News For Your Views
Employees hear about energy, budget cuts and moves
At the Town Hall meeting on Oct. 3, Maj. Gen. Glenn K. Rieth, The Adjutant General, spoke to the employees of the headquarters building in Lawrenceville about energy, budget cuts and saving money to save jobs and programs.
With energy costs of $5 million last year, Gen. Rieth believes this is one area where the department can save money from the budget. So DMAVA has implemented an energy conservation program which will include absolutely no space heaters in the building and no individual refrigerators, coffee pots, microwaves or other appliances.
Rieth reminded employees that according to regulations, heat does not get turned on in military buildings until Nov. 15 unless there have been three consecutive days with below freezing temperatures. “Wear extra layers and two pairs of socks to keep warm this winter,” he added.
To help with energy costs, two federal programs are moving their offices into the Lawrenceville building in October. The State Family Programs Office will move into the offices currently used by the Human Resources Division who will move to the first floor. The Trainee, Transient, Holdee (Medical) and Student (TTHS) Company will move into the spaces currently occupied by the Public Affairs Office. The PAO will move their desks to cubicles between on the first floor between Fiscal and Information and Administrative Services Division.
Other money-saving measures include moving VSO offices to armories to save on rent, selling some armories that are currently not being used, consolidation of the Mercer Airport facilities with the State Police and possible mothballing of some armories while the tenant units are deployed.
According to Gen. Rieth, it is hoped that these measures will keep DMAVA from cutting people or programs. “These (people and programs) may have to be cut if we don’t get in front of this problem,” he stated.
“Jersey Blues” comes in second for second year in a row
From the desk of Master Sgt. Alexandro Estrada
I'm excited to report that New Jersey Army National Guard was well represented at the Army Ten Miler on Oct. 5. "Jersey Blues 08" completed the race with a combined team time of 4:50:40 placing the team in second place for National Guard Men. This is the two years in a row the team has placed in second place. Team members were: Lt. Col. John Sheard, Capt. Andrew Lazarchick, 1st Sgt. Gary Davidson, Master Sgts. Alexandro Estrada, Brian Holderness, and Gladwin Martin, Sgt. 1st Class Luis Gonzalez and Staff Sgt. Jerry Grant.
New Jersey soldiers that also participated are Majors Jamal Beale (recently returned from Afghanistan), Charles McDonald, and Carmen Tucker, Capt. Michel Blachowski (Rutgers University team coordinator), 1st Lt. Tiffaney Mohammed, 1st Sgt. Antonio Ortiz, Master Sgts. Joseph Prieto, Matthew Krug and Robert Cuff, and Sgt. 1st Class Joseph Thorpe. Members from the Seton Hall ROTC were also present.
A special mention to Recruiting and Retention as their leadership and staff played a major role in supporting the event: they coordinated for a tent and giveaways. Kudos go out to 1st Lt. Richard McAndrew and Sgt. Herman Sanchez for volunteering and monitoring the N.J. tent for many hours. The spouses, kids and friends should also be commended for supporting their runners and the New Jersey Guard.
We would like to thank all the commands for their earnest support and dedication to health and fitness. The National Guard celebrated its tenth year commitment to health and fitness on the same day as the Army Ten Miler.
Mark your calendars - the official registration site for the 2009 Army Ten Miler will open around April 1, 2009. I guarantee that signing up will be completed at a record time. The 25th Annual Army Ten Miler will be held on Oct. 4, 2009. A quarter century of Army running will be an incredible celebration to remember.
Enlisted Association announces 2008 award winners
From the desk of retired Command Sgt. Maj. Michael Hughes, President, EANG-NJ
During the 35th Annual Conference of the Enlisted Association of the National Guard of New Jersey in Atlantic City on Sept. 27, the association made the 2008 award presentations.
And the winners were…
Outstanding Soldier: Spc. Melissa A. Ruggeri, Joint Training and Training Development Center
Outstanding Airman: Senior Airman John Parillo, 227th Special Operations Flight
Outstanding NCO-Army: Staff Sgt. Daemion A. Clarke, 150th Finance Detachment
Outstanding NCO-Air: Staff Sgt. Michael F. Sears, 177th Civil Engineering
Outstanding First Sergeant-Army: 1st Sgt. Raymond H. Hoffman, 508th Military Police
Outstanding First Sergeant-Air: Master Sgt. Daniel T. Mitchell Jr., 177th Security Forces
Cherry Hill armory is haunted!!
From the desk of Michele Daisey, Woodbury Family Assistance Center
The 328th Military Police Family Readiness Group is having a "safe" trick or treat Haunted Armory on Nov. 1, 3-8 p.m. There will be two rooms set up for kids to enjoy. One room will be for the little guys and gals with friendly effects, while the other will be scary for the older crowd.
Cost is $1 plus donations for the soldiers. Cherry Hill armory is located at the intersection of Park and Grove streets.
Here are items from the Soldier's wish list: beef jerky, powered drink mixes (single serving size), pretzels, trail mix, sunflower seeds, cup of soup, breakfast or granola bars, candy (no chocolate), white socks (100 percent cotton), foot powder, gel inserts for shoes, corn pads, eye drops, eye glass cleaner, commercially sealed lip balm, DVD movies, music CDs, PSP games, lego's, models, calling cards (international), bandana coolers/Cool-Ties*, mini battery-operated fans, or other personal cooling products and neck warmers.
Sixers offering special on tickets for Veterans Day
Come watch the Philadelphia 76ers play the Utah Jazz on Nov. 11 at 7 p.m. in the Wachovia Center and enjoy the Sixers special Veterans Day offer.
The offer includes 50 percent off discounted tickets available to all service members, veterans, family and friends, special on-court recognition for any service member ordering 50 tickets or more and a Veterans Day theme throughout the night.
Cost of the tickets ranges from $15 for mezzanine corner seats, $22.50 for mezzanine center and $27 for lower level end seats.
For more information contact Marie Durling at 609-562-0739 or email@example.com.
Company looking for Desert Storm vets who saw Super Bowl XXV
Were you deployed to the Desert Storm /Desert Shield area of operations AND watched the Super Bowl in January 1991 from the AO? If so, a production company creating a video about that Super Bowl would like to talk to you.
It was Super Bowl XXV, played in Tampa, Fla., between the New York Giants and the Buffalo Bills. The Giants won the game in the closest score in Super Bowl history, 20-19. Buffalo’s placekicker Scott Norwood missed a field goal wide right with three seconds left in the game.
If your living room seat was in the theater of operations for the first Iraq war, call Steve Palgon, 646-246-5697 as soon as possible.
DMAVA emergency hotline is up and running
Winter is just around the corner and with that comes weather that can make driving to work difficult. There may be times that the department may have a delayed opening or even closures. If there is a question, call the Department of Military and Veterans Affairs Emergency Hotline:
You will then hear the following message:
You have reached the New Jersey Department of Military and Veterans Affairs Emergency Information Number. Please list to the following menu choices and select an appropriate option:
- State employees – press 1
- Federal employees – press 2
- National Guard employees – press 3
Select the appropriate selection and you will hear a pre-recorded message providing further instructions or details regarding the emergency and/or inclement weather reporting instructions.
Military Health System asks for feedback
WASHINGTON -- The Military Health System invites wounded, ill or injured service members and their families to respond to a new pair of questionnaires designed to help MHS leaders better understand the needs and expectations of the warriors in their care.
The questionnaires—one for wounded, ill or injured service members and one for their family members—are available on the Military Health System Web site, http://www.health.mil/Pages/Page.aspx?ID=18 beginning today and will remain open for completion until October 15. Both questionnaires ask for feedback concerning a service member’s experience and satisfaction with the care he or she has received since becoming wounded, ill or injured.
To encourage honest and specific answers that will lead to positive changes in how the MHS handles care for wounded, ill or injured service members, all questionnaire responses are anonymous. Questionnaire results and analysis should be available in November, 2008, at www.health.mil.
These questionnaires are part of Defense Secretary Robert Gates’ commitment to supporting wounded, ill and injured service members—ensuring that their care is DoD’s top priority. This care is continually improving but MHS leaders recognize that there is still more to be done. By listening to the opinions of wounded, ill or injured service members and their families, the MHS will be in a better position to meet their needs and expectations. The online questionnaires are available now at: http://www.health.mil/Pages/Page.aspx?ID=18.
America’s Military Health System (MHS) is a unique partnership of medical educators, medical researchers, and healthcare providers and their support personnel worldwide. This DoD enterprise consists of the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs; the medical departments of the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, Coast Guard, and Joint Chiefs of Staff; the Combatant Command surgeons; and TRICARE providers (including private sector healthcare providers, hospitals and pharmacies).
For more information regarding this questionnaire, please contact (703) 681-1750.
LOD Module users have added access
From the desk of Josephine C. (Grey) Acevedo, Health Systems Specialist Supervisor
Attention all Line of Duty Module users... Effective Aug. 4, 2008, NGB has added access to the Military Medical Support Form in the LOD Module!
Unit level users will have access and be required to fill out all MMSO forms online and forward to Unit Commanders for approval. Upon submission, users will get an email notification in their AKO inbox that a "pre-authorization" is ready for review/approval. Upon approval from Unit Commander, users must submit this form with LOD in Module accordingly.
There are two versions of this form. Form 1 is used for authorization of care for EMERGENCY services, Form 2 is used for ROUTINE care.
These forms are critical for submission of bills. Once a bill arrives in our office, we verify the LOD approval, request the bill in a HCFA format with all procedure codes, submit the bill to MMSO office, then ultimately to TRICARE for payment.
112th Field Artillery Association holding reunion, Nov. 8-9
The 112th Field Artillery Annual is holding a reunion on November 8-9 at the National Guard Armory, Lawrenceville, N.J.
Festivities on Nov. 8 are a reception at 4 p.m., dinner at 5:30 p.m., and dancing at 7 p.m. Cost is $45 per person and the attire is semi-formal.
On Nov. 9, services will be held at 11 a.m. and a lunch will be served at noon. There will be no cost for the day’s activities and the attire is casual.
Reservations must be received by Nov. 5. Send money, seating preference and meal selection – chicken, beef or fish – to 112th FA Assn, 151 Eggert Crossing Road, Lawrenceville, NJ 08648. Checks should be made payable to the 112th FA Assn.
Gold Star Mother Ruck at McGuire, Oct. 18
The McGuire Air Force Base First Sergeants are holding their 2nd Annual Gold Star Mothers Memorial 10K Ruck on Oct. 18 at the 621st CRW Mobility Warehouse, McGuire Air Force Base, at 9 a.m.
The Ruck will commemorate Gold Star Moms and will give four-person teams the opportunity to walk, crawl, run, skip or hop a 6.2 mile course. There are three classes of teams: Military Heavy (with ruck), Military Light (no ruck) and Civilian. Cost to participate in the Ruck is $10 per person.
To register your four-person team, contact Master Sgt. Beason at firstname.lastname@example.org by Oct 10.
Federal absentee voting open to military, family
The Uniformed And Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act (UOCAVA) allows the following U.S. citizens to vote absentee:
- Members of the U.S. Uniformed Services (on active duty) and merchant marine,
- Their family members, and
- U.S. citizens residing outside the U.S.
Members of the U.S. Uniformed Services or merchant marine and their family members may vote absentee while away from their place of voting residence, wherever stationed, inside or outside the United States.
U.S. citizens residing outside the United States and its territories may vote in the state or territory where they last resided immediately prior to departing the United States, even if many years have elapsed and the citizen maintains no residence in the state or territory and the intent to return to that state or territory may not be certain.
Berlin VFW Military Appreciation Day, Oct. 18
Come to the Veterans Appreciation Day hosted by the Berlin VFW ANMAC #6253, 34 Chestnut Ave., Berlin, on Oct. 18, 11 a.m.-4 p.m.
Open to the public, you can enjoy a family day of fun while you explore a military tank, experience an aircraft simulator, play games for the young (and older)and win prizes. There will be pony rides from 1-3 p.m.
There will be a beer garden, music, food, refreshments, crafts and vendors. The admission is free and donations are accepted. Proceeds will go to Veterans Haven and Vineland Veterans Home.
The VFW is still looking for vendors, if interested, call 609-381-8057.
North Jersey Stand Down, Oct. 18
The Northern New Jersey Stand Down will be held Oct. 18, 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. at the John F. Kennedy Pool and Recreation Center, 211 Kinney St., Newark, N.J.
This is a one-day outreach to assist homeless veterans and their family members through employment services, veterans benefits information, medical benefits information, social services, employment assistance, substance abuse programs, recovery programs, PTSD counseling, legal services, photo identification, clothing, vocational rehabilitation services and refreshments.
Cherry Hill armory flea market, craft show, pancake breakfast, Oct. 25
The Cherry Hill 328th MP Family Readiness Group is holding a Flea/Craft Market on Oct. 25, 8a.m.-3 p.m. at the armory. Sell your crafts or stuff from your garage. Cost is $10 a spot and it is BYOT (bring your own table). All money raised will go to support the families and Soldiers of the 328th.
The Gibbsboro-Voorhees Lions Club will be hosting a Pancake Breakfast fundraiser, 8:30-11 a.m.; all proceeds go towards care packages for the Soldiers.
For reservations or information, call 856-435-3717. Leave a message and you will get a call back.
254th Regiment provides class schedule for 2009 training year
The following courses will be conducted by the 254th Regiment, New Jersey Army National Guard, at Sea Girt and Fort Dix during training year 2009.
INACTIVE DUTY TRAINING COURSES (IDT):
- The Army Basic Instructor Training Course: April 4-June 13, 2009
- Small Group Instructor Course: Jan. 10-March 7, 2009 (1st); July 11-Sept. 19, 2009 (2nd)
- Pre WARRIOR Leadership Courses (4 Classes, 3 weekends per class):
- Oct. 4-Dec. 7; Jan. 10-Mar 8, 2009; April 4-June 14, 2009;, and July 11-Sept. 20, 2009
- Officer Candidate School: Phase 2 Class 52 Aug. 9, 2008-June 14, 2009
- Officer Candidate School: Phase 0 Class 53 begins March 7, 2009, Phase 2 is Aug. 1, 2009-June 14, 2010.
ACTIVE DUTY TRAINING COURSES
*NOTE: There will be no Inactive Duty Training (IDT) BNCOC this year. There will be an Active Duty BNCOC Course running for two weeks in December 2008. This is a Phase I Common Core Course.
- Basic NCO Course: Dec. 6-20, 2008
- 91W10 Medic Sustainment: Feb. 9-18, 2009
- 13F10 MOS-T Fire Support Specialist: March 14-21, 2009
- Company Level Command Team Course (for new Commanders and their 1SGs): April 18-19, 2009
- 11B10 MOS-T Infantryman: May 9-23, 2009
- 11B2/3/4 (T) Infantryman Transition: May 9-23, 2009
- 11B30 Basic NCO Course Phase II: June 6-20, 2009
- 31B10 MOS-T Military Police: Feb. 22-March 6, 2009
Combat Lifesaver Course: Send unit request to Sgt. 1st Class Stephen Cosmanic at Stephen.email@example.com.
Questions should be addressed to 1st Sgt. Gary Davidson, 732-974-6312. ATRRS School Code: 1004.
Retirement dinner for Chief Terry Young, Oct. 24
A retirement dinner will be held on Friday. Oct. 24 to honor Chief Master Sgt. Terry E. Young at Mastoris, 144 Route 130, Bordentown. Cocktails start at 5:30 p.m. and dinner will be served at 6 p.m.
Chief Young is retiring from the New Jersey Air National Guard after more than 40 years of service. He started his career in the active duty Air Force and joined the New Jersey Air National Guard in 1972, serving as a member of the 177th Fighter Wing, 108th Air Refueling Wing and Joint Force Headquarters. He will continue working in his civilian job as an auditor for the Air Force Audit Agency, Dover, De.
Cost for the event is $30 and RSVP must be in by Oct. 16. Contact Connie Cisek, 609-562-0901 or Senior Master Sgt. Bonnie Gaskell, 609-562-0925 for more information. Dress for the evening is civilian business attire.
117th Cav holding Biennial reunion Oct. 18
The 117th Cavalry Association will be holding their 2008 Biennial Reunion on Oct. 18 at Gibbs Hall, Fort Monmouth, where they will honor those who have served and those who continue to serve.
The cocktail hour will be from 6-7 p.m. and dinner will be served at 7 p.m. Cost will be $50 per person if the reservation is received before Aug. 15; $55 per person thereafter. Meal choices will be chicken francaise, prime rib or stuffed flounder.
There will also be a member appreciation get-together on Oct. 17 at 7 p.m. in the Westfield Armory Heritage Room; spouses and guests are welcome.
Send money and reservations to Col. (ret.) Dennis J. Dougherty, 615 Raymond St., Westfield NJ 07090 by Sept. 15.
Essex Troop will hold holiday party on Dec. 13
The Essex Troop Christmas party will be held at Zeris Restaurant, 372 Route 46, Mountain Lakes, on Dec. 13. Details will follow.
Gala reunion planned for former, current 170th/108th personnel
Come one, come all – active or retired – for a fun-filled weekend with trips down memory lane. A Gala Reunion is being planned for all of the faces of the 170th and 108th Air Refueling Wing on April 25, 2009.
The elegant semi-formal will be held at the Doubletree Hotel and Executive Meeting Center, 200 Atrium Drive, Somerset, NJ, 6-11 p.m.
A deposit of $50 is required per person as soon as possible. Hotel reservation, rates and activities will be announced at a later date.
For more information, contact Gloria A. Smith, 732-752-8263/732-991-9102 or Phyllis Jackson-Rackley, 908-451-7147/908-730-6377.
You can still file for your economic stimulus payment!
To help boost the economy, Congress authorized economic stimulus payments of $300 ($600 for married couples) for eligible households. To claim your payment, all you have to do is file a 2007 IRS 1040 tax return. Even if you don’t usually file a tax form because your income is low, you may want to file one this year so you can claim your $300 or $600. More than 150,000 New Jersey residents have yet to claim their payments.
You have until Oct. 15, 2008 to file. Call 1-866-234-2942 for more information, or you can visit our Web site – www.nj.gov/military - and check out the information located under the Hot News banner.
NJARNG looking to fill their soccer team
From the desk of Master Sgt. Alex Estrada
The New Jersey Army National Guard is looking for soccer players to play during the (FY) 2008-2009 indoor season at the International Sports Center at Cherry Hill, N.J. For anyone interested in joining the team, contact Sgt. Jose Castro at 609-562-0234 or firstname.lastname@example.org or Master Sgt. Alex Estrada at 609-562-0568 or email@example.com for further information.
Sign up for G-RAP and make $$$$
Sign up today and earn up to $2,000 for each new recruit who enlists into the National Guard and reports to basic training.
The Guard Recruiting Assistance Program (G-RAP) is a contracted program designed for individuals who voluntarily apply to become eligible to serve as a part-time Recruiting Assistant (RA).
G-RAP is available to Traditional Guard members and National Guard retirees. This opportunity is open to both Army and Air Guard members. For more information, go to http://www.guardrecruitingassistant.com/.
Army has new Web site to aid those who want to help
The U.S. Army has put up a web site to facilitate donations from the public to help soldiers and their families at http://giftstoarmy.army.mil. While the Army states very clearly that they are not soliciting contributions they are providing lots of information on how to make donations in areas of concern, such as Soldiers and families, Wounded Warriors and Army installations.
Joyce Morrow, the administrative assistant to the Secretary of the Army, explained: "Many individuals have asked how they can help the Army. We appreciate how generous the public is and the concern they have for the welfare of our soldiers and families. We've developed this Web site to provide information on how to contribute money, goods or services to benefit Soldiers and their Families." [Source: TREA Washington Update, Aug. 29, 2008]
Honor Guard program wants YOU!
Looking for a way to serve and get some satisfaction at the same time? The Honor Guard program is looking for members of the Army and Air Guard to join the team to perform honor guard duties at the funerals of veterans. There is an initial eight hours of training for all new enrollees, with on-going sustainment training. As an honor guard member, you will receive a day of pay for each day’s mission, minimum of $50, and traditional drilling Guard members receive a retirement point for each day’s duties.
If you are interested in applying for the Honor Guard program, call retired Sgt. Maj. Ed Goetschius at 609-530-7090.
Reduced rates on NJ Transit for military, dependents
Here is another benefit offered to military members, retirees and their dependents by the state of New Jersey.
Eligible passengers may ride at reduced fare rates on any NJ Transit bus, rail or light rail service at all times, without restriction, upon presentation of authorized identification.
All military personnel and their dependents will be permitted to purchase transportation at the senior citizen/passengers with disabilities reduced fare rate upon showing their military or military dependent ID card. The following military personnel are entitled to this fare: Active Duty, Reserve, National Guard or Retired for Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines or Coast Guard.
Information for N.J. state employees
Flu shots for state employees being scheduled
From the Division of Veterans Healthcare Services
DMAVA will again be administering flu shots to STATE employees. Each directorate should forward the names of their personnel interested in receiving the vaccine to Karen Wallace, 609-530-6766.
Send each person’s full name, division and work location where they will receive the vaccination, no later than Oct. 31.
Flu shots will be administered at Central Office, the Veterans Cemetery, and the three Veterans Memorial Homes. The tentative date for the vaccination is Nov. 18 or 19.
Pension loan applications to be submitted through MBOS
From the desk of Lisa Dandrea, Human Resources, Personnel Assistant
NOTICE from the Division of Pensions and Benefits:
Effective Nov. 1, 2008, an eligible member who wishes to borrow against their pension account, MUST submit the loan request through the Pension Loan Application accessible through a personal account with the Member Benefits Online System (MBOS). Please note the following changes:
- The Loan Application will no longer be available as a printed form or through the Division's Web site.
- Paper Loan Applications that are received by mail as of Nov. 1, 2008, will be returned to members with instructions on submitting the loan request through MBOS.
- The loan fax number, which has been phased out of use since the introduction of loans through MBOS, will be completely disabled.
- Limited access to a computer or a member's reluctance to use MBOS will not be considered sufficient circumstances to allow manual loan processing.
Employees who are already registered MBOS users currently have access to the online loan application through their MBOS account.
Employees who are new to MBOS can access MBOS after they register with both the MyNewJersey Web site and MBOS. Registration is free; however, the registration process requires several steps and new users should carefully follow the MBOS registration instructions. Visit http://www.state.nj.us/treasury/pensions/ mbosregister.htm for a complete list of instructions. If, after following the MBOS Registration Instructions, you still need assistance registering for or using MBOS, please contact the MBOS Help Desk at (609) 777-0534 or send an e-mail with the subject line "MBOS E-mail" to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Looking for volunteers to assist in emergencies at DMAVA offices
From the desk of Paul Serdiuk, Training Coordinator
We are looking for volunteers within the DMAVA Central Office complex who would be willing to be trained in Adult CPR and Automatic External Defibulator (AED) application should an emergency arise within offices. You would receive this free training and, in turn, agree to apply the skills learned if an emergency situation should arise at the central office. Training would be held sometime in the latter part of September. We would like to train at least two individuals from each section in CPR/AED. Contact me at 609-530-6878 if you are willing to volunteer for this life-saving training.
If you have not yet noticed, the AED units are up and ACTIVE on the first and second floors in the fire hose cabinets. Please do not touch the units as an alarm will sound when they have been disturbed.
Employees required to register for MBOS
From the desk of Lisa J. Dandrea, Human Resources, Personnel Assistant
MBOS is the Member Benefits Online System. Through MBOS, employees may review their pension contributions, loan status, health benefits information, update their beneficiary information, apply for retirement, as well as many other applications. It has been encouraged that all employees register for this helpful tool. However Pensions is now working on MBOS being a requirement in order for employees to make certain updates to their personal information.
Effective immediately, in all cases where an employee is eligible to become a member of the Public Employees’ Retirement System (PERS), the employer will be required to submit all enrollment information to Pensions via online. Important to note is that the online PERS Enrollment Application does not include the Designation of Beneficiary page. Instead, once the member is enrolled and issued a pension number, they must register for a MBOS account at: www.state.nj.us/treasury/pensions/mbosregister.htm and complete the online Beneficiary Designation form. Until the member completes his or her Designation of Beneficiary, the member’s “Estate” will be the beneficiary of record.
Current employees –note, even if you are already enrolled into PERS, if you wish to make any changes to your beneficiary information, you too will need to be registered for MBOS. Members will not be able to submit the Change in Beneficiary Designation paper form since this will no longer be acceptable through the Division of Pensions and Benefits.
Visit the link above for complete instructions to register for MBOS. If you encounter any problems with registration, you may e-mail Pensions and Benefits with your questions/concerns and they can assist you through the process. You may also obtain a tri-fold brochure with MBOS instructions from your Human Resources Office.
No handbooks available for NJDIRECT
Inquiries about NEW handbooks and directories for NJDIRECT has prompted this reply from Pensions and Benefits:
"Unfortunately, we do not have NJ Direct Handbooks to give to members and will not be receiving a supply. Members may visit the NJ Direct website www.horizonblue. com/shbp. Members without computers are encouraged to use their local library or a relative's computer or call the plan directly".
You may also look up benefit information and visit the Unified Provider Directory on the Pensions and Benefits website under State Health Benefits Program.
State employees who move, marry must contact HR department
From the desk of Lisa Dandrea, Human Resources, Personnel Assistant
If you are a state employee, working for DMAVA, Vets Haven, and the Cemetery, and you have an address change and/or a name change, it is extremely important that you contact Lisa Dandrea in the Human Resources Office. There have been a lot of issues with tax W2s, pension statements and pay checks being returned to our office, as well as some employees not receiving their new health cards, all due to incorrect addresses. Your address change is not automatic and it is not limited to completing a new W4. There are specific forms for employees to complete that updates their new information statewide. Your change of address or name affects your paycheck, your pension statements, W2s, loans, any information sent out by your health care provider, promotional announcements from Dept. of Personnel, etc. If you have had an address/name change and have not updated your information, please make sure you contact Lisa Dandrea in HRD-ESB at 609-530-6888 or e-mail Lisa.Dandrea@njdmava.state.nj.us.
Discounts offered for State employees
Are you a state employee looking to save a few $$$?
Visit www.state.nj.us/personnel/discounts/index.htm and you can find a number of businesses who offer discounts to New Jersey state employees. From amusement parks to fitness to computer to phones and lots of other discounts between, you will find many ways to save money. For more information, please contact Cindy Leese at email@example.com or call 609-530-7056.
For the Families
Click and find out which FAC supports your armory
If you are not sure which Family Assistance Center supports your armory, here is the way to find out. By going to the new and growing New Jersey FAC Web site you will be able to locate the FAC nearest you. It also gives you a place to e-mail your questions and concerns. Just go to http://www.nj-fac.org.
Additional dental cleaning allowed during pregnancy by Tricare
The TRICARE Management Activity announced an enhancement to maternity dental benefit through United Concordia. An additional cleaning in a 12-month period will now be allowed at no additional cost for all pregnant TRICARE Dental Program enrollees. The additional cleaning is in response to research indicating there is an increase risk of dental disease during pregnancy. For more information about dental health during pregnancy, go to: http://www.ada.org/public/topics/pregnancy_faq.asp.
Support for military children of deployed and injured Guard members
From the desk of retired Command Sgt. Maj. Mike Hughes, Family Assistance specialist
Our Military Kids (OMK) provides tangible support to the children of deployed and severely injured National Guard and Military Reserve personnel through grants for enrichment activities and tutoring that nurture and sustain the children during the time a parent is away in service to our country. OMK grants are made to honor the sacrifices military parents make and to ensure that the children have access to activities and support that help the children better cope with challenges arising during a parent's deployment or injury recovery. For additional information go to www.ourmilitarykids.org
No-cost prescription savings plan available
From the desk of Marie Durling, Family Programs Specialist
Here is a no cost to you prescription savings program. This program offers discounts on all generic prescription medications at your local pharmacy. You do not have to do anything special to qualify. There is no income, residence, employment, age, citizenship or any other qualifications to meet. Not even an application to fill out. The Family State Programs Office at Joint Force Headquarters, Fort Dix has the group ID cards. Call Marie Durling at 609-562-0739 and one will be mailed to you. For more information check out www.mediservrx.com.
During the Deployment Information
Federal grant for spouses of deployed military
Grants from a funding from the Department of Community Affairs are available for spouses of deployed or recently deployed military (all branches across the state). Typical awards are $2,500 each and are available for financial difficulties (such as past due rent and childcare) as well as for recreational and stress relieving activities for kids. For more information contact Rene Mainor, Military Grant Liaison, Women's Opportunity Center, YMCA of Burlington County by calling 609-543-6200 Ext. 235 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
N.J. Family Readiness Council increases grants to families, businesses
The New Jersey National Guard State Family Readiness Council has increased the amounts of family and business grants up to $5,000 and $10,000, respectively. Both are what are known as TIER I grants. TIER II family grants are also available to New Jersey Army and Air National Guard non-deployed service members who were on State Active Duty or State Missions (e.g., hurricanes, floods, border missions) for more than 20 consecutive days. Service members meeting these criteria are eligible to apply for a financial hardship grant up to $1,500. Applications are available at all New Jersey Army and Air National Guard Family Assistance Centers.
Hero Packs to children of deployed military
From the desk of Amanda Balas, State Youth Coordinator
Hero Packs are Operation Military Kids backpacks filled with a variety of items from the OMK partner agencies, which are given to military youth as a “Thank You” for the sacrifices that they make while their loved ones are deployed.
Across the nation, OMK has presented Hero Packs to more than 45,000 military youth since 2004. Hero Packs contain a variety of items intended to provide children with fun activities and ways to stay connected to their deployed parents. In addition, information is provided to parents regarding local support programs for children and families.
Here in New Jersey we will be having Hero Pack Ceremonies for children and youth who have a deployed loved one starting this month at various armories across the state. Youth will be presented with a certificate and Hero Pack and then will be able to enjoy a snack and juice after the ceremony with their friends and family. There are four events scheduled, with more to be added.
Oct. 11, 10 a.m. – Mt. Holly armory
Oct. 14, 6:30 p.m. – Woodbury armory
Oct. 18, 10 a.m. – Jersey City armory
If you would like your child to participate and receive a Hero Pack, contact Amanda Balas at 609-562-0742, 1-888-859-0352, Amanda.email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org. Permission slips for the event must be completed and sent to the office no later than two weeks prior to the event.
Picatinny “Waiting Family Support Group” open to new members
From the desk of Doris Clark, Picatinny Arsenal
The Hearts Apart Support Group known as Waiting Family Support Group is sponsored by Picatinny Arsenal Army Community Service to help families cope with geographical separation due to deployment, accompanied tour or extended temporary duty. The group meets monthly and provides emotional and moral support to its members in a friendly relaxed atmosphere. This group is open to all branches of service. Come join us for great information, laughs, tears and be a part of the Waiting Family. The group meets monthly at 7 p.m. in the Community Center (building 3225) Picatinny Arsenal, N.J.
Point of contact for this group is Doris Clark, Relocation/Deployment Readiness, 973-724-5219. RSVP in case non-identification holders need permission to access Picatinny Arsenal. Mark your calendars. Please join us for great evening each month. Call with any questions regarding the group.
The remaining schedule for 2008 is: Oct. 23, Nov. 20 and Dec. 18.
Child Youth Services at Fort Dix and many other active duty posts provide 16 hours per child per month of free hourly/respite child care to relieve family stress during deployment. Respite care begins 30 days prior to deployment and ends 60 days after return. Drop off the kids while shopping at the commissary or PX or just to get some quiet time to yourself. For additional information, contact Cathy Spiegal at Fort Dix Outreach Services 609-562-2242.
Dog Tags for Kids program
Dog Tags for Kids is a grassroots project which enables service members to send engraved dog tags to their children. The dog tags are provided free and are sent directly to the service members who personally send them to their children at home. The dog tags are engraved with "With Love From Dad/Mom" and include the branch of service, deployment location, and the year. To donate to the project or to request a dog tag for your children, please go to http://www.dogtagsforkids.com/.
Child care $$$$$ available for spouses of deployed military
From the desk of Amanda Balas, State Youth Coordinator
Child care money is available for spouses of Title 10 Army National Guard activated Soldiers only. If the spouses are employed, seeking employment (for 60 days) or going to school, they can qualify for a $100 per month per child stipend for fulltime care (licensed child care provider required). Call the National Guard Child Care Program today to apply 1-888-642-2799 or email@example.com.
Family Readiness Groups (FRG) play an important role during deployments.
Yet, in order to be successful, these groups rely on the support of volunteers.
FRGs are comprised of volunteers who donate their time to make sure our Soldier’s “Homefront Heroes” are supported through networking with other family members and mutually offering support to one another.
If you would like to be a volunteer or a participant please contact your local Family Assistance Center. You can reach them by calling our toll free number 888-859-0352 and selecting the prompt of the Family Assistance Center near you.
Reserve Aid gives support to families of deployed service members
From the desk of retired Command Sgt. Maj. Mike Hughes, Family Assistance Specialist
Reserve Aid is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization committed to providing financial support to the families of Reserve Service Members called to active duty in all five branches of the Armed Forces. Reserve Aid makes unrestricted, need based grants to military families who have a Reserve service member on full-time deployment to a combat zone or homeland security position. Their goal is to alleviate the emotional and financial burdens placed on the men and women called to serve our country by supporting their families at home. For additional information and application procedures go to: www.reserveaid.org
N.J. licenses, registration extended for deployed troops
New Jerseyans who are on active duty military, in the National Guard or the military reserves, serving in the war on terrorism, are eligible for automatic extensions of a valid driver license, registration or inspection expiration dates. Go to www.nj.gov/mvc/ for more information.
Financial counseling available for deployed service members
From the desk of retired Command Sgt. Maj. Mike Hughes, Family Assistance Specialist
The Military Housing Assistance Fund (MHAF) helps military families to become homeowners by providing them with grants to assist them with purchasing a home. The Fund also provides financial counseling to members of the National Guard and Reserves, deployed and serving in combat zones overseas, which are having problems meeting their monthly obligations due to their deployment and activation. Learn more at http://www.militaryhousingassistancefund.org. The Fund is a project of the Financial Counselors of America (FCA), a 501(c) 3 nonprofit organization founded in 1991 to help Americans manage their finances and get out of debt. Visit the FCA website at http://www.financialcounselors.org.
Order a complimentary Blue Star Flag to show your family’s service
From the desk of retired Command Sgt. Maj. Mike Hughes, Family Assistance Specialist
The Blue Star Flag first appeared in 1917, when Capt. Robert L. Queissner, who had two sons serving on the front line, designed it as a tribute to their dedication and service. He proudly displayed this flag in the front window of his home and the flag quickly became the unofficial symbol of a child in the service. Also known as a Service Flag, the blue star stands for hope and pride. Order a complimentary Blue Star Flag to honor your loved ones in the service by visiting: www.grantham.edu/promo/freebluestar.php.
Morris County offers program for military families
From the desk of Amanda Balas, State Youth Coordinator
Family Service of Morris County in partnership with the Family Programs Office, New Jersey, would like to announce its Military Families Outreach Program. Based on a community effort, the Military Families Outreach Program strives to support Morris County military personnel and their families, including extended families, pre-deployment, during deployment and post-deployment.
We realize the pressures and problems that may occur when a family member is called to duty, and we want to assist with any services that you may need to ensure quality of life. Social services, support services and mental health services are some of the resources that will be available to Morris County residents. All services offered in this program are free of charge to you and your family and are bound by the highest consideration for complete confidentiality.
For more information about the Military Services Outreach Program, contact Wendy Parrinello, Military Families Outreach Case Manager at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 973-538-5260, extension 326. You can also contact Tammy Rosenthal, Director of child and Adolescent Services at email@example.com or 973-538-5260. We are privileged to work with you who have given so much for your country!
Post Office offers boxes, discount rate to FPO/APO addresses
From the desk of retired Command Sgt. Maj. Mike Hughes, Family Assistance Specialist
Now the U.S. Postal Service is making it easier for families to send care packages with a larger flat rate box and a special discount to FPO/ APO addresses. They are 50 percent larger than the current flat rate box and can be sent to any domestic address for $12.95. A special military version of the box will carry the "America Supports You" logo and can be shipped to any FPO/ APO address for $10.95. The new Priority Mail Large Flat-Rate Box is "12 x 12" x 5½". For complete guidelines on mail services to military members overseas visit the USPS website at: www.usps.com/supportingourtroops/welcome.htm?from=household &page=troopsupport.
ESGR golf outing postponed until Oct. 11
The N.J. Friends of the Guard and Reserve's 2008 State Chairman’s Annual Golf Outing has been postponed until Oct. 11. The golf outing will be held at the Falcon Creek Golf Course, McGuire Air Force Base. The $95 per golfer registration fee includes greens fees, cart, registration, continental breakfast, food and beverages on the course, door prizes and a buffet luncheon at the McGuire Club. Corporate, hole and cart sponsors are being sought also. All proceeds to benefit the activities of the N.J. Committee for Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve. If you were not available for the original date, but can play on Oct. 11, there is still space available. Contact Hank Pierre at 609-562-0156, Tammy Cartagena at 609-562-0157 or Tyler Sandford at 609-562-0155 to reserve your space.
Jack Green 5K run/walk slated for Oct. 26
The second running of the Jack Green Memorial 5K Run/Walk is scheduled for Oct. 26. Starting at 8:30 a.m. from the base gym, building 229, the race will be held at the Air Guard Air Base, Egg Harbor Township. The first 250 participants will receive a commemorative coin; which is a new design for 2008.
Early registration – if received by Oct. 25 is $15 – day of event will be $20. Race day registration will be held at base gym from 6:30-8 a.m.
For more information contact MSgt Frank Heath at 609-645-6109; to request an application e-mail to: firstname.lastname@example.org. Completed applications can be mailed to: Master Sgt. Frank Heath (MXQ), 400 Langley Road, Egg Harbor Twp., NJ 08234.
Guard history lessons for family at Sea Girt museum
Looking for a local place to take the family for a history lesson? Try the National Guard Museum of New Jersey in Sea Girt.
The museum had a recent face-lift and upgraded its exhibits which tell the story of the New Jersey Army and Air National Guards and the Naval Militia of New Jersey from the Revolutionary war to the Global War on Terrorism.
The four gallery rooms feature diaries, uniforms, vehicles, weapons and even a Civil War submarine built in 1865.
Open from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Monday through Friday and the same hours on the first and second weekends of the month, admission to the museum is free of charge, but a donation is requested. Groups who would like to make arrangements for tours should call 732-974-5966.
Free tickets to Busch Adventure Parks for military, families
Any active duty, activated or drilling reservist, or National Guardsman is entitled to free admission to a Anheuser-Busch Adventure Park under the Here's to the Heroes program. He or she need only register, either by going to this Web site http://www.herosalute.com/ and submitting his or her information or in the entrance plaza of participating parks, and show a Department of Defense photo ID. As many as three direct dependents of military personnel also are entitled to free admission. Dependents may take advantage of the offer without their service member, though an adult must accompany minor dependents, and dependent ages 10 and over must present valid dependent I.D. Busch Gardens Williamsburg and SeaWorld San Antonio are seasonal operations that will remain closed until spring 2008. Military personnel interested in visiting those parks should check operating schedules. The remaining parks, SeaWorld Orlando, Busch Gardens Tampa Bay and SeaWorld San Diego are open year round.
Valid for one complimentary single-day admission per person, per year, to one of the following Anheuser-Busch Adventure Parks: SeaWorld Orlando, San Diego, or San Antonio, Busch Gardens Tampa Bay or Williamsburg, Sesame Place, Water Country USA, Adventure Island. Not valid at Discovery Cove and Aquatica.
Armed Forces Vacation Club offers affordable lodging
The Armed Forces Vacation Club is a "space available" program offering Department of Defense affiliated personnel affordable condominium vacations at over 3,500 resorts around the world. Visit www.afvclub.com/ for more information.
Scholarship, Education News
Help available to students studying for SAT/ACT
In cooperation with the Department of Defense, eKnowledge Corporation, a leading supplier of interactive test preparation products for college entrance exams, along with a group of NFL players, have donated more than $16 million worth of multimedia SAT/ACT Test Preparation products to service members and their families worldwide.
Now in its fourth year, the eKnowledge/NFL player sponsorship effort has shipped more than 90,000 free SAT/ACT test preparation programs, valued at $200, to military servicemembers and their families.
The eKnowledge SAT and ACT test prep programs come in either a single DVD or two CD-ROM set that include more than 11 hours of high quality video training/instruction with up to 40 hours of student interactive learning participation. The SAT and ACT test prep programs can be used as a stand-alone instruction tool to prepare thoroughly for the SAT and ACT, or as a supplement to other SAT and ACT preparation materials. Each student can select the areas where they need additional or special training/instruction, and can then study at their own pace using the 120 video lessons which comprise the SAT and Act test prep programs. The program also provides the student with feedback on their learning progress, test readiness and more.
Those military families interested in receiving free eKnowledge products under this sponsorship can complete an online request form at http://eknowledge.com/military or visit the Department of Defense http://militaryhomefront.dod.mil Web site for more details. Copies can also be requested by calling 951-256-4076 or via e-mail at email@example.com.
Education news for NJARNG
Education Services Brochure Booklet (ESB2)
Access the New Jersey Army National Guard's ESB2 at www.nj.gov/military/education. The ESB2 is a comprehensive guide with links and shortcuts to civilian education benefits available to New Jersey Army National Guard Soldiers.
G.I. Bill Notice of Basic Eligibility
New Jersey Army National Guard Soldiers can print their Eligibility of Mobilized Soldier notification letter for CH 1607 as well as Notice Of Basic Eligibility for CH 1606 at https://www.nationalguardbenefits.com; click on G.I. Bill Home Page.
American Legion offers scholarships, booklet on their Web site
The American Legion has scholarship information on their Web site – www.legion.org – including the 152-page booklet, Need a Lift, which is a complete financial aid reference guide for veterans, family members and the American Legion family. When you get on the site, click on “Scholarship Information” in the “Useful Links” block.
117th Cav Association announces meeting schedule
The 117th Cavalry Association, whose mission is to promote and enhance the friendships and camaraderie of our members, who are mutually bound by service and devotion to our country, announces its upcoming meetings. They will be held at 7:30 p.m., at the Westfield Armory's Heritage Room. Meetings will be on Oct. 17, Nov. 7 and the reunion on Oct. 18 at Fort Monmouth, N.J.
NGANJ group life insurance available to members
Are you covered by the NGANJ Group Life Insurance Program? As a member of either the Officers or the Enlisted Association, you are entitled to enroll in your Association Life Insurance Program. This special program provides from $5,000 to $50,000 of Life Insurance for you, “round the clock”. Premiums range from as little as $2 per month and may be payroll-deducted from your drill check. Family coverage is also available at low rates designed for you as a member of the New Jersey Army and Air National Guard. Think of it!! No aviation exclusions...No hazardous duty restrictions...No war clauses…No checks to write. Family coverage includes spouses and all children. Information can be obtained by contacting retired CWO Jack Petrosilli at 609-530-6843, or retired Brig. Gen. Robert S. Dutko Sr. at 609-273-1004. Enrollment forms can be obtained by calling retired Col. Frank L. Carlone, Program Coordinator at 732-249-8335.
VSO starting outreach on Monmouth University campus
Starting Sept. 16, DMAVA Veterans Service Officer Donald McNamara will be doing outreach work at Monmouth University on the third Tuesday of each month from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. He will be there to provide assistance to veterans and their families, helping them to apply for the benefits for which they are eligible to receive.
Help for small business owners
If you are ready to start your own business, grow or expand, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) can help. The SBA offers many programs and services to help Veteran entrepreneurs succeed. For more information on how SBA can help you start, grow and build your business, contact: Frank Burke at 973-645-6049 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org Visit the SBA New Jersey website at www.sba.gov/nj
To ensure veterans with emotional crises have round-the-clock access to trained professionals, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has a national suicide prevention hot line for veterans. VA's hot line will be staffed by mental health professionals in Canandaigua, N.Y. They will take toll-free calls from across the country and work closely with local VA mental health providers to help callers. The toll-free hot line number is 1 (800) 273-TALK (8255).
Web site provides support to separating military members
TurboTAP (Transition Assistance Program) is an easy to use, interactive Web portal that provides life-long support to separating military service members (Active Duty, Guard and Reserve) and their families. It is a single source starting point for accessing key resources available for servicemembers transitioning out of the military at any point in their military career. Resources include Department of Defense, Department of Labor, Department of Veterans Affairs, Department of Education, Small Business Administration, the National Veterans Corporation and the National Guard Bureau. For more information go to www.TurboTAP.org or email TAPHelp@military-inc.com.
DMAVA Veterans Outreach Campaign continues
The DMVA Veterans Outreach Campaign continues with kiosk displays at selected malls throughout New Jersey. The schedule is as follows:
October 14*, 15, 16
Menlo Park Mall
November 5*, 6, 7
NJ Veterans Memorial Home at Vineland
January 6*, 7, 8
February 3*, 4, 5
Paramus Park Mall
March 3*, 4, 5
*Medal ceremonies begin at 10:30 a.m. on these dates. The kiosk will be open from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
N.J. Vietnam Veterans Memorial
N.J. Vietnam Veterans' Memorial and Vietnam Era Educational Center's upcoming events:
Free guided tours of the Memorial are offered on the first Saturday of each month at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m.
For further information call 1-800-648-VETS or visit www.njvvmf.org.