DoD News, Defense Media Activity

WASHINGTON, Feb. 29, 2016 - The Defense Department today announced that the Military Spouse Employment Partnership program has now partnered with 300 employers, according to officials from the DoD Spouse Education and Career Opportunities Office.

The program, launched in June 2011 by Jill Biden, wife of Vice President Joe Biden, is an employment and career partnership connecting military spouses to partner organizations and companies who have committed to recruit, hire, promote and retain military spouses in portable careers.

By Terri Moon Cronk
DoD News, Defense Media Activity

WASHINGTON, Feb. 24, 2016 — Many successful initiatives are underway to reform the Military Health System, but the system will require change to continue its many benefits to readiness and patient care, military medicine’s top leaders told a Senate panel yesterday.

Dr. Jonathan Woodson, assistant secretary of defense for health affairs; Navy Vice Adm. (Dr.) Raquel Bono, director of the Defense Health Agency; and the Army, Navy and Air Force surgeons general made recommendations to a Senate Armed Service Committee personnel panel on defense health care reform.

By Terri Moon Cronk
DoD News, Defense Media Activity

WASHINGTON, Feb. 23, 2016 - Several tax law changes could significantly affect how service members and their families file their 2015 income tax returns.

"It's probably the biggest set of changes in many years" said Army Lt. Col. Samuel W. Kan, executive director of th eDefense Department's Armed Forces Tax Council, which oversees the military's Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program.

By Karen Parrish
DoD News, Defense Media Activity

WASHINGTON, Feb. 12, 2016 - Upon taking office almost a year ago, Defense Secretary Ash Carter promised reforms, saying "that a blended retirement system is a key step in modernizing the department's ability to recruit, retain and maintain the talent we require of our future force."

An overhaul of the current military retirement system is slated to take effect January 1, 2018. The new system has three elements: a 401(k)-style component with Defense Department matching funds for entry-level and other service members, a mid-career continuity bonus, and a retirement annuity similar to the one now in place for service members that complete twenty or more years of eligible service.

DoD News, Defense Media Activity

WASHINGTON, Jan. 29, 2016 - Elmo, Big Bird, and Abby Cadabby are teaming up with the Defense Department to support thousands of military families as they transition to civilian life, according to Transition to Veterans Program Office officials.

On Jan. 27, the Sesame Workshop, the nonprofit organization behind Sesame Street, launched a website devoted to helping families cope with the changes associated with transitioning into civilian life, the officials said. The site, located at http://www.sesamestreet.org/veterans, includes several videos for children and adults, an activity book called "My Story, My Big Adventure Activity Book," and other resources that military parents can use to help their families communicate through the transition process, the officials said.