Foreign Travel Notification
All Soldiers and Civilians currently holding security access eligibility (AKA a security clearance) are required to notify their Security Manager of any planned travel outside of the U.S. This requirement is not an approval of the travel, only a notification. The Foreign Travel Notification (FTN) memo is available on the G2 AKO site in the “Foreign Travel Info” folder or you can get one from your unit Security Manager.
Your completed FTN will be sent to your Security Manager and forwarded to reach the 108th Training Command G2 prior to the travel. Local Security Managers will maintain a copy of the notification in the Soldier’s Security information file. Upon return, the traveler will complete the page 2 of the memo which will be forwarded to reach the 108th Training Command G2.
If you are employed by the US Government (CIA, State Department, Air Marshal, etc.) and travel outside the U.S. as part of your civilian job, then your civilian security office will monitor your travel. There is no need for you to submit the FTN under these conditions.
Soldiers deploying OCONUS also do not need to submit a FTN.
The link to the G2 AKO site is: https://army.mil/suite/page/578231.
NEW Changes to WLC
WLC will now go from a 17 day to a 22-day course, the added 5 days is to have an 8.5 hr day according to the Army Learning model. In addition, Land navigation has been added to the course again because there was a big desire from Soldiers to get it back. The effective date for this change is 1 Jan 2013.
ALARACT 346/2012 “Structure Self Development (SSD) Enrollment Policy:
Department of the Army has issue a new Policy for enrollment of Soldiers to SSD. Enrollment to SSD will be now established as a result of completing the resident NCOES courses in a progressive order (WLC, ALC, ALC CC, SLC and SMC).
Effective immediately, self-enrollment for SSD is no longer allowed, the automatic enrollment will be as follows:
- SSD-1: All Soldiers who have completed Advanced Individual Training (AIT)/One Station Training, but not WLC.
- SSD-2: There is no SSD-2; Soldiers will be enrolled in ALC CC.
- SSD-3: All Soldiers who have completed ALC, but not SLC.
- SSD-4: All Soldiers who have completed SLC but not SMC.
- SSD-5: Upon SMC graduation.
Army Reserve Retirement Services
What is it?
In an effort to increase Army Reserve Soldier’s awareness and understanding of their retirement benefits, the Army Reserve created dedicated Retirement Services Offices within each Regional Support Command (RSC) in April 2012. These offices are staffed by two trained Soldiers - an officer and a senior non- commissioned officer. Their purpose is to provide timely and accurate benefits information to all retiring and Retired Soldiers, surviving spouses and their Families.
What has the Army Reserve done?
The 2002 Army Family Action Plan (AFAP) Conference via AFAP Issue #529 recommended the placement of Retirement Services Officers (RSOs) in each RSC to address the disparity in retirement services support provided to Active Component personnel vs. Army Reserve personnel. Army research indicated that the Army Reserve did not have viable systems in place to provide pre/post retirement services comparable to the services received by the Active Component and National Guard.
What continued efforts does the Army Reserve have planned for the future?
Army research indicated Soldiers at approximately 18 good years of service needed to be better educated about Retirement Services support. Educating these Soldiers about their retirement benefits is critical to ensuring they are able to make good decisions when they reach 20 good years and have to make a Reserve Component Survivor Benefit Plan election. The Army Reserve conducts pre- retirement seminars in each RSC region with a goal of hosting a minimum of four seminars regionally each year. The program continues to make progress in ensuring adequate permanent placement of civilian personnel within each RSC to handle its regional area of responsibility, ensuring all Soldiers receive the support they need and deserve at the appropriate time in the transition process. The transition of all Soldiers, not just those retiring, is a process, not an event; the earlier Soldiers begin the transition process, the more successful they will be.
Why is this important to the Army?
The Army is committed to providing the men and women who have selflessly served our great Nation with the resources and support necessary to posture themselves for a seamless transition to civilian life. The establishment of Army Reserve Retirement Services offices is just one component of the Army’s unprecedented effort to ensure the resources and support are provided to help transitioning Soldiers and Families as they depart the Army.
What are other resources you can use?
Upcoming Pre-retirement Seminars:
Army Reserve Non-Regular Guide:
The HQDA G1 Retirement Services Website:
The Army Reserve Website: www.usar.army.mil
From the Staff Judge Advocate
“The way to have good Soldiers is to treat them rightly . . . A private Soldier has as much right to justice as a major general.”
- President Abraham Lincoln
Staff Sergeant Hardcharger, known for being squared away, has run into a potential promotion stumbling block. Ten years earlier, Private Hardcharger received a “letter of reprimand.” Hardcharger has since been promoted several times, received numerous commendations and awards, and received nothing but excellent NCOERs. What can he do to make sure his career is not cut short for an indiscretion when he was a young troop?
Soldiers in the Army are expected to have a strong moral character both on or off duty. When Soldiers fall below that standard (i.e. DUI, shoplifting, etc.) commanders can censure a Soldier for substandard personal conduct by issuing a Reprimand. Reprimands may be used in conjunction with judicial or non-judicial punishment (Article 15, UCMJ), and are authorized under the Uniform Code of Military Justice as punishment or issued as an administrative action under Army Regulation 600-37.
The administrative aspect of a Reprimand includes filing the unfavorable information in a Soldier’s personnel records. Reprimands and other punitive information (Article 15s, negative counseling statements, poor NCOERs) can have career implications for Soldiers: a bar to reenlistment, non-selection for promotion, or separation under the Qualitative Management Program.
Where a reprimand is filed is important for a Soldier. Army Regulation (AR) 500-37 sets forth the policies and procedures for filing unfavorable information in a Soldier’s official file. A local filing in the Soldier’s personnel records has no real long-term effect on a career, whereas a reprimand filed in the Official Military Personnel File (OMPF) may be a career killer. Only a general officer has the authority to place a reprimand in a Soldier’s OMPF. The locally filed reprimand does not become a part of the overall service record, and is to be destroyed when the Soldier is reassigned.
To either fight for a local filing of the reprimand or to have it thrown out all together, the Soldier will have a chance to submit a statement in rebuttal for command consideration. The AR directs that “minor behavior infraction or honest mistakes” ordinarily are not filed in a Soldier’s OMPF.
Should a commander decide to file the Reprimand in the OMPF, a Solider can further fight the action with appeal for transfer. The Department of Army Suitability Evaluation Board (DASEB) has authority to review a Soldier’s OMPF, and order transfer of the Reprimand from the performance fiche to the restricted fiche. Selection boards ordinarily examine only the performance fiche, thus the transfer to the restricted fiche should be beneficial for the career Soldier.
Before the DASEB will review an appeal, certain factors must exist: the Soldier is a staff sergeant or above; at least one year has passed since the reprimand; and has received an evaluation (OER or NCOER) after the reprimand. The Soldier needs to show that the conduct which prompted the Reprimand has been addressed, that the Soldier accepted full responsibility for the actions, corrected it, and then Soldiered on to excel. For a successful appeal, statements from past commanders or supervisors with knowledge of performance and potential for future service are strongly recommended.
Attorneys with U.S. Army Reserve Trial Defense Service can help with the preparation of rebuttal statements and with transfer appeals.
LTC Bobby Don Gifford is the Staff Judge Advocate for the 95th Training Division.
From the Staff Judge Advocate
Hooray!! Tax Season is Here!!
No need to contain your excitement or act as if you have not been preparing all year for tax season. In fact, every dollar earned, received and spent this year has prepared you for this season of 1040s, giving and receiving. So let’s get excited!
On January 30, the IRS will begin accepting and processing 1040 income tax returns for most filers. Due to tax law changes made by Congress on January 2, certain forms will not be ready until late February or early March. The list of these forms can be found at http://irs.gov/uac/Newsroom/List-of-IRS-forms-that-1040-filers-can-begin-filing-in-late-February-or-into-March-2013. Included in this list are Form 4562 Depreciation and Amortization and Form 8582 Passive Activity Loss Limitations, both for potential use when claiming rental property deductions, and Form 5884 Work Opportunity Credit, for use in claiming a credit for the payment of wages to a member of a target group, e.g. unemployed Veterans and qualified Veterans.
Did you just ask what is new in tax this year? Well, just open the Form 1040 Instructions or Publication 17, which can be obtained from the IRS website or your local library or government office. At the time of submission for this article to be printed, the IRS had not released either the 2012 Form 1040 instructions or Publication 17. Nonetheless, both documents will contain a “What’s New...” section, which identifies important changes in tax changes in tax rules, instructions and forms.
If you are considering filing electronically for the first time, understand you will be joining the ranks of the other eighty percent of filers who have opted to forego submission of paper forms and supporting documents. If you visit the IRS website, there are a variety of fencers that offer assistance through tax preparation software. Oft times, these tax return preparation services are free to military service members earning less than $50,000. Verify your eligibility for free assistance with the rules of each particular vendor.
Visit your local military installation’s tax center for free tax return preparation if you are an eligible servicemember or retiree. It is recommended that you call in advance to obtain the hours, a list of documents needed and to schedule an appointment if necessary.
Safety Office Information
Civilian and Non-DOD Range Usage Not Authorized
Currently, civilian/Non-DOD range use is not authorized for any subordinate units of the 108th Training Command (IET). Examples of civilian ranges include, but are not limited to state police, local police, privately owned ranges, etc. Request for alternate range usage can be submitted to the 108th Training Command Safety Office through the Division Safety Offices for USARC Safety Office consideration and approval. Request requirements are outlined in USAR Regulation 385-2, Chapter 18, Section 7, Paragraph d. Submittal of alternate range packet request takes approximate four (4) to six (6) months to complete and requires the Corp of Engineers and Command Safety Office input and inspection for selected facilities. For additional information contact Mr. Chris Black at 704-342-5152 or email: [email protected].
Commander Safety Course (CSC)
Commander Safety Course (CSC) completion data now includes 1SG and CSM designee positions in ITRS. This data was adjusted in late December 2012 to ensure leaders attending the Pre-Command Course had completed this mandated requirement before arriving at school. Unit Training NCOs or ADSOs can login to ITRS and get list of individuals needing to complete or document completion of training. Units can update safety data in ITRS by submitting document IAW with directions provided on ITRS Report 42b. Units will need to collect certificates and ensure they get entered in to ITRS. Individuals needing certificates can login to https://army.mil and click on the detail training record and see if a certificate is available on line. For additional information contact Mr. Chris Black at 704-342-5152 or email: [email protected].
Ammunition Storage License May Have Expired
Unless your unit’s Regional Support Command (RSC) has renewed or updated your existing Arms Rooms Ammunition Storage License in the last six months chances are good your license is no longer valid. All units should confirm if the Ammunition Storage License is valid or has not expired due to regulatory changes. All valid licenses must be approved/signed by RSC Safety Manager. Facility/Unit Commanders approved ammunition storage license are no longer valid and need to be updated. Units will need to contact supporting RSC Safety office to confirm request procedures which may differ between RSCs. As RSC conduct Annual Facility Safety Inspection, License will be checked and updated as required over the next year. For additional information contact Mr. Chris Black at 704-342-5152 or email: [email protected].