TRICARE Coverage for Medically Necessary Nutritional Needs

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By TRICARE.mil Staff

People with certain diseases or conditions may require special foods and vitamins beyond the normal healthy diet. Recent changes to the TRICARE benefit include updating the coverage for medically necessary foods and vitamins, and helping people with obesity get care to help manage their weight.

Photo: Eating healthy is all about getting the balance right in your daily diet. (National Cancer Institute file photo/Released)

Eating healthy is all about getting the balance right in your daily diet. National Cancer Institute file photo

Medically necessary specialized formulas are covered by TRICARE for oral nutritional therapy, or therapy requiring a feeding tube or intravenous tube. This coverage extends to nutrition therapy for malnutrition as a result of end-stage renal disease.

Medically necessary food (including some vitamins and minerals), medical equipment, supplies and services may be cost-shared when used as a treatment for the following covered medical conditions:

  • Inborn errors of metabolism
  • Medical conditions of malabsorption
  • Pathologies of the alimentary or digestive tract
  • A neurological or physiological condition

Prenatal vitamins that require a prescription may also be cost-shared, but are covered for prenatal care only. Ketogenic diets for the treatment of seizures that are resistant to standard anti-seizure medication are covered, including medical services and supplies provided in inpatient or outpatient settings.

Photo by Army Sgt. Edward Garibay

Adults with a body mass index (BMI) of 30 kg/m2 or higher and children/adolescents with a BMI value greater than the 95th percentile may also receive care under TRICARE. Intensive behavioral interventions from a TRICARE-authorized provider to encourage sustained weight loss (12-26 sessions in a year) are covered. These interventions include, but aren’t limited to:

  • Setting weight loss goals
  • Diet and physical activity guidance
  • Addressing barriers to change
  • Active self-monitoring
  • Strategies to maintain lifestyle changes

For many people, complete nutrition means more than simply eating right. TRICARE supports medically necessary nutritional needs and ensures you and your family get the care you deserve. Learn more about your TRICARE coverage.

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Disclaimer: The appearance of hyperlinks does not constitute endorsement by the Department of Defense of this website or the information, products or services contained therein. For other than authorized activities such as military exchanges and Morale, Welfare and Recreation sites, the Department of Defense does not exercise any editorial control over the information you may find at these locations. Such links are provided consistent with the stated purpose of this DOD website.




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TRICARE Coverage for Medically Necessary Nutritional Needs

Watch NASCAR Driver Become Navy Petty Officer for a Day

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There are always surprises for NASCAR crews when it comes to pit stops. This week there were several for driver Brad Keselowski, who detoured to Naval Station Norfolk, Virginia, to meet with sailors and learn more about what they do.

Keselowski poses for a photo with Navy sailors at Naval Station Norfolk. Apparently one of the sailors, who’s a big fan of the race car driver, wasn’t able to be there that day, so Keselowski held up that sailor’s photo in appreciation. DoD photo by Air Force Senior Airman Jose Gonzalez

Many of the station’s sailors are going to the Coca-Cola 600 race at Charlotte Motor Speedway in North Carolina over Memorial Day, which is why Keselowski made the trip. He’ll be representing the Navy during the race. To prep for that role, he was made an honorary sailor before touring the aircraft carrier USS Gerald Ford and then the entire base in an MH-60 Seahawk helicopter.

After being anointed a petty officer for the day, Keselowski was given an officer’s hat and welcomed aboard the USS Ford by Navy Capt. Richard McCormack.

“I know the crew’s really looking forward to it,” McCormack said of the tour. And being as Keselowski won the 2012 championship and has 24 career wins in the sport’s top series, that’s understandable.

Keselowski learns about flight deck control as he tours the USS Gerald Ford at Naval Station Norfolk, Virginia. Keselowski will represent the Navy in the Coca-Cola 600 over Memorial Day weekend. DoD photo by Army Staff Sgt. Bruce Petitt

Keselowski, who has a sister, uncle and cousins who served in the military, was excited to get started. They set off to the hangar bay, then flight deck control and the bridge. He also got a chance to take control for himself – but just for a minute.

He then learned about the catapult launch system and talked to sailors before ending his ship tour in the captain’s cabin, where he got coined. Considering the captain’s cabin is like an oasis on an otherwise sterile-looking ship (we’re talking wooden floors, carpet and overstuffed coaches versus white walls and gray floors), it was a good way to end the tour!

Needless to say, Keselowski was impressed, not just with the carrier’s new technology but the people operating it all.

“It’s so easy to forget that the technology is still a product of the daily work of the people,” he said.

Next, Keselowski made his way to the HSC-9 helicopter squadron, the Tridents, attached to Carrier Air Wing 8 aboard the aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush. After a preflight safety briefing, they took him up into the sky for another tour, this time of the whole base.

After an exciting day, we asked Keselowski what military vehicle he hasn’t be in yet that he’d like to drive.

“I’ve always wanted to drive a tank,” he said. “I’ve been lucky enough to fly an F-18 with the Blue Angels – that was great – and I’ve gotten to drive a destroyer – that was great – but I think the bucket list for me is to drive a modern-day tank.”

The Navy’s orientation day was the first for all of the service branches ahead of the Coca-Cola 600, which has been held every Memorial Day weekend since 1960. The next branch to get acquainted with their honorary driver: Army at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, on April 26. Stay tuned for full coverage of that!

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Watch NASCAR Driver Become Navy Petty Officer for a Day

Defense Department Recognizes Environmental Excellence

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From Defense Media Activity

When you think of the Department of Defense, you likely think of military operations, air and watercraft, and lots of camouflage. But although the DoD is a steward of national security, it’s also a steward of human and environmental health.

With this in mind, the DoD established the Secretary of Defense Environmental Awards to celebrate military service members and civilians for their exceptional commitment to protecting human health and the environment while advancing the military mission.

Each year since 1962, the Secretary of Defense has honored installations, teams, and individuals for outstanding conservation achievements, innovative environmental practices, and partnerships that improve quality of life, and promote efficiencies without compromising mission success.

Each military department and defense agency may submit one nomination each of nine categories that cover six subject areas: natural resources conservation, environmental quality, sustainability, environmental restoration, cultural resources management, and environmental excellence in weapon system acquisition.

Most of the awards are on a two-year cycle with large/small and non-industrial/industrial installations competing in alternate years, as shown below:

Small installations are those with 10,000 acres or less; industrial installations are those with a primary mission of manufacturing, maintaining, rehabilitating, or storing military equipment.

Some of the winners for this year’s awards include: Hawaii Army National Guard, which implemented a multi-faceted invasive species management program that achieves
holistic benefits at the ecosystem level and creates training access for soldiers stationed on the islands, and an environmental protection specialist in Spain, whose work ensured his installation received a U.S. Navy-wide award for environmental quality in 2016.

To see the full list of 2018 winners, visit https://www.denix.osd.mil/awards/2018secdef/.

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Disclaimer: The appearance of hyperlinks does not constitute endorsement by the Department of Defense of this website or the information, products or services contained therein. For other than authorized activities such as military exchanges and Morale, Welfare and Recreation sites, the Department of Defense does not exercise any editorial control over the information you may find at these locations. Such links are provided consistent with the stated purpose of this DOD website.

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Defense Department Recognizes Environmental Excellence

Air Force NCO Academy: Keys to Success

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By Tech. Sgt. Chuck Broadway
Defense Media Activity

The noncommissioned officer is referred to by the Joint Chiefs of Staff as the backbone of the armed forces. NCOs and petty officers have the tremendous task of safeguarding the voice of the enlisted force from the front lines of supervision, and are trusted as liaisons between senior leaders and the junior enlisted force.

U.S. Air Force airmen undertaking NCO academy in Class 18-3 work on assignments March 7, 2018, at the Air National Guard’s Chief Master Sergeant Paul H. Lankford Enlisted Professional Military Education Center in Louisville, Tenn. Air National Guard photo by Master Sgt. Mike R. Smith

As the technical and functional experts of their career fields, NCOs and petty officers are charged with performing the role of leader and advisor, instilling professionalism and dedication to service to those within their sphere of influence. In order to prosper as leaders, NCOs and petty officers must learn valuable leadership skills. This is accomplished by attending various levels of professional military education commensurate with their rank. For NCOs and petty officers, this means attendance at a service-specific NCO Academy, or Chief Petty Officer Academy for the Navy.

While each service academy varies slightly, the overall mission of this level of professional military education is to teach appropriate levels of leadership and warfighting tactics. For the Air Force, there are 10 NCO academies worldwide which train and equip technical sergeants for leadership roles they may face in their remaining careers. The notification of attending NCO academies, for many airmen, is met with feelings of anxiety and uncertainty.

To combat these feelings, and set prospective students on a path towards success, the following is a list of advice and lessons learned gathered from recent students and instructors.

Prior to Arrival:

Read the Course 15 material. The Air Force NCO Academy curriculum uses this material exclusively. It is available prior to attending the course and knowing the information beforehand will only provide added value to your learning.

Read strategic documents such as the National Defense Strategy and Air Force strategic documents located on www.af.mil. This is a piece of advice that isn’t typical; however, it allows for a more strategic mindset, subjecting you to a higher level of military thinking than you may be used to. The National Defense Strategy provides a framework of Defense Department strategic guidance and goals of contingency planning, force development and intelligence.

Read and complete all pre-attendance documents. This seems like a no-brainer. All students receive reporting instructions, a required materials list, and travel instructions. For the NCO Academy, these items are specific. It is important to devote time and effort to properly completing these documents, and ensuring you have all the required materials. A laptop with commercial internet access is absolutely essential. While there is Wi-Fi available at the schoolhouse and hotel, if possible, bring your own Wi-Fi router. With more than 100 students attempting to access internet at the same time, having a dedicated line of internet will mitigate connection issues. It may also make you popular with classmates in nearby rooms.

Research the local area and prepare a budget. You may be traveling to a location you’ve never been to before. Thus, you will want to see the local area and partake in various activities available. Do some research online, ask colleagues who may have visited before, and plan a budget of expenses. You won’t get full per diem while attending the academy, so budgeting is critical.

During NCO academy:

Network. While the goal of the academy is to instill new leadership skills, taking advantage of networking opportunities is one of the biggest benefits of the academy. Many airmen are closed off from other career fields for a vast majority of their careers. The Air Force is full of diverse professionals with differing personalities, experiences, perspectives and specialty skills. Opportunities such as NCO academy bring these various people together and learning from the positive and negative experiences of others will undoubtedly benefit everyone.

Be social. In order to network, you must be social, to at least some degree. While not every airmen is an extrovert, interacting with classmates will enhance your NCO academy experience tenfold versus remaining in your room while not in class.

Use classmates and/or online programs when editing papers. While students cannot copy each other’s work, peer reviews and group editing sessions are allowed, and are a great way to help your classmates succeed.

Balance classwork with downtime. NCO academy is filled with writing assignments and a plethora of reading. It is vitally important to maintain a good balance of studying and free time to ensure success. One student suggested using Friday as a “me time” to unwind and enjoy the local area while spending quality time both Saturday and Sunday to get ahead of schedule on writing assignments. This will help alleviate stress during intensive portions of the academy curriculum.

Create a private social media group/group text message with classmates. Communication is an important attribute of leadership. There will be group volunteer opportunities during NCO academy, as well as people needing transportation to/from the schoolhouse. Group communication provides a single method of contact to make all members aware of planned group activities or carpool opportunities.

Several U.S. airmen and one Army staff sergeant pose after graduation from the U.S. Air Forces in Europe Kisling NCO Academy’s eagle flight at Ramstein Air Base, Germany, March 23, 2018. Photo by Army Staff Sgt. Adrian Patoka

After Graduation:

Complete your travel voucher. This should also be a no-brainer, but not everyone makes it a priority. Ensure you complete this task as soon as possible, and correctly. Since many others are filling out virtually the same thing, with only minor differences, offer advice in your group messages for your now former classmates.

Maintain professional relationships. Graduation signals the end of the academy, however it does not mean the end of the impressions the experience has on a student. With the advent and popularity of social media and cell phones, maintain contact with classmates and bounce ideas off each other. Again, diversity is an advantage of the military and we can constantly learn from each other.

Employ what you learned. The Air Force has just spent a good bit of money, and you have spent time away from your job and family to attend this training. USE IT! Instill the leadership tactics you learned and provide guidance and counsel to those within your organization.

The biggest piece of advice many former students have said is to come in to NCO academy with an open mind. You will not always agree with your peers on all topics discussed, but being open-minded and accepting of other perspectives will help you grow professionally. Prepare yourself for a learning experience, step out of your comfort zone, and take time for self-reflection. The connections you make at the academy could span your entire career, or even longer.

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Disclaimer: The appearance of hyperlinks does not constitute endorsement by the Department of Defense of this website or the information, products or services contained therein. For other than authorized activities such as military exchanges and Morale, Welfare and Recreation sites, the Department of Defense does not exercise any editorial control over the information you may find at these locations. Such links are provided consistent with the stated purpose of this DOD website.

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Air Force NCO Academy: Keys to Success

NASCAR Crews to Honor Service Branches at Coca-Cola 600

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By Katie Lange
Defense Media Activity

How cool would it be to meet a professional race car driver and his crew who’ll be representing you in a major race, then watch them try to do some of the training you’ve gone through?

NASCAR driver Jimmie Johnson, Army Lt. Col. Scott Pence, Command Sgt. Maj. Walter Kirk, Command Sgt. Maj. Robert Cobb and Spc. Josh Freier honor Spc. Michael Rodriguez, a fallen paratrooper, during an event at Fort Bragg, May. 17, 2017. Army photo by Spc. Zackary Nixon

That’s pretty much what’s happening starting this week for select units of each military branch ahead of NASCAR’s Coca-Cola 600 race, which is held every Memorial Day weekend.

It’s become a tradition for the Army to support the event, which gives a patriotic salute to the nation’s military heroes. But this year, all the services will be involved, and each branch will have a car racing in its honor.

Airmen from Luke Air Force Base salute at the Phoenix Raceway during the Can-Am 500 race Nov. 12, 2017. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Alexander Cook

Leading up to the event, selected NASCAR drivers and their crews will have a meet-and-greet with service members from specific units of each service for “orientation.”

Then the fun part begins. Each crew will immerse themselves into the life of a service member who serves in the branch they’re representing.

NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers and crews joined soldiers and spectators to honor the fallen during the Memorial Day celebration at the Coca-Cola 600, May 24, 2015, at the Charlotte Motor Speedway. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Cooper T. Cash

For example, the Navy’s orientation day is at Naval Station Norfolk, Virginia, April 19. NASCAR driver Brad Keselowski and his pit crew will meet sailors aboard the USS Ford, many of whom were chosen to attend the Coca-Cola 600. After touring the Ford, the crew will visit a station helicopter squadron. They’ll go through a preflight safety briefing before taking off into the skies for another tour.

The Army’s orientation day is at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, on April 26. Austin Dillon was chosen to represent the XVIII Airborne Corps. Dillon will unveil his race car for them, which will have the corps’ logo emblazoned on it. He and his crew will then get to try out rappelling and the jump tower on the post, as well as firing weapons and doing some of the other cool things for which soldiers train.

Service members hold the American flag during the Coca-Cola 600 pre-race ceremony at Charlotte Motor Speedway, May 25, 2014. The flag is the largest used by NASCAR and weighs roughly 1,600 pounds. Army photo by Sgt. William Gore

An Air Force orientation has been planned for May 9 at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, North Carolina, with NASCAR driver Darrell “Bubba” Wallace Jr. representing one of the units there. A Coast Guard unit at Station Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina, will meet with driver Alex Bowman and his crew on May 3.

Marine Corps orientation at Camp Lejeune is still in the works.

The Coca-Cola 600, the longest on NASCAR’s schedule at 600 miles, has been run since 1960. It was the first race to be held at Charlotte Motor Speedway in Concord, North Carolina.

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Disclaimer: The appearance of hyperlinks does not constitute endorsement by the Department of Defense of this website or the information, products or services contained therein. For other than authorized activities such as military exchanges and Morale, Welfare and Recreation sites, the Department of Defense does not exercise any editorial control over the information you may find at these locations. Such links are provided consistent with the stated purpose of this DOD website.

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NASCAR Crews to Honor Service Branches at Coca-Cola 600

Rarer than Rare: Marine Major General One of Less Than 20 Double Medal of Honor Awardees

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By Alex Snyder, Defense Media Activity

This blog is part of a weekly series called “Medal of Honor Monday,” in which we’ll highlight one of the 3,500 Medal of Honor recipients who have earned the U.S. military’s highest medal for valor. 

The Medal of Honor is the military’s most prestigious award. Of the roughly 3,500 presented since the inception of the award, only 19 people have received more than one. Marine Corps Maj. Gen. Smedley Darlington Butler was one of them.

Marine Corps courtesy photo

Butler was born in a summer heat wave on July 30, 1881, in West Chester, Pennsylvania. His father was an attorney, a district judge and a Republican congressman. Serving in the House of Representatives for 31 years, the elder Butler was chairman of the House Committee on Naval Affairs for most of the 1920s, which is quite a distinction for a person raised as a Quaker, a religion dedicated to nonviolence and pacifism.

In 1898, when Butler was just 16, the Spanish-American War broke out. He quit school and tried to join both the Navy and Army. They rejected him because of his age, but that didn’t stop the determined young man. He simply lied about his age and received a temporary wartime commission as a second lieutenant in the Marine Corps. After a few weeks of training in the nation’s capital, he was sent with a unit to Cuba to secure Guantanamo Bay. When he arrived, the fighting in Cuba was almost over, and Butler was discharged from the Corps the following February. But he seemed to have his heart set on a military career of sorts.

Back then, the Marine Corp consisted of only about 2,000 full-time troops, but due to its impressive performance in the Spanish-American War, which was being fought in two regions — against Cuba and Puerto Rico in the Caribbean Sea, and against the Philippines and Guam in the Asia-Pacific region — Congress agreed to triple its size. Butler applied for one of the new regular commission slots, and he was reappointed a first lieutenant in April 1899. Within weeks he was on his way to the Philippines, where he experienced combat for the first time when the unit he led, consisting of about 300 men, was ordered to quell an uprising by Filipino rebels at Noveleta, outside Manila. He later commemorated the occasion with a large Marine-themed tattoo.

In 1900, Butler was set to leave the Philippines for Guam when he was redirected to China. The Boxer Rebellion, a violent anti-foreign and anti-Christian uprising, had erupted, and the Marines were leading the charge for the U.S. During a battle, Butler was shot in the thigh when he climbed out of a trench to save a fellow officer who had been wounded. His action saved the officer, and Butler was promoted to captain for his heroics.

In 1903, Butler was sent to Honduras to defend the U.S. Consulate during a revolt. He remained in Central America for nearly 10 years, leading his Marines into battle in Nicaragua and Panama.

In 1914, Butler went undercover in Mexico City as railroad employee. His mission was to ascertain the strength of the Mexican army, prior to nearly 6,000 U.S. troops landing in the Mexican city of Veracruz. After days of intense fighting and heavy sniper fire in the streets, Butler and his troops were victorious. For his assistance and actions, Butler was awarded the first of his two Medals of Honor.

A year later, Haiti was undergoing a major revolt. Butler, by then a major, was sent in with a contingent of Marines to intervene. In October, leading a patrol of 44 mounted Marines, he was ambushed by more than 400 Haitian fighters. Throughout the night, the Marines held their position, and at daybreak they charged the enemy force, who fled.

Later that year, with nearly all the rebels defeated, Butler and his Marines engaged in one last battle – a short, intense hand-to-hand-combat fight. One Marine was injured, and all 51 enemy Haitians were killed. For his actions that day, Butler was awarded a second Medal of Honor.

Butler would go on to serve in World War I. In 1929 he was promoted to major general, becoming, at age 48, the youngest major general of the Marine Corps at the time.

He retired in 1931 and began lecturing at law enforcement events before returning to Pennsylvania for his daughter’s marriage to a Marine aviator.

Following in his father’s footsteps, Butler later ran for the U.S. Senate as a Republican in Pennsylvania, but was defeated. He spent the rest of his days with his wife, whom he affectionately referred to as “Bunny.” He passed away at Naval Hospital Philadelphia on June 21, 1940, and at the time of his death, he was the most decorated Marine in U.S. history.

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Disclaimer: The appearance of hyperlinks does not constitute endorsement by the Department of Defense of this website or the information, products or services contained therein. For other than authorized activities such as military exchanges and Morale, Welfare and Recreation sites, the Department of Defense does not exercise any editorial control over the information you may find at these locations. Such links are provided consistent with the stated purpose of this DOD website.

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Rarer than Rare: Marine Major General One of Less Than 20 Double Medal of Honor Awardees

Switching Gears: Sailor’s ‘Job’ Is to Prep for Med School

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By Katie Lange
Defense Media Activity

Which career sounds more impressive to you: Chinese linguist or medical doctor?

Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Michael “Paden” Smith doesn’t have to choose. He’s going from one to another.

Petty Officer 1st Class Paden Smith poses outside a Navy ship docked in Pearl Harbor. Photo courtesy of Paden Smith

For most of his eight-year career in the Navy, the 31-year-old Smith was stationed in Hawaii working as an interpretive cryptologic technician in the Chinese language. But in 2015, he found out about the Enlisted to Medical Degree Preparatory Program, a partnership with the Uniformed Services University and the armed forces that the Navy had just joined.

“Prior to the Navy participating in EMDP2, there was no other way for an enlisted sailor to go straight to medical school without having to get out of the Navy and apply as a civilian,” Smith said.

He applied to the program and was one of five sailors chosen as the Navy’s inaugural participants. He’s been a medical student ever since.

School Is His Current Navy Job

“My job in the Navy right now is succeeding in this program and going to school. So, although I’m stationed at Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences in Bethesda, Maryland, I just go to class at George Mason University’s Science and Technology campus [in Manassas, Virginia],” he said.

Smith will graduate from the program with a master’s in biology in May. Then he’ll be off to medical school on Aug. 1. While he’s not sure yet what he wants to specialize in, he does know he wants to make this his lifelong career.

“My goal is to become a Navy doctor and do a total of 25-30 years in the Navy, including the eight I have now. I will be 48-50 years old when I retire, so I will then transition to a career in the civilian sector in whichever field of medicine I was practicing in the Navy,” he said.

Smith said he always wanted to be a physician, having been influenced by his Uncle Chuck, who was a military doctor.

“He made me realize that that’s what I wanted to do with my life,” he said.

It’s No Cakewalk 

Paden Smith, right, with another classmate during a lab at George Mason University. Photo courtesy of Paden Smith

Med school hasn’t been an easy road, though.

“Honestly, there were some days where I doubted myself and was wondering, ‘Can I really do this? Did they pick the right person?’” Smith said. “It’s definitely required a lot of willpower and long nights studying. It’s crazy to look back and see all the steps I had to take to get here.”

“I’m looking forward to getting to the end of it and being able to do what it was I really wanted to do, which is to help people,” he explained.

The long road continues for a while, though. Just like all medical students, Smith will have to do four years of medical school followed by 3-7 years of hospital residency, depending on what he chooses as his specialty.

“It’ll be a lot of hard work, but it’ll definitely be worth it because the Navy has given me so many opportunities,” including the opportunity to get a degree in his first career as a linguist, he said. He used tuition assistance to go to classes in the evenings and on weekends while doing his cryptologist job.

“Typically, going to school while active-duty is dependent on your mission requirements and whether or not you’re able to enroll in classes that are either online or that fit into your work schedule,” Smith said. “My chain of command in Hawaii was very supportive and encouraging and allowed me to make some adjustments to my shift so I could attend class.”

In 2014, he earned his bachelor’s degree in Chinese.

I’m sure Smith will work just as hard to make this medical career happen, too. Good luck, PO1 Smith!

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Disclaimer: The appearance of hyperlinks does not constitute endorsement by the Department of Defense of this website or the information, products or services contained therein. For other than authorized activities such as military exchanges and Morale, Welfare and Recreation sites, the Department of Defense does not exercise any editorial control over the information you may find at these locations. Such links are provided consistent with the stated purpose of this DOD website.

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Switching Gears: Sailor’s ‘Job’ Is to Prep for Med School

Covering the Golden Globes

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By SrA Jose Gonzalez,
Defense Media Activity

If you had told me when I enlisted in the Air Force that I would represent the Department of Defense at the 75th Annual Golden Globes Awards, I would have never believed you.

Air Force Senior Airman Jose Gonzalez, who works as a social media specialist for the DoD, awaits the media at a Golden Globes press conference. DoD photo by Yolanda Arrington

As a broadcast journalist, I have a rather unique job in the military. We represent and communicate the interests of the Air Force. We do this through television, radio and even social media. Throughout your career you can go from being a radio DJ in Ramstein, Germany, to working with senior military leaders at the Pentagon. You will learn how to professionally capture video, edit and produce multimedia content, conduct live radio interviews and serve as on-air talent.

During my time as a broadcast journalist, I’ve had a few interesting opportunities come my way, like serving as an announcer for the 2017 Presidential Inauguration parade and interviewing the Army’s Chief of Staff.

The Army, Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard all have career fields similar to that of an Air Force broadcast journalist. My current unit consists of service members from the Army, Navy and Marines, and each service brings their own culture and strengths to the table.

Our primary mission revolves around telling the military story and amplifying it through the Department of Defense’s social media platforms. With an audience of more than 6 million people across all of the platforms, the content we produce has quite a large scope. In order to reach, engage and grow our audience, our team has taken to the road to give them an inside look into a variety of events, such as the Army-Navy football game and, in my case, the Golden Globes.

The event was interesting, to say the least. I was never familiar with the who’s-who of Hollywood, but it was cool to see the actors and actresses from some of my favorite TV shows and movies.

During the award show, we were headquartered in the press room and were in good position to take photos, ask questions and show what happened behind the scenes.

Getting selected to ask a question through the myriad of others reporters was tough, but I was able to get a question to Sam Rockwell, winner of the award for best performance by an actor in a supporting role in a motion picture.

Overall, our coverage for the event was successful and, on a personal note, it was quite fun.

If you are interested in TV, radio, videography or just being creative, this is the career field for you. It has been great so far, and I’m looking forward to what the future holds.

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Covering the Golden Globes

Changes Coming to the TRICARE Retiree Dental Program

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TRICARE.mil Staff

Do you have TRICARE Retiree Dental Program coverage? If so, then you need to know that the TRDP will end on Dec. 31, 2018.

Not to worry, though – anyone who was in TRDP this year or would have been eligible for the plan will be able to choose a dental plan from among 10 dental carriers in the Federal Employees Dental and Vision Insurance Program (FEDVIP).

Photo: Lt. Andrew J. Hoppe, ship's dental officer, left, and Hospital Corpsman 3rd Class Rashad Thompson perform a teeth cleaning in the dental ward aboard the multipurpose amphibious assault ship USS Iwo Jima (LHD 7). Iwo Jima and the embarked 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit (24th MEU) are deployed in support of maritime security operations and theater security cooperation efforts in the U.S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Jonathan L. Correa/Released)

Navy photo by Seaman Jonathan L. Correa

You can begin reviewing program options now at www.opm.gov/fedvip. You’ll be able to enroll in FEDVIP during the 2018 Federal Benefits Open Season, which runs from Nov. 12 to Dec. 10, 2018; coverage will begin on Jan. 1, 2019.

FEDVIP wasn’t previously available to Department of Defense beneficiaries, but it will now be available to those who would have been eligible for TRDP. As an added bonus, they will also be able to enroll in FEDVIP vision coverage, along with most active-duty family members.

More than 3.3 million people are currently covered by FEDVIP. You can choose from dental plans offered by 10 different carriers.

To enroll in FEDVIP vision, you must be enrolled in a TRICARE health plan. You can decide if one of four vision plans meets your family’s needs. TRICARE Young Adult enrollees are not eligible to enroll in FEDVIP vision.

You may only enroll in a FEDVIP plan outside of open season if you experience a Qualifying Life Event that allows you to do so. Any election in a FEDVIP plan remains in effect for the entire calendar year.

For more information, visit the FEDVIP website and sign up for email notifications. You’ll get an email when new information is available and key dates approach. Future updates will include eligibility information, plans, carriers, rates, educational webinars and more.

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Changes Coming to the TRICARE Retiree Dental Program

WWII Army Private Gave Life to Defeat Axis Troops In Tunisia

Image Robert-D-Booker-MOH-263x350.jpg

By Katie Lange
Defense Media Activity

This blog is part of a weekly series called “Medal of Honor Monday,” in which we’ll highlight one of the 3,500 Medal of Honor recipients who have earned the U.S. military’s highest medal for valor. 

By this time of the year in 1944, World War II was raging across several continents, including in North Africa, where American troops had landed months before to help the Allies fight off Italy’s Hitler-backed forces that had invaded the region early in the war.

Army Pvt. Robert D. Booker. Army photo

Since today is April 9th, we thought we’d highlight a man who earned his Medal of Honor on this day 75 years ago during that campaign.

Robert D. Booker was your average 21-year-old from Callaway, Nebraska, when he joined the Army in 1942. Less than a year later, he was a private serving with the 133rd Infantry Regiment, 34th Infantry Division in Tunisia as part of Operation Torch to push back the Axis powers in the region.

On April 9, 1943, Booker was heavily involved in the fight with the enemy near Fondouk, Tunisia. Despite being the target of two enemy machine guns and several mortars, he chose to run across 200 yards of open desert to get to a point where he could fire back.

Even though he was wounded during his run, he used his machine gun to take out one of the enemy machine guns trained on him. As he started to fire at the second, he was hit again – this time fatally.

Before he died, he used his remaining strength to encourage his fellow squad members to continue firing as he directed them.

About a month after his death, American troops successfully forced the surrender of Axis troops in Tunisia, ending the campaign in North Africa.

For his self-sacrifice and courage, Booker’s family received the Medal of Honor on his behalf on April 25, 1944.

The 22-year-old was buried at Rose Hill Cemetery in his hometown. Years later, he was honored again when Metropolitan Community College, Fort Omaha campus named the Booker Building after him.

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Disclaimer: The appearance of hyperlinks does not constitute endorsement by the Department of Defense of this website or the information, products or services contained therein. For other than authorized activities such as military exchanges and Morale, Welfare and Recreation sites, the Department of Defense does not exercise any editorial control over the information you may find at these locations. Such links are provided consistent with the stated purpose of this DOD website.

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WWII Army Private Gave Life to Defeat Axis Troops In Tunisia