News For Your Views
Tribute to the Greatest Generation
On Veterans Day, Tuesday, Nov. 11, Governor Jon S Corzine and Maj. Gen. Glenn K. Rieth will be dedicating the New Jersey World War II Memorial. Veterans Day is a fitting occasion to honor the men and women of the Greatest Generation for the sacrifices they made on behalf of our country more than 60 years ago. The ceremony will take place at 2:30 p.m. at the Statehouse Plaza across from the Memorial.
Please save this date on your calendar and pass the information onto everyone who would like to join us for this momentous event. The tribute promises to be an occasion that will make every Veteran and all New Jerseyans proud.
Mindful that a great many of you are having your own parades and ceremonies to honor local veterans on Nov. 11, we have planned our ceremony for later in the day. We hope that this will allow everyone to attend the dedication.
For additional information or to RSVP please call Ms. Angela Como at 609-530-6780 or visit our website at www.nj.gov/military/veterans/wwii_memorial/index.html.
Jersey Blues accept authority
By Spc. Bill Addison, 50IBCT/PA
BAGHDAD, Iraq - Soldiers from Oklahoma and New Jersey lined the palace lounge walls at the United States Embassy (provisional) as the 45th Infantry Brigade Combat Team ”Thunderbirds” turned over command of the Joint Area Support Group - Central to the 50th IBCT “Jersey Blues,” in a transfer of authority ceremony, Sept. 27.
Marine Maj. Gen. Kenneth Gluek, Multi-National Force Iraq Chief of Staff presided over the ceremony.
“We are lucky to have Col. Steve Ferrari and the members of the 50th BCT,” said Gluek. “Your mission is a difficult one, but I have the utmost confidence that you and your team will continue the essential work of the Joint Area Support Group.”
The 50th, commanded by Ferrari, has been deployed since June of this year, and trained at Camp McGregor, N.M. in preparation for its mission in Baghdad.
“For the 50th IBCT, we stand, manned equipped and trained to assume the duties of the Joint Area Support Group Central. We look forward to the challenges that lie ahead in this complex environment as we transition the IZ back to the government of Iraq,” said Ferrari.
“The Jersey Blues have the Con; mission first, people always!”
Garden State Soldiers don brigade combat patch
By 1st Sgt. David Moore, JASG-C Public Affairs, Baghdad
BAGHDAD, Iraq -- Soldiers of the 50th Infantry Brigade Combat Team serving in Baghdad placed the symbol of loyalty to the mission known as the combat patch on their right shoulder sleeves.
During the Oct. 15 military formation held at a chapel near the American Embassy in Baghdad, the Headquarters Company Soldiers who serve as a lead element for the Joint Area Support Group-Central (JASG-C) placed an additional brigade patch on their Army Combat Uniforms.
“It is a clear sign of your loyalty to defend freedom and your duty to fulfill your military obligation. It is a symbol of respect for Soldiers who have served in a hostile environment and it proves your commitment to face courage and danger,” said Col. Steven Ferrari, brigade and JASG-C commander.
The 50th patch, approved in January for wear on military uniforms, is a seven-sided embroidered patch vertically divided and contains three stars that represent New Jersey as being the third state to sign the United States Constitution.
When worn on the Class A uniform, the tri-colors of the patch represent the brigades’ armor and infantry lineage, as well as its alignment with the 42nd Infantry “Rainbow” Division. The patch’s shape suggests the letter ‘V’ for victory.
Ferrari, of Berlin Township, N.J., said the organization already has a common bond of wearing the left shoulder patch, but Soldiers standing in the formation are among 3,000 Soldiers now eligible to wear the brigade patch on the right sleeve.
“The right shoulder patch is a reminder, all of you are operating in a hostile environment and cannot become complacent during present military operations,” he said.
“It is a reminder to watch out for yourself and watch out for each other. The mission is not over until we all come home,” Ferrari added.
Spc. Jamie Lowe, Sewell, N.J., said she was proud that the unit is conducting operations in Iraq.
“The patch will always be a reminder of our mission,” she said.
In addition to the brigade patch, JASG-C Soldiers also have the option of wearing the Multi-National Force-Iraq (MNF-I) as their Shoulder Sleeve Insignia-Former Wartime Service (SSI_FWS) patch on the right sleeve of the uniform for the remainder of a Soldier’s career. The JASG-C is a subordinate unit of MNF-I.
The MNFI-patch has a black shield with a gold border surrounding two crossed silver scimitars (swords). Behind the shield is a wreath of palm branches joined at the bottom with three loops of brown twine. In the center is a gold winged bull of Mesopotamia below a gold, seven-pointed star.
“I am extremely pound of all the Soldiers. The combat patch will always be our bond,” Brigade Command Sergeant Major David Kenna, Newfield, N.J., said.
QRF Airmen ready to serve
By Tech. Sgt. Mark Olsen, 177FW/PA
Nearly 40 177th Airmen spent their drill learning “Soldiering tasks” as part of their becoming certified to serve with the Air National Guard Quick Reaction Force (ANG QRF).
The Jersey Devils spent the weekend learning and practicing the skills thousands of their fellow guardsmen used in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. They join a group of 100 Airmen – 50 each from the 177th and the 108th Air Refueling Wing – who received QRF training at Fort Dix in 2007.
Not only do these Airmen bring their “high-demand” AFSC’s (Air Force Specialty Codes) such as Civil Engineering, Security Police and other specialties to the street, they will also have the basic knowledge of traditional Soldiering skills including the ability to conduct patrols and knowing how to clear and secure buildings.
“That weekend our mission was to support the training of the 177th's newly formed QRF,” said Lt. Col. Brian D. Sharkey, Commander, 1-254th Infantry Training Battalion, based out of the National Guard Training Center at Sea Girt.
The training was born in January 2007, when Maj. Gen. Glenn K. Rieth, The Adjutant General of New Jersey, directed that the New Jersey Air National Guard stand up 100 Airmen to augment the New Jersey Army National Guard QRF.
This is seen as an evolution of the extensive support the Air Guard has always provided during a state of emergency. If Airmen are needed to put boots on the ground during a state emergency, they would go through a just-in-time training program at the Joint Training and Training Development Center at Fort Dix before hitting the street.
Much of the training they received is what they would need in any type of state response. Everyone remembers the pictures of National Guardsmen conducting house-to-house searches in those areas of New Orleans devastated when the levees broke.
If something of that magnitude happens in New Jersey, these Airmen all know that their team will be ready to deploy and work seamlessly with the Army Guard on those very same types of missions.
Earn up to $8,500 for officer accessions in G-RAP
From the desk of Warrant Officer Misty L. DiGangi, AMEDD Recruiter
Guard Recruiting Assistants can earn additional income assisting ARNG recruiting efforts by identifying well-qualified men and women for service in the ARNG. RAs may earn up to $8,500 for each select Officer Candidate who accepts a Commission.
As a G-RAP RA you will cultivate quality Officer Candidates from within your spheres of influence and work with an Officer Strength Manager (OSM) or Warrant Officer Strength Manager (WOSM) to process the Officer Candidate and move them towards accession.
The total amount of payment for an Officer Accession is determined by the ARNG’s current critical needs and the GRAP-O payment chart. There are four categories by which RAs will receive payment for Officer Accessions. RAs can earn up to $2,000 for each new recruit who enlists and reports to Basic Training or for each prior service member.
G-RAP is available to Traditional Guard members and National Guard retirees. For more information, go to http://www.guardrecruitingassistant.com/.
DoD develops compensation and benefits handbook
DoD announced today it has developed a comprehensive handbook describing compensation and other benefits service members and their families would be entitled to upon separation or retirement as a result of serious injury or illness.
“The Compensation and Benefits Handbook is the one source of information that covers everything a seriously ill and injured service member will need during his or her recovery, rehabilitation and reintegration,” said Ronald A. Winter, principal deputy assistant secretary of the Air Force for manpower and reserve affairs.
The handbook was compiled in cooperation with the Departments of Veterans Affairs, Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education and the Social Security Administration. Additionally; there are references to assistance provided by other governmental and non-governmental agencies and organizations.
“The handbook describes the disability eligibility process, various program qualifications, application procedures, and numerous resources with associated contact information,” said Sharon Gunselman, policy and resource analyst for the Department of Defense.
Web sites and toll-free numbers are provided, and the electronic version includes hyperlinks. The electronic version of the handbook will be updated frequently and the hard copy of the compensation and benefits handbook will be updated annually.
The electronic version of the handbook can be found on the five Web sites listed below:
The New Jersey State Building and Construction Trades Council’s Helmets to Hardhats Program (NJ H2H) is designed to help transitioning military personnel, National Guardsmen and Reservists find the careers in the building and construction industry. The program seeks to help military members find a career in one of 15 affiliated trades, such as electrical workers, carpenters and painters.
They work in cooperation with the national Helmets to Hardhats program, adding a personal component to the program’s on-line services. NJ H2H offers veterans preparation for successful application to any of New Jersey’s registered apprenticeship programs in the building and construction trades. Services include career counseling, entrance test preparation and referral to supportive services.
For program registration and information, visit online at www.njbctc.org/h2h or contact at 732-499-7295 or at H2H@njbctc.org.
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.
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.
Counter-Terrorism Symposium to be held
The New Jersey Chapter of the Marine Corps Reserve Association, the New York Shipping Association, and Phibro–Chemical, among others, will sponsor a Counter-Terrorism Symposium on Oct. 18 from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the New Jersey Institute of Technology.
The theme of the symposium is “Where We Are Now and Where We Are Going”
This symposium is designed to help to educate the public on counter-terrorist strategies and disaster response and with particular emphasis on customs and border control, transportation security, health issues and intelligence analysis.
Various organizations and individuals are scheduled to provide briefings. These include the N.J. State Police (Special Operations), Customs and Border Protection (Border and Seaport Security), New Jersey Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness (School and Transportation Security), United States Coast Guard (Maritime), and Dept. of Public Safety (Operational Planning at the Local Level, including internet and cyber security). The Wounded Warrior Regiment from Quantico will also be in attendance.
The Keynote Speaker for this event will be Lt. Col. (United States Army Reserve) Tim Connors, Esq. A West Point graduate, he has more than 20 years of experience in national defense, counter-terrorism, and homeland security and has worked to provide consulting and education service to state and local police agencies in all three areas. As well as having been to Afghanistan, he has been on television and radio and has a law degree as well as a master’s degree in business.
Interested individuals can reserve a seat by registering with Regional Security Consultants (Attn: Col. Walter Conner), 9 Spruce Court, Hightstown, N.J., 08520 or by calling (609) 977-2114. Military, Senior Citizen and Student discounts are available.
For more information, please contact (retired) Col. Walter F. Conner United States Marine Corps, President, New Jersey Marine Corps Reserve Association, at (609) 977-2114 or email@example.com
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.firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 email@example.com or Master Sgt. Alex Estrada at 609-562-0568 or firstname.lastname@example.org 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/.
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.
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: email@example.com
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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 email@example.com.
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.firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com. 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 email@example.com or call 973-538-5260, extension 326. You can also contact Tammy Rosenthal, Director of child and Adolescent Services at firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
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 email@example.com by Oct 10.
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.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 email@example.com 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:
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.