Editorâ€™s Note: The â€œPeople Firstâ€ section is compiled from information from the Air Force Personnel Center, TRICARE, 56th Force Support Squadron, Airman and Family Readiness Flight, Veterans Affairs, the civilian personnel office and armed forces news services. For the complete story, go to the web address listed at the end of the story.
Some reservists billed for dental premiums
About 3,500 Guard and Reserve Airmen on extended active duty will need to pay dental premiums directly to the Metropolitan Life Insurance Co. rather than through payroll deduction, officials said.
A glitch, which occurred May 1 when the TRICARE Dental Program changed providers from United Concordia to MetLife, affected reserve component members on orders for more than 30 days.
The company automatically generated paper statements and sent them to the affected beneficiaries in early May, said Lynn Head, a TRICARE Management Activity contract representative.
These service members did not have their TRICARE dental premiums deducted from their reserve pay in April. The beneficiaries will not lose coverage, but are asked to make premium payments by check, electronic funds transfer or credit card until the payroll deduction option becomes available, said Army Brig. Gen. W. Bryan Gamble, the deputy director of TRICARE Management Activity.
USPS restricts shipping of lithium batteries
Effective May 16, the United States Postal Service will no longer allow the mailing of lithium batteries to or from international destinations, including Army post offices, fleet post offices and diplomatic post offices.
Affected items will be lithium-metal or lithium-ion batteries in electronic devices sent on commercial passenger aircraft to international destinations, said Darlene S. Casey, a senior public relations representative at the U.S. Postal Service Headquarters inÂ Washington, D.C. As USPS uses commercial passenger air transportation for outbound international shipments, there are currently no exceptions.
The change is required due to new standards implemented by the International Civil Aviation Organization and the Universal Postal Union.
The restriction does not apply to air cargo shipments, officials said. Therefore, private shipping companies, such as DHL, FedEx and UPS will continue to move shipments of lithium batteries and electronic devices containing lithium batteries, officials said. Items will be shipped per ICAO regulations as outlined in the International Air Transportation Association dangerous goods manual.
New guide helps Airmen, families navigate social media
Airmen and families have a new resource at their fingertips with the recent release of an updated and revised social media guide by the Air Force Public Affairs Agency in San Antonio.
The guide features sections geared toward all Total Force members and their families as well as Air Force leaders. It highlights topics including using social media effectively, security awareness, social media platforms, public affairs programs and social media policy, among others.
â€œOur social media team has made great strides in updating this guide,â€ said Larry Clavette, Air Force Public Affairs Agency director. â€œAirmen and families will see a lot of information they can apply to their social networking practices, whether theyâ€™ve been using social media for years or are just coming onboard with the technology.â€
While information on social media has been around for several years, the types of platforms people use evolve and new ones start up nearly every day. No matter which social media platform you use, and whether you use social media personally or professionally, many basic principles apply.
Military wives eligible for vocational scholarships
Operation Homefront and the Womenâ€™s Self Worth Foundation will offer theÂ Saban Military Wife Educational Scholarship to wives of uniformed service members who attend certain vocational training programs in the medical field and meet eligibility requirements.
Overall, 22 vocational training scholarships will be awarded, totaling $237,500.
Two $30,000 scholarships will be awarded for tuition for vocational nursing programs.Â Also, 15 scholarships of $8,500 and five scholarships of $10,000 will be awarded for tuition for vocational training in the following medical fields: dental assistant, medical assistant, medical billing and coding specialist, medical insurance technician, patient care assistant/ technician, nurse assistant training programÂ and medical transcription.
To be eligible, applicants must be a legal wife of a military member currently serving on active duty, whether they are active duty, Reserve or National Guard. Applicants must be accepted for registration by a vocational school in one of the fields mentioned above, and be an active volunteer in their community. If awarded a scholarship, awardee must complete 12 hours of volunteer work per year while using the funds. The funds awarded must be put to use within 12 months of theÂ scholarship award date and must be used in their entirety within 48 months.