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 nine land areas: East Timor, Haiti, Kyr- gyzstan, Liberia, Oman, Rwanda, Tajikistan, United Arab Emirates, and Uzbekistan. Military personnel serving in the listed locations no longer will qualify for the $225 monthly IDP. This is DoD’s first review of IDP loca- tions since 2007.


Defense officials conducted the pe-


Sen. Bernie Sanders


(I-Vt.)


riodic review and recertification of the IDP areas in coordination with the Joint Staff, combatant commands, and the military services. “Periodic recertification of IDP ensures that imminent danger designations match the actual conditions of designated coun- tries so that the department can provide fair entitlements and benefits,” according to the DoD announcement. IDP will continue for Afghanistan,


Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Pakistan, Syria, and Yemen.


Military Spouse


Tenure? Proposed rule boosts federal employment for spouses.


A


proposed rule change by the Office of Personnel Manage- ment (OPM) could improve


career portability by making it easier for military spouses who are federal employ- ees to earn “tenure” status, which is im- portant for reinstatement eligibility. Under current regulations, an employee


is required “to serve a three-year period of substantially continuous creditable service to obtain career tenure,” and the regula- tion requires “a career-conditional em- ployee who separates from federal service to restart the three-year period if there is a break in service of more than 30 days.”


40 MILITARY OFFICER MARCH 2014 The proposed rule would eliminate


the “30-day break in service” rule, allow- ing each period of creditable service to stand alone. The rule change is in response to an


issue raised by the Department of the Army. Federally employed military spouses are often at a disadvantage in attaining ca- reer tenure due to frequent PCS moves. For the highly mobile military spouse, this means after three years of total feder- al service, career tenure could be earned, thus providing lifetime reinstatement eli- gibility and additional job security.


Big Veterans


Bill Blocked Senate puts veterans improvements on hold.


J


ust before the end of 2013, S. 944, a so-called “omnibus” pack- age that bundles many bills previ-


ously approved by the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee, was put on hold after being brought to the floor for a vote by panel Chair Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.). Among other upgrades, S. 944 would:


 require public colleges to charge the in- state rate for all veterans who enroll with- in three years of separation from active duty as a condition for schools to retain Post-9/11 GI Bill funding;  permit surviving spouses who receive Dependency and Indemnity Compensa- tion (DIC) payments from the VA to retain the pay if they remarry at age 55;  increase DIC for survivors with children for each month over a three-year period from the date of entitlement (currently the increase is limited to a two-year period);  authorize the Marine Gunnery Ser- geant John David Fry Scholarship — essentially the Post-9/11 GI Bill — to


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