Issues

Welcome to your hub for information about issues that matter most to the Manpower and Reserve Affairs community. You’ll find information that will help you navigate today’s constantly changing landscape as a service member, military family member, leader, service provider or volunteer.

Get the latest details on new and updated legislation and policies, access important reports with a single click and read up on trending topics. These resources and tools are in place to help increase resilience and mission readiness, and they’re right at your fingertips.

Transgender Americans Can Now Serve Openly

Effective immediately, transgender service members may serve openly, and they can no longer be discharged or otherwise separated from the military solely for being transgender individuals. Secretary of Defense Ash Carter announced the policy changes regarding transgender servicemembers on June 30, 2016.

The secretary cited three main reasons — the force of the future, the current force and matters of principle — behind the decision to end the ban.

“[T]ransgender Americans may serve openly, and they can no longer be discharged or otherwise separated from the military just for being transgender,” Carter said during his announcement. He has also directed that the gender identity of an otherwise qualified individual will not bar that person from military service or from any accession program.

“[We in] the Defense Department and the military need to avail ourselves of all talent possible … to remain what we are now – the finest fighting force the world has ever known,” Carter said.

Know What the Blended Retirement System Means for You

The Department of Defense recognizes the importance of saving for the future and is committed to helping service members prepare for retirement, regardless of where they are in their military career. A modernized military retirement system, the Uniformed Services Blended Retirement System, will take effect Jan.1, 2018. Eligibility will vary based on service members’ military enrollment dates.

Take the Blended Retirement System training through Joint Knowledge Online to learn more and watch for additional training opportunities.

Legislation

This page highlights new or updated legislation that impacts members of the military community. Please check back to view the latest legislation as it becomes available.

Blended Retirement System

A new modernized military retirement system, the Uniformed Services Blended Retirement System, will take effect Jan. 1, 2018. Eligibility will vary based on service members’ military enrollment dates. Sections 631, 632, 633, 634, and 635 of the Fiscal 2016 National Defense Authorization Act outline the new system. Take the Blended Retirement System training through Joint Knowledge Online and watch for additional opportunities to learn more.

Policies

This page highlights new and updated policies that impact members of the military community. Resources include Department of Defense directives, instruction and guidance concerning a wide range of topics. Please check back to view the latest policies as they become available.

Transgender Policy

Effective immediately, transgender service members may serve openly, and they can no longer be discharged or otherwise separated from the military solely for being transgender individuals. Secretary of Defense Ash Carter announced the policy changes regarding transgender service members on June 30, 2016.

Blended Retirement System

A modernized military retirement system, the Uniformed Services Blended Retirement System, will take effect Jan. 1, 2018. Eligibility will vary depending on service members’ military enrollment dates. Sections 631, 632, 633, 634, and 635 of the Fiscal 2016 National Defense Authorization Act outline the new system. Take the Blended Retirement System training through Joint Knowledge Online and watch for additional opportunities to learn more.

Background Checks on Individuals in DoD Child Care Services Programs

Updated Department of Defense Instruction 1402.05, “Background Checks on Individuals in DoD Child Care Services Programs,” July 14, 2016, ensures any adult who has regular contact with children in a Department of Defense-sanctioned child care or youth program has been thoroughly screened.

Reports

This page features descriptions and links to the latest Department of Defense and government reports and survey results. Please check back to view the additional reports and findings as they become available.

Transgender Policy

Effective immediately, transgender service members may serve openly, and they can no longer be discharged or otherwise separated from the military solely for being transgender individuals. A special report, “Department of Defense Transgender Policy,” covers this topic. Another report, “Assessing the Implications of Allowing Transgender Personnel to Serve Openly,” is also available.

D-Day Remembrance

Ceremonies at home and abroad marked the 72nd anniversary of D-Day and the Invasion of Normandy. A special report contains remembrances of June 6, 1944, articles, videos, photo essays, statistics and more. Don’t miss the story about a 93-year-old World War II veteran’s return to Normandy.

Survey of Active Duty Spouses

The Department of Defense surveys active-duty military spouses every two years to understand and track their military-life experiences, including measures of employment, relationships, child well-being, finances, permanent change of station moves and deployments. Results from the 2016 Survey of Active Duty Spouses are now available.

Survey of Reserve Component Spouses

The Department of Defense surveys Reserve and National Guard military spouses every two years to understand and track their military-life experiences, including measures of employment, relationships, child well-being, finances, and spouse’s activations and deployments. Results from the 2015 Survey of Reserve Component Spouses are now available.

Status of Forces Survey of Active Duty Members

The “Status of Forces Survey of Active Duty Members” is the Department of Defense’s annual survey based on a large-scale representative sample. Select findings from the 2013 and 2014 surveys cover key issues of military life, including financial health, family life, access to technology, impact of deployments and permanent change of station moves. By comparing results to findings from previous years, the Department of Defense and military services have information to better support service members and their families.

Status of Forces Survey of Reserve Component Members

The “Status of Forces Survey of Reserve Component Members” is the Department of Defense’s annual survey based on a large-scale representative sample. Select findings from the 2014 survey covers key issues, including employment status, impact of activations/deployments on employment, financial health, and family life.

Demographics: Profile of the Military Community

Annual demographics reports provide insight about the military community and how and where its members work and live. Information ranges from pay to parenthood, as you’ll see in the “2015 Demographics Profile of the Military Community.”

Trending Topics

This page reflects topics that we know people are interested in on People.mil and through our social media channels. Find out more about these subjects and please check back to view the latest.

Decorations and medals attest, in vivid colors and gleaming metal, to service members’ courage and sacrifice. This modern heraldry dates to the medieval era, when hooded knights relied on the markings on each other’s shields to differentiate between friend and foe. Today’s heraldry marks achievement, action, honor, exceptional conduct, campaign participation and more. Find out more about personal decorationscampaign and service medals and ribbons and their order of preference. Learn, too, about foreign military decorations and medals that grateful nations bestow on our nation’s service members for their bravery and sacrifices.

Military rank is also a badge of leadership. Review rank insignia and learn more about how and when members of each branch of service wear them.

Gain new perspective on the military community by exploring the Introductory Overview of the Department of Defense. You may know it by its nickname, “DoD 101.” It puts the department’s scope, structure, values, hiring philosophies and more in context through eye-opening figures, facts and comparisons to America’s largest corporations. The Department of Defense, for example, utilizes more than 30 million acres of land and employs about 1.3 million people.

Pay and benefits are an integral part of every household. Find answers to your questions about military compensation and benefits. You can also use a variety of calculators, read pay-related Department of Defense Instructions and more.

Turn to Military OneSource for additional financial resources, from budgeting to taxes, retirement planning and more.