Veterans Benefits Information guide to VA benefits

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Veterans Benefits Information

See Round 1 of Legion air rifle match results

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The first round of postal match competition for the 2018-2019 American Legion Junior 3-Position Air Rifle national tournament resulted in 191 teams and 1,385 individuals competing. Results from Round 1 are available here.

The top 25 individuals from the precision and sporter category advance to Round 2 of the tournament. And the top 10 teams in both categories also advance to Round 2. Targets for those advancing to the second round postal match competition were mailed Feb. 15.

The deadline for scoring the second round is March 31. Following the results, the top 15 individuals in the precision and sporter category will advance to The American Legion's Junior 3-Position Air Rifle National Championships in Colorado Springs, Colo., July 23-27. One competitor will win the championship title in each category, along with a $5,000 college scholarship provided by The American Legion and the Sons of The American Legion. A $1,000 scholarship, provided by the American Legion Auxiliary, will be awarded to the second-place finisher in each category.

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Livestreaming available during Washington Conference

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Those unable to attend The American Legion’s 59th annual Washington Conference will be able to view at least two of the big events via their computer, tablet or mobile device.

Both the Fireside Chat (Feb. 25) and the Commander’s Call (Feb. 26) will be streamed through various American Legion media channels.

The Fireside Chat is scheduled for 4-5 p.m. ET Feb. 25 and will feature the House and Senate VA Committees leadership: Chairman Rep. Mark Takano, Ranking Member Rep. Dr. Phil Roe, Chairman Sen. Johnny Isakson and Ranking Member Sen. Jon Tester. The Commander’s Call is scheduled for 8 a.m.-noon Feb. 26 and will include Speaker of the House Rep. Nancy Pelosi and Master Chief Petty Officer of the Coast Guard Jason Vanderhaden.

Both events will be streamed three ways:

• Via LegionTV:

• Via YouTube:

• Via Facebook:

Details still are being worked on streaming of National Commander Brett Reistad’ s Feb. 27 testimony before a joint session of the House and Senate Committees on Veterans’ Affairs. Although the testimony may be streamed live by The American Legion, it also will be available through the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs.

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USAA Tips: Business lessons from Navy veterans

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Content provided courtesy of USAA | By Chad Storlie

I reached out on RallyPoint and across my network to gather some U.S. Navy skill sets that make a difference in post-military service.

Here are the tips from several sailors that help make these U.S. Navy veterans proud of their service and successful in their next careers.

  1. “The Ability to Work in an International Environment.” The U.S. Navy is the most international in terms of deployments, working effectively with allies and in various global settings. Several veterans cited the ability to recognize and not to judge the differences between American and foreign cultures. Even with cultural and language differences, the ability to work productively together in an environment of success is vital. Another veteran relayed that in his experience, the U.S. Navy has one way to do something, but international allies demonstrate other ways to do the same thing, some more effective. The business line: the world is a big place and all business today is international so learn and embrace foreign partners.

  2. “Mind Your Helm.” The command of “Mind Your Helm” is given when a ship is starting to steer off the assigned course due to poor steering. The “Mind Your Helm” command is a constructive command to coach a sailor, of any rank or specialty, to pay attention to what they are doing and to get back to the assigned task at hand. The business line: even the most experienced employee and a new employee need coaching and reminding when they begin to exhibit poor performance, to get back to doing the assigned command or task. In addition, some tasks are so important to the organization, such as steering the ship, that others must look out and assure correct performance.

  3. “Collateral Duties Are a Way to Learn.” Additional duties have long been the bane of every military member, especially the Navy. However, additional duties are also ways to learn new skills in maintenance, budgeting, materials handling, and materials ordering that are exceptionally valuable in the business, government, and civilian career world. The business line: before you say “NO!” to an additional duty, understand of the potential value of those skills in the civilian job market.

  4. “Belay My Last.” The command “Belay My Last” is the command to halt execution of the prior order. In environments that are demanding, chaotic, and filled with constant change, it allows yourself (and fellow shipmates) space to decide, recognize a mistake, and then to reverse yourself from a bad decision. Too often in business, once a decision is made, employees mistakenly believe that any change in the prior decision, even if it is not working, will result in punishment or blame. The business line: allow yourself and your organization to recognize, adapt, and stop decisions that are not working. Changing decisions to a more effective path is a sign of great leadership, not failure.

  5. “Take Care of Your Shipmates.” Easily the most frequent answer was the importance of taking care of fellow shipmates, helping each other out, and leading by example to ensure a sailor was setting a positive precedent for all the eyes that were on them. The business line: some organizations think of employees as assets and not as people. The U.S. Navy’s example of helping people succeed, learn, and grow into greater roles and responsibilities is a lesson we can all take to our place of work.

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10 lists to make before you make the transition

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From | By Lida Citroën

As you get ready to separate or retire, you’re likely swamped with details around completing requirements, deciding where to live, and figuring out what work you’ll do next (or retiring completely). As you inventory what you’ll need for the next chapter of your career, start by making these lists:

1. What are your short-term career goals?

  • Will you be going back to school in a year? If so, what job could benefit you until you’re back in the classroom?

  • Do you need corporate experience – what jobs could help you get that?

  • Are you looking to work in an area completely unrelated to what you did in the military?

  • Are you prepared to start at an entry level job and work your way up?

2. What are your long-term career goals?

  • Where do you see yourself at the end of your career?

  • Do you want to do the same kind of work you did in the military? Is there a market for that work?

3. What are your family’s goals around location/geography?

  • If your spouse wants to relocate the family back “home,” what does that mean for your job prospects?

  • Do you have connections and a network in the area you’ll live in after separation?

  • What do you know about businesses in the area you’ll relocate to?

  • Do you have kids in school who’ll want to stay in the community of your last duty station?

4. What are your financial needs?

  • What number do you need to earn to sustain your family comfortably outside the military (not what you think you “deserve”)?

  • What are your desired financial goals (would make you feel excited about a new position)?

  • What other parts of the compensation package are important to you (i.e. relocation expenses, additional tuition coverage, flexible work schedule, et)?

  • For the right job, would you (could you?) take on a second job?

5. What are your non-negotiables?

  • What type of work would you hate to do? Make this a long list! Spell out every single kind of job you could not possibly imagine doing.

  • What level of compensation could you not accept, no matter how great the job?

  • Benefits and/or perks you must have to take the job (i.e. flexible work schedule, ability to work from home, etc.)

  • What value conflicts could you not tolerate from an employer?

The next five lists get a bit harder…

6. What are you passionate about?

  • What topics excite you when you think about them or talk about them (i.e. mentoring and coaching others, serving veterans, public speaking, etc.)?

  • What work have you done in the past that you truly loved doing?

  • Which causes or issues do you find yourself preoccupied with (i.e. global poverty, politics, cyber terrorism, etc.)?

7. What are you good at?

  • For what have you received compliments or kudos (i.e. your patience, communication style, sense of humor, etc.)?

  • What work seems to come easy to you (i.e. analytical work versus creative? Project management or strategic design?)

8. How do the people around you perceive you?

  • Are you seen as a leader, follower, challenger or advocate?

  • Have you received feedback about your personality, workstyle, leadership style?

  • What words would the people you’ve worked with use to describe you?

9. How do you want to be perceived?

  • Get super clear on this one! What words do you want others to use to describe you at work. Avoid words like “hard-working, dedicated, creative” and get really granular. Paint a picture in your mind of how you want to be known.

10. What roadblocks exist for you to build that desired reputation?

  • Do you have relationships that need repairing?

  • Will you need to change your workstyle?

  • Do you need to become more overt in sharing your goals and interests?

These lists will start you on the path to career clarity before you exit the military and begin the next chapter. While they are certainly not the only lists you should make, looking over your answers will highlight areas to pursue -- and avoid – as you transition.

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Betsy DeVos vs. Student Veterans

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The Department of Education secretary has been uniquely brazen, and unpatriotic, in her deregulation campaign. It’s time that she answered for her actions.

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Did you know?

Military Funeral Honors ceremonies must be scheduled in advance.

The law requires that every eligible veteran receive a military funeral honors ceremony, which includes the folding and presentation of the United States flag and the playing of “taps,” upon the family’s request. This Department of Defense program calls for the funeral director to request military funeral honors on behalf of the veteran’s family.