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What Does Clinton Have Planned for Military Families?

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By Debbie Gregory.

Democratic presidential contender Hillary Clinton plans to strengthen services and support for military families who serve alongside our service members.

“It is little wonder that service members’ concern for their family’s well-being is a top consideration in whether troops stay in or leave the force,” according to Clinton’s military families agenda.

Mrs. Clinton said that members of the military should be able to easily switch between active-duty, National Guard and reserve service in order “to make decisions good for their family and maintain a career with the military.”

She believes nobody should have to choose between serving their country and taking care of their family.

Hugh Rodham, Mrs. Clinton’s father, was a chief petty officer at Naval Station Great Lakes during World War II. He instilled in her, at an early age, the importance of supporting our men and women in uniform, military families, and veterans, and empathy for the challenges that many service members and veterans face.

Additionally, since the number of married couples who both are in uniform has vastly increased, Mrs. Clinton wants the duty assignment process overhauled so that more spouses can serve near each other without either of them losing ground in their careers.

Several other elements of her military family platform include improved child care, both  on and off base; expand maternity and paternity leaves; and expanded employment assistance for civilian spouses of service members.

Mrs. Clinton wants to ensure that the men and women who risk their lives for our country have access to a good education and good jobs when they come home by solidifying services and programs that connect veterans to jobs after their service.

“I believe in making sure that people who sacrifice for us are given all the care and the benefits and support that they need. And I believe strongly that taking care of our veterans is part of our solemn duty as Americans.”

Military Connection salutes and proudly serves veterans and service members in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, Guard and Reserve,  and their families.

Newly Improved Transition Assistance Program Well Received

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By Debbie Gregory.

The Transition Assistance Program (TAP) provides transition assistance to promote, advance and instill a culture of education and/or employment readiness to Service members.

In the latest survey results from graduates, an overwhelming majority of former service members expressed that they felt that the newly redesigned TAP curriculum well prepared them to re-enter the civilian workforce. The redesigned program encompasses the requirements of the VOW to Hire Heroes Act of 2011.

Under the leadership of Susan Kelly, the director of the Transition to Veterans Program, the program was significantly expanded two years ago.

Expanded to a week-long, mandatory curriculum now offered in full at 206 installations, TAP provides information, tools, and training to ensure Service members and their spouses are prepared for the next step in civilian life, whether pursuing additional education, finding a job in the public or private sector, or starting their own business. This redesigned TAP is the result of an inter-agency collaboration to offer separating Service members and their spouses better, more easily accessible resources and information to make their transitions more successful.

Kelly emphasized the program’s four core components:

  • Adopt career readiness standards (CRS) which measure a service member’s preparedness to depart from active duty;
  • Develop Transition GPS, a curriculum that builds the skills needed by service members to meet the CRS;
  • A capstone event, during which commanders verify their members have met career readiness standards or, if not, ensure that they receive additional training or a warm handover; and
  • Implementation to the military life-cycle transition model, which aligns transition activities with touch-points across the military career.

Kelly said that according to the most recent participant assessment data, more than 80 percent of the participants said they “gained valuable information and skills to plan their transition, that the training enhanced their confidence in their transition, they intended to use what they learned in the classes, and that they knew how to access appropriate resources post separation.”

In the last two years, both public and private organizations recognized that service members “present an incredible pool of talent and they seek increased opportunities to harness that talent,” Kelly said.

Military Connection salutes and proudly serves veterans and service members in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, Guard and Reserve,  and their families.

Removing Education Roadblocks for Veterans: Military Connection

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By Debbie Gregory.

As of July 1, 2015, 34 states and three territories have agreed to comply with Section 702 of the Veterans Access, Choice, and Accountability Act. This means that covered individuals using the Post-9/11 GI Bill or MGIB – AD at public institutions of higher learning (IHL) will be charged the resident rate for tuition and fees . Currently in compliance are:

Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Guam, Georgia, Hawaii, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virgin Islands, West Virginia, Wisconsin and Wyoming.

California, District of Columbia, Illinois, Iowa, Louisiana, New Mexico, North Carolina, Northern Mariana Islands, Ohio, Pennsylvania, American Samoa, and Washington intend to comply.

Section 702 will assist veterans with more effectively utilizing their hard-earned education benefits. The cost for out of state tuition is often at least double, and sometimes triple, that of in-state tuition. Section 702 allows our nation’s veterans the freedom to return to civilian life as a student, without being penalized for where they choose to reside.

Those covered under the Choice Act are Veterans, their spouses or children who are living in the state where the IHL is located, and enroll in the school within three years of the service member’s discharge from a period of active duty service of 90 days or more.

Also covered are spouses or children using benefits under the Marine Gunnery Sergeant John David Fry Scholarship who qualify as above.

The above compliant states and territories meet the statutory requirements as determined by VA. The states and schools not already in compliance will be extended additional time to make sure that GI Bill students may continue their education and training at their chosen institutions

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.

Removing Education Roadblocks for Veterans: Military Connection: by Debbie Gregory

Post 9/11 GI Bill

Click here to go to our Veteran School Directory

MilitaryConnection.com is pleased to offer an entire area of our web site dedicated to Education Resources.  You can go directly to our Education Directory

MilitaryConnection.com features pages and pages of valuable information on the Post 9/11 GI Bill.  Registration for this incredible benefit began only five weeks ago and over 60,000 veterans have already registered.  You can find a link to register for these valuable benefits at the top of our homepage or in the Education Directory.  You can also find more information including:

Check out this area and pass the word.

Get an Education Scholarship

MilitaryConnection.com is a media partner of ThanksUSA.org.  Debbie Gregory, at Military Connection says “It has been our honor to work with Thanks USA since they started their noble cause.  We commend and support the ThanksUSA.org mission of providing scholarships to military spouses and the dependents of those who serve.  They have provided millions of dollars in scholarships to date.”
Don’t miss the May 15th Deadline.  Apply right now and further your education!

The new GI Bill

Beginning August 1, 2009 servicemembers will be able to enjoy the benefits of a “Post 9/11 GI Bill” or the “GI Bill for the 21st century”, the most comprehensive educational benefits package since the original bill was signed into law in 1944.

There is a lot to this new GI Bill. Some of the benefits include:

  • Up-front tuition payments to any public or private university. Those payments would be capped at the cost of attending the most expensive in-state public university.
  • Monthly stipends that help cover students’ cost of living. For example, the average monthly stipend in California would be $1,449.
  • Allowances for books and supplies. For example, servicemembers would receive $1,000 a year in California.
  • Fifteen years to use their benefits, rather than the current 10. The bill also would allow reservists who serve several tours to count their total time served, rather than the length of the longest tour, to qualify for benefits.
  • In addition, veterans would no longer have to make a nonrefundable $1,200 contribution to their education.

In order to learn the fullextent of the benefits offered through this new bill, you can check out the VA’s fact sheet. The VA’s main site has up-to-date information on the new bill in addition to an FAQ sheet.

So, are you eligible? Good question. According to the fact sheet:

“At a minimum, you must have served at least 30 days of continuous active duty service after September 10, 2001 and be discharged due to a service-connected disability, or served an aggregate of 90 days of active duty service after September 10, 2001, and—

  • Be honorably discharged from Armed Forces; or
  • Be released from Armed Forces with service characterized as honorable and placed on the retired list, temporary disability retired list, or transferred to the Fleet Reserve or the Fleet Marine Corps Reserve; or
  • Be released from the Armed Forces with service characterized as honorable for further service in a reserve component; or
  • Be discharged or released from Armed Forces for:

EPTS (Existed Prior to Service)

HDSP (Hardship) or

CIWD (Condition Interfered with Duty); or

Continue to be on active duty.”

How much will you receive? According to the VA:

“You are entitled to a percentage, as determined by your length of active duty service, of the following:

  • Amount of tuition and fees charged, not to exceed the most expensive in-State public institution of higher education (paid to school);
  • Monthly housing allowance equal to the basic allowance for housing (BAH) amount payable to a military E-5 with dependents, in same zip code as school * (paid to you); and
  • Yearly books and supplies stipend of up to $1000* per year (paid to you); and
  • A one time payment of $500 may be payable to certain individuals relocating from highly rural areas. (paid to you)

*NOTE –Housing allowance and books and supplies stipend is not payable to individuals on active duty. Housing allowance is not payable for those pursuing training at half time or less orto individuals taking distance learning.

One of the biggest changes to take place as part of the new GI Bill is transferability. The new GI Bill will allow servicemembers who have served at least 10 years on active duty to transfer their benefit to a spouse or dependent child. Spouses of a servicemember who has served at least six years and agrees to another four-year contract can receive the money even sooner.

Be aware that the transferred benefit will cover the cost of tuition only.

Benefits may be divided as long as they don’t exceed 36 months of college classes. For example, a retired soldier can use half of the benefits to pay for a two-year degree program and transfer the remaining half to a spouse or child.

College-age children of long-serving servicemembers could get a free college education starting fall 2009, provided they attend a state-backed school.

Transferability is limited to those currently serving in the military and will likely be used as a retention tool. So those servicemembers whose children will reach college-age while the servicemember is still on active duty could realize a FREE college education (in terms of tuition). This is a major victory for those who have pushed Congress for decades to allow servicemembers to share or transfer their GI Bill benefits to their spouse or children.

So hold tight until August 1, 2009 and then hit those books!

Jumping right in

Welcome to Military Connection’s new blog! Our goal here is to not only highlight the benefits of all that Military Connection has to offer – information on military jobs, government jobs, education, and scholarships – but also to discuss issues and topics relevant to military and veteran life.

My “nom de plume” is HomefrontSix. I am a military spouse and our family is currently enjoying life in “Paradise”. My husband, “MacGyver”, has been in the Army for 10 years.

I hope this blog is a place where people can come to discuss things that affect us all. I don’t want this to be a one-sided conversation – if you have something to say, please do so! If there is an article that you want to draw attention to, please let me know. The more input, the better! I look forward to hearing from you!