AFAP recommends solutions for military concerns

| March 16, 2012 | 0 Comments
The garrison-level Army Family Action Plan was held, here, Oct. 18-20, 2011, and hosted by U.S. Army Garrison-Hawaii. Delegates reviewed issues and recommendations submitted by community members. Through AFAP, all members of the Army — including active, reserve, and National Guard Soldiers; family members; retirees; surviving spouses; and Army civilians — have a forum to voice concerns to Army leadership and make recommendations for change.

The garrison-level Army Family Action Plan was held, here, Oct. 18-20, 2011, and hosted by U.S. Army Garrison-Hawaii. Delegates reviewed issues and recommendations submitted by community members. Through AFAP, all members of the Army — including active, reserve, and National Guard Soldiers; family members; retirees; surviving spouses; and Army civilians — have a forum to voice concerns to Army leadership and make recommendations for change. (Vickey Mouze | U.S. Army Garrison-Hawaii Public Affairs)

Army News Service
News Release

ARLINGTON, Va. — Extending the time allotted to invest survivor benefits and granting per diem for families to attend therapy sessions were the top issues requested recently during the Army Family Action Plan, or AFAP, conference.

After four days of workshop discussion, groups presented their top issues to senior Army senior leaders, here.

“I’ve been told, that since 1983, this forum has raised 501 issues that were resolved,” said Gen. Raymond Odierno, Army chief of staff. “Most importantly, 61 percent of those issues went across the entire Department of Defense, so you’re not only helping Army families, you’re helping Air Force families, Marine families, Navy families, Coast Guard families. … The Air Force has started this (type of forum), as well.”

Four working groups prioritized issues and recommendations in descending order:

•Survivor investment of military death gratuity and Service Members’ Group Life Insurance.

Currently under the Heroes Earning Assist and Relief Tax, or HEART, Act survivors receiving the death gratuity and SGLI funds can place up to the full amount received into a Roth Individual Retirement Account or Coverdell Education Savings Account within 12 months after receipt of funds. The recommendation is to amend the HEART Act to extend the time to 24 months.

•Transportation and per diem for service members’ family to attend family therapy sessions.

Authorize travel and per diem for family members to attend these sessions as required by behavioral health professionals.

•Department of the Army Form 5893, “Soldier’s Medical Evaluation Board/Physical Evaluation Board Checklist,” language clarification.

Modify Form 5893 to warn of the potential recoupment ramifications when receiving concurrent payments of Department of Veterans Affairs disability pay and Army retirement pay for medically retired veterans.

•Child, Youth and School Services, or CYSS, facility-based programs, one-on-one assistance, and reduced adult/child rations for children with special needs.

Determine the appropriate level of care or staffing ratio in CYSS facility-based programs for children with special needs based on the recommendations of the Special Needs Accommodation Process team.

•Identification card for Gold Star lapel button recipients.

Create a card that provides access to Army installations for people authorized to receive the Gold Star lapel button.

•Commissary; Armed Services Exchange; and Morale, Welfare and Recreation privileges for honorably discharged disabled veterans with 10 percent or greater disability.

Authorize honorably discharged disabled veterans with 10 percent or greater disability for commissary; Exchange; and morale, welfare and recreation benefits.

•Creditable civil service career tenure requirements for federally employed spouses of military service members and civilian federal employees.

Increase the 30-day creditable civil service career tenure requirement break for all federally employed spouses of military service members and civilian federal employees to 180 days after resignation in conjunction with the relocation of their military or federal spouse.

•Retention of wounded, ill and injured service members to minimum retirement requirement.

Authorized service members who have 18-20 years of service to remain on active duty to the minimum retirement requirement and not be separated due to medical reasons.

Hawaii Hydrogen Initiative

While USAG-HI’s local AFAP is scheduled for October, community members don’t have to wait until then to submit issues. To submit an issue, access “Family Programs and Services” and select “Army Family Action Plan Issue Management System” at www.myarmyonesource.com.

 

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Category: Army News Service

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