Friday, December 20, 2013

MAF Features BG Cho & Special Award

Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber’s

Military Affairs Committee


35th John Anderson Military Citizen of the Year
Sponsored by America’s Credit Union

The Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber’s Military Affairs Committee will present the 35th annual John Anderson Military Citizen for 2013.

Keynote Speaker:  "A collaborative approach to changing the landscape of Military Medicine in the Puget Sound area."

Brig. Gen. John M. Cho

Commanding General of the U.S. Army’s Western Regional Medical Command and the Senior Market Executive for the Puget Sound Enhanced Multi-Service Market.

Date:  Wednesday, January 8, 2014
Time:  7:30 – 9:00 a.m.
Place:  Best Western Plus Tacoma Dome Hotel
            2611 East E Street
Tacoma, WA 98421
Price:  $15 with RSVP
Register:  Online
Information:  Gary Brackett or 253-682-1720

The Anderson Military Citizen of the Year award is presented to an exemplary recipient who has demonstrated the contributions that active-duty persons make to our community. 

About John H. Anderson

John H. Anderson served as Tacoma’s mayor in the early to mid 1950s. He was also a past Chair of the Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber Board of Directors, as well as a successful local businessman.   

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Opening for Vet & Business Associate

Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber
Veteran & Business Services Associate


JOB TITLE: Veteran & Business Services Associate    Position Status: Temporary, Full time
APPROVAL: Governmental Affairs & Military Director    Posting Date: December 19, 2013

This position will work with the consultant contractor retained by the Chamber to implement the Veteran & Business Service in partnership with WorkForce Central. The Veteran & Business Service program is designed to support, encourage, and facilitate the employment of Veterans, military spouses, and Guard & Reserve members by the business community of Tacoma and Pierce County. The major activities consist of outreach to the business community, orientation and information regarding Veteran hiring and retention, connecting area businesses with Veteran Assistance Programs supporting Veteran transition and employment, supporting events via partnerships with  resources assisting Veterans, developing resources related to Veteran entrepreneurship, and being part of the Workforce Central military recruitment team activities.

The Associate will work closely with the Chamber's consultant contractor, the Director of Governmental Affairs and Military, and the Chamber team to facilitate the deliverables as set forth by the contract with Workforce Central. Activities will be variable as the Veteran & Business Service develops.    

This is a full time temporary position at 40 hours per week, January - June 2014.

1.    Outreach to Businesses and Veteran transition organizations
2.    Assist with event organization
3.    Internet research and communication
4.    Represent the Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber at meetings and events on behalf of the Veteran & Business Service
5.    Attend Chamber events to promote the Veteran & Business Service
6.    Other duties as assigned.

Reports to the Director of Governmental Affairs & Military

Generally office or professional environments; requires moderate travel.

Education and Experience
•    Veteran with satisfactory completion of enlistment and the transition experience.
•    Bachelor’s degree
Demonstrated Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities
•    Professional and willing to talk to public.
•    Ability to communicate complicated concepts clearly and succinctly.
•    Ability to organize, prioritize and meet deadlines.
•    Ability to attend to details.
•    Knowledge of computer for e-mail,  Internet access, word processing, presentation software

Licenses/Certifications/Special Requirements
Driver’s License required.

Compensation includes: medical and dental benefits, parking and eligibility for Chamber’s retirement program
Salary is dependent on experience

January 10, 2014

Please email the following materials to
•    Cover letter explaining how you learned of the position and reason of interest
•    Resume highlighting relevant education, experience, knowledge, skills and abilities

All employment with the Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber is “at-will.”  This job description is not an employment agreement or contract. Management has the exclusive right to alter this job description without notice. The statements contained herein should not be considered an all-inclusive listing of work requirements. Individuals may perform other duties as assigned including work in other functional areas as needed to meet the needs of the organization.

TSA Precheck At More Than 100 Airports

As the result of the ongoing partnership with the Department of Defense (DoD), the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) will officially extend tomorrow TSA Precheck expedited screening benefits to all U.S. Armed Forces service members.

Service members, including those serving in the U.S. Coast Guard, Reserves and National Guard will be able to enjoy the benefits of this expedited screening program at more than 100 participating airports when flying on nine major U.S. airlines.

If a service member has entered their DoD identification number correctly in a flight reservation, they will be permitted access to TSA Precheck lanes. The expedited screening will allow service members to keep their footwear on as well as light outerwear, laptop in its case and their 3-1-1 compliant liquids/gels bag in a carry-on in select screening lanes. More than 30 million passengers have experienced TSA Precheck since it launched in October 2011.

DoD has worked closely with service members worldwide to inform them of the process of updating current and/or future reservations along with their airline profiles to include their DoD identification number. That ID number will be used as their Known Traveler Number, and enables TSA to expand the program to all airports offering TSA Precheck. Previously, members of the U.S. Armed Forces could utilize TSA Precheck lanes at 10 domestic airports by presenting their Common Access Card (CAC).

"Expanding the TSA Precheck screening benefits is great news for our service members, and is a tangible sign of this nation's gratitude for the men and women who serve this nation bravely each and every day," said Mary Snavely-Dixon, director, Defense Manpower Data Center. "We will continue to work with the Transportation Security Administration to help expand this program further."

"TSA is grateful to the brave men and women in uniform who continue to serve our nation with honor and distinction," said TSA Deputy Administrator John W. Halinski, a 25-year Marine Corps veteran. "Providing TSA Precheck expedited screening while on travel is the least we can do for the members of our military."

TSA will always incorporate random and unpredictable security measures throughout the airport. No individual will be guaranteed expedited screening. Travelers can check the TSA Precheck Participating Airports page for information on locations of active TSA Precheck lanes.

Further information on TSA Precheck for military members can be found at and

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

DoD Releases 2014 Basic Allowance for Housing Rates

The Department of Defense released today the 2014 Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH) rates, which will take effect Jan. 1, 2014.  Overall rates will increase an average of five percent this year.

On average, BAH rates for members with dependents will increase approximately $79 per month and $76 for members without dependents.  A typical mid-grade enlisted member with dependents, for example, will find his/her BAH about $79 per month higher than last year, while a typical junior officer without dependents will find his/her BAH about $76 higher than last year.

In areas where rates will decrease, the decrease will only apply to members newly reporting to those locations.  Members are protected by individual rate protection which ensures that those already assigned to a given location will not see their BAH rate decrease, however, they will receive the increase if the rate goes up.  This assures that members who have made long-term commitments in the form of a lease or contract are not penalized if the area's housing costs decrease. 

Three components are included in the BAH computation:  median current market rent; average utilities (including electricity, heat, and water/sewer) and average renter's insurance.

Total housing costs are calculated for six housing profiles (based on dwelling type and number of bedrooms) in each military housing area.  BAH rates are then calculated for each pay grade, both with and without dependents.  An estimated $20 billion will be paid to approximately one million service members in 2014.

For more information on BAH, visit the Defense Travel Management Office

DOL Awards $5.5 Million for Transitioning Servicemembers at JBLM

Approximately 900 JBLM servicemembers will be aided by grant established under Sen. Patty Murray’s veterans jobs legislation.

Today, Senator Patty Murray applauded the announcement by the U.S. Department of Labor of a $5,586,385 National Emergency Grant (NEG) to assist approximately 900 transitioning military personnel at Joint Base Lewis-McChord (JBLM). The grant, awarded under Senator Murray’s “VOW to Hire Heroes Act” (VOW), will be awarded to the Pacific Mountain Workforce Consortium that is partnering with WorkForce Central of Pierce County to deliver the services at JBLM.  Of the total award, $2,888,266 will initially be released with further funding up to the approved amount being made available as Washington state demonstrates a need for ongoing assistance.

Today’s news serves as a shining example of what happens when we establish strong partnerships between the public and private sector in order to support our nation’s heroes,” said Senator Murray.  “For too long we’ve been patting our veterans on the back to thank them for their service and sending them out into the job market alone without the basic help they need. I’m grateful for the work being done by JBLM and the Pacific Mountain Workforce Development Council to implement the VOW to Hire Heroes Act and provide our men and women in uniform with the tools and resources necessary to not only make it in the workforce, but to succeed.”

The grant will support separating servicemembers from one year before and up to six months after transitioning from service. With the four current tracks available at JBLM for transitioning servicemembers, the grant will primarily serve those who want to transition directly to employment.
Approximately 300,000 active duty servicemembers and more than 100,000 National Guardsmen and reservists transition back into civilian life each year. About 13,000 of those men and women plan to re-enter civilian life in Washington state and over 50% of those 13,000 transition through JBLM.

Joint Base Lewis-McChord is the largest military installation west of the Rockies and Pierce County has the third largest veteran population nationally.  Eight hundred active service members are leaving JBLM monthly and need our support for a smooth transition to civilian life,” stated Linda Nguyen, CEO of WorkForce Central.  “WorkForce Central is honored to work with Pacific Mountain Workforce Development Council to ensure our heroes are well prepared for careers that fully utilize their knowledge and experience.”

The “VOW to Hire Heroes Act” was signed into law in 2011. Double-digit unemployment rates for veterans used to be the norm – but since VOW became law, the unemployment rate for post-9/11 veterans is on par with non-veterans. And while recent data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics prove that these programs work, VOW aims to continue lowering the rate of unemployment among our nation’s heroes by:

•         Improving the Transition Assistance Program (TAP): The VOW to Hire Heroes Act makes TAP mandatory for most separating servicemembers, upgrades the program’s career and employment counseling services, and tailors TAP for the 21st Century job market.
•         Facilitating Seamless Transition:  This law allows servicemembers to begin the federal employment process prior to separation in order to facilitate a truly seamless transition from the military to jobs at VA, Homeland Security, and many other federal agencies in need of our veterans.
•         Expanding Education & Training: VOW provides nearly 100,000 unemployed veterans of earlier eras with up to one year of additional Montgomery GI Bill benefits to qualify for jobs in high-demand sectors ranging from trucking to technology.  VOW also provides disabled veterans up to one year of additional Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment Benefits.
•         Translating Military Skills and Training:  This law also requires the Department of Labor to take a hard look at how the skills and experiences veterans gain through service can be better translated into a civilian context and to make it easier for qualified veterans to obtain the licenses and certifications they need to launch a range of well-paying, productive civilian careers.
•         Veterans Tax Credits:  The VOW to Hire Heroes Act provides tax incentives of up to $5,600 for hiring veterans, and up to $9,600 for hiring disabled veterans, if the veteran has been looking for work for six months or longer.

Each organization will have staff working jointly at the Stone Education Center on JBLM to assist those transitioning service members into civilian careers.  For more information regarding WorkForce Central’s involvement, contact Shellie Willis, military workforce development manager, WorkForce Central at or 253.330.8129.

Friday, December 13, 2013

JBLM Unit in Upcoming Afghanistan Rotation

The Department of Defense today identified five units to deploy as part of the upcoming rotation of forces operating in Afghanistan.

The scheduled rotation includes the16th Combat Aviation Brigade, Joint Base Lewis-McChord, WA.

Other units involved:  Brigade Combat Teams/Combat Aviation Brigades:
  • 1st Brigade, 82nd Airborne Division, Fort Bragg, N.C.
  • 3rd Cavalry Regiment, Fort Hood, Texas.
  • 12th Combat Aviation Brigade, Ansbach, Germany.
  • Division Headquarters:  1st Cavalry Division Headquarters, Fort Hood, Texas.
[Elements of one infantry brigade combat team (IBCT) with roughly 3,200 personnel (1st Brigade, 82nd Airborne Division); elements of one cavalry regiment (CR) with roughly 2,050 personnel (3rd Cavalry Regiment); elements of two combat aviation brigades - one with roughly 1,700 personnel and the other with roughly 1,000 personnel (16th Combat Aviation Brigade and 12th Combat Aviation Brigade); a division headquarters element with roughly 350 personnel (1st Cavalry Division Headquarters) to rotate in spring 2014 in support of the combatant commander's mission requirements.]

DoD will continue to announce major deployments as they are approved. For information on the respective deployments, contact the following: 1st BCT, 82nd Abn. Div., contact the 82nd Abn. Div. public affairs office at 910- 432-0661; 3rd CR, contact the III Corps public affairs office at 254-286-5139; 16th CAB, contact the 7th Inf. Div. public affairs office at 253-477-5746; 12th CAB, contact the U.S. Army Europe public affairs office at 011-49-611-705-3074; and the 1st Cav. Div. HQ, contact the III Corps public affairs office at 254-286-5139.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

WA Adds Military Sector Lead to Commerce Dept

Department of Commerce Director Brian Bonlender recently named Kristiné Reeves as the Military and Defense sector lead team in the Office of Economic Development and Competitiveness.

“Our sector-based economic development strategy is a reflection of the fact that we face intense international and interstate competition for good jobs. We have to be constantly vigilant about identifying opportunities and strategies for cultivating employers in Washington,” said Bonlender.  “We can’t rely on luck for the next Boeing, Microsoft or Amazon to develop here.”

Reeves will serve as Military and Defense sector lead. She spent the last five years working on veterans and military issues as statewide constituency coordinator for U.S. Sen. Patty Murray.  Her work included building strong relationships with Army and Navy leadership as well as military transition and workforce development issues around the state.

Reeves joins Maura Little, (Life Sciences and Global Health), Will Saunders, (Information and Communication Technology),  Alex Pietsch (Aerospace) and Steve Sewell (Maritime) to represent the State of Washington in their respective industry sectors.  They are tasked with identifying and pursuing new economic development strategies that keep Washington State in the forefront of these key industries, and advance the Governor’s goal of targeted company recruitment, retention and expansion.

The Office of Economic Development and Competitiveness supports the Governor’s Working Washington Jobs Agenda, which recognizes that these sectors are critical to our future prosperity --  if these industries are doing well, our economy will be doing well.

Noteworthies with a Local Link

The Chief of Staff, Army announced the assignment of Major General Terry R. Ferrell, Commander, Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa, OPERATION ENDURING FREEDOM, Djibouti to Commanding General, 7th Infantry Division, Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington.

Monday, December 9, 2013

MCRMC Holds Tacoma, WA. Public Hearing

Members of the Military Compensation and Retirement Modernization Commission will hold a public hearing and Town Hall Meeting on Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Tacoma, Washington, December 12-13, 2013.

The Commissioners will hear testimony from witnesses on matters surrounding the programs that compensate the members of our Unformed Services and that therefore support the long-term health of the All-Volunteer Force.

Congress' National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2013 established a nine member Military Compensation and Retirement Modernization Commission. The Commission's task is to review the military compensation and retirement programs and make recommendations for their modernization to the President and Congress in the Spring of 2014.

The goal of the Commission's recommendations will be to ensure the long-term health of the All-Volunteer Force, provide for a high quality-of-life for the members of the Uniformed Forces and their families, and make sure that the compensation and retirement programs are financially sustainable.

The Commission recognizes the core of our national security is the men and women who choose to serve in our Uniformed Services. In turn, our government’s military compensation programs are central to the success of the Services’ efforts to recruit and retain service members. These beliefs will guide the important work the Commission will do in the coming months and shape the Country’s strategic choices for years to come.

The members of the Commission include: Mr. Alphonso Maldon, Jr. (Chairman), Congressman Stephen Buyer, Congressman Chris Carney, retired Army General Peter W. Chiarelli, retired Navy Admiral Edmund Giambastiani, Jr., Mr. Mike Higgins, Senator Bob Kerney, Senator Larry Pressler, and the Honorable Dov Zakheim.

Media interested in covering the event should contact Mr. Jamie Graybeal at (703) 692-2166 for additional details.

Date: Thursday, December 12, 2013
Location: Eagles Pride Clubhouse, JB Lewis-McChord
Mounts Road Southwest, DuPont, WA 98327, (253) 967-6522

8:00 am Media with availability Chairman Alphonso Maldon, Jr.
8:30 am Senior Commanders Panel
10:30 am Family Readiness Panel

Location: French Theater, JB Lewis-McChord
Pendleton Ave and N 2nd , Joint Base Lewis-McChord, WA 98433

6:30 pm Town Hall Meeting (Open to all service members, spouses, retirees, and general public)

Date: Friday, December 13, 2013
Location: Eagles Pride Clubhouse, JB Lewis-McChord – Public Access
Mounts Road Southwest, DuPont, WA 98327, (253) 967-6522

8:30 am Washington State Army National Guard, Air National Guard Panel
10:30 am Retention and Recruiting Panel

Military Compensation and Retirement Modernization Commission
1101 Wilson Boulevard Arlington, VA 22201
For more information contact Jamie Graybeal, (703) 692-2166 or

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Councilmember Joins Marines - Interim Sought

The City of Tacoma’s Council has decided to appoint an interim to fill the council position unoccupied with the Leave of Absence of Councilmember Anders Ibsen.

Councilmember Ibsen has requested Leave, according to the provisions of state law, for his volunteer service with the U.S. Marine Corps.

Map of District 1.

The appointed interim councilmember would serve during the approximately 11 months of Councilmember Ibsen’s Leave of Absence, although the actual term is indeterminate as Councilmember Ibsen could return earlier.  There will be approximately one year from the anticipated end of the interim position, after Councilmember Ibsen returns from his Leave of Absence, until the Councilmember would stand re-election in 2015.


For advice on applying, candidates may contact Mike Weinman, Weinman Consulting, Federal and Local Issues Manager for the Chamber.

Qualifications for Office and Responsibilities of the City Council
The City Charter provides that citizens seeking to run for City Council must be qualified electors and City residents for two years immediately preceding the time of filing. In addition, if a citizen
is running for a district position, he or she must be a resident in this District 1 for one year immediately preceding the time of filing.

The Council is responsible for enacting all legislation, developing policies, and making general policy decisions for governing the City. Council duties include adopting and amending City laws; approving the budget; establishing City policies and standards; approving contracts and agreements; and representing the City. The Council meets every Tuesday at 5:00 p.m. in the City Council Chambers, first floor, Tacoma Municipal Building, 747 Market Street. Five Council Members constitute a quorum for the transaction of business.

Compensation Council Members:
Effective Jan. 1, 2014, Council Members will receive an annual salary of $42,411.20.