By Amy Stork, USAG Ansbach Public Affairs

The Ansbach Army Education Center recently held a GI Bill community session to discuss the differences in education benefits that are available to Veterans, service members and their dependents.

The Post-9/11 GI Bill (Chapter 33), is available to individuals who served at least 90 days of active duty service after Sept. 10, 2001. To be eligible for 100 percent of the benefits, you must have served 36 total months of active duty or you must have been discharged after Sept. 10, 2001 for a service-connected disability after 30 days of continuous active duty service.

From Chief of Naval Personnel Public Affairs

The deadline for all Sailors who do not have the ability to serve four more years in the Navy to transfer their Post-9/11 GI Bill education benefits to dependents is July 11, 2019. 

This deadline was established in a Department of Defense (DoD) policy which the Navy is implementing through NAVADMIN 020/19, released Jan. 24, 2019.

From Chief of Naval Personnel Public Affairs

The Navy announced the release of Calendar Year (CY) 2020 Blended Retirement System (BRS) mid-career continuation pay (CP) rates for eligible Sailors in NAVADMIN 132/19, June 20.

CP is a one-time mid-career incentive pay in exchange for an agreement to perform four years of additional obligated service.  CP is in addition to any other career field-specific or retention incentives.

By Desiree Chavis, Headquarters Marine Corps

The Marine Corps has announced its new relicensing fee reimbursement program for spouses, authorized by the 2018 National Defense Authorization Act. The NDAA allows military branches to reimburse service members for occupational relicensing and recertification expenses incurred by their spouses due to a permanent change of station to a new state.

Marine Corps Manpower and Reserve Affairs may reimburse Marines up to $500 toward qualifying relicensing or recertification cost of a spouse due to relocation to another state for PCSs effected on or after 12 December 2017. 

By U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command Public Affairs

In conjunction with the U.S. Army's 244th Birthday, the Army announced a new proficiency badge today, called the Expert Soldier Badge.

The ESB is designed to improve lethality, recognize excellence in Solder combat skills and increase individual, unit and overall Army readiness. The ESB is the equivalent of the Expert Infantry Badge and Expert Field Medical Badge but for all other military occupational specialties in the Army. Commanders will soon be able to use the badge to recognize Soldiers who attain excellence in physical fitness and marksmanship and a high standard of expertise in land navigation and performing warfighting tasks. 

By Dave Vergun

Development of a bill of rights for those living in privatized Defense Department housing is underway, and DOD is seeking the input of residents, the assistant defense secretary for sustainment announced in a memo.

In the memo signed yesterday, Robert H. McMahon invited residents of privatized family and unaccompanied housing to take part in an online survey to provide feedback on a draft bill of rights aimed at identifying the basic privatized housing rights of service members and their families.

Amanda Turner

Sometimes, it feels as if there is a race to obtain the trendiest or newest market items in your home. Unfortunately, this kind of thinking leads to the fear of missing out when, in reality, there is no race that will bring you true happiness. Technology and material things are not inherently bad. It is the meaning ascribed to them and the level of attachment that causes problems. If you’re looking to bring joy to your life, here are five objects that you can bring home.

By Joe Lacdan, Army News Service

The Army recently made some of the most significant changes to Family Readiness Groups since their creation following the first Gulf War. 

The groups have been re-named "Soldier and Family Readiness Groups" or SFRGs. 

This designation links Soldier readiness to the Family, and clarifies the role of the SFRG to be more inclusive to Soldiers who are single, are single parents or have non-traditional Families, said Steve Yearwood, program analyst for the Office of the Assistant Chief of Staff for Installation Management.

By Sean Kimmons, Army News Service

The Army is adding a year to overseas tours for some Soldiers heading to Europe and Japan, as part of an effort to boost readiness and reduce moves.

Under the new policy, which applies to permanent change-of-station orders published after June 14, tours for Soldiers who have no dependents and are not married to other service members will extend from 24 to 36 months. 

From Navy Personnel Command Public Affairs

The summer season is a very busy time for permanent change of station (PCS) moves for Sailors and their families. While uprooting and moving somewhere different can be challenging, the Navy is overhauling the PCS experience to reduce the stress for Sailors and their families. One of these improvements is streamlining the existing travel advance process.

Sailors can make a PCS move without any out-of-pocket expenditures by simply taking advantage of the travel entitlements available to them in advance of their move. “Travel advances are available for Sailors to request before transferring with one purpose -- to alleviate out-of-pocket expenses for Sailors and their families,” said Capt. John Popham, Navy Pay and Personnel Support Center (NPPSC) commanding officer.