May Message from the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs

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MHS Team:

The Department of Defense continues to deliver on Secretary Esper’s
priorities during the COVID-19 pandemic to protect our people, maintain
readiness, and support the national COVID-19 response. Together, Health
Affairs, the military services, the Joint Staff surgeon, the Defense Health
Agency, and the Uniformed Services University are rising to the challenge of
managing an aggressive response to the virus.

Here are updates on issues Health Affairs is tracking.

* Testing: Major General Lee Payne, Defense Health Agency Assistant
Director, Combat Support, has been designated by the Department’s COVID-19
Task Force as the DoD’s lead to implement the Department’s tiered approach
to increase diagnostic and surveillance testing for personnel tied to
critical mission requirements. Thanks to the hard work from your teams, we
are on track to meet the operational Tier 1 requirements. We’ve completed
more than 85,000 tests and tested nearly 1,000 DoD personnel supporting the
New York City response. As we work through Tier 2 and Tier 3 requirements,
we are also looking to support sentinel surveillance testing for Tier 4
requirements. Maj Gen Payne and his team are carrying out impressive work to
spearhead testing protocols, identifying and validating Service and
combatant command requirements, managing logistics, and finalizing reporting
requirements for this massive effort.

* Advancing Force Health Protection: Health Affairs subject matter experts
are deeply involved in developing Force Health Protection guidance for the
Department, including the most recent update, Supplement 8, for protecting
personnel in the workplace. We expect new and revised guidance to be issued
shortly on Clinical Laboratory Diagnostic Testing Services; Surveillance and
Screening with Testing; Risk-Based Lowering of Health Protection Condition
Levels; and Resuming Elective Surgical, Invasive, and Dental Procedures in
Military Medical and Dental Treatment Facilities.

* Vaccine & Antibody Therapeutics Acceleration Strategy: Military Medicine
has a long history of rapid innovation and medical advances. From a
battlefield evacuation system that became the foundation for a modern
Emergency Medical Services system to advances in damage control surgery and
trauma management that have informed nationwide trauma practice, our
commitment to continuous learning and evolution of medicine has always
placed the Military Health System at the forefront. Now, once again, DoD is
out in front leveraging our world-class research capabilities and
partnerships with the Department of Health and Human Services and others to
not only develop an effective COVID-19 vaccine, but to also ensure its rapid
mass production to support a rapid national vaccination effort. This effort,
known as Operation Warp Speed, and supported through funding from the CARES
Act, is streamlining multiple research efforts both in vaccines and
therapeutics and is producing developmental strategies for the manufacturing
and distribution of a COVID-19 vaccine and treatment therapies.

The pandemic response I’ve seen from our collective MHS team has reinforced
the significant roles you play and the historic difference you are making.
Thank you for joining the fight against COVID-19 and ensuring that the MHS
is not only supporting the DoD’s response to the pandemic, but also
supporting the whole-of-government effort to defeat the pandemic.

Every year at this time, cities and towns across the Nation gather to
remember the contributions and bravery of generations of men and women who
have made the ultimate sacrifice for our country. But this year will be
different. Observances for the holiday will not look like years past because
of the pandemic, and many of the traditional Memorial Day parades and events
we are accustomed to will not proceed. While we may not be able to gather in
person this year, that doesn’t mean we cannot pay our respects to our fallen
heroes. This Memorial Day, I encourage you to pursue other ways to honor the
brave men and women who sacrificed their lives to ensure our safety and

Please stay safe and healthy!


Naval Postgraduate School Executive MBA NAVADMIN

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I had previously posted the announcement, but since then we’ve had more emphasis placed on education in our fitreps, so here is the NAVADMIN:

R 211550Z MAY 20 MID510001192793U





RMKS/1. This NAVADMIN announces application procedures for the September 2020 
Distance Learning Executive Master of Business Administration (EMBA) program.

2.  Background:
    a.  The Naval Postgraduate School (NPS) defense focused EMBA is a 24 
month, fully-funded, part-time graduate program focused on financial 
management. The program targets middle to senior grade active-duty officers, 
lieutenant commander (select) and senior (lieutenant by waiver).
    b.  Classes are delivered via online technologies with synchronous, live 
interaction between faculty and students. All students are required to have a 
computer with internet access, a webcam and a microphone.
    c.  The EMBA program begins with a required one-week Temporary Duty (TDY) 
in-residence session at NPS in Monterey, CA., that is currently scheduled for 
21-25 September 2020. Pandemic restrictions on travel may result in 
rescheduling the in-resident portion.  The residency week includes an 
orientation and a graduate-level course on the management of teams. A second 
week of required TDY in-residence instruction will be scheduled during the 
second year of the EMBA program. Other than these two visits to NPS Monterey, 
students complete all instruction from their duty locations. The parent 
command of the student will provide official travel orders and funding for 
TDY travel. If command funding is not available, students may fund their own 
travel and utilize no-cost TDY orders from their commands.
    d.  Active duty Naval officers accepted into the EMBA program are 
integrated into cohorts with civilian students.  Typically, a cohort is 
comprised of approximately 25 students from which student teams are formed. 
Cohorts take all classes together during the 24 months of instruction on one 
day per week for approximately six to seven hours per day during regular 
continental United States duty hours.

3.  Criteria:
    a.  Eligibility requirements include an undergraduate degree from a 
regionally accredited 4-year college or university, 2.6 grade point average 
or higher on a 4 point scale, and at least one college-level mathematics 
course. A commanding officer endorsement letter is required to participate in 
the program. Department head or similar mid-level management experience and 
strong potential for promotion are preferred. Participants must have a 
projected rotation date no earlier than September 2022. The Graduate 
Management Admission Test is not required.
    b.  Admission to the EMBA program is available to applicants in any 
geographic location, regardless of the number of applicants in a location.

4.  Application Process:
    a.  Officers interested in the EMBA program can visit the NPS EMBA home 
page at www.nps.edu/emba for detailed eligibility and application process 
information. Deadline for the application process is no later than 6 July 
2020. Online instruction begins 29 September 2020.

5.  Post Graduation:
    a.  Graduates will be awarded an EMBA graduate degree from NPS and the 
Navy subspecialty code 3100P, Financial Management-Defense Focus.
Graduates working in acquisition billets will also earn Defense Acquisition 
University Level II equivalencies for all program management functional 
    b.  As directed by reference (a), officers participating in this program 
must agree to remain on active duty following completion of graduate studies 
for a period of 3 years. This obligation is discharged concurrently with any 
other service obligation already incurred. This agreement does not obligate 
the Navy to retain the officer on active duty.

6.  Point of contact:
    a.  NPS EMBA program office, at (831) 656- 2562/DSN 756, or via e-mail at 

7. This message will remain in effect until superseded or 31 December 2020, 
whichever occurs first.

8. Released by Vice Admiral S. B. Munsch, Deputy Chief on Naval Operations 
for Warfighting Development (N7)//


CO’s Can Permit Moonlighting Again

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Here’s the memo about off-duty employment (ODE, moonlighting) that the SG signed. In brief, it says that CO’s can resume permitting ODE/moonlighting:

Off-Duty Employment 21 May 2020

5 Short Books That Can Transform Your Financial Life

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Finance is an area of extreme importance in the personal and professional lives of military members, or at least it should be. In order to give readers a quick head start, I’d like to provide them with a list of recommended resources that offer sound advice and can be read quickly. Let’s face it, we’re all busy.

Get a Financial Life: Personal Finance in Your Twenties and Thirties – If you want one book to guide you in nearly all aspects of your financial life, this is undoubtedly the most comprehensive and useful financial book I’ve ever read. It offers sound advice in a concise format and covers investing, banking, insurance, real estate, taxes, and nearly every other topic you can think of. This is the best money you could spend if you are in your twenties or thirties, and probably even if you are older than that and just getting started.

Jonathan Clements Money Guide 2016 – This is another comprehensive resource I recommend. After a 2015 and 2016 edition, he transitioned the content to a free money guide on a blog called Humble Dollar, but if you want a physical book the 2016 edition is still highly relevant and recommended.

How to Think About Money – Clements’ other book is short in length (158 pages) but extremely useful when it comes to shaping your approach to personal finance. He teaches you how to think about money and use it to maximally impact your life and happiness.

The Elements of Investing: Easy Lessons for Every Investor – For investment advice, I turn to two authors, Burton Malkiel and John Bogle. Malkiel is the Chemical Bank Chairman’s Professor of Economics at Princeton University and is most famous for his bestselling book, A Random Walk down Wall Street: The Time-tested Strategy for Successful Investing, which is 500 pages long. His lesser known book, The Elements of Investing: Easy Lessons for Every Investor is much more manageable at less than 200 pages, was published in 2013, and provides all of the advice without the in-depth theory. It’s like skipping to dessert without having to eat your vegetables. In addition, you can check out The Random Walk Guide To Investing, which is only 224 pages but a bit dated since the last edition is from 2007. The principles, though, remain unchanged so it is still a worthwhile read.

The Little Book of Common Sense Investing: The Only Way to Guarantee Your Fair Share of Stock Market Returns – Bogle, founder of The Vanguard Group, is also famous for a book that I highly recommend, Common Sense on Mutual Funds. This book, however, is heavy on theory. If you don’t want a degree in finance, you can get the Reader’s Digest version by reading his other book, The Little Book of Common Sense Investing: The Only Way to Guarantee Your Fair Share of Stock Market Returns. This book is also a much easier read at 216 pages long, and will teach you how to get rich slowly, the only surefire way to get rich.

Interesting COVID Research Idea Up for the Taking

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This is an interesting idea from a brilliant friend that I’m passing along for the consideration of researchers out there. Take it or leave it:

I’m circulating this email in the hopes of networking my way through you to someone conducting a COVID-19 vaccine trial, or able to influence one. So far, advancing such a novel idea via emails to anyone I can think of, mid-pandemic, is not working. I’m sure the inboxes of the vaccine developers and immunologists competing to save the world are full. Among a couple dozen others, Bill Gates, Sanjay Gupta, and Dr. Fauci have yet to get back to me.  If my proposal makes any sense to you, please pass it on to anyone you know who might be able to put it in front of someone who could make it happen.

I have been researching the intersection of my psychology PhD and my concerns, as a physician, regarding the challenges of implementing a Covid-19 vaccine. There is sound, supportive, but limited research suggesting that a distinctive taste stimulus paired with vaccine doses can later, and by itself, become immuno-enhancing via Pavlovian conditioning. The taste alone can then supplement or replace vaccine boosters, multiplying the availability and dramatically reducing the cost of successfully vaccinating billions worldwide against COVID-19.  It would be easy and almost without additional cost to safely integrate the definitive  experiment proving this concept into phase II or III trials of any prospective COVID-19 vaccine (one suggested protocol below). A major limitation is the lack of incentives for vaccine developers to pursue a paradigm that could cut their vaccine sales in half. Supporting data is in the attached brief proposal and included more extensively in a recently accepted paper of mine, also attached. I, of course, have no financial interest in the outcome of this; just trying to be helpful to the effort.

Be safe, be well.
All the best.

Kenneth Frumkin, PhD, MD, FACEP
Kenneth dot Frumkin at gmail dot com
Retired civil servant on a pension