Franconia Military Community announcements for May 8 through 14, 2014
May 8, 2014
Safe Helpline chat room
The Department of Defense Safe Helpline site has a chat room for victims/survivors of sexual assault to express their grief and relieve their pressure. Effective now, victims/survivors in Europe and deployed or working in Africa will have access once a week via chat Thursdays from 8 to 10 p.m. Central European Time. To learn more, visit https://www.safehelpline.org/.
Tuition assistance changes
The Army officially announced changes to its Tuition Assistance policy that have now taken effect. There are three significant changes to the Army's TA policy: 1) Soldiers will be eligible for 16 semester hours of TA-funded courses each fiscal year, 2) to be TA-eligible a Soldier must have one year of service after completion of either AIT, OCS BOLC, and 3) after completing a bachelor's degree, a Soldier must have 10 years of Service from his or her BASD or PEBD to receive TA towards a master's degree. All Soldiers, counselors and school points of contact will receive an email from GoArmyEd advising them of the policy changes. Frequently asked questions will be posted in GoArmyEd to assist in answering questions about the new policies. A Soldier must have 10 years of service from his or her BASD or PEBD to receive TA towards a master's degree. To learn more, visit https://www.goarmyed.com/.
Savings fund application warning
The Apple App Store is offering a free iPhone application called TSP Funds that is not sanctioned by the Thrift Savings Plan. The app asks TSP participants for their account login information. TSP recommends that participants not use the TSP Funds app to access their TSP accounts because using the app could result in a security risk to their accounts.
Flu vaccines are now available at your local health clinic. An annual average of 36,000 deaths and 226,000 hospitalizations occur each year in the U.S. due to influenza infections. Annual flu vaccinations are the most effective method for preventing influenza virus infections and its complications.
Bicycle fines increase
The German parliament has approved increases in the fines for bicycle offenses. Failing to use a bike path or riding without a light now costs 20 euros instead of 15 starting this month. The fine for biking through a pedestrian zone is now 15 euros instead of 10. Parking a car on a bike path costs 20 to 30 euros.
DLA Disposition Services Sites Notice
DLA Disposition Services Sites in Schweinfurt and Grafenwoehr have re-opened for property turn-in. Reutilization, transfer, donation and hazardous waste disposal services has also resumed. For any urgent matters, the site team can be called at 09721-96-8277 in Schweinfurt or 09641-83-6384 in Grafenwoehr.
Returning an Army Provider Satisfaction Survey can generate money for the local health clinic. Positive responses to the questions that generate money for the clinic are great, but honest responses about the customer experience is necessary to improve the clinic's quality of service. Beneficiaries who do not receive a survey within six weeks of a visit to a local clinic should ensure their Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System is up to date.
CID Seeks Qualified Soldiers
The U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Command, commonly known as CID, is recruiting qualified Soldiers who are interested in pursuing a career as a federal law enforcement officer. To learn more, visit www.cid.army.mil/join_CID.html.
Army Suggestion Program
The Army Suggestion Program encourages Soldiers, civilians and any concerned individuals to submit ideas regarding how the Army can increase efficiency and cut costs. Approved suggestions are assessed on how much they save the Army and can earn individuals thousands of dollars. To learn more or to submit an idea, Army Knowledge Online registered users can visit the ASP website at http://asp.hqda.pentagon.mil/public. Those unable to access AKO can submit a DA Form 1045 to their installation coordinator.
Army OneSource is now available for smartphone browsers. The launch of a mobile device version will optimize Army OneSource the mobile experience for visitors. Visit www.myarmyonesource.com today.
Get EFMP Registered
Is your Soldier coming back from deployment? If your Soldier is receiving orders to another location, it is not too early to start your Exceptional Family Member Program paperwork. Family members can start the paperwork now. Your local Army Community Service EFMP manager can assist in determining what you need to do. Remember, if you have someone registered in EFMP, the registration has to be updated every three years or when the condition changes.
Your Sexual Assault Response Coordinator is available 24 hours a day. Call 0162-510-2917 for the 24-hour hotline.
Planning to move from Soldier to civilian? Take advantage of the transition services offered by the Army Career and Alumni Program, such as a Department of Labor two-and-a-half-day job assistance workshop, resume preparation assistance and information about veterans benefits. Make an appointment to attend the mandatory ACAP Pre-Separation Briefing offered weekly and about an hour long. Separating Soldiers can start the ACAP process one year before separating. Soldiers who will be retiring can start two years out from their projected retirement date.
Trial Defense Services
If you're a Soldier and you are questioned by law enforcement, Criminal Investigation Division or members of your command about suspected acts of misconduct, you have the absolute right to remain silent. You have the right to refuse to answer any question, even from your commander, and you have the right to talk to an attorney. If questioned, you should immediately demand to speak to an attorney. As a Soldier, you are entitled to free consultation and representation by a military defense counsel. All communications with a trial defense attorney are privileged and will not be released to your command. Let a U.S. Army trial defense attorney help you. To learn more, speak with a free trial defense attorney.
The National Military Family Association has created a kit to give the people in military teens' lives a way to help them manage stress and affirm the positive aspects of military life. To obtain a copy of the tool kit and learn more, visit www.militaryfamily.org/publications/enewsletters/military-family-topics/operation-purple-healing.html.
Each year, the Veterans of Foreign Wars selects three young people -- of the Boy or Girl Scouts, Sea Scouts or Venturing Crew -- who have demonstrated practical citizenship in school, scouting and the community. The first-place winner receives a $5,000 award, the second-place winner receives a $3,000 award and the third-place winner receives $1,000. To learn more, visit www.vfw.org/Community/Scout-of-the-Year-Scholarship.
Apply for European Parent Teacher Association scholarships. For more information, visit http://europeanptaonline.org/EPTAScholarship.aspx.
Post-9/11 GI Bill
Take advantage of your military benefits. Earn a degree or skill with your Post-9/11 GI Bill. Find out more about your benefits by visiting www.gibill.va.gov.
Utility Tax Relief Services
The Tax Relief Office offers a new service for U.S. Army Garrison Ansbach, Bamberg and Schweinfurt customers. With the implementation of the Utility Avoidance Program, customers can sign up and save 19 percent tax on their utilities. To learn more, call the Warner Barracks' Tax Relief Office at 0951-300-1780, Ledward Barracks' Tax Relief Office at 09721-96-1780, Bismark Kaserne's Tax Relief Office at 09802-83-1780 or Storck Barracks' Tax Relief Office at 09841-83-4553.
Family Advocacy Programs
Army Community Service's Family Advocacy Program is here to provide help and support by offering New Parent Support Program, Newborn Network, play group, parenting classes, communication classes, victim advocacy and anger/stress management classes. Contact your local ACS for dates and class schedules.
Are you tired of waiting on hold while scheduling a medical appointment at a health clinic? With TRICARE Online, you don't have to wait on hold. You can schedule appointments, refill prescriptions and manage your health needs better. Register today at www.tricareonline.com.