Military Connection: How to Pay for College: By Debbie Gregory

By Debbie Gregory

paying for college

In today’s tight employment market, job seekers need to do all that they can to get a leg up on the competition. It used to be that getting a two or four year college degree would give most candidates the edge they needed to land sustainable employment. But with the ever-rising tuition costs at colleges around the country, more and more students are going into debt, trying to pay for their education through student loans.

But what many college students may not realize is that there is a way to earn their degrees, even advanced degrees, while getting paid, and not accumulating tens of thousands of dollars of debt in student loans.

Enlistment into the U.S. armed forces is definitely an option worth considering for any American who isn’t sure how they’re going to afford college tuition. It is also a great way to earn real-world training and experience in a career field. And depending on your chosen branch of service and military occupation, military service allows members to see the world, including other areas of the United States and dozens of countries around the world.

Among the educational benefits that can be obtained through military service are the following:

  • Service members in every branch and occupation receive classroom and on-the-job training in their chosen field.
  • The Post-9/11 GI Bill will pay 100% of state college tuition, as well as paying a monthly housing allowance, for up to 36 in-session months of schooling at colleges, universities and vocational schools. This benefit is only available after separating from the military.
  • Tuition Assistance is offered by each branch at their discretion. Active duty members may take classes and earn degrees in their spare time. This benefit is for retaining strong military leaders, and is not intended to be used as a head start on a civilian education.
  • There are a number of programs offered by each individual branch that allows members to enlist in order to complete their degrees, in exchange for a commitment to serve as a commissioned officer in that branch, once their degree is earned.
  • There are a multitude of scholarships provided by private organizations and government agencies that are only available to service members, Veterans and their family members.

However enlistment in the military is not for the faint of heart, the uneducated, or those who lack discipline. Only the best and the brightest will qualify for service. That is why each branch of the military has height/weight standards, education requirements, minimums on aptitude tests, and restrictions against criminal records, certain tattoos & piercings and other disqualifiers.

For more information about military enlistment and education benefits earned through military service, please follow the links for each branch of the military from our home page at www.MilitaryConnection.com and be sure to put some thought into YOUR future.

Military Connection proudly serves those who serve in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, Guard & Reserve, Veterans and their Families. We are the go to site for Veteran Employment and information on Veteran education. Militaryconnection.com provides Veterans with and Directory of Employers, a Job Board, information on the Post-9/11 GI Bill, and a blog that offers Veterans boundless information. Be sure to visit Militaryconnection.com, the go to site.

Military Connection: How to Pay for College: By Debbie Gregory

Military Connection: The New 1%: By Debbie Gregory

By Debbie Gregory

enlistment

For generations, men and women who have put on any U.S. military uniform have represented the finest fighting force in the world. Whether Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, active, reserve or National Guard, service in the military was a sacrifice and duty that carried with it a weight of responsibility, and an a bit of prestige.

From the first days of the Revolutionary War through the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, our military has had to fill their ranks, but the need is tempered by the desire to put only the most suitable Americans in uniform.

During times of war, it’s a given that the military needs to bolster its numbers by widening the standards for qualifying enlistees. The United States military implemented drafts to fill its ranks when voluntary service did not provide sufficient numbers. Before the Civil War, each individual state was responsible for providing its own numbers as it saw fit. During the Civil War, the first national draft was implemented. During WWI, American forces were primarily conscripted by use of the draft.

In 1940, the U.S. implemented its first peacetime draft, when President Franklin Roosevelt signed the Selective Training and Service Act of 1940. This legislation conscripted hundreds of thousands of Americans into service during WWII,  the Korean War, and the war in Vietnam. The draft  ended in 1973.

In-between wars, the standing military can be more exclusive. This is a reality that many young Americans are currently finding out. It has been estimated that over 70% of Americans who are of the eligible age to enlist would be deemed ineligible for service in any branch of the U.S. military.

Only about 29% of the 34 million Americans aged17 to 24 would qualify for military service. The other 71% would be deemed ineligible due to a variety of disqualifying criteria, with the top reason being obesity. Other disqualifiers include the lack of a high school diploma or GED,  felony convictions, taking prescription drugs for ADHD, and having certain tattoos or ear gauges.

The Pentagon further estimates that even though 29% of young Americans would qualify for military service, only 1% of that demographic would actually sign up.

There is no doubt that American soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines are getting leaner, faster and smarter. The qualifying standards to enter today’s Armed Forces are a whole lot tougher than they were just a few years ago. Some could look on this negatively, while other could see it as raising the bar to join an exclusive group.

Do you have what it takes to be one of the 1%?

Military Connection proudly serves those who serve in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, Guard & Reserve, Veterans and their Families. We are the go to site for Veteran Employment and information on Veteran education. Militaryconnection.com provides Veterans with and Directory of Employers, a Job Board, information on the Post-9/11 GI Bill, and a blog that offers Veterans boundless information. Be sure to visit Militaryconnection.com, the go to site.

Military Connection: The New 1%: By Debbie Gregory

Military Connection: Independence Day in the USA! By Joe Silva

By Joe Silva

Independence day

This Friday, July 4, 2014, Americans will gather with friends and families, enjoy cookouts, and watch fireworks as they celebrate our nation’s Independence Day. While the federal holiday is intended to be a celebration, it is important to remember what Independence Day represents.

In the 1770’s, our fore-fathers stood up against tyranny and took the first steps towards the freedoms and independence that Americans enjoy today.

In June, 1776, the American colonists had been at war with King George III’s rebellion-suppressing forces for more than a year. The Second Continental Congress decided that a formal statement of their intent was necessary. A committee was appointed to draft the declaration.

In July, 1776, the colonists’ Declaration of Independence was adopted. Future American President John Adams foresaw the momentousness of the occasion. He shared his feelings in a July 3rd letter to his wife Abigail:

“The second day of July, 1776, will be the most memorable epoch in the history of America. I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated by succeeding generations as the great anniversary festival. It ought to be commemorated as the day of deliverance, by solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires, and illuminations, from one end of this continent to the other, from this time forward forever more.”

That’s right, the Declaration of Independence was actually approved by Congress on July 2, 1776, and the official signing date could have been any time from that date until mid-August. But for unknown reasons, the official copy is dated July 4, 1776. This does not take anything away from what the day represents, or the accuracy of Adams’ prediction.

Independence Day has been celebrated in many fashions over the years.

On July 4, 1777 in Bristol, Rhode Island, 13 gun shots were fired, one for each independent colony. Many military bases still perform this ritual, firing one shot for every U.S. state.

In 1778, General George Washington celebrated July 4th by offering a double ration of rum to his soldiers.

On July 4th 1946, the U.S. celebrated Independence Day by granting the Philippines their independence.

Declaring independence was the definitive action that severed ties with British rule. From that moment on, Americans would live free or die in defense of that freedom. This is the spirit that our military still personifies today, as American service members fight to defend freedom and democracy around the world.

Today, Americans celebrate Independence Day by holding fireworks extravaganzas, participating in patriotic/military events and parades, watching or playing baseball or other sports, holding hotdog eating contests, and attending gatherings with patriotic decorations and dishes.

This Friday, enjoy your freedom however you chose to. But remember to take a moment to reflect on what your freedom means, how it was attained, and how it is conserved for future generations of Americans.

Military Connection proudly serves those who serve in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, Guard & Reserve, Veterans and their Families. We are the go to site for Veteran Employment and information on Veteran education. Militaryconnection.com provides Veterans with and Directory of Employers, a Job Board, information on the Post-9/11 GI Bill, and a blog that offers Veterans boundless information. Be sure to visit Militaryconnection.com, the go to site.

Military Connection: Independence Day in the USA! By Joe Silva

Military Connection: Army Opens More MOSs to Females: By Debbie Gregory

By Debbie Gregory

Army women

In a June 17, 2014 memorandum, signed by Army Secretary John McHugh, the Army is opening approximately 33,000 more jobs to women.

The directive states, “Effective immediately, the Department of the Army is opening all positions in open occupations to women.”

The change does not include currently closed occupations in engineer (12B enlisted), field artillery (13 B/D/F), armor (19A,B,C,D,K,Z) and infantry (11A,B,C,Z) units.

The majority of the open jobs are expected to be found in maneuver battalions from about 40 brigade combat teams.

The Army’s plan is to transition female officers and female senior enlisted soldiers to create a support network for junior enlisted soldiers.

Even with the new directive, female soldiers still can’t be  infantrymen. But females now can fill previously denied jobs in infantry battalion HQs that include chaplain, intelligence analyst, health care specialist, paralegal, signal sergeant and supply sergeant. Women weren’t previously allowed to serve in these battalion roles because, regardless of the MOS, they were barred from being assigned to combat units below the brigade levels.

The opening of these occupations to all soldiers allows the Army to select the most qualified soldiers for these positions, regardless of gender.

The Army has been inching closer to this moment for some time. Back in May, 2012, nine active duty Basic Combat Training (BCT)’s began assigning women to their maneuver battalions’ headquarters in Military Occupational Specialty (MOS)’s that are already open to women.In July of 2013,  seventeen more BCTs began doing the same thing.

According to the memorandum, Commanders at all levels are responsible for adhering to this directive. The Army’s Human Resources Command, as well as personnel staffs at all divisions, brigade and battalion levels “must actively manage the assignment of women to ensure the appropriate manning of female cadre role models.”

Since May, 2012, the Army has opened approximately 55,000 positions to women across active duty, the National Guard and the Reserves.

Military Connection proudly serves those who serve in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, Guard & Reserve, Veterans and their Families. We are the go to site for Veteran Employment and information on Veteran education. Militaryconnection.com provides Veterans with and Directory of Employers, a Job Board, information on the Post-9/11 GI Bill, and a blog that offers Veterans boundless information. Be sure to visit Militaryconnection.com, the go to site.

Military Connection: Army Opens More MOSs to Females: By Debbie Gregory

Military Connection: PTSD Care Not Working? By Debbie Gregory

By Debbie Gregory

PTSD Treatment

The U.S. military has explored multiple avenues to improve the effectiveness of treatments for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and traumatic brain injuries (TBI). But in spite of their attempts,  service members seem to feel that they aren’t getting the desired results.

At the request of the American Legion, a  survey conducted by Data Recognition Corp.  found that almost half of service members being treated for PTSD or TBI answered that the treatments have little or no effect on their ailments. The Legion polled approximately 3,100 Veterans, and found that less than 500 Veterans, or approximately 16%, claimed that their PTSD or TBI treatments were beneficial. About the same percentage  answered that treatments made their conditions worse.

The Legion’s survey also revealed that many Veterans have walked away from VA treatment, mainly due to dissatisfaction with the progress of their treatments. Most of these Veterans felt that they could do a better job of treating themselves. Another reason that Veterans left PTSD treatment was the stigma of being treated for a mental illness.

Veterans also listed reliance on medications as a reason for dissatisfaction with DOD and VA treatments. While more than 50% of the Veterans surveyed claimed that they take five or more medications daily, a surprising 30% claimed that they were prescribed ten or more medications per day.

The results of the Legion’s survey coincide with findings that were released in a recent report by the Institute of Medicine. The IOM report, released on June 20, 2014, claims that a lack of standards, reporting, and evaluation within the DOD and the VA have significantly compromised their efforts to effectively treat PTSD. The report goes on to offer recommendations that would result in the two departments being able to more effectively treat PTSD among U.S. service members and Veterans.

Officials from the DOD have said that the military has already begun conducting research to try to improve treatment for PTSD and TBI.

Military Connection proudly serves those who serve in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, Guard & Reserve, Veterans and their Families. We are the go to site for Veteran Employment and information on Veteran education. Militaryconnection.com provides Veterans with and Directory of Employers, a Job Board, information on the Post-9/11 GI Bill, and a blog that offers Veterans boundless information. Be sure to visit Militaryconnection.com, the go to site.

Military Connection: PTSD Care Not Working? By Debbie Gregory

 

Military Connection: Meet the Navy’s Newest Ships: By Debbie Gregory

By Debbie Gregory

LCS

In 2008, the first of the Littoral Combat Ships (LCS) was commissioned. Each class of U.S. Navy ship takes its name from the first ship of that class. So the Freedom Class got its name from the USS Freedom (LCS-1).

The term “Littoral” refers to an area close to shore. So the LCS ships are designed to be fast and versatile, able to function in a variety of missions. While not equipped with the massive fire power of cruisers, destroyers or frigates, these new ships may take over roles of slower minesweepers and amphibious assault ships. LCS’s are smaller than U.S. Navy frigates, and their angular designs are intended to give off less of a radar signature.

Interestingly, the U.S. Navy simultaneously unveiled two classes of LCS’s, the Freedom and the Independence classes. Freedom Class ships were designed and built by a team headed up by Lockheed Martin. The USS Independence (LCS-2) was designed and built by a team headed up by General Dynamics. The two classes look very different from each other.

Originally, the Navy was supposed to select one design and one design team to contract the building of 52 LCS’s. Due to budget cuts, the number of ships was reduced to 32. The two competing teams lowered their costs, eventually allowing for the compromise of contracts of ten LCS’s to be built from each team. The odd numbered ships would be Freedom Class, and even number would be Independence Class.

Currently, there are  four LCS’s in service. There are two Freedom Class ships, the USS Freedom (LCS-1) and the USS Fort Worth (LCS-3). And there are two Independence Class ships, the USS Independence (LCS-2) and the USS Coronado (LCS-4). More ships of both variants are on the way, including the USS Milwaukee (5), Jackson (6), Detroit (7), Montgomery (8), Little Rock (9), Gabrielle Giffords (10), Sioux City (11), Omaha (12), Wichita (13), Manchester (14), Billings (15), Tulsa (16), and Indianapolis (17).

The Navy warships appear to be getting leaner and faster. But not to worry, these speedy new LCS’s, as well as the aircraft carriers, still require support from cruisers, destroyers and frigates.

Military Connection proudly serves those who serve in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, Guard & Reserve, Veterans and their Families. We are the go to site for Veteran Employment and information on Veteran education. Militaryconnection.com provides Veterans with and Directory of Employers, a Job Board, information on the Post-9/11 GI Bill, and a blog that offers Veterans boundless information. Be sure to visit Militaryconnection.com, the go to site.

Military Connection: Meet the Navy’s Newest Ships: By Debbie Gregory

 

Military Connection: Older Veterans Compete: By Debbie Gregory

By Debbie Gregory

National Veterans Golden Age Games

Let the games begin! On June 29, 2014, the National Veterans Golden Age Games commenced in Fayetteville, Arkansas. A total of 740 Veterans, all over the age of 55, are competing, representing 40 U.S. states.

The National Veterans Golden Age Games were designed to improve the quality of life for older Veterans, including those with a wide range of abilities and disabilities. The primary objective of the competition is to promote health, wellness, and disease prevention in older Veterans and civilian seniors as well.

The Games serve as a qualifyer for competing in the National Senior Games,where participants engage in  events that include golf, air rifle, bowling, cycling, horseshoes, badminton, checkers, dominoes, nine-ball, shuffleboard, swimming, and table tennis. The track and field events include discus, javelin and shot-put.

Many of the Veteran athletes have been taking part in the VA affiliated games for years. Their participation, as well as the camaraderie among the contestants, contribute to the Veterans’ health, and serves as great entertainment for the spectators. Many of these Veterans have served gallantly in combat, and that winning spirit never dies.

The medal ceremony and closing ceremonies will be held on Wednesday July 2nd.

Military Connection would like to thank all the Veterans who are competing in the National Veterans Golden Age Games for their military service,. and we wish them luck and success in their events.

Military Connection proudly serves those who serve in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, Guard & Reserve, Veterans and their Families. We are the go to site for Veteran Employment and information on Veteran education. Militaryconnection.com provides Veterans with and Directory of Employers, a Job Board, information on the Post-9/11 GI Bill, and a blog that offers Veterans boundless information. Be sure to visit Militaryconnection.com, the go to site.

Military Connection: Older Veterans Compete: By Debbie Gregory

Military Connection: Huge Event for USO: By Debbie Gregory

By Debbie Gregory

the uso

Los Angeles area radio station K-EARTH 101 (101.1FM) and the world famous Laugh Factory in Hollywood are hosting an event to benefit American service members through the Bob Hope USO.

The event will include a radiothon, online auction and comedy festival on July 3rd.  Broadcast live from the Laugh Factory over the airways on K-EARTH 101, performance by celebrity comedians include Jon Lovitz, Paul Rodriguez, Richard Lewis, Tom Arnold, Whitney Cummings, and more! There will  be other surprise celebrity guests and participants from the Huntington Beach Independence Day Parade.

While the event promises to produce a lot of laughs, the ultimate goal is raising funds for active duty service members. Julien’s Auctions of Beverly Hills will be holding an online auction as part of the fundraising efforts. The auction can be found at www.julienslive.com, and will run through July 14th.

USO supporters can make secure credit card donations online any time at www.bobhopeuso.org or by sending checks, made out to Bob Hope USO, to 203 World Way, Suite 200, Los Angeles, CA 90045.  During the radiothon, donations to the Bob Hope USO can also be made by calling 1-800-USO-0101 or texting “USO” to 56512.

The event is chaired and hosted by K-EARTH’s own Gary Bryan, with support from Laugh Factory owner Jamie Masada, and entertainment industry leader Jimmy Honore.

Proceeds will be used to benefit the 130,000+ troops who visit the Bob Hope USO centers in Los Angeles, Ontario and Palm Springs International Airports, and soon, at John Wayne Airport in Orange County. USO airport facilities offer a haven for service members in transit, and give troops the means to stay connected with the families they leave behind. The USO also assists service members with their transition back to civilian life and provides support to the families of fallen heroes.

Military Connection has been a long-time supporter of the Bob Hope USO, and an ally in their cause to serve those who serve. We invite service members in the LA area to email [email protected] to get their complimentary tickets for the event at the Laugh Factory in Hollywood. The event will take place from 6:00 am until 10:00 am on Thursday July 3, 2014.

We encourage everyone to contribute to the Bob Hope USO’s cause by participating in the online auction or by donating what they can.

For more information about the event or to donate go to www.bobhopeuso.org.  To learn how you can help the Bob Hope USO through donations, sponsorships or other activities, contact USO Executive Director Bob Kurkjian at (310) 645-4710.

Military Connection proudly serves those who serve in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, Guard & Reserve, Veterans and their Families. We are the go to site for Veteran Employment and information on Veteran education. Militaryconnection.com provides Veterans with and Directory of Employers, a Job Board, information on the Post-9/11 GI Bill, and a blog that offers Veterans boundless information. Be sure to visit Militaryconnection.com, the go to site.

Military Connection: Huge Event for USO: By Debbie Gregory

 

Military Connection: CA Colleges Suspended: By Debbie Gregory

By Debbie Gregory

Notice of Suspensions

Since its implementation in 2009, more than a million Veterans have utilized the Post-9/11 GI Bill. There are still hundreds of thousands of Veteran college students currently using their GI Bills and millions more current and future service members that will utilize their education benefits. With so many Veterans using their education benefits, measures and standards are in place to protect Veterans and ensure that they are getting the education  they earned through their military service.

The California State Approving Agency for Veteran Education (CSAAVE), which operates under the California Department of Veterans Affairs, is the overseer of standards for colleges, universities and vocational schools accepting GI Bill Tuition funding from Veteran students in California.

As part of their duties, CSAAVE has issued a “notice of Suspension” to all Wyotech, Heald and Everest colleges in California, owned and operated by Corinthian Colleges, Inc. The notice prohibits the schools from future enrollment or reenrollment of Veteran students through the GI Bill.

CSAAVE initiated the suspension as a result of a set of plans made by Corinthian Colleges, Inc.   Company representatives filed documents with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, stating they intended to sell some of their schools. Corinthian Colleges, Inc. also filed a plan with the U.S. Department of Education that provides a “teach-out” plan for students currently enrolled in their programs, if and when any of the schools are sold or closed.

Because of Corinthian Colleges, Inc.’s two filings with federal government agencies, officials at CSAAVE and CalVet felt it best to  be proactive, rather than wait until Veteran students found themselves without a school to use their GI Bill benefits.

As it stands, the schools have 60 days to correct the discrepancies and comply with CSAAVE policy and directives. They must also provide CalVet with verifiable documentation that demonstrates compliance with acceptable standards. CalVet staff is working very closely with the schools, as well as other state and federal agencies, in order to minimize the impact of this suspension on the veterans.

Veteran students in California who were considering using their GI Bill benefits at any of these schools should consider other options.

Military Connection proudly serves those who serve in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, Guard & Reserve, Veterans and their Families. We are the go to site for Veteran Employment and information on Veteran education. Militaryconnection.com provides Veterans with and Directory of Employers, a Job Board, information on the Post-9/11 GI Bill, and a blog that offers Veterans boundless information. Be sure to visit Militaryconnection.com, the go to site.

Military Connection: CA Colleges Suspended: By Debbie Gregory