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.
Hagel emphasizes summer safety in DOD message
Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel urged service members, civilian employees and their families May 23 to enjoy the upcoming summer, but to do so safely. In a message to Defense Department members, he emphasized the need to make good decisions during a time of year that contributes to more than 80 percent of the DOD’s noncombat deaths.
His message stated:
The summer months are often a high point of our year as we take a well-deserved vacation and spend time with family and friends. The summer allows for an opportunity to relax and refresh. However, many of the activities we pursue during our vacation time put us at risk for accidents that have potentially serious consequences.
As you drive to and from vacation destinations, remember that 81 percent of the noncombat fatalities in 2012 took place during the summer. Last summer, 80 service members died in motor vehicle collisions. They included 27 in 4-wheel vehicles, 47 while riding motorcycles, four were pedestrians and two were bicyclists.
Veteran groups announce plan to reduce backlog
The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, Disabled American Veterans and the American Legion recently announced a new partnership to help reduce the compensation claims backlog for veterans.
The effort, called the Fully Developed Claims Community of Practice, is a key part of the VA’s overall transformation plan to end the backlog in 2015 and process claims within 125 days at 98 percent accuracy, VA officials said.The VA can process fully developed claims in half the time it takes for a traditionally filed claim, officials said.
“VA prides itself on our ongoing partnership with organizations that represent veterans throughout the claims process,” said Allison Hickey, undersecretary for benefits. “A fully developed claim is the most effective way to ensure a veteran’s claim never reaches the backlog and is the basis for this new initiative between VA and what we expect will be an ever-increasing number of veteran service organizations and others who represent veterans at various points of the claims process.
”The new initiative “takes a common-sense approach to working smarter to better serve injured and ill veterans,” said Barry Jesinoski, Disabled American Veterans executive director. “DAV is pleased to be working with the VA to help improve the disability compensation system,” Jesinoski said.
Active-duty line officers sought for attaché duty
Active-duty line of the Air Force captains, majors and lieutenant colonels interested in attaché duty could find themselves on an international affairs team in Switzerland, Venezuela, Burma and others, but those interested must submit their applications by June 20 to be considered, Air Force Personnel Center officials said. AFPC and the Secretary of the Air Force, International Affairs office are accepting applications for senior defense official/defense attaché, air attaché and assistant air attaché duty at nine locations, with tour lengths ranging from 18 to 24 months, said Maj. Carl Wood, AFPC International Affairs Assignments.
“Attachés officially represent the secretary of Defense, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, secretary of the Air Force and Air Force chief of staff to the host country defense ministry,” he said. “They help build and sustain relationships between the U.S. and host country, provide critical advice to the U.S. ambassador and country team, and directly support our efforts to fight global terrorism.”
This year, two duty locations have C-12 Huron aircraft assigned, so the attaché for those offices must be fixed-wing pilots. Only rated officers who are regional or political affairs strategists may apply for the C-12 positions, the major said.
NCO attaché position applications due June 10
Active-duty staff through senior master sergeants interested in attaché duty could find themselves on an international affairs team in Argentina, Taiwan, Russia and other countries, but those interested must submit their applications by June 10 to be considered, Air Force Personnel Center officials recently announced. The Secretary of the Air Force, International Affairs is accepting applications for enlisted Defense Attaché Specialists at 19 locations, with tour lengths ranging from 12 to 36 months, said Senior Master Sgt. Scott Geren, AFPC mission support, special duty and joint department assignments superintendent.
These enlisted attaché support positions are open to staff through senior master sergeants, and include operations coordinator and operations NCO.