January 25, 2013
 

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VFW WASHINGTON WEEKLY

January 25, 2013





1. Women in Combat Ban Reversed: The Secretary of Defense and Joint Chiefs Chairman reversed a longstanding policy yesterday that barred women from serving in frontline units and holding combat arms Military Occupational Specialties. According to DOD, the policy change could potentially open up 53,000 unit positions and 184,000 MOS positions to women by the January 2016 implementation date. The military services will be required to set the MOS standards and some specialties could still remain closed to women, but SECDEF must approve all exceptions. A determination whether women should be required to register with the Selective Service System will also be made. According to VFW National Commander John Hamilton, "there is no question that women have and will continue to serve our nation in uniform with great valor and sacrifice. We fully recognize that not everyone volunteers for the combat arms career fields, but the VFW wishes all who apply much success in meeting the arduous physical and demanding performance standards."
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2. In-State Rates for Nonresident Vets Proposed: House Veterans Affairs Committee Chairman Jeff Miller (R-FL) and Ranking Member Mike Michaud (D-ME) introduced bipartisan legislation this week that would require schools to give in-state tuition rates to out-of-state veterans attending their schools on the GI Bill. H.R. 357 has the full support of the VFW and several other veterans' organizations. VFW Executive Director Bob Wallace said the VFW is proud that Chairman Miller and Ranking Member Michaud have taken a bold stance to ensure student-veterans attending public schools receive a reasonably-priced education at the public school of their choice, as we intended when the Post-9/11 GI Bill was passed. For more information, go to http://www.vfw.org/News-and-Events/Articles/2013-Articles/Chairman-Miller-and-Ranking-Member-Michaud-Introduce-Bipartisan-GI-Bill-Tuition-Fairness-Act-of-2013/.
For more about the bill, go to http://veterans.house.gov/.
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3. Senate Introduces Vets Employment Bill: Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) introduced VFW-supported legislation this week to extend and improve upon veterans' employment benefits included in the 2011 VOW to Hire Heroes Act. The comprehensive employment package, Putting Our Veterans Back to Work Act of 2013, or S.6, includes a key provision to extend the highly popular Veterans Retraining Assistance Program (VRAP), which offers one year of additional GI Bill-style education benefits to unemployed veterans between the ages of 35-60. VRAP is scheduled to expire in March 31, 2014. The VFW was a champion of the VOW to Hire Heroes Act in 2011, and has worked to ensure that veterans who wished to enroll in VRAP could succeed. VFW also pushed for many of the additional reforms, which garnered bipartisan support in both the House and Senate, during the last Congress. To read more, visit our blog at http://thevfw.blogspot.com/2013/01/senate-introduces-veterans-employment.html.
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4. Veterans Wanted to Take Sleep Survey: VetAdvisor(R), a Service Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business, is conducting a sleep survey in partnership with Johns Hopkins and are hoping to get 5,000 veterans involved to provide researchers with a better understanding of the subject and how it affects veterans. The group provides veteran-centric preventive care and services and is located in Pennsylvania. For more information or to take part in the sleep survey click here: http://myvetadvisor.com/
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