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Today's Focus:

Expanded Education Benefits for Children of Fallen Soldiers

SENIOR LEADERS ARE SAYING

"The most important thing we can do to get back in balance is to increase the time our Soldiers spend at home. Dwell time, the time spent at home, is important for several reasons. First, it gives our Soldiers time to recover from combat tours - and 12 months is not enough."

- Chief of Staff of the Army Gen. George W. Casey Jr., at the hearing before the House Armed Services Committee, May 14

Chief discusses plan to increase dwell time

WHAT THEY'RE SAYING

Year of the Noncommissioned Officer

" (This competition) insures that these outstanding Soldiers continue to be recognized for their outstanding abilities. In this thorough competition we see warrior leaders performing at their ultimate best."

- USAG Stuttgart Command Sgt. Maj. Mark Barbary, at IMCOM- E's 2009 Soldier of the Year and NCO of the Year competition, Grafenwoehr, Germany

Zeroing In: IMCOM-E's best Soldiers go head-to-head in annual competition

CALENDAR

2009: Year of the NCO

2009: Year of the Military Family

2009: 100th Anniversary of the Chaplain Assistant

May 2009:

- National Mental Health Month

- National Military Appreciation Month

- Asia Pacific American Heritage Month

May 24 - 31: National Hurricane Awareness Week

May 25: Memorial Day

PROFESSIONAL WRITING

Army Professional Writing

TODAY'S FOCUS

Expanded Education Benefits for Children of Fallen Soldiers

What is it?

The policy regarding the education of the dependents of fallen Soldiers has been expanded. The new policy allows currently-enrolled students in Domestic Dependent Elementary and Secondary Schools (DDESS) who are dependents of fallen Soldiers to continue in DDESS schools without limitation, regardless of their physical residence or upcoming school transition points. The policy change is effective immediately.

Why is it important to the Army?

The prior policy allowed currently-enrolled DDESS students who were dependents of fallen Soldiers to continue in DDESS schools until the end of the school year without any special permission. It allowed for students to stay in the DDESS school until they would normally transition to another school level - i.e. elementary school to middle school or middle school to high school.

After reflecting on the previous policy and with input from families and commanders, DoDEA reevaluated the policy. Continued enrollment now only requires a one-time parental request to the respective school. Yearly registration is required and students will need to meet all other requirements for enrollment. The student's family will have to assume responsibility for transportation.

The Army doesn't leave Soldiers behind on the battlefield; nor will the Army leave their families behind. The Army is committed to ensuring excellence in schools and expanding education opportunities. This commitment extends to school-aged family members of fallen Soldiers. The Army recognizes the commitment and increasing sacrifices that families are making every day. The Army recognizes the strength of Soldiers comes from the strength of their Families. Thus, the Army is committed to providing Soldiers and families a quality of life commensurate with their service and sacrifice.

What continued efforts does the Army have planned for the future?

The Army will continue their commitment to providing our families a strong, supportive environment where they can thrive. The Army is developing consistency in the range of services that can be tailored to a family or survivor's needs. These services are available for the survivors of any Soldier who has died on active duty.

Resources:

Department of Defense Education Activity

Army One Source

Long Term Family Case Management

Assistant Chief of Staff for Installation Management

IMCOM Website

FMWRC Website


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