Thursday Three is Here!

August 06, 2020
This past week we celebrated International Day of Friendship and the Coast Guard’s 230th birthday. We talked about how you can potentially save thousands using your SCRA (Servicemembers Civil Relief Act) benefit. And, MFAN was featured in The Jacksonville Daily News in an article highlighting the 2019 Military Family Support Programming Survey and our commitment to addressing the challenge of food insecurity among military families.
It’s been a busy and productive week for Team MFAN. Speaking of which, we are hiring! If you’ve got grant writing or graphic design skills and a passion for difference-making for our military family community, learn more about joining our team here.

Here’s what we’re hearing about this week:

Oh Baby…

Postpartum women in the service facing obstacles isn’t news. They have been the subject of criticism for taking too many breaks (using authorized break time to pump) or taking time off work while pregnant or immediately after delivering. They have found themselves passed up for promotion or leaving the service entirely due to difficulties reconciling military life with motherhood.
What IS newsworthy is that military leaders are now tasked with addressing this pregnancy bias. Defense Secretary Esper’s instructions regarding the elimination of discrimination and the promotion of equal opportunity included language about pregnancy-based discrimination.
Some gains have already been made – for example parental leave has been extended, and the Air Force has been working on reducing the need for medical waivers to return to flight for female airmen who’ve had uncomplicated pregnancies. But there is still work to be done to ensure that women who want both motherhood and a life of military service don’t have to compromise one to have the other.
In other promising reproduction-related news for female service members, this month the Department of Defense Women’s Reproductive Health Survey (WRHS) is collecting responses.
Participation in the survey is voluntary. You can check your eligibility via the survey website. (You’ll need to use your military email to access the link.)

More protests over household goods contract

The awarding of a $7.2B household goods contract to American Roll On Roll Off Carrier Group has been controversial from the onset. It was not the most competitively priced bid, at $2B more than other qualified bidders.
Two bidders for the contract are protesting the award, and now two lawmakers have raised concerns of their own about the contract. Rep. David B. McKinley, R-W.Va. and Sen. Thom Tillis, R-N.C. are calling for the House and Senate Armed Services Committees to further investigate TRANSCOM’s decision to accept the winning bid, citing a responsibility to be diligent for the sake of taxpayers and service members.

All that and a bag of chips

The Elizabeth Dole Foundation is letting the world know what we all already know to be true – that in addition to a “can do” attitude, and a heart for service, military kids are multi-talented.
The finalists in the 2020 Military Kids Have Talent contest have been named, and you can now watch the finale, complete with singing, dancing, joke-telling, and more right here!
Don’t forget to vote for your favorites between now and 12 pm EST on August 14th!