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News 6 Report: Nov. 11 Mashup

November 11, 2019

This is a mash-up of the news for the week of Nov. 11, courtesy of our News 6 correspondent, Jolene McNutt:

Advanced PCS Allowance Approved

New changes to the PCS system will allow service members and their families to receive an advanced payment to help with costs associated with PCSing. The amount is estimated to range between $978 and $5,000 depending on rank and dependent status. It’s being called a Dislocation Allowance, or DLA, and will help to partially reimburse service members and their families for costs incurred while moving. Service members are required to fill out Defense Finance and Accounting Service Form 9114. Other potential changes to the PCS system include: Having orders written 120 days before a PCS, a knowledge-based smartphone app to assist with streamlining household goods resources and policies, and potentially incentivizing “do-it-yourself” (DITY) or personally procured moves (PPM). Read more about these improvements to the PCS system.

TRICARE Open Season

Beneficiaries using TRICARE Prime or TRICARE Select plans will be eligible to make changes during the Open Season from Nov. 11 through Dec. 9, 2019. This is part of TRICARE’s new Open Enrollment system that allows for change only during the designated Open Season or after a Qualifying Life Event, such as a move, changes to your sponsor’s status, or a change in family composition. 

Future Veterans Need Soft Skills to Succeed in Civilian Workplaces

Military.com has a comprehensive article highlighting the top skills veterans need to succeed in civilian workplaces after military service. The Department of Defense Transition to Veterans Program Office worked with the RAND Corporation to “identify and codify the soft skills service members gain from their on-the-job training and professional military education.” The article lists 19 soft skills that are listed online and can be used to help a veteran shape their resume and cover letter or be used during an interview. They help eliminate the military jargon and instead use civilian lingo. View the list and other useful information including links to a Toolkit for Veterans and a Toolkit for Employers here.

New Name, New Focus for FRGs

The Association of the United States Army reported that the Army is changing its Family Readiness Groups to better reflect the needs of each command. First, with a new name, Soldier and Family Readiness Groups will remain a commander’s program and will be open to soldiers, Army civilians, immediate and extended family members, and volunteers. This is the first time that FRGs have seen a major change since they were first established during the first Gulf War. AUSA.org also shares, “The move shifts the groups away from social activities and fundraising to communicating, connecting, sharing information, and providing a ‘critical link’ between commanders and their soldiers and families.”

Veterans Can Find Others They Served With

Together We Served, is a website dedicated to helping veterans connect with other service members. TogetherWeServed.com has been operating since 2003, it’s free to join and uses a vast network of “comprehensive military records” to automatically search and connect service members with others who served at the same time and in the same locations. It covers all five branches of the U.S. military, and there are almost 2 million members currently enrolled. In addition to connecting veterans together, the website shares that, “Finding key people on Together We Served can be very helpful, especially if [individuals] need or can provide witness account to support a potential VA claim.” Learn more here

Tiny Houses Make a Big Impact for Veterans 

Veterans Community Project (VCP), a nonprofit in Kansas City, Missouri, is making a big impact in the veteran world through tiny houses. Forty-nine tiny homes, from 240 to 320 square feet, are where homeless veterans can get back on their feet, find community, and get connected with the abundant resources through the organization.

Veterans Community Project shares, “Many Veterans arrive at VCP Village with little more than the pain, uncertainty, and loneliness of life on the streets. A tiny house provides everything he or she needs to live with dignity and safety; new furniture, appliances, housewares, bedding, food, and utilities, free of charge.”

VCP is working to not only provide temporary housing, but helping each veteran with all areas of their life; from employment to medical assistance, and eventually to securing permanent housing. The organization is expanding; their next location is planned for Colorado.

Author

  • Jolene McNutt

    Jolene has been married to her extroverted husband, Phil, for 14 years. He is marching towards the retirement finish line after 22 years of Active Duty military service with the Army. Jolene works for Tutor.com to help military families get connected with no cost online tutoring services (Kindergarten through Bachelor level!) funded by the Department of Defense. Jolene and Phil have a son in middle school who loves LEGO, playing his trombone and board games. They also have a weimaraner, Max, who is the most demanding personality in the household. He keeps the whole family laughing. Jolene enjoys traveling, reading, and making allergy-friendly recipes for Finn. Despite her introverted nature, Jolene loves hosting friends and family. You can find her volunteering or hiking with Max during her spare time. Find her on Instagram @jolenemichelle1. Sarah Robichaud Director of Administration

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