FY22 Milestone Note and Application Procedures

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Here are BUMEDNOTE 1410 and NAVMED 1410/1, both of which tell you how to apply for milestone positions. For the MC, that is Chief Medical Officer (CMO) and Officer-in-Charge (OIC). Other Corps include Director for Administration (DFA), Chief Nursing Officer, and Director for Dental Services:

The list of available positions is still being finalized, so I don’t have that yet.

Bottom line…do you want to promote to O6? Do you want a job that translates very easily to a leadership position in the civilian world when you get out? Do you want a job that will translate to an XO job? Milestones fit the bill for all of this.

In addition, we are encouraging CAPT and CAPT(s) to step up and apply for these positions as well, if interested. We need senior leaders for these roles.

If there are any questions, please reach out to me.

Finally, please see this note from our admin staff about hyperlinks not working in the PDF:

Just a heads up, a couple people now have asked about a “hyperlink issue” with the 1410. The URLs in the notice are correct; however, because Secretariat included hyperlinks and all the links are split on multiple lines, due to a PDF kink all links in the 1410 are adding “%20” at the beginning of each new line when you click or copy and paste.

To make it clear, here is how one split link appears when you click the hyperlink or copy/paste:

https://esportal.med.navy.mil/bumed/m00/%20m00c/pages/executive-medicine.aspx (you will get a 404 not found error if you go to this link)

And here is the actual URL as written in the notice (the correct URL):

https://esportal.med.navy.mil/bumed/m00/m00c/pages/executive-medicine.aspx

We cannot change this. The URLs are correct as written and it’s a PDF glitch. To work around, personnel are advised to go to their browser window and type in the URL exactly as it appears in the notice (NOT click and NOT copy/paste). Alternately, they can delete any %20 that appears in the link if they still insist on click or copy/paste.

Throwback Thursday Classic Post – Will the Government Ever Get Rid of the “Free Lunch” of the TSP G Fund?

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They say there’s no free lunch, but in the Thrift Savings Plan there is a free lunch, and it’s called the G Fund. Will the government get rid of this free lunch?

The G Fund Free Lunch

What is this free lunch? You can read about it on this page in the Fees & More Info section:

The G Fund Yield Advantage—The G Fund rate calculation results in a long-term rate being earned on short-term securities. Because long-term interest rates are generally higher than short-term rates, G Fund securities usually earn a higher rate of return than do short-term marketable Treasury securities.

The government is paying you a higher interest rate than it should. That is the G Fund free lunch.

Why is the Free Lunch at Risk?

The government periodically considers getting rid of it. For example, you can read about it in this article, which is discussing the President’s FY19 budget plan/request. Here’s the relevant portion:

The plan also proposes reducing the statutorily mandated rate of return for the government securities (G) fund to be based on either the three-month or four-week Treasury bill, at a projected savings of $8.9 billion over 10 years.

“G Fund investors benefit from receiving a medium-term Treasury Bond rate of return on what is essentially a short-term security,” the White House wrote. “The budget would instead base the G-fund yield on a short-term T-bill rate.”

TSP spokeswoman Kim Weaver said changing the G Fund’s yield, which is currently 2.75 percent annually, would have a disastrous effect on participants’ ability to save for retirement. If Congress changed the G Fund to track the three-month Treasury bill, the yield would decrease to 1.46 percent, and for the four-week bill it would drop to 1.43 percent.

“Such a change would make the G Fund inadequate and ineffective from an investment standpoint for TSP participants who are saving for retirement,” Weaver said in an email. “More than 3.6 million TSP participants (69 percent) have all or some of their account balance invested in the G Fund. Of those with money in the G Fund, 2 million (39 percent) hold the G Fund as their sole investment choice.”

For a TSP participant who has just retired and is invested entirely in the L Income Fund, which is designed for people who have begun taking annuity payments, they would run out of money at age 84 instead of the current projected age of 92, Weaver said.

Jessica Klement, staff vice president for advocacy at the National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association, said the change would make G Fund investments “useless” and likely force TSP administrators to divest from it entirely.

“[The new rate] would not even keep up with inflation,” she said. “So if you wanted to keep your money in a mostly secure fund, you would not be getting any return, and you’d actually be losing money. And if you took your money out, there would be no other safe, secure investment for those nearing or in retirement.”

What Does This Mean For You?

Right now, it means nothing. This is all just discussion about something that might happen in the future.

What you do need to understand, though, is that the G Fund serves a specific purpose in your portfolio. As the TSP site says:

Consider investing in the G Fund if you would like to have all or a portion of your TSP account completely protected from loss. If you choose to invest in the G Fund, you are placing a higher priority on the stability and preservation of your money than on the opportunity to potentially achieve greater long-term growth in your account through investment in the other TSP funds.

It is alarming that Ms. Weaver from the TSP said, “Of those with money in the G Fund, 2 million (39 percent) hold the G Fund as their sole investment choice.” Those 2 millions people are sacrificing long-term growth for the safest and most conservative investment available in the TSP.

There’s nothing wrong with that if you’re doing it because you are very conservative, near retirement, or the G Fund serves as the bond portion of a larger, more diversified portfolio that has more risky assets like stocks or real estate.

The sad reality is that most who are solely invested in the G Fund are that way because it used to be the default option for those starting a TSP account, and they never switched it to a more aggressive investment option. Under the new Blended Retirement System, the default investment switched from the G Fund to an age-appropriate Lifecycle fund.

What’s the Bottom Line?

The G Fund gives you a free lunch, paying you a higher long-term interest rate while you are investing in short-term securities. The government periodically talks about getting rid of that free lunch.

If you are invested in the G Fund, make sure you are doing it purposely and are aware of its conservative nature. Its emphasis is on preserving wealth rather than growing wealth.

SG’s Message – Projecting Medical Power at Community Vaccination Centers

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Shipmates,

Our One Navy Medicine Team continues to adapt and meet the challenges posed by the COVID pandemic.  Most recently, I was impressed with the role of our intrepid personnel in the effort to sink COVID.

Beginning in mid-February, Navy medical personnel deployed across the United States and U.S. Territories to support community vaccination centers (CVC’s) in support of the presidential-directed COVID-19 vaccination mission.  The size of these teams have varied based on the need of each community that they serve.  Type 1 teams can comprise up to 222 personnel, Type 2 teams can include up 139 personnel and a Type 4 team includes 25 individuals.

The CVC’s are overseen by U.S. Army North, U.S, Northern Command’s Joint Force Land Component Command, and operate in support of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the Department of Health and Human Services. As of April 7, 2021, Navy medical personnel are serving at CVC’s in Florida, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, Massachusetts, Missouri, and the Virgin Islands.

Last week I visited a Navy medical-led Type 2 Team based at the CVC at York College in Jamaica, Queens, NY.  The team – under the command of Navy nurse CAPT Eva Domotorffy – consists of 139 Sailors from 8 different Navy Medicine commands and Mobile Diving and Salvage Unit Two (MDSU2).  MDSU2 was deployed with the Navy Medicine team to provide essential administrative and logistical support.  Sailors at the site have been providing to shots to members of the local community since February 24th and administered their 100,000th vaccine the day of our visit. The site is currently able to vaccinate about 3,000 people per day with the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine.  Collectively our teams have helped deliver more than 500,000 vaccines to eligible civilians!

Though the teams are doing important work for the City of New York, they are also finding it very rewarding, one MDSU Master Chief canceled his terminal leave before retiring just so he could participate in this historic evolution and told me that this is the most rewarding work he has ever done. The team has established best practices and are sharing those with FEMA, DOD and the State to help project Navy Medicine’s Power even further. 

As we continue to work with local communities to ramp up COVID immunity, I’d ask those who have not yet taken the vaccine to step back and recognize how safe we are finding it to be. The number of serious reactions is exceedingly low and it becomes increasingly clear that the benefit of receiving it is extremely high. While we salute the great work being done by our colleagues working the CVCs we can each make our own contribution to community immunity by stepping forward and rolling up our sleeves. Your shipmates, neighbors and I thank you in advance!

To learn more about CVC effort I encourage you all to click on the link below to a video from my visit to New York.

YouTube link for non-government computers: https://youtu.be/84Qj6N76PB4

MilSuite link for government computers: https://www.milsuite.mil/video/42379

The story of our fight against COVID-19 is still being written, but I am very proud of

our people for continuing to project Medical Power.

With my deepest gratitude, SG

Bruce L. Gillingham, MD, CPE, AOA

RADM, MC, USN

Surgeon General, U.S. Navy

Chief, Bureau of Medicine and Surgery