Connecting you to what’s important: Hot Job Opportunities

Did you know that the team of MilitaryConnection.com is in constant contact with many corporations and agencies that specialize in job placement? In addition, we send out emails regularly with some of the most appealing job prospects for military veterans. While our home base of operations is in Missouri, our job posts are from coast to coast. Check out our most recent email – we cover California to Massachusetts!

Military Connection’s Hot Employment Opportunities Newsletter

Do you have open positions and are actively recruiting retired military personnel? We want to hear from you! Contact [email protected] to get more information on how to add your job posting to our growing job board! We could be the key to your next Veteran hire!

Education Begins with the Young: Teaching Respect for our Veterans

Contributed by Kris Baydalla-Galasso
 
Earlier this year, my 12-year-old daughter came home annoyed. She had to write an essay – an “Americanism” essay. I asked her why she was so frustrated. Her topic was specific – “what can you do to help homeless veterans in your community.”
 
She didn’t know where to begin.
 
We got in the car and I brought her to a main intersection near our home – one where I knew a gentleman would be. A gentleman who holds a sign that says “homeless vet – please help.” We have helped him in whatever ways we were able this winter – gloves, a blanket, water, warm meals – all without my children realizing that this man had a story.  
 
I would have loved to sit with him and hear his story – have her hear his journey first hand. The center median of a busy intersection during rush hour isn’t the place to safely stop and chat. Though she wasn’t able to hear his tale first hand, I think my goal was accomplished. Her eyes – naive to so much of the world still – were opened to the very real problem of veteran homelessness in our very own community.
 
She then took her search to The Google and learned that there is a homeless shelter walking distance from our house. She looked up “resources for Veterans” and found herself on the VA’s site.She clicked local centers and found one very near to her school. As she searched, we talked. We talked about why homelessness happens. We talked about what goes on when an active duty servicemember becomes a Veteran and the changes that come with that transition. We talked about the possible challenges and pitfalls.
 
Unfortunately for my girl, our conversation left her with more questions than answers. However, she was able to create a plan on how homeless veterans could be helped in our community. She submitted her essay into her English/Language Arts teacher the next day, and her teacher (as well as the other fifth, sixth, seventh and eighth grade teachers from hers as well as four other area schools) forwarded the essays along to the local American Legion.
 
Fast forward to March. I stood outside of IHM, awaiting my children when my oldest came running up to me and said “Mommy, Mommy, Mommy, Mommy. Read this.” She pointed to the envelope in the side pouch of her back pack. The envelope contained a letter from the local American Legion, congratulating her on winning first place in the Americanism essay contest!
 
A week later, we were invited into the American Legion monthly meeting for a presentation of the local winners. My heart was bursting with pride as my child read her speech in front of her family, friends and American Legion members. As proud as I felt for her, my heart still felt a bit heavy that this topic should even be the subject of a middle school essay contest.
 
However, the more I thought about it, I realized the importance of this topic and why it is necessary to educate our children about veterans and those that face homelessness.
 
Having not grown up in a military family, much of my initial time as a staff member for MilitaryConnection.com has been spent gathering information, learning about the military and understanding a culture that I have always proudly supported but never fully understood. We have all seen someone standing outside in the elements holding a cardboard sign that said “Veteran and Homeless.” I’m sure most of us look at that sign and think “something needs to change.” Not many of us know how to start that change.
 
I am so very proud of my daughter for thinking outside of the box with her solutions and the way she can personally help in our community. The solution to homelessness among our veterans is within our grasp. These men and women know hard work. They know dedication. They have served our country and in many cases, seen the worst that warfare can show. Their homelessness isn’t a choice, it is often a byproduct of their experiences.
 
One of the highlights of my professional career has been interviewing and writing about Scott Beaty, a 20-year Naval Submarine Veteran who found himself in dire straights after his return to civilian life. Beaty, a PTSD sufferer and advocate, has helped countless veterans in similar circumstances by connecting them with art therapy. Through Veteran Art Connection, our online art gallery, veterans who utilize art therapy are able to share their work and in doing so, become entrepreneurs who can sell their creations.
 
We will continue to be leaders in our solutions to the problem of Veteran homelessness. As a parent, I will continue to teach my children how they can help and be hands-on to work to eradicate this issue for future generations.
 
Rosie’s original essay, as submitted to the American Legion, is below:
 
Helping Homeless Veterans
 
I can help by helping. I can help homeless veterans get jobs. If they can get a job then they can get money. If they have money then they can retain the money for a home, so they won’t be homeless anymore.
 
To start my program, I will find a team of veteran volunteers who are willing to go to homeless shelters and recruit homeless veterans. I would go to the Veterans Affairs Medical Center on Loch Raven Boulevard and ask them to help me to find volunteers. Our volunteers will work with veterans once they are enrolled in our program. We would make contact with the Fisher House Foundation to request assistance in finding long term housing for our initial group of veterans.
 
We need to help our group of homeless veterans find jobs. To do this, they need an address, interview clothes and help with applications. Our volunteers will help them write applications. To make sure that they are dressed nicely for their interview my school and the attached church can start a nice clothing drive and have the homeless come pick something nice to wear for their job interview. Before their job interview they will need to get ready it would be my plan to have the clothing bank near showers so they can get ready in one spot. Then we will need to get them to their interview. I can do this by gathering people to drive them.
 
Our volunteers will help our veterans stay employed and teach them how to use their money to stay in their home. My plan will help get homeless veterans off the streets and out of shelters. If we all work together, then this plan will work. It is better to work for what you need.
 
 

Call to Service: The American Red Cross

Call to Service: The American Red Cross
Contributed by Kris Baydalla-Galasso
 
The odds are good that you or someone you know has been assisted in some way by the American Red Cross.
 
Personally, I’ve been a blood and platelet donor for all of my adult life. While it was my practice to donate several times throughout the year, the need for whole blood donors was driven home when I became a whole blood transfusion recipient in 2011. Since that time, I have been on a mission to ensure everyone in my immediate world knows that giving up just six to ten hours each year will save countless lives.
 
Donating blood is an easy, painless, cost-effective (free!) way to help the American Red Cross help others – but there are so many other ways to help as well!
 
If you are interested in helping an organization that helps our military members, an easy and effective way to do that is to volunteer at your local chapter. There are countless volunteer opportunities at the local level – from assisting with blood drives to volunteering to work one-on-one with individuals in need.
 
The American Red Cross is also always looking for volunteers to take a lead in their communities and help recruit others. Additionally, you can donate your gently used home items and clothing and the American Red Cross can help repurpose those items to benefit those in need. If you have a specific skill that you want to use, the American Red Cross probably wants to know! Check out their Volunteer Page to see which options fit you the best.
 
According to their website, 91 cents out of every dollar that the American Red Cross spends goes to humanitarian efforts and helping those in need. There is no better time than now to help the American Red Cross realize their mission and vision statements (below):
 

Mission Statement

The American Red Cross prevents and alleviates human suffering in the face of emergencies by mobilizing the power of volunteers and the generosity of donors.​

Vision Statement

The American Red Cross, through its strong network of volunteers, donors and partners, is always there in times of need. We aspire to turn compassion into action so that…
…all people affected by disaster across the country and around the world receive care, shelter and hope;
…our communities are ready and prepared for disasters;
…everyone in our country has access to safe, lifesaving blood and blood products;
…all members of our armed services and their families find support and comfort whenever needed; and
…in an emergency, there are always trained individuals nearby, ready to use their Red Cross skills to save lives.
 
 
   

MilitaryConnection.com Launches Veteran Art Connection

MilitaryConnection.com is pleased to announce the launch of Veteran Art Connection, a joint partnership with Visions for Vets that features an online gallery of art produced by America’s military heroes. The artwork, created by Veterans as a method of therapeutic release, will be featured and available for purchase in an online gallery.
Visions for Vets, based in St. Louis, Missouri, is a program designed by a Veteran, for Veterans. It utilizes art therapy techniques as a treatment for PTSD, lifelong disabilities, and other issues that might be a result of military service. For years, Visions for Vets has been a safe outlet for self-expression and a critical step in the healing process. Through this partnership with MilitaryConnection.com, Veterans are able to turn the results of their therapy into an entrepreneurial opportunity.
Art therapy has been proven to be an effective therapeutic method in the relief and reduction of tension and anxiety. For our Service men and women, it also provides the opportunity for self-expression, healing, and achievement of self-awareness. Many of these Veterans have been on disability and unable to work since leaving active duty. Veteran Art Connection supplies these men and women with a unique opportunity to heal their invisible wounds through the power of art while establishing a possible revenue stream for their future.
MilitaryConnection.com is the “Go-To” site or the one-stop shop for Veterans, active military, and their families. The site features a real-time job board with new employment opportunities for candidates across the country and suggestions regarding education and how to leverage the GI Bill benefits.  MilitaryConnection.com is loaded with information that has proven helpful for active and retired military, military spouses, families, and more.  The site is focused on continuing to provide informative content related to jobs, education, and seniors while building a database the military community can rely on.

Staying Strong: Finding an Activity that works for you

Contributed by Kris Baydalla-Galasso
 
Beginning a new exercise or activity routine can seem daunting – especially if you were in the service where physical activity was part of your every day routine. Whether time has slipped away and a few years of inactivity have caught up with you or a fitness plan is completely new, you can approach this in such a way that makes the transition easy and effortless.
 
Make a Plan – take yourself to your local dollar store and buy yourself a notebook. A composition book works well. Why? Whenever you start a new endeavor, it is helpful to write down your goals – short term and long term – and track your progress.
 
Create Fitness Goals – what do you want to accomplish? Whether your goal is to walk around the block five consecutive days or run a marathon before you’re 70, these should be personal and specific to you. Don’t let anyone else determine your personal fitness goals! Up until about three years ago, I was an avid gym rat who loved to lift weights. Some significant all-day-sickness during my first and second trimesters of pregnancy #4 put a quick end to my daily gym-going activities. Since then, between work and children, my gym-going has been sporadic at best and it has been almost two years since my last real workout. My current goal: locate sneakers. My next goal: drive to gym. It’s ok to start small. Really small.
 
Make Note of Your Starting Point – this ties directly into your goals. Three years ago, I could walk in and easily jog a 5K on the treadmill. For my new starting point – I am going to walk for 15 minutes and see how far I get. For Day 2, I am going to add 2 minutes and try to walk just a little faster. Knowing your starting point (and writing it down) helps you to measure your progress. Strength isn’t always measurable on a scale and it is easy to take for granted that you have made progress.
 
Pick an Activity that Fits – for me, what I love the most is weight lifting. Weightlifting is not for everyone, though. I worked with a personal trainer who preferred resistance bands and body weight exercises. Here is a brief list of ideas to help get you started:
 
Swimming – the perfect exercise, being in the pool engages your muscles, is great for your heart and puts next to no stress on your joints. Whether you have arthritis from life or trauma to your joints (I have an arthritic ankle thanks to a break 13 years ago – I still have two pins left in my right ankle joint), the weightless water activity can take the pressure of those joints and bones. Water is naturally resistant, so activities like water aerobics help burn additional calories with minimal impact.
 
Yoga – I keep telling myself that I’m going to get into yoga, but the more I try it, the less I think it is for me! However, it is a wonderful activity for my children, so we have started doing some Yoga poses before school and before bed as a way of calming and centering our thoughts. Yoga is low-impact and very gentle on the body. Movements tend to be slow and deliberate, poses held for extended periods to allow for a maximum stretch.
 
Pilates – if you are anything like me, you didn’t know that there was a difference between Yoga and Pilates. Pilates focuses on core strength and stability and is low-impact.
 
Bodyweight exercises – you have everything you need to start this workout. Climb the stairs – push up off of a wall. Slow-sit into a chair (squats). Try a plank – or slow crunches. Engage those abdominals!
 
Resistance Band Training – You don’t need a gym to take advantage of resistance bands. Most big-box stores have a fitness section and you are likely to find a variety of resistance bands to help get you started. They are a great way to add a degree of difficulty to an exercise that might start to feel easy.
 
Cycling – whether you want to dust off the bike in your garage or find a cycling studio, biking can be a great way to get the heart pumping without stressing out your joints. A slow starting pace can keep your exercise low-impact and you can build as you feel ready.
 
Walking – get a FitBit, lace up your sneakers and hit the sidewalk. Walk for 10 minutes and see how many steps that gets you, then add to it the next day. The best part – walking is free!
 
If you are still struggling on how to get started, you might benefit from purchasing a few sessions with a personal trainer. A personal trainer will be knowledgeable in what exercise and activity program might best fit your likes and lifestyle.
 
Activity is so important – and finding something that suits you is a big key to your success!
 
Have you had success in implementing a workout routine? We would love to hear what worked for you! Are you a personal trainer who would like to share some tips of your trade? Submit your story and send your ideas to [email protected].
 

Healthy and Fit: Getting and Staying in Shape over 60

Contributed by Kris Baydalla-Galasso
There is no doubt about it – the more you do in your 20s, 30s and 40s, the stronger you will be in your Golden years. However, it is never too late to get and stay in shape! The physical benefits of even a small amount of exercise will amaze you!
According to the CDC, daily physical activity will help maintain the ability to live independently. As we age, falling and breaking bones is a real fear. Strengthening muscles will absolutely help increase stability, which will, in turndecrease the chance of falling. Do you take blood pressure medication to regulate hypertension? According to Heart.org, more than 46% of American adults are on medication to manage blood pressure. The recently revised guidelines recommend that blood pressure should be less than 150/90. If you are over that number or on medication, the benefits of weekly exercise would outweigh the possible inconvenience of driving to the gym!
While diet is critical for managing weight and diabetes, just a little bit of exercise in your routine may increase your ability to stay off of medication. More than 100 million Americans have Type 2 Diabetes, so the disease is running rampant and exercise and a healthy kitchen are the two best defenses. Regular physical activity can also slash your coronary heart disease risk. Moving your body is good for all of your body! Healthy bones are important – but so are healthy joints! Incorporating movement, activity, and exercise into your daily routine can greatly increase your overall mobility and diminish signs and symptoms of arthritis.
So many of us need to keep up with kids or grandkids. We want to be able to tour the ruins of Pompeii or walk along the beach. Whether we are 35 or 65, we want to be able to hang with the younger crowd and keep up. Implementing a regular activity – even if it is just walking around the block to start – will help make all of those activities easier on your bones, muscles, and joints.
The benefits don’t end with the physical – the emotional and mental benefits start to stack up quickly. People new to a physical routine will rapidly feel better, from head to toe, as the body releases endorphins.
ALL Adults can benefit from physical activity. If you are looking to add physical activity to your daily routine, here are some things to remember:

  • Find an activity that works well for you. Swimming is great for your entire body, but if you don’t like the water, then it isn’t the right activity for you!
  • Activity doesn’t need to be strenuous or high impact. A daily walk around the block is a great way to start.
  • Daily activity is key. Sporadic activity is better than none, but true health benefits are achieved when your schedule is regular.
  • Start slow! Walk around the block every day this week. Next week – make it two blocks.
  • Implementing a physical activity routine doesn’t have to be expensive. Not everyone can afford a gym membership. Use soup cans as weights to get your arms moving. Time your walk around the block to determine your “personal best” time. If you are ready for something a little more strenuous, go up and down the steps! Your home is full of items that you can use on your personal fitness journey.
  • The more you do, the better you will feel.
  • Star small and set achievable goals. Something is better than nothing!
  • Write things down and keep track!
  • Be safe, be smart and don’t forget to make sure your doctor is on board with your new plan!

 
It is never too late to start making your life and health better! Why not start today?

Aging Gracefully in the VA: Collecting Disability Benefits in Your Golden Years

Aging Gracefully in the VA: Collecting Disability Benefits in Your Golden Years
Contributed by Kris Baydalla-Galasso
There are over 76 million baby boomers in the United States. Over 10 million of those baby boomers are Veterans. When you include the Silent and Greatest Generations, you are looking at nearly 15 million Veterans who have reached retirement age and may be in need of senior services beyond just a customary discount.
Senior Veterans have an increased likelihood to not utilize their VA benefits to their full extent. In many cases, seniors might not actually even be aware of the benefits for which they are eligible. The underutilized benefits begin with compensation. Most elderly veterans are entitled to receive compensation above and beyond the service-related compensation. In fact, there are a variety of health care programs that are actually common benefits for those who might need them.
Did you know that Elderly Veterans are entitled to Aid and Attendance? This is a program available for veterans who need help with basic daily functions. Bed-ridden, blind, nursing home Veterans can all enlist the help of an attendant to assist with their daily needs. Housebound Veterans who are unable to leave their home as a result of their disability are also eligible for similar services. Adult Day Health Care can also be life changing to elderly Veterans in need. As we age, our needs change, and Adult Day Health Care helps address and fulfill many of those needs. From companionship to recreational activity and care from therapists to nurses, the care provided might literally be life changing.
When health care needs go beyond the scope of companionship, Home Based Primary Care might be the route a family would want to take. This program brings a VA doctor into the home of the Veteran. That VA doctor will supervise an entire team that will meet and perform services within the home. This option is for veterans with health issues that are beyond the scope of care that can be provided by a clinic. Homemaker and Home Health Aides are available as well to help with daily care. This service would be customized for a Veteran who requires daily living assistance.
As age and illnesses progress, more intense services may be required to fully assist in the patient’s care. Palliative Care tends to those needs with the goal of managing pain, suffering, and symptoms. Palliative Care comes into work with the veteran and their families to evaluate the needs of the patient and put a plan into place that will best control a patient’s symptoms. When a patient is given less than six months to live, Veterans are eligible to receive Hospice Care.
Veterans that are confined to their home or live too great of a distance from their local VA are eligible for Skilled Home Health Care. The VA contracts with a local provider to ensure the needs of the Veteran are appropriately met. The care doesn’t end with the Veteran. The VA understands that the family of a Veteran can get worn out as well. Respite Care comes in to give the family of the elderly or infirmed Veteran a break from their day-to-day responsibilities and work.
The VA is aware that different cases require different solutions. Telehealth gives nurses and doctors access to monitoring equipment so that a veteran can stay in their own home while still receiving care. Veteran Directed Care provides case management and allows a Veteran and family to completely customize a health care plan to ensure their needs are being met. This might include skilled in-home services, daily assistance or medical needs.
Our Veterans are aging with every passing day. As their need for care increases, it is likely that the types of care provided will increase as well. For now, however, the list of care options is fairly comprehensive and many of the options will help address those needs.

End of Semester GI Bill Update

End of Semester GI Bill Update
 
We reported a few weeks ago in GI Benefits in Limbo that GI Bill housing and tuition payments have been delayed as a result of the Harry W. Colmery Veterans Education Assistance Act of 2017. The sections of the law, which were implemented in 2017, required a complete overhaul and upgrade of the Veterans Benefits Administration technology infrastructure. While those upgrades were to be completed by this previous August, as of November, the majority of the upgrades had yet to be made and therefore payments were delayed across the country.
Fortunately for GI Bill recipients, the VBA has made progress and was able to update the thousands of students who have been waiting on payments.
Effective last week, the VBA had put in place a plan to be able to process the Spring 2020 semester by December 2019. This includes addition staffing and support as well as the solicitation of contractor bits.
While this is something to look forward to for many students, the VBA is also making adjustments to assist the students with immediate needs. The month housing allowance rates will be set to the Department of Defence Basic Housing Allowance rates. In many cases, this rate is equal to or higher than the payments that have been received previously. Additionally, the VBA will be correcting the underpayments retroactively.
Even better news for those who happened to be fortunate enough to have received an overpayment this year, the VBA will not be collecting those overpayments. Housing payments will be paid out according to the location of the academic institution’s main campus and will be independent of the student’s actual physical address.
All of these changes will come to a close on December 1, 2019. It is expected that VBA will have developed and implemented a satisfactory IT solution for sections 107 and 501 of the “Forever GI Bill” law. Many of the changes are an attempt to make the process easier for all participants. Changes such as more easily defining training sites as school campuses when will reduce burden and work for both students and schools. VBA is expected to remain in constant contact with Veterans, service organizations and Congress on the status of the implementations and expectations throughout the process. The call for increased communication  is in response to claim levels being triple that of normal in September of this year. While VBA claims levels are back to normal, they are encouraging schools and students to get Spring submissions in early to ensure timely payment.
Secretary Wilkie said “Redesigning the way VBA calculates Post 9/11 GI Bill housing rates during a busy academic season was like flying a plane while building it, and that was unfair and frustrated to Veterans and taxpayers. That’s why we are resetting our implementation of the law for the next year to ensure we get the technology and formula right to put Veterans first. In the meantime, beneficiaries receiving Post 9/11 GI Bill housing allowances will be paid at the DoD BAH rate, which in many cases will be equal to or higher than their current payment.”
Some other important details to remember:

  • VBA timeline standards are 28 days for new enrollments, 14 days for re-enrollments
  • Spring submissions can be sent in now
  • The Education Call Center number is 888-442-4551 and is open 8am to 7pm, EST, Monday-Friday
  • If you are experiencing a financial hardship due to the fall semester delays or need other assistance, please contact the Education Call Center

Remembering George H. W. Bush

Remembering George H. W. Bush
Contributed by Kris Baydalla-Galasso
He has returned to Washington, DC for one last visit before his final resting place. He has been visited by many, including his faithful service dog, Sully, who has sat in empathetic mourning in front of his flag-draped casket. Flags across our country fly at half-mast and our social media feeds are flooding with stories of his greatness. Whether you loved him during his career or opposed him, George HW Bush’s legacy surpasses the politics for which he is known.
 
Born June 12, 1924 in Milton, MA, George H.W. Bush was one of five children for Prescott Sheldon Bush and Dorothy Walker Bush. A young man headed for collegiate life, Bush was extremely impacted by the 1941 attacks on Pearl Harbor. Six months later, on his 18th birthday, George Bush enlisted in the US Navy and subsequently became one of the youngest aviators in naval history. His three years in the military was only the beginning of his lifetime of service to the American people.
 
By 1948, George Bush was out of the Navy and a graduate of Yale. Upon his graduation, he moved with his family to Texas and began his career as an investor in the oil industry. He founded his own oil company and was a millionaire by the age of 40. From there, he launched himself into the field of politics. His initial run for US Senate resulted in a defeat in 1964. However, that loss was followed up with a win for the 7th District for the US House of Representatives just two years later. He won re-election in 1968 but suffered another defeat in the US Senate election of 1970. He had already garnered the attention he needed, however, as President Richard Nixon took the opportunity to appoint Bush as Ambassador to the United Nations in 1971. By 1973, he was Chairman of the Republican National Committee.  
 
Bush’s run for the Oval Office began in 1980, but he was defeated in the Republican Primary by Ronald Reagan. Reagan subsequently selected Bush as his running mate and this Republican ticket was elected in 1980. Bush used his eight years as Vice President to head the war on drugs, which became a popular slogan of the decade. He also headed the task force on deregulation.
 
After two terms as Vice President, Bush became the first incumbent VP to win the Presidential election. He defeated Democrat Michael Dukakis and began what would be a foreign-policy presidency.
 
In those four years, Bush’s presidency saw a series of military operations and historical events. From Panama and the Persian Gulf to the fall of the Berlin Wall and the dissolution of the Soviet Union, foreign events helped to make Bush’s term memorable. These events also led to a variety of issues in this new, post-cold war environment. A domestic economic recession, foreign wars, and foreign policy issues combined to give Bill Clinton the edge in the 1992 election.
 
Despite leaving office in 1993, George Bush remained active in the public eye. It was just eight years later that he would officially become George H. W. Bush, as his son, George W. Bush, became the 43rd President of this great country.
 
It is no doubt that our 41st President was a great man, a good leader and a wonderful husband, father, grandfather. While his son was in office, he was called into service yet again. This time to work side-by-side with former political adversary, Bill Clinton. The two were thrust into humanitarian projects and through working together, became friends. In fact, his son, George W. Bush, once joked that during Clinton’s surgical recovery, he likely “woke up surrounded by his loved ones: Hillary, Chelsea…my Dad.”
 
It was those humanitarian lessons that taught us some of George H. W. Bush’s greatest lessons. We learned that there is always more we can do – more ways we can help. His time to be in the limelight was technically over and he would have been within his rights to want to enjoy his retirement with his wonderful wife, Barbara, by his side. Instead, he spent much of his golden years trotting the globe, helping those in need.
 
Through his relationship with Bill Clinton, he taught us that the past is the past and we can overcome personal differences to truly make the world a better place. What they demonstrated is something this country is sorely lacking.
 
Even Clinton has made this observation:
“I think people see George and me and they say, ‘that is the way our country ought to work.’”
 
President Trump has declared today, December 5, 2018, a national day of mourning in honor of our 41st President, George H.W. Bush. He has been lying in state in Washington DC in the Capitol Rotunda since Monday. He will make his way to the National Cathedral for his State Funeral Service. After the State Service today, “Special Mission 41” will take George H. W. Bush home to Texas where he will ultimately find his final resting place on the grounds of the library that bears his name.
 

Advancements in Technology Making Soldiers’ Load Easier to Carry

Advancements in Technology Making Soldiers’ Load Easier to Carry
 
It takes a lot of power to keep a unit charged up. Before now, that amount of energy required generators which were substantial in size and weight. That all might change, however, thanks to two MIT graduates.
 
Veronika Stelmakh and Walker Chan are co-founders of a small portable generator – roughly the size of a soda can. The “soldier-borne generator for reduced battery load” would run on fuel, likely butane or propane, then convert that fuel into electricity using infrared radiation. While the device will use photovoltaic cells (cells that create an electric current when exposed to light), no sunlight will be necessary to power the device. The photovoltaic cells will be a byproduct of the infrared radiation.
 
Lightening the load has been a goal for the Army and Marine Corps. This small unit would essentially turn one soldier into a portable charging station for the rest of his or her unit. It will weigh about one pound and reduce battery load by up to 75%. Currently, soldiers carry 15-20 pounds of load for the batteries that power up their required devices. As their packs are often more than 100 pounds, shedding any of that weight would be helpful.  
 
Stelmakh and Chan developed the device through MIT’s Institute for Soldier Nanotechnologies.