Posted by Edward Metz and Bob Collom

On August 27, 2019, NASA launched a national contest for Kindergarten to Grade 12 students to name the Mars 2020 rover, the newest robotic scientist to be sent to Mars.  Scheduled to launch aboard a rocket in July 2020 from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida and touch down on Mars in February 2021, the to-be-named rover weighs more than 2,300 pounds (1,000 kilograms) and will search for astrobiological signs of past microbial life, characterize the planet’s climate and geology, collect samples for future return to Earth, and pave the way for human exploration of the Red Planet. 

By Lance Cpl. Marcos Alvarado,
Defense Media Activity

DEFENSE MEDIA ACTIVITY, Md -- Marine Corps MARADMIN 539/18 announced three major changes to MCO 6100.3A affecting the standard Physical Fitness and Combat Fitness Tests, beginning January 1, 2019 for the PFT and July 1, 2019 for the CFT to increase the Corps’ overall physical fitness and combat effectiveness.

The first change will be to the rest times between CFT events. Instead of no less than five minutes of rest between events, three minutes will be the new rest period. This is to decrease the time it takes to complete the test and make the CFT more challenging.

New Software Install May Delay Some Household Goods Reimbursements
From NAVSUP Public Affairs

MECHANICSBURG, Pa. (NNS) -- If you’re moving between October and December, your paperwork may not be processed until January 2019 due to a software upgrade.

The software installation will ensure Navy’s Household Goods (HHG) processes are auditable. It will upgrade the ability to process Personally Procured Moves (PPMs) and determine excess weight.

By Glenn Sircy,
Center for Information Warfare Training Public Affairs

PENSACOLA, Fla. (NNS) -- Sailors continue to benefit from the Navy Credentialing Opportunities On-line (COOL) program with the latest Navy COOL app update released, Sept. 19.

Navy COOL provides information about licenses and certifications applicable to all Navy occupations, offering resources and funding to help Sailors gain appropriate civilian desired, and in many cases, required credentials. COOL also provides other key resources such as Advancement Bibliographies (BIBs) and Learning and Development Roadmaps (LaDRs).

By La Toya Graddy (USACIDC)

WASHINGTON -- The U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Command is alerting the Army community to be on the lookout for "disaster fraud" charitable schemes and repair scams.

"Disaster fraud occurs after man-made or natural catastrophes such as the recent damage, storm surge and flooding caused by Hurricane Florence. Often dishonest individuals or contractors will use this opportunity to inflate damage estimates, or swindle homeowners in home repair, debris removal and other cleanup scams," said Chris Grey, CID spokesman. "These scammers will also exploit the disaster by seeking out those wishing to support and assist affected victims by soliciting fictitious charitable donations, sending fraudulent e-mails or creating phony websites to solicit contributions or personal information resulting in identity theft."

From Chief of Naval Personnel Public Affairs

WASHINGTON (NNS) -- Navy has expanded the eligible categories for advanced dependent travel (ADT) and delayed dependent travel (DDT), personnel officials announced September 13.

For permanent change of station (PCS) moves within the 50 states, the policy allows for dependent travel of up to six months before or after the sponsoring Sailor’s PCS move in the following situations: spousal employment or education, dependents in elementary or secondary school (K-12), dependent enrolled in the Exceptional Family Member Program, or caring for an immediate family member with a chronic or long-term illness. The previous approved policy that allowed DDT for the length of the school year is unchanged by this expansion.

Military Health System

FALLS CHURCH, Va. -- Hurricane Florence’s imminent arrival is a reminder for people to prepare for their health care needs during severe weather.

TRICARE experts recommend making a list that includes your physician’s name and contact information, medications with dosage and frequency, and type and model number of medical devices. Those with chronic health conditions or issues with vision, hearing, or mobility should get medical alert tags or bracelets, and identify how to get to safety.

By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Victoria Granado,
USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75) Public Affairs

ATLANTIC OCEAN (NNS) -- For many Sailors this year marks a somewhat surprising reform in the Navy’s female hair regulations. Rules that have stood for so long have been expanded or just plain changed. It’s a new era of styling hair for female Sailors, and, according to Chief of Naval Operations Adm. John Richardson, it makes for a more “inclusive environment.”

Like with any changes to Navy traditions, new regulations mean new challenges. Senior Sailors aboard the USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75) know there will be a period of adjustment.

By Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Benjamin Waddell,
USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75) Public Affairs

ATLANTIC OCEAN (NNS) -- The Federal Voting Assistance Program allows Sailors aboard USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75) to make a difference both at home and while at sea.

“While you are out at sea, underway or in a combat zone, you are able to participate in your state and local elections through absentee voting,” said Senior Chief Legalman Earl R. Brown, Harry S. Truman’s absentee voting program lead.

By Alexandra Shea, Evans Army Community Hospital


Terry Chapman isn’t a soldier, but she does serve as a GI Granny. Her uniform, a black polo shirt with an embroidered patch, reads: “GI Grannies and Gramps, Soldier Support.”