DoD News, Defense Media Activity

WASHINGTON, Nov. 30, 2016 - Walgreens pharmacies join the TRICARE retail pharmacy network on Dec. 1, 2016, while CVS pharmacies, including those in Target stores, will leave the network on the same day, according to the Defense Health Agency. 

"The network will still have more than 57,000 locations across the country," Dr. George Jones, DHA's Chief of Pharmacy Operation, said in a release. "About 98 percent of beneficiaries still have a network pharmacy within 5 miles of their home."

By Terri Moon Cronk
DoD News, Defense Media Activity

WASHINGTON, Nov. 29, 2016 - First Lady Michelle Obama hosted nearly 200 service members, spouses, children, veterans and wounded warriors at this year's annual White House holiday décor preview as part of a Joining Forces initiative celebration. 

"For the past eight years, celebrating the holidays and having you all be the first that see the decorations … has been one of our favorite White House traditions," the first lady said. 

The dates shown are from the United States Post Office.  You should verify with your local Post Office for services available, date changes, and to acquire the appropriate United States Customs forms, FREE Express and Priority shipping supplies.

From USPS.com

If you’re mailing or shipping holiday cards and gifts, for Hanukah, Kwanza, Christmas, or other holiday traditions, find the deadline for getting cards and packages sent on time by reviewing the 2016 Holiday Shipping Dates below.

By Mike Casey
November 25, 2016

FORT LEAVENWORTH, Kan. -- The Army is picking up the pace to make more training mobile applications available for Soldiers' smartphones and computer tablets.

Recently, a team of Soldiers and civilians at Fort Eustis, Virginia, started using software to ensure Army mobile apps meet government security requirements and other standards.

by Maj. John Callahan
November 18, 2016

TOGIAK, Alaska - In a rare daytime appearance, Santa and about 50 of his elves - including Alaska Gov. Bill Walker and First Lady Donna Walker - came early this year to visit Christmas cheer upon the schoolchildren of this remote village in Southwest Alaska.

The early visit was made possible by the Alaska National Guard's Operation Santa Claus, now in its 60th year. Each year since 1956, volunteers have come together to process and package donated Christmas toys, school supplies, books and staple foods. Most of these "elves" are affiliated with the Alaska Army or Air National Guard; others step forward from local businesses and community groups. Alaska Air National Guard crews then fly the elves and their collected goodies to a selected handful of villages a year.

By Petty Officer First Class Gary A. Prill,
U.S. Fleet Forces Command Public Affairs

NORFOLK (NNS) -- United States Fleet Forces Command began a six-month pilot program Oct. 29 with the pre-launch of the Navy's newest tool to counter destructive decisions, the LiveSafe smartphone application.

The pilot program will allow Sailors and their families assigned to Hampton Roads, Virginia and Rota, Spain a chance to download and interact with the application prior to its release. 

NAVADMIN 219/16 now makes it a requirement to submit and have your TA Command Approved 14 days prior to your course start date for all classes starting on or after January 1st, 2017!

So, if you are considering taking classes starting Monday January 2nd, 2017 you will need to have submitted and have your request Command approved by the 19th of December!

Some things in healthcare just defy logical explanation. For example, why in an era where we can alter human genes using CRISPR, why are we still using loose leafs of paper to document something as important as one’s immunizations? In other words, why doesn’t our health system place more emphasis on getting these “simple” things right? At Zobreus, we’re committed to doing exactly that. We’ve built technology that allows any clinic to easily upload your shot data to a centralized portal. And instantly, those vaccination records are available to you on your mobile device. All of this in our gorgeous, award-winning user interface.

By Jim Garamone
DoD News, Defense Media Activity

WASHINGTON, Nov. 23, 2016  Tomorrow isnt Thanksgiving for Americas enemies.

While the vast majority of Americans will be sitting down with family for a fall feast, hundreds of thousands of U.S. service members will be on guard around the world, ensuring their fellow citizens enjoy a day of peace.  

For them, it is another duty day.

DoD News, Defense Media Activity

WASHINGTON, Nov. 22, 2016 — On Oct. 21, the Defense Department launched a new call and outreach center that offers confidential peer support to active duty service members, National Guardsmen, reservists and family members through 24/7 chat, phone and text. 

The DoD “BeThere” peer support call and outreach center is staffed by peers who are veteran service members and family members of veterans, and aims to provide support for everyday problem-solving of career and general life challenges.

Release No: 115 
Nov. 22, 2016 

By Staff Sgt. Alexx Pons
Air Force Personnel Center Public Affairs 

"JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-RANDOLPH, Texas" – The Air Force Personnel Center is currently accepting nominations for the Air Force Association Joan Orr Air Force Spouse of the Year Award.

This award honors significant contributions made by non-military spouses of Air Force military members. The nominee’s spouse must be an active duty Air Force, Air National Guard or Air Force Reserve member.

Release No: 114 
Nov. 21, 2016 

By Staff Sgt. Alexx Pons
Air Force Personnel Center Public Affairs 

"JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-RANDOLPH, Texas" - Air Force Personnel Center officials have nominated four Airmen for the 2016 Government Employees Insurance Company Military Service Award.

The categories and nominees are as follows:

(From the MILITARY ONESOURCE November 2016 Newsletter)

Military service is characterized by hard work and sacrifice, and families give service members the love and support they need to function well and stay mission ready.

November is Military Family Month, and we salute the strength and vibrancy of our military families. There are also many services through the DoD and Military OneSource to help keep families healthy and strong. Here are some highlights:

(From the MILITARY ONESOURCE November 2016 Newsletter)

The April tax deadline may seem a long way off, but there are things you can do now to get ready. Military OneSource offers free tax preparation and filing services to help you approach tax season with confidence. These services are available to service members and eligible family.

This assistance is especially valuable this year since the IRS made two major changes for filing in 2017 –

(From the MILITARY ONESOURCE November 2016 Newsletter)

Adoption can be rewarding for everyone involved. It can also raise a lot of questions. How do I get started? Does it cost a lot of money? What is the adoption process like? Whether you are just starting out or pursuing a kinship or stepparent adoption, Military OneSource can help. Call Military OneSource any time at 800-342-9647 to ask for an adoption consultation.

By Army 1st Lt. Daniel Johnson
2nd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division

QAYYARAH WEST AIRFIELD, Iraq, Nov. 21, 2016 - Smoke rose in the distance from an oil field set on fire during the battle between Iraqi forces and the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant as Army Sgt. Addison Owen stood outside his tent. Owen, an infantryman with Bravo Company, 1st Battalion, 26th Infantry Regiment, is no stranger to Iraq; this is his second time deployed to the country. 

On his first deployment he fought beyond the oil field, but now he is part of a multinational effort to assist the Iraqi forces.

On Veterans Day, November 11th, we're inviting our veterans and active duty military to enjoy a free entrée* from our favorites below. Don't forget that family members dining with them enjoy 10% off of their meals.

Olive Garden Free Veteran's Day Meals 2015

DALLAS - Holiday shoppers can budget easy this year when they shop at Army & Air Force Exchange Service, which, for a limited time, is offering fee-free layaway on computers, laptops, tablets and notebooks - items that are not normally eligible for layaway.

From now until Dec. 14, the Exchange will waive its standard $3 service fee for all layaway purchases that are paid in full within 30 days and picked up on time. Layaway will not be offered for computers, laptops, tablets and notebooks purchased Nov. 27-28.

In proclaiming November as Military Family Month, President Barack Obama urged Americans to show enduring gratitude to military families and their loved ones for contributing to the nation's legacy. Obama said "their courage serves as a model of character and distinction, and their devotion to our country must be met with the recognition it deserves." 

Learn more in the Defense.gov special report, Military Family Support: http://www.defense.gov/News/Special-Reports/1115_familysupport

By David Vergun
Army News Service

WASHINGTON, Nov. 7, 2014 - President Barack Obama awarded the Medal of Honor to Union Army 1st Lt. Alonzo H. Cushing yesterday for helping to stop Confederate Army Maj. Gen. George E. Pickett's Charge at Gettysburg on July 3, 1863.

Helen Loring Ensign accepted the medal during the ceremony, held in the White House's Roosevelt Room, on behalf of Cushing, her first cousin, twice removed. Some 24 other descendants were present as well. 

By Jim Garamone
DoD News, Defense Media Activity

WASHINGTON, Nov. 6, 2014 - First Lady Michelle Obama and an all-star cast hosted military children at the White House today for a workshop in advance of the taping of a concert for the PBS "In Performance at the White House" series.

Country legend Willy Nelson, rapper Common, Navy vet and songwriter Ted Peterson and Army Sgt. Christiana Ball, a singer who won the Army's Rising Star competition, joined the first lady in the East Room. Robert Santelli, the executive director of the Grammy Museum, moderated the discussion. 

By Claudette Roulo
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Nov. 26, 2013 - Real warriors ask for help when they need it. Like retired Army Maj. Ed Pulido, who sought out the help he and his family needed after he was wounded in Baqubah, Iraq.

Pulido's vehicle hit a roadside bomb in August 2004. He suffered shrapnel wounds to the left side of his body and broke his knee in three places. Surgeons were unable to repair the damage to his leg, and it was amputated almost two months after he was wounded.

Katie Couric has a special upcoming taping and we would love to have you be a part of our live studio audience. If you are in the NYC area and would like to attend a taping on the afternoon of December 18th, email me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. In the subject line of the email, write MILITARY WIFE and in the body let me know your first and last name and a contact number to reach you at. I look forward to hearing from you!

Jenny Rodriguez
Katie Audience Coordinator | 1iota Productions, LLC

E:  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. P: 212-456-4644
W: http://www.1iota.com

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Nov. 20, 2013 - Today, the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy joined with a coalition of private-sector partners from the telecommunications industry to launch "Warriors 4 Wireless," a new nonprofit program aimed at connecting veterans and returning service members to jobs in the rapidly growing wireless telecommunications industry.

A White House release said the program includes stakeholders from Joining Forces -- a national initiative that provides opportunities and support to military members and their families -- as well as from the private sector, the federal government, the U.S. military, and industry trade associations committed to scaling successful training models for veterans with wireless-relevant skills.

Departments of Veterans Affairs
/Housing and Urban Development

WASHINGTON, Nov. 21, 2013 - The Departments of Veterans Affairs and Housing and Urban Development today announced that a new national report shows a 24-percent drop in homelessness among veterans since 2010.

The report also showed an 8 percent reduction between January 2012 and January 2013. The decline keeps U.S. government plans on track to meet the goal of ending veterans' homelessness in 2015.

By Terri Moon Cronk
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Nov. 21, 2013 - Reading, writing and arithmetic might be easier for some people than others, but for service members and veterans with traumatic brain injuries, returning to school can be challenging.

Whether it's attending college, technical school or honing skills to re-enter the workplace, service members and veterans now have access to a comprehensive guide that covers topics from A to Z to help them go back to school, said Navy Lt. Cdr. Cathleen Shields, acting director of education at the Veterans Brain Injury Center.

By Terri Moon Cronk
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Nov. 21, 2013 - While programs are in place to combat predatory lending practices that target service members and their families, better rules and enforcement are needed, witnesses told a Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee yesterday.

Predatory lending practices impact not only a service member's financial readiness, but also mission readiness, witnesses told lawmakers in a hearing about the lending practices targeted towards the military.

They have a mobile Christmas app which they believe would benefit spouses of military personal either deployed or away from their family during the Christmas holiday. The app will create a Christmas video of Santa and his reindeer coming to the family's home.

The video will begin with a jolly Santa Claus flying across the sky with his reindeer, then landing on the roof of the user's home. Once inside, Santa will be shown placing gifts under the tree and writing the letter to the children before walking over to the plate of cookies and taking a bite. After a final farewell, Santa disappears back into his sleigh and heads into the night.

By Terri Moon Cronk
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Nov. 14, 2013 - Service members' families also serve the nation and are the force behind the total force, a senior Defense Department official said yesterday.

"Our military members are as effective as they can be because of the support their families provide them," Barbara Thompson, director of DOD's office of family policy and children and youth told American Forces Press Service and the Pentagon Channel. "[DOD] wants to make sure the people who are important in the lives of our service members -- spouses, children, parents, partners, aunts, uncles, siblings and cousins -- are part of the military family."

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Nov. 13, 2013 - Defense Department and Transportation Security Administration officials today announced a partnership to expand "TSA Precheck" expedited screening benefits to all U.S. armed forces service members, including those serving in the Coast Guard, Reserves and National Guard, during their official or leisure travel.

As a result of the agreement, these individuals will be able to enjoy the benefits of the program at the 100 participating airports across the country beginning Dec. 20, officials said.

From a Defense Commissary Agency News Release

FORT LEE, Va., Nov. 12, 2013 - Cashiers at military commissaries soon will begin scanning customers' Defense Department ID cards as part of the checkout process, Defense Commissary Agency officials said.

The commissary here, where DeCA has its headquarters, became the first store to scan ID cards Oct. 22 as the first part of a rollout throughout the agency that began Nov. 10 and will be completed by mid-January, officials said.

Departments of Defense, Veterans Affairs

WASHINGTON, Nov. 8, 2013 - The departments of Defense and Veterans Affairs reaffirmed their commitment to serve and care for the nation's military veterans in a joint message issued by Acting Undersecretary of Defense Jessica L. Wright and Undersecretary of Veterans Affairs for Benefits Allison A. Hickey.

The message reads as follows:

Defense Intelligence Agency

WASHINGTON, Nov. 7, 2013 - Two extraordinary groups of people will be honored today during a ceremony at the Defense Intelligence Agency's headquarters at Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling here.

Four heroes will be inducted into the DIA Patriots Memorial and three former employees will receive the agency's Torch Bearers Award. DIA will add four names to its Patriots Memorial, which commemorates DIA employees and others who have died in service to the United States and commemorates their exceptional sacrifice in support of DIA's mission.

By Terri Moon Cronk
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Nov. 7, 2013 - Every day is Veterans Day in the federal sector's quest to help former servicemen and women find employment, Labor Secretary Thomas E. Perez said yesterday during an event to honor to the nation's military veterans.

At the department's annual veterans' recognition, Perez said federal agencies working together have made significant strides in helping veterans find jobs, but work remains to be done.

By Claudette Roulo
American Forces Press Service

COLUMBUS, Ga., Nov. 6, 2013 - Healthy military families are essential to guaranteeing the health of the overall force, the country's senior noncommissioned officer said here today.

Marine Corps Sgt. Maj. Bryan B. Battaglia, senior enlisted advisor to the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and his wife, Lisa, addressed Military Family Summit attendees at the National Infantry Museum and Soldier Center here.

By Amaani Lyle
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Nov. 5, 2013 - In a show of commitment and support to those who serve alongside uniformed service members, 60 new corporations joined the Military Spouse Employment Partnership in an induction ceremony here today.

With a prolific career in both government and the private sector, Frank Vollrath, assistant secretary of defense for readiness and force management, praised MSEP's global success rate.

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By Nick Simeone
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Nov. 28, 2012 - The Defense Department and South Carolina officials are notifying military members and families who paid state income taxes there that they may have been victims of information/identity theft as a result of several recent cyber intrusions.

South Carolina's Department of Revenue reported nearly four million Social Security numbers and several hundred thousand credit and debit card numbers belonging to current and former taxpayers may have been stolen during cyber intrusions in August and September.

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U.S. Army Public Health Command Public Affairs Office

ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md., Nov. 28, 2012 - U.S. Army Public Health Command headquartered here played a significant public health role in the aftermath of the March 11, 2011, Japanese earthquake and tsunami.

The command's responders monitored radiation levels from the damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, checked the safety of water and food and assessed search-and-rescue dogs coming into the country to assist in finding the missing.

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By Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Scott Whiting
Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune

CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C., Nov. 28, 2012 - Christmas is right around the corner, and with the holidays comes an influx of mail sent to service members stationed overseas.

The United States Postal Service recently released their deadlines for ensuring mail sent overseas arrives in time for the busy holiday season.

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WASHINGTON (Army News Service, Nov. 16, 2012) --- Special agents from the Army Criminal Investigation Command are once again warning Internet users worldwide to be extra vigilant and not to fall prey to Internet scams or impersonation fraud -- especially scams promising true love, but only end up breaking hearts and bank accounts.

Criminal Investigation Command, known as CID, continues to receive hundreds of reports from people worldwide of various scams involving persons pretending to be U.S. Soldiers serving in Afghanistan or elsewhere, according to CID special agents.

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Military wives needed for tv show for a chance to reunite with your military spouse.

A National TV talk show wants you - and we are casting now!!

The show will tape Decemeber 6th in NYC - and all of your expenses are paid

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By Army Sgt. 1st Class Tyrone C. Marshall Jr.
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Nov. 19, 2012 - Defense Department officials are sending a new spouse survey to select active-duty families to assist in determining programs that best suit their needs.

During an interview with the Pentagon Channel, Cathy Flynn, a program analyst with the Pentagon's military community and family policy office, discussed how these surveys affect future programs serving military families.

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By Claudette Roulo
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Nov. 16, 2012 - The Navy is taking steps to address several issues that are affecting its sailors, the chief of naval operations said here today.

Navy Adm. Jonathan W. Greenert spoke at a National Press Club luncheon.

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By Terri Moon Cronk
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Nov. 16, 2012 - The Marine Corps' first living Medal of Honor recipient from the Iraq and Afghanistan wars told a gathering of U.S. business leaders here yesterday that hiring veterans is a mutually beneficial practice.

Dakota Meyer was a keynote speaker at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce's fifth annual "Business Steps Up: Hiring Our Heroes" event.

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By Amaani Lyle
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Nov. 15, 2012 - Military families now have greater access to programs designed to assist them with a spectrum of family support matters, a senior Pentagon official said here today.

Charles E. Milam, acting deputy assistant secretary of defense for military community and family policy, told the Pentagon Channel and American Forces Press Service that the enhanced programs are in accordance with President Barack Obama's recently signed proclamation declaring November as Military Family Month.

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By Amaani Lyle
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Nov. 15, 2012 - The USO and Defense Department recognized 10 chefs and selected the enlisted aide of the year from five nominees during the 2012 Salute to Military Chefs here last night.

The chefs and enlisted aides showcased their talents by way of a seven-course meal, featuring a main entrée of smoked duck breast, pumpkin risotto, braised kale and port-blackberry sauce.

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by Debbie Gildea
Air Force Personnel Center Public Affairs

"JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-RANDOLPH, Texas" -If you're newly married, newly divorced, have dependent children or have a child who was born out of wedlock you may be confused about military benefits.

Some family situations are complicated or even awkward, so Airmen may be reluctant to pursue benefits to which their dependents - or former dependents - are legally entitled, said Ed Yoder, AFPC Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System Project office.

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By Terri Moon Cronk
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Nov. 14, 2012 - More than 30 companies and organizations joined the Military Spouse Employment Partnership here today as part of the White House-sponsored Joining Forces effort to help unemployed spouses find jobs.

The newly inducted businesses, which join 129 other companies, were brought into the program at the partnership's third such ceremony. Inductees at today's Washington Navy Yard event represented businesses including fitness centers, banks, a hotel chain and a major soft-drink company.

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"Susan never knows who can see her, or how they can see her. She just feels she is always being watched."

Female Army veteran and fiction indie author Deanna Breen-Ball of Lake Elsinore, has released her debut romance/suspense eNovel "Looking In", the first in a series, released May 2012.

Breen-Ball, a military spouse and stay-at-home-mom, has been working on the project "Looking In" for two years. Her inspiration came from her time in the Army as a mechanic and most current duties as a part-time educator and stay-at-home-mom. She found that many women identify with trying to find a balance between caring for and nurturing their family, as well as caring for and nurturing their own potential. Life experiences combined with the charismatic personality that tends to connect to people have brought her to write this suspenseful entertaining novel.

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DALLAS - Military shoppers can come early and gobble up the savings as the Army and Air Force Exchange Service will open its Main Stores doors in CONUS, Alaska, and Hawaii at 4 a.m. Friday, Nov. 23 for "Black Friday" sales.

"From our family to yours, Happy Thanksgiving," said the Exchange's Senior Enlisted Advisor Chief Master Sgt. Tony Pearson. "The day after is the unofficial holiday season for many Exchange shoppers. The deals we will be serving up will offer plenty of incentive to get up early."