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In this week's Army Times

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Tuition assistance changes: Semester-hour limit, yearlong wait take effect Jan. 1

Major changes are coming Jan.1 to the tuition assistance program.

Despite budget pressures on all Army programs, the new rules are not budget-driven.

Rather, they are designed to better control how soldiers use civilian education to enhance their military careers.

“What we found was that TA had gotten a little off track from the original intent of the program, which was to provide soldiers with a part-time, off-duty way to continue their education,” said Brig. Gen. David K. MacEwen, the Army adjutant general and director of HRC’s adjutant general directorate.

To learn how the rules will be implemented, and who they apply to, pick up the Dec. 16 issue of Army Times, on newsstands now.

Regional alignment may boost soldiers’ career stability

How would you like to be based at one post, or at least one area, for the bulk of your career?

This is a growing possibility as the benefits of regional alignment and new strategic land power initiatives take shape.

The issue was raised at a recent gathering of top Army leaders.

Intelligence leaders pressed Army Chief of Staff Gen. Ray Odierno to let their soldiers stay in the region of their expertise, much like the Special Forces.

Now, a key four-star general is voicing his support.

“I think, as we really see the power of a soldier who is really an expert in a region, or has a strong background, I think there’s going to be a strong tendency to want to leave them there,” said Gen. Robert Cone, head of Training and Doctrine Command.

To find out more pick up the Dec. 16 issue of Army Times, on newsstands now.

Army plan boots Kiowa copters in favor of Apaches

The Army’s OH-58 Kiowa helicopters may soon be no more.

A proposed plan calls for the Army to divest its fleet of the Vietnam-era helicopter and use the AH-64 Apache to fill the Kiowa’s reconnaissance and scout role.

This proposal comes as the Army faces an ongoing budget crisis and is at risk of losing airframes in a more haphazard manner, officials said.

“This is a budget-driven plan,” said Col. Frank Tate, the Army’s chief of aviation force development.

For more details pick up this week’s Army Times, on sale now.

Outside the Wire

Check out our roundup of the best Army spirit videos ahead of Saturday’s Army-Navy football game.

For more, see the Army Times Outside the Wire blog at http://blogs.militarytimes.com/outside-the-wire/

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