Army

July 5, 2013

FH Retiree Council shares news, notes

(The following is provided as a public service from the Fort Huachuca Retiree Council and was written by retired Lt. Col Mark Overberg, deputy chief, Army Retirement Services.)


AKO transition will affect retirees
On April 26, Army Secretary John McHugh signed a memo outlining the Army’s transition from Army Knowledge Online™, or AKO, to the information foundation of Army 2020. “To achieve the anticipated financial economies, efficiencies and security improvements, the Army must modernize current AKO infrastructure and services to become more interoperable across DoD (Department of Defense), compliant with emerging Joint Information Environment architectures and implement current best practices for cloud-based managed services,” McHugh wrote.
As part of the transition, the Army “will sunset the technological systems that underpin AKO today, although the AKO trademark will remain.” The memo directed two immediate actions:
• The Army G-3/5/7 will publish an order including transition dates for all AKO services not later than Aug. 24.
• Headquarters, Department of the Army, or DA, will rescind the exceptions to policy authorizing AKO accounts for DA civilian retirees, military retirees and Family members.
To prevent these communities from losing access to online functions and services, retirees must obtain a DoD self-service logon, which allows secure access to websites such as TRICARE Online, MyPay, the Department of Veterans Affairs’ e-Benefits and the Defense Manpower Data Center.
McHugh wrote, “In today’s Internet age, the Army retains a responsibility and a mission requirement to remain virtually connected to all of our military retirees. As part of the executive order, G-1, in conjunction with CIO/G-6, will publish guidance regarding how the Army will support this requirement.”
Statistics show that retirees don’t widely use AKO. In Sept. 2012, military retirees and Family members accounted for only 1.92 percent of all AKO Logins and 0.16 percent of emails sent.
Retiree Council says standards of service are needed
On April 26, retired Lt. Gen. James Lovelace, Jr. and retired Sgt. Maj. of the Army Kenneth Preston, the co-chairs of the Chief of Staff, Army (or CSA) Retiree Council, met with Army Chief of Staff Gen. Raymond Odierno and Sgt. Maj. of the Army Raymond Chandler III to discuss the concerns of the one million strong retired community and to offer retirees’ continued support to the Army.
The council said in its formal report to the CSA that “consistent day-to-day quality support of our retiree constituency across the Army’s components is critical. To accomplish this requires experienced professionals and adequate uninterrupted resourcing.”
The council acknowledged the Army faces significant resource challenges that include difficult cuts for personnel and programs. The report said, “In this environment, retired Soldiers recognize they are Soldiers for life and will be needed more than ever. As part of the Army team, we will continue to do our part in telling the Army story and providing support wherever and whenever needed. The ongoing contributions and volunteer service of so many of the one million-plus retired Soldiers and surviving spouses demonstrates our commitment to our Army, its active duty force, its retired Soldiers and Family members.”
Citing program inconsistencies across the Army, the council recommended the Army “establish measurable standards of service … and a process to track them.” The council volunteered to work with U.S. Army Installation Management Command, or IMCOM, and the DA staff to accomplish this task.
A summary of the council’s key recommendations include:
• Increases of TRICARE fees should not be tied to the annual health care inflation rate. Continued increases using the retired pay cost-of-living adjustment are acceptable.
• Support legislation to authorize pretax payment of premiums for TRICARE, supplemental, long-term care and dental insurance.
• Prioritize retirement services as a “must fund” program at DA level and fence resources to ensure execution is not affected by resource shortfalls at lower levels. Focus on funding pre- and post-retirement services, retiree councils, retiree appreciation events, and outreach and engagement of the retiree community.
• Complete the formal establishment of Retirement Services Offices at major Army Reserve and Army National Guard commands.
• Review retirement services at joint base locations to ensure the transition of installation management to other services has not reduced retirement services below Army standards.
• Clearly identify the importance of retired Soldiers by including them in senior leader talking points, leadership courses, the IMCOM commanding general’s top 10 priorities, and the Army Family and Community Covenants.
• Sustain funding for printing three editions of Army “Echoes” each year. Expand efforts maximize electronic delivery of “Echoes.”
The terms of five of the 14 council members will end in 2013. This summer, Retirement Service officers will accept nominations for replacements. All council reports since 2001 are available at http://www.armyg1.army.mil/rso/RetireeCouncil.asp.
The Fort Huachuca Retiree Council meets quarterly in January, April, July and October. The next meeting will be held on Wednesday, 10 a.m., in the Army Community Service Conference Room.
For more information, email mi33csm@icloud.com.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 
Courtesy photo by United Kingdom Ministry of Defense

Army researchers develop pocket-sized aerial surveillance device

Courtesy photo by United Kingdom Ministry of Defense A British Soldier holds a Prox Dynamics’ PD-100 Black Hornet, a palm-sized miniature helicopter weighing only 16 grams. Researchers with the U.S. Army Natick Soldier Resear...
 
 

Active duty Service members must change Roth TSP contributions

GRAFENWOEHR, Germany — Active duty members of the Army, Air Force or Navy making dollar-amount Roth contributions to a Thrift Savings Plan account should know that these deductions will stop on Jan. 31, unless action is taken. “The Roth [Thrift Savings Plan] contributions are going from a dollar figure to a percentage of pay,” said...
 
 

THANKSGIVING DAY SAFETY MESSAGE

Thanksgiving is a day set aside to pause, reflect and give thanks for the gifts of peace, freedom and opportunity we share as Americans. Holiday weekends provide a well-earned respite from work and an opportunity for travel to visit Family and friends. However, increased travel means increased exposure to the hazards associated with heavy holiday...
 

 
Defense Commissary Agency

Commissary Value Brand returns for more savings

Defense Commissary Agency Starting in December, the Fort Huachuca Commissary will add Commissary Value Brands to its shelves. FORT LEE, Va. – In response to growing patron demand for products comparable to the low-cost privat...
 
 

FH visitors, Civilian workers can dine at Exchange facilities

At military installations across the globe, the Army & Air Force Exchange Service provides a taste of home to Soldiers, Airmen and their Families. While rules governing who can buy merchandise at exchanges often apply to a select few, anyone can dine in exchange restaurants or pick up grab-and-go fare from Express locations. The Fort...
 
 

Chapel serves up community generosity

From left, Staff Sgt. Daniel Carnaghi, 62nd Army Band; Chaplain (Lt. Col.-P) Kim Norwood, senior Garrison chaplain; his wife, Cindy Norwood; Jo Moore, Outreach Ministries coordinator; and Spc. Benjamin Sepulveda, Main Post Chapel chaplain’s assistant, prepare to distribute turkeys to Fort Huachuca Families in need Thursday at the Main Post Chapel. Thanks to generous donations...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>


Directory powered by Business Directory Plugin