House & Senate Defense Bills – How They Could Affect You

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Here is the full article from the Military Officers Association of America:

House and Senate Divide on Defense Bill

Here are the issues mentioned that would affect Navy physicians:

  • For new entrants after 1 JAN 2018, and upon the first PCS after that date for those already serving, basic allowance for housing (BAH) would be calculated using the servicemember’s actual housing cost or the BAH rate, whichever is less.
  • The bill proposes dividing the normal BAH rate by the number of BAH-eligible occupants, meaning dual military couples or roommates could receive a significantly smaller allowance.
  • The committee also included proposals to change family leave policies. Servicemembers that are primary caregivers would receive six weeks of leave. Secondary caregivers would receive three weeks. This parental leave would be in addition to six weeks of convalescent leave allowed for a servicemember who gives birth.
  • Establishing TRICARE Prime only in areas with Military Treatment Facilities (MTFs).
  • Changing the name of TRICARE Standard to TRICARE Choice.
  • Authorizing the treatment of veterans and civilians in MTFs as needed to maintain operational skills.
  • Directing DoD to create a program to improve quality of care in MTFs.
  • Promotion boards would be able to identify up to 20 percent of selectees as “top performers” to go to the top of promotion lists.
  • The services will be authorized to give continuation pay to eligible servicemembers with eight to 12 years of service.
  • The service secretaries will be able to designate specialties to allow officers to serve up to 40 years.

How to Read Your Performance Summary Report (PSR)

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One of the most important documents viewed during promotion boards is your Performance Summary Report or PSR.  It is the document that summarizes all of your FITREPs for the board, and it can be difficult to interpret.  I created a screencast that will show you how to read your PSR.  Here are the PPT slides and the screencast:

How to Read Your PSR

FY17 O4 Promotion Board Members and Convening Order Released

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The FY17 O4 promotion board just concluded.  As usual, the promotion opportunity for LCDR was 100%.  This means that the board COULD select every eligible officer for promotion if they wanted to.  They never do, but they could.  If you read the convening order, you’ll see that Medical Corps is the only community that has a 100% promotion opportunity:

FY17 O4 Staff Corps Convening Order

FY17 O4 Staff Corps Board Membership

“Flaw” in New Military Retirement System?

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Here is an interesting read from Military Times that discusses discount rates and what some experts consider a “flaw” in the new retirement system:

The New Military Retirement System has Major Flaw, Financial Experts Warn

New USUHS Masters and Doctoral Medical Education Degrees

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The Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences (USUHS) has some new degrees for anyone looking for a medical education degree.  If you are on active duty you have to be local to attend.  They are, however, working on a pathway for active duty to apply and PCS there to do the degree if accepted, similar to how they do the Naval War College.  The info is contained in these PDF files:

Degree Info Sheet

Masters Degree Brochure

PhD Brochure