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.
Tuition assistance process eliminates up-front fees
Air Force Reserve Command officials will implement a new tuition assistance payment process Oct. 1 that will eliminate up-front fees reservists pay for classes by enabling tuition payments to go directly to a university or college.
“This new (tuition assistance) process will be a huge relief for our members,” said Col. Heather Connahey, the chief of the AFRC personnel division.
Reservists currently have to wait up to 120 days after submitting their grades to be reimbursed for classes. Under the new process, they will still apply for tuition assistance through the Air Force Virtual Education Center. However, payment issues are taken out of their hands and handled by the Air Force, which will pay the school through an automated system.
Airmen will be able to apply under the new process in mid-September for classes beginning Oct. 1 or later. Once the administrative drop/add period ends for the course, the college or university will bill AFRC. Additionally, the college or university will load the grade in the system, although students are still responsible for ensuring the grade is loaded.
Hagel announces new anti-sexual assault initiatives
Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel recently announced seven new initiatives to strengthen and standardize the department’s sexual assault prevention and response effort.
In a memo to the field, Hagel called elimination of sexual assault in the military one of the department’s top priorities.
“This effort requires our absolute and sustained commitment to providing a safe environment in which every service member and DOD civilian is free from the threat of sexual harassment and assault,” he wrote in a statement. “Our success depends on a dynamic and responsive approach. We, therefore, must continually assess and strive to improve our prevention and response programs.”
On May 6 the secretary directed the services and defense agencies to strengthen the program in commander accountability, command climate, victim advocacy and safety.
The secretary’s initiatives strengthen these areas further. They include:
The secretary directed the services to improve victim legal support. He directed the service secretaries to create a legal advocacy program to provide legal representation to sexual assault victims throughout the judicial process. He set Nov. 1 as an initial operating capacity for this and for it to be fully functional by Jan. 1.
AF names DOD leadership program participants
Six officers have been selected for the Defense Department Executive Leadership Development Program, Air Force Personnel Center officials said.
This program is designed specifically for highly motivated, active-duty officers who have demonstrated outstanding leadership ability, commitment to public service and integrity, and who have an interest in moving into senior management positions, said Tech. Sgt. Jason Franklin with AFPC’s officer developmental education office.
Selectees are Majs. Sharon Cortney, Air Education and Training Command; Scott Brandimore, Air Force Intelligence Surveillance and Reconnaissance Agency; and Matthew Dibble and Jeffrey James Pederson, Air Mobility Command, and Capts. Ian Slazinik and Christopher Uhland, also with AMC.
Participants will function in a simulated environment where they will focus on real-life situations that involve short deadlines and require thoughtful decision-making, Franklin said.
Eglin F-35 fleet exceeds 2K sorties, training presses on
Airmen and Marines assigned to the F-35 Integrated Training Center at the 33rd Fighter Wing have consistently flown successful training sorties and generated their 2,000th sortie Aug. 13 with an instructor pilot of the Marine Fighter Attack Training Squadron-501 (VMFAT-501), at the controls.
Marine Maj. Adam Levine, who flew in a two-ship formation, said he was surprised with the news upon landing but said that is typical since the flightline members are focusing on safe and effective flying rather than keeping pace with data tracked by those in statistical analysis.
“Every sortie, every takeoff, every hour is a win for the F-35 enterprise,” he said.
From his cockpit, Levine also witnessed the first taxi of the U.S. Navy’s F-35C carrier variant preparing for its maiden flight from Eglin AFB.
With the Air Force, Marine Corps and Navy pressing forward to meet goals of initial operating capability in the next few years for their respective services, getting ample time in the air is crucial to meeting their timelines.