Editor’s Note: The “People First” 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.
AFOSI introduces first anonymous tip line app
The Air Force Office of Special Investigations is capitalizing on cyberspace and the opportunity to engage the community more effectively with the implementation of its first anonymous tip line application.
The new “Anonymous Tip Line” operates via the Internet, SMS (texting) and also a smart phone application. These tools will allow anyone to provide AFOSI with anonymous tips on everything from drugs and theft to terrorist activities and potential insider threats.
“Before now, we really had no true way for people wanting to report a potential tip to remain anonymous,” said Special Agent Patrick Brom, Sheppard AFOSI detachment commander. “With these new applications, anybody reporting a tip has the ability to remain 100-percent anonymous and will have their concerns addressed in a timely manner.”
Two of the unique features of the online and smart phone applications are the ability of individuals to send in photographs with their tip and the capability of agents to request more information from the tipster without diminishing anonymity.
Sister-service PME provides valuable joint tool
As part of a career broadening opportunity, a new nomination and selection process to attend sister-service enlisted professional military education courses has been established for senior NCO.
“The significance rests with the transformation from a first-come, first-served process to one that incorporates deliberate development and a return on investment,” said Chief Master Sgt. Timothy Horn, Air Force Enlisted Developmental Education chief. “We owe it to both our Airmen and Air Force to put this level of rigor into our developmental processes.”
To be eligible for sister-service senior NCO courses, Airmen must not only be nominated by their unit, but must also meet the specific criteria of the applicable service. The package must then be submitted through a board process at the unit’s major command, where the first cut is made.
From there, packages are sent to an Air Force-level board that determines the selectees who are given final approval by the chief master sergeant of the Air Force. This year the Air Force-level board is scheduled for Oct. 10, and if all goes well, it will be benchmarked as the new selection process.
Active-duty Airmen can pass education benefits to dependents
More than 86,000 active duty Air Force members have transferred Post 9/11 GI Bill education benefits to dependent family members since the benefit transfer program was implemented in August 2009.
However, many who did so were unfamiliar with the process and ended up in a difficult situation, while others want to transfer benefits but hesitate to do so because of commitments that come with the program.
Understanding how the transfer of education benefits program works starts with understanding who is eligible for Post 9/11 GI Bill benefits, said Master Sgt. Joseph Cummings, AFPC education services advisor.
Anyone on active duty for at least 90 days from Sept. 9, 2011, through today (with honorable service disposition) is eligible for Post 9/11 GI Bill benefits. Benefit amounts vary depending on how long a member served after 9/11, and what kind of education they seek (e.g., undergraduate degree, graduate degree or certification program). Members have 15 years after retirement to use their benefits.
Being eligible for Post 9/11 GI Bill benefits, however, does not mean an Airman is eligible to transfer those benefits.
Electronic payments required for TRICARE Reserve Select and Retired Reserve monthly premiums
To avoid losing coverage, beneficiaries enrolled in TRICARE Reserve Select or TRICARE Retired Reserve who pay monthly premiums by check need to switch to an electronic form of payment before Jan. 1, 2013.
Beginning Jan. 1, 2013, TRICARE will only accept monthly premium payments using recurring automatic payments by credit or debit card, or by recurring electronic funds transfer from a linked bank account. To avoid confusion, beneficiaries should verify that their bank sends EFT payments.
The Defense Manpower Data Center is notifying current TRR and TRS beneficiaries directly by email, and new beneficiaries will be informed in their welcome package information when enrolling.
Beneficiaries can contact their regional contractor to set up automatic payments and get more information. Contact information for each region is available online at www.TRICARE.mil/contacts.