By Joe Lacdan

Travis Atkins didn't hesitate the June morning when he saw the insurgent reach for a suicide vest underneath his clothing. With his fellow Soldiers mere feet away, Atkins knew he had to act quickly before the enemy's bomb detonated.

The staff sergeant wrapped his arms and body around the insurgent to shield three Soldiers from the brunt of explosion.

By Capt. Scott Kuhn

Sgt. (R) Daniel Cowart was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross, the nation's second highest medal for valor, during a ceremony conducted March 20 on Fort Hood.

Cowart, a former member of 3rd Armored Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division, was originally awarded the Silver Star for his actions in May, 2007 in Samara, Iraq, but following a comprehensive review of awards by the Army, it was upgraded.

By Staff Sgt. Mary Junell

KURE BEACH, N.C. - Children of National Guard services members have a unique experience. They are not fully Army or Air Force brats as children of active duty service members call themselves, but they do have to deal with their parents being away for training one weekend a month, annual training in the summer, and other missions or deployments they are called to support. 

A group of North Carolina National Guard children recently had an opportunity to spend time with kids just like them during the Sleeping With the Fishes event March 23, at the North Carolina Aquarium at Fort Fisher. 

From Chief of Naval Personnel Public Affairs

WASHINGTON (NNS) -- The Navy announced updates to uniform policy, grooming standards, uniform item availability and mandatory possession dates for new uniform items in NAVADMIN 075/19, released March 25.

Highlights include:

A command/unit logo shoulder patch is now an option for wear on the left shoulder pocket of the Navy Working Uniform (NWU) Type II and III in place of the Don’t Tread On Me shoulder patch.

By Sgt. 1st Class Jon Soucy, National Guard Bureau

ARLINGTON, Va. -- Provisions allowing Guard members to transfer some or all of their Post- 9/11 GI Bill benefits to their spouse or children are set to change, limiting the timeframe Soldiers and Airmen can transfer those benefits.

"You have to have a minimum of six years [in service] in order to be eligible to transfer benefits, and after 16 years you're no longer eligible," said Don Sutton, GI Bill program manager with the Army National Guard, describing the changes set to go into effect July 12.

By Stephanie James

We all know being in a military family doesn’t come without some complications. And the key to surviving is flexibility. Whether your spouse is deployed for months, you have to cancel family vacations/plans last minute, or you and your family are constantly uprooting your lives to live at the newest duty station, it’s all part of the lifestyle. Well you’re not alone, and we are all searching for tips to make our time under contract a little easier. Below are a few helpful tips to prepare you and your family for your next move!

By Erinn Burgess, IMCOM

KAISERSLAUTERN, Germany -- Now through April 19, military spouses can apply for the opportunity to earn a free financial counselor accreditation to help them find employment at any military installation or in the civilian sector.

The FINRA Foundation Military Spouse Fellowship Program offers this career-enhancing credential to military spouses so they may in turn provide financial counseling and education to fellow members of the military community.

The program provides a clear pathway for participants to obtain an Accredited Financial Counselor designation, said Jennifer Chambers, a Baumholder military spouse who is currently enrolled in the program.

WASHINGTON -- All four military services of the U.S. Department of Defense are preparing a joint Tenant Bill of Rights in an effort to ensure service members and their families have safe, quality homes and communities, and clear rights while living in them. It is intended to increase the accountability of privatized housing companies by putting more oversight authority in the hands of local military leaders.

All three service secretaries have seen firsthand and reviewed problems in housing units, and the Tenant Bill of Rights is intended to help remedy them by both protecting and empowering service members and their families.

The Tenant Bill of Rights will be enforced through renegotiated leases with the privatized housing companies. The Bills of Rights will be implemented in the coming weeks.

Posted by Mary Beth Long

Theodor Seuss Geisel, better known as Dr. Seuss, captured the essence and importance of reading with this simple quote. Whether it is learning the art of how to read or reading to learn important information, engaging children to read is key. The fundamental skill of reading can be difficult for some children. Finding ways to make the reading experience enjoyable can influence a child’s reading success.

By David Vergun

WASHINGTON -- Lt. Col. Saunya N. Bright has been in the Air Force 18 years. During that time, she said, the food in military dining facilities has improved dramatically in terms of nutritional value and healthy eating choices.

Bright, a dietitian with the Air Force Medical Support Agency in Falls Church, Virginia, spoke at a Pentagon health fair yesterday and offered some tips to good eating.