September 15, 2022 Share this on: Facebook Twitter LinkedIn
  Breaking News  

Citing Inflation, Industry Seeks More For DoD In Continuing Resolution




Defense trade groups, seeking to sway Congress to add more for defense in a continuing resolution, say record-high inflation is costing the Pentagon $6 billion per month, endangering military readiness and throwing tech development plans off course.

To read more, please click here.


Space Force Eyes Easing Enlistment Rules To Target High-Demand Skills



Space Force officials hope to maximize recruiting of new guardians by granting more waivers for enlistment standards to individuals with high-demand skills, the nominee to lead the service said Tuesday.

To read more, please click here.


Military Spouse Unemployment Financial Fallout Is Far-Reaching




Military spouses' employment problems hurt not only their families' current finances, but the effects often snowball to affect their financial future into retirement, according to a new report based on an online poll of 4,118 spouses.

To read more, please click here.

  AFSA on the Hill  

AFSA HQ Wellness Week Closure Notice

Next week, the AFSA HQ staff will not be in the office in observance for Wellness week.  Therefore, the next Military and Government Brief (M&G-B) you will receive will be on Tuesday, September 27.

Happy Birthday Air Force!

By: Vanessa Lee, AFSA Legislative Communications & Administrative Assistant  

We would like to wish the Air Force a hearty happy birthday on its 75th. The National Security Act of 1947 was passed on September 18, 1947, making that day the official Air Force Birthday. The United States Department of Defense was established thanks to this law. As a result, the United States Air Force was founded as a distinct branch of the armed forces.

On September 18, 2022, a 75th Air Force Day celebration will take place.

The U.S. Army conducted flying operations for the military on land and at sea prior to the establishment of the Air Force. The history of this branch of the military is crucial to understanding the development of American air power. Naturally, Orville and Wilbur Wright, who invented mechanized flight with their successful trip in 1903, are largely responsible for the Air Force's birthday.

Depending on the time of day and where you are, all you may need to do to find out how the military honors the Air Force's birthday is to gaze up into the sky. The Thunderbirds precision combat air demonstration squadron performs aerial displays during Air Force celebrations, and various aircrafts fly in and land at military airshows.

Cheers on the Air Force's birthday! Aim High, Fly-Fight-Win for many more years to come!

VA Awards More Than $130M In New Grant Funding To Help Homeless Veterans And Their Family Members Find Stable Housing

By: VA Office Of Public Affairs 

On Sept. 13, the Department of Veterans Affairs announced that it awarded $137 million in grants through VA's Supportive Services for Veteran Families Program to help Veterans who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless and their families.

These grant awards supplement the previous FY 2022 SSVF grants, increase the number of Veterans who are eligible for SSVF assistance, and allow the 150 non-profit organization grantees to expand on existing services for Veterans and their families. These grants are being awarded in addition to the FY 2023 SSVF Grants, which were announced Aug. 1.

In this calendar year, VA has already placed more than 22,000 homeless Veterans into permanent housing - putting VA on track to meet its goal of 38,000 permanent housing placements for homeless Veterans in 2022.

"It's our job to remove the barriers that stand between homeless Veterans and the homes they need and deserve, including rising rental costs, cumbersome rental processes and more," said VA Secretary Denis McDonough. "These grant funds will empower our trusted VA partners to help homeless and at-risk Veterans through the entire housing process - from identifying a home to affording it to making it their own."

The SSVF grant awards can be used for:

  • Providing incentives to encourage landlords to rent to Veterans. Grantees will be permitted to provide up to the equivalent of two months' rent to landlords as a fee for any lease of not less than one year when necessary to assist a Veteran in remaining in or obtaining permanent housing.
  • Providing additional funds for move-in expenses to improve Veterans' quality of life by giving them essential items and home furnishings to help turn their house into a home.
  • Expanding program eligibility by lifting the income limit for participants from 50% to 80% of the Area Median Income in designated communities. This is significant because Veterans who previously may not have been eligible for assistance due to income restrictions can now receive assistance with identifying and obtaining permanent housing from SSVF grantees' housing navigators.

In fiscal year 2021, SSVF served 114,175 participants, including 80,049 Veterans and 19,266 children.

The grant recipients successfully competed under a Notice of Funding Availability published June 24. View the list of grantees and learn more about SSVF here.

  Legislative Action Center  

Support the Care for the Veteran Caregiver Act!

Link to Advocacy Campaign:

Legislation Summary

  • Updates the Program of Comprehensive Assistance for Family Caregivers (PCAFC) of the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) by requiring the VA to continue providing assistance to a family caregiver for at least six months after the death of a veteran participating in the program.
  • Requires the VA to establish a process by which veterans who are determined to have the most significant need for caregiver assistance are permanently eligible for such assistance.
  • Requires the VA to standardize the criteria used across all facilities in its required evaluations of the needs of the veterans and the skills of the family caregiver.
  • Standardizes criteria used in accepting and evaluating applications for participation in the program across all facilities.

Support the CHAMPVA Children's Care Protection Act!

Link to Advocacy Campaign:

Legislation Summary

This bill provides that a child shall be eligible for medical care under the Civilian Health and Medical Program of the Department of Veterans Affairs (CHAMPVA) until the child's 26th birthday, regardless of marital status.

Support the AUTO for Veterans Act!

Link to Advocacy Campaign:

Legislation Summary

The Advancing Uniform Transportation Opportunities for Veterans "AUTO" Act would reduce the financial burden incurred by virtue of military service by ensuring severely disabled veterans receive a grant from the VA's Automobile Assistance Grant program to purchase a specially equipped vehicle once every ten years - as opposed to only once.

Support the Aid and Attendance Support Act!

Link to Advocacy Campaign:

Legislation Summary

The Aid and Attendance Support Act temporarily increases eligible disabled veterans' and surviving spouses' Aid and Attendance (A&A) allowance by 25%.

Support the Ensuring Survivor Benefits during COVID-19 Act!

Link to Advocacy Campaign:

Legislation Summary

The Ensuring Survivor Benefits During COVID-19 Act requires the VA to solicit a medical opinion to determine if a service-connected disability was the principal or contributory cause of death in situations where a veteran's death certificate identifies COVID-19 as the principal or contributory cause of death, the certificate does not clearly identify any of the veteran's service-connected disabilities as the principal or contributory cause of death, and a claim for dependence and indemnity compensation is filed with respect to the veteran.

Support the TRICARE Select Restoration Act!

Link to Advocacy Campaign:

Legislation Summary

The TRICARE Select Restoration Act would eliminate TRICARE Select enrollment fees for veterans who retired prior to 2018.

Support the Healthcare for Our Troops Act!

Link to Advocacy Campaign:

Legislation Summary

  • Ensures Reservists and National Guard members have no-fee healthcare through TRICARE Reserve Select that covers medical and dental coverage.
  • Fixes the parity gap for Reserve Component retirees receiving early retirement pay due to deployment credits making them eligible for TRICARE upon receipt of retirement pay.
  • Provides an incentive for small businesses to hire Reserve and National Guard members by ensuring their healthcare costs are covered.
  • Ensures service members can access physicals needed to be ready for no-notice deployments (which have increased over the past year).
  • Eliminates the statutory language that excludes Federal Employees Health Benefits Program eligible service members from TRICARE Reserve Select eligibility.

Support the Advancing Toward Impact Aid Full Funding Act!

Link to Advocacy Campaign:

Legislation Summary 

The Advancing Toward Impact Aid Full Funding Act would:

  • Split Impact Aid's $1.1 billion request evenly over five years, across three main categories for funding: Basic Support, Federal Property, and Children with Disabilities.
  • Increase Basic Support funding by $190 million annually, meeting Impact Aid's 2019 funding requests.
  • Increase Federal Property funding proportionally to Basic Support (BSP) by allocating an additional $11 million annually.
  • Increase funding for Children with Disabilities by $9 million annually, funding $2,000 per eligible student.
  • Advance national K-12 school systems to become more equitable and meet educational needs.
  • Support military families that are especially impacted by federally tax-exempt land.

Support the Health Care Fairness for Military Families Act!

Link to Advocacy Campaign:

Legislation Summary 

  • Modifies the extension of dependent coverage under TRICARE by allowing a dependent at the age of 26 to be covered without an additional premium.  
  • Authorizes such coverage of dependents without a premium regardless of whether they are eligible to enroll in an employer-sponsored plan.

Support Expanding TRICARE Cranial Remolding Helmet Coverage!

Link to Advocacy Campaign:

AFSA urges our nation's elected officials to support legislation that would expand the scope of TRICARE's coverage of the DOC Band Post-Op device if your baby:

  1. Is three to 18 months old; and
  2. Is diagnosed with craniosynostosis or nonsynostotic positional plagiocephaly (to include torticollis)

Support the Jobs and Childcare for Military Families Act!

Link to Advocacy Campaign:

Legislation Summary 

  • Allow an employer a work opportunity tax credit for hiring the spouse or domestic partner of a member of the Armed Forces.
  • Specifically, an employer may receive a tax credit equal to 40% of a new employee's first-year wages if the employer hires a service member's spouse or domestic partner (as recognized under state law or by the Armed Forces). 
  • Create programs for service members to pay for childcare on a pretax basis.
  • Specifically, the Department of Defense and the Department of Homeland Security (with respect to the Coast Guard) must implement flexible spending arrangements that permit members of the Armed Forces to use basic pay and compensation to pay on a pretax basis for dependent childcare.

Support the Retired Pay Restoration Act!

Link to Advocacy Campaign:

Legislation Summary

  • Allows the receipt of both military retired pay and veterans' disability compensation with respect to any service-connected disability.
  • Extends full concurrent receipt eligibility to individuals who were retired or separated after at least 20 years of military service due to a service-connected disability.

Call To Action: Share How TRICARE's coverage of the Dynamic Orthotic Cranioplasty (DOC) Band Post-Op device negatively impact your family's quality of life!

Share your Story Here:


For the past year, our Military and Government Relations Team has been working with AFSA military families on getting legislation introduced that would expand the scope of TRICAR's coverage of the DOC Band Post-Op device if a baby:

  1. Is three to 18 months old; and
  2. Is diagnosed with craniosynostosis or nonsynostotic positional plagiocephaly (to include torticollis)

Despite unsuccessful efforts (via FOIA request) to obtain important data for the purpose of quantifying the need of this issue in the aggregate, our Team is looking to hear from the field to share your story and help have your voice heard by members of Congress.

Issue Background

  • Helmet therapy is used to gently correct the shape of babies' skulls over time.
  • Newborn babies' skulls are soft plates with spaces between them. As the baby grows, these plates grow, gradually harden, and knit together.
  • Unfortunately, there are circumstances under which the soft plates may develop a flat spot or uneven appearance. This condition is called plagiocephaly. 
  • Today, almost one in two babies (47%) is affected by some form of plagiocephaly.
  • When the baby's skull joins together too early, or in an abnormal way, this is called craniosynostosis. There are several types of craniosynostosis, depending on when the baby's skull joins together. 
  • Today, it is estimated that 1 in every 2,500 babies has craniosynostosis.
  • Positional skull deformities and/or abnormalities - whether diagnosed as a form of plagiocephaly or craniosynostosis - can have short and long term health effects on a child.
  • However, despite this, TRICARE only covers the Dynamic Orthotic Cranioplasty (DOC) Band Post-Op device, synonymously referred to as a "molding helmet," if your baby:
  1. Is three to 18 months old; and
  2. Has had craniosynostoris surgery;
  3. But still has a misshaped skull.
  • In other words, cranial molding helmet(s) are not covered for the treatment of nonsynostotic positional plagiocephaly or for the treatment of craniosynostosis before surgery; despite medical evidence that suggests the presence or absence of congenital or acquired plagiocephaly (to include torticollis) can, at the very least, increase the risk of gross motor development.
  • In fact, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics school-aged children with moderate to severe plagiocephaly scored lower than controls on cognitive and academic measures. 
  • As a result, military families - who face unique challenges given the sacrifices that come along with serving our country - have been put in the tragic position to either front the hefty cost of the helmet (approximately $2,000), seek alternative forms of treatment that may not be preferred, or forego treatment altogether.

  AFSA Membership Information  


Greetings AFSA Division and Chapter Leadership,

We are pleased to share the AFSA Set-It-Forever/Auto Pay procedures and marketing materials to help share the process with our members, your membership and potential new recruits.

The Set-It-Forever/Auto Pay program creates an opportunity to JOIN AFSA or RENEW a membership by making a $36 once-a-year/every-year auto payment, or a $4-each-month/every- month auto payment. The $36 once-a-year option is set at $36, and the $4-a-month option includes a bank processing fee of $1 each month.

Review the two ways to enroll, the benefits to using the auto-pay option, and the marketing materials to help share the details of this program and ensure its success.

For more information, please click here.

For questions, please contact AFSAHQ Member & Field team at 800-638-0594 x 288.

Please Update Your Contact Information Today!

Dear Air Force Sergeants Association Member,

In order for the AFSA to effectively communicate with our members, it is essential to ensure we have your current and / or valid e-mail address. 
We are in the process of updating our records and need your help! Please take a moment to ensure that we have your most current mail and email address (no .mil's); and accurate membership listing information.

We've made it easy, as you can update your information in either one of three ways: 

  1. Call Member & Field Relations team directly at 800-638-0594 x 288 (Mon. - Fri. 8:00 am to 5:00 pm (EST)
  2. Email to:
  3. Visit and select the UPDATE button on the right

We thank you in advance for your support and prompt updates.

  And that's the way it is...  

In sum, in a letter sent to congressional appropriators on Monday, the Aerospace Industries Association, National Defense Industrial Association, and Professional Services Council-which collectively represent thousands of defense contractors-asked them to take inflation into account in the continuing resolution and to add funds so that new programs can begin.
Congress is on course to approve a continuing resolution that, without specific wording to the contrary, would maintain funding levels from the previous fiscal year and prevent the launch of new initiatives. Although a government shutdown at the conclusion of the fiscal year, on September 30, would be avoided by the interim measure, its duration is not yet known.


In addition, the decision was made as there are numerous job openings in the private sector and the military services are having difficulty retaining and attracting personnel. According to Army officials, they anticipate missing their recruiting targets for the fiscal year 2022. Officials from the Air Force stated that they anticipate barely meeting their active-duty targets.

Officials from the Space Force, which only has 8,400 people on staff, have not had the same kind of recruiting difficulties. We have more volunteers than we have seats to fill, Lt. Gen. Bradley Saltzman, who was proposed by the White House in August to be the second leader of the new service, told the Senate Armed Services Committee.But he also mentioned that potential guardians' skill sets are more demanding than those of the other services.

Saltzman told the senators, "We may be a small army, but we require highly skilled technical professionals to be brought in to conduct these crucial critical missions.


And lastly, the report "The Hidden Financial Costs of Military Spouse Unemployment" found that over half of respondents expressed doubt about their ability to maintain their quality of living in retirement. And based on their comments, it appears that the average amount saved by couples is only a "small fraction" of what they will require in retirement.
The Hiring Our Heroes program of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation and the D'Aniello Institute for Veterans and Military Families at Syracuse University performed the poll and study (IVMF). The online poll was conducted between February 16 and March 9.

90% of respondents, who are almost exclusively active duty spouses, claimed that their spouse's military service has a detrimental effect on their employment. 16% of individuals polled are not working or actively looking for work. However, of the spouses who are actively seeking employment, 32% reported being unemployed and 68% of those who are actively seeking employment are employed. Although the figures vary greatly, the unemployment rate for military spouses has been circling around 22% for years. According to some surveys, the pandemic has made military spouses' employment issues worse.


And that's the way it is for Thursday, September 15, 2022.

Stay tuned for our next M&G-B, where we will continue to keep you in the loop on all things pertinent to the coronavirus, veterans, active-duty members, guards and reservists, and military family members. Stay happy, and stay healthy!