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Publisher’s Note

MILITARY EDUCATION RESOURCE GUIDE 13

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Montgomery GI Bill Active Duty: The facts

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Montgomery GI Bill Selected Reserve: The facts

Allison A. Hickey is an Air Force veteran

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Yellow Ribbon Program: How to use it

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VA benefits: How to maximize them

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VA Work-Study Program: Earn while you learn

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Post-9/11 GI Bill: The basics

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Fully Developed Claim: How to file

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

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Post-9/11 GI Bill: Payment rates

A message from the Secretary of Veterans Affairs VA Secretary Eric K. Shinseki on his agency’s commitment to veterans

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Meet the VA’s Under Secretary for Benefits

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FRANCHISE GUIDE 50

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

Photo by Spc. Andrew Ingram US Army Photo of Sgt. 1st Class T. Konaha

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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

TACTICAL PHOTO GALLERY 67-81 Fall 2013 MERG

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JUGGERNAUT DEFENSE


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e’re trying something a little different with this issue of DEFENSE STANDARD. We know educational benefits are a big draw for potential military recruits. You serve your country, and in return your country helps pay for your college degree or professional certification. It’s a good deal all around. The Department of Veterans Affairs, headed by former Army Chief of Staff Gen. Eric K. Shinseki, is in charge of the educational benefits program. Of course, being a government program, things can get a little complicated. That’s why we’re bringing you the Military Education Resource Guide, or MERG as we call it here at the home office. We let the VA explain in its own words how its primary education benefits work. The agency describes many of its benefits and how to get the most of them. We include several articles explaining how the Post-9/11 GI Bill works, who’s eligible, and how to use the benefits. The Montgomery GI Bill is still in effect, too. The VA explains how the bill works, and provides instructions for both active-duty and Selected Reserve veterans navigating the process. An important program for veterans getting their education with the help of the Post-9/11 GI Bill is the Yellow Ribbon Program. The VA describes how the program can provide additional money for students attending private school or paying out-of-state tuition at a public school, where tuition and fees are likely to far exceed standard GI Bill benefits. It’s also important to understand the VA’s Work-Study Program, which provides veterans hands-on training and part-time income while they go to school.

And the agency provides some important tips on how to file a fully developed claim that gets you your GI Bill benefit money as fast as possible. In looking at life after service, we thought it also made sense to explore the world of franchises. Experts say buying a franchise can be a lower-risk, lower-cost way to own your own business, since some of the risk is taken on by the franchising company. Starting on page 50, we talk to several veterans who bought into franchises after leaving military service and learn how their military background helped them navigate their new business environment. Other articles explore the basics of franchising, what’s involved in opening a franchise, questions about financing franchises, and the economic outlook for franchises. Finally, if you follow DEFENSE STANDARD on Facebook you know how much we love great photos of military members doing their jobs. We thought it was time to share more of those photos on our printed pages. Turn to page 67 to start our Tactical Photo Gallery. As always, we appreciate your support and welcome your feedback.

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You fought for our rights. Now let us fight for yours. 12 MERG Fall 2013

Learn more about our free veterans benefits assistance at www.dav.org,or call us toll-free at 877-426-2838.


THE HONORABLE ERIC K. SHINSEKI

A Message From the Secretary of Veterans Affairs WASHINGTON, DC

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ou now know that budget sequestration is in effect, and VA has been exempted from it. Sequestration will bring difficult cuts to the budgets of many other Departments and Agencies of the Federal government. This exemption acknowledges the Nation’s obligation to provide care and benefits to our Veterans who earned them, their eligible family members, and our survivors. Even in a time of difficult economic choices, this obligation to Veterans must endure. You are crucial to achieving that mission. We, as a Department, have always focused on fulfilling these obligations, while also serving as good stewards of taxpayer dollars. We will not compromise the safety, security, or well-being of Veterans or our employees, but we must scrutinize every event, initiative, program, and proposal to assure that each is absolutely essential and will produce positive, measurable, returns to the accomplishment of our mission. In his State of the Union Address, President Obama discussed the need to rebuild a competitive middle class in this country and the importance of education, health care, and employment opportunities to doing so. The Veterans of World War II saved the world from oppression, returned home, used the original GI Bill to gain an education, bought homes, started businesses, became entrepreneurs, business leaders, doctors, scientists, and politicians and thereby earned for our country 60 years of sustained global leadership, prosperity, and security. In that same way, today’s Veterans are fully capable of helping grow our middle class, and providing a powerful return on the country’s investments in them. Veterans have done it before; they will do it again. As we look to the future, our mission is clear, our values define who we are, and our priorities—expand access for Veterans, eliminate the claims backlog, and end Veterans’ homelessness—will be our guideposts through this difficult time for the Nation. Serving Veterans is a privilege and an honor. I am proud of you, and I look forward to continuing our work together.

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SECRETARY OF VETERANS AFFAIRS Secretary Eric K. Shinseki Retired U.S. Army General Eric K. Shinseki was nominated by President Barack Obama on December 7, 2008, to serve as Secretary of Veterans Affairs. His nomination was confirmed by the Senate on January 20, 2009, and he was sworn in as the seventh Secretary of Veterans Affairs on January 21, 2009. Secretary Shinseki served as Chief of Staff, United States Army, from 1999 to June 11, 2003, and retired from active duty on August 1, 2003. During his tenure, he initiated the Army Transformation Campaign to address both the emerging strategic challenges of the early 21st century and the need for cultural and technological change in the United States Army. Following the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, he led the Army during Operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom and integrated the pursuit of the Global War on Terrorism with Army Transformation, successfully enabling the Army to continue to transform while at war. Prior to becoming the Army’s Chief of Staff, Secretary Shinseki served as the Vice Chief of Staff from 1998 to 1999. He previously served simultaneously as Commanding General, United States Army, Europe and Seventh Army; Commanding General, NATO Land Forces, Central Europe, both headquartered in Heidelberg, Germany; and Commander of the NATO-led Stabilization Force, Bosnia-Herzegovina, headquartered in Sarajevo. He was commissioned a second lieutenant of Artillery upon graduation from the United States Military Academy in June 1965 and was attached to Company A, 1st Battalion, 14th Infantry Regiment, 25th Infantry Division as a forward observer from December 1965 to September 1966, when he was wounded in combat in the Republic of Vietnam. He returned to Tripler Army Medical Center, Honolulu, Hawaii to recuperate and subsequently was assigned as Assistant Secretary, then Secretary to the General Staff, U.S. Army, Hawaii, Schofield Barracks, from 1967-1968. He transferred to Armor Branch and attended the Armor Officer Advanced Course at Fort Knox, Kentucky, before returning to Vietnam a second time in 1969. While serving as Commander, Troop A, 3d Squadron, 5th Cavalry Regiment, he was wounded a second time in 1970. Other assignments include Commander, 3rd Squadron, 7th Cavalry, 3rd Infantry Division; Commander, 2nd Brigade, 3rd Infantry Division; Deputy Chief of Staff, Support for Allied Land Forces Southern Europe; Assistant Division Commander-Maneuver, 3rd Infantry Division; Commander, 1st Cavalry Division, as well as G-3, 3rd Infantry Division, 1984-1985; G-3, VII US Corps, 1989-1990; and Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations and Plans, Headquarters, Department of the Army, 1996-1997. Shinseki holds a Bachelor of Science degree from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, a Master of Arts degree from Duke University, and is a graduate of the National War College. Secretary Shinseki was awarded the Defense Distinguished Service Medal, Distinguished Service Medal, Legion of Merit (with Oak Leaf Clusters), Bronze Star Medal with “V” Device (with 2 Oak Leaf Clusters), Purple Heart (with Oak Leaf Cluster), Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal (with 2 Oak Leaf Clusters), Air Medal, Parachutist Badge, Ranger Tab, Joint Chiefs of Staff Identification Badge, and the Army Staff Identification Badge.

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Veterans Affairs UNDER SECRETARY FOR BENEFITS Allison A. Hickey

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etired Brig. Gen. Allison A. Hickey assumed the duties of Under Secretary for Benefits at the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) on June 6, 2011. As Under Secretary for Benefits, Hickey leads more than 20,000 employees in the delivery of a wide range of integrated programs of non-medical benefits and services to Veterans, their dependents and survivors. Through a nationwide network of 56 regional offices, special processing centers, and VBA Headquarters, she directs the administration of VA’s disability compensation, pension, education, home loan guaranty, vocational rehabilitation and employment, and life insurance programs, and an annual budget of $76.3billion. Prior to her appointment, Hickey led Human Capital Management for the consulting company Accenture in their work for the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency – supporting operational business processes for intelligence community organizations in the areas of customer relationship management, call center practices and 21st Century information technology systems. As the Director of the Air Force’s Future Total Force office at the Pentagon, she provided leadership and oversight for four divisions in the areas of strategic planning, mission development, public and congressional affairs and program and resource implementation for more than 140 new Air Force units. Hickey was responsible for shifting billions of dollars towards new capabilities across the Air Force

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portfolio and directing new organizational models for a world-wide 500,000 person organization including active duty, Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve units and personnel to create a common Air Force policy, mission, and culture – known in the Department as the Total Force Perspective. Prior to that assignment, Hickey served as the assistant deputy director of Strategic Planning, where she provided leadership and oversight for five divisions. She also served as chief of the Air Force Future Concepts and Transformation Division focused on the integration of technologies, organizations and concepts of operation to model for the Air Force of 2025. Hickey is a 27-year Veteran of the Air Force having served on active duty, in the Air National Guard and the Air Force Reserve. Her Air Force career began in 1980 as a graduate of the U.S. Air Force Academy’s first class to include women. As a pilot and aircraft commander, she accumulated more than 1,500 hours of flight time in KC-10A, KC-135A, T-38 and T-37 aircraft. She is the daughter of retired Lt. Gen. William J. Hilsman, a Vietnam Army Veteran, and Jean Hilsman, who served as a director and past-president of the National Military Family Association and as the first Department of Defense Family Policy Office director. Hickey is married to retired Col. Robert Hickey, a 30year Veteran and former A-10 and C-130 pilot. She and her husband have three children.


HOW TO GET THE MOST OUT OF YOUR VA BENEFITS

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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.

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.

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THE POST-9/11 GI BILL

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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.

How many months of assistance can I receive and how long am I eligible?

Am I eligible?

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 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.

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. What kind of training can I take?

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 servefour 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. U.S. Navy Aviation Ordnanceman 3rd Class Angela M. Roberts studies for an advancement exam .

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PHOTO: Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Kasey Krall

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Education that Builds Careers for Our Military Community See the Careers Military Veterans Just Like You Have Built with Their Education From an EDMC School. DEREK J. BROWN

TIMOTHY THOMPSON-COOK

EDMC Affiliation: The Art Institute of Colorado – 2011, Bachelor of Arts, Digital Filmmaking and Video Production Military Experience: U.S. Marine Corps Employment: Production Associate, Rocky Mountain PBS

EDMC Affiliation: Argosy University,

San Francisco Bay Area - 2012, Master of Business Administration Military Experience: U.S. Navy Employment: Vice President for Service Excellence, Outpatient Services and Ambulatory Care at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center Timothy Thompson-Cook is Vice President for Service Excellence, Outpatient Services, and Ambulatory Care at Harbor-UCLA (University of California Los Angeles) Medical Center in Los Angeles County. He assumed this position after he graduated in 2012 from Argosy University, San Francisco Bay Area, where he earned a Master of Business Administration degree with a concentration in Healthcare Administration.

Derek J. Brown works as a production associate for Rocky Mountain PBS in Denver. He was part of the team that created “Urban Rez,” a nationally distributed documentary about the legacy and modern effects of American Indians relocating to urban areas that won a 2013 Emmy Award in the Heartland Chapter regional competition. His other accomplishments include earning the President’s Scholarship at The Art Institute of Colorado and a nomination for the 2009 Heartland Chapter Emmy Awards.

Success on the job stems from his ability to be flexible and adapt to a constantly changing environment, skills he previously mastered in the U.S. Navy. A veteran of Operation Desert Storm, he served in both active duty and reservist capacities from 1985 until 2001.

He is proud of his Navajo heritage and enjoys using his career as a vehicle to tell stories about his tribe’s history. Derek proudly served his country, earning the rank of Sergeant in the U.S. Marine Corps and serving as a Marine artillery for seven years.

“Argosy University challenged me to question and push back against doubts about completing a graduate degree in the midst of my demanding personal and professional life,” he said. “I genuinely felt like they believed in my potential, sometimes more than I did. When I felt exhausted, they were right there offering encouragement and reminding me just how close I was to finishing.”

Derek, who in 2011 earned a Bachelor of Arts in Digital Filmmaking and Video Production from The Art Institute of Colorado, says his education taught him the importance of being original.

Aimilitary.com

Argosy.edu/military

Brownmackie.edu/military

ABOUT EDUCATION MANAGEMENT Through its four education systems—Argosy University, The Art Institutes, Brown Mackie College and South University—Education Management has a proud tradition and strong record of serving veterans. With more than 130,000 students at its 110 college and university campuses in the U.S. and Canada, Education Management institutions are uniquely suited to serve the needs of members of our nation’s military. The broad array of programs provide active duty service members, reservists, veterans, military spouses and families with the quality, flexibility, and convenience they seek through courses both on campus and online. Education Management is committed to reaching veterans and participates in benefit programs such as the Montgomery G.I. Bill, Vocational Rehabilitation, Veterans Educational Assistance Program (VEAP), the Post-9/11 G.I. Bill, Dependents Educational Assistance, the Reserve G.I. Bill and Reservists Activated After Sept 11, 2001 (REAP), and the Military Spouse Career Advancement Accounts (MyCAA). Visit edmc.edu for more information.

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Online.southuniversity.edu/military


You Have Protected Our Tomorrow Create Your Tomorrow Today with an Education from an EDMC School

AREAS OF STUDY:

• Media arts, design, culinary and fashion

DEGREE LEVELS:

• Diploma through Master’s

LOCATIONS: 51* MILITARY AID AND BENEFITS:

• Tuition Reduction: Active duty military students and spouses are eligible for a 10% tuition reduction • Fee Waiver: Application fee waiver for active duty, active reserve and spouses. Application fees are not covered by earned education benefits • Military Information Sessions: Improve military to classroom transition efforts via outreach to local transition offices, veteran education benefit counselors and community partners

Aimilitary.com * Several institutions included in The Art Institutes system are campuses of Argosy University or South University.

AREAS OF STUDY:

• Business, education, law, psychology, behavioral sciences, undergraduate studies, health sciences, creative arts and design

DEGREE LEVELS:

• Diploma through Doctorate

AREAS OF STUDY:

• Nursing, healthcare and wellness, business and technology, legal studies, veterinary technology, early childhood education and construction trades

DEGREE LEVELS:

• Certificate through Bachelor’s

LOCATIONS: 28 MILITARY AID AND BENEFITS:

• Tuition Reduction: • Military Scholarship Program (Active Duty/ National Guard/Reserve) and Military Spousal Scholarship Program (Reserve and National Guard): Reduces tuition for undergraduate programs to $250 credit, waives all fees; graduate tuition reduced by 20% • Military Veterans (nonactive duty): Reduces undergraduate and graduate tuition by 20% • Air University: Work with the Air Force on Air University Associate to Bachelor’s Cooperative Program (AU ABC) • Member of Servicemembers Opportunity Colleges

LOCATIONS: 28 MILITARY AID AND BENEFITS:

• Specialized Training: Ongoing training of specialized military admissions personnel and school certifying officials to better understand the needs of military students • Community Partnerships: Partnering with “Cell Phones for Soldiers”

Brownmackie.edu/military

AREAS OF STUDY:

• Health and behavioral sciences, business, legal

DEGREE LEVELS:

• Certificate through Doctorate

LOCATIONS: 15 MILITARY AID AND BENEFITS:

• Tuition Scholarship: Active duty military students are eligible for a 10% reduction for master’s degree programs • Fee Waiver: Application fee waiver for active duty, active reserve, National Guard and veteran personnel • Boots to Books Training Series: • Military Stressors/ Readjustment and Reintegration Issues • Military Culture/Transition to Higher Education • The Invisible Wounds—mild Traumatic Brain Injury (mTBI), Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Military Sexual Trauma (MST) • Campus and Classroom Promising Best Practices

Online.southuniversity.edu/military

Argosy.edu/military

AWARDS

Our education systems are proud recipients of several awards, recognizing our commitment to educating those who have served our country.

Turn Your Military Benefits Into a Focused Education from an EDMC School

ABOUT EDUCATION MANAGEMENT Through its four education systems—Argosy University, The Art Institutes, Brown Mackie College and South University—Education Management has a proud tradition and strong record of serving veterans. With more than 130,000 students at its 110 college and university campuses in the U.S. and Canada, Education Management institutions are uniquely suited to serve the needs of members of our nation’s military. The broad array of programs provide active duty service members, reservists, veterans, military spouses and families with the quality, flexibility, and convenience they seek through courses both on campus and online. Education Management is committed to reaching veterans and participates in benefit programs such as the Montgomery G.I. Bill, Vocational Rehabilitation, Veterans Educational Assistance Program (VEAP), the Post-9/11 G.I. Bill, Dependents Educational Assistance, the Reserve G.I. Bill and Reservists Activated After Sept 11, 2001 (REAP), and the Military Spouse Career Advancement Accounts (MyCAA). Visit edmc.edu for more information.

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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.

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. 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 advisingEnsure 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

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U.S. Marine Corps Cpl. Stephanie Alexis graduates with an associate degree in management and plans to continue her education using her G.I. Bill benefits.


Dream it. Build it. Live it. Build Marine Systems Work With Composites Become a Boat Builder Design Tomorrow’s Yachts Choose your dream. Choose your program. Choose your career. We’ll get you there. www.landingschool.edu, 207-985-7976

The Landing School

®

Educating Future Leaders of the Marine Industry

The Landing School is accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC) and is approved as an institution of higher education by the Maine State Approving Agency for Veterans Education Programs.

PHOTO: Lance Cpl. Scott L. Tomaszycki

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

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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, 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.

(Right) U.S. Navy Aviation Boatswain’s Mate Handling Airman Danielle M. Jones studies for the upcoming advancement exam.

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PHOTO: Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Brian Read Castillo


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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.

Your Future.

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

LSI Provides the Best Security Technician Training In The Country.

Safe Deposit Lock Servicing

200 John C. Watts Drive 26 MERG Fall 2013

Nicholasville, KY 40356

866.574.8724

Enroll Today www.LSIeducation.com


Now It’s About

Your Future. LSI Provides the Best Security Technician Training In The Country.

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

GSA Authorized Safe & Vault Technician & Inspector Professional Locksmithing I & II • Tactical Entry Level 1 Comprehensive Security Specialist Training Access Control Technician • Kaba X-Lock Certifications Physical Security SCIF Construction LKM7000 Lock Series Certification Mechanical & Electronic Safe Lock Servicing Professional Safe Lock Opening • Combination Lock Manipulation Safe Deposit Lock Servicing

200 John C. Watts Drive

Nicholasville, KY 40356

866.574.8724

Enroll Today www.LSIeducation.com

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.

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POST-9/11 GI BILL PAYMENT RATES FOR 2013 ACADEMIC YEAR

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he Post-9/11 GI Bill program is comprised of multiple payments. All payments and maximum amounts listed on this page are applicable to individuals eligible for the full benefit (100% eligibility tier). If you are not eligible for the full benefit, the payment and maximum amounts listed will be prorated based on your eligibility percentage. Under the Post-9/11 GI Bill you may receive a: • • • • •

Tuition & fee payment sent directly to the school Monthly housing allowance sent to you Books and supplies stipend sent to you One-time rural benefit for certain veterans Tuition and fee payments

Maximum Tuition & Fee Reimbursement per Academic Year Type of School

Maximum reimbursement

Public School

All tuition & fee payments for an in-state student

Private or Foreign School

Up to $19,198.31 per academic year national maximum (see next table for exceptions)

Tuition & Fee Reimbursements, Selected States Maximum tuition & fee reimbursement per academic year for students attending a private IHL in selected states and have been enrolled in the same program since Jan. 4, 2011 State

Maximum Charge per Credit Hour

Maximum Total Fees per Term

Arizona

$725.00

$15,000.00

Michigan

$1,001.00

New Hampshire

$1,003.75

$5,197.00

New York

$1,010.00

$12,293.00

Pennsylvania

$934.00

South Carolina

$829.00

$2,798.00

Texas

$1,549.00

$12,130.00

$19,374.50

$6,110.00

Note: If you are attending a public IHL as a non-resident student or a private IHL that is more expensive than the annual cap, you may be eligible for extra payment under the Yellow Ribbon program.

You may also be eligible to receive: • monthly housing allowance sent to you • books and supplies stipend sent to you • one-time rural benefit for certain veterans 28 MERG Fall 2013

Continued on Page 30


HOME OF THE BRAVE Northern Arizona University proudly serves veterans, active duty military, and members of the National Guard and Reserve, with resources and services tailored to meet your unique needs, such as: • flexible course options so you can complete your degree online, at one of 30 campuses across Arizona, or at our residential campus in Flagstaff • a dedicated Military and Veteran Student Center where you can connect with other students in our military and veteran community • a staff of veterans in our Office of Military and Veteran Affairs who will serve as your advocates on and off campus • financial assistance, including the GI Bill, Tuition Assistance, Yellow Ribbon Program, and military scholarships • academic credit for military training and education • a customized transition course for first-year students to prepare for higher education • nationally-ranked degree programs Visit nau.edu/majors for a complete list of degrees. Northern Arizona University is an Arizona Veterans Supportive Campus, and participates in the Marine Corps Partnership for Academic Excellence as a member of the Leadership Scholar Program.

Take the Next Step

“There is a place you can go on campus to talk to other veterans and integrate yourself into the community instead of just being on your own. You can instantly come in and have that rapport with the other veterans. That camaraderie is still there, even though you’ve never met them until you walked into the Military and Veteran Student Center.” Daniel Driss, U.S. Army veteran

• Visit nau.edu/veteran to learn more. • Call us at 928-523-8387. • E-mail us at Veteran.Affairs@nau.edu.

Visit nau.edu/veteran to learn more. Fall 2013 MERG 29


POST-9/11 GI BILL PAYMENT RATES FOR 2013 ACADEMIC YEAR Continued from Page 28

Non-College Degree Granting Institutions Actual net costs for in-state tuition & fees not to exceed $19,198.31 during the academic year. You may also be eligible to receive: • a monthly housing allowance sent to you • a books and supplies stipend sent to you • a one-time rural benefit for certain veterans Apprenticeship / OJT Rates Apprenticeship and On-the-Job Training Training Period First six months of training Second six months of training Third six months of training Fourth six months of training Remaining pursuit of training

Monthly rate 100% of your applicable MHA 80% of your applicable MHA 60% of your applicable MHA 40% of your applicable MHA 20% of your applicable MHA

You may also be eligible to receive: • a books and supplies stipend sent to you Content provided by the VA. The Post-9/11 GI Bill allows soldiers who meet the necessary criteria to transfer educational benefits to their spouse or child. Here, soldiers and Iraqi army soldiers sit on a dirt berm as they take a break during training at Tanmiya, Iraq.

PHOTO: Sgt. Timothy Kingston

30 MERG Fall 2013


UTILIZE YOUr STRENgths BUILD ON YOUR MILITARY SKILLS.

In just 20 weeks, transition to an exciting, challenging, and well-paying career as a Commercial Diver/ Underwater Welder.

• Approved for Military Benefits • Financial Aid available for those who qualify

PICK UP THE TORCH AT CDA TECHNICAL INSTITUTE CALL 8889742232 OR VISIT WWW.CDA.EDU

S

For more information about graduation rates, the median debt of students who complete the program and other important information, visit www.cda.edu.

o what is your plan? I am sure you have heard that a time or two prior to completing your first enlistment. Or, perhaps you have spent many nights thinking, should I stay or should I go? Well for me, after serving four successful years in the US Navy as a hull maintenance technician second class, I made the decision to dive right in. There was just something about the ocean I wasn’t about to turn my back on. Commercial diving seemed to be calling me from the deep. After a couple months of research and calling commercial diving schools here in the states, I came to a decision to attend CDA Technical Institute, formerly known as Commercial Diving Academy, in Jacksonville, Florida. Why did I choose CDA over the rest? Well, for me that was easy, over sixty percent of the instructors are prior military. Secondly, and most importantly, were the certifications that were offered really stood out. I personally knew that my professionalism earned from service needed to be backed by a school that offered an internationally-recognized certification and stood out in the industry as a quality producer of entry level divers. Since my first week of training doing team building exercises to the last week of my training, the instructors unloaded years of knowledge and experience on me. My

strong mechanical and welding background was a huge benefit to my success while enrolled at school, but I soon realized this was no nine to five career. Commercial diving was going to be a lifestyle. You were a part of a dive team, a team that only by working together can accomplish the task at hand. Sounding familiar to some of you yet? Looking back on those months at school and seeing how far my classmates and I had come was incredible. We left CDA with experience in underwater welding and burning, salvage, pipeline installation, NDT inspections, rigging and crane operations, Hazmat, and most importantly, a diving certification that upon graduation certified me as a diver anywhere in the world. Since graduating in 2007, this adventure working in the deep has led me both offshore in the Gulf of Mexico supporting the oil and gas industry, as well as inland/coastal diving, servicing US Navy ships in North Florida to industrial diving up along the Great Lakes. The commercial diving industry has been an easy transition, as well as a very fulfilling career. My attention to detail and leadership has helped me climb the ladder quickly and make a successful career. Jeff Lee is originally from Andover, Connecticut. He spent four years serving in the United States Navy (2002-2006) and was stationed at Naval Station Mayport Jacksonville, Florida. Mr. Lee was a Hull Maintenance Technician - Petty Officer 2nd Class Surface Warfare. Fall 2013 MERG 31


32 MERG Fall 2013


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Gerard Pristera’s Army experience helped him focus, prioritize, make the grade BY JUAN MIGUEL PEDRAZA University of North Dakota Public Affairs

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t’s a given of helicopters that flying them requires the pilot’s full and focused attention. Yes, there are autopilot systems for these rotary birds, but when you’re on the antitorque pedals and the collective and the cyclic—the main controls for a helicopter--there’s no saying “look, ma, no hands.” It takes the pilot’s full and constant attention, a deft touch, and multitasking abilities to keep helicopters in controlled flight mode. “It’s true,” says University of North Dakota helicopter flight instructor Gerard Pristera, an Army veteran and UND Aerospace alum. “You never take your hands of those flight controls— one or two seconds is all it takes (to lose it) if you get behind what the helicopter is doing.” In other words, he points out, you’re constantly flying a helicopter—no time for skylarking. “I’d say the biggest challenge is that flying a helicopter is much more dangerous than flying an airplane,” he said.

Fall 2013 MERG 33


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Pristera, 29, should know: he fixed them, now flies them. He served two tours in Korea in the U.S. Army as a helicopter mechanic. Now, after getting all the training he needed at UND, he teaches others how to fly them. Today, he’s responsible for flight instructing seven students, including a contract student from Saudi Arabia and one ROTC student. He started his flight training at UND in 2010 and finished two years later. “I always wanted to fly helicopters but I fractured my back in the Army during my second tour in Korea, so I couldn’t fly. I had my colon removed as a result of the medications I was given after the surgeries,” said Pristera. But that didn’t stop him from pursuing his goal at UND Aerospace. His military experience taught him the irreplaceable value of persistence. “You can do whatever you want if you set your mind to it—that’s what I tell my students, too,” said Pristera, who recovered from his injuries and now passes on his expertise—as well as his hard-earned wisdom—to the next generation of helicopter pilots.

“It takes a lot of dedication—and some sacrifice—in order to succeed as a helicopter pilot,” Pristera said. “I cannot teach students unless they put forth a lot of effort. We spend at least three hours of teaching and learning on the ground for every hour we spend in the air. I try to make sure that they’re doing everything right and safely.” That total package is about focus—and Pristera demonstrated that throughout his own education. “Gerard was a very dedicated student working extremely hard earning his BS degree with a major in Commercial Aviation,” said Ken Polovitz, assistant dean and head of student services at UND Aerospace. “This effort, combined with the utilization of his veteran’s educational benefits has put him on a career track as a professional pilot in both fixed-wing and helicopter aircraft.” For Pristera now, there’s really no doubt what it’s all about. “Helicopter flying is really a highly specialized set of skills,” he said. To do it well, “it pretty much boils down to motivation.”

An SH-60 Seahawk from Helicopter Antisubmarine Light Squadron Forty Two (HSL-42) patrols the skies at sunset.

PHOTO: Photographer’s Mate 1st Class (SW) Arlo K. Abrahamson

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Dreamed of becoming a pilot??

Your Post 9/11 GI Bill benefits can pay for up to100% of your flight training.

Hillsboro Aviation and Portland Community College can help you get started on your flight training today. Contact us at flightschool@hillsboroaviation.com or (800) 345-0949. cal u merg ad:Layout 1 8/13/13 1:33 PM Page 1

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O N L I N E

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F O R

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F O R C E

Wherever you serve, Cal U is there. Cal U Global Online provides accredited bachelor’s and master’s degree programs in a 100% online format that suits your needs. Why earn your degree online from Cal U? Asynchronous courses give you access to classes from anywhere, at any time. An accelerated schedule lets you earn your degree in less time. Pennsylvania in-state tuition rates apply for all active-duty military. And Cal U is a MilitaryFriendly University that supports military students through a dedicated Office of Veterans Affairs. So choose Cal U Global Online.

We’re there for you. V I S I T W W W . CA LU . E D U / G O / M I L I TA R Y E - M A I L G O M I L I TA R Y @C A L U . E D U PHONE 1-866-595-6348

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Fall 2013 MERG 35


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

36 MERG Fall 2013

• 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


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

PHOTO: Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Kenneth Abbate

U.S. Navy Aviation Machinist’s Mate Airman Aida Roxas studies aviation warfare material.

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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. 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

38 MERG Fall 2013

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.


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

TAKE YOUR NEXT STEP WITH US

➤ No application fee for veterans or active military ➤ Dedicated Veterans Services Office to answer any questions you have ➤ Convenient part-time, online and full-time course options ➤ Online degree completion programs in Criminal Justice, Business, Sociology, History, Psychology, and Liberal Studies ➤ No out-of state-tuition with our online degree programs

31 Undergraduate majors including: Criminal justice Business Management Movement Science Psychology Aviation Management*

E-mail questions to veterans@westfield.ma.edu or go to westfield.ma.edu/veterans for more information. Call us at (413) 572-8370

8 Graduate degrees including: Criminal Justice Social Work Education Public Administration *Business Management Concentration

Fall 2013 MERG 39


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.

U.S. sailors complete a Navy Computer Adaptive Personality Scales questionnaire at Naval Construction Battalion Center Gulfport, Miss.

40 MERG Fall 2013


Fall 2013 MERG 41

PHOTO: Chief Mass Communication Specialist Ryan Wilber


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

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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

42 MERG Fall 2013


Interested in a Professional SCUBA Career? GI Bill Approved Programs

CAREER OPPORTUNITIES     

Crew on charter vessel Open your own SCUBA store Work as an instructor at a resort worldwide Commercial diver Continue to become Master SCUBA Diver Trainer

GO PRO! LOVE YOUR JOB! TRAVEL! Your SCUBA Career Starts HERE!

These are only a few of the career possibilities available that you will be eligible for upon completion of our SCUBA instructor program which is authorized by the NC State Approving Agency for those eligible to receive GI Bill education benefits.

GI BILL ELIGIBLE

Discovery Diving Co. is offering a beginner to SCUBA Instructor program on weekends, with programs starting every 2 or 3 weeks. Weekday “full immersion” programs are also available. Call today to register.

252-728-2265 dive@DiscoveryDiving.com 414 ORANGE STREET BEAUFORT, NC 28516

e n i Onl

Please visit our website at www.DiscoveryDiving.com for additional information and an extensive schedule. Start in our beginner program and graduate as an internationally recognized PADI Open Water SCUBA Instructor.

Masters of Education in Instructional Leadership (for non-teachers) This Masters of Education was designed for people who want to improve their own leadership skills and then learn how to train others to be better leaders. The key element in this program is that students learn adult learning theories and best practices. This knowledge is vital to effectively and efficiently train others. It is ideal for the following groups:

Military • First Responders Program Admission Requirements This program is 30 hours and is entirely online. All candidates must have a Baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited college or university and a 3.0 overall GPA in their undergraduate program.

To Register or for more information:

online - www.graceland.edu/education/training or call Loren at (800) 833-0524 x 4718 GU Independence | 1401 West Truman Rd. | Independence, MO 64050 | lspicer@graceland.edu Fall 2013 MERG 43


PHOTO: Cpl. Reece Lodder

U.S. Marine Lance Cpl. Edward Knudsen, mortarman with Headquarters Platoon, Weapons Company, 3rd Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment, studies a mathematics textbook in his sleeping area at Combat Outpost Torbert, Aghanistan.

44 MERG Fall 2013


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obert Carpenter is a former lance corporal who served two years in the Marine Corps as an infantry machine gunner. He also served in the Army National Guard for six months. In November 2012, he decided to enroll at Great Lakes Truck Driving School to fulfill his childhood dreams. Carpenter traveled from Philadelphia, PA to Columbia Station, OH to begin training just two weeks after his initial phone call to the school. He chose Great Lakes Truck Driving School because of the many achievements and awards it has earned. “As a Marine Corps Veteran, these achievements were very important to me because I wanted the very best training available.” He used his GI Bill Benefits to enroll in the truck driving, heavy equipment, and oilfield safety training program. Carpenter also took advantage of the complimentary student lodging for out-of-the-area students.

He believes the school is a great fit for veterans and he graduated successfully in March 2013. “Most of the instructors at Great Lakes Truck Driving School are also veterans; this allowed me to feel more comfortable in my training.” Carpenter worked with the school’s lifetime job placement assistance program to his new career at Valley Transportation, Inc. just one month after graduation. Jim Hoover, Personnel and Safety Director for Valley Transportation, is also a Veteran of the Marine Corps and finds it rewarding hiring veterans. He understands what they have gone through in their careers; making the transition a little easier. Carpenter’s advice is to take advantage of the educational programs offered by the military and to maintain a proper physical, mental, and emotional attitude. He believes the training that he received in the service prepared him to be successful at Great Lakes Truck Driving School and in his new career as a professional truck driver.

TRUCK DRIVING, HEAVY EQUIPMENT AND OILFIELD TRAINING Approved for GI Bill Benefits for Eligible Veterans Over 86% job placement and lifetime placement assistance Complimentary lodging for out-of-the-area students

FOR MORE INFORMATION ON HOW TO START A NEW CAREER CALL 866-932-3436 OR VISIT WWW.GREATLAKESTDS.COM Located at 27740 Royalton Road Columbia Station,OH 44028

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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. U.S. Navy Legalman 2nd Class Gina Camacho studies for her advancement exam.

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PHOTO: Mass Communication Specialist Seaman George M. Bell


SPECIAL ADVERTISING SECTION

HOT CONCEPTS

ServiceMaster

Veteran Says Lessons Learned in Military Transfer Nicely to Small Business Ownership When Christiana and Stephen Logansmith opened up their ServiceMaster Clean franchise in 1989, they knew exactly what they were getting into. More specifically, they knew the experiences gained while serving in the United States Navy had prepared them well for what was ahead. And twenty-one years later, with nearly 100 clients and 160 employees, the Millersville, Maryland-based janitorial service is thriving thanks to the time-tested principles they learned in the service. Drawn to the idea of being her own boss, Logansmith was immediately attracted to the concept of franchising. The former communications and security officer admits the couple did not initially have an idea to implement, so choosing a small business with the strong track record, great brand recognition and history of solid franchisee support they found in ServiceMaster Clean, made the decision all the easier. Logansmith wanted a proven system that was highly turnkey in nature, as her time in the military was all about operating within a systematic approach. “Responsibility and personal accountability are critical components to success in any facet of life, and the Navy does an incredible job of driving that home,” said Logansmith. “Ex-service personnel eat, breathe and sleep these values, which transfer well into the type of business we run, given all the moving parts we manage, as well as the size of the organization.”

“Literally every step for doing anything is clearly spelled out in the service,” added Logansmith. “So there are no excuses for falling short of your objectives. When it’s all there in print, you can’t help but meet your goals.” With that in mind, Logansmith utilizes an operations manual that all employees are issued after completing intensive training during their first week on the job. Once team members have acquired the necessary skill sets and have performed to expectations, both Logansmith and the employee sign the manual as an agreement to always do things according to plan. Logansmith concludes that ex-military bring a lot of other intangibles to the table that makes them great candidates for small business ownership as well. In addition to their dedication to seeing the job through to completion, she holds that former service personnel are committed to leading by example, which resonates well when you are trying to teach frontline staffers. “I’ve noticed people respond better to leaders who are willing to roll up their sleeves and get their hands dirty, and that’s just what you are expected to do in the service,” Logansmith said. “Ex-service personnel also have a mental toughness that translates into on-the-job success.”

The structure and orderly approach to challenges while serving in Japan also fit well with the franchise blueprint that Logansmith signed up for more than two decades ago. Like the Navy, ServiceMaster Clean functions according to a set of operating procedures that have been designed with the owner’s success in mind. Likewise, Logansmith says that everything an officer does is benchmarked against a set of standard operating procedures (SOPs) for doing everything and anything in the military.

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Entrepreneur Magazine

July, 2011


Take command of your future with ServiceMaster Clean

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Realize your dreams Combine your knowledge and leadership experience with ServiceMaster Clean and become a part of one of the country’s largest cleaning networks. Our team is dedicated to help you succeed with sales and marketing assistance and one-on-one support from our dedicated staff. After all, we have been franchising for 60 years. Financing is available. Ask about our military discount.

800-230-2360 ownafranchise.com Financing is available through ServiceMaster Acceptance Company, a subsidiary of The ServiceMaster Company, to credit qualified individuals. © 2012 ServiceMaster Clean. All rights reserved.

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TIRED OF TAKING ORDERS? Maybe it’s time to be your own boss

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 Washingtonbased 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 50 MERG Fall 2013

By Bryan Mitchell

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.

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.

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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 longterm 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.

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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

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

“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. 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.

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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 10-year 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.” Fall 2013 MERG 51


Sponsored Content

A Franchise Success Story Steven and Lisa West are the proud owners of American Leak Detection of Columbus, Ohio. They have been in business since Steven bought the franchise in 1998. With his wife by his side, Steven sought to cultivate the type of team mentality that he first learned through his service in the Armed Forces. Steven served in the United States Air Force from 1985 to 1994. He was a Para-rescue Specialist in Operation Desert Storm using whatever methods necessary to retrieve U.S. personnel and material. Steven has been stationed all across the country: at Elmendorf AFB in Alaska, Eglin AFB in Florida, Nellis AFB in Las Vegas, and at Kirtland AFB in Albuquerque. His final assignment was one of leadership, as he was an instructor in special weapons and tactics at Nellis AFB. “The organizational and managerial skills I learned in the Air Force have helped me become a successful franchise owner. Being a self starter, motivated, and dedicated are all attributes required in the military, which I have applied to my business,” Steven says about his experience. The varied nature of tasks while dealing with the challenges of being a Pararescue Specialist helped Steven adapt to the unpredictable business of leak detection. American Leak Detection jobs are never the same twice. After the military, Steven entered college to obtain his engineering degree, but within two years he knew that he wanted to be a business owner so he switched his focus. Upon completion on his schooling, Steven was specifically looking to be a part of a team. In joining American Leak Detection, Steven found that team. Franchise owners use 52 MERG Fall 2013

an internal intranet system to connect to one another finding out what works best in the field. Tips, tricks, and trade secrets flow from one franchisee to another in the spirit of camaraderie, accomplishment, and good sound business. From troubling jobs, to advertising ideas, to managing everyday operations, our team members form a strong union to support one another. Steven confidently said when he bought into the American Leak Detection business, “I bought a team.” The best part of Steven’s job is his passion to lead others. He gives his employees the tools to be successful, and ultimately he has trained them to take over when he is not there. Steven describes his work with American Leak Detection as challenging, changing, and financially lucrative. Steven’s experiences with American Leak Detection have been wide-ranging, exciting, and rewarding. In one instance he was called out to a job in a retirement village that was losing a $1,000 of water per day! With his leak detection equipment on hand, Steven was able to find and fix the leak within half a day, saving the seniors thousands! Steven’s military training and experience is woven throughout his character. Always the military man, he is described by one of his technicians as diligent, concise, and audible. Often times at the office he will admonish an unsavory task with, “Suck it up Buttercup.” Steven’s childhood friend and lead technician says, “before going out in a job he’ll tell us to pull chocks as if we had chocks on the truck—like an airplane!” Even out in the field, Steven’s technicians will hear Steven’s standard RTB (return to base) command when they are wrapping up the day’s end. Be it through his steadfast leadership, his iron-clad work ethic, or his unwavering standards, Steven’s Air Force experience continues to drive a very successful franchise of American Leak Detection. Content provided by American Leak Detection.


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THE BASICS OF FRANCHISE BUSINESSES

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.

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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? 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. Content by the U.S. Small Business Administration. U.S. Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Stephen Bohez installs tinted glass blinds in a building during the final days of Sapper 13 in Dili, Timor-Leste.

PHOTO: Petty Officer 1st Class Chris Fahey

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OPENING A FRANCHISE: WHAT’S INVOLVED?

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. 56 MERG Fall 2013

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?

Continued on Page 58


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Continued from Page 56 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

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

PHOTO: Petty Officer 1st Class Chris Fahey

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2013 Military ad - kyle (2).pdf 1 9/25/2013 5:36:49 PM

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FRANCHISE ECONOMIC OUTLOOK:

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

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.” Courtesy of the International Franchising Association. A Timor-Leste resident, right, helps U.S. Navy Petty Officer 3rd Class Calvin Johnson place a support beam at a Dili school.

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PHOTO: Petty Officer 1st Class Chris Fahey


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FINANCING YOUR FRANCHISE: 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?

Should I be worried if my franchise is not on the SBAapproved list?

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 approved-franchise 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.

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.

Where can I find a list of SBA-approved franchises?

What else is needed by SBA and my bank if my franchise is on the SBA-approved franchise list?

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.

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 SBA-backed loan, you will still need to submit Continued on Page 64

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Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, left, walks with Julian E. Barnes, the Wall Street Journal’s Pentagon reporter, between meetings in New York in early November. Hagel spoke with Barnes about a meeting where he discussed how to help veterans transitioning into the civilian work force.


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PHOTO: Erin A. Kirk-Cuomo


Continued from Page 62 paperwork according to their application process. An SBA Loan Application Checklist can help you prepare all the necessary documentation. Common 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: Petty Officer 1st Class Chris Fahey

U.S. Navy Petty Officer 3rd Class Morgan Rego, left, and Australian engineer William Nesbitt place the lid on a new seven-foot septic tank.

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Fall 2013 MERG 65


66 MERG Fall 2013


PHOTO: Sgt. Gabriela Garcia

U.S. Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Andrew J. Savoie, a crew chief with Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadron 462 (HMH-462) provides aerial security over Helmand province, Afghanistan.

Fall 2013 MERG 67


68 MERG Fall 2013


Fall 2013 MERG 69


70 MERG Fall 2013


PHOTO: Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Timothy Walter

Information Systems Technician 3rd Class Gage Hunt, center, fires an M240B machine gun as line coaches Aviation Ordnanceman Airman Patrick Murphy, left, and Gunner’s Mate Brice Gates supervise on the fantail of the aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77).

PHOTO: Capt. Peter Smedberg

An AH-64 Apache helicopter taxis down the flight line after a security and reconnaisance mission on Forward Operating Base Fenty, Afghanistan. The pilots are assigned to the 1st Attack Reconnaissance Battalion, 10th Combat Aviation Brigade.

Fall 2013 MERG 71


速 72 MERG Fall 2013


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Fall 2013 MERG 73


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74 MERG Fall 2013

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Fall 2013 MERG 75

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U.S. Marine Corps Lance Cpls. Roosevelt Pierre, left, and Christian Moore inspect 7.62-caliber rounds before a machine gun shoot in the Kajaki district in Afghanistan’s Helmand province. Pierre and Moore, machine gunners, are assigned to Lima Company, 3rd Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment. The range exercise enabled the Marines to train with the weapons.

76 MERG Fall 2013


PHOTO: Lance Cpl. Sean Searfus

Fall 2013 MERG 77


U.S. Navy Petty Officers 3rd Class Olivia Anzaldua, left, and 2nd Class Kara Bates perform maintenance on an F/A-18F Super Hornet on the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman in the Gulf of Oman. The Truman was conducting maritime security operations, supporting theater security cooperation efforts and supporting Operation Enduring Freedom.

78 MERG Fall 2013


PHOTO: Seaman Karl Anderson

Fall 2013 MERG 79


U.S. Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Kahane Glenn stands watch on Forward Operating Base Shukvani in Afghanistan’s Helmand province. Kahane is a rifleman assigned to Kilo Company, 3rd Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment.

80 MERG Fall 2013


PHOTO: Lance Cpl. Sean Searfus

Fall 2013 MERG 81


A pilot and a weapon systems operator in a U.S. Air Force F-15E Strike Eagle refuel with a KC-135R Stratotanker over Norway during this fall’s Arctic Challenge exercise.

PHOTO:  1st Lt. Christopher C. Mesnard 82 MERG Fall 2013


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84 MERG Fall 2013


DEFENSE STANDARD 2013 Military Education & Resource Guide