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.
The Air Force has released further guidance on the implementation of several changes to the physical assessment test, which will take place Oct. 21.
The new guidance includes additions to the body composition component of the fitness assessment, delegation of appeal authority for fitness assessments and changes to the walk test.
According to the new policy, those taking only the abdominal circumference component of the fitness assessment will pass with the component minimum score as opposed to the composite 75 score as was previously required. Males must now achieve an abdominal circumference of 39 inches, which is also the component minimum. Females must now achieve an abdominal circumference of 35.5 inches, which is also their component minimum.
Airmen who fail the abdominal circumference, or AC, measurement but score 75 points out of the remaining 80 points on the other components will take the body mass index, or BMI, screen, the policy states. If the Airman does not pass the BMI screen, the Airman will take a body fat assessment, or BFA. If the Airman passes either the BMI screen or BFA, the Airman passes the body composition component of the fitness assessment.
As a result of the passed continuing resolution legislation, the Air Force is in the process of returning operations to normal preshutdown status, to include the reinstatement of military tuition assistance.
The continuing resolution will fund the Air Force under fiscal 2013 sequester funding levels, which will enable the reinstatement of MilTA for Airmen.
“Effective immediately all military tuition assistance applications for courses starting on or after Oct. 17 may be submitted,” said Col. Jeff White, Air Force learning division chief. “All previously approved MilTA requests for courses which began on or after Oct. 17 are reinstated.”
Looking to the future, the Air Force policy for courses that started Oct. 1 through 16 will be distributed as soon as it is available, White said.
Air Force officials urge members to continue monitoring www.af.mil and the Air Force Virtual Education Center, which can be found on the Air Force portal, for the most up to date information.
The Affordable Care Act, also known as the health care law, was created to expand access to affordable health care coverage, lower costs, and improve quality and care coordination for all Americans.
Under the health care law, people will have health coverage that meets a minimum standard (called “minimum essential coverage”) by Jan. 1, 2014, qualify for an exemption, or may be required to pay a fee if they have affordable options, but remain uninsured. Because of this, many TRICARE beneficiaries may be wondering how this new law will affect them and their families.
Simply speaking, the Affordable Care Act will have very little impact on TRICARE beneficiaries. The biggest change they will notice may be an extra letter in their mailbox every January, and an extra box to check on their tax forms every April.
Beneficiaries who receive TRICARE benefits, whether at no cost, by electing to pay an enrollment fee, or by paying monthly premiums, have minimum essential coverage under the Affordable Care Act. This includes: TRICARE Prime, Prime Remote and Standard; TRICARE Reserve Select, TRS; TRICARE Young Adult, or TYA; TRICARE Retired Reserve, or TRR; and the Continued Health Care Benefit Program, or CHCBP.
Service members who deploy or are otherwise separated from their families due to mission needs now have an online resource allowing them to hone their parenting skills as they reconnect with their children.
Pam Murphy, the Defense Department’s lead psychologist for the website, said the launch of http://www.militaryparenting.org offers unprecedented, comprehensive and free computer-based training from a service member’s perspective on parenting and building strong relationships with their children.
A clinical psychologist with more than 20 years of experience in community and private practice, Murphy said the Integrated Mental Health Strategy Program is a collaborative initiative between the Veterans Affairs Department and DOD.
“We initially did an environmental scan of everything within the DOD as well as commercially available, and one of the areas that seemed to be at a deficit was a comprehensive parenting program that looks at the basics,” Murphy said.
She noted that while a plethora of parenting information exists online, it was difficult to identify a free, private “military-centric” program.