Service Members Weigh in on Benefits

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Story Number: NNS140327-28Release Date: 3/27/2014 11:15:00 PM

By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Bryan Jackson, Navy Public Affairs Support Element West

SAN DIEGO (NNS) -- Senior local military commanders, senior enlisted advisers and retired veterans spoke with the Military Compensation and Retirement Modernization Commission (MCRMC) during a public hearing panel at the Hilton San Diego Airport/Harbor Island hotel March 26.

The hearings are part of a series that the MCRMC is conducting across the United States.

"These panels are going to be reporting to Congress and to the President and bringing ideas to a level where policy changes can be made," said Retired Cmdr. Patricia Reily, Ed.D, director of San Diego State University Troops to Engineers service program.

The President established the commission to monitor and review military compensation, quality of life programs, retirement systems, and to make recommendations to modernize them.

"Service members will benefit from this by having their voices heard and having the different organizations give their input, so the commission can take action on that," said Senior Chief Navy Counselor Michael Hill, region career counselor, Navy Region Southwest. "If they did not use this commission, then what would happen is it would be a closed-door think tank; the solutions would be in that room instead of finding the solutions outside in the real military."

The topics discussed in the panel ranged from active-duty quality of life programs to post-military benefits. Suggestions were made on how to successfully transition to civilian life.

"I think it's imperative that service members take full ownership of their options early to capitalize on their training, experience and their service," said Hill. "The decisions that you can make early, whether it be financial, career, or education, are going to play into your future, both in the military or out of the military because eventually everyone transitions."

Reily believes that service members taking advantage of transitional programs will be the key to their future success.

"The military people I work with are the future titans of industry," said Reily. "We have a lot of wonderful young folks who are going to do great things for our country. It makes me feel really good."

The commission will submit a comprehensive report of its findings, along with its member's recommendations, by Feb. 1, 2015 to the President and Congress.

For more information about the MCRMC and to comment on the future of military compensation and retirement, visit www.mcrmc.gov.

For more news from Navy Public Affairs Support Element West, visit www.navy.mil/local/pacensandiego/.

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