NEWS BRIEFS: August 15, 2014

5 things to know about the Career Intermission Program

Since the Navy’s Career Intermission Program inception in 2009, 70 Sailors, men and women, officers and enlisted, across a variety of communities have taken advantage of the program to pursue personal and professional goals.

Interested in participating? Here are five things you need to know to take advantage of the program:
1. Sailors use the Career Intermission Program for a variety of reasons, including to start a family or take care of family members, complete educational goals, or to achieve personal goals (such as hiking the Appalachian Trail or doing humanitarian aid work in a foreign country.)
2. Sailors receive many benefits during their time on the program to include retaining active duty health and dental care for themselves and their dependents, receiving a monthly stipend pay, and a permanent change of station (PCS) to the location of your choice. Sailors are also eligible to use the G.I. Bill while participating in the program.
3. Sailors can choose to leave active duty for up to three years. For each month a Sailor takes off, two months are required to be served upon return to active duty.
4. During the intermission, Sailors are required to muster monthly via email, are exempt from mobilization, are exempt from promotion consideration and time on intermission is not counted for retirement eligibility.
5. To return to active duty, Sailors must meet all physical readiness conditions and security qualifications. A Sailor’s date of rank/time in grade is adjusted to account for his or her intermission time and a “Non-Observed” (NOB) Fitness Report or Evaluation will be issued to cover the period of participation.
For more info about the Career Intermission Program, visit

Renovation funding for local military schools

The DoD has announced grants from the Office of Economic Adjustment (OEA) totaling $34,131,479 to San Diego Unified School District to renovate and expand Doris Miller and Joy Bright Hancock Elementary Schools at Naval Base San Diego and $4,669,872 to Fallbrook Union Elementary School to develop design for Mary Fay Pendleton and San Onofre Elementary/Middle Schools at Camp Pendleton. For more information, visit

Tesla Motors recruiting military veterans

Tesla Motors, which is on a mission to bring electric cars to the masses, now has another goal: to become a leading employer of America’s military veterans.

Tesla’s workforce is exploding as it expands production of its Model S, prepares to launch the Model X crossover SUV and enters new markets overseas. The company now has more than 6,000 employees, and of those, 300 — or roughly 5 percent — are veterans, including its logistics director, former Navy officer Adam Plumpton. Another 600 veteran candidates are in the hiring pipeline, according to Geshuri.

To search openings at Tesla, visit

Stand Down wrap-up

The 27th National Stand Down for homeless veterans concluded having served 894 registered participants over the weekend July 18-20. While the number of single male veterans seeking assistance declined compared with previous years, families made up a larger segment of the population receiving services. The three day event ended with an afternoon graduation ceremony for all participants in front of the stage on the upper athletic fields at San Diego High School.

“The increase in families at Stand Down has serious implications for our community,” said VVSD President and CEO Phil Landis. “This population represents a group that has significant unmet needs.”

A successful Stand Down would not have been possible without the support of nearly one hundred partner organizations including the Department of Veterans Affairs, Naval Medical Center San Diego, the DMV, Sharp Healthcare and other community nonprofits such as Fr. Joe’s Villages providing services. Nearly three thousand volunteers pitched in, including hundreds of active duty members of the U. S. Military in uniform. 

Stand Down’s philosophy is a hand up, not a hand out. The hand up is made possible each year by the dedication of San Diego veterans’ community, thousands of volunteers, hundreds of partner nonprofit and government organizations, and numerous event sponsors.

Microsoft works with military after-service careers

Microsoft has announced the expansion of the Microsoft Software & Systems Academy (MSSA) to Camp Pendleton (CA) and Fort Hood (TX), which provides a 16-week IT training program to eligible U.S. active duty service members as they prepare to transition out of the military. With the expansion, nearly 90 service members are benefitting from or have already completed the MSSA across three military bases.  The first program launched last fall at Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Washington state.

The MSSA program is helping service members secure their futures by preparing for high-skilled technology careers after their military service. Participants are taught by professors from Saint Martin’s University and Central Texas College, using a customized Microsoft IT Academy curriculum. Through interactive lessons and mock interviews, participants receive training to prepare them for the final step: the opportunity to interview at Microsoft. Visit for more information.

Retirees unlikely to face UCMJ over legal pot

By Travis J. Tritten
Retired from the military and want to light up a joint in a state that has legalized pot? Getting high will put you in a legal gray area, but no need to be paranoid.

The chances of being charged with a crime are practically nil, legal experts say, even though retirees are technically still subject to military law that forbids pot smoking anywhere, including Washington state and Colorado where recreational marijuana use is now allowed.

Cities and states around the country have adopted liberalized pot laws in recent years as American views on the drug have mellowed. But the Department of Defense has said unequivocally that servicemembers and civilian employees can never use marijuana because of prohibition by the Uniform Code of Military Justice and federal law, which still considers it an illegal street drug.

The long arm of military law also extends to retired servicemembers who draw pension payments.

In rare cases, the services have recalled retirees to charge them with crimes.

New rugged all-terrain boots for Marines

With the release of Marine Administrative Message 299/14, the Marine Corps will replace the Temperate Weather Marine Corps Combat Boot with the Hot Weather and Temperate Weather Rugged All-Terrain boot, beginning in fiscal year 2015, the new boots will be issued to recruits and officer candidates.
The RAT boots, according to the MARADMIN, have a longer useful life than the MCCBs and will show in the clothing allowance for each Marine. The allowance change will reflect the price difference and longer useful life of the RAT boot, decreasing the clothing allowance by $31.07 per active-duty enlisted Marine.

The standard RAT boots are brown rough-side-out leather boots with a reinforced heel and toe and a wider platform for better weight distribution. Like the other Marine Corps boots, a Marine Corps emblem is heat-embossed on the outer ankle, identifying the RAT boots as authorized to wear by Marines.

The Marine Corps will outfit every Marine with the RAT boots by October 1, 2016. 

Navy expands command ball cap policy

U.S. Navy Command baseball caps are making a comeback by popular demand. Starting Sept. 1, U.S. Navy commanding officers will be authorized to allow their sailors to wear command ball caps with Navy Working Uniforms, Types I, II and III.

Command ball caps used to be a mainstay withutility uniforms; they identified the ship a sailor belonged to and also were a source of pride. However, when utilities were replaced by Navy Working Uniforms, that uniform came with a matching eight-point cover. As a result, in 2010, the Navy implemented tighter rules on the use of ball caps.

Officials said feedback from sailors at all hands calls spurred the decision to bring the cap back.

Draft notices sent to 14,000 men born in 1800s

The Selective Service System mistakenly sent notices to more than 14,000 Pennsylvania men born between 1893 and 1897, ordering them to register for the nation’s military draft and warning that failure to do so is “punishable by a fine and imprisonment.”

The agency realized the error when it began receiving calls from bewildered relatives last week.

The glitch, it turns out, originated with the Pennsylvania DOT during a transfer of nearly 400,000 records to the Selective Service. A clerk working with the state’s database failed to select the century, producing records for males born between 1993 and 1997 — and for those born a century earlier.



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