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News & Press: Benefits

DID YOU KNOW Military Required Gold Star Advocates

Monday, July 21, 2014  
Posted by: Suzanne Gerstner
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The National Defense Authorization Act 2014, Section 633, requires each secretary of a military department to designate a member to assist spouses and other dependents of service members, including Reserve Component, who die on active duty.

These advocates are available to provide support and address complaints by spouses and other dependents of deceased service members regarding casualty assistance or receipt of benefits authorized by law. If you are not satisfied with the casualty assistance provided by your service, see below for information to contact your advocate.

U.S. Army
Office: Installation Management Command G-9, Family Programs Directorate
Phone number: (855) 707-2769/(210) 466-1173 or BB (210) 834-0494
Email: donna.r.engeman.civ@mail.mil
Name of person assigned: Ms. Donna Engeman

U.S. Marine Corps
Office: Long Term Assistance Program Office
Phone number: (703) 784-9580
Email: tammy.mcfadden@usmc.mil
Name of person assigned: Mrs. Tammy McFadden

U.S. Navy
Office: Long Term Assistance Program Office
Phone number: (901) 874-4292
Email: sandra.armstrong@navy.mil
Name of person assigned: Ms. Sandra (Dale) Armstrong

U.S. Air Force
Office: USAF/A1SAA, Airman and Family Care Division
Phone number: (703) 256-8598
Email: usaf.pentagon.af-a1.mbx.af-a1saa@mail.mil
Name of person assigned: Dr. Milton Cambridge

U.S. Coast Guard
Office: Coast Guard Casualty Matters Office
Phone number: (703) 872-6647
Email: sean.r.arumae@uscg.mil
Name of person assigned: Lt. Sean Arumae

The latest update of names was obtained through Military One Source:  http://www.militaryonesource.mil/casualty/policy?content_id=277112

Additionally these Advocates must be trained at least annually.

Here is the section of the 2014 NDAA:

SEC. 633. IMPROVED ASSISTANCE FOR GOLD STAR SPOUSES AND OTHER DEPENDENTS.

 

(a) ADVOCATES FOR GOLD STAR SPOUSES AND OTHER DEPENDENTS

 

Each Secretary of a military department shall designate for each Armed Force under the jurisdiction of such Secretary a member of such Armed Force or civilian employee of such military department to assist spouses and other dependents of members of such Armed Force (including reserve components thereof) who die on active duty through the provision of the following services:

 

(1)               Addressing complaints by spouses and other dependents of deceased members regarding casualty assistance or receipt of benefits authorized by law for such spouses and dependents.

 

(2)               Providing support to such spouses and dependents regarding such casualty assistance or receipt of such benefits.

 

(3)               Making reports to appropriate officers or officials in the Department of Defense or the military department concerned regarding resolution of such complaints, including recommendations regarding the settlement of claims with respect to such benefits, as appropriate.

 

(4)        Performing such other actions as the Secretary of the military department concerned considers appropriate.

 

 

 (b) TRAINING FOR CASUALTY ASSISTANCE PERSONNEL

 

(1)   TRAINING PROGRAM REQUIRED

 

.The Secretary of Defense shall implement a standardized comprehensive training program on casualty assistance for the following personnel of the Department of Defense:

 

(A) Casualty assistance officers.

(B) Casualty assistance calls officers.

(C) Casualty assistance representatives.

 

(2) GENERAL ELEMENTS

 

The training program required by paragraph (1) shall include training designed to ensure that the personnel specified in that paragraph provide the spouse and other dependents of a deceased member of the Armed Forces with accurate information on the benefits to which they are entitled and other casualty assistance available to them when the member dies while serving on active duty in the Armed Forces.

 

(3)   SERVICE SPECIFIC ELEMENTS

 

.The Secretary of the of the military department concerned may, in coordination with the Secretary of Defense, provide for the inclusion in the training program required by paragraph (1) that is provided to casualty assistance personnel of such military department such elements of training that are specific or unique to the requirements or particulars of the Armed Forces under the jurisdiction of such military department as the Secretary of the military department concerned considers appropriate.

(4)    FREQUENCY OF TRAINING

 

Training shall be provided under the program required by paragraph (1) not less often than annually.


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