Four-year tours: You stay put, your career keeps moving

Massive budget cuts the Army has been forced to make have hurt soldiers, but here is one budget impact you might like: The average enlisted stateside assignment will be lengthened from 30 months to as long as 48 months.

The minimum standard for time on station under this initiative will be 36 months, said Col. Bob Bennett, Human Resources Command’s director of enlisted personnel management.

The goal is to save money by stretching permanent change-of-station assignments beyond four years.

Find out more in Monday’s issue of Army Times, on sale now.

Report wants to tax benefits to pay for DoD’s fiscal crisis

The Defense Department, already considering compensation and benefits cuts, can reduce its personnel costs further by eliminating overlapping programs and people, said a new report from the nonpartisan Stimson Center.

Released as Congress is about to make initial decisions on budget priorities for 2014 and beyond, the report suggests possible $155 billion to $300 billion in savings over the next decade by finally implementing long-discussed reforms of military compensation, such as reducing the size of pay raises, taxing some currently untaxed allowances, and cutting health care and retirement benefits.

Read all about it in this week’s Army Times, on newsstands now.

Ballistic jock straps offer layered protection for troops

A former Marine has devised a protective cup capable of repelling direct bullet strikes from 9 mm and .357 magnum pistol rounds.

Dubbed “Nutshellz” by its designer and producer, Jeremiah Raber, the Level II ballistic cup is set for review by the Army in August. If Program Executive Office Soldier, the command responsible for developing gear, gives Nutshellz the thumbs up, it will proceed to more rigorous testing and could one day be fielded for combat. Check it out in the latest issue of Army Times.

Tricare help

If you’re looking for some guidance in navigating your Army health care benefits, check out Military Times’ Tricare Help blog. Send in questions or peruse previous submissions for tips and advice at

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