Commissary Policy Changes

The Defense Commissary Agency used their Facebook page to announce a policy change regarding coupons and special orders. This change will limit special orders for large quantities and limit returns of “unreasonable” quantities to discourage patrons from purchasing items for resale or excessive monetary refunds. The change will also prohibit shoppers from having multiple or split transactions with coupon “overage.”

According to the DECA website commissaries “redeemed nearly 100 million coupons in fiscal 2013 for a customer savings of about $91 million. DeCA ranked sixth among U.S. retailers in coupon redemptions in fiscal 2012.”

Visit the DECA Facebook page for more information at www.facebook.com/YourCommissary.

Military Spouse Employment Resources

MOAAA recent survey conducted by the Military Officers Association of America and the Institute for Veterans and Military Families at Syracuse University revealed that 90% of military spouses are underemployed, meaning that they are more educated or more experienced (or both!) than their current position requires. 45% of respondents reported difficulty in finding work that matched their skill or education level or their schedules. While these numbers are discouraging, there are many resources available to help military spouses find meaningful employment, including the ones listed below.

Career One Stop
Tools to help job seekers, students, businesses and career professionals.
www.careeronestop.org/

Military Spouses’ Corporate Career Network (MSCCN)
MSCCN is a non-profit organization that offers no-cost services to all military-affiliated spouses, retired military spouses and caregivers to war wounded heroes.
www.msccn.org

Military Spouse Employment Partnership
MSEP is a targeted recruitment and employment solution for spouses and companies that connects military spouses with employers seeking the essential 21st century workforce skills and attributes they possess.
https://msepjobs.militaryonesource.mil

USA Jobs
USAJOBS is the U.S. Government’s official system/program for Federal jobs and employment information.
www.usajobs.gov

The Family Employment Readiness Program (FERP) provides workshops to help spouses plan a career, launch a job search, write the resume, learn interview techniques, find information on federal employment, conduct self-assessments, set goals and even take vocational tests. FERP also offers computer tutorial programs to help spouses build technical skills. Learn more about FERP at www.ffsp.navy.mil.

It’s CPO Test Day!

CPO Test Day

New Year’s Resolution: Focus on Education

If your resolution for 2014 is to focus on your education, you should know there are a ton of resources out there to help you achieve your goals.

National Military Family Association Scholarship
The mission of this scholarship program is to help prepare military spouses for meaningful employment and to better contribute to their family’s financial security.
www.militaryfamily.org

Anchor Scholarship Foundation
For dependants of qualified surface Navy members.
www.anchorscholarship.com

Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)
Apply for federal and state financial aid.
www.fafsa.ed.gov

Navy Marine Corps Relief Society
A variety of scholarships and education assistance is available to active duty service members and their dependents.
www.nmcrs.org/pages/education-loans-and-scholarships

Servicemembers Opportunity Colleges (SOCNAV)
Degree programs for Navy Sailors and their spouses.
www.soc.aascu.org/socnav

You can find more information about Education and Scholarships on our Resources page.

Military Family Appreciation Month

Each year the President of the United States recognizes the many sacrifices made by our military families by officially proclaiming November to be “Military Family Appreciation Month.”

Military families exemplify the courage and resolve that define our national character. For their country and their loved ones, they rise to the challenges of multiple deployments and frequent moves—spouses who care and provide for children in their partners’ absence, kids who make new friends and leave known comforts behind. They are the force behind the force, patriots who support their family members in uniform while enriching the communities they call home.

Businesses and organizations around the country use this proclamation as an opportunity to honor our military families with much appreciated discounts and special events. As a community, we also have an opportunity to celebrate each other for our strength, resiliency, and commitment to our country, service members, and fellow spouses. No one knows more than a fellow spouse how difficult - and how amazing - this life can be. Take this opportunity to share your experiences and knowledge with others. Volunteer with a spouse club or organization or join us at COMPASS!

2013 Holiday Mailing Deadlines

The holiday season is quickly approaching and for those of us with loved ones deployed or stationed overseas, the shipping deadlines are just around the corner. To ensure your packages arrive before the holidays, ship parcel post items before November 12th. And remember, all mail addressed to FPO/APO addresses must use the full nine-digit zip code.

For mail addressed to:
APO/FPO/DPO AE zips 090-098 (except 093); AA zips 340; AP zips 962-966
Express Mail: Dec. 17
First-Class Mail (letters/cards and priority mail): Dec. 10
Parcel Airlift Mail: Dec. 3
Space Available Mail: Nov. 26
Parcel Post: Nov. 12

APO/FPO/DPO AE ZIP 093
Express mail Military Service: N/A
First-Class Mail (letters/cards and priority mail): Dec. 3
Parcel Airlift Mail: Dec. 3
Space Available Mail: Nov. 26
Parcel Post: Nov. 12

For mail addressed from all shore FPOs (except 093)
Express Mail Military Service: Dec. 17
First-Class Mail (letters/cards and priority mail): Dec. 10
Parcel Airlift Mail: Dec. 3
Space Available Mail: Nov. 26

For more information, visit www.navy.mil.

Military Spouse Employment Survey

The Military Officers Association of America is currently seeking military spouses to take part in a Military Spouse Employment Survey. This survey will enable MOAA to identify career development barriers and allow them to share this information with government officials. The survey is anonymous and open to all military spouses - active, reserve, and retired.

Military spouses face many challenges to both employment and career advancement as a result of the military lifestyle. This imperative study will look at the employment pattern of all military spouses, especially related to a spouse’s long-term career trajectory. By adding YOUR voice, we can build a stronger foundation for military spouses’ professional needs, identify any barriers to career development and share YOUR stories with government officials, state, and federal policy makers in order to overcome obstacles and improve the quality of life for our service members and families.

The survey takes approximately 30 minutes to complete and can be accessed at www.moaa.org/milspousesurvey/.

The Navy Family Ombudsman

Every September, Navy commands and families around the globe are encouraged to recognize the efforts of their Command Ombudsman. These volunteers work tirelessly to provide a valuable service to Navy families and are important contributors to mission readiness. You may contact your Ombudsman by visiting the Ombudsman Registry at www.ombudsmanregistry.org.

Ombudsman are volunteers appointed by the Commanding Officer to serve as an information link between command leadership and Navy families. They’re trained to disseminate information, Department of Navy information, command climate issues, and good deals around the community, such as events, tickets, entertainment, etc. They also provide resources and referral and are instrumental in providing assistance before requiring immediate command attention.

Lisa Johnson, Ombudsman Program Manager

Emergency Family Assistance Centers

In response to the shooting that occurred on Monday, September 16th, Emergency Family Assistance Centers (EFAC) have been established on the Washington Navy Yard and Joint Base Anacostia Bolling (JBAB) to provide support to service members, civilian employees, and affected family members who may need someone to talk to.

Navy counselors, federal social workers, Navy chaplains, and members of the Navy Medical Psychiatric Rapid Intervention Team are available to provide short-term mental health and emotional support immediately following a disaster or traumatic event. The goal is to prevent long-term medical psychiatric dysfunction or disability.

The Navy Yard EFAC is located at CNIC Headquarters on the fifth floor of Building 111. The JBAB EFAC is located at the Warfighter and Family Support Center in Enterprise Hall (Building 72).

You may also contact the JBAB Warfighter and Family Support Center at 1-855-677-1755 for assistance.

What should I wear to the Khaki Ball?

“What should I wear to the Khaki Ball?” is one of the most frequently asked question of the CPO Training Season. According to the Guidelines for Spouses of Chief Petty Officers, a good rule of thumb is to “dress to the uniform.” The service khaki uniform is considered a daily wear uniform so it would be appropriate to wear a dressy dress or pantsuit. Here are a few examples:

CPO Khaki Ball

CPO Khaki Ball

CPO Khaki Ball

Should your installation decide to have a Chief’s Ball instead of a Khaki Ball, your Chief will be wearing the service dress uniform. As previously advised, you should “dress to the uniform.” It would be appropriate to wear a formal evening gown, as shown below.

Chiefs Ball

Social Customs and Traditions of the Sea Services is also a great resource for information on attire guidelines and etiquette.

Special thanks to Mrs. Suchniak, Mrs. Benz, Mrs. Fran, and Mrs. Schwartz for sharing their photos. You all look beautiful!

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