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By Terri Moon Cronk
DoD News, Defense Media Activity

WASHINGTON, Nov. 1, 2017 Service members eligible to opt into the Blended Retirement System in 2018 can now take a free course to learn to use the online comparison calculator to aid in determining whether the new BRS or the legacy retirement system is a better choice for their circumstances, Defense Department officials said.

The calculator provides individual military retirement benefit estimates for service members who are eligible to opt into the new system in 2018, allowing them to compare options under both systems.

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The Defense Department joins the nation in honoring the commitment, sacrifices and contributions families of service members make every day in support of the military and the nation.

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As the nation marks Warrior Care month in November, the Defense Department honors the courage of wounded, ill or injured service members, and highlights the programs that support their return to duty or transition to the civilian community.

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From Naval Hospital Jacksonville

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (NNS) -- Changes are coming to your TRICARE benefits beginning Jan. 1, 2018. These changes will give you more benefit choices, improves your access to care, simplifies cost shares, and allows you to take command of your health.

"Taking command of your health means empowering you to make the right health care and coverage choices for you and your family," said Lt. Cmdr. William Bennett, Naval Hospital Jacksonville director for healthcare business. "Leading up to Jan. 1, 2018, we will connect you with TRICARE resources to navigate your benefit questions."

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By Devon L. Suits October 24, 2017

FORT GEORGE G. MEADE, Md. -- Soldiers who receive a basic allowance for housing and have dependents are reminded to keep their records up to date to prevent any disruptions in their Basic Allowance for Housing, or BAH, entitlements, according to experts within the Army's Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff, G-1.

To help ensure the overall readiness of the force, the Army G-1 has notified 65,000 Soldiers that they needed to provide proof of dependency to justify their housing rates, according to J.D. Riley, deputy chief of the compensation and entitlements division, G-1.

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By C. Todd Lopez, Army News Service October 24, 2017

WASHINGTON -- The current Army Combat Uniform top weighs in at about 650 grams, or about 1.4 pounds. It's got a lot of pockets and multiple layers of fabric. When it gets wet, it tends to stay wet. And when it's hot out, it tends to keep Soldiers hot.

The Army has a solution for that: the Improved Hot Weather Army Combat Uniform that has a whole lot fewer pockets, layers of fabric and Velcro, as well as a new fabric that is actually lighter than the current ACU.

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By Don WagnerOctober 27, 2017

WASHINGTON -- Research shows that when Families are connected to their unit, each other, and the community, Soldiers and Families are better able to meet the challenges of military life, according to Heather Leiby, school liaison transition specialist, U.S. Army Installation Management Command.

In the Military Family Forum II at the Association of the U.S. Army Annual Meeting and Exposition, Leiby gave participants an overview of the new Readiness Essentials for Army Leaders, or R.E.A.L. training.

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By Kat Bailey, Air Force Personnel Center Public Affairs / Published October 13, 2017

JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-RANDOLPH, Texas (AFNS) -- The Defense Department will implement the new Blended Retirement System next year. While no one needs to make a decision until Jan. 1, 2018, all Airmen should take advantage of training and informational resources to research their options during the remainder of 2017.

Airmen eligible for the new Blended Retirement System began receiving email notifications in February from myPers to ensure they receive correct information regarding their benefits to make the decision best suited for their individual needs.

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By Devon L. Suits October 12, 2017

WASHINGTON -- During this period of fiscal uncertainty, senior Army leaders remain committed to providing a high level of care and support to Soldiers and their Families -- making them an Army top priority.

Taking care of Soldiers and Families ensures readiness, said Army Chief of Staff Gen. Mark A. Milley, during a forum focused on military families. About 60 percent of today's Army is married and on average has a family of four. This is a fundamentally different demographic than Soldiers serving during World War II, when only 10 percent of the Army population was married.

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WASHINGTON — Today, the Government National Mortgage Association (Ginnie Mae) and the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) announced the formation of the Joint Ginnie Mae – VA Refinance Loan Task Force.

The task force will focus on examining critical issues, important data and lender behaviors related to refinancing loans, and will determine what program and policy changes should be made by the agencies to ensure these loans do not pose an undue risk or burden to Veterans or the American taxpayer.
More specifically, the task force will examine aggressive and misleading refinancing propositions, as described by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, and will address loan churning and repeated refinancing.

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