A recent story that troops and Defense Department civilians cannot hold security clearances if they invest in companies that legally sell marijuana and cannabis products has turned out to be half baked.

Federal News Radio reported on Feb. 26 that Air Combat Command had sent an email to airmen saying that they could be denied security clearances for owning stock in companies that legally sell pot products, even if they did not chose the stocks themselves.

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Lance Cpl. Aaron S. Patterson/U.S. Marine Corps

Alright, so you’re thinking about your long-term financial security. Maybe you’re tired of making the rounds like a MARPAT-clad Oliver Twist, cover in hand, begging for more, please, so you can afford your monthly phone bill and streaming service payment.

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U.S. Air Force/Airman 1st Class Matthew Gilmore

The military retirement system has recently been revamped in a big way. Instead of giving retirees the traditional 50% of base pay after 20 years of service, the new plan is a more complicated “blended system” — a mixture of a defined-benefit pension starting at 40% pay for 20 years' service, plus a 401K-style Thrift Savings Plan with matching contributions that individuals can take with them even if they leave the service early. That’s a big step forward, especially for the 83% of enlisted servicemembers who don’t stay long enough to earn the traditional 20-year pension.

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Photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Charles Oki

Reforming the military’s retirement system is currently a hot topic in our nation’s capital. Both the House and Senate versions of the National Defense Authorization Act include proposals for retirement reform; the joint chiefs have weighed in; and the Department of Defense released a white paper last week outlining its position on the reforms. These proposals consist of two main courses of action: matching Thrift Savings Plan contributions for all service members similar to those available to what civilian government employees receive under the Federal Employee Retirement System, and a reduction in the multiplier used to calculate retirement pay after 20 years.

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Photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class LaTunya Howard

If you’ve served more than a few weeks in the Army, odds are you’ve heard the phrase “No more Task Force Smiths!” It refers to a combat operation meant to halt the North Korean advance in the opening days of the Korean War. The North Korean infantry quickly overtook the ill-prepared, outnumbered, and poorly equipped soldiers, resulting in more than 150 casualties. “No more Task Force Smiths” serves as a warning to never send unprepared service members into harm’s way.

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