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Panetta signs memo extending benefits to same-sex partners

Posted February 14, 2013 by

WASHINGTON (AFNS) — Calling it “a matter of fundamental equity,” Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta today signed a memorandum to the service secretaries and the Pentagon’s top personnel official extending benefits to same-sex partners of service members. Here is the secretary’s announcement of the policy change: “Seventeen months ago, the United States military ended the…

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DOD adds synthetic marijuana to random drug testing

Posted December 19, 2013 by Army Sgt. 1st Class T. Marshall Jr.

WASHINGTON – The Defense Department has expanded its zero tolerance for the use of illicit drugs to include synthetic marijuana, also known as “spice,” the director of DOD’s drug testing and program policy said here today. In an interview with American Forces Press Service and the Pentagon Channel, Army Lt. Col. Tom Martin said that…

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Officials complete new tuition assistance policy memo

Posted April 26, 2012 by American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON – When a new policy takes effect — probably this summer — schools will need to have a signed memorandum of understanding to participate in the Defense Department’s Tuition Assistance Program, Pentagon officials said. A 90-day extension that expired March 30 allowed DOD officials to work with stakeholders to address issues associated with the…

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DOD contractors to get new whistleblower protections

Posted July 5, 2013 by Nick Simeone and Karen Parrish

WASHINGTON – Beginning July 1, whistleblowers working for Defense Department subcontractors will begin receiving protection against reprisals through a new law intended to better protect those who expose possible wrongdoing. In addition, as part of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2013, contractors who report suspected waste, fraud and abuse within their company…

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DOD anti-tobacco video contest now open for public voting

Posted February 27, 2014 by

WASHINGTON (AFNS) — The Air Force community is encouraged to kick off 2014 by voting online for the best anti-tobacco video in the Department of Defense-sponsored Fight the Enemy until March 14. Five finalists have been selected for public voting, including two Air Force entrants. The contest videos capture the theme of tobacco use as the “enemy”…

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DOD to improve voluntary education safeguards

Posted July 26, 2012 by Lisa Daniel

WASHINGTON — The Defense Department is nearing completion of an agreement with post-secondary schools to ensure service members have the best possible experience in continuing their education, a senior Pentagon official said today. The department will release later this summer a memorandum of understanding to be signed by colleges, universities and technical schools to make…

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Furlough raises questions on civilian leave, pay

Posted October 10, 2013 by Jim Garamone

WASHINGTON – Only those Defense Department civilians recalled from furlough under the Pay Our Military Act may take annual and sick leave, a Pentagon spokesman said here today. “Employees who remain on furlough are in a nonpay, nonduty status, so there is no leave to take,” Navy Lt. Cmdr. Nate Christensen explained. So a civilian…

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If sequestration triggers, furloughs begin in late April

Posted February 28, 2013 by Jim Garamone

WASHINGTON (AFNS)  — If sequestration is triggered next week, unpaid furloughs for civilian Defense Department employees will start in late April, Pentagon officials said here today. Sequestration is a provision in budget law that will trigger major across-the-board spending cuts March 1 unless Congress agrees on an alternative. DOD Comptroller Robert F. Hale told reporters…

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Commissary scanning IDs

Posted December 19, 2013 by Airman 1st Class Chris Massey

The Defense Commissary Agency has implemented a new policy requiring a Department of Defense ID card bar code be scanned in order to make purchases at all commissaries throughout the military. “The purpose of the scanning IDs is to positively identify authorized patrons for the commissary, just like the Department of the Air Force or…

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Thrift Savings Plan to offer new Roth option

Posted April 26, 2012 by Karen Parrish

WASHINGTON – Service members and Defense Department civilian employees who are eligible for the Thrift Savings Plan will soon have a new Roth option for retirement savings under the program, defense finance officials announced today. The change will allow participants to contribute after-tax dollars to the federal government-sponsored retirement savings and investment plan, according to…

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