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Army Retirement Links

Just wanted to share some links to information regarding military retirement benefits. I’ve also included links to sites that are covering the new military retirement system that will go in to effect 1 Oct 2018. (Also known as the 2016 National Defense Act)

http://militarybenefits.info/military-retirement-benefits/

http://militarybenefits.info/cola-cost-of-living-adjustments/

http://www.military.com/benefits/2015/11/30/2016-national-defense-act-signed-into-law.html

http://www.militarytimes.com/story/veterans/2016/07/15/veterans-benefits-social-security-2017/87119772/

Army Regulation (AR) 635-200 (Active Duty Enlisted Administrative Separations).

Thrift Savings Plan (TSP):

Withdrawing Funds: Soldiers are eligible, but not required, to withdraw from the TSP account as soon as they separate from the uniformed services. However, a certain portion of the account balance must be withdrawn beginning with the year in which the Soldier becomes age 70½. This portion of the balance, known as a “required minimum distribution,” is based on life expectancy. If a full or partial withdrawal is not made, or if monthly payments do not begin, the TSP must make the required distribution before April 1 of the following year. Active Soldiers are not required to make withdrawals, regardless of age. Payments can be deposited directly into checking or savings accounts. The TSP can also transfer all or part of any single payment or, in some cases, a series of monthly payments, to a traditional IRA or eligible employer plan.

Regulations: TSP regulations are published in title 5 of the Code of Federal Regulations, Parts 1600 – 1690, and are periodically supplemented and amended in the Federal Register.

 

 

 

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Some Scripture That Applies to Today

2 Timothy 3:1-5

1 But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, 3 heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power.

If we take a good, hard look at the way things are in our society this part of this chapter really resonates with me. All I seem to see in the news and all around me is how much people think solely of themselves and what’s in it for me. We focus on money; one of the first topics on the news is the stock market and how much it has gone up or down. Not to mention the attacks against religious freedom, especially Christianity.

For example:

“The phrases ‘religious liberty’ and ‘religious freedom’ will stand for nothing except hypocrisy so long as they remain code words for discrimination, intolerance, racism, sexism, homophobia, Islamophobia, Christian supremacy or any form of intolerance.” — Those were the word uttered by one Mr. Castro.

Not Fidel.

Rather, one Martin Castro, the chairman of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, who launched a broadside recently against religious faith, degrading the vision of the Founding Fathers that made this country the envy of the world.

Castro, an Obama appointee, released a report on September 7 on protections against discrimination. His finding, in part, is that Americans need to be protected from Bible-thumpers, and anyone else whose beliefs run afoul of the administration’s PC police. Religious folk need not apply.

in the report Castro cited John Adams. “The government of the United States is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion.”  But Adams did not write those words. They were part of a treaty to end the Barbary War. “Christian” ships and crew were fair game for Barbary pirates, Ambassador Abdrahaman of Tripoli told Thomas Jefferson; that all Christians are sinners in the context of the Koran and that it was a Muslim’s “right and duty to make war upon them wherever they could be found, and to enslave as many as they could take as prisoners.”

U.S. negotiators tried to downplay the clash of religions. The treaty therefore stressed that the U.S. was not an officially Christian nation, but a secular one, and therefore should never have been targeted. Adams signed the treaty, but it had nothing to do with his belief about the importance of Judeo-Christian religions to the stability of society.

Here are the words that flowed from President Adams’ pen. “We have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion . . . Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”

George Washington expressed similar thoughts in his Farewell Address. “Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports. In vain would that man claim the tribute of patriotism, who should labor to subvert these great pillars of human happiness.”

Our Founding Fathers would have cautioned against attempts to “subvert these great pillars” of religion and morality.

Alexis de Tocqueville, the great French historian and admirer of American democracy, introduced the Continent to the workings of the American upstarts. “The Americans combine the notions of religion and liberty so intimately in their minds that it is impossible to make them conceive of one without the other.”

Waves of immigrants after de Tocqueville were often far less lettered, but they did share his understanding, and dreamt of being part of it. Religious freedom, toleration and fairness were all intertwined in the unique American package that so many desperately seek to be a part of.

Commissioner Castro has another vision. In the letter addressed to the president, the vice president, and the Speaker of the House, he wrote, “Religious exemptions to the protections of civil rights based upon classifications such as race, color, national origin, sex, disability status, sexual orientation, and gender identity, when they are permissible, significantly infringe upon these civil rights.”  What he is saying is that in 2016 it’s Big Brother’s responsibility to curtail those exemptions.  If that isn’t to your liking, you can always move. Maybe to Tripoli.

Castro’s America would not be recognized by James Madison, who argued that religious conviction ought to be placed ahead of – not behind – the agenda of the State.  In his “Memorial and Remonstrance against Religious Assessments of 1785,” the architect of our Constitution wrote: “It is the duty of every man to render to the Creator such homage and such only as he believes to be acceptable to Him. This duty is precedent, both in order of time and degree of obligation, to the claims of Civil Society.”

Not so long ago, America projected its global power to protect religious freedoms. Throughout the Cold War we strove to help brave believers behind the Iron Curtain to keep the embers of religion from being totally extinguished by atheistic Communist dictatorships.

We demanded of our chief international nemesis, the USSR, that any negotiations on nuclear arms reduction must be linked to human rights—including freedom of religion.

Eventually, Gorbachev relented, the Berlin Wall came down, and the war against religion came to an end.

Recent U.S. administrations were true to the legacy of our Founders by taking a leadership role in urging all governments to guarantee the religious rights of minorities who, when leaving their respective houses of worship on their holy days, could return to their homes unmolested.

Today, hundreds of millions of minority Baha’i, Hindus, Buddhists, Muslims – but chiefly Christians – have no confidence that American power or policy have their backs.

Respect for religion and religious values were at the core of our Founding Fathers’ vision and an inspiration to endangered religious people the world over. We can only hope that the next head of America’s Civil Rights Commission will protect — not slander — people who dare set their moral compass by the words of G-d.

Rabbi Abraham Cooper is associate Dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center in Los Angeles. Follow the Simon Wiesenthal Center on Facebook and on Twitter.

 

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Interesting Campaign Funding Information

I learned today that Starbucks has endorsed Hillary Clinton for President and is making contributions to her campaign. So every time that you purchase something from Starbucks you are supporting Hillary Clinton’s campaign financially. I ask that anyone and everyone who does not support Hillary for 2016 please stop patronizing Starbucks or if you really feel the need to patronize them then please make a contribution of equal of greater value to the campaign of someone else who is running for President other than her.

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A Little Army Retirement Advice

Just wanted to share some information that I have discovered while reading a book written by a former colleague of mine and one outstanding Senior Non-commissioned Officer, SFC (Ret) Abbie Perretti-Blaisdell.

1) If retiring from a CONUS assignment you may be granted up to 20 days of Permissive TDY.  If retiring from an OCONUS assignment you you may be granted up to 30 days PTDY.

2) It is suggested that you transition from Tricare Prime to Tricare Standard. This way you won’t have to choose a primary care manager (PCM). You’ll pay an enrollment fee, just like with Prime, but you will have more flexibility to choose your own healthcare provider. Copay is no more than 20-25% for the total cost of service.

3) Service members may not actively participate in employment outside the military while in a PTDY status, but may do so during their Transition Leave period.

4) Become familiar with AR 635-200 and AR 635-10 because they outline the procedures a retiring Soldier will need to follow.

5)  One additional piece of information I’d like to share is the web site listed below. I received this link from HRC. You’ll need to go to the site and register then complete the online counseling, which takes about 90 minutes. https://www.sfl-tap.army.mil

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Malama Ka ‘Aina- Respect the Land

Malama ka’aina is Hawaiian for care for the land or respect the land.

It is interesting here on the Island of Oahu. There are many local (native born) people who are constantly voicing their frustration over the trash all over the island and how it is the fault of the ha’oles (foreigners). Many of the locals here on the Northshore where we live try to pin the blame on the military and their disregard for the land and its people. I myself am military and it infuriates me when our service men and women disrespect local cultures and their surrounding. The only problem I have with the issue of the tonnes of trash and waste on and around the beaches here is that the areas where it is a major issue are mostly occupied by locals. Just today I was traveling from Waialua to Kaena Point with my family and we drove past Mokulea, occupied by many locals, and there was trash everywhere! It doesn’t matter if I am on the Northshore, Windward side or Leeward side I see this same problem everywhere. Yes, I do see many tourists, mainly Chinese and Korean, leaving their trash lying around, but no to the extent that I see it on a weekly basis where the locals hang out.

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Climate Change Hypocrisy

Let me preface this blog post by stating that this is most certainly not an argument for or against climate change, though I have my theories/opinions.

“My hypocrisy knows no bounds.” Doc Holliday, Tombstone 1993

This should be a quote for POTUS and all of those climate change chicken little supporters in his administration and throughout the government. They always espouse the need to reduce our carbon footprint, reduce emissions, etc… in order to positively affect climate change and reverse it’s effects on the globe. YET, every time there is the need to address the world about climate change one of these “supporters” feels the need to get on a government aircraft, paid for by taxpayer funding and trek around the globe telling everyone how evil carbon emissions are.

ESPECIALLY in this day and age of high speed computers, satellite communications with little to no delay and amazing digital technology you would think that if climate change were such a big deal and reducing carbon emissions were equally as important then those who wish to address the public in their own nation, or globally, would turn to the less polluting method of utilizing the internet or video tele-conference.

Just a thought.

This after POTUS was just here in Hawaii expressing the need to address climate change.

http://www.latimes.com/local/la-me-0529-lax-pollution-20140529-story.html