Archived Military Matters
The About.com U.S. Military Newsletter
Note: Newslinks contained in this archived newsletter will take you to the discussion area of the U.S. Military Forum, but links to the stories from there are probably no longer valid. Online news-sources normally leave links active for only a few days.
Howdy all, and welcome to the third edition of Military Matters, the weekly newsletter for About.com's U.S. Military Page.
Good news, this week! The U.S. Military Site should be receiving its message board in the very near future! I look forward to the level of interaction this will provide between our members.
IN THE SPOTLIGHT:
Judging by the email I receive, many people feel that finding a person who has once been in the military is a piece of cake. Well, it 'taint so, folks. Although the military tracks active duty and retired members, they don't keep track of folks who just serve for a term or two, then get out. In this week's feature, I cover some of the ways you can track down that old military buddy, or even that current active duty member.
NEWSWORTHY TIDBITS IN THE NEWS THIS WEEK:
**Luxury Vacation Condos for Rent! Military members and DOD civilians can now rent luxury vacation condominiums for only $209 per week! Condos are located in several choice vacation resort areas, and rental fees include access to local facilities such as pools, ski slopes, lakes, golf courses, etc. If this program works out, it could be the best thing for the military vacationer since Space A!
**Congress is Considering Three new Special Pays. Congress is considering developing an enlisted flight pay, with a maximum monthly payment of $400. Enlisted flyers current receive hazardous duty pay and are capped at $240 per month. Additionally, it appears as if the Navy is having a hard time keeping SEAL officers and Surface Warfare Officers, so two extra pays would be created for these individuals as well, under the plan.
**TriCare will now pay for Cancer Trials. In a decision that should have been made 20 years ago, the Defense Department announced that TriCare would now cover the cost of clinical trials (experiments) aimed at cancer prevention. Individuals who pose a high risk of developing cancer are eligible to enter the trials in the hopes that this treatment will reduce the number of personnel who develop the disease. Currently, over 12,000 TriCare patients develop cancer each year.
**Get the Stats! There are 5 lucky military folks stationed in the U.S. Virgin Islands. Four are in the Army, and one is in the Air Force. Want to know how I know? I looked it up in the 1999 Defense Almanac. In 1997, DOD stopped printing this treasure trove of information due to cost cutting. Now, it's back on the Internet, which allows it to be updated constantly, with no printing/paper costs!
**Military Retention. Although the Army, Navy, and Marines have started to see a little bit of relief with their recruitment efforts, the Air Force is having a very hard time, both recruiting, and retaining quality individuals. The new proposed pay and benefits packages have helped, but not enough. The reason? Too many deployments. Not much has been done to crank down the optempo, and individuals in the Air Force are still averaging 7 months out of each year deployed away from home.
LINK OF THE WEEK: With school about to start, what else? It's the Department of Defense School Systems. Check out the locations, teachers, administrators, rules, etc., right here on their main Site.
MILITARY LAW CORNER:
To date, about 200 active duty personnel have refused to take the Anthrax vaccination. The court-martials continue with the trial of the first Navy sailor to be tried for this offense. Last Monday, a military judge ruled that Airman Zachary Johnson could not introduce evidence of the vaccination's safety. The judge also ruled that the order issued was a legal order. After pleading guity, Johnson was reduced in rank, ordered to spend 10 days in jail, and given a bad conduct discharge.
**General Military Chat tonight! Don't forget folks, I'm available for general chat in the U.S. Military Chat Room, each Sunday evening at 4 P.M. (EST). Hope to see you there at http://usmilitary.about/com/mpchat.htm
That's it for this week, folks! Come by and visit http://usmilitary.about.com often! If you have any questions or comments, feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.