Newsletter

August 2018

Vets Views

Page 3 

 

Retirement Services Officers (RSOs)

Do you have questions on benefits, SBP, Retiree Appreciation Days or anything else retirement-related? Then contact the RSO for your area or go to the Army Retirement Services website http://www.armyg1.army.mil/retire (Note: That’s the number 1 after the g).

Sister Service Retiree Publications

Air Force Afterburner: http://www.retirees.af.mil/afterburner/

Coast Guard Evening Colors: http://www.uscg.mil/ppc/retnews/

Marine Corps Semper Fi: https://www.manpower.usmc.mil, then click on “Semper Fidelis Online” under “News and Features” Navy Shift Colors: http://www.npc.navy.mil/ReferenceLibrary/Publications

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

August 2, 2018 Forever GI Bill expands VA educational benefits 15 provisions enhance benefits for Veterans WASHINGTON

Effective Aug. 1, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) implemented 15 more provisions of the Harry W. Colmery Educational Assistance Act of 2017, also referred to as the Forever GI Bill. These provisions, in addition to the 13 implemented since the law was signed less than a year ago, will have an immediate and positive impact on Veterans and their families using VA benefits to pursue their educational goals. “We are excited to get the word out about implementation of the provisions,” said VA Secretary Robert Wilkie. “From the day the Forever GI Bill was signed into law, VA, in collaboration with Veterans service organizations, state approving agencies and school certifying officials, has taken an expansive approach to ensure earned benefits are provided to Veterans in a timely, high-quality and efficient way.”

Some of the provisions that began Aug. 1 include: Recipients of a Purple Heart awarded on or after Sept. 11, 2001, are now eligible for full Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits for up to 36 months, if not already entitled. Military and Veteran families who have lost a family member can now reallocate transferred Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits. Additional Guard and Reserve service now counts toward Post-9/11 GI Bill eligibility. Post-9/11 GI Bill students may now receive monthly housing allowance for any days they are not on active duty, rather than having to wait until the next month; and Expansion of the Yellow Ribbon Program, which makes additional funds available for GI Bill students, now covers more students.

More provisions are scheduled related to science, technology, engineering and math benefit extensions; increased benefit levels; a pilot program for high-technology training geared toward “upskilling” Veterans to enter the workforce quickly; and another expansion of the Yellow Ribbon Program, which will be implemented by Aug. 1, 2022. For more information, visit the Forever GI Bill – Harry W. Colmery Veterans Educational Assistance Act page. Visit the Education and Training webpage for more information. For questions about GI Bill benefits, call the Education Call Center at 888-442-4551 from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. (CST) Monday through Friday. Join the conversation via Facebook or follow Veterans Benefits Administration on Twitter.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 July 24, 2018 President Trump selects Jake Leinenkugel to lead VA commission focused on Veterans’ mental health treatment WASHINGTON

Today the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) announced that President Donald J. Trump has selected former VA White House Senior Advisor Thomas “Jake” Leinenkugel to lead a key commission focused on the department’s mental health care programs.

The Creating Options for Veterans' Expedited Recovery (COVER) commission will examine VA’s evidence-based therapy model for treating mental health conditions, as well as the department’s complementary and integrated mental health approaches.

“Jake has been an ambassador for change at VA, working to implement President Trump’s policies throughout the department over the past year and a half,” said Acting VA Secretary Peter O’Rourke. “As leader of this important new commission, Jake will continue to advocate for better care and services for his fellow Veterans.”

A former captain in the U.S. Marine Corps, Leinenkugel joined VA in January 2017 after retiring in 2014 from his family-operated business, Jacob Leinenkugel Brewing Co., where he had served as president for 26 years. At VA, Leinenkugel has been instrumental in the creation of the department’s “ChooseVA” branding campaign and the implementation of November’s National Veterans and Military Families Month. He has also worked to promote VA’s efforts to reduce Veteran suicides. The COVER commission is scheduled to hold its first meeting July 24 and 25 in Washington, D.C. For more information about the COVER commission, email COVERCommission@va.gov.