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EMPOWERING MILITARY MEMBERS TO SUCCEED IN THE WORKFORCE Register online for free career coaching services. hireheroesusa.org/ get-registered

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HIRE HEROES USA: TRANSFORMING MILITARY SERVICE INTO CIVILIAN SUCCESS Recognized as a best-in-class veteran service organization by the Call of Duty Endowment, the George W. Bush Institute, and the USO, national nonprofit Hire Heroes USA empowers U.S. military members, veterans and military spouses to succeed in the civilian workforce. So far this year, Hire Heroes USA has served more than 10,000 clients across the U.S. and at military bases around the world. This surpasses the total of 8,080 clients we served in all of 2015, and it puts our nonprofit organization squarely on pace to serve more than 15,500 clients by the end of this year. Between January and today alone, our team has completed over 10,000 client assessments, revised more than 9,000 resumes, more than tripled the number of people who get assistance with federal resumes, and conducted 100,000 individual career counseling sessions. During that same time, Hire Heroes USA also experienced a 70 percent growth in volunteers for our nonprofit. Headquartered in the Atlanta metro area, with seven additional branch offices across the country – Torrance and San Diego, California; Auburn, Washington; Boise, Idaho; Colorado Springs, Colorado; Dallas, Texas; and Raleigh, North Carolina – Hire Heroes USA has built a national reputation of excellence for helping veterans find jobs, currently at an average of more than 115 confirmed hires every week in 2016. The top industries hiring our clients include: government, logistics,

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technology (IT), defense, law enforcement, administration, healthcare, transportation, sales, and maintenance. Hire Heroes USA is on track to reach a year-end milestone of 13,000 hires since we first started assisting military members, veterans and military spouses, along with an estimated economic impact of nearly $70 million in the veteran employment space in 2016. The organization’s success comes in the midst of 90% growth in service delivery since 2015. Hire Heroes USA’s free, individualized services are available to transitioning military members and honorably-discharged veterans, regardless of separation date and term of service. We also specialize in working with military spouses to assist them with the unique employment challenges they face. Our team of military veterans and business professionals effectively trains you in the skills of self-marketing. Every client is individually partnered one-on-one with a Transition Specialist, who supports their career search until they find a good job with a great company. This personalized approach is the hallmark of our program, and it’s why more than 95% of our clients would recommend our services to their transitioning or unemployed peers. Are you ready to get started on your post-military career search? Register now and learn more at: hireheroesusa.org, and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.


PHOTO: Senior Airman Ryan Conroy

Junior ROTC cadets rappel down a 40-foot tower at Hurlburt Field, Fla. Special tactics airmen worked with 60 cadets from five high schools during a weeklong summer leadership course. Fall 2016 MERG

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MILITARY EDUCATION RESOURCE GUIDE 14

Secretary of Veterans Affairs

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Principal Deputy Under Secretary for Benefits

Robert A. McDonald serves as the eighth Secretary of Veterans Affairs

Performing the Duties of Under Secretary for Benefits Thomas J. Murphy

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VA benefits: How to maximize them

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Post-9/11 GI Bill: The basics

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Post-9/11 GI Bill: How to use it

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Post-9/11 GI Bill: Benefits

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Montgomery GI Bill Active Duty: The facts

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Montgomery GI Bill Selected Reserve: The facts

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Yellow Ribbon Program: How to use it

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VA Work-Study Program: Earn while you learn

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Fully Developed Claim: How to file

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FRANCHISE GUIDE 42

Ready to be your own boss? Check in with some veterans who jumped boots-first into franchising. By Bryan Mitchell

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Franchising: The basics

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Opening a franchise: What’s involved?

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Franchising: The economic outlook

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Franchise Financing: An SBA guide

LOUDER THAN WORDS 58-81 82

Tactical Photo Gallery Final Frame

ON THE COVER

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Ready to write the next chapter in your life story?

The American Legion can help. JOBS AND BUSINESS - WWW.LEGION.ORG/CAREERS The American Legion’s Veterans Employment Center, powered by Military.com, offers a range of online tools including a JOB SEARCH function and a MILITARY SKILLS TRANSLATOR, plus best practices for applicants, videos on starting and growing a business, job fairs and more. The American Legion sponsors or produces more than 1,000 HIRING EVENTS a year. Sign up for THE AMERICAN LEGION CAREER CENTER E-NEWSLETTER to stay on top of coming events, job fairs, workshops and more. www.legion.org/newsletters

EDUCATION - WWW.LEGION.ORG/EDUCATION Student veterans are the fastest-growing segment of American Legion membership. Newly chartered campus posts are working with state and local American Legion districts and departments, VA and other agencies to ensure veterans adjust to campus life, get the support they need and understand their GI Bill benefits. The Legion, which drafted the original GI Bill, also helped pass the Post 9/11 version and works continuously with Congress to improve it. The American Legion also leads the fight at the federal and state level to help veterans convert military experience into credits for licenses and certification in a number of career fields, from emergency medicine to transportation.

BENEFITS ASSISTANCE - WWW.LEGION.ORG/SERVICEOFFICERS NEARLY 3,000 ACCREDITED AMERICAN LEGION SERVICE OFFICERS help veterans understand and apply for VA benefits. A well-prepared application can speed up the claims process and lead to accurate ratings and decisions. Find an American Legion service officer near you at legion.org/serviceofficers Download THE AMERICAN LEGION CLAIMS COACH MOBILE APP to find a service officer and manage your VA claim. legion.org/mobileapps

The American Legion www.legion.org

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“What’s awesome about the Legion is it’s a tried-and-true organization that can support us while we pursue our endeavors.” Calie Craddock, Post 9/11 Army National Guard veteran, founder of American Legion Post 400 on the campus of North Dakota State University


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MCDONALD WAS CONFIRMED BY THE US SENATE ON JULY 29, 2014.

Secretary of Veterans Affairs ROBERT A. MCDONALD

A

social sustainability initiatives, including receipt of the s Under Secretary for Benefits, HiPrior to joining Department of State’s Award for Corporate Excellence for VA, Secretary McDonald was Chairman, President, P&G’s operations in Pakistan and Nigeria. In addition, and Chief Executive Officer of The Procter & using the company’s innovative water purification Gamble Company (P&G). Under his leadership, P&G packets, P&G committed itself to the 2020 goal of “saving significantly recalibrated its product portfolio; expanded one life every hour” by annually its marketing footprint, adding nearly providing two billion liters of clean one billion people to its global customer Secretary McDonald base; and grew the firm’s organic sales drinking water to people in the world’s graduated from the by an average of three percent per year. developing countries. This growth was reflected in P&G’s United States Military stock price, which rose from $51.10 An Army veteran, Mr. McDonald the day he became CEO to $81.64 on Academy at West Point in served with the 82nd Airborne Division; completed Jungle, Arctic, and the day his last quarterly results were the top 2 percent of Desert Warfare training; and earned announced—a 60 percent increase from the Class of 1975. the Ranger tab, the Expert Infantryman 2009 to 2013. Badge, and Senior Parachutist wings. Upon leaving military service, Captain McDonald was During his tenure, P&G was widely recognized for its awarded the Meritorious Service Medal. leader development prowess. In 2012, Chief Executive Magazine named it the best company for developing Secretary McDonald graduated from the United States leader talent. The Hay Group, a global management Military Academy at West Point in the top 2 percent of consulting firm, consistently cited P&G in its top-tier listing of the Best Companies for Leadership Study. The the Class of 1975. He served as the Brigade Adjutant for the Corps of Cadets and was recognized by The Royal company received recognition for its environmental and

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TOXIC EXPOSURE IN IRAQ TRANSITIONING TOXIC EXPOSURE IN IRAQ CAUSES BREAST CANCER & YOUR BENEFITS CAUSES BREAST CANCER By By Joseph Joseph R. R. Chenelly Chenelly By Joseph R. Chenelly

INITIALLY DENIED, DAV GETS AIR FORCE VETERAN’S CONDITION SERVICE-CONNECTED By Steve Wilson INITIALLY DENIED, DAV GETS AIR FORCE VETERAN’S CONDITION SERVICE-CONNECTED Military changes your She tookservice the vaccines theeveryone, Air Forcewhether prescribed She took the vaccines the Air Force prescribed before her deployment. She drank the water the military time in uniform was four years or 24 years. before her deployment. She drank the water the she military provided in Iraq. She lived and worked where was But, the important thing to remember is one provided in Iraq. She lived and worked where she told. Following orders enabled her to survive herwas tour in told. Following enabled herwould to survive in Iraq, but she orders didn’t expect alsoinher lead to cancer may be entitled to benefi tsthat earned while thetour armed Iraq, but she didn’t expect that would also lead to cancer after she In returned home.shows most veterans don’t forces. fact, history after she returned home. know earned these ts.bilateral Many have the Dr.they’ve T. Danielle Russell is benefi fighting breast Dr. that T. She Danielle is bilateral breast of cancer. first Russell filed a claim with the Department Dr. “but doesn’t apply to fighting me” mindset. Dr. T. T. Danielle Danielle Russell Russell is is proud proud of of her her Air Air Force Force service. service. After After she she cancer. SheAffairs first filed a claim with thethe Department of Dr. T. Daniellehome, Russell is proud of herfor Airher Force service. After she cancer. returned DAV was when she Veterans in 2013, believing cancer was returned home, DAV was there there for her when she developed developed cancer. The transition from military life is challenging Veterans Affairs in 2013, believing the was connected to her military service. A cancer VAoften doctor disagreed, returned home, DAV was there for her when she developed cancer. connected to her military service. A VA doctor disagreed, as any veteran will most likely attest. As our armed blaming it on genes. According to Johns Hopkins University researcher, blaming itcontinue on genes. According to Johns Hopkins University researcher, forces the on, current massivecostly drawdown, the Dr. Rolf Halden, chemicals called phthalates are sometimes Russell pushed undergoing treatment. Dr. Rolf Halden, chemicals called phthalates are sometimes Russell pushed on, undergoing costly treatment. days of having extra sets of hands at the workplace added to plastics to make them flexible and less brittle. A family doctor herself, she continued helping others plastics to make them flexible and less brittle. A while family doctor herself, continued others are gone. In fact, theshe men andofwomen in uniform have added to“Phthalates battling the cancer. One herhelping patients was Michael are environmental contaminants that while battling the cancer. One of her patients was Michael “Phthalates are environmental contaminants that Michelotti, supervisor of less” DAV’sfor National Office in been “doing more with quite a Service long time. can exhibit hormone-like behavior by acting as endocrine Michelotti, supervisor candisrupters exhibit hormone-like behavior by acting as endocrine Montgomery, Ala. of DAV’s National Service Office in in humans and animals,” Halden said. “If you Montgomery, So, it’sAla. not uncommon for transitioning service disrupters in humans and animals,” Halden said. “If you heat up plastics, you could increase the leaching of “When Dr. Russell told me her story, that she had members to Russell work uptold to their separation date, with heat up plastics, you could increase the leaching of “When Dr. me her story, that she had phthalates from the containers into water and food.” been told that her cancer was hereditary, I asked her phthalates from the containers into water and food.” been told that her cancer wasseparation hereditary,briefi I asked military ngsher about herduties familyinterrupting history,” Michelotti recounted. “Iand offered One of the most common effects is cancer, especially about her family history,” Michelotti recounted. “I offered time. The while, full anxiety of separation often One of the most common effects is cancer, especially toplanning help. After a little she accepted. We isdid a lot of breast cancer. to help. After a little while, she accepted. We did a lot of offices travel all over the country to provide benefits breast cancer. only realized as a veteran and his or her family is research.” research.” After Michelotti interviewed Russell, it became counseling and claims assistance to veterans who leaving the base for theatlast time on active After Michelotti interviewed Russell, it became Russell was based a camp built on aduty. landfill in apparent to him the VA’s denial in 2013 was flawed. Russell Russell was based at a camp built on a landfill in can’t come to us. apparent to him the VA’s denial in 2013 was flawed. Russell Baghdad. Little is knownevery about what types of and waste ThisLittle is happening day as the men turned to have no history of cancer in family. her family. Baghdad. is known about what types of waste turned out out to have no history of cancer in her She She went into that landfill before the war. During her Finally, DAV has partnered with RecruitMilitary, had not inherited this terrible disease; the denial based went into that landfill before the forces war. During women of America’s armed hang her up their had not inherited this terrible disease; the denial was was based deployment, it was also a burn pit site. Through DAV’s which is an organization dedicated to matching on an inaccurate assumption. deployment, it was alsotime a burn pitmany site. Through DAV’s uniforms for the last and are not even an inaccurate assumption. successful legislative efforts in 2009 and 2010, Congress onveterans successful legislative efforts in 2009 and 2010, Congress to employers who are seeking veteran talent. remotely aware of thetobenefi tspits’ they’ve earned.debris There’s In January 2016, submitted documentation agreed that exposure burn fumes In January 2016, theythey submitted newnew documentation agreed that exposure to burn pits’ fumes andand debris DAV is sponsoring 60-75 veteran career fairs per year showing cancer metastasized to Russell’s lungs. A few no all-encompassing list provided by the Department was toxic and harmful to service members exposed to showing cancer metastasized to Russell’s lungs. A few was toxic and harmful to service members exposed to days later, the VA granted 100-percent service connection to help veterans and their families fi nd meaningful and them. Multiple cases of veterans becoming ill and even days later, the VA granted 100-percent service connection of Veterans Affairs of orveterans a respective state where them. Multiple cases becoming ill and a even for bilateral breast cancer. VA also granted service lling employment. bilateral breast cancer. TheThe VA also granted service dying because exposure have been reported in DAV forfulfi veteran resides that spells out what benefi ts in theDAV dying because of of exposure have been reported connection for lung cancer at 100 percent. connection for lung cancer at 100 percent. Magazine over the past decade. Magazine the past veteranover is eligible for decade. or how to access them. If you’re a veteran who has questions about “I am grateful DAV there with me through “I am grateful thatthat DAVservice, waswas there me through When returning home, Russell’s oncologist brought When returning home, Russell’s oncologist brought benefi ts earned through visitwith www.dav.org to this,” she continued. “Mr. Michelotti is a bulldog. He argued this,” she continued. “Mr. Michelotti is a bulldog. He argued eye-opening study. Plastic disposable water bottles find a service office in your area. If you or someone This is where DAV can help.disposable upup anan eye-opening study. Plastic water bottles relentlessly, showing regulation regulation. So wellrelentlessly, showing regulation afterafter regulation. So wellthat were used a massive scale in Iraq all U.S. that were used onon aand massive scale in Iraq for for all U.S. you know is knows a veteran aand transitioning service DAV offices representatives can be found in trained, he all or the ins and outs. I don’t want to think trained, he knows all the ins outs. I don’t want to think personnel contain chemicals such as as bisphenol A (BPA), personnel contain chemicals such bisphenol A (BPA), member and are looking for employment outside every state. We know what federal and state benefi ts where we’d be without DAV’s help.” where we’d be without DAV’s help.” which can become very harmful when exposed to intense which can become very harmful when exposed to intense theIfmilitary go from to www.dav.org/veterans/ veterans have earned and, more importantly, know If you are suffering from an illness or injury oror even moderate heat over periods of time. In Iraq, even moderate heat over periods of time. Inwe Iraq, you aregates, suffering an illness or injury that that may may be be pallets water stored and moved around the country connected employment-resources/. howof toof access those benefi ts. DAV around mobile service pallets water areare stored and moved the country connected to your military service, don’t hesitate to contact to your military service, don’t hesitate to contact days weeks before being consumed, usually forfor days oror weeks before being consumed, usually leftleft in in your your local National Service Officer at DAV.org/veterans/ local DAVDAV National Service Officer at DAV.org/veterans/ intense heat and direct sunlight. intense heat and direct sunlight. find-your-local-office. find-your-local-office.

DAV.org/veterans/find-your-local-office DAV.org/veterans/find-your-local-office DAV.ORG/veterans/employment-resources

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Secretary of Veterans Affairs

ROBERT A. MCDONALD continued

Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufacturing, and Commerce as the most distinguished graduate in academics, leadership, and physical education. He earned an MBA from the University of Utah in 1978. The Secretary is personally committed to values-based leadership and to improving the lives of others. He and his wife, Diane, are the founders of the McDonald Cadet Leadership Conference at West Point—a biennial gathering that brings together the best and brightest young minds from the best universities around the world and pairs them with senior business, NGO, and government leaders in a multi-day, interactive learning experience.

The recipient of numerous leadership awards and honorary degrees, in 2014, Secretary McDonald was awarded the Public Service Star by the President of the Republic of Singapore for his work in helping to shape Singapore’s development as an international hub for connecting global companies with Asian firms and enterprises. Secretary McDonald and his wife are the parents of two grown children, Jennifer and Robert, and the proud grandparents of grandsons, Matthew and Michael.

President Barack Obama signs the Veterans’ Access to Care through Choice, Accountability, and Transparency Act into law at Fort Belvoir, Va.

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CeCe Mazyck

I AM A VETERAN AND THIS IS MY VICTORY. “My victory was finishing my education.” After 38 jumps, CeCe was injured in a parachute accident. Her veterans benefits allowed her to follow her dream and earn a degree. Every year, DAV helps more than a million veterans of all generations—connecting them to the health, disability, and education benefits they’ve earned. Help support more victories for veterans. Go to DAV.org. Fall 2016 MERG 17


Principal Deputy Under Secretary for Benefits, Performing the Duties of Under Secretary for Benefits

T

THOMAS J. MURPHY

homas J. Murphy was appointed Principal Deputy and was responsible for administering VA benefits and Under Secretary for Benefits and is performing services to over 151,000 Veterans and beneficiaries living the duties of Under Secretary for Benefits in the in Puerto Rico, Vieques, Culebra, and the U.S. Virgin Department of Veterans Affairs effective June 24th, 2016. Islands. Programs included compensation, pension, In this position, he leads more than 20,000 employees in insurance, home loans, and vocational rehabilitation. the Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA) in the delivery of non-medical Mr. Murphy joined the Veterans Benefits Through a nationwide benefits programs for Veterans, Administration from The Home Depot, including disability compensation, network of 56 regional offices, where he was a Director of Merchandise special processing centers, pension and fiduciary, education, Planning. In this position, he directed the home loan guaranty, life insurance, merchandise planning of the hardware and VBA Headquarters, he department in over 1,950 stores with vocational rehabilitation and oversees the execution of over $8.5 billion in annual sales. Prior to employment, and transition, nearly $96B in direct joining The Home Depot, Mr. Murphy employment and economic impact. benefits to Veterans and Through a nationwide network of 56 was a Senior Tactical Planning Manager their dependents. regional offices, special processing for Qwest Communications, responsible for common systems growth of the local centers, and VBA Headquarters, he telephone network in 5 western states. Earlier in his career, oversees the execution of nearly $96B in direct benefits to Mr. Murphy worked for ten years in the Department Veterans and their dependents. of Defense in a variety of positions, including Logistics Manager, Administrative Officer, Training Manager, Prior to this appointment, Mr. Murphy served as Acting Principal Deputy Under Secretary for Benefits Staffing Specialist, and Chief of Employee Services. from February 2016 to June 2016. From August 2010 to February 2016, Mr. Murphy served as the Director of Mr. Murphy retired from the military as a Major after Compensation Service. In this position, he was responsible 15 years of service in the Colorado National Guard and for the development and implementation of policies and 6 years of service with the Marine Corps Reserve. His military assignments included Assistant Deputy Chief of procedures related to the administration of VA disability Staff for Personnel, Battalion Operations Officer, Battery and death compensation programs, which paid $66.38 Commander, and Battery Fire Direction Officer. billion dollars in benefits in fiscal year 2015 to over 4.5 million eligible Veterans and dependents. Before serving Mr. Murphy and his wife reside in the Washington, DC as Director of Compensation Service, Mr. Murphy served Metropolitan Area. as the Director of the San Juan, Puerto Rico Regional Office

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Let Us Help You Succeed The AMVETS Warrior Reintegration Project features several programs to help veterans re-adjust back into civilian life: • AMVETS Career Centers (powered by Call of Duty Endowment)

• Healing Heroes • Claims Assistance

www.AMVETS.org/WarriorReintegrationProject Fall 2016 MERG 19


I

HOW TO GET THE MOST OUT OF YOUR VA BENEFITS

f you’re new to VA, it can be overwhelming to sift through all of the benefits and services offered and choose which ones are best for you and your family. Here is a quick “how to” guide for VA benefits. VA benefits can be split into two general categories – health care and non-medical benefits like compensation, education and home loans. If you served on active military service and were separated under any condition other than dishonorable, you may qualify for VA health care benefits. Post-9/11 Combat Veterans (OEF/OIF/OND) are eligible for five years of cost-free care for illness and injury related to service and one-time dental care. The second category, non-medical VA benefits, is broken into six areas: Compensation, Education, Home Loans, Insurance, Pension & Fiduciary; and Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment.

COMPENSATION

VA’s disability claims process is currently undergoing a major transformation, including the creation of more than 40 new initiatives designed to decrease processing time and increase accuracy and service for service members, veterans, their families and survivors. VA is moving toward an electronic, rather than a paper-based, system and toward the goal of eliminating the veterans disability claims backlog and improving rating accuracy to 98% in 2015. The new Fully Developed Claims (FDC) program is now the fastest way to get your compensation or pension claim processed.

EDUCATION

Many service members choose to use VA’s education benefits shortly after leaving service or pass the benefits to family members. In addition to undergraduate and graduate degrees, the Post-9/11 GI Bill offers financial assistance for a variety of training programs, including: vocational/technical, on-the-job, flight and licensing/ certification programs.

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In addition to tuition and fees, veterans may qualify for a monthly housing allowance and book stipend. The Vet Success on Campus program on school campuses across the country helps connect veterans with other student veterans and a variety of VA services, including free tutoring. VA’s Veterans Retraining and Assistance Program (VRAP) offers 12 months of training to unemployed veterans 35 to 60 years old.

HOME LOANS

Another frequently used VA benefit is the guaranteed home loan and refinancing assistance. VA also offers special grants for disabled veterans to adapt and acquire housing suitable for their needs.

INSURANCE

Service Members and Veterans Group Life Insurance (SGLI) coverage recipients have two options available to them upon release from service: converting to the Veterans’ Group Life Insurance program or a permanent plan with one of the participating commercial insurance companies.

VOCATIONAL REHABILITATION AND EMPLOYMENT

VA’s Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment (VR&E) program assists veterans with service-connected disabilities to prepare for, find, and keep suitable jobs. Benefits include vocational counseling, on the job training and apprenticeships. More information on all of VA’s benefits and services can be found at www.va.gov. Content provided by the VA.


Lindsey S., Alumna Journalism. Active Duty.

U P TO 50% T U I T I O N

SC H O L ARS H I P

FO R M I LITARY AN D FAM I LY WARRI O RS Advance your career with exclusive benefits toward graduate and undergraduate programs. TROY’s Military and Family Scholarship caps the cost of tuition at $250 per credit hour for active military, Reservists and National Guard. Also, your spouse and dependents receive up to 50% in tuition savings. TROY is committed to keeping higher education affordable. That’s the Trojan Warrior Spirit, and it’s alive and well at Troy University.

© 2016 Troy University

Feel it at troy.edu/militaryspirit or call 1-800-586-9771. Fall 2016 MERG 21


A PORTABLE, LUCRATIVE CAREER

IN REAL ESTATE SALES FOR MILITARY SPOUSES You’re moving. Again. Establishing a fulfilling and financially rewarding career can be a challenge for the spouse of someone serving active duty. The expectation is such that you won’t be in one place for more than a few years and then you’ll be on the move again. You need a flexible schedule to be able to care for children and take time off to be with your spouse during leave. What if there was a way for you to pick up your career and take it with you? What if you could take time off and still receive an income? We sat down with the Honorable Jose Segarra, Mayor of Killeen, Texas, former US Army Staff Sargent and Broker/Owner of EXIT Homevets Realty to discuss the benefits of a career in real estate for military spouses. “We’re located near Fort Hood which is the largest military base in the free world. Most of my agents are military-related and the majority of them are military spouses,” he said. “They tend to move a lot. They’ll be here for three or four years, they’ve got their business established and unfortunately sometimes they don’t want to leave but they have to. At EXIT Realty we train them howMERG to succeed anywhere. If we dropped you from a helicopter 22 Fall 2016

anywhere in the country, you have the tools, knowledge and mindset to succeed no matter where you go.” EXIT Realty has risen to prominence across North America by building strong real estate agents and offices. Most companies focus on the numbers and not the individual. At EXIT Realty, we believe that by working first to strengthen each agent, the team will be more productive and successful. We do this in five ways: We provide the tools for you to become thoroughly oriented and trained in the basics of successful real estate sales. When a military spouse transfers, he or she develops relationships both in the community and with the agents in their new office. “Because you are connected with the military, there are programs for spouses and network groups that meet and support each other,” said Segarra. “When you leave a base, friends and acquaintances always tend to find each other. If you’re new to real estate, you already have a built-in network and the training EXIT Realty provides helps you to talk real estate and take advantage of that extended network.” In addition, we show you how to properly brand yourself then how to present your brand to the marketplace to get more leads. Being part of a well-recognized franchise organization means


that when you transfer, you start off in your new location with established brand recognition. We seek out the latest technology tools available in real estate then teach you to use them. Most of our technology is “in the cloud” and can be accessed anywhere. We have built a team culture that is supportive and fun. We enjoy, mentor and encourage each other much like a family would do.

Mary’s transactions close, EXIT Realty Corp. International pays you an amount equivalent to 10% of Mary’s gross production as a special bonus for helping to grow the company. Sponsoring can be done in any EXIT office right across the continent and it continues for as long as the agent introduced stays and produces business. This is single-level residual income and these bonuses are over and above your commission to a maximum of $10,000 per year per agent sponsored and these bonuses do not affect Mary’s commission whatsoever. These bonuses fill in the gaps between closings, help to pay for college, vacations, provide support for aging parents – anything you like - and provide you with abundant cash flow streams heretofore unavailable in the real estate industry. Let’s say that your family is transferred to Fort Hood and you transfer to an EXIT office nearby. In our example, Mary continues to close transactions back at Fort Bliss and your sponsoring bonuses follow you. And because you’ve made friends and contacts at Fort Bliss, you can refer real estate business to them and continue to sponsor agents into an EXIT office near there as well as into your new location – anywhere in fact where an EXIT office is located in North America. If you decide to take a break from selling real estate or when it comes time for you to retire, your sponsoring bonuses continue at a rate of 7%. And EXIT didn’t forget about your loved ones. Should something happen to you, your sponsoring bonuses convert to a 5% beneficiary residual to help provide financial security for those left behind.

In traditional two-dimensional real estate, agents earn money by taking listings and making sales. They earn commission only when sales close and often there are gaps between closings causing a financial vacuum. Also, when the closings stop, the income stops causing agents to work long hours away from their families with little reward. There is no opportunity to take a break from the business, retire with security or to build family wealth. EXIT Realty is the only real estate company that solves these problems head-on by providing a third income stream through our unique business model known as the EXIT Formula.

“Being in the military is tough and transitioning creates a hardship on families,” Segarra continued. “The one who often handles everything involved in moving a family from one base to another is the spouse. When a real estate agent is also someone who is a military spouse, they share a special connection with their client and understand what they’re going through - that’s critical. The client has someone they can relate to. I think the most Jose Segarra important thing is that with EXIT Realty, you get the training, you get the tools, you get the support and you can carry all of that anywhere you go.”

Let’s say you work as an agent for EXIT Realty in an office near Fort Bliss. You introduce Mary to your broker and she is recruited as a salesperson. This introduction is called sponsoring at EXIT. As

You owe it to yourself and your family to take a closer look. CONTACT US today at 888-668-3948 for a confi dential conversation.

And the thing that makes EXIT Realty truly unique, the thing that allows you to continue to make money even when you’re not actively selling real estate is this. We expose our agents to a plan to make over 100%, to build your own business with passive and single-level residual income.

When a real estate agent is also someone who is a military spouse, they share a special connection with their client and understand what they’re going through .”

www.exitrealty.com/join Fall 2016 MERG

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NOT EVERY CLASSROOM NEEDS A ROOM NUMBER

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Post-9/11 GI Bill Yellow Ribbon Program Fly. Enjoy life. Repeat as necessary.

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“THE BEST FIT” First and foremost: THANKS for your service to our country! You have contributed a great deal to ensure our freedom and the freedom of others around the globe. And, many of you have sacrificed or certainly put on hold a career outside your military service. However, even if you are planning on retiring with the military, you’ll still have many productive years left to begin another career. Many of you are leaving after your initial commitment. And, some are staying in the Guard or Reserves. Regardless of your situation, you need to be planning for a career when you do leave. I understand this is obvious but just because it’s obvious don’t mean it’s easy! Deciding on a career has never been a simple undertaking by most---whether you are leaving the military or graduating from high school. And, once you narrow down the seemingly endless possibilities the next challenge is finding a school that can help you lay a foundation for success. You deserve and certainly need to make a choice that is the “best fit” for you. Are you considering all the important variables that would make a certain institution the best possible fit for your overall education and career preparation? Important factors like: Liberal arts or technical foundation or a combination of both. Size and location. Military friendly designation. Able to use your veteran benefits to the fullest extent. Housing options. Variety of academic majors. Rigor of the curricula. Cost and value. Industry connection to academic programs. Career planning assistance and internship/placement opportunities. Finding the best possible fit for your post military education can be a daunting task. For more than three decades, I have advised thousands of prospective students, including veterans, who are interested in pursuing the challenging aviation program at the University of North Dakota. I ask them to thoroughly research the variables mentioned above (and many more) to ensure that the opportunities at UND overall and specifically within the Aviation Department will be the best fit possible for them as an individual student. Students who don’t do the necessary research may end up at an institution that doesn’t meet their expectations or the expectations of the institution. It works both ways. When all the variables of a right fit come together, however, the results can be very satisfying. Students who devote themselves to their academic program, graduate and become successful professionals in the wide open aviation industry as flight instructors, helicopter pilots, airline and corporate pilots, maintenance/technical managers, air traffic controllers, aviation/airport managers and unmanned aircraft operation specialists extend their best fit by succeeding in and contributing to a very exciting industry. The aviation industry truly needs these qualified graduates. The result is a win-win. As you begin your post military career and education search---do the needed research. It’s simply that important. Like your military training and experience, it’s hard work and may not always be fun. However, with the right approach and dedication you will be successful. Best wishes for YOUR “best fit”!

KEN POLOVITZ

Assistant Dean, Student Services John D. Odegard of Aerospace Sciences University of North Dakota

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THE POST-9/11 GI BILL

he Post-9/11 GI Bill provides financial support for education and housing to individuals with at least 90 days of aggregate service after Sept. 10, 2001, or individuals discharged with a service-connected disability after 30 days. You must have received an honorable discharge to be eligible for the Post-9/11 GI Bill. Here is some basic information on eligibility and other questions about the bill. Am I eligible? You may be eligible if you served at least 90 aggregate days on active duty after Sept. 10, 2001, or were honorably discharged from active duty for a service-connected disability after serving 30 continuous days following September 10, 2001. Note: Children of a member of the Armed Forces who died in the line of duty on or after September 11, 2001, may be eligible for Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits under the Marine Gunnery John David Fry Scholarship Program. What will I receive? You may receive a percentage of the following payments:

—A Tuition and Fee payment that is paid to your school on your behalf. —A Books and Supplies Stipend of up to $1,000 per year. —A Monthly Housing Allowance (MHA)** that is equal to: • The basic allowance for housing (BAH)payable for the zip code of your school to a military E-5 with dependents for students pursuing resident training. • one-half the BAH national average for students training solely by distance learning. • the national average BAH for students pursuing training at foreign schools. **The MHA is not payable to individuals on active duty or those enrolled at half time or less. How many months of assistance can I receive and how long am I eligible? Generally, you may receive up to 36 months of entitlement under the Post-9/11 GI Bill. You will be eligible for benefits for 15 years from your last period of active duty of at least 90 consecutive days. 26 MERG Fall 2016

What kind of training can I take? You can use the Post-9/11 GI Bill at colleges, universities, trade schools, and for on-the-job training, apprenticeships, and light schools. To see what programs are currently approved for VA benefits, go to www.gibill.va.gov. You can use the Post-9/11 GI Bill for tutorial assistance, licensing (attorney license, cosmetology license, etc.) and certification tests (SAT, LSAT, etc.). Note: If the program you are interested in isn’t on the GI Bill website, contact your State Approving Agency (list available on www.gibill.va.gov) to see if it can be approved. Can I transfer my entitlement to my dependents? You must be a member of the uniformed services to transfer your unused benefits to your spouse or dependent(s). Generally, you must agree to serve four more years when transferring benefits. What Is the Yellow Ribbon program? The Post-9/11 GI Bill can cover all in-state tuition and fees at public degree-granting schools, but may not cover all private degree-granting schools and out-of-state tuition. The Yellow Ribbon program provides additional support in those situations. Institutions voluntarily enter into an agreement with VA to fund uncovered charges. VA matches each dollar of unmet charges the institution agrees to contribute, up to the total cost of the tuition and fees. Content provided by the VA.


POST-9/11 GI BILL: HOW TO USE IT

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he Post-9/11 GI Bill, enacted in 2008, is the most extensive educational assistance program authorized since the original GI Bill was signed into law in 1944. Just as the original GI Bill allowed veterans to take their educational opportunities and leverage them for breakthroughs in automation, business, medicine, science, transportation and technology, today’s Post-9/11 GI Bill provides veterans with the tools that will help them contribute to an economically strong, vibrant and resilient America. The Post-9/11 GI Bill is a comprehensive education benefit, paying tuition and fees on behalf of veterans or eligible dependents directly to the schools in which they are enrolled. Eligible participants also receive a monthly housing allowance and up to $1,000 annually for books and supplies. GI Bill benefits are tiered based on the number of days served on active duty, giving activated National Guard and Reserve members the same benefits as those on active duty. VA is committed to ensuring all service members, veterans, and family members eligible for the benefit receive a useful education without the burden of substantial student loan debt as they readjust to civilian life. As of July 9, 2013, VA has issued over $30 billion in Post-9/11 GI Bill benefit payments to approximately 992,000 individuals and their educational institutions. Executive Order 13607 directs VA, the Department of Defense (DoD), and Department of Education, with help from the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), to develop and implement “Principles of Excellence” to strengthen oversight, enforcement and accountability within veteran and military educational benefit programs.

Schools agreeing to comply with the principles will: • Provide all military and veteran students with a personalized form covering the total cost of the educational program, pre-enrollment program costs, student debt estimates, and financial aid options. • Provide an educational plan for all military and veteran students. • Accommodate service members and reservists who are absent due to service requirements. • Designate points of contact for academic and financial advising • Ensure accreditation of all new programs prior to enrolling students. Participating schools also agree to have tuition refund policies similar to schools receiving Title IV funding. This means that service members, reservists and family members who stop attending school due to service obligations will be entitled to a prorated tuition refund based upon the day the student stops attending. To date, over 6,000 schools have agreed to adhere to the Principles of Excellence. VA has made it easy to identify participating schools by setting up a map on the GI Bill website to help find schools near you. Additional tools for student veterans can be found at www.gibill.va.gov. Content provided by the VA.

The Principles of Excellence are a set of guidelines with which institutions receiving federal funding agree to comply. The principles were designed to help ensure that students are given the right tools to assist them in making informed decisions when choosing a school. The principles also seek to help protect veterans, service members, and their families from aggressive and deceptive marketing tactics.

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The Air Force’s 45th Space Wing supported United Launch Alliance’s launch of the NROL-61 spacecraft aboard an Atlas V rocket at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla.

PHOTO: United Launch Alliance

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Internationally Recognized Certifications POST 9/11 GI BILL ACCEPTED CLASSES START EVERY FIVE WEEKS

Proudly training men and women for exciting new careers since 1969. • Post 9/11 GI Bill Accepted • Financial Aid for Those Who Qualify • Job Placement Assistance for Graduates • Internationally Recognized Certification Program Students train at The Ocean Corporation to become commercial divers and industrial NDI inspectors. We have been in the business for over 40 years and we know the “nuts and bolts” of both industries.

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800.321.0298 www.oceancorp.com

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Our hands-on training takes less than 8 months to complete and will give you the knowledge and skills you need to succeed. We invite you to visit our website or call one of our admissions representatives to explore what an education from The Ocean Corporation can do for you.

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A

HOW TO USE YOUR POST-9/11 GI BILL BENEFITS

pproved training under the Post-9/11 GI Bill includes graduate and undergraduate degrees, vocational/technical training, on-the-job training, flight training, correspondence training, licensing and national testing programs, entrepreneurship training, and tutorial assistance. All training programs must be approved for GI Bill benefits.

This benefit provides up to 36 months of education benefits, generally benefits are payable for 15 years following your release from active duty. The Post-9/11 GI Bill also offers some service members the opportunity to transfer their GI Bill to dependents. Some of the benefits the Post-9/11 GI Bill will pay include: —Full tuition and fees directly to the school for all public school in-state students. For those attending private or foreign schools tuition & fees are capped at the national maximum rate. If you are attending a private Institution of Higher Learning in Arizona, Michigan, New Hampshire, New York, Pennsylvania,

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South Carolina or Texas you may be eligible for a higher tuition reimbursement rate.

For those attending a more expensive private school or a public school as a non-resident out-of-state student, a program exists which may help to reimburse the difference. This program is called the “Yellow Ribbon Program”. —A monthly housing allowance (MHA). —An annual books & supplies stipend. —A one-time rural benefit payment. As of Aug. 1, 2011, break (or interval pay) is no longer be payable under Post-9/11 GI Bill except during periods your school is closed as a result of an Executive Order of the President or an emergency (such as a natural disaster or strike). For example, if your Fall term ends on Dec. 15 and your Spring term begins Jan. 10, your January housing allowance will cover 15 days in December and your February housing allowance will cover 21 days in January. Content provided by the VA.


“I

FOUND ANOTHER WAY TO SERVE. THAT WAS MY MOMENT.” Scott Green Undergraduate Cybersecurity Student

PROGRAMS IN HIGH-DEMAND FIELDS After serving two tours and returning home, Scott experienced his Moment when he found a passion for cybersecurity and another way to serve his country. Now he’s learning to protect and defend information systems in local and broad-based domains. UMUC can help you transition to a post-military career in a high-demand field with • Bachelor’s and master’s degrees in cybersecurity, information technology, business and management, public safety and more • Up to 90 credits for prior college, work and military experience, saving you time and money • Online classes and more than 140 classroom and service locations, including military installations throughout the world Ranked the No. 1 University for Veterans in 2015.*

Visit military.umuc.edu/education to learn more. *Military Times ranked UMUC No. 1 in its Best for Vets: Colleges 2015 annual survey of online and nontraditional colleges and universities.

Copyright © 2016 University of Maryland University College

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FACTS ABOUT THE MONTGOMERY GI BILL ACTIVE DUTY (MGIB-AD)

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he MGIB program provides up to 36 months of education benefits. This benefit may be used for degree and certificate programs, flight training, apprenticeship/on-the-job training and correspondence courses. Remedial, deficiency and refresher courses may be approved under certain circumstances. Generally, benefits are payable for 10 years following your release from active duty. This program is also commonly known as Chapter 30. $600 Buy-Up Program

Some service members may contribute up to an additional $600 to the GI Bill to receive increased monthly benefits. For an additional $600 contribution, you may receive up to $5,400 in additional GI Bill benefits. The additional contribution must be made while on active duty. For more information contact your personnel or payroll office. Who is Eligible? You may be an eligible veteran if you have an Honorable Discharge, AND you have a High School Diploma or GED or in some cases 12 hours of college credit, AND you meet the requirements of one of the categories below: The Montgomery GI Bill - Active Duty provides up to 36 months of education benefits to eligible veterans for: • • • • • • • • •

College Technical or vocational courses Correspondence courses Apprenticeship/job training Flight training High-tech training Licensing & certification tests Entrepreneurship training Certain entrance examinations

CATEGORY I • Entered active duty for the first time after June 30, 1985 32 MERG Fall 2016

• Had military pay reduced by $100 a month for first 12 months • Continuously served for 3 years, OR 2 years if that is what you first enlisted for, OR 2 years if you entered the Selected Reserve within a year of leaving active duty and served 4 years (“2 by 4” Program)

CATEGORY II • Entered active duty before Jan. 1, 1977 • Served at least 1 day between 10/19/84 and 6/30/85, and stayed on active duty through 6/30/88, (or 6/30/87 if you entered the Selected Reserve within 1 year of leaving active duty and served 4 years) • On 12/31/89, you had entitlement left from Vietnam-Era GI Bill CATEGORY III • Not eligible for MGIB under Category I or II • On active duty on 9/30/90 AND separated involuntarily after 2/2/91, • OR involuntarily separated on or after 11/30/93, • OR voluntarily separated under either the Voluntary Separation Incentive (VSI) or Special Separation Benefit (SSB) program • Before separation, you had military pay reduced by $1200 CATEGORY IV • On active duty on 10/9/96 AND you had money remaining in a VEAP account on that date AND you elected MGIB by 10/9/97 • OR entered full-time National Guard duty under title 32, USC, between 7/1/85, and 11/28/89 AND you elected MGIB during the period 10/9/96, through 7/8/97 • Had military pay reduced by $100 a month for 12 months or made a $1200 lump-sum contribution


How Much Does VA Pay? The monthly benefit paid to you is based on the type of training you take, length of your service, your category, and if DoD put extra money in your MGIB Fund (called “kickers�). You usually have 10 years to use your MGIB benefits, but the time limit can be less, in some cases, and longer under certain circumstances. How Can I Apply? You can apply by filling out VA Form 22-1990, Application for Education Benefits. Beginning August 1, 2011, break (or interval pay) will no longer be payable under MGIB-AD except during periods your school is closed as a result of an Executive Order of the President or an emergency (such as a natural disaster or strike). For example, if your Fall term ends on Dec. 15 and your Spring term begins Jan. 10, your January housing allowance will cover 15 days in December and your February housing allowance will cover 21 days in January.

Content provided by the VA.

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FACTS ABOUT THE MONTGOMERY GI BILL SELECTED RESERVE (MGIB-SR)

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he MGIB-SR program may be available to you if you are a member of the Selected Reserve. The Selected Reserve includes the Army Reserve, Navy Reserve, Air Force Reserve, Marine Corps Reserve and Coast Guard Reserve, and the Army National Guard and the Air National Guard. You may use this education assistance program for degree programs, certificate or correspondence courses, cooperative training, independent study programs, apprenticeship/on-the-job training, and vocational flight training programs. Remedial, refresher and deficiency training are available under certain circumstances. Eligibility for this program is determined by the Selected Reserve components. VA makes the payments for this program. You may be entitled to receive up to 36 months of education benefits. Your eligibility for the program normally ends on the day you leave the Selected Reserve. One exception to this rule exists if you are mobilized (or recalled to active duty from your reserve status). In this case your eligibility may be extended for the amount of time you are mobilized PLUS four months. For example, if you are mobilized for 12 months your eligibility period is extended for 16 months (12 months active duty PLUS 4 months.) So even if you leave the reserves after mobilization, you may have additional eligibility to the MGIB-SR. If your unit is deactivated during the period beginning on Oct. 1, 2007, through Sept. 30, 2014, or you are involuntarily separated for reasons other than misconduct, you will retain your original period of eligibility, which is 14 years from the date of your first six-year obligation with the selected reserves.

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Eligibility To qualify, you must meet the following requirements: • Have a six-year obligation to serve in the Selected Reserve signed after June 30, 1985. If you are an officer, you must have agreed to serve six years in addition to your original obligation. For some types of training, it is necessary to have a six-year commitment that begins after September 30, 1990. • Complete your initial active duty for training (IADT). • Meet the requirement to receive a high school diploma or equivalency certificate before completing IADT. You may not use 12 hours toward a college degree to meet this requirement. • Remain in good standing while serving in an active Selected Reserve unit. You will also retain MGIB SR eligibility if you were discharged from Selected Reserve service due to a disability that was not caused by misconduct. Your eligibility period may be extended if you are ordered to active duty. How to Apply Your unit will give you a DD Form 2384-1, Notice of Basic Eligibility, when you become eligible for the program. Your unit will also code your eligibility into the Department of Defense personnel system so that VA may verify your eligibility. You should then make sure that your selected program is approved for VA training. If you are not clear on this point, VA will inform you and the school or company about the requirements. Obtain and complete VA Form 22-1990, Application for Education Benefits. Send it to the VA regional office with jurisdiction over the State where you will train. If you have started training, take your application


and your Notice of Basic Eligibility to your school or employer. Ask them to complete VA Form 22-1999, (not available online) Enrollment Certification, and send all the forms to VA. Beginning August 1, 2011, break (or interval pay) will no longer be payable under MGIB-SR except during periods your school is closed as a result of an Executive Order of the President or an emergency (such as a natural disaster or strike). For example, if your Fall term ends on Dec. 15 and your Spring term begins Jan. 10, your January housing allowance will cover 15 days in December and your February housing allowance will cover 21 days in January. Numbers to Call Call 1-888-GIBILL-1 (1-888-442-4551) Be advised this line only accepts calls from 7 a.m. 7 p.m. central time Monday - Friday and you may experience long hold times.

If you are overseas you can contact the VA via telephone during business hours, Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Eastern time. Students and School Certifying Officials calling from outside the United States may call the Buffalo Regional Office at 716-857-3196 or 716-857-3197. Once connected, the caller can immediately enter “option 1� to be placed in a special priority queue. This is not a tollfree number, but the caller will be routed to the next available Customer Service Representative for priority service. This is for overseas customers only. All others should call the toll-free number or contact the VA via the website.

Content provided by the VA.

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THE YELLOW RIBBON PROGRAM AND HOW TO USE IT The Post-9/11 GI Bill will pay you: • all resident tuition & fees for a public school • the lower of the actual tuition & fees or the national maximum per academic year for a private school • an exception to this exists for students enrolled in private schools in Arizona, Michigan, New Hampshire, New York, Pennsylvania, South Carolina or Texas. In these cases the VA will pay the lower of the actual tuition & fees or the highest public in-state undergraduate tuition & fees. Your actual tuition & fees costs may exceed these amounts if you are attending a private school or are attending a public school as a nonresident student. Institutions of higher learning (degree-granting Institutions) may elect to participate in the Yellow Ribbon Program to make additional funds available for your education program without an additional charge to your GI Bill entitlement. Institutions that voluntarily enter into a Yellow Ribbon Agreement with VA choose the amount of tuition and fees that will be contributed. VA will match that amount and issue payment directly to the institution.

Eligibility Only veterans entitled to the maximum benefit rate (based on service requirements) or their designated transferees may receive this funding. Active-duty service members and their spouses are not eligible for this program (child transferees of active-duty service members may be eligible if the service member is qualified at the 100% rate). Therefore, you may be eligible if: • You served an aggregate period of active duty after Sept. 10, 2001, of at least 36 months; • You were honorably discharged from active duty for a service-connected disability and you served 30 continuous days after Sept. 10, 2001; • You are a dependent eligible for Transfer of Entitlement under the Post-9/11 GI Bill based on a veteran’s service under the eligibility criteria listed above. • To receive benefits under the Yellow Ribbon Program: • You must be eligible for the maximum benefit rate under the Post-9/11 GI Bill. • You must not be on active duty or a spouse transferee of an active-duty member. • Your school must agree to participate in the Yellow Program. • Your school must have not offered Yellow Ribbon to more than the maximum number of individuals stated in their participation agreement. • Your school must certify your enrollment to VA, including Yellow Ribbon program information. Content provided by the VA.

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Light Our Way and yOur Future

As a member of the military, you’ve trained hard, sacrificed, and led the way. Now it’s your time to shine. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, America will need 4 million college graduates between 2010–2020.* We can help you become one of them. Not everyone has the mindset and discipline for success—but you do. You’ve already handled your share of tough challenges. Use that valuable training to forge a successful new path—one that sparks new opportunities for you and your family.

Bring out that spark inside you. SHINe NOW. military.kaplan.edu

*Source: U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, “Employment Outlook 2010-2020: Occupational employment projections to 2020,” January 2012, on the Internet at www.bls.gov/opub/mlr/2012/01/art5full.pdf. National long-term projections may not reflect local and/or short-term economic or job conditions, and do not guarantee actual job growth. Kaplan University cannot guarantee employment or career advancement. For comprehensive consumer information, visit www.kaplanuniversity.edu/student-consumer-information.aspx.

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EARN WHILE YOU LEARN: VA’S WORK-STUDY PROGRAM

A’s work study program gives student-veterans the opportunity for hands-on work experience and a monthly part-time income while they are going back to school as part of the Post-9/11 GI Bill or other VA education benefit program. Through the VA-work study program, veterans who are three-quarter or full-time students in a college degree, vocational or professional program can “earn while they learn” with a VA work-study allowance. Students with service-connected disabilities of 30% or greater are given priority consideration in the program. Work-study students perform work related to the VA, including at education institutions, VA facilities, DOD facilities and state Veterans agencies. As executive director of the Utah Department of Veterans Affairs, Terry Schow has hired and worked with dozens of student-veterans over the past 10 years. His workstudy trainees have come from a variety of education institutions, including the University of Utah, Salt Lake City Community College, Weber State University and Utah Valley University; and have gone on to continue their service in the veterans community through careers in

the field including as public affairs officers for VA medical centers, with veterans service organizations including Disabled American Veterans (DAV) and at VA’s Salt Lake City Regional Office.

Through Terry’s work-study opportunity, student-veterans have the opportunity to learn all sides of the business while working with his staff – from direct outreach to veterans through planning and attending outreach events to answering calls and letters from veterans looking for more information on their VA and state veterans benefits. One recent work-study participant was hired full time for the state agency after he designed and launched a veterans database for the department. Why does Terry utilize VA’s work-study program to help hire student-veterans? Because they understand the mission of his office in the Utah State Department of Veterans Affairs and are comfortable working on a team. “There’s camaraderie between veterans,” which make them a key asset to the team, he says. Content provided by the VA.

A Wyoming Youth Challenge cadet works on computer applications classwork at Eastern Wyoming College in Torrington, Wyo.

PHOTO: 1st Lt. Christian Venhuizen

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GET THE FASTEST CLAIM DECISION:

HOW TO FILE A FULLY DEVELOPED CLAIM

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he Fully Developed Claims (FDC) program is an optional new initiative that offers veterans, service members and survivors faster decisions from VA on compensation, pension, and survivor benefit claims.

When veterans, service members and survivors submit all required records and documentation at the time they make their claim and certify that they have no further evidence, VA can review and process the claim more quickly. Here’s how: Why submit a Fully Developed Claim (FDC)? You get a faster decision because it saves VA time. When you file a claim, the law requires VA to make an exhaustive search on your behalf to obtain service records and other relevant evidence held by federal agencies and requires VA to ask at least twice for relevant evidence held by private parties, unless they are received on the first request. By submitting all your evidence with your FDC, identifying any relevant records held by federal agencies and verifying that you have no more evidence to submit, you shave a lot of the wait time off the process. There is no risk in filing an FDC. If VA finds that there is a piece of relevant evidence you did not submit, but should have included (like private medical records), VA will obtain that evidence on your behalf and process your claim the traditional way. What kind of records do you need to submit? Military personnel and treatment records are vital to establishing your claim for compensation. Military personnel records can contain deployment orders, pay records, medals and certificates not reflected on the DD214. Other federal records, like those from Social Security Administration (SSA), are often necessary too – they may contain medical evidence and sometimes even evidence as to the cause of a disability. Non-federal records, like medical files from your private doctor, are also important to establishing a claim. These can tell VA the degree of your condition, if it has become worse over time and general information needed for rating purposes.

How do I file an FCD? Go on to the Internet and log on to your eBenefits account. Click Apply for Benefits and then Apply for Disability Compensation. eBenefits will guide you through the process. You can answer the questions and upload all your supporting evidence all at once, or you can start and save your claim online, collect your supporting evidence and log back in to finish applying. Once you hit Save, you have one year to return to eBenefits, upload your evidence and click Submit. Don’t forget to save – in many cases VA may be able to pay benefits as early as the date you first save that application. Your Veterans Service Officer can also log into the Stakeholder Enterprise Portal – a VSO’s window into your eBenefits account – to look over your claim and give you advice before you press Submit. Once you have collected all your supporting evidence, log back into eBenefits and upload all your documents. There is no limit to number of documents you can upload, but each file must be 5 megabytes or smaller (about 150 black-andwhite pages at 300 dpi resolution). Once you verify that you have no more evidence, VA can start processing your claim right away. If you do submit more evidence after you submit the claim, VA will remove your claim from the FDC program and process it through our regular channels. For more tips on submitting your claim, click here. The FDC program is the fastest way to get an accurate decision on your VA claim. By ensuring you submit all your evidence with your claim, you allow the VA to get you an accurate decision as quickly as possible.

Content provided by the VA.

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WE ASPIRE.

TRANSFORMING EDUCATION. ADVANCING CARE. TOUCHING LIVES. When Roseman University of Health Sciences was founded in Henderson, NV in 1999 and South Jordan, UT in 2005 as a College of Pharmacy, the university aspired to positively impact healthcare in the region. After more than a decade of remarkable growth, Roseman is strengthening its commitment as a transforming force in vital areas of health care education.

ACADEMIC PROGRAMS COLLEGE OF MEDICINE Doctor of Medicine (Nevada - Currently in Development) MASTER OF BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION

COLLEGE OF PHARMACY Doctor of Pharmacy (Nevada & Utah) Professional Continuing Education (Nevada & Utah)

RESEARCH PROGRAMS Diabetes & Obesity | Cancer Alzheimer’s & Parkinson’s Diseases Cardiovascular Disease | Adult Stem Cell & Regenerative Medicine

COLLEGE OF NURSING Bachelor of Science in Nursing (Nevada & Utah) Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing (Nevada & Utah)

COLLEGE OF DENTAL MEDICINE AEODO/MBA Residency (Nevada) Doctor of Dental Medicine (Utah)

PATIENT CARE

Orthodontic Clinic (Nevada) Dental Clinic (Utah) Community Outreach for Health

HENDERSON 702-990-4433 | 11 Sunset Way | Henderson, NV 89014 SUMMERLIN 702-990-4433 | 10530 Discovery Drive | Las Vegas, NV 89135 SOUTH JORDAN 801-302-2600 | 10920 S. River Front Pkwy | South Jordan, UT 84095

roseman.edu ROSEMAN UNIVERSITY IS A PRIVATE, 501(C)3 NON-PROFIT UNIVERSITY. REGIONALLY ACCREDITED BY THE NORTHWEST COMMISSION ON COLLEGES AND UNIVERSITIES.

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A By Bryan Mitchell

TIRED OF TAKING ORDERS?

Maybe it’s time to be your own boss

fter years of relocating on demand and deploying to some of the planet’s most inhospitable locales, many former military members want to take control of their postmilitary lives by launching a business, with all the inherent risks and rewards. Opening a franchise – an established business that has independently operated locations – is one way to temper the risks of going it alone. Franchises offer veterans a tried and true model for success backed by a robust support system, says Terry Hill, who manages the Veterans Franchise program for the Washington-based International Franchise Association. Fast food, shipping companies and business service operations are the most popular franchising opportunities. “Included in the cost of purchasing a franchise are key items such as a tested business concept, training, brand recognition and the support of the parent company, which allows the new owner to focus on operations much more quickly since the start-up phase is already accomplished,” he says. It’s difficult to quantify how many vets operate franchises, but VetFran has helped 1,500 veterans establish a franchise in roughly a decade. It can cost $20,000 or more to start a franchise, but Hill says nearly 400 franchises work with his organization to offer veteran discounts. “The business format holds many similarities to military organizations, which require close adherence to a proven plan, teamwork and mission focus,” Hill says. “Veterans, having been exposed to a culture of discipline and training, adapt well to this structure.” Economic challenges could be leading more veterans to consider franchises, but tightened lending standards could make it more difficult to raise the necessary capital, Hill says.

Part of VetFran’s appeal is its longstanding partnership with the Veterans Administration and the U.S. Small Business Administration, both excellent resources for those considering a franchise.

A

fter 30 years and 30 days in an Air Force uniform and more than 4,000 combined hours in the F-15 and F-16, Steve Carey took a moment to survey the landscape after his 2007 retirement. He had offers from defense contractors, but “nothing that rang my bell,” he says. That’s when he turned his attention toward buying a franchise, hoping to settle down in one location and create a legacy for his family. CertaPro Painters – a national operation with an established reputation and more than 300 outlets – caught his attention. “I looked at restaurants and storefront operations, but this business is different in that I am out in the community interacting with homeowners and business owners,” he says. “I get to size them up while they size me up.” His research also helped steer him toward the franchise. “It’s not that I have a passion for painting, but I do have a passion for growing a business,” he says. “CertaPro had a corporate long-term strategy that focused on developing a national reputation as America’s No. 1 home painters, much like the Air Force’s long-term strategy to be the world’s most respected airpower. Running a business, he said, requires leadership similar to commanding a fighter squadron. “It’s about dealing with people and issues every day.” Hill says that type of detailed research is critical. “Although a veteran may be familiar with a certain franchise such as a restaurant, it’s important to look beyond the tables filled with satisfied customers and get a deep understanding of the personal commitment and capital that owning such an establishment would require,” he says. Carey’s Mobile, Ala.,-based outfit was recently named the most successful CertaPro in Alabama. Continued on page 44

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PHOTO: Pfc. James Dutkavich 

Soldiers plot grid coordinates for targets during Exercise Flaming Thunder in Pabrade, Lithuania.

Fall 2016 MERG 43


Continued from page 42

P

eter Turner served as a naval aviator for 20 years and was ready to keep flying following his retirement. But after taking a hard look at the prospects for commercial pilots, Turner reconsidered. “My focus was transitioning to the airlines originally, but that would have meant too much time away from home. With three teenagers coming up, that worried me, as did the omnipresent threat of a pink slip,” he says. “The worst part is that mergers, strikes or worse are beyond your control.” Research, not love of donuts or piping-hot coffee, led him to Dunkin’ Donuts. He opened his first outlet in 2008 and soon expanded with three additional stores. He says he researched the franchise and learned the company “has superb support in place with architects, construction, operating systems as well as a fiercely loyal following of customers.” Turner said his skills honed as a military commander leading and managing subordinates have been crucial to his success. “Take great care of your people and they will go the extra mile for you. With staffing, four aces beats seven average cards,” he says. “Operations are operations. It doesn’t matter whether you’re running a squadron or a string of restaurants.” But being a savvy businessman doesn’t hurt either. Choosing the right location -- Raleigh, N.C. – helped, because the city escaped the worst of the recession. When the economy was weak he lowered prices to beat out the competition and expanded while interest rates, construction costs and real estate were all less expensive.

FRANCHISING RESOURCES

International Franchise Association: www.franchise.org Small Business Administration: www.sba.gov/smallbusinessplanner/ start/buyafranchise/index.html Entrepreneur magazine: www.entrepreneur.com/ franchiseopportunities/index.html Franchise Update Network: www.franchise-update.com

44 MERG Fall 2016

Besides his wife, Turner also teamed with a financial partner on his first store. Hill says all franchises should look toward two other key partners: attorneys and accountants. “While that step will incur expenses, it’s much better to have professionals, who know franchising, provide guidance,” he says. For Turner, the sky is once again the limit. He hoped to open 35 stores amid expansion nationwide by Dunkin’ Donuts and, hopefully, to one day own a seaplane.

T

om Mitchell was the accidental franchisee. After 24 years in the Army in which he learned Chinese and taught at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, Mitchell landed a teaching job in suburban Washington, D.C., and thought he would be teaching until his next retirement. But after the family moved to Washington state and he was unable to land a teaching gig, Mitchell considered a franchise. His research led him to open a UPS Store. “They give you the SOP, just like they do in the military,” he says. “You just do what people have done before. You can modify as you see fit over time, but at least you’ve got the playbook.” Nearly any military veteran can appreciate the complexity of logistics. “We provide a reliable product and what many people believe is not a reasonable price, but after doing some analyzing about what it takes to get a package there by 10:30 the next day, we offer a very fair price,” he says. The biggest challenge has been adjusting to the civilian workforce. “After so many years in the Army, it’s really a shock to work with people who don’t carry their weight and to deal with difficult customers,” he says. “But you learn. You learn to cut things off before they become trouble.” Most parent organizations require an eight- to 10year contract, and even the most seemingly fool-proof business could crash and burn in a shaky economy. “During boom times, anybody can open a franchise and do well, but in (recessionary) times … you really have to do all your homework and be prepared to work incredibly hard to make it happen,” Carey says. “But there is still tremendous opportunity for those willing to take the risk and invest themselves in growing a business.”


PHOTO: Pfc. Emily Houdershieldt 

Army 2nd Lt. Davis Hayden emerges from an obstacle during the 2016 European Best Warrior Competition at the 7th Army Training Command’s Grafenwoehr Training Area, Germany.

Fall 2016 MERG 45


THE BASICS OF FRANCHISE BUSINESSES W ant to be your own boss, but not willing to take on the risk of starting your own business from scratch? Franchising can be a great alternative if you want to have some guidance in the start-up phase of the business.

What is Franchising? A franchise is a business model that involves one business owner licensing trademarks and methods to an independent entrepreneur. Sometimes, franchises are referred to as chains. There are two primary forms of franchising: • Product/trade name franchising, in which the franchisor owns the right to the name or trademark and sells that right to a franchisee. • Business format franchising. The franchisor and franchisee have an ongoing relationship, and the franchisor often provides a full range of services, including site selection, training, product supply, marketing plans and even assistance in obtaining financing Before Investing in a Franchise Before you decide to franchise, you need to do your research. You could lose a significant amount of money if you do not investigate a business carefully before you buy. By law, franchise sellers must disclose certain information about their business to potential buyers. Make sure you get all the information you need first before entering into this form of business. To learn more about franchising opportunities, visit the Federal Trade Commission Bureau of Consumer Protection. The decision to purchase a franchise involves many factors. To help you explore if franchising is right for you, consider the following questions: • Do you know how much you can invest? • What are your abilities? • What are your goals? Content by the U.S. Small Business Administration. 46 MERG Fall 2016

Franchising Strategy You need a strategy before investing in a franchise. Doing your homework about the franchise first will help you gain a solid understanding of what to expect as well as the risks that could be involved. • Be a Detective In addition to the routine investigation that should be conducted prior to any business purchase, you should be able to contact other franchisees before deciding to invest. You can obtain a Uniform Franchise Offering Circular (UFOC), which contains vital details about the franchise’s legal, financial, and personnel history, before you sign a contract. • Know What You are Getting Into Before entering into any contract as a franchisee, you should make sure that you would have the right to use the franchise name and trademark, receive training and management assistance from the franchisor, use the franchisor’s expertise in marketing, advertising, facility design, layouts, displays and fixtures and do business in an area protected from other competing franchisees. • Watch Out for Possible Pitfalls The contract between the two parties usually benefits the franchisor far more than the franchisee. The franchisee is generally subject to meeting sales quotas and is required to purchase equipment, supplies and inventory exclusively from the franchisor. • Seek Professional Help The tax rules surrounding franchises are often complex, and an attorney, preferably a specialist in franchise law, should assist you to evaluate the franchise package and tax considerations. An accountant may be needed to determine the full costs of purchasing and operating the business as well as to assess the potential profit to the franchisee. Get More Information If you are considering purchasing a franchise, FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection has a wide range of resources and guides to help you buy a franchise and avoid franchise taboos.


PHOTO: Cpl. N.W. Huertas

Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Evian T. Jackson participates in a pullup event during the 75th anniversary field competition at Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point, N.C.

Fall 2016 MERG 47


OPENING A FRANCHISE: WHAT’S INVOLVED?

S

ome people who are interested in becoming owners of a franchise business enthusiastically bring up the fact that they’d like to open more than one franchise.

Let’s find out what’s involved.

Choosing and investigating a franchise First off, you have to choose, investigate and buy the right franchise. Once you do that, you can start thinking about opening your second one. So, let’s start at the beginning. 1. Do you thoroughly understand the franchise business model, including how and why it works so well? 2. Have you done a thorough self-evaluation to make sure that you’re suited for a franchise business? 3. Have you thoroughly investigated the franchise opportunities that you’ve chosen to look into? 4. Did you get proper legal advice before you signed your franchise agreement? 5. Did you obtain the right type of small business loan for your business? Open for business You’ve had your grand opening. Local residents are starting to hear about your new business. More and more of them are checking your franchise out. Things are starting to feel good. Your cash register is ringing up sales. You want more of that. After a few months of being in business – one that’s starting to look like a winner-- you may start visualizing what it would be like to have another franchise location up and running. But, what needs to happen to make it happen? Timing How will you know when it’s the right time? Ask these questions: 1. Is your current location making a profit? 2. Can you use the state of your local commercial real estate market to your advantage? Is it depressed? Are there good deals to be made with landlords who have empty space? 3. Do you have enough employees? Can one or two of them help you open another franchise location? 4. Will your local banker be on-board with you? Will you be able to secure another small business loan with favorable terms?

48 MERG Fall 2016

Where should you open it? If you’re going to open a second franchise location, it’s important to choose your physical location carefully. Not only will you have to make sure that the location you choose is a prime one, you’ll have to make sure that it’s in your territory. The franchise agreement you signed has very specific language with regards to territory. For example, you may have to stay within a certain ZIP code or maybe even a certain county. That’s why it’s important for you to go over your franchise agreement before you talk to a real estate broker or a landlord. That way you won’t be setting yourself up for disappointment if you find out about a hot potential location for your second franchise unit that turns out to be out of your territory. In other words, don’t put the cart before the horse. Family support Is your family going to be on board you on this? Will they be comfortable with the idea of taking on more risk? Think about what went on with those close to you when you were choosing and investigating the franchise that you now own. Did you have to convince your family of your idea to become a franchise business owner? What about when the subject of money came up? How nervous were they? It’s important for you to put yourself in their shoes. Just because you’re excited about the idea of getting another franchise unit open doesn’t mean that they are. Start discussing your ideas with them early on…not right before you’re applying for another business loan, or a week before you’re about to sign a 10-year lease on a new commercial space. Having two successful franchise locations up and running can be great. They’ll enable you to get closer to your personal and professional goals. Just make sure that you have done the things necessary to set you up for success. Reprinted from an SBA.gov Community Guest Blog post by Joel Libava

Content by the U.S. Small Business Administration.


PHOTO: Airman 1st Class J.T. Armstrong 

Airmen embrace at Minot Air Force Base, N.D. after returning from a deployment. Airmen assigned to the 5th Bomb Wing deployed to Anderson Air Force Base in Guam to help provide continuous bomber presence.

Fall 2016 MERG 49


FRANCHISE ECONOMIC OUTLOOK:

Growth slows after three years of steady gains, but franchises continue adding jobs

T

he Franchise Business Index (FBI), an index of the economic health of the franchising industry, rose 0.2 percent in September to 110.7, the International Franchise Association announced on Oct. 30. Growth of the index slowed as the component measuring employment in franchise-intensive industries showed no monthly gain for the first time in over three years and the small business optimism index declined. “Franchise businesses continue to create jobs and demonstrate that the franchise business model remains the best and most proven vehicle to quickly grow and scale a small business,” said IFA President & CEO Steve Caldeira. “While we are pleased the index grew for the fifth consecutive month, we remain concerned about the overall rate of growth in both new business formation and job creation. We believe comprehensive tax reform that eases the burden on small business owners by lowering the effective tax rate is essential to strong job and wage growth for all Americans.” The other four components of the FBI all made small positive contributions to the index. The unemployment rate

declined slightly and the incidence of self-employment rose. Retail sales in franchise-intensive sectors increased by 0.3 percent and the index of credit conditions ticked up. After incorporating revisions to last month’s data for individual components of the index, the August value of the FBI also showed slower growth – up 0.2 percent over the July value. Designed to provide timelier tracking of the growing role of franchise businesses in the U.S. economy, the Franchise Business Index was developed by IHS Global Insight on behalf of the IFA Educational Foundation. The FBI combines indicators of growth in the industries where franchising is most prevalent and measures of the general economic environment for franchising. “The franchise sector continues to exceed the modest pace of overall economic growth, as improvements in the housing market have had a positive impact on consumer spending,” said IHS Global Insight Senior Economist James Gillula, “and we do not expect higher mortgage rates to choke off the recovery.”

U.S. Navy Petty Officer 3rd Class Hezekiah Morgan measures the distance for a flood light.

50 MERG Fall 2016

Courtesy of the International Franchising Association.


PHOTO: Petty Officer 3rd Class Trevor Kohlrus 

An MH-605 Seahawk helicopter hoists Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Ben McCracken, left, and Petty Officer 3rd Class Sean Magee from the water during a Pacific Partnership 2016 search and rescue drill in Padang, Indonesia.

Fall 2016 MERG 51


Marine Cpl. Carson P. Burke carries an M240G machine gun during the advanced infantry course at Kahuku Training Area, Hawaii.

52 MERG Fall 2016


PHOTO: Cpl. Aaron Patterson 

Fall 2016 MERG 53


FINANCING YOUR FRANCHISE:

A

An SBA Guide

re you looking to buy a franchise, or do you currently own one? If so, you’re part of a growing population. The popularity of franchises over the last several decades has contributed to the massive growth of related jobs and new businesses. To help facilitate their development, the Small Business Administration has created a franchise program to simplify their financing process. What does it mean to be an SBA-approved franchise? SBA-approved franchises are select business opportunities whose agreements have been accepted by the SBA. When it comes to securing an SBA-backed loan, those applying for an approvedfranchise have it easier and quicker. Applicants for SBA-approved franchises benefit from a streamlined review process that expedites their loan application. Because the particular franchise is pre-approved, the loan review is less complex and focuses on specific aspects of that brand’s business plan. Where can I find a list of SBA-approved franchises? Through a partnership with SBA, the Franchise Registry provides a list of approved franchises*. This list allows you to search by name if you have a specific franchise in mind or by program/ industry if you doing research in related franchise opportunities.

Should I be worried if my franchise is not on the SBAapproved list? Franchises do not appear on the list for a variety of reasons. In some instances, the franchisor may decide not to have it listed. If this is the case, SBA and your commercial lender may need to review and evaluate more financial information when you seek SBA financial assistance, which may add more time to process the request. Being on or off the list is not an endorsement or indication of quality and profitability, so you should still thoroughly research for your potential franchise opportunity. What else is needed by SBA and my bank if my franchise is on the SBA-approved franchise list? Additional eligibility qualifications are required for applicants of financing for an SBA-approved franchise. These qualifications include items such as general eligibility, conflicts of interest, business plans, and use of proceeds. When you apply for an SBAbacked loan, you will still need to submit paperwork according to their application process. An SBA Loan Application Checklist can help you prepare all the necessary documentation. Common 54 MERG Fall 2016

documentation includes: • • • • • • • • • • •

Purpose of the loan History of the business Financial statements for three years (existing businesses) Schedule of term debts (existing businesses) Aging of accounts receivable and payable (existing businesses) Projected opening-day balance sheet (new businesses) Lease details Amount of investment in the business by the owner(s) Projections of income, expenses and cash flow Signed personal financial statements Personal résumé(s)

How do I proceed? Whether or not your franchise is on the SBA-approved list, there are still steps should take to move your loan application process forward: • Review process for SBA loans -Understanding the SBA process will help minimize the about of time the process will take. Being on top of what you need to submit and when can expedite everything. • Pull together all necessary information and documents More information will be needed to process the request. SBA will require less financial information if the franchise is on the SBA-approved list. There is common information and documentation that you will need to provide to SBA and your potential lender whether or not your franchise is on the SBA-approved list. Being on the SBA-approved franchises list will make the SBA approval portion move faster, but SBA has no control over the actual lenders. • Find a lender- SBA provides a list of Preferred Lenders that are familiar with the SBA process. You are not required to use a preferred lender, but if you have the option it could be beneficial. Throughout the process make sure that you are in contact with your franchisor and keep him or her updated. Whether or not your franchise is on the SBA-approved list, it is important to research your financing options. An expedited process is available for those on the list, but this does not guarantee approval. Remember, items such as general eligibility, conflicts of interest, business plans, and use of proceeds affect your odds, regardless of whether your franchise is pre-approved. Reprinted from SBA.gov


PHOTO: Seaman Daniel P. Jackson Norgart 

Navy Seaman Theo Shively observes a stellar view from the flight deck aboard the USS Carl Vinson in the Pacific Ocean.

Fall 2016 MERG 55


Sponsored Content

Memo from a Leatherneck Nearing the end of my active duty service, my mind gravitated to confidently overtaking the civilian sector during my TAPS (Transition Assistance Program) class. TAPS is a program that helps Marines acclimate in to civilian life. Six months of looking for a job with no takers and 14 resume revisions, put me in my place.

H

owever, through some keenly strategized interviews, I was eventually able to snag a security administrator position with the Booz Allen Hamilton consulting firm, keeping me in the field I know best: security. Through the years I worked in lonely SCIFs and later became a Contract Special Security Officer and Facility Security Officer with Rincon Research Corporation. I had built a distinguished rapport in the northern Virginia and DC area. Though the jobs were excellent and I truly loved the security industry, I wanted to move back to my childhood home in southern Kentucky. However, SCIFs and agencies aren’t quite as prevalent in a small rural area, so I hatched the idea to start my own business.

Now It’s About

As I drudged through school websites with business programs to utilize my Post 9/11 G.I. Bill, my mother one day brought to my attention Lockmasters Security Institute. My area didn’t have a local locksmith so the market was wide open for the venture. I can only assume the sound proofing material in my secured area functioned correctly, because no one from adjacent floors complained about hooting and celebrative OORAH’s coursing through my SCIF. My excitement and anxiety only intensified after a phone call to the school’s director, Deanna DeBorde. She confirmed that my Post 9/11 G.I. Bill benefits were an approved payment method for my tuition.

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With a packed-to-capacity UHAUL truck and a 13 hour drive, my thoughts often tracked around the lingering question; “Can this school really properly equip me with the skills I need for the locksmith trade?” We offer a variety of hands-on technical training courses that On October 24, 2011, my 28th birthday, I walked into the will give you real world experience in a short time period. A Professional Locksmithing class for the first time number of our courses are approved for enrollment of veterans, with very little knowledge of locking systems, reservists, service persons, and other eligible persons under the period. By the end of the 2 week course I was provisions of Chapters 30, 32, 33 and 35 GI Bill. picking (or at least attempting) every lock I could get my hands on. I was instantly addicted AVAILABLE COURSES GSA Authorized Safe & Vault Technician & Inspector and even more intrigued by the Lockmasters Professional Locksmithing I & II • Tactical Entry Level 1 organization. It didn’t take long before I had Comprehensive Security Specialist Training taken almost every course in the catalog. ProAccess Control Technician • Kaba X-Lock Certifications lock, Pro-lock 2, Emergency Vehicle Opening, Physical Security SCIF Construction Safe Deposit, Safe Penetration, Access Control, LKM7000 Lock Series Certification Safe Lock Servicing, Safe Lock Manipulation, Mechanical & Electronic Safe Lock Servicing Tactical Entry, GSA Technician and Inspector Professional Safe Lock Opening • Combination Lock Manipulation

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We offer a variety of hands-on technical training courses that will give you real world experience in a short time period. A number of our courses are approved for enrollment of veterans, reservists, service persons, and other eligible persons under the provisions of Chapters 30, 32, 33 and 35 GI Bill. AVAILABLE COURSES

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Certification, X-09 Certification, S&G 2740 Certification… I was on a mission. But HERE is the magic. I started passing out business cards to every business that would take one and essentially handed out over 500 business cards in a single week; and calls started coming in. First with lock outs and general rekeys for residences and businesses. I can still remember the first safe I manipulated was a Sentry straight tail piece almost identical to the one covered in class. My amazement was that I KNEW WHAT I WAS DOING! Most everything I got a call for, I had the direct knowledge. I was also invited to contact the instructors if I had a problem for advice while in the field. I had the skills and the resources I needed to not just do the job, but to excel in the market. So from time to time new/prospective students will ask the question, “Can this school really properly equip me with the skills I need for the locksmith trade?” I can only smile when I respond to that question in an email knowing that they will see my signature block at the bottom. Semper Fidelis, Brandon K. Powell Owner/Operator-The Leatherneck Locksmith Content provided by LOCKMASTERS.

Fall 2016 MERG 57


Marine Corps Cpl. Chris Lawler observes an F/A-18C Hornet approach the refueling hose during Exercise Pitch Black 2016 at Royal Australian Air Force Base Tindal, Australia.

58 MERG Fall 2016


PHOTO: Cpl. Nicole Zurbrugg 

Fall 2016 MERG 59


Army Sgt. Kara M. Yost and Rock, her military working dog, take a break after running through the obstacle course during training at Fort Meade, Md.

60 MERG Fall 2016


PHOTO: Sebastian “Bill” Sciotti Jr. 

Fall 2016 MERG 61


Navy crews conduct flight operations on the flight deck of USS Carney in the Mediterranean Sea.

62 MERG Fall 2016


PHOTO: Petty Officer 3rd Class Weston Jones

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MAGPUL.COM/MLOK

MODULAR ACCESSORY LOCKING SYSTEM M-LOK is a modular locking mounting system for direct attachment of accessories. Designed by Magpul Industries as an evolution of their MOE slot system used since 2007. ÂŽ

64 MERG Fall 2016

Š2015 Magpul Industries Corporation. All Rights Reserved. Magpul holds a Trademark on all of its product names and logos. The following products are trademarks of Magpul Industries Corporation, registered in the U.S. and other countries: Magpul, MOE & M-LOK.


MANUFACTURER OF TACTICAL SHOOTING PRODUCTS

precisionreflex.com Fall 2016 MERG 65


PHOTO: Staff Sgt. Jason Couillard

Pilots assigned to the Thunderbirds, the Air Force’s demonstration squadron, perform a delta loop maneuver during practice for the Chicago Air and Water Show over Chicago.

66 MERG Fall 2016


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PSI. DOING HARD THINGS IN DIFFICULT PLACES.

PSI is a service-disabled, veteran-owned small business providing international life support services to government and corporate clients. 68 MERG Fall 2016

www.praetorianstandard.com


PHOTO: Petty Officer 3rd Class Patrick Dionne

Marines depart the well deck of the amphibious transport dock ship USS Green Bay in a combat rubber raiding craft in the Pacific Ocean.

Fall 2016 MERG 69


Airmen transport a mock patient to a stretcher in an aeromedical evacuation training scenario during Exercise Beverly Herd 16 on Osan Air Base, South Korea.

70 MERG Fall 2016


PHOTO: Staff Sgt. Jonathan Steffen 

Fall 2016 MERG 71


72 MERG Fall 2016


Fall 2016 MERG 73


The Air Force Honor Guard Drill Team performs at the Air Force Memorial in Arlington, Va., to honor Vietnam War veterans.

74 MERG Fall 2016


PHOTO: Tech. Sgt. Joshua L. DeMotts

Fall 2016 MERG 75


BUILT TOUGH BATTLE HARDENED

We designed the new DeltaPoint Pro® to be the best reflex sight on the market. The lower profile and larger viewing window ensure you see more of what you need and less of what you don’t. That translates to faster target acquisition for any situation where split seconds count.

76 MERG Fall 2016

LEUPOLD.COM

© 2015 Leupold + Stevens, Inc.


The versatile Mark 6 1-6x20mm: For when it counts. With a 34mm maintube, daylight bright illumination and a CMR-W reticle, this scope is made for the world’s best warriors.

LEUPOLD.COM

© 2015 Leupold + Stevens, Inc.

Fall 2016 MERG 77


A soldier aims his practice AT-4 rocket launcher during the Army Reserve Drill Sergeant of the Year competition at Fort Jackson, S.C.

78 MERG Fall 2016


PHOTO: Sgt. 1st Class Brian Hamilton

Fall 2016 MERG 79


ArmorSource Producing and Delivering the Light Weight Advanced Combat Helmet to the US Army

AS‐505 Light Weight Advanced  Combat Helmet (spec. ARPD 10‐02) 

ArmorSource LLC, the leading and largest manufacturer of basic and advanced ballistic helmets in the United States, started 2016 off by achieving the latest milestone in the Combat Helmet Industry when it delivered its first Lot of Light Weight Advance Combat Helmets (LWACH) to the U.S. Army. ArmorSource is scheduled to deliver 105,000 in this calendar year alone. Deliveries of the LWACH mark the continuation of an ongoing effort by the Program Executive Office Soldier Protection and Individual Equipment (PM SPIE) to provide greater ballistic head protection to our troops at home and abroad. The LWACH delivers improved ballistic performance and is approximately 10% lighter than the ACH. ArmorSource’s LWACH milestone allows for Government stakeholders such as Director, Operational Test & Evaluation (DOT&E), Aberdeen Test Center (ATC), Defense Logistics Agency (DLA), and PM-SPIE to continue their pursuit of reducing the burden of weight placed on the neck and shoulders of the men and women in uniform while improving the overall ballistic protection.

AS‐501 Ultra‐Light Weight ACH / High  Cut (spec. IIIA and greater) 

ArmorSource’s 120,000 s/f facility is one the most impressive combat helmet production operations in the U.S. Operations are non-stop due to the growing demand to support our local Law Enforcement agencies (SWAT and State Police) and our federal agencies as well (State Department, Marshal Service, FBI, DEA, ICE). In addition to supporting our allies like Australia with industry-leading products like the AS-501 High-Cut [left] (equipped with the ArmorSource boltless rail and boltless retention systems) and Italy with our boltless AS-501 UltraLightweight ACH [right]; we are equally proud of our 5-year Indefinite Delivery/Indefinite Quantity contract with the U.S. Army Security Assistance Command (USASAC) which supports countries like Nigeria, Niger, Chad, Afghanistan, Iraq, Somalia, Kenya, Mongolia, and dozens more with rapid delivery of high quality products available only from ArmorSource.

AS‐501 Ultra‐Light Weight Boltless  Helmet (2.4 lbs. / spec. IIIA and greater) 

ArmorSource looks forward to production of the Army’s newest Advanced Combat Vehicle Crewman Helmet (ACVC-H) [bottom left] which is set to be awarded in May 2016. If awarded to ArmorSource, deliveries of the already approved helmet will begin in the July/August timeframe and continue into 2017.

AS‐770 Advanced Combat Vehicle  Crewman Helmet (spec. ARPD 12‐03) 

80 MERG Fall 2016

Our pride and determination of leading the global market with progressive R&D, highest Quality Engineering, and greatest Production Readiness remains steadily focused on ensuring U.S. Soldiers, Sailors, and Airmen possess the very best in ballistic protection. (email USG@armorsource.com for more information).

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Fall 2016 MERG 81


A spouse embraces her husband after he returned to Peterson Air Force Base, Colo., from a four-month deployment. About 150 Air Force reservists and four C-130 Hercules assigned to the 302nd Airlift Wing returned from Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar, where they supported Operations Freedom’s Sentinel and Inherent Resolve.

PHOTO: Staff Sgt. Amber Sorsek 82 MERG Fall 2016


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Providing quality career-focused programs to meet the needs of high-demand industries.

84 MERG Fall 2016

www.stratford.edu

Military Education and Resource Guide 2016 Fall  

MERG 2016 Fall Edition by DEFENSE STANDARD