Monday, January 30, 2012

Do you pay for Insurance in the AF?

Health Insurance is paid for by the military, if you have Tricare Prime. This means you must see base doctors or doctors Tricare has approved. We have Tricare Prime. In Texas I knew one girl who had Standard because she wanted to use a mid wife to deliver her baby and with Tricare Prime in my area of Texas that wasn't an option. (However over here there are a couple mid wives who work on base). If you opt to have Tricare Standard, then you can choose your own providers but you will pay a percentage. You can call Tricare directly to start your paperwork. It will take some time to process. Here is the link on my blog to their contact numbers.

When I say Health Insurance that includes Vision as well. I've seen Dermatologists, Pain Specialists, Neurosurgeons, Physical Therapists, Podiatrist etc. All covered 100%. It's great!

Dental is different. You can join United Concordia which is essentially a Tricare Dental plan through the military but you do pay a monthly fee. For a family of4, not including J, it costs us $30 a month. You do pay a percentage for work done outside your 2 cleanings a year. I don't remember exactly the percentage but when my daughter had a filling it costs us around $20 if I remember correctly. The active duty member is seen on base and their dental is covered 100%.

There are exceptions!! As a dependent some bases will see you in the Dental Clinic. It just can be extremely difficult to get in. But if you need major work done, like a root canal, and don't want to pay the percentage United Concordia will bill you, then you can try to make an appointment on base to get it done...for free. Some bases may have a policy that they don't see dependents simply because they are understaffed and have a difficult time as is filling their active duty members needs. It's always worth a try to call your base dental clinic to see if they have availabilities. I know several people that would go off base to get their cleanings done but whenever they had any work needed they would wait it out until they could be seen on base.

Another exception for dental is when living overseas! If you are stationed overseas your Dental is covered by the military. Again, it can be difficult to be seen on base but if you do have United Concordia while overseas they will cover more than they would if you lived in the states.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Loan Repayment Program from Law Schools


Law Schools aren't going to hide this information. Ask any law school you are contemplating applying to if they offer any kind of loan repayment program if you chose to work for government or public interest groups. They are forthcoming about these programs during recruitment.

Either way, the Air Force now has a Loan Repayment Program for incoming JAG's. Just search my blog and you'll find the info regarding the LRP on my June 30th 2010 post.

Also, to quickly answer your other questions. Yes, as a JAG you are still susceptible to deployments and long separations. On a day to day bases, we see J plenty. But yes, he could and JAG's do, regularly deploy with the Air Force for 6 months. J also has TDY's (long separations as you put it in your question) anywhere from 1 day to his longest one thus far lasting 8 weeks. In his 3 years of service he's only had a handful of TDY's, which have mostly been 1 week long.

Advice for those seeking JAG position

Question from a reader: Do you or J have any advice for an active attorney applying to JAG? What is JAG looking for in a candidate these days? What should you stress in your interview? Does the interview even matter?

This is what little I know about the board. The board members are always changing. A board will meet and review each candidate. They then rank the candidates and how ever many slots they need to fill, the top will get the acceptance.

This is my opinion on the hiring process. Let me first explain why I've concluded such. First, I reflect on the JAG's we know and what kind of work, if any, they did before becoming a JAG. The majority we know have come right from law school but a few of the types of work some have done beforehand were public interest work, criminal defense, and litigation. The one accessing your application is going to bring their own bias into the process. For example, you may think your resume is outstanding but look at your resume from the eyes of a Colonel in the Air Force who has served his country for 15+ years. He has chosen less pay, hard work, sacrifice, and commitment to the AF. What is he looking to see? What will impress him?

I only know thoroughly what one JAG's resume reflected...J's. His resume from the beginning of his first summer internship in law school never reflected that he wanted to work for a big law firm, or head that route, (even though at the time that is what he wanted) The type of work he did was more along the lines of public interest groups and government related. That showed the Air Force that here's a guy more likely committed to staying in the JAG Corps long term and not just temporarily. Now, that doesn't mean if you do work for private law firms the AF doesn't like that, I am NOT saying that at all. I am only saying what J's impression was after he got accepted into the JAG Corps.

Also in my opinion, if you have anyone i.e. father, brother, sister, grandfather who served in the military, bring that up in your interview! Military honors its own. With that said, YES, I do think the interview matters. If you get a bad write up, then the board is going to listen to the opinion of their own with great regard. J's interviewer gave him positive feedback at the end of the interview and told him point blank that he thought he would be very competitive.

Remember the Air Force has always been very competitive when it comes to being accepted in the JAG Corps. It has become even more competitive lately. We all know this. Good luck and I hope this post helps even just a little because I realize I'm not saying much you all don't already know.