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Military Connection: Gov. Brown Appoints New CalVet Secretary

Calvet Secretary

On January 9, 2015, California Governor Jerry Brown appointed Debbie Endsley as acting secretary of the California Department of Veterans Affairs (CalVet).  Endsley will be replacing Peter J. Gravett, who is retiring after four years in the position.

Endsley is the daughter of a Veteran, and the wife of a U.S. Marine. She served as a consultant for the California Department of Parks and Recreation in 2012, and for the CalHR Project from 2011 to 2012. Endsley was also a director at the California Department of Personnel Administration from 2009 to 2011, where she also served in several other positions from 1998 to 2011, including chief deputy director and chief of the benefits division.

Gravett, a retired Major General, has more than 40 years of combined military service in the U.S. Army and the California Army National Guard. He was the first African-American to become a division commander in its 225 year existence. Gravett served as commanding general of the 40th Infantry Division from 1999-2002. He retired from the National Guard in 2002.

Gravett also worked for more than 22 years with the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD). He was awarded the LAPD’s Medal of Valor for saving the life of a teenage boy who had been attacked by a mob outside the L.A. Coliseum.

Governor Brown appointed Gravett to his cabinet as Secretary of CalVet on April 29, 2011. Gravett’s retirement comes after four years of exceptional service to California’s community of nearly two million Veterans and their families.

On January 13, 2015, Endsley was sworn in by Gravett during a ceremony at CalVet’s Sacramento headquarters.

We at Military Connection would like to thank General Gravett for his years of stalwart leadership, and we wish him well in his retirement. We would also like to congratulate Mrs. Endsley on her appointment, and look forward to her tenure of leadership for the Veterans of California. We also look forward to a continued relationship between Calvet and Military Connection.

Military Connection proudly serves those who serve in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, Guard and 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 Comnection: Gov. Brown Appoints New CalVet Secretary: By Debbie Gregory

Military Connection: CalVet Website Recognized: By Debbie Gregory

CalVet websiteOn October 9, 2014, the California Department of Veterans Affairs (CalVet) announced that their recently overhauled website received a Digital Government Achievement Award from the Center for Digital Government. The center issues annual awards in an effort to recognize exceptional city, county, state, federal, and international government websites and digital projects.

CalVet launched their revamped website in March, 2014. Improvements to the site included detailed information about state and federal benefits, as well as location-specific local services that are available to California’s Veterans and their families. The site even provides direct links for Veterans to apply for programs online.

The myCalvet site enables Veterans to easily navigate the technology to access their service-earned benefits. The web site provides CalVet with the opportunity to combine existing databases. The site also provides CalVet a platform for information exchanges with other federal and state agencies, as part of an inter-agency effort to provide the most holistic and efficient service to Veterans and their families.

“Our new site is much more user-friendly and intuitive,” CalVet Deputy Secretary Veterans Affairs, Keith Boylan, said.  “Our myCalVet feature allows our Veterans, Veteran family members and Veteran stakeholders to create a secure, personal profile. The next time the user logs onto our site, the information pushed to them is based on their profile and interests.”

The myCalVet tool is one of many current CalVet efforts designed to increase the number of California Veterans and family members that are connected to the benefits they have earned through their military service.

CalVet earned their award in the “Driving Digital Government State government” category. Other winners in that same category were Access Health CT (Connecticut’s Online Insurance Marketplace); and the California Department of Public Health (Health Information Exchange Gateway.)

To visit the CalVet web site and create your own myCalVet profile, go to www.calvet.ca.gov.

Military Connection proudly serves those who serve in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, Guard and 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: CalVet Website Recognized:By Debbie Gregory

Military Connection: CA Gov. Signs 21 Veteran Bills: By Debbie Gregory

CA LawsThis week, California Governor Jerry Brown signed a total of 21 bills that directly affect active military, Veterans and their families; proving that California is a Veteran-friendly state.

The signed bills include:

AB 13 – Requires the California Community College and the California State University systems to update their in-state tuition rate policies to comply with the federal Veterans Access, Choice, and Accountability Act of 2014 and state law. Requests these updates of the University of California as well.

AB 186 – Requires the Department of Consumer Affairs licensing entities to provide eligible military spouses and domestic partners licensed in another state with a 12-month temporary license to practice their profession in California.

AB 585 – Requires the California Department of Veterans Affairs (CalVet) to develop a prioritized list of uses for unused or underutilized nonresidential real property it owns.

AB 614 – Ensures that Veterans with a 70% or more service disability, who are receiving care in a Veterans home, shall have their accounts deemed paid in full by the money paid by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

AB 919 – Permits Veterans who are itinerant vendors to receive a refund of sales taxes paid to the Board of Equalization between April 1, 2002 and April 1, 2010.

AB 935 – Allows Veterans to apply for a driver license or identification card featuring a “Veteran” designation.

AB 1397 – Requires the California Department of Human Resources to collect and report on data regarding the Veterans preference system in state hiring.

AB 1453 – Requires CalVet to cooperate with local government bodies in Orange County to design, construct and equip a state-owned and operated Southern California Veterans Cemetery in the City of Irvine, and establish eligibility for interment.

AB 1509 – Requires CalVet to develop a transition assistance program for Veterans who have been discharged from the U.S. Armed Forces or the National Guard of any state.

AB 1518 – Authorizes the California National Guard Adjutant General to receive federal funding to implement a National Guard Youth ChalleNGe Program.

AB 1589 – Requires elections officials to arrange electronic delivery of a ballot to a military or overseas voter who makes a standing request for all elections, eliminating the requirement that the individuals renew their email address every two years.

AB 1821 – Establishes the Medical Foster Home Pilot Program and authorizes USDVA facilities to create a medical foster home not subject to licensure or regulation as a residential care facility for the elderly.

AB 2215 – Allows a Veteran’s family or legal representatives to file a copy of their military discharge document with a county recorder without the consent of the Veteran.

AB 2263 – Authorizes Veterans service organizations to volunteer as a Veterans service advocate at California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation facilities.

AB 2664 – Transfers all funds in the California Military Family Relief Fund to the California Military Department Support Fund.

SB 842 – Requires the California Department of Transportation to construct directional signs on state highways for each Veterans home in the state.

SB 1110 – Requires the court to inform active duty or Veteran status defendants of restorative relief rights available to them and requires the Judicial Council to include information about the provisions in its military service form.

SB 1113 – Extends the statute of limitations for a Veteran with a 100% service disability to claim a disabled Veteran property tax exemption refund from four to eight years.

SB 1226 – Expedites the Department of Consumer Affairs boards and bureaus’ initial licensure process for veteran applicants who were active duty and stationed in California and authorizes prospective proprietary private security officers to submit verification of military training in lieu of a course in security officer skills.

SB 1227 – Authorizes a court to create a diversion program for active duty military personnel or Veterans who commit misdemeanors when they are suffering from service-related trauma or substance abuse.

SB 1440 – Requires that non-veteran spouses living in the Veterans Homes of California pay the same fees as veteran residents.

Click the links for each legislation and read how they benefit you!

Military Connection proudly serves those who serve in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, Guard and 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 Gov. Signs 21 Veteran Bills: By Debbie Gregory