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NMFA Goes to Bat for Military Families on the Hill

February 16, 2017

On February 14th, NMFA’s Executive Director, Joyce Raezer, testified before the Senate Armed Services Committee in a hearing about the Department of Defense (DoD) Single Service Member and Military Family Readiness programs. We’ve heard from military families, like yours, about military health care experiences, the troubles finding reliable and affordable child care, and the ongoing issue of spouse employment. We took those concerns straight to Capitol Hill and spoke on behalf of military families around the globe. Recently, 9,000…

Hiring Freeze

Federal Hiring Freeze: More Questions than Answers

February 7, 2017

On January 23rd, President Trump issued a memorandum ordering an across-the-board hiring freeze on all federal agencies, with the exception of military personnel. That means any vacancies within the federal civilian workforce that were vacant as of noon, January 22nd, are not to be filled unless the start date is before February 22nd. Another stipulation: no new positions may be created. Government contractors cannot be used to fill existing vacant positions in the federal government as well. Some positions will be exempt from the hiring freez…

Kids and a teacher

“Good” Schools Need More Than Just Great Teachers

February 6, 2017

We can all agree that our military-connected children—all children really—need and deserve to attend good schools and receive the best possible education. But one question that isn’t often asked is what exactly is it that makes a school “good”? A recent report by the Lexington Institute analyzed standardized test results in four states that serve a large number of military-connected children. The study suggested that those scores should be used to help measure the quality of education that each school provides. Bu…

Sec Def Mattis

Dear Secretary Mattis,

January 23, 2017

The National Military Family Association would like to congratulate you on becoming our nation’s 26th Secretary of Defense (SECDEF). We realize you have your work cut out for you, so we extend our commitment to helping you keep up with the pulse of our military families. As you know, military life is something unknown to many Americans. Your new role gives you an opportunity to elevate the strengths and the challenges of today’s service members and their families. You will have numerous opportunities to help narrow the military-ci…

scholarships

NMFA Scholarship helps Military Spouse Defy Murphy’s Law

January 11, 2017

Army Spouse Karen Horvath can see the light at the end of the tunnel. She is currently in hot pursuit of her Master’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering, and is on track to graduate in May of 2017. We don’t have to tell you that this is no small feat for any military spouse, and the mother of three refused to let anything stand in her way…including Murphy’s Law. Karen and her husband are very dedicated to the idea of not taking out any student loans. The first year of her degree program was funded completely through va…

military discharge

Military Discharge Upgrades: 3 Things DoD Wants You to Know

January 9, 2017

After 15 years of war, it’s very likely you’ve come across someone who was discharged from military service under less-than-honorable conditions, receiving what is commonly known as a “bad paper” discharge. These veterans are typically ineligible for VA healthcare benefits, including access to mental health services. Countless combat veterans have been separated and given a less-than-honorable discharge due to behavior that can be linked to conditions such as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). In the past, former se…

year in review

A Year in Review: Looking to the Horizon

January 1, 2017

As 2016 winds to a close, NMFA is busy preparing to take 2017 by storm. The New Year will bring a new Congress, and with it a new Commander in Chief. NMFA remains committed to supporting our military families and building on the progress we have made in 2016. On December 8, Congress passed the final version of the 2017 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). This legislation guides policies and funding levels within the Department of Defense; impacting military pay, health care, Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH) and more. With the hel…

Wishlist for Administration

An Education “Wish List” for the New Administration

December 21, 2016

As the country prepares to welcome a new President in January, many military families are grappling with questions about what the new Administration will mean for them. Along with questions about pay, benefits, and deployments, military families with kids have another concern – the incoming Administration’s policies on education. With the vast majority of military children attending public schools, and many transitioning frequently to new school districts and states, the quality of public education in the United States is of utmost …

Military Health Care Reform

A Handful of Improvements to Healthcare, Thanks to the NDAA

December 19, 2016

By now you have probably seen the headlines about the massive Military Health System Reform coming our way in the 2017 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). There are still so many questions about how it will all actually work, but the question we’re sure you might be wondering is, “How will this impact my family’s healthcare?” Let’s start with what we know for sure: TRICARE Standard/Extra Becomes TRICARE Select On the surface, this might seem like one of the biggest changes, but it’s mostly just a n…

"Godspeed, John Glenn"

December 8, 2016

NDAA 8 Things to know

8 Ways the 2017 National Defense Authorization Act Will Affect Your Military Family

December 7, 2016

**The FY17 NDAA has passed the House and the Senate. The bill now goes to the President for his signature.** On December 2, Congress unveiled the final version of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), the massive piece of legislation that sets policies and funding levels for the Department of Defense. Tucked in its more than 1,000 pages are changes to pay, parental leave, commissary operations and more – some good, some not so much. How will your military family be affected? Here are eight important things that you need to know:…

Hey, Congress! Don’t Forget about Military Kids this Holiday Season

November 30, 2016

Congress is getting ready to leave town for the holidays, but they are giving a big lump of coal to public schools educating military-connected kids. Leaders in the House and Senate have decided to put off passing Appropriations, or spending bills for Fiscal Year 2017, which started back in October. Instead, they will most likely pass a Continuing Resolution that will extend until the end of March. A Continuing Resolution would be harmful for all federal agencies, including the Department of Defense, because it prevents them from entering into…

Military Kids Health Care

Defense Health Board Seeks Comments on Pediatric Care

November 30, 2016

Have you faced problems getting your child an appointment at your military clinic? Had TRICARE deny a claim for services your child’s doctor ordered? Faced obstacles in finding pediatric specialty care providers who take TRICARE patients? Now is your chance to provide feedback to the Defense Health Board! The Defense Health Board (DHB) is a Federal Advisory Committee charged with providing independent advice to the Military Health System. The DHB just announced a December 14 meeting where they will collect public comments regarding pedia…

Unfinished Business: The FY16 NDAA

November 15, 2016

With all the focus recently on the election and the new Administration taking over in January, 2017, it’s easy to overlook an important piece of unfinished business from 2016--the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). The House and Senate each passed versions of the bill, which sets policies and funding levels for the Department of Defense, earlier this year. However, they were unable to agree to a compromise version before leaving town in October for the campaign. Now that the election is over, Congress will be returning to Washi…

President Trump

Dear President Donald Trump,

November 9, 2016

Now that you're the new Commander-in-Chief, military families have a few things they’d like to tell you, our new leader. Military families are tired of the uncertainty, and worried about more unfulfilled promises from leaders who have their loved one’s life in their hands. Nearly 300,000 service members are currently deployed, many still fighting a war that’s lasted more than 15 years. In that time, benefits for service members dwindled, sequestration became an unavoidable reality, and military families began to wonder if th…

Treatment or Hospice

Fix the Gap: Terminally Ill Military Kids Must Forego Treatment to Receive Hospice Care

November 8, 2016

Your family sacrifices 365 days a year. You endure multiple moves, silently serve during repeated deployments, and patiently wait through the dreaded appointment line to receive care at your Military Treatment Facility. You expect your TRICARE benefit to be there for you when you need it most. Since the Affordable Care Act (ACA) was passed, our Association has worked to ensure TRICARE policies are on par with coverage mandated by the ACA. Given the sacrifices service members and their families make, shouldn’t military families expect h…

kids at desk

School Transition Roadblocks and Who’s Fixing Them

November 7, 2016

Do you have a school-aged child? A high schooler who’s nearing graduation? Do you worry about problems your kids may face if they have to change schools due to a PCS move? If you are a military family with kids in school, chances are you may have heard about the Interstate Compact, an agreement created to smooth the transition for military kids as they move between school districts and states. All 50 states and Washington D.C. are part of the Interstate Compact agreement. A huge milestone for military families, the Interstate Compact…

Military Family

This Month, Thank the Force Behind our Force

November 2, 2016

The silent service of more than 2.9 million military family members around the world is truly the force behind our force. While we honor our military families every day of the year, Military Family Month is when our President asks all Americans to pay tribute to the extraordinary ways our nation’s families continue to support our military. Military kids deal with stressors that other children don’t understand—like a deployed, or injured parent. Military spouses put their career ambitions on hold support their service member…

Trump and Clinton Campaigns Visit NMFA Office to Discuss Military Families

October 14, 2016

Military and veteran policy advisors from the campaigns of both major presidential nominees were in the NMFA office on October 13 to hear from organizations who fight for our nation’s families. As a member of The Military Coalition (TMC)—which is comprised of 33 organizations representing the 5.5 million uniformed service members and their families—NMFA hosted both campaigns at our headquarters in Alexandria, Virginia to share the questions and concerns military and veteran families want our next Commander in Chief to know …

General Dunford Gets Personal—Focusing on Military Families, Including His Own—at 2016 NMFA Leadership Luncheon

October 12, 2016

Military families are often in the shadows of the spotlight put on our nation’s service members. But at our 2016 Leadership Luncheon, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Joseph F. Dunford, Jr. made sure military families, and their unique sacrifices, were the star of the show. During his keynote speech October 11 in Arlington, Virginia, General Dunford spoke about how our military force has fared during these last 15 years of war. But his focus remained on military families--the key to our military’s lasting strength. &l…

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