Hopefully by now everyone is aware that BRS stands for ‘blended retirement system.’ And hopefully, many of you actually know that is the new modernized retirement system for the Coast Guard. But even with all of the information about BRS at your fingertips, maybe you haven’t given it the full attention it needs! Well, this month is the perfect month to devote some time to really learning about and truly understanding BRS. It is an important lifetime decision!
If there is one constant in a military child’s life, it is change. And life changes are often most dramatic during moves. The average military kid will move six to nine times during their schooling, meaning upheaval becomes the norm. In honor of April being the Month of the Military Child, this blog highlights issues pertaining to kids and their parents and we are sharing some creative ways to get kids ready for moves.
Rachel Conley was selected as the Wanda Allen-Yearout Coast Guard Ombudsman of the Year. The award recognizes an ombudsman each year who has shown exceptional commitment to supporting Coast Guard families, and it was named after a woman who worked tirelessly more than 30 years ago to help build an ombudsman program for the service.
As a dependent, did you know that there is a new Blended Retirement System (BRS) that your spouse may be eligible for? Beginning in 2018, active duty members with fewer than 12 years of service or reserve members with fewer than 4,320 points can choose to enroll in the modernized BRS. Deciding when to retire is a big decision; one that affects the whole family for years to come. Read the full post to learn more about BRS training that is now available to military spouses to help your family decide what is right for you!
Like other military members, Coast Guard Academy cadets are often far away from their family during their intense four-year academic journey. Some cadets are even from outside of the U.S. This is why the camaraderie is strong between cadets, and why the families that surround the Academy are so important. Many cadets that live close to the Academy will take friends home for weekends and holidays by the vanload, and Academy staff and local community members also open their homes to cadets, which helps ease homesickness for those cadets that are unable to spend holidays with their own families. Read a couple of cadets’ thoughts about this new take on “family.”
“Mail call” is a sweet phrase to hear when you are deep in the throes of an intense eight-week indoctrination. In today’s world, where technology enables you to connect with loved ones in an instant, it’s hard to imagine a time when hand written letters were the primary source used to share news, check on the well being of another or simply say ‘I love you” to people far away. The hand written letter is an antiquated correspondence that has been largely rendered obsolete by the existence of instant communication. There is, however, a small contingent of the younger population who now become giddy at the sight of a mail truck since letters are the only form of connection and comfort with family and friends outside the walls of Coast Guard Training Center Cape May.
Parenting has its challenges, but on top of that, parents of children with special needs have some extra challenges. The need for specialized doctors and to be assigned in an area close to family for support are just a couple of those. Brittany Joseph, Coast Guardsman and single mom to a daughter with special needs, wants others to know they are not alone if they have a child with special needs. She discusses how the Coast Guard’s Special Needs Program has allowed her to be the best mom and servicemember that she can be. The Coast Guard’s Special Needs Program provides a comprehensive, coordinated, multidisciplinary approach to community support, housing, medical, educational, and personnel services for Coast Guard families with special needs. Read the full post to learn more about the Joseph family and the Coast Guard’s Special Needs Program.
November is National Adoption Month, an initiative uniting partnerships between federal, state and local agencies. There are thousands of older youth currently in foster care waiting for adoption. It has become an annual tradition to highlight some remarkable Coast Guard families who have opened their hearts and homes to adopt a child or in several instances, multiple children. All of these families took advantage of the resources and benefits available to Coast Guard members interested in adoption. Read the post to learn more about National Adoption Month and the benefits available to military members who adopt.
Accustomed to being the spouse who went to sea, Petty Officer 2nd Class Nyles Farnsworth found himself in the position of being the spouse left on shore when his wife deployed with the U.S. Navy. It was a role swap that he didn’t quite understand until he was the only one at home.
November is recognized as National Adoption Month, an entire month devoted to raising awareness about the positive option of adoption. Here are some resources and benefits available to Coast Guard families.