Issues that will shape service this year

1. The end of Afghanistan? One way or another, 2014 will bookend the post-2001 period of U.S. military warfare in the Middle East. The nation’s longest war is slated to formally end next December when the U.S. and NATO mission in Afghanistan expires.

5. New PT test in the works. The gender-neutral physical standards established for combat specialties will provide the backbone of a new PT test in the works.

8. Regional alignment. The Army will continue to align its forces with the geographic combatant commands around the world in 2014, a senior Army planner told Army Times.

For more on the essential information soldiers need to know in 2014, including BAH rollbacks and in-state tuition for all vets, see this week’s issue of Army Times, on sale now.

DoD proposes limits on TA schools

The Pentagon is pushing a quality-control proposal that would shut out of the military tuition assistance program any colleges and universities that are ineligible for civilian federal financial aid.

Most traditional public and private nonprofit schools would not be affected, but such a change would rock some distance, technical and for-profit institutions that don’t take part in civilian federal aid programs commonly called Title IV, including Pell Grants and subsidized federal loans.

The proposal is garnering mixed reviews.

For details on who supports the proposal and what schools would become ineligible for TA, pick up the Jan. 6 issue of Army Times, on newsstands now.

Foes of COLA caps petition Obama

Opponents of a plan to slow the growth in annual adjustments in military retired pay, approved by Congress just before Christmas, wasted no time launching a petition urging President Obama to veto the cuts.

The petition, which went live within hours of House approval of the measure on Dec. 13, had 18,463 signatures as of Monday morning. It needs 100,000 by Jan. 12 to draw a White House response.

The Senate on Dec. 18 approved the Bipartisan Budget Act, which includes the provision to reduce annual cost-of-living adjustments, or COLAs, for military retired pay.

Find out why the petition faces an uphill battle in this week’s issue of Army Times, on sale now.


See the top fitness posts featured in the blog in 2013. For the roundup, see the Military Times PT365 blog at

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