Monthly Archives: January 2014
Congress approved one of the more controversial bipartisan budget deals at the end of 2013, which mandates a $6 billion cut from military pensions. The deal, which President Obama signed the last week of December, is causing considerable tension among working age service men and women retirees
Critics of the cut believe it breaks a solemn pact made between the United States and those who have served their country. While the cut is a one percent reduction, it certainly adds up. House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wisconsin) and Senate Budge Committee Chairman Patty Murray (D-Washington) have agreed to amend the deal to exempt survivors of those killed in action and disabled retirees from the cut, which will take back roughly 10% of the $6 billion dollars.
Supporters of the pension cuts note that before this deal, anyone who put in 20 years of time in the military could begin receiving their pension immediately. That is, an 18-year-old recruit could receive a full pension at the ripe age of 38. The goal of this deal was to save money by making cuts to those who would feel it less, such as young and able retirees. Additionally, the funds saved from this budget are purported to be recycled back into the military. Ryan noting, “Veterans aren’t Washington’s piggy bank.”
Military personnel celebrated the holiday season with the 16th annual Operation Toy Drop and a rally for cancer patient support. According to Paraglide, the official newspaper of Fort Braggs, 3,500 paratroopers donated toys to this year’s Operation Toy Drop to enter the drop lottery. The lottery, which included military personnel from nine different countries, such as Germany, Poland, Canada, Latvia, Italy Netherlands, Sweden, Chile and Brazil.
The Operation Toy Drop lottery only gives 500 soldiers the opportunity to participate in the mass tactical jump. Those US paratroopers who won the lottery jumped out of the sky together at the Sicily Drop Zone on Saturday, December 7, earning foreign jump wings. The toys, ranging from bikes to Barbie dolls, will benefit the children in their communities.
Meanwhile, at the Bagram Airfield in Afghanistan, soldiers shaved their heads in support of cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy. The soldiers who shaved their heads did it as a symbolic rally of solidarity after finding out that Staff. The soldiers then sent family members and friends afflicted with the disease special group photos so they could be certain they had a whole wealth of support during their treatment.
The new Tuition Assistance program changes took effect this New Year’s. For an at-a-glance look at the changes and how it may affect your Tuition Assistance at California Intercontinental University, please see below
· There is a semester cap on the number of semester hours that can be taken using TA: 130 semester hours for baccalaureate degree and 39 semester hours for the master’s degree.
· You can take up to 16 semester hours per year.
· If you completed your undergraduate degree without using TA, you do not have to wait 10 years to use TA for a graduate degree.
· You can use TA one year after completing initial entry training (IET).
· TA still cannot be used to a secondary, equivalent degree.
· TA still cannot be used for the PhD, MD and JD.
· Non-degree language course remain TA eligible.
· TA can be used for one post-secondary certificate in trade programs such as computers or welding.
In 2013, the TA program funded the completion of 8,525 degrees for Active Soldiers, 1,469 for Reserve Soldiers and 1,359 for Guard Soldiers. The hope is that these new policy changes will keep military personnel who are in good standing in school while balancing the program budget.