April 28, 2015

Sgt. Shaft caricatureDear Sgt Shaft
I am trying to help a friend of mine obtain a new Military ID. Hers expired in January but she didn’t realize it until now.

Her husband was a retired Lt. Co. in the Air Force and passed away last year. She lives in Ft. Collins, Colorado. My thought was she needs to take the death certificate along with military papers to the base in Cheyenne? Please give me some direction so I don’t waste everyone’s time when we go to apply for her ID.

She is a US citizen but from Costa Rica and not confident in her speaking and writing abilities so I will accompany her to take care of this procedure.

I appreciate your time and help in getting this information to me!

Janet M
Via the internet

Dear Janet
Her best bet is to call the nearest ID card office and find out what they need to update a card. Plus by calling, she can verify hours or operation and the exact location of the office. Use this web site to find an office in your area and get the phone number (http://www.dmdc.osd.mil/rsl/appj/site?execution=e1s1). You may be surprised that offices exist in locations closer to your home.

Shaft Notes
The Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States is demanding that the safe release of former U.S. Marine Corps Sgt. Amir M. Hekmati be linked to any potential deal with Iran.

The U.S.-born Hekmati, a native of Flint, Mich., was in Iran visiting relatives in 2011 when he was arrested and accused of being a spy. He would be subsequently tried, convicted, and sentenced to death. He was later retried and sentenced to 10 years in prison — a sentence he now serves in Evin Prison in northwestern Tehran, where he is allegedly being tortured by his captors.

“Today I am demanding that the U.S. government make his release a nonnegotiable part of whatever deal is cut with Iran,” said VFW National Commander John W. Stroud. “I have had grave concerns over his wrongful imprisonment, but am especially troubled over allegations that his Iranian captors are torturing a former Marine and a fellow VFW member.”

The VFW had written U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power in September 2013 to urge her personal involvement to gain his release, but to date, Hekmati’s plight seems to be a nonissue to the American government.

“If our government can swap five of the worst terrorists for one American soldier, we can certainly make the safe release of one former Marine an unconditional part of a deal that has yet been formalized,” said Stroud. “It’s what America does for her citizens — we bring them home.”

The U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) and Champlain College have entered into an agreement enabling Federal employees, their spouses, and qualifying adult family members to pursue affordable, online post-secondary education in high-demand business, health care and technology fields. Starting with the summer 2015 semester, Champlain College will offer Federal employees and their families access to more than 60 nationally recognized online certificate, bachelor’s, and master’s degree programs at up to 70 percent less than standard online tuition rates through their alliance program.

“By partnering with Champlain College, OPM is helping provide access to high-quality educational opportunities that will allow our dedicated Federal employees to advance their careers and contribute to their agencies’ mission success,” said OPM Director Katherine Archuleta. “At OPM, our mission is to provide the tools agencies require to recruit, develop, and retain the top talent we need to serve the American people. The alliance program will help foster a high-performing workforce capable of achieving today’s missions and meeting tomorrow’s challenges.”

Through their truED® alliance, Champlain College will provide the Federal workforce with online certificate, bachelor’s and master’s degree programs in fields like cybersecurity, digital forensics, health care administration and human resources management that closely align with the high-demand and mission-critical skills needs. A leader in adult online learning for more than 20 years, Champlain College is a small undergraduate and graduate college located in Burlington, Vermont. It offers a unique subscription model that enables Federal employees to make affordable monthly tuition payments, rather than large outlays each semester, potentially leaving them with little to no debt.

Champlain College is designated as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance Education by the U.S. National Security Agency, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, and the U.S. Air Force. Jayson Boyers, Vice President of Champlain College and Managing Director of the Division of Continuing and Professional Studies, said, “We are honored to have this opportunity to partner with OPM and provide the hard-working men and women of the Federal workforce with expanded learning opportunities that are both convenient and affordable,” he added.

Federal employees can immediately begin submitting their applications for the summer term, which begins on July 6, 2015, and has the admission deadline of June 5, 2015.  To learn more, visit http://www.champlain.edu/truEDFed. The first live webinars for Federal employees interested in learning more about truED® and Champlain College will take place tomorrow, April 21, 2015 at 10:00 a.m. EDT and Thursday, April 23, 2015 at 2:00 p.m. EDT. Federal employees can register for the webinars at http://www.champlain.edu/truedfed/admission/webinars.

Credentialed press interested in learning about this agreement are invited to join a teleconference on Monday, April 20, at 1:30 p.m. EDT featuring Dr. Sydney Smith-Heimbrock, OPM’s Chief Learning Officer, and Deputy Associate Director of Strategic Workforce Planning; and Jayson Boyers, Vice President of Champlain College and Managing Director of the Division of Continuing and Professional Studies. Interested press are asked to RSVP to media@opm.gov or (202) 606-2402.

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About the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM): OPM’s mission is to Recruit, Retain and Honor a World-Class Workforce to Serve the American People. OPM supports U.S. agencies with personnel services and policy leadership including staffing tools, guidance on labor-management relations and programs to improve workforce performance.


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