Throwback Thursday Classic Post – Day 1 Messages from the New SG, RADM Gillingham

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Esteemed Shipmates,

I am honored and privileged to serve as your 39th Surgeon General of the Navy. Attached you will see an outline of my priorities, and the course that we will sail together. Take a moment to review and discuss this information with your Shipmates, reflecting on how YOUR actions contribute to maritime superiority. As a high reliability organization, your active engagement and feedback will be critically important to our continued success. More detailed guidance will be forthcoming. As always, thank you for everything you do for our warfighters and their families.

I look forward to seeing you in the fleet!

SG Sends


Here also is a video from the SG:

RADM Bruce L Gillingham Introduction

Medical Corps Career Development Board Assistant Program Manager

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The Corps Chiefs office is soliciting applications for the CDB Assistant Program Manager, working closely with the CDB Program Manager and Medical Corps Career Planner to coordinate and compile CDB data and best practices from the enterprise.  The successful candidate will be LCDR or above with excellent organizational abilities and significant enterprise experience in both hospital and operational settings.  Interested candidates should submit a letter of intent, CV, BIO, Officer Summary Record (OSR), Performance Summary Record (PSR) and command endorsement to CAPT Miguel Gutierrez (contact in the global).  Applications are due NLT 29 January 2021.  The current program policy is here:

State of the Blog in 2021

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Here is the annual blog post detailing the state of the blog in 2021.

Financial Report

Blog Profit = $135 loss!

As you probably realize, I pay for this and make no money from it.

Blog Traffic

As of 1/1/21, we have just over 740,000 page views. Here is the blog traffic as measured by page views since I started it in 2015. See a pattern? In 2020, we topped out at over 275,000 views.

I get most referred traffic from Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and the StudentDoctor.net forum, in that order. The distant 5th is a link to my bog from PhysicianOnFire.com.

Top Posts of 2020

Here are the top 5 posts/pages of 2020, excluding promotion board results or anything which is clearly old news:

  1. Special Pays Update – Senate Proposal to Increase Pays and BUMED Pays Update
  2. The New Medical Corps Career Progression Slide – What Does It Mean to You?
  3. NAVNORTH FRAGO Summary Graphics
  4. FY22 Promotion Boards – What are They Looking At and How Can You Get Ready? (actually, it was the FY21 version, but since I’ve updated it for FY22 it makes no sense to link to the old one)
  5. New Navy HPSP FAQ and Information Booklet

Top 10 Posts/Pages of All Time

Here are the top 5 since 2015:

  1. Joel Schofer’s Promo Prep
  2. Useful Documents
  3. LCDR Fitreps – Language for Writing Your Block 41
  4. Joel Schofer’s Fitrep Prep
  5. Useful Links
  6. CV, Military Bio, and Letter of Intent Templates
  7. POM20 Navy Medicine Billet Reduction
  8. Personal Finance
  9. About Me (who knew I was so popular?)
  10. What are AQDs and How Do You Get Them?

Most Common Misspellings of My Last Name

I can actually see the things people search for that lead them to the blog, so what are the most common misspellings of my last name, which is “Schofer”:

  1. Shofer
  2. Schoeffer
  3. Schoefer

That’s it! Thanks for reading in 2020 and for all the things you’ll probably read in 2021.

Another Simple Way to Get Rich in the Military – Become a Super Saver

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In the military, there are a few advantages you’ve got that can allow you to sock away more of your income than the average Joe. They include:

  • Government housing or a tax-free housing allowance
  • Government provided or subsidized meals (Basic Allowance for Subsistence)
  • Free medical and dental care
  • On base services (exchanges, commissaries, gyms, auto shops, child care, etc.)
  • Uniforms to wear instead of expensive business clothes (although uniforms can certainly be expensive sometimes)
  • Military discounts
  • Cheaper insurance (USAA, GEICO Military, etc.)
  • No income lapse when you change jobs

If you can put these advantages to work, allowing you to save more than the average American, invest appropriately, and combine these savings with just plain staying in the military for 20 years, you can be rich.

How Much Should I Save?

One of the most important moments of my early financial career that had a major impact on my ultimate net worth was the day I decided to reach David Bach’s The Automatic Millionaire. In the book (based on my memory of it), it said that your savings rate was a major determining factor of whether or not you became rich. If you wanted to work your whole life and have a comfortable retirement at the age of 65, you needed to save 15% of your income for retirement. It said that if you saved 20-30%, you’d get rich. Period.

What did I do? I saved 20-30%, and it worked.

What If You Saved 20-30 Percent?

I would argue that you should save 20-30% of your total compensation, and not just your basic pay. In other words, include all of your allowances and extra pays (if you have any) in addition to your basic pay. Include literally every dollar that enters your household. Add them all together, and that is your total compensation. Multiply that by your savings rate, and that is how much you should invest every year. Combine this super saving with just plain staying in for 20 years and the value of the pension, and you’re rich.