Naval Audit Readiness and You

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By Karen Fenstermacher
Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Navy (Financial Operations)

Every day, hundreds of thousands of dedicated Navy personnel work together to achieve critical goals on shore and at sea. We deploy to conflict zones. We engage in humanitarian operations. We push our limits. And behind these efforts are the ships, submarines, aircraft, facilities and infrastructure, technology, and other resources that allow us, the people of the U.S. Navy, to do what we do.

But behind those resources, there’s something even more fundamental. So fundamental, you probably don’t think about it on a day-to-day basis. It’s our finances.

MEDITERRANEAN SEA (July 9, 2015) USS Ross (DDG 71) receives supplies from the Military Sealift Command fleet replenishment oiler USNS Bighorn (T-AO 198) during an underway replenishment. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Robert S. Price/Released)
MEDITERRANEAN SEA (July 9, 2015) USS Ross (DDG 71) receives supplies from the Military Sealift Command fleet replenishment oiler USNS Bighorn (T-AO 198) during an underway replenishment. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Robert S. Price/Released)

Every year, Congress appropriates taxpayer money to support Navy operations, and we use that money to buy supplies, outfit our ships, procure new equipment and pay our people. It’s that money that sustains our readiness to meet any mission. And it’s more important than ever that we demonstrate to Congress and the American people that we’re holding ourselves accountable and managing that money wisely.

Ensign Jarrett Seibel, disbursing officer aboard the guided-missile cruiser USS Hue City (CG 66) credits money to Yeoman 2nd Class Jorge Esparza's Navy Cash Card. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Darien G. Kenney/Released)
U.S. 5TH FLEET AREA OF RESPONSIBILITY (Sept. 13, 2012) Ensign Jarrett Seibel, disbursing officer aboard the guided-missile cruiser USS Hue City (CG 66) credits money to Yeoman 2nd Class Jorge Esparza’s Navy Cash Card. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Darien G. Kenney/Released)

As a part of that effort, we are about to undergo our first full financial statement audit. In September, a public accounting firm will assess the Navy’s financial statements, transactions, internal controls and IT systems to determine whether we have accurately accounted for the funding we receive and spend.

Sailor or civilian, admiral or ensign, seaman or chief petty officer, the audit affects every one of us. Our money drives our resources, our resources drive our people, and our people drive our mission. Further, reliable financial information can serve as a valuable tool to help commands, program managers and senior executives make informed decisions and strengthen mission readiness. And just as we work together to support each other, it’s important that we work together to support the audit!

Office of Financial Operations is launching a new series of audit readiness training videos that will outline your role in the audit across nine key business areas. They’ll explain the audit concepts you need to know, show you how to prepare and tell you what to expect when the audit begins.

Visit the the audit readiness website to watch the videos that apply to you, find reference materials for further review, and earn up to two CET credits. And don’t forget to play the immersive knowledge check – I challenge you to beat my high score as we all prepare for the audit that will help sustain our readiness in the fleet and beyond.

Sailors move stores during a working party in the hangar bay of the aircraft carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69). The ship is pierside following a deployment to the U.S. 5th and 6th Fleet areas of operation. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Zach Sleeper/Released)
NORFOLK (Feb. 2, 2017) Sailors move stores during a working party in the hangar bay of the aircraft carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69). (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Zach Sleeper/Released)

We’re all accountable for the Navy’s resources. When we work together toward sound financial stewardship, audit preparation becomes a part of the way we do business every day. And that makes us a stronger team, a stronger Navy and a more powerful force around the globe.


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Naval Audit Readiness and You

Your Navy Operating Forward – Croatia, Iceland, Vietnam

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Right now your Navy is 100 percent on watch around the globe helping to preserve the American way of life. Whether it be operating and training off the coast of Spain or forward deployed to the Arabian Gulf, the flexibility and presence provided by our U.S. naval forces provides national leaders with great options for protecting and maintaining our national security and interests around the world. The imagery below highlights the Navy’s ability to provide those options by operating forward.

SPLIT, Croatia: A Sailor assigned to the “Ghostriders” of Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 28 conducts a search and rescue, survivor recovery demonstration in Split, Croatia. (U.S. Navy photo)
SPLIT, Croatia: A Sailor assigned to the “Ghostriders” of Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 28 conducts a search and rescue, survivor recovery demonstration in Split, Croatia. (U.S. Navy photo)
ARABIAN GULF: Sailors assigned to the "Blackhawks" of Helicopter Mine Countermeasures Squadron (HM) 15, search for a target while manning a GUA-21 .50 caliber machine gun on the back of an MH-53E Sea Dragon helicopter off the coast of Bahrain. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Joshua Bryce Bruns/Released)
ARABIAN GULF: Sailors assigned to the “Blackhawks” of Helicopter Mine Countermeasures Squadron (HM) 15, search for a target while manning a GUA-21 .50 caliber machine gun on the back of an MH-53E Sea Dragon helicopter off the coast of Bahrain. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Joshua Bryce Bruns/Released)
ARABIAN GULF: An F/A-18E Super Hornet attached to the "Tomcatters" of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 31 lands aboard the aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77). (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Matt Matlage/Released)
ARABIAN GULF: An F/A-18E Super Hornet attached to the “Tomcatters” of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 31 lands aboard the aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77). (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Matt Matlage/Released)
KEFLAVIK, Iceland: A P-8A Poseidon aircraft assigned to Patrol Squadron (VP) 16, arrives in Keflavik, Iceland, for anti-submarine warfare training. U.S. 6th Fleet, headquartered in Naples, Italy, conducts the full spectrum of joint and naval operations, often in concert with allied, joint, and interagency partners, in order to advance U.S. national interests and security and stability in Europe and Africa. (U.S. Navy photo by Lt. j.g. Grade Matthew Skoglund/Released)
KEFLAVIK, Iceland: A P-8A Poseidon aircraft assigned to Patrol Squadron (VP) 16, arrives in Keflavik, Iceland, for anti-submarine warfare training. (U.S. Navy photo by Lt. j.g. Grade Matthew Skoglund/Released)
SOUTH CHINA SEA: Sailors assigned to Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 23 conduct a foreign object debris walkdown during flight quarters aboard littoral combat ship USS Coronado (LCS 4). (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Deven Leigh Ellis/Released)
SOUTH CHINA SEA: Sailors assigned to Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 23 conduct a foreign object debris walkdown during flight quarters aboard littoral combat ship USS Coronado (LCS 4). (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Deven Leigh Ellis/Released)
SOUTH CHINA SEA: Sailors assigned to Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 23 move the MQ-8B Firescout unmanned aerial vehicle onto the flight deck in preparation for ground turns aboard the littoral combat ship USS Coronado (LCS 4). (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Deven Leigh Ellis/Released)
SOUTH CHINA SEA: Sailors assigned to Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 23 move the MQ-8B Firescout unmanned aerial vehicle onto the flight deck in preparation for ground turns aboard the littoral combat ship USS Coronado (LCS 4). (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Deven Leigh Ellis/Released)
DA NANG, Vietnam: The expeditionary fast transport ship USNS Fall River (T-EPF-4) arrives in Da Nang Tien Sa Port to participate in Pacific Partnership 2017 Da Nang. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Joshua Fulton/Released)
DA NANG, Vietnam: The expeditionary fast transport ship USNS Fall River (T-EPF-4) arrives in Da Nang Tien Sa Port to participate in Pacific Partnership 2017 Da Nang. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Joshua Fulton/Released)

Tell us which photo best shows YOUR Navy Operating Forward !


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Your Navy Operating Forward – Croatia, Iceland, Vietnam

Your Navy Operating Forward – Red Sea, Korea, Guam

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Right now your Navy is 100 percent on watch around the globe helping to preserve the American way of life. Whether it be operating and training off the coast of Spain or forward deployed to the Arabian Gulf, the flexibility and presence provided by our U.S. naval forces provides national leaders with great options for protecting and maintaining our national security and interests around the world. The imagery below highlights the Navy’s ability to provide those options by operating forward.

PHILIPPINE SEA: The aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70), foreground, and the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) Atago-class guided-missile destroyer JS Ashigara (DDG 178), left, and the JMSDF Murasame-class destroyer JS Samidare (DD 106) transit the Philippine Sea. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Sean M. Castellano/Released)
PHILIPPINE SEA: The aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70), foreground, and the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) Atago-class guided-missile destroyer JS Ashigara (DDG 178), left, and the JMSDF Murasame-class destroyer JS Samidare (DD 106) transit the Philippine Sea. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Sean M. Castellano/Released)
PHILIPPINE SEA: An MH-60R Sea Hawk helicopter from the "Blue Hawks" of Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron (HSM) 78 fires chaff flares during a training exercise near the aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70). (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Sean M. Castellano/Released)
PHILIPPINE SEA: An MH-60R Sea Hawk helicopter from the “Blue Hawks” of Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron (HSM) 78 fires chaff flares during a training exercise near the aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70). (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Sean M. Castellano/Released)
ARABIAN GULF: An F/A-18E Super Hornet assigned to the "Tomcatters" of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 31 prepares to land aboard the aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77). (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Matt Matlage/Released)
ARABIAN GULF: An F/A-18E Super Hornet assigned to the “Tomcatters” of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 31 prepares to land aboard the aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77). (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Matt Matlage/Released)
BUSAN, Republic of Korea: The Ohio-class guided-missile submarine USS Michigan (SSGN 727) arrives in Busan for a scheduled port visit while conducting routine patrols throughout the western Pacific. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Jermaine Ralliford/Released)
BUSAN, Republic of Korea: The Ohio-class guided-missile submarine USS Michigan (SSGN 727) arrives in Busan for a scheduled port visit while conducting routine patrols throughout the western Pacific. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Jermaine Ralliford/Released)
CARIBBEAN SEA: The Cyclone-class coastal patrol ship USS Zephyr (PC 8) transits the Caribbean Sea. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Casey J. Hopkins/Released)
CARIBBEAN SEA: The Cyclone-class coastal patrol ship USS Zephyr (PC 8) transits the Caribbean Sea. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Casey J. Hopkins/Released)
GUAM: A MK VI patrol boat assigned to Coastal Riverine Group (CRG) 1, Det. Guam, maneuvers off the coast of Guam. (U.S. Navy Combat Camera photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Alfred A. Coffield/Released)
GUAM: A MK VI patrol boat assigned to Coastal Riverine Group (CRG) 1, Det. Guam, maneuvers off the coast of Guam. (U.S. Navy Combat Camera photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Alfred A. Coffield/Released)
ARABIAN GULF: An MH-60S Sea Hawk helicopter assigned to the "Tridents" of Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 9 carries cargo during a vertical replenishment aboard the aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77). (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Jennifer M. Kirkman/Released)
ARABIAN GULF: An MH-60S Sea Hawk helicopter assigned to the “Tridents” of Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 9 carries cargo during a vertical replenishment aboard the aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77). (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Jennifer M. Kirkman/Released)
MEDITERRANEAN SEA: The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Ross (DDG 71) receives a refueling probe during a replenishment-at-sea with the fleet replenishment oiler USNS Big Horn (T-AO 198). (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Robert S. Price/Released)
MEDITERRANEAN SEA: The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Ross (DDG 71) receives a refueling probe during a replenishment-at-sea with the fleet replenishment oiler USNS Big Horn (T-AO 198). (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Robert S. Price/Released)
RED SEA: The guided-missile destroyer USS Truxtun (DDG 103) transits the Red Sea during a photo exercise to conclude Exercise Eagle Salute 17. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Tyrell K. Morris/Released)
RED SEA: The guided-missile destroyer USS Truxtun (DDG 103) transits the Red Sea during a photo exercise to conclude Exercise Eagle Salute 17. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Tyrell K. Morris/Released)

Tell us which photo best shows YOUR Navy Operating Forward !


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Your Navy Operating Forward – Red Sea, Korea, Guam

Future USS Indiana (SSN 789) Christening Ceremony

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Welcome to Navy Live blog coverage of the christening of our newest Virginia-class fast attack submarine, the future USS Indiana (SSN 789).

The ceremony is scheduled for April 29 at 11 a.m. EDT at Huntington Ingalls Shipyard in Newport News, Virginia.

Vice President Mike Pence, who previously served as the 50th governor of Indiana, will deliver the ceremony’s principal address. Diane Donald, wife of retired Adm. Kirkland H. Donald, director of Naval Nuclear Propulsion from 2004 to 2012, is serving as the ship’s sponsor. 

Webcast courtesy of Huntington Ingalls Industries

“The christening of the future USS Indiana brings this technological marvel one step closer to joining the world’s preeminent submarine force.”
– Sean Stackley, Acting Secretary of the Navy.

The official crest of the Virginia-class fast attack submarine USS Indiana (SSN 789). (U.S. Navy graphic/Released)

SSN-789 is the 16th Virginia-class fast attack submarine and the sixth Virginia-class Block III submarine.

The submarine, which began construction in 2012, will be the third U.S. Navy ship to be christened with the name Indiana. The first Indiana (BB 1), the lead ship of her class of battleship, served in the North Atlantic and later participated in the blockade of Santiago de Cuba during the Spanish-American War. The second Indiana (BB 58) was a South Dakota-class battleship that earned nine battle stars for her service in the Pacific Theater in World War II. BB-58 fought in the Battle of the Philippine Sea and participated in the invasions of Tarawa, Kwajalein and Okinawa, and bombarded Saipan, the Palau Islands, the Philippines and Iwo Jima.

This next-generation attack submarine provides the Navy with the capabilities required to maintain the nation’s undersea superiority well into the 21st century.

For more information, visit Navy.mil.

Join the #USNavy conversation on social media on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, and Flickr.


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Future USS Indiana (SSN 789) Christening Ceremony

Your Navy Operating Forward – Souda Bay, Gulf of Oman, Mediterranean Sea

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Right now your Navy is 100 percent on watch around the globe helping to preserve the American way of life. Whether it be operating and training off the coast of Spain or forward deployed to the Arabian Gulf, the flexibility and presence provided by our U.S. naval forces provides national leaders with great options for protecting and maintaining our national security and interests around the world. The imagery below highlights the Navy’s ability to provide those options by operating forward.

SASEBO, Japan: Landing Craft Utility (LCU) 1666, assigned to Naval Beach Unit (NBU) 7, approaches the amphibious transport dock ship USS Green Bay (LPD 20) during an ammunition onload. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Kaleb R. Staples/Released)
SASEBO, Japan: Landing Craft Utility (LCU) 1666, assigned to Naval Beach Unit (NBU) 7, approaches the amphibious transport dock ship USS Green Bay (LPD 20) during an ammunition onload. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Kaleb R. Staples/Released)
MEDITERRANEAN SEA: Sailors stand watch on the forecastle of the guided-missile destroyer USS Porter (DDG 78) as it pulls into Souda Bay, Greece. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Ford Williams/Released)
MEDITERRANEAN SEA: Sailors stand watch on the forecastle of the guided-missile destroyer USS Porter (DDG 78) as it pulls into Souda Bay, Greece. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Ford Williams/Released)
SOUTH CHINA SEA: The Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser USS Port Royal (CG 73) transits the South China Sea. (U.S. Navy photo Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Sara B. Sexton/Released)
SOUTH CHINA SEA: The Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser USS Port Royal (CG 73) transits the South China Sea. (U.S. Navy photo Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Sara B. Sexton/Released)
SOUDA BAY, Greece: The guided-missile destroyer USS Donald Cook (DDG 75) arrives in Souda Bay, Greece. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Alyssa Weeks/Released)
SOUDA BAY, Greece: The guided-missile destroyer USS Donald Cook (DDG 75) arrives in Souda Bay, Greece. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Alyssa Weeks/Released)
MEDITERRANEAN SEA: The guided-missile destroyer USS Donald Cook (DDG 75) breaks away after a replenishment-at-sea with the Military Sealift Command fleet replenishment oiler USNS Leroy Grumman (T-AO 195). (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Alyssa Weeks/Released)
MEDITERRANEAN SEA: The guided-missile destroyer USS Donald Cook (DDG 75) breaks away after a replenishment-at-sea with the Military Sealift Command fleet replenishment oiler USNS Leroy Grumman (T-AO 195). (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Alyssa Weeks/Released)
GULF OF OMAN: Two rigid-hull inflatable boats assigned to the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Cole (DDG 67) approach an Iranian-flagged dhow during an approach and assist visit. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Brianna K. Green/Released)
GULF OF OMAN: Two rigid-hull inflatable boats assigned to the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Cole (DDG 67) approach an Iranian-flagged dhow during an approach and assist visit. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Brianna K. Green/Released)
SASEBO, Japan: Landing craft utility (LCU) 1666, assigned to Naval Beach Unit (NBU) 7, approaches the amphibious transport dock ship USS Green Bay (LPD 20) during an ammunition onload. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Chris Williamson/Released)
SASEBO, Japan: Landing craft utility (LCU) 1666, assigned to Naval Beach Unit (NBU) 7, approaches the amphibious transport dock ship USS Green Bay (LPD 20) during an ammunition onload. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Chris Williamson/Released)
MEDITERRANEAN SEA: The Arleigh-Burke class guided-missile destroyer USS Donald Cook (DDG 75) fires a Mark 45 5-inch gun during a live-fire exercise.  (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Alyssa Weeks/Released)
MEDITERRANEAN SEA: The Arleigh-Burke class guided-missile destroyer USS Donald Cook (DDG 75) fires a Mark 45 5-inch gun during a live-fire exercise. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Alyssa Weeks/Released)

Tell us which photo best shows YOUR Navy Operating Forward !


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Your Navy Operating Forward – Souda Bay, Gulf of Oman, Mediterranean Sea

Army Freedom File Update

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With the war in Afghanistan starting to be controlled by Afghan troops, American troops train them in proper tactics, and techniques to keep them and civilians safe.

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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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Army Freedom File Update

Marines Learn to Survive in the Jungle

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U.S. and Philippine Marines perform jungle survival training at Camp O’Donnell in Tarlac Province, Philippines as part of Balikatan 2013. Balikatan 2013 is an annual Philippine-U.S. bilateral exercise.

Humanitarian assistance and training activities enable the Philippine and American service members to build lasting relationships, train together and provide assistance in communities where the need is the greatest. Includes soundbites from Sgt. Bimbo Busico, Force Reconnaissance Battalion, Philippine Marine Corps; and 2nd Lt. Stephen Rondone, 3rd Supply Battalion Combat Logistics Regiment 35, USMC.

To keep up to date with Balikatan, follow their Facebook page.

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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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Link – 

Marines Learn to Survive in the Jungle

TRICARE Expands Assistance to Reduce Tobacco Use

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Jonathan Barkley waves several signs to nearby drivers and joggers during the inaugural Great American Smokeout Fun Walk/Run Nov. 17. The course was a 3.36-mile trail around Nuupia Ponds, ending near Pollock Field. The signs depict the toxic chemicals inside a single cigarette and the diseases caused by long-term smoking. Photo by Christine Cabalo

Jonathan Barkley waves several signs to nearby drivers and joggers during the inaugural Great American Smokeout Fun Walk/Run Nov. 17. The course was a 3.36-mile trail around Nuupia Ponds, ending near Pollock Field. The signs depict the toxic chemicals inside a single cigarette and the diseases caused by long-term smoking. Photo by Christine Cabalo

By Army Sgt. 1st Class Tyrone C. Marshall Jr.
American Forces Press Service

The Defense Department is committed to helping troops, their families and all beneficiaries of the TRICARE health care plan reduce their reliance on tobacco products, a TRICARE official said here today.

During an interview with American Forces Press Service and the Pentagon Channel, Paul Fitzpatrick, TRICARE’s “Quit Tobacco” program manager, said TRICARE has increased tobacco cessation aid for beneficiaries.

Tobacco cessation medications and prescription medications now are available to TRICARE patients through military treatment facilities, pharmacies, and TRICARE’s mail-order pharmacy program.

“And we’re very excited to be able to offer these cessation aids to help people quit smoking [and] quit dipping,” Fitzpatrick said.

A Code of Federal Regulations final rule, effective March 29, authorizes the health care organization to implement a more comprehensive program.

“The DOD is committed to creating and maintaining a healthy fighting force,” Fitzpatrick said. “We know that soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines use tobacco at a higher rate than the American public.”

Fitzpatrick, who is a retired Army officer, noted that troops’ tobacco use is at a 5- to 10-percent higher rate than that of the public, depending on the age demographic.

“TRICARE estimates that over $500 million are devoted to tobacco-related illnesses and diseases. And those are not just the long-term illnesses like cancer and emphysema. It also includes the short-term consequences of tobacco use, which include an increased number of sick days and longer healing time for those who are smokers and dippers, he said.

“With promotion of a healthier lifestyle, we expect that more people will want to quit smoking,” Fitzpatrick said.

TRICARE now offers Zyban and Chantix, Fitzpatrick said, as well as a whole host of nicotine replacement therapies, including traditional patches, gums, lozenges, nasal spray and inhalers, which now are available through prescription at no cost to the TRICARE beneficiary.

“The development of access to pharmaceutical drugs has been in the works for a couple of years now,” Fitzpatrick said. “We are adding these medications to our host of cessation resources that TRICARE has had in place for a number of years.”

Tobacco cessation medications are available to all beneficiaries age 18 and older in the continental United States. “The prescription medications are currently not available through the mail-order pharmacy overseas, but may be available through the military treatment facility pharmacy, if they carry [them],” Fitzpatrick said.

TRICARE’s tobacco cessation aids also include a 24/7 chat service via instant messaging, toll-free telephone coaching assistance available around the clock, and face-to-face counseling with a certified tobacco cessation counselor that can arranged through a primary care provider.

“Tobacco cessation is very important to the Department of Defense, because we are looking to build and maintain a healthier fighting force,” he said. “And we know that tobacco use is a negative indicator to a healthy force. The DOD wants to be, not a follower, but a leader in reducing tobacco use in the military.”

Fitzpatrick also talked about Operation “Live Well,” DOD’s holistic approach to a healthy lifestyle and healthy living.

“It addresses not only tobacco cessation, but [also] the challenges and threats [of] obesity among our fighting force and our family members, as well as good nutrition,” he said. “Operation Live Well is a program that looks at the entire person and their healthy lifestyle.”

Check out these other posts:

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A Marine and his Dog

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Story by Josiah Wilson, Defense Media Activity

I’m an avid dog lover.

I have two dogs, Caspian and Grimm, and the both of them mean the world to me. You can tell this as I spoil them perhaps a little too much.

Given my love of canines, the life of the military working dog handler has always been very fascinating to me. I imagine that working with these four-legged warriors on a daily basis would be an absolute blast. Thankfully, troops like Marine Cpl. Matthew Plumeri are willing to share their stories about life in this role to appease the rest of us (or maybe just me).

Check out this video as Cpl. Plumeri describes his relationship and training with his specialized search dog, Gulliver.

Gulliver and Plumeri belong to 1st Law Enforcement Battalion, Headquarters and Support Company, Military Working Dog Platoon. They are scheduled to deploy together later this year.

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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.

Check out these other posts:

Wednesday Warfighter: The Unbreakable Marine
The Life of One American Flag in Iraq
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A Marine and his Dog

Obama Proclaims April Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month

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File photo: President Barak Obama. Defense Department photo by Erin A. Kirk-Cuomo

File photo: President Barak Obama Defense Department photo by Erin A. Kirk-Cuomo

President Barack Obama today proclaims April “National Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month.” He reminds the nation that sexual violence is an affront to human dignity that cannot be tolerated and calls on Americans to offer their support to survivors of such crimes.

The proclamation reads:

In the last 20 years, our nation has made meaningful progress toward addressing sexual assault. Where victims were once left without recourse, laws have opened a path to safety and justice; where a culture of fear once kept violence hidden, survivors are more empowered to speak out and get help.

But even today, too many women, men, and children suffer alone or in silence, burdened by shame or unsure anyone will listen. This month, we recommit to changing that tragic reality by stopping sexual assault before it starts and ensuring victims get the support they need.

Sexual violence is an affront to human dignity and a crime no matter where it occurs. While rape and sexual assault affect all communities, those at the greatest risk are children, teens, and young women. Nearly one in five women will be a victim of sexual assault during college.

For some groups, the rates of violence are even higher — Native American women are more than twice as likely to experience sexual assault as the general population. Moreover, we know rape and sexual assault are consistently underreported, and that the physical and emotional trauma they leave behind can last for years.

With Vice President Joe Biden’s leadership, we have made preventing sexual violence and supporting survivors a top priority. Earlier this month, I was proud to sign the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act, which renews and strengthens the law that first made it possible for our country to address sexual assault in a comprehensive way. The act preserves critical services like rape crisis centers, upholds protections for immigrant victims, gives state and tribal law enforcement better tools to investigate cases of rape, and breaks down barriers that keep lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender victims from getting help. It also expands funding for sexual assault nurse examiner programs and sexual assault response teams, helping states deliver justice for survivors and hold offenders accountable.

Just as we keep fighting sexual assault in our neighborhoods, we must also recommit to ending it in our military — because no one serving our country should be at risk of assault by a fellow service member.

Where this crime does take place, it cannot be tolerated; victims must have access to support, and offenders must face the consequences of their actions. Members of our armed forces and their families can learn more about the resources available to them at 1-877-995-5247 and www.SafeHelpline.org.

All Americans can play a role in changing the culture that enables sexual violence. Each of us can take action by lifting up survivors we know and breaking the silence surrounding rape and sexual assault. To get involved, visit www.WhiteHouse.gov/1is2many.

Together, our nation is moving forward in the fight against sexual assault. This month, let us keep working to prevent violence in every corner of America, and let us rededicate ourselves to giving survivors the bright future they deserve.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim April 2013 as National Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month. I urge all Americans to support survivors of sexual assault and work together to prevent these crimes in their communities.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this twenty-ninth day of March, in the year of our Lord two thousand thirteen, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-seventh.

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Obama Proclaims April Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month