This week in mcfp january 7 2011 (1)


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This week in mcfp january 7 2011 (1)

  1. 1.‐06‐24/Family_Resiliency_Webinar.aspx.    This Week in MC&FP January 7, 2011 ___________________________________________________________             It’s a new week in a new year – please accept our best wishes for 2011! In thisday of instant communications across continents and time zones, it’s sometimes hard to believe howmuch things have changed in such a short period of time. On this day in 1927, the first transatlantictelephone service between New York and London began; there were 31 total calls that day! In starkcontrast, many of our servicemembers haven’t experienced a life without cell phones, I-pods, or text-messaging. Yes, the times have changed!Have a good week 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• ‘Operation Deep Freeze’ Connects Students with Scientists in Antarctica Connecting scientists with elementary and high school students worldwide was one of many accomplishments during last years Operation Deep Freeze, the militarys support of National Science Foundation research in Antarctica. In 2010, Air Force Lt. Col. Ed "Hertz" Vaughan spent 50 days as commander of McMurdo Detachment 1 and deputy commander of the 13th Air Expeditionary Group, Joint Task Force Support Forces Antarctica. There, he braved temperatures that often dipped below minus 20 degrees Fahrenheit to support the U.S. Antarctic Program, the National Science Foundations science mission in Antarctica. During his time in Antarctica he shared his experiences, "Dispatches from Antarctica," through the Defense Media Activitys blog, "Armed with Science: Research and Applications for the Modern Military," from Sept. 27 to Nov. 1. DoDEA students from Korea and Japan got to ask questions and speak with this modern day explorer. You can read the dispatches at:• DoDEA’s Pilot of Web-based Information System Under Way Recently, the DoDEA Director Merilee Fitzgerald convened a group of representatives from the field who are participating in the pilot of Aspen X2 to get a first-hand user perspective of the implementation of Aspen as the future student information management system for DoDEA. Aspen X2 is the school information system software currently being piloted at multiple schools across DoDEA. Using Aspen X2, DoDEA hopes to help schools integrate K-12 applications into one secure, customizable, Web-based information system. DoDEA has set internal benchmarks to be 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   January 7, 2011  met during the pilot phases to ensure accountability and success. Provisions have been made for training, support, and trouble shooting for all pilot schools at every level. This past week, a task force composed of Area and District IT and ET staff, registrars, counselors, nurses, principals, teachers, and union representatives met to evaluate the pilot and to make recommendations that will lead to a success full implementation for the coming school year.From the Office of Family Policy/Children and Youth• Military OneSource January Webinars Offer Tips on Parenting, Finances The following Webinars are scheduled for January: - Help Your Kids with Homework and Finals: Benefits Overview on Jan. 11 at 11 a.m. and Jan. 12 at 7 p.m. EST. This seminar will offer information on how you and your children can get help with homework, studying, test preparation and more through the DoD’s for Military Families program. Attend this webinar to find out how to get free access, what subjects are available, how tutors can help and tips for using the online classroom. - New Years Strategies for Success on Jan. 18 at 11 a.m. EST In this seminar, a health coach from the Healthy Habits Health Coaching Program will share helpful tips and information about setting goals, overcoming potential barriers to success, using available resources and applying these strategies. - Dealing with Debt on Jan. 19 at 11 a.m. EST In this Webinar, the Federal Trade Commission helps you learn how to build a better budget, deal with debt and know your rights when it comes to debt collection. - Couples and Money on Jan. 20 at 10 a.m. and Jan. 24 at 7 p.m. EST You’ll have the opportunity to assess how you and your partner handle money issues, explore your financial values, identify money “hot spots” and learn tips for avoiding money conflicts. - Developing Responsibility and Independence: Skills You Can Teach Children on Jan. 28 at 11 a.m. and Jan. 31 at 7 p.m. EST This session offers parents strategies for teaching their children to be dependable and accountable for their actions. Participants will be able to define responsibility and independence, identify areas of responsibility, strategize techniques for removing the barriers to responsible behavior and increase their confidence in their ability to raise responsible and independent children. See for more information or call Military OneSource at (800) 342-9647.Page 2 
  3. 3. This Week in MC&FP   January 7, 2011 • “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 Morale, Welfare and Recreation• American Red Cross Publishes New Guide to Services Each and every day the more than 600 chapters, 36 Blood Services regions and 58 Service to Armed Forces stations provide assistance and resources to military and civilian communities. The American Red Cross Guide to Services will help you learn more about their five major lines of services. The service to the Armed Forces ensures that active duty, National Guard and reserve service members, veterans and their families have worldwide, around-the-clock access to timely and reliable humanitarian services. These include: • Emergency messages delivered around the world 24/7 365 days a year • The Red Cross supports patients and families at military hospitals and wounded warrior units • Overseas, 24 Hour canteen services offer drinks, snacks, videos, books, and internet access "Coping with Deployment" courses teach resiliency strategies for families • Volunteers support veterans before the Board of Veterans Appeals and other veteran advocacy services The new guide is attached to this edition of “This Week” and will soon be available online on MilitaryHOMEFRONT. We’ve also attached the 2010 report of Red Cross activities.From Resale• FDA Recalls ‘Exchange Select” Alcohol Prep Pads, Swabs and Swabsticks The Food and Drug Administration issued a recall specific to all lots of alcohol prep pads, swabs and swabsticks manufactured by Triad Group. Merchandised under the “Exchange Select” label at various Army, Air Force, Marine Corps, Navy and Coast Exchanges as well as Veteran’s Canteens, the products have been recalled due to concerns about “potential contamination of the products with an objectionable organism, namely Bacillus cereus. The FDA said it issued the recall “out of an abundance of caution” as use of contaminated alcohol prep pads, swabs or swabsticks “could lead to life-threatening infections, especially in at- risk populations, including immune suppressed and surgical patients.” To date, the FDA said it has “received one report of a non-life-threatening skin infection.”Page 3 
  4. 4. This Week in MC&FP   January 7, 2011  All affected product has been removed from shelves. Military shoppers who previously purchased Exchange Select alcohol prep pads, swabs or swabsticks are advised to return recalled product at their nearest Exchange or Canteen for a full refund. For more information, see .< and <>• Commissary On-Site Sale Events. There are no on-site sales scheduled for the month of January at Guard and Reserve locations. For more information, visit  In the News• From the American Forces Press Service – Holly Petraeus Aims to Bolster Families’ Fiscal Knowledge Holly Petraeus hopes to hear from servicemembers and their families about their financial issues and pitfalls in the coming months as she leads up efforts to create the Office of Servicemember Affairs. The information she gathers will be integrated into the formation of the new office, which aims to strengthen and support military families financially as part of the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. “Under the leadership of Ms. Holly Petraeus, the Office of Servicemember Affairs in the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau will forge a close collaboration with the Department of Defense that will benefit military members and families,” said Clifford L. Stanley, undersecretary of defense for personnel and readiness. See and• From the Family Matters blog – Navy Program Helps to Strengthen Families Military families have many support programs at their fingertips, but I wanted to highlight one in particular that’s making inroads in family care. The Navy’s Project FOCUS or Families OverComing Under Stress (, equips military families with the skills they need to weather the psychological and physical challenges brought about by a decade of war. The program educates and builds coping skills among service members and their families, while also informing communities about the stressors military families and how they can best support them. See• From the American Forces Press Service – ‘Hero Miles’ Program Supports Families A popular program that turns donated frequent-flyer miles into free airline tickets for wounded warriors receiving medical care as well as their families will expand this year so families of the fallen and combat wounded can participate in two upcoming events. The Fisher House Foundation, which administers the “Hero Miles” program, plans to offer airline tickets so grieving families needing assistance can fly to Washington, D.C., this Memorial Day weekend to participate in the Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors seminar, foundation President Dave Coker told American Forces Press Service. See 4 
  5. 5. This Week in MC&FP   January 7, 2011 • From the American Forces Press Service – Nominations Open for Military Child of the Year Award A nonprofit organization is giving Americans the chance to sing the praises of a group often called the nation’s unsung heroes: military children. Operation Homefront, a troop- and military-family support group, is inviting people to nominate outstanding military children from all branches of service for the 2011 Military Child of the Year Award. See of the Week• Nutrition Tip of the Week – Control weight with whole grains In addition to fruits and vegetables, whole grains are an important source of fiber and other nutrients. Consuming whole grains can reduce the risk of several chronic diseases and may help with weight control. Make half your grains whole. For more information on making healthy and nutritious food choices, check out the Commissary’s Web site at• Parenting Tip of the Week – Do you have a teen interested in volunteer opportunities? Do you have a teen who is interested in volunteer opportunities with veterans, other military families, or active duty servicemembers in your neighborhood? Volunteering can give your teen a chance to meet new people, gain self-confidence, and get involved with a company or job field that interests them. Find volunteer opportunities and discover new resources to help you make a difference at• Let’s Move/Childhood Obesity Tip of the Week – Talk to your family Explain to your kids that its important to sit less and move more in order to stay at a healthy weight. Tell them they’ll also have more energy, and it will help them develop and/or perfect new skills, such as riding a bike or shooting hoops, that could lead to more fun with friends. Tell them you’ll do the same. Set a Good Example – You need to be a good role model and limit your screen time to no more than two hours per day, too. If your kids see you following your own rules, then they’ll be more likely to do the same. Log Screen Time vs. Active Time – start tracking how much time your family spends in front of a screen, including things like TV- and DVD-watching, playing video games, and using the computer for something other than school or work. Then take a look at how much physical activity they get. That way you’ll get a sense of what changes need to be made. Use the Childrens Screen Time Log ( For more information, see the National Institutes of Health Web site at screen-time.htmPage 5 
  6. 6. This Week in MC&FP   January 7, 2011 • Financial Tip of the Week – A new year, a new plan! As we start the New Year, we need to look/plan to reduce some of the financial mistakes that we often don’t think about. Below are some money mistakes almost everyone makes: Budgeting for the short-term. Research suggests that creating an annual budget instead of a monthly one works best, largely because we feel less confident in our annual estimates, so we tend to add more cushioning for unexpected expenses. In one study, individuals underestimated their monthly expenses by 40 percent while overestimating their annual expenses by 3 percent. Overspending on housing. Many people get tripped up by their housing costs. Traditionally, financial advisors have encouraged buyers to spend about one-third of their income on housing. But for many people, especially anyone with student loan debts, child care payments, or other hefty expenses, thats too much money. Falling victim to spending traps. Rewards credit cards sound good in theory, but in reality they encourage you to spend more than you would otherwise. Rewards cards also carry a higher interest rate, two percentage points, on average, than non-rewards cards. Failing to negotiate prices. Even department stores often offer some wiggle room on their posted prices, and usually match competitors prices. Many consumers fail to realize that prices are flexible and dont bother asking for a better deal. Taking on too much, or too little, debt. Not all debt is bad. It can enable you to return to school, buy much-needed professional outfits, or even cover your rent during a tough month. Being so afraid of debt that you avoid it altogether can force you to miss out on opportunities, while taking on too much can lead to financial ruin. Trying to beat the market. Regardless of the markets behavior, is the safest way to invest is a little bit at a time. The Thrift Savings Plan (TSP), which invests money from your paycheck each month, makes it easy to invest this way. Paying too much attention to the Dow. Focusing too much on the ups and downs of the market just causes stress. If your investments are well-diversified, then youve done all you can. Counting on Social Security. Will the Social Security trust fund be available in 2035? Need to think about if you are planning to supplement your retirement with Social Security checks when you retire from the work force. To supplement your military retirement income need to plan retirement with their retirement account like the TSP or other retirement account/plan. Underestimating tax bills. Don’t get surprised in April with the IRS, check to see if youve been paying roughly the correct amount of taxes by reviewing your leave and earning statement – the ‘LES.’Page 6 
  7. 7. This Week in MC&FP   January 7, 2011 • Military OneSource Tip of the Week – Quick Tips for Setting SMART Financial Goals Holiday spending may have put a strain on your finances. But the New Year can be a great time to take a look at your spending and get a handle on your budget. Learning how to set realistic financial goals is an important part of taking charge of your money. Whether you’re trying to pay down debt or save for your first home, you need clear financial goals as well as a road map for reaching them. These tips can help: - First, figure out where youre starting from by looking at your monthly income and expenditures. Then you can create a budget. You may need to track your spending for a few weeks or even months to come up with reliable numbers – and remember to track everything, including groceries, car maintenance, rent, utilities, insurance, entertainment, gifts, and vacations. Identify if there are any adjustments you can make to income and/or expenditures. - Then, determine your time frame. How much money do you need to come up with and by when? - Be intentional. Third, make a plan with steps you can take to reach your financial goal. The SMART goal model may help as you develop your plan. SMART stands for: - Be specific. Identify specific ways you can cut spending or make more money. For example, don’t just say “I’ll try to save $200 more a month.” Get specific. Say, “I’m going to save $60 a month by making my lunch instead of buying it at work.” You may need to cut spending in more than one area to reach your goals. If you have an increase in pay, set that money aside to save or pay down debt before you get accustomed to having it in your paycheck. - Measurable. Make sure there’s a way to measure your progress. For example, if you’re trying to save $60 a month to pay down debt more quickly, track your spending to make sure that’s happening, and then check to make sure that you’re actually increasing your monthly debt payments by that amount. - Action-oriented. A goal such as, “I’m not going to use my credit card as often” isn’t measureable and will be hard to stick to. Instead, commit to a definitive action like, “I will take all the credit cards out of my wallet so I can’t make unplanned purchases.” - Results-focused. Make sure that you’re achieving the intended results. For example, if you’re trying to save $60 a month by not buying lunch at work, make careful choices at the grocery store so you’re not spending an extra $60 there instead. - Time-limited. Make sure your goals are time-limited. Setting a time frame for each goal is helpful, both to keep you focused and to help you measure your progress. 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 .Page 7 
  8. 8. This Week in MC&FP   January 7, 2011 • Spouse Tip of the Week – Do you know what you want to be when you grow up? Contrary to popular belief, this is a question you may need to ask yourself at several different ages and stages of life: before you get out of school, before you get married, after you have children, and before you retire. It’s not an easy question to answer. Why? In a mobile military lifestyle, it’s a question that is confounded by multiple moves, including moving to communities that don’t have the type of employment opportunities you have been used to. And it’s a question that continually challenges the direction you took in earlier stages of your life, before community service work, before you got that wonderful mentor who opened doors and taught you how to network, and before you got more education, training and work experience. Wherever you are in the “Work A Day World” pipeline, Military OneSource Career and Education Counselors are here to help. By calling (800) 342-9647, you can request no-cost career counseling services, career and education information and resources that will help you with: - Career exploration - Interest inventories and skill assessments - Choosing a school and program of study - MyCAA financial assistance for education and training - Additional sources of financial assistance for Education and training - Licenses and credentials for portable careers - Job market and salary information - Job Search, Resume, job application and interview assistance - Job banks, job fairs and job portals with current job openings - Military friendly employers - Child care and transportation options and referrals - Federal Employment - If you can name it, Military OneSource can help!Celebrating Military Youth Saves Week – February 20 -27, 2011What a great New Years Resolution: Becoming Financially Fit! This year, youth with the help andsupport of their installation youth program staff and personal financial managers around the world willmake a difference in their financial future. Youth, along with their family and friends, will beencouraged to take the saver’s pledge; save money, spend wisely, plan for college, and share what theyknow. It’s a great way to inspire everyone, especially our youth, to improve their economic fitnessthrough healthy financial behavior. February 20-27, 2011 ####Page 8