Latest Military Compensation News

  • Life Changes. Are Your Records Up to Date?
    If you've had a recent life event such as a change in marital status, the addition of a child, or the death of a loved one, then now is a good time to review your beneficiary designations for Servicemembers' Group Life Insurance (SGLI).

    Not keeping beneficiaries up to date may result in your benefits going to a former spouse, your deceased parent's estate, your estate, or even being held until we find the appropriate beneficiary. It could also result in payment delays at a time when your loved one is in need. For example, if the listed beneficiaries are children from a first marriage, children from a current marriage might contest the claim if they believe they have more recent documents showing they should be the beneficiaries. No one could be paid until it is determined who is legally entitled to the money.

    Even if you haven't had a recent life event it's a good idea to review your beneficiaries at least once a year. So mark it on your calendar as an annual event. And remember, you have the legal right to name any beneficiary you want and change your beneficiary at any time.

    You can access all Change of Beneficiary forms at: http://www.benefits.va.gov/INSURANCE/updatebene.asp

    Contact your servicing personnel office for further information.

In the Spotlight

  • The Military Compensation and Retirement Modernization Commission
    The Military Compensation and Retirement Modernization Commission (MCRM) was established by the National Defense Authorization Act FY 2013 Pub. L. 112-239, 126 Stat. 1787 (2013) to conduct a review of military compensation and retirement systems and to make recommendations to modernize such systems in order to--

    1. Ensure the long-term viability of the All-Volunteer Force by sustaining the required human resources of that force during all levels of conflict and economic conditions;
    2. Enable the quality of life for members of the Armed Forces and the other uniformed services and their families in a manner that fosters successful recruitment, retention, and careers for members of the Armed Forces and the other uniformed services; and
    3. Modernize and achieve fiscal sustainability for the compensation and retirement systems for the Armed Forces and the other uniformed services for the 21st century.

    The Commission is tasked to submit a report, containing a comprehensive study and recommendations, by February 1, 2015, to the President of the United States and Congress. The report will contain detailed findings and conclusions of the Commission, together with its recommendations for such legislation and administrative actions it may consider appropriate in light of the results of the study.



DoD Photos

Department of Defense Imagery

Brussel, a government contractor working dog, is prepared for surgery at the NATO Role III Multinational Medical Unit at Kandahar Airfield, Afghanistan, Aug. 23, 2014. A veterinarian medical team and human dental team at the hospital gave the dog a root canal. (DoD photo by Staff Sgt. John Etheridge, U.S. Army National Guard/Released)

http://www.flickr.com/photos/39955793@N07/14885188199/<p>Brussel, a government contractor working dog, is prepared for surgery at the NATO Role III Multinational Medical Unit at Kandahar Airfield, Afghanistan, Aug. 23, 2014. A veterinarian medical team and human dental team at the hospital gave the dog a root canal. (DoD photo by Staff Sgt. John Etheridge, U.S. Army National Guard/Released)</p> <p>Brussel, a government contractor working dog, is prepared for surgery at the NATO Role III Multinational Medical Unit at Kandahar Airfield, Afghanistan, Aug. 23, 2014. A veterinarian medical team and human dental team at the hospital gave the dog a root canal. (DoD photo by Staff Sgt. John Etheridge, U.S. Army National Guard/Released)</p>

Department of Defense Imagery

U.S. Soldiers with Alpha Battery, 2nd Battalion, 77th Field Artillery Regiment, 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division fire an artillery round from an M777A2 howitzer Aug. 22, 2014, at Kandahar Airfield, Afghanistan. Soldiers with the unit conducted an artillery shoot that enabled Soldiers to register, or zero, their M777A2 howitzers. (DoD photo by Spc. Ariel Solomon, U.S. Army/Released)

http://www.flickr.com/photos/39955793@N07/14885241740/<p>U.S. Soldiers with Alpha Battery, 2nd Battalion, 77th Field Artillery Regiment, 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division fire an artillery round from an M777A2 howitzer Aug. 22, 2014, at Kandahar Airfield, Afghanistan. Soldiers with the unit conducted an artillery shoot that enabled Soldiers to register, or zero, their M777A2 howitzers. (DoD photo by Spc. Ariel Solomon, U.S. Army/Released)</p> <p>U.S. Soldiers with Alpha Battery, 2nd Battalion, 77th Field Artillery Regiment, 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division fire an artillery round from an M777A2 howitzer Aug. 22, 2014, at Kandahar Airfield, Afghanistan. Soldiers with the unit conducted an artillery shoot that enabled Soldiers to register, or zero, their M777A2 howitzers. (DoD photo by Spc. Ariel Solomon, U.S. Army/Released)</p>

Department of Defense Imagery

A U.S. Marine flies in a CH-46E Sea Knight helicopter attached to Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron (HMM) 364 during Partnership of the Americas 2014 along the coast of Chile Aug. 21, 2014. Partnership of the Americas is an annual combined naval and amphibious exercise designed to enhance interoperability and relationships with partner nations in the U.S. Southern Command area of responsibility. (DoD photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Paul Seeber, U.S. Navy/Released)

http://www.flickr.com/photos/39955793@N07/15071526682/<p>A U.S. Marine flies in a CH-46E Sea Knight helicopter attached to Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron (HMM) 364 during Partnership of the Americas 2014 along the coast of Chile Aug. 21, 2014. Partnership of the Americas is an annual combined naval and amphibious exercise designed to enhance interoperability and relationships with partner nations in the U.S. Southern Command area of responsibility. (DoD photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Paul Seeber, U.S. Navy/Released)</p> <p>A U.S. Marine flies in a CH-46E Sea Knight helicopter attached to Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron (HMM) 364 during Partnership of the Americas 2014 along the coast of Chile Aug. 21, 2014. Partnership of the Americas is an annual combined naval and amphibious exercise designed to enhance interoperability and relationships with partner nations in the U.S. Southern Command area of responsibility. (DoD photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Paul Seeber, U.S. Navy/Released)</p>

Department of Defense Imagery

U.S. Marines with Bravo Company, 1st Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment, Marine Rotational Force-Darwin work as a unit to overtake objectives Aug. 21, 2014, during a live-fire exercise as part of Koolendong 2014 at the Bradshaw Field Training Area in Northern Territory, Australia. Koolendong is an amphibious and live-fire exercise designed to increase interoperability between the U.S. Marine Corps and Australian Defense Force. (DoD photo by Cpl. Scott Reel, U.S. Marine Corps/Released)

http://www.flickr.com/photos/39955793@N07/14885293398/<p>U.S. Marines with Bravo Company, 1st Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment, Marine Rotational Force-Darwin work as a unit to overtake objectives Aug. 21, 2014, during a live-fire exercise as part of Koolendong 2014 at the Bradshaw Field Training Area in Northern Territory, Australia. Koolendong is an amphibious and live-fire exercise designed to increase interoperability between the U.S. Marine Corps and Australian Defense Force. (DoD photo by Cpl. Scott Reel, U.S. Marine Corps/Released)</p> <p>U.S. Marines with Bravo Company, 1st Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment, Marine Rotational Force-Darwin work as a unit to overtake objectives Aug. 21, 2014, during a live-fire exercise as part of Koolendong 2014 at the Bradshaw Field Training Area in Northern Territory, Australia. Koolendong is an amphibious and live-fire exercise designed to increase interoperability between the U.S. Marine Corps and Australian Defense Force. (DoD photo by Cpl. Scott Reel, U.S. Marine Corps/Released)</p>

Department of Defense Imagery

A U.S. Marine Corps CH-53 Sea Stallion helicopter drops off Marines with Bravo Company, 1st Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment, Marine Rotational Force-Darwin Aug. 21, 2014, during a live-fire exercise as part of Koolendong 2014 at the Bradshaw Field Training Area in Northern Territory, Australia. Koolendong is an amphibious and live-fire exercise designed to increase interoperability between the U.S. Marine Corps and Australian Defense Force. (DoD photo by Cpl. Scott Reel, U.S. Marine Corps/Released)

http://www.flickr.com/photos/39955793@N07/14885192429/<p>A U.S. Marine Corps CH-53 Sea Stallion helicopter drops off Marines with Bravo Company, 1st Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment, Marine Rotational Force-Darwin Aug. 21, 2014, during a live-fire exercise as part of Koolendong 2014 at the Bradshaw Field Training Area in Northern Territory, Australia. Koolendong is an amphibious and live-fire exercise designed to increase interoperability between the U.S. Marine Corps and Australian Defense Force. (DoD photo by Cpl. Scott Reel, U.S. Marine Corps/Released)</p> <p>A U.S. Marine Corps CH-53 Sea Stallion helicopter drops off Marines with Bravo Company, 1st Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment, Marine Rotational Force-Darwin Aug. 21, 2014, during a live-fire exercise as part of Koolendong 2014 at the Bradshaw Field Training Area in Northern Territory, Australia. Koolendong is an amphibious and live-fire exercise designed to increase interoperability between the U.S. Marine Corps and Australian Defense Force. (DoD photo by Cpl. Scott Reel, U.S. Marine Corps/Released)</p>

Department of Defense Imagery

U.S. Army Pfc. Zachary Buckalew, left, and Pfc. Michael Hurley, both assigned to the Squadron, 1st Cavalry Regiment, 1st Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, fire a 120 mm mortar system while his unit and Air National Guard joint terminal attack controllers train at the Yukon Training Area in Alaska Aug. 21, 2014, during Red Flag-Alaska 14-3. Red Flag-Alaska is a series of Pacific Air Forces commander-directed field training exercises for U.S. and partner nation forces, providing combined offensive counter-air, interdiction, close air support, and large force employment training in a simulated combat environment. (DoD photo by Justin Connaher, U.S. Air Force/Released)

http://www.flickr.com/photos/39955793@N07/14885194629/<p>U.S. Army Pfc. Zachary Buckalew, left, and Pfc. Michael Hurley, both assigned to the Squadron, 1st Cavalry Regiment, 1st Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, fire a 120 mm mortar system while his unit and Air National Guard joint terminal attack controllers train at the Yukon Training Area in Alaska Aug. 21, 2014, during Red Flag-Alaska 14-3. Red Flag-Alaska is a series of Pacific Air Forces commander-directed field training exercises for U.S. and partner nation forces, providing combined offensive counter-air, interdiction, close air support, and large force employment training in a simulated combat environment. (DoD photo by Justin Connaher, U.S. Air Force/Released)</p> <p>U.S. Army Pfc. Zachary Buckalew, left, and Pfc. Michael Hurley, both assigned to the Squadron, 1st Cavalry Regiment, 1st Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, fire a 120 mm mortar system while his unit and Air National Guard joint terminal attack controllers train at the Yukon Training Area in Alaska Aug. 21, 2014, during Red Flag-Alaska 14-3. Red Flag-Alaska is a series of Pacific Air Forces commander-directed field training exercises for U.S. and partner nation forces, providing combined offensive counter-air, interdiction, close air support, and large force employment training in a simulated combat environment. (DoD photo by Justin Connaher, U.S. Air Force/Released)</p>

Department of Defense Imagery

A U.S. Army M1A2 Abrams main battle tank assigned to the Minnesota National Guard races through a breach in a barbed wire obstacle during the 116th eXportable Combat Training Exercise at the Orchard Combat Training Center, Idaho, Aug. 21, 2014. The scalable live-training program has proven effective for pre-mobilization forces, in accordance with the Army Force Generation model. (DoD photo by Sgt. Leon Cook, U.S. Army/Released)

http://www.flickr.com/photos/39955793@N07/14885345147/<p>A U.S. Army M1A2 Abrams main battle tank assigned to the Minnesota National Guard races through a breach in a barbed wire obstacle during the 116th eXportable Combat Training Exercise at the Orchard Combat Training Center, Idaho, Aug. 21, 2014. The scalable live-training program has proven effective for pre-mobilization forces, in accordance with the Army Force Generation model. (DoD photo by Sgt. Leon Cook, U.S. Army/Released)</p> <p>A U.S. Army M1A2 Abrams main battle tank assigned to the Minnesota National Guard races through a breach in a barbed wire obstacle during the 116th eXportable Combat Training Exercise at the Orchard Combat Training Center, Idaho, Aug. 21, 2014. The scalable live-training program has proven effective for pre-mobilization forces, in accordance with the Army Force Generation model. (DoD photo by Sgt. Leon Cook, U.S. Army/Released)</p>

Department of Defense Imagery

U.S. Marine Corps Cpl. Ryan Hamman, a vehicle commander with Bravo Company, 1st Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment, turns his back against dust created by an Army UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter during a security patrol in Helmand province, Afghanistan, Aug. 24, 2014. The patrol was conducted to disrupt enemy operations against the Camp Bastion and Camp Leatherneck complex. (DoD photo by Cpl. John A. Martinez Jr., U.S. Marine Corps/Released)

http://www.flickr.com/photos/39955793@N07/14875791018/<p>U.S. Marine Corps Cpl. Ryan Hamman, a vehicle commander with Bravo Company, 1st Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment, turns his back against dust created by an Army UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter during a security patrol in Helmand province, Afghanistan, Aug. 24, 2014. The patrol was conducted to disrupt enemy operations against the Camp Bastion and Camp Leatherneck complex. (DoD photo by Cpl. John A. Martinez Jr., U.S. Marine Corps/Released)</p> <p>U.S. Marine Corps Cpl. Ryan Hamman, a vehicle commander with Bravo Company, 1st Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment, turns his back against dust created by an Army UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter during a security patrol in Helmand province, Afghanistan, Aug. 24, 2014. The patrol was conducted to disrupt enemy operations against the Camp Bastion and Camp Leatherneck complex. (DoD photo by Cpl. John A. Martinez Jr., U.S. Marine Corps/Released)</p>

Department of Defense Imagery

U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Cody Fondahn, a radio frequency transmission systems specialist with the Thunderirds, acts as a liaison to the air show coordinator and monitors the radios during aerial performances Aug. 24, 2014, in Waterloo, Iowa. (DoD photo by Tech. Sgt. Manuel J. Martinez, U.S. Air Force/Released)

http://www.flickr.com/photos/39955793@N07/14875831057/<p>U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Cody Fondahn, a radio frequency transmission systems specialist with the Thunderirds, acts as a liaison to the air show coordinator and monitors the radios during aerial performances Aug. 24, 2014, in Waterloo, Iowa. (DoD photo by Tech. Sgt. Manuel J. Martinez, U.S. Air Force/Released)</p> <p>U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Cody Fondahn, a radio frequency transmission systems specialist with the Thunderirds, acts as a liaison to the air show coordinator and monitors the radios during aerial performances Aug. 24, 2014, in Waterloo, Iowa. (DoD photo by Tech. Sgt. Manuel J. Martinez, U.S. Air Force/Released)</p>

Department of Defense Imagery

U.S. Navy Aviation Machinist's Mate 2nd Class Alexandra Mimbela performs maintenance on an F/A-18F Super Hornet aircraft assigned to Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 213 aboard the aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77) Aug. 21, 2014, in the Persian Gulf as the ship supports operations in Iraq. President Barack Obama authorized humanitarian aid deliveries to Iraq as well as targeted airstrikes to protect U.S. personnel from extremists known as the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant. U.S. Central Command directed the operations. (DoD photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Brian Stephens, U.S. Navy/Released)

http://www.flickr.com/photos/39955793@N07/14875720720/<p>U.S. Navy Aviation Machinist's Mate 2nd Class Alexandra Mimbela performs maintenance on an F/A-18F Super Hornet aircraft assigned to Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 213 aboard the aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77) Aug. 21, 2014, in the Persian Gulf as the ship supports operations in Iraq. President Barack Obama authorized humanitarian aid deliveries to Iraq as well as targeted airstrikes to protect U.S. personnel from extremists known as the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant. U.S. Central Command directed the operations. (DoD photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Brian Stephens, U.S. Navy/Released)</p> <p>U.S. Navy Aviation Machinist's Mate 2nd Class Alexandra Mimbela performs maintenance on an F/A-18F Super Hornet aircraft assigned to Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 213 aboard the aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77) Aug. 21, 2014, in the Persian Gulf as the ship supports operations in Iraq. President Barack Obama authorized humanitarian aid deliveries to Iraq as well as targeted airstrikes to protect U.S. personnel from extremists known as the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant. U.S. Central Command directed the operations. (DoD photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Brian Stephens, U.S. Navy/Released)</p>

Department of Defense Imagery

U.S. Marines with Alpha Company, 1st Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment, Marine Rotational Force-Darwin assault a simulated enemy position Aug. 21, 2014, in preparation for the final exercise as part of Koolendong 2014 at the Bradshaw Field Training Area in Northern Territory, Australia. Koolendong is an amphibious and live-fire exercise designed to increase interoperability between the U.S. Marine Corps and Australian Defense Force. (DoD photo by Cpl. James Gulliver, U.S. Marine Corps/Released)

http://www.flickr.com/photos/39955793@N07/14875794818/<p>U.S. Marines with Alpha Company, 1st Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment, Marine Rotational Force-Darwin assault a simulated enemy position Aug. 21, 2014, in preparation for the final exercise as part of Koolendong 2014 at the Bradshaw Field Training Area in Northern Territory, Australia. Koolendong is an amphibious and live-fire exercise designed to increase interoperability between the U.S. Marine Corps and Australian Defense Force. (DoD photo by Cpl. James Gulliver, U.S. Marine Corps/Released)</p> <p>U.S. Marines with Alpha Company, 1st Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment, Marine Rotational Force-Darwin assault a simulated enemy position Aug. 21, 2014, in preparation for the final exercise as part of Koolendong 2014 at the Bradshaw Field Training Area in Northern Territory, Australia. Koolendong is an amphibious and live-fire exercise designed to increase interoperability between the U.S. Marine Corps and Australian Defense Force. (DoD photo by Cpl. James Gulliver, U.S. Marine Corps/Released)</p>

Department of Defense Imagery

A U.S. Air Force KC-135 Stratotanker aircraft refuels a Navy F/A-18F Super Hornet aircraft assigned to Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 213 over Iraq Aug. 21, 2014. President Barack Obama authorized humanitarian aid deliveries to Iraq as well as targeted airstrikes to protect U.S. personnel from extremists known as the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant. U.S. Central Command directed the operations. (DoD photo by Staff Sgt. Shawn Nickel, U.S. Air Force/Released)

http://www.flickr.com/photos/39955793@N07/14875832797/<p>A U.S. Air Force KC-135 Stratotanker aircraft refuels a Navy F/A-18F Super Hornet aircraft assigned to Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 213 over Iraq Aug. 21, 2014. President Barack Obama authorized humanitarian aid deliveries to Iraq as well as targeted airstrikes to protect U.S. personnel from extremists known as the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant. U.S. Central Command directed the operations. (DoD photo by Staff Sgt. Shawn Nickel, U.S. Air Force/Released)</p> <p>A U.S. Air Force KC-135 Stratotanker aircraft refuels a Navy F/A-18F Super Hornet aircraft assigned to Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 213 over Iraq Aug. 21, 2014. President Barack Obama authorized humanitarian aid deliveries to Iraq as well as targeted airstrikes to protect U.S. personnel from extremists known as the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant. U.S. Central Command directed the operations. (DoD photo by Staff Sgt. Shawn Nickel, U.S. Air Force/Released)</p>

Department of Defense Imagery

U.S. Air Force Capt. Ryan Christie, a mission commander with the 340th Expeditionary Air Refueling Squadron, and a crew chief with the 340th Expeditionary Aircraft Maintenance Unit perform preflight checks on a KC-135 Stratotanker aircraft in Qatar Aug. 21, 2014, before a refueling mission to support fighter and reconnaissance aircraft conducting missions over Iraq. President Barack Obama authorized humanitarian aid deliveries to Iraq as well as targeted airstrikes to protect U.S. personnel from extremists known as the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant. U.S. Central Command directed the operations. (DoD photo by Staff Sgt. Shawn Nickel, U.S. Air Force/Released)

http://www.flickr.com/photos/39955793@N07/14875722660/<p>U.S. Air Force Capt. Ryan Christie, a mission commander with the 340th Expeditionary Air Refueling Squadron, and a crew chief with the 340th Expeditionary Aircraft Maintenance Unit perform preflight checks on a KC-135 Stratotanker aircraft in Qatar Aug. 21, 2014, before a refueling mission to support fighter and reconnaissance aircraft conducting missions over Iraq. President Barack Obama authorized humanitarian aid deliveries to Iraq as well as targeted airstrikes to protect U.S. personnel from extremists known as the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant. U.S. Central Command directed the operations. (DoD photo by Staff Sgt. Shawn Nickel, U.S. Air Force/Released)</p> <p>U.S. Air Force Capt. Ryan Christie, a mission commander with the 340th Expeditionary Air Refueling Squadron, and a crew chief with the 340th Expeditionary Aircraft Maintenance Unit perform preflight checks on a KC-135 Stratotanker aircraft in Qatar Aug. 21, 2014, before a refueling mission to support fighter and reconnaissance aircraft conducting missions over Iraq. President Barack Obama authorized humanitarian aid deliveries to Iraq as well as targeted airstrikes to protect U.S. personnel from extremists known as the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant. U.S. Central Command directed the operations. (DoD photo by Staff Sgt. Shawn Nickel, U.S. Air Force/Released)</p>

Department of Defense Imagery

The guided missile cruiser USS Vella Gulf (CG 72) departs the Black Sea and enters the Bosphorus strait Aug. 26, 2014. The Vella Gulf conducted maritime security operations and theater security engagements in the Black Sea as part of the U.S. commitment to regional stability. (DoD photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Weston Jones, U.S. Navy/Released)

http://www.flickr.com/photos/39955793@N07/15062023432/<p>The guided missile cruiser USS Vella Gulf (CG 72) departs the Black Sea and enters the Bosphorus strait Aug. 26, 2014. The Vella Gulf conducted maritime security operations and theater security engagements in the Black Sea as part of the U.S. commitment to regional stability. (DoD photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Weston Jones, U.S. Navy/Released)</p> <p>The guided missile cruiser USS Vella Gulf (CG 72) departs the Black Sea and enters the Bosphorus strait Aug. 26, 2014. The Vella Gulf conducted maritime security operations and theater security engagements in the Black Sea as part of the U.S. commitment to regional stability. (DoD photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Weston Jones, U.S. Navy/Released)</p>

Department of Defense Imagery

U.S. Soldiers and foreign service members receive instruction on administering first aid to chemical agent casualties during the standardization portion of the U.S. Army Europe Expert Field Medical Badge competition Aug. 25, 2014, at the Grafenwoehr Training Area in Germany. The badge is awarded to Soldiers in medical professions who pass a variety of tests designed to measure proficiency in medical procedures, tactical skills and physical fitness. (DoD photo by Gertrud Zach, U.S. Army/Released)

http://www.flickr.com/photos/39955793@N07/14875837727/<p>U.S. Soldiers and foreign service members receive instruction on administering first aid to chemical agent casualties during the standardization portion of the U.S. Army Europe Expert Field Medical Badge competition Aug. 25, 2014, at the Grafenwoehr Training Area in Germany. The badge is awarded to Soldiers in medical professions who pass a variety of tests designed to measure proficiency in medical procedures, tactical skills and physical fitness. (DoD photo by Gertrud Zach, U.S. Army/Released)</p> <p>U.S. Soldiers and foreign service members receive instruction on administering first aid to chemical agent casualties during the standardization portion of the U.S. Army Europe Expert Field Medical Badge competition Aug. 25, 2014, at the Grafenwoehr Training Area in Germany. The badge is awarded to Soldiers in medical professions who pass a variety of tests designed to measure proficiency in medical procedures, tactical skills and physical fitness. (DoD photo by Gertrud Zach, U.S. Army/Released)</p>

Department of Defense Imagery

U.S. Navy Seaman Apprentice Petit Fr?re Samuel looks through the ship?s binoculars to conduct a course survey aboard the amphibious assault ship USS America (LHA 6) Aug. 20, 2014, in the Strait of Magellan. The ship embarked on a mission to conduct training engagements with partner nations throughout the Americas before reporting to its new home port of San Diego. The America was set to be ceremoniously commissioned Oct. 11, 2014. (DOD photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Huey D. Younger Jr., U.S. Navy/Released)

http://www.flickr.com/photos/39955793@N07/14868285187/<p>U.S. Navy Seaman Apprentice Petit Fr?re Samuel looks through the ship?s binoculars to conduct a course survey aboard the amphibious assault ship USS America (LHA 6) Aug. 20, 2014, in the Strait of Magellan. The ship embarked on a mission to conduct training engagements with partner nations throughout the Americas before reporting to its new home port of San Diego. The America was set to be ceremoniously commissioned Oct. 11, 2014. (DOD photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Huey D. Younger Jr., U.S. Navy/Released)</p> <p>U.S. Navy Seaman Apprentice Petit Fr?re Samuel looks through the ship?s binoculars to conduct a course survey aboard the amphibious assault ship USS America (LHA 6) Aug. 20, 2014, in the Strait of Magellan. The ship embarked on a mission to conduct training engagements with partner nations throughout the Americas before reporting to its new home port of San Diego. The America was set to be ceremoniously commissioned Oct. 11, 2014. (DOD photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Huey D. Younger Jr., U.S. Navy/Released)</p>

Department of Defense Imagery

U.S. Marines assigned to a landing attack subsequent operations team conduct a combat conditioning exchange with Guatemalan service members as part of the U.S. Marine Corps Martial Arts Program during Southern Partnership Station (SPS) 2014 in Puerto Barrios, Guatemala, Aug. 19, 2014. SPS is an annual deployment of U.S. ships to the U.S. Southern Command's area of responsibility in the Caribbean and Latin America. The exercise involves information sharing with navies, coast guards and civilian services throughout the region. (DoD photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Andrew Schneider, U.S. Navy/Released)

http://www.flickr.com/photos/39955793@N07/15051783531/<p>U.S. Marines assigned to a landing attack subsequent operations team conduct a combat conditioning exchange with Guatemalan service members as part of the U.S. Marine Corps Martial Arts Program during Southern Partnership Station (SPS) 2014 in Puerto Barrios, Guatemala, Aug. 19, 2014. SPS is an annual deployment of U.S. ships to the U.S. Southern Command's area of responsibility in the Caribbean and Latin America. The exercise involves information sharing with navies, coast guards and civilian services throughout the region. (DoD photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Andrew Schneider, U.S. Navy/Released)</p> <p>U.S. Marines assigned to a landing attack subsequent operations team conduct a combat conditioning exchange with Guatemalan service members as part of the U.S. Marine Corps Martial Arts Program during Southern Partnership Station (SPS) 2014 in Puerto Barrios, Guatemala, Aug. 19, 2014. SPS is an annual deployment of U.S. ships to the U.S. Southern Command's area of responsibility in the Caribbean and Latin America. The exercise involves information sharing with navies, coast guards and civilian services throughout the region. (DoD photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Andrew Schneider, U.S. Navy/Released)</p>

Department of Defense Imagery

U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Shian Hugglar, a company standardization instructor assigned to Aviation Company, 1st Support Battalion, Task Force Sinai, secures a UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter to the inside of a C-17 Globemaster aircraft in El Gorah, Egypt, Aug. 19, 2014. (DoD photo by Sgt. Thomas Duval, U.S. Army/Released)

http://www.flickr.com/photos/39955793@N07/14868176460/<p>U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Shian Hugglar, a company standardization instructor assigned to Aviation Company, 1st Support Battalion, Task Force Sinai, secures a UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter to the inside of a C-17 Globemaster aircraft in El Gorah, Egypt, Aug. 19, 2014. (DoD photo by Sgt. Thomas Duval, U.S. Army/Released)</p> <p>U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Shian Hugglar, a company standardization instructor assigned to Aviation Company, 1st Support Battalion, Task Force Sinai, secures a UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter to the inside of a C-17 Globemaster aircraft in El Gorah, Egypt, Aug. 19, 2014. (DoD photo by Sgt. Thomas Duval, U.S. Army/Released)</p>

Department of Defense Imagery

U.S. Marine Corps Cpl. Cruz A. Nunez, right, a scout sniper with Scout Sniper Platoon, 1st Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment, Marine Rotational Force-Darwin, spots targets for Cpl. Jarrod L. Henry, a mortarman with the platoon, as Henry engages targets with an M40A5 sniper rifle at Bradshaw Field Training Area in Northern Territory, Australia, Aug. 18, 2014, during an unknown distance qualification range event as part of Koolendong 2014. Koolendong is an amphibious and live-fire exercise designed to increase interoperability between the U.S. Marine Corps and Australian Defense Force. (DoD photo by Lance Cpl. Joey S. Holeman Jr., U.S. Marine Corps/Released)

http://www.flickr.com/photos/39955793@N07/14868288427/<p>U.S. Marine Corps Cpl. Cruz A. Nunez, right, a scout sniper with Scout Sniper Platoon, 1st Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment, Marine Rotational Force-Darwin, spots targets for Cpl. Jarrod L. Henry, a mortarman with the platoon, as Henry engages targets with an M40A5 sniper rifle at Bradshaw Field Training Area in Northern Territory, Australia, Aug. 18, 2014, during an unknown distance qualification range event as part of Koolendong 2014. Koolendong is an amphibious and live-fire exercise designed to increase interoperability between the U.S. Marine Corps and Australian Defense Force. (DoD photo by Lance Cpl. Joey S. Holeman Jr., U.S. Marine Corps/Released)</p> <p>U.S. Marine Corps Cpl. Cruz A. Nunez, right, a scout sniper with Scout Sniper Platoon, 1st Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment, Marine Rotational Force-Darwin, spots targets for Cpl. Jarrod L. Henry, a mortarman with the platoon, as Henry engages targets with an M40A5 sniper rifle at Bradshaw Field Training Area in Northern Territory, Australia, Aug. 18, 2014, during an unknown distance qualification range event as part of Koolendong 2014. Koolendong is an amphibious and live-fire exercise designed to increase interoperability between the U.S. Marine Corps and Australian Defense Force. (DoD photo by Lance Cpl. Joey S. Holeman Jr., U.S. Marine Corps/Released)</p>

Department of Defense Imagery

U.S. Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Justin Mcallister, an infantryman with the 1st Battalion, 23rd Marine Regiment leads a squad of Marines through a building during a training evolution designed to simulate urban combat as part of Partnership of the Americas 2014 in Conc?n, Chile, Aug. 20, 2014. Partnership of the Americas is an annual combined naval and amphibious exercise designed to enhance interoperability and relationships with partner nations in the U.S. Southern Command area of responsibility. (DoD photo by Sgt. Adwin Esters, U.S. Marine Corps/Released)

http://www.flickr.com/photos/39955793@N07/14868177610/<p>U.S. Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Justin Mcallister, an infantryman with the 1st Battalion, 23rd Marine Regiment leads a squad of Marines through a building during a training evolution designed to simulate urban combat as part of Partnership of the Americas 2014 in Conc?n, Chile, Aug. 20, 2014. Partnership of the Americas is an annual combined naval and amphibious exercise designed to enhance interoperability and relationships with partner nations in the U.S. Southern Command area of responsibility. (DoD photo by Sgt. Adwin Esters, U.S. Marine Corps/Released)</p> <p>U.S. Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Justin Mcallister, an infantryman with the 1st Battalion, 23rd Marine Regiment leads a squad of Marines through a building during a training evolution designed to simulate urban combat as part of Partnership of the Americas 2014 in Conc?n, Chile, Aug. 20, 2014. Partnership of the Americas is an annual combined naval and amphibious exercise designed to enhance interoperability and relationships with partner nations in the U.S. Southern Command area of responsibility. (DoD photo by Sgt. Adwin Esters, U.S. Marine Corps/Released)</p>

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