FAQ

Do military members have to pay any fee for leave or fiancee forms?
NOOOOOOO. You are talking to a military romance scammer. I received an email from the US Army that directly answers your question that is pasted below please keep reading.I believe you are the victim of a military Romance Scam whereas the person you are talking to is a foreign national posing as an American Soldier claiming to be stationed overseas on a peacekeeping mission. That's the key to the scam they always claim to be on a peacekeeping mission.Part of their scam is saying that they have no access to their money that their mission is highly dangerous.If your boyfriend girlfriend/future husband/wife is asking you to do the following or has exhibited this behavior, it is a most likely a scam:Moves to private messaging site immediately after meeting you on Facebook or SnapChat or Instagram or some dating or social media site. Often times they delete the site you met them on right after they asked you to move to a more private messaging siteProfesses love to you very quickly & seems to quote poems and song lyrics along with using their own sort of broken language, as they profess their love and devotion quickly. They also showed concern for your health and love for your family.Promises marriage as soon as he/she gets to state for leave that they asked you to pay for.They Requests money (wire transfers) and Amazon, iTune ,Verizon, etc gift cards, for medicine, religious practices, and leaves to come home, internet access, complete job assignments, help sick friend, get him out of trouble, or anything that sounds fishy.The military does provide all the soldier needs including food medical Care and transportation for leave. Trust me, I lived it, you are probably being scammed. I am just trying to show you examples that you are most likely being connned.Below is an email response I received after I sent an inquiry to the US government when I discovered I was scammed. I received this wonderful response back with lots of useful links on how to find and report your scammer. And how to learn more about Romance Scams.Right now you can also copy the picture he gave you and do a google image search and you will hopefully see the pictures of the real person he is impersonating. this doesn't always work and take some digging. if you find the real person you can direct message them and alert them that their image is being used for scamming.Good Luck to you and I'm sorry this may be happening to you. please continue reading the government response I received below it's very informative.   You have contacted an email that is monitored by the U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Command. Unfortunately, this is a common concern. We assure you there is never any reason to send money to anyone claiming to be a Soldier online. If you have only spoken with this person online, it is likely they are not a U.S. Soldier at all. If this is a suspected imposter social media profile, we urge you to report it to that platform as soon as possible. Please continue reading for more resources and answers to other frequently asked questions:  How to report an imposter Facebook profile: Caution-https://www.facebook.com/help/16... Caution-https://www.facebook.com/help/16...   Answers to frequently asked questions:  - Soldiers and their loved ones are not charged money so that the Soldier can go on leave.  - Soldiers are not charged money for secure communications or leave.  - Soldiers do not need permission to get married.  - Soldiers emails are in this format: john.doe.mil@mail.mil Caution-mailto: john.doe.mil@mail.mil anything ending in .us or .com is not an official email account.  - Soldiers have medical insurance, which pays for their medical costs when treated at civilian health care facilities worldwide – family and friends do not need to pay their medical expenses.  - Military aircraft are not used to transport Privately Owned Vehicles.  - Army financial offices are not used to help Soldiers buy or sell items of any kind.  - Soldiers deployed to Combat Zones do not need to solicit money from the public to feed or house themselves or their troops.  - Deployed Soldiers do not find large unclaimed sums of money and need your help to get that money out of the country.  Anyone who tells you one of the above-listed conditions/circumstances is true is likely posing as a Soldier and trying to steal money from you.  We would urge you to immediately cease all contact with this individual.  For more information on avoiding online scams and to report this crime, please see the following sites and articles:   This article may help clarify some of the tricks social media scammers try to use to take advantage of people: Caution-https://www.army.mil/article/61432/ Caution-https://www.army.mil/article/61432/   CID advises vigilance against 'romance scams,' scammers impersonating Soldiers  Caution-https://www.army.mil/article/180749 Caution-https://www.army.mil/article/180749   FBI Internet Crime Complaint Center: Caution-http://www.ic3.gov/default.aspx Caution-http://www.ic3.gov/default.aspx   U.S. Army investigators warn public against romance scams: Caution-https://www.army.mil/article/130... Caution-https://www.army.mil/article/130...   DOD warns troops, families to be cybercrime smart -Caution-http://www.army.mil/article/1450... Caution-http://www.army.mil/article/1450...   Use caution with social networking  Caution-https://www.army.mil/article/146... Caution-https://www.army.mil/article/146...    Please see our frequently asked questions section under scams and legal issues. Caution-http://www.army.mil/faq/ Caution-http://www.army.mil/faq/ or visit Caution-http://www.cid.army.mil/ Caution-http://www.cid.army.mil/ .  The challenge with most scams is determining if an individual is a legitimate member of the US Army. Based on the Privacy Act of 1974, we cannot provide this information. If concerned about a scam you may contact the Better Business Bureau (if it involves a solicitation for money), or local law enforcement. If you're involved in a Facebook or dating site scam, you are free to contact us direct, (571) 305-4056.   If you have a social security number, you can find information about Soldiers online at Caution-https://www.dmdc.osd.mil/appj/sc... Caution-https://www.dmdc.osd.mil/appj/sc... . While this is a free search, it does not help you locate a retiree, but it can tell you if the Soldier is active duty or not.  If more information is needed such as current duty station or location, you can contact the Commander Soldier's Records Data Center (SRDC) by phone or mail and they will help you locate individuals on active duty only, not retirees. There is a fee of $3.50 for businesses to use this service. The check or money order must be made out to the U.S. Treasury. It is not refundable. The address is:  Commander Soldier's Records Data Center (SRDC) 8899 East 56th Street Indianapolis, IN 46249-5301 Phone: 1-866-771-6357  In addition, it is not possible to remove social networking site profiles without legitimate proof of identity theft or a scam. If you suspect fraud on this site, take a screenshot of any advances for money or impersonations and report the account on the social networking platform immediately.  Please submit all information you have on this incident to Caution-www.ic3.gov Caution-http://www.ic3.gov (FBI website, Internet Criminal Complaint Center), immediately stop contact with the scammer (you are potentially providing them more information which can be used to scam you), and learn how to protect yourself against these scams at Caution-http://www.ftc.gov Caution-http://www.ftc.gov (Federal Trade Commission's website)
How is reserve retirement pay calculated?
Lydia, Major Masterson has provided a good answer to your question. In essence, military retirement pay is based 100% on the number of “points” one earns, regardless of active duty (AD) or reservist. If you are a reservist and need 50 points per year to count toward a “good” year - then consider: Attending 12 weekend reserve meetings = 48 (12 months x 4 points for each weekend). Add 14 points for the required annual AD training period and you will have earned “62 points” for that standard all by itself. Also, don’t forget that you earn a full day’s pay for each of those points - so a weekend earns 4 points (1 point for each four hours of reserve duty) and of course, the AD also earns 1 point per day. IF you have time to do so - you can call your Service Representative requesting a “short tour” - such tours can be 90, 180, or 279 days - and even increments of those may be available. This provides an excellent opportunity to earn more points and dollars if one is available to take advantage and there’s the advantage of TRAVEL to consider! I personally know one married couple who had signed on for the military’s Individual Mobilization Augmentee (IMA) program and made a career out of constant and continuous AD short tours. Strange but true. Hope this helps. John
How is retirement income calculated? Is reserve retirement pay calculated?
Most individuals retire with social security which is based on years of work, volume of pay earned, and total value of social security paid in to the program. Your monthly income from social security is pre calculated and your choice is basically to take out taxes or not and how much.Many individuals have 401ks that at a certain point, age 70 and a half, you must start withdrawing the funds. You can take the funds and reinvest or use them to live on. Depending on your needs you must take a minimum of 3.5% but you may take more. Again there is a calculation based on age, and value to arrive at a payout.There are others who have pensions. There are similar calculations to arrive at a payout.Almost all retirement income is generally predetermined with very few options the retiree may choose.Many individuals go on to other employment of lesser value but contributing to the total income.I don't know what you mean by reserve retirement pay but if you are talking about how long the payments will continue than yes. There is full disclosure of how much is available or how long you will be paid.
How would retirement pay work going from Army Reserve to Active Duty?
For one thing, you begin collecting Reserve retired pay at age 60 not 63 and collect as early as age 55 if you have been mobilized after 2009. You can deduct 3 months from age 60 for every 90 days mobilized or deployed since 2009.Any active duty time like AIT, basic training and any annual training performed will adjust your basic active service date, so that does count towards your 20 year retirement active duty retirement.Your weekend drills days gets added on the back end after you have completed 20 years of active federal service (AFS). 48 drills (4 points per weekend drill) x 3 year is about 5 months roughly, so retire with 20 years afs, they would pay you for 20 years 5 months of service.The 3 years od reserve time counts for longevity raises. E4 over 4 years, etc.
How can I cash a money order if I fill it out wrong?
If it is a US PS Money order there should be no problem . The issuing Post office has a record of what was paid for the Money Order. If you bought the Money Order , your receipt will have the amount you paid. If it is a matter of the wrong name or information written on the Money order. Again bring it to the Post office they will issue a new one.
How do you fill all of that extra time in retirement if you have only enough money to pay your bills?
If you only have just enough money to pay bills in retirement, that’s not a big problem.Lots of senior discounts and freebies.If you don’t have a car or can’t drive, there might be convenient mass transportation with senior discount (sometimes even free), and some larger cities can offer free senior transportation also.Even travel has senior discounts, so you can save up for a trip.And there’s alway free activities in many places and public access to libraries and museums. Also with senior discounts.And there’s nothing wrong with just staying home. You can read and watch tv, or be productive and pursue hobbies, like writing, drawing, painting, etc, which you could make some money from.And then you can always do a little work, like housesitting, babysitting, watching kids or pets, tutoring, etc.It’s your retirement, you decide what you want to do with it.