competency and the capacity of our agencies and programs. The conference will feature keynote speakers, current youth and family research presenters, interactive workshops and computer labs. For more information, see the Office of Communications Leadership Scholarship for Military Daughters For the third year in a row, The Julie Foudy Leadership Foundation will continue to honor and support families who are serving our country by offering full scholarships to military daughters interested in attending the Julie Foudy Sports Leadership Academy. These scholarships have been generously funded by TriWest Healthcare specifically for military families. Applications for 2011 will be available the first week of January at the Foundation‟s Web site, The application is a PDF file, which will need to be downloaded, printed, completed, and then mailed to the address provided. Interested applicants with questions about the Foundation and/or the Julie Foudy Sports Leadership Academy before the first of the year can contact Kerri McClellan at or at (949) 338.5544. College Grants Up For Grabs The Air Force Aid Society plans to award up to 3,000 grants to dependents of Air Force members for their college education through the General Henry H. Arnold Education Grant Program. Applications for these $2,000 need-based grants are now available from the Society‟s Web site. Completed forms must be received by Air Force Aid Society no later than March 11, 2011.Page 2
  3. 3. This Week in MC&FP December 10, 2010 The grant program is open to dependent children of active duty, Title 10 Reservists on extended active duty, Title 32 AGR performing full-time active duty, retired, retired reservists and deceased Air Force members. Spouses of active duty members and surviving spouses of deceased personnel are also eligible. All applicants must be enrolled as full-time undergraduates at an accredited college or university during the 2011-2012 academic year, and are required to maintain a minimum 2.0 grade point average. For more information, see the Office of Special Needs DoD Disability Awards Ceremony Recognizes Outstanding Employees Isabel Hodge attended the 30th Annual DoD Disability Awards Ceremony and 23rd Annual DoD Disability Forum that was held on December 7, 2010, in Bethesda, Md. This important awards event recognized and honored outstanding employees and servicemembers with life-long and acquired disabilities. Outstanding Affirmative Action Programs were also recognized. The forum emphasized the White House Executive Order on Increasing Federal Employment of Individuals with Disabilities and the DoDs reaffirmation to double the participation rate of individuals with targeted disabilities in the DoDs civilian workforce. Eighteen individuals were recognized for their outstanding contributions including Henry T. Zerbe III, Army & Air Force Exchange Service and R. Diane Pope, Defense Commissary Agency. Thank you and congratulations – we salute you! See: Resale Exchange Revving Up the Rewards for Safe Bikers According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 80 percent of reported motorcycle crashes result in injury or death, compared to just 20 percent for automobiles. Because of this increased danger, the Exchange is supporting the military‟s mission to reduce motorcycle-related injuries and deaths among servicemembers by offering a one-time, 20 percent discount off of one Personal Protection Equipment item to cyclists who successfully complete their locally required motorcycle safety riding course. See: Gift Vouchers Extend Holiday Cheer to Commissary Shoppers During November and December, the Defense Commissary Agency reminds anyone who wants to send some holiday cheer to authorized military shoppers that they can do so with gift vouchers. Gift vouchers are available in $25 denominations. Anyone – civilian or military – can purchase them, but only authorized shoppers can redeem them in a commissary. Vouchers are available at commissary customer service areas, cash offices, and from cashiers at full-service checkout lanes. Commissary On-Site Sale Events. There are no on-site sales scheduled for this week at Guard and Reserve locations. For more information, visit the News From the Defense Commissary Agency – Scholarship Program Opens Dec. 7th As families and friends come together to celebrate their favorite winter holidays, its also time for parents to remind students to apply for the 2011 Scholarships for Military Children program. Scholarship applications will be available Dec. 7 in commissaries worldwide and online – choose the "News & Info" tab above and then the "Scholarship Info" tab. Applications are also available on Since the program was announced in 2000, it has awarded $8.3 million in scholarships to more than 5,400 children of service members. For more information, see From DoDEA‟s „Chat Room‟ – This months edition features a conversation with Mr. Gordon who shares his thoughts about military communities and strong schools. To see the news program, go to From American Forces Press Service – DoD Expands Community-based Child Care Options The Defense Department will launch an initiative early next year aimed at expanding the quality and quantity of community-based child care options for geographically dispersed reserve and active-dutyPage 3
  4. 4. This Week in MC&FP December 10, 2010 families and for families facing long waits for on-base care. Through the initiative, DoD will work with federal agencies, state officials and child care centers and programs to raise the quality of care within communities, which should translate to an increased child care capacity for military families, Barbara Thompson, director of the Pentagon‟s office of family policy/children and youth, explained. See: From the American Forces Press Service – Institute Fosters Community Support of Military An Indiana-based organization is working to build community support of servicemembers and their families throughout the state in the hope of serving as a model for the rest of the nation. Shelley MacDermid-Wadsworth, director of the Military Family Research Institute and a family studies professor at Purdue University, yesterday discussed the institute‟s efforts on behalf of military families – active-duty, Guard, Reserve and veteran – during the 3rd Annual Trauma Spectrum conference here. See: From the Family Matters blog – Blogger Gets Tips to Avoid Credit Card Fraud Another frenzied holiday season is well under way. Shoppers once again have hit the stores and Internet in massive numbers, searching for the best deals possible before the dreaded “sold out” sign appears. But in the midst of the shopping craze, people should take a moment to ensure they‟re protecting themselves against credit fraud and identity theft. See: From the American Forces Press Service – NMFA Honors Military Families, Family of the Year An Air Force family was named the National Military Family Association‟s 2010 Family of the Year for their selfless service to the nation and to their community. The association honored a family from each service before announcing the Mullins, of Randolph Air Force Base, Texas, had earned the top honor. See: of the Week Nutrition Tip of the Week – The Battle of Fresh, Frozen, Canned or Dried Do fruits and vegetables have to be fresh to be considered healthy? No, frozen, canned and dried fruits and vegetables are nutritionally comparable to fresh. Limit added sugar by choosing fruits canned in natural juice. Limit sodium by choosing canned vegetables with no added salt. Use dried fruits sparingly - for fresh, frozen or canned fruits and vegetables, a serving is one-half cup, but for dried fruits its half that size, or one-fourth cup. For more information on making healthy and nutritious food choices, check out the Commissarys website at Parenting Tip of the Week – Is it too late to get a flu shot? True or False: Getting a flu vaccine in December or later is too late. False; the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend that people get vaccinated as soon as the vaccine becomes available and that vaccinations continue into December, January and beyond. Influenza activity actually peaks in February most years, but disease can occur as late as May. Small children are among the most susceptible to serious illness and complications if they contract the flu. For the nearest DoD immunization clinic, including the clinics name, address, phone number, and hours of operation, visit MILVAXs Web site at Let‟s Move/Childhood Obesity Tip of the Week – Plan a Healthy Menu Get children involved in planning and cooking. Eating nutritious meals in right-size portions will help children and families be healthier and will provide energy to power through the day. Preparing healthy meals doesn‟t have to be difficult or expensive; it just takes planning. Get your children involved in planning and cooking – you‟ll be surprised by how easy making healthy changes can be. Plan to Eat Healthy. Sit down as a family and plan your healthy meals for the week, then make a shopping list and stick to it! Healthy decisions start at home and planning ahead can improve your health while saving you time and money. Have everyone in your family make suggestions for the shopping list. Kids (and adults too!) are more willing to try new foods when they help pick them. Download the Let’s Move grocery list template to plan for your next shopping trip and get ideas for healthy choices. .Page 4
  5. 5. This Week in MC&FP December 10, 2010 Financial Tip of the Week -- Five Big Budget Mistakes to Avoid Do you know where your money went during the holidays? If you just got paid but your bank account is empty, maybe its time to rethink your budgeting skills. Fixing the big budget blunders is not hard to do-you just have to want to do it! Here are five reasons why your budget is broken, and the ways to fix it. - Mistake 1: You dont have a system. Is your filing system a mess of envelopes scattered throughout the house? When your budget is blowing from room to room and youre confusing last years grocery receipts with this months food bill, its time to try a better system. The Fix: There are numerous ways to build a better budget. There are spreadsheets, software, and mobile phone apps to get the job done with less pain and more success. Visit your installation Personal Finance Managers or contact Military OneSource, 1-800-342-9647, for assistance developing a budget plan for upcoming New Year. - Mistake 2: You dont honestly track your spending. You spent how much at the mall or your military exchange last week? If youre fudging your numbers before entering them in your budget, its impossible to make everything balance. The Fix: Tracking the money you spend and earn may sound like work, but its easy to do when you save all your receipts. When youre on the go, enter your expenses in a mobile device, or carry a notebook. The idea is to track your cash, credit card, and debit card purchases to identify the costly culprits. - Mistake 3: You dont make it a habit. Old habits are hard to break, right? Well, ditching your budget after a few tries is a surefire way to fail. Building a solid household budget takes practice, and giving up after a week is a common reason for failure. The Fix: To get back on track, give yourself the chance to succeed by setting aside time each week to track the flow of money into and out of your life. Only after several weeks of practice will you get into the habit and are able to update your accounts quickly. - Mistake 4: You dont have an emergency fund. When bad things happen to good people, chances are youll need money to get through the tough times. Maxing out your credit cards or running up your credit limit can put you in a bad financial situation, leaving your budget broken. The Fix: Add some wiggle room to your budget by starting a modest emergency fund - a modest amount should keep you safe and prevent you from tapping your plastic when times are tough. DoD recommends at least $500 to start with – that amount has been proven to be enough to eliminate the need for over 60 percent of short-term and payday loans. - Mistake 5: Your spouse hates budgeting. Fighting about money is a common practice in households across America that can bust a bank account. The Fix: Set aside 15 minutes each week to discuss the current money situation and work together to set a few financial goals and to calculate your net worth. Lay no blame and make a commitment to work together to get through the mess. Again if you need assistance your installation Financial Manger or Military OneSource is there to support you with budget planning. Military OneSource Tip of the Week – Quick Tips for Budgeting for the Holidays The average American spends more than $1,000 during the holiday season and much of that spending is on credit cards, which means that many people will face big bills in the New Year. The key to keeping holiday spending under control is budgeting. The following tips may help you stick with a holiday budget. - Make a gift list. Include teachers, the mailman, co-workers, any anyone else you usually end up giving something to. Then, set a price limit on each gift. For example, you might decide that you‟ll set a $40 limit on immediate family members, $20 on children in your extended family, and $10 on acquaintances, like teachers. - Set expectations with friends and family. If you‟re worried about finances this holiday season, talk about it with friends and family. This is especially important with children, who often have unrealistic expectations about gifts and don‟t fully understand cost factors. - Look for ways to cut back on the number of gifts you buy. If you have a large family or group of friends, ask if they‟d like to draw names out of a hat and give one gift per person, or givePage 5
  6. 6. This Week in MC&FP December 10, 2010 family gifts, such as a board game, a gift certificate to a movie theater, or a pass to a local museum, rather than individual gifts. - Consider homemade gifts. There are many heartfelt, thoughtful gifts that don‟t come with a sales receipt. You could cook some treats, put together a photo album, make a themed gift basket filled with small items, or give the gift of your time by making homemade coupons for babysitting, for example. - Make a shopping plan. Don‟t head out to shop without a specific list of gift ideas. This is how you can end up spending more than you budgeted for. Look through catalogues or on Internet sites for ideas and come up with a list before you head out the door. - Look for bargains. Take time to look for ways to save money on gifts. Shop around online to find the best prices. Be sure to use your Exchange, where you‟ll save on taxes and find special holiday discounts. - Budget for entertainment costs. Many people forget to factor in the cost of holiday entertaining. Even if you aren‟t having a party, providing snacks for neighbors or friends who drop by -- as well as serving a holiday meal -- can get expensive. Try to think of ways to cut back. For example, invite neighbors and friends over for a cookie swap or ask family members to contribute a dish to your holiday meal instead of providing all the food yourself. - Be careful about using your credit card to pay for holiday expenses. Don‟t use your card unless you know you can pay it off right away. Remember, buying a sweater on sale with a credit card and making monthly payments could cost you double the sale price. You don‟t want to start the New Year off with an oversized credit card bill. - Keep it simple. Focus on enjoying the simple pleasures of the holiday season, like spending time with friends and family or taking a walk to see the holiday decorations in your neighborhood. These kinds of activities often capture the spirit of the season better than expensive gifts or elaborate celebrations. Your Family Center can give you information and support on many issues that affect service members and their families. And Military OneSource, a free 24/7 service from DoD, available to all active-duty, Guard, and Reserve members and their families, provides information and referrals plus face-to-face counseling. Call (800) 342-9647 or access Spouse Tip – Be SMART When Planning Your Next Job Search In a mobile military lifestyle, military spouses have to take advantage of every resource and tool available when seeking employment opportunities in a new community. So, do it the SMART way. Combine military and civilian sector resources with referrals from family and friends: Spouse Education and Career Opportunities (SECO) Support: Educational and Career Counseling Services are provided by career consultants at no cost to you – Ask for skill and career interest self-assessments, career exploration information, education and training program referrals and more, available to all military spouses. MyCAA Financial Assistance for education and training programs leading to a license, credential or associates degree for spouses of servicemembers in pay grades E1-E5, W1-W2 and O1-O2 who are pursuing portable career employment – up to $4,000 with a $2,000 annual cap that must be spent within three years of the first course. Visit the MyCAA Web site to see if you are eligible and to establish your MyCAA Account: Military Installation Spouse Employment Programs: Local military installation Spouse Employment Programs offer a wide variety of support services including resume assistance, interview tips, information on federal employment, job fairs and local employer information. Find your nearest program by visiting: Army Spouse Employment Partnerships ~ Working with Military Friendly Employers: The Army has developed corporate partnerships with dozens of Military Friendly Employers in the Fortune 500 who want to hire military spouses. Today, 92,000 spouses have already gotten jobs with them. You can be next! Visit their site to identify military friendly employers at a662716441b7&mode=user&AllowSSL=true.Page 6
  7. 7. This Week in MC&FP December 10, 2010 Resources offered by Military OneSource: Military OneSource has easy to use online resources that can help you become career and job-ready. See the new Career & Education section at: Think Positive - Let your confidence, commitment, loyalty and experience shine. You CAN do it! But you need to be PREPARED! Find out what pay scales employers are using for the type jobs you are interested in. Be ready to negotiate for the salary range you find acceptable based on your level of education, work experience and credentials. Learn more from: Find child care and transportation options. Military OneSource can help at (800) 342-9647 with counseling, information and referrals. Develop your job search plan. - Do your homework. Research each company you want to apply with. What is the employer buying (look at the verbs in the position description)? What are you are selling (your ability to make the employer‟s business successful)? Match your knowledge, skills, abilities and personal qualities with the needs of the employer. That‟s your personal story – be prepared to sell it. Uniquely prepared resumes and cover letters that match your knowledge, skills, abilities and personal qualities to the employer‟s job requirements will help you become the perfect match for the job opening. - Cast your net widely. Search for a job by hitting the pavement (meeting employers in person), letting friends and relatives know you are seeking employment (networking), registering with employment agencies and recruiters, and searching the Internet (online job listings and job banks). - Be careful about what you post on your Facebook page and what kind of language you use in e- mails, blogs and Twitter postings. Employers will make judgments about you. Put your best foot forward – and protect your privacy. Put your “Total Package” together – resumes, sample job applications which capture your education and work experience as well as other requested information, dress-for-success outfits, and practiced answers to tough interview questions that address possible employer concerns about the effect of military relocation and deployment on your work before hitting the pavement and the Internet. Set some time limits – How long do you expect to live in this new community? What is the labor market like there (for example, the number of people looking for employment vs. the number of jobs available)? Answers to these questions may help you decide how long to look for a job and whether part-time employment is an acceptable option. Remember, you are: - Skilled and experienced - Educated and motivated - Have strong values and work ethic Be SMART – With a clear portable career and occupational goal in mind, information about yourself and accurate, realistic salary and labor market information, you CAN be successful in finding employment at your next duty station. ####Page 7