Essay contest

Wreath across American

FRA is Working for the

Active Duty Military!

FRA Supports Veterans!



FRA is Working for

Military Retirees!

TRICARE Use While Traveling Update ► TRICARE Goes with you If you’re planning a trip this spring, remember that TRICARE travels with you. Whether traveling stateside or overseas, make sure you know what to do in case you or your loved ones become sick or injured on vacation. Learn the rules for getting care and costs associated with your TRICARE health plan, so you can make informed decisions while traveling. Get Prepared A few weeks before you pack your bags, prepare. 

· Take care of any routine, specialty, or preventive health care appointments you may need before you travel. 

· Check your information in the Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System and update it, if needed. 

· Fill your prescriptions if you don’t have enough to cover your trip. When it’s time to pack, put prescription medications in your carry-on luggage. 

· Bring important pharmacy, dental, and medical phone numbers with you. 


If traveling overseas, select your destination to find phone numbers. You can also download the TRICARE Contact Information Wallet Card and take it with you. Urgent and Emergency Care during Your Trip To get help or to find an urgent care provider when traveling, you can always contact your TRICARE regional contractor. When overseas, you can also call the TRICARE Overseas Program (TOP) Regional Call Center’s Medical Assistance number for your location. Most TRICARE beneficiaries can get urgent care without a referral. When possible, visit a TRICARE network provider or a TRICARE-authorized (network or non-network) urgent care center to avoid additional out-of-pocket costs. See more rules for getting stateside or overseas urgent care based on your TRICARE health plan. You may find that the rules are different. For example, if you’re a retiree enrolled in TRICARE Prime traveling overseas, you’re expected to pay up front for care and file a claim later. In an emergency, call 911 or go to the nearest emergency care facility. If overseas, you can call the Medical Assistance number. If you’re admitted to a hospital, call your TRICARE regional contractor or primary care manager within 24 hours or on the next business day after receiving emergency care. You may need to pay up front for services and file a claim to get money back. Keep your health care receipts in case you need to file a claim. If you’re a stateside beneficiary and you receive care overseas, file claims with the TOP claims processor, not with your regional contractor in the U.S. While overseas, if air evacuation is determined to be medically necessary. To be medically necessary means it is appropriate, reasonable, and adequate for your condition, your costs for covered air evacuation services are based on your health plan. You may want to look at travel insurance that may cover unexpected costs, such as air evacuation. Maybe you don’t need urgent or emergency care, but do need health advice during your travels. Use the Military Health System (MHS) Nurse Advice Line. It’s available in the U.S. and countries with an established military hospital or clinic. Visit the MHS Nurse Advice Line website to chat with a nurse online or to find your location-specific number. If you travel anywhere in the U.S., Guam, or Puerto Rico, you can call 1-800-TRICARE (1-800-874-2273). Before you travel this spring, make sure you’re prepared to handle any health issues that may arise. Keep in mind that your rules for getting care depend on your health plan and travel destination. Learn more about how to get care when traveling stateside or overseas. [Source: TRICARE Communications | March 22, 2019]



Navy Terminology, Jargon & Slang ► Bloggins thru Bogey Every profession has its own jargon and the Navy is no exception. Since days of yore the military in general, and sailors in particular, have often had a rather pithy (dare say ‘tasteless'?) manner of speech. That may be changing somewhat in these politically correct times, but to Bowdlerize the sailor’s language represented here would be to deny its rich history. The traditions and origins remain. While it attempted to present things with a bit of humor, if you are easily offended this may not be for you. You have been warned. 


Note: 'RN' denotes Royal Navy usage. Similarly, RCN = Royal Canadian Navy, RAN = Royal Australian Navy, RM = Royal Marines, RNZN = Royal New Zealand Navy, UK = general usage in militaries of the former British Empire


Bloggins - (RN) The catch-all name. "Ordinary Seaman Bloggins screwed up again." Similar to the USN's "Joe Shit the Ragman" (q.v.), or "Seaman Jones". Blonde and Bitter – Coffee with cream. 

Blonde and Sweet – Coffee with cream and sugar. 

Bloodhound – Radio codeword for Mark 46 ASW torpedo. 

Blowdown - A generic engineering term which can be used as noun or verb. A cleaning and/or venting process. Some specific applications: (1) A process for cleaning water-sides of a boiler. A top blow removes scum and floating contaminants, a bottom blow removes sludge. (2) To backflush and clean a SEACHEST. (3) The process of removing excess pressure from a system, or venting it completely. 

Blue Force - Friendly forces in a wargame exercise. 

Bluejacket – See BLUE-SHIRT.

 Blue on Blue - A friendly-fire kill. 

UK term is 'own-goal.'


Blue-Shirt – (1) (aviation) Aviation Boatswain's Mate. During flight deck ops, wears a jersey color-coded blue. Responsible for positioning and chaining down aircraft. Aka 'Chock and Chain boys.' A type of KNUCKLEDRAGGER. Often a non-rated person. (2) Anyone E-6 or below wearing the dungaree uniform, similar to the traditional term "Bluejacket," due to the Navy blue jacket issued with the dungaree uniform. 

Blue Water - Literally, 'deep water,' or 'deep draft,' but more traditionally, 'away from land.' The opposite of BROWN WATER. A 'blue water navy' is capable of prosecuting battle away from shore-based support in vessels of sufficient size and endurance to do so safely. 

Blue Water Ops - Flight operations conducted when beyond range of a BINGO or divert field. At this point it is literally sink or swim for the aircrew--if a successful trap cannot be made, the aircrew will have to eject or bail out. 

Boarding Rate - The percentage of carrier approaches that result in successful arrestments. May be counted for a pilot, a squadron, or an airwing. Boards – (1) (Aviation) Speed Brakes. (2) Shoulder boards (rank markings). 

Boat - (1) Traditional term of reference for a submarine. (2) Traditional aviation term used to refer to an aircraft carrier. (3) Any small vessel incapable of making regular independent voyages on the high seas. The traditional differentiator is that "ships carry boats." 

Boats – Boatswain’s Mate.

Bogey - Unidentified air contact. May turn out to be friendly, neutral, or hostile. [Source: | March 31, 2019 ++] 



Military Lodging Update 05 ► Navy Moving to Privatize All Lodging by DEC 2020 The Navy is moving toward privatizing all lodging in the Navy and Marine Corps, with the Secretary of the Navy citing the successes of the military housing privatization program in his reasoning. This affects all lodging on Navy and Marine Corps installations, both taxpayer-funded and lodging using non-appropriated funding. The current timeline would start the first phase of lodging privatization by December, 2020. This is lodging for official travel for temporary duty as well as those on permanent change of station moves, and for others, when space is available. In a 6 FEB memo to the chief of naval operations and the Marine Corps commandant, Secretary of the Navy Richard Spencer cited the Navy’s savings of more than $8 billion in construction costs and another $5 billion over the 50-year life of the housing privatization effort. “I am committed to realize similar successes by privatizing our lodging portfolio, both appropriated and non-appropriated, using competitive processes to create sustainable financial operations and improve the quality of these facilities,” Spencer wrote. But some are questioning why the Navy is moving so quickly on this effort, especially given the recent concerns with privatized housing. “Why would we use that model to privatize lodging?” said one source who is familiar with lodging in the Defense Department, who asked not to be named. There’s at least one other option to be considered, which is a combination of partial privatization, with the government still maintaining oversight, he said. “Then you don’t fall into the privatized housing trap. The government still maintains control.” Recent reports and testimony before Congress detailed military families’ problems with their housing and their frustrations in getting them fixed, partly because of lack of adequate government oversight. “But the Secretary of the Navy is pushing this lodging privatization extremely hard,” the source said. Spencer explained his intentions in the 6 FEB memorandum to the chief of naval operations and the Marine Corps commandant. “Reforming the department’s business practices and shedding non-core functions to focus resources on warfighting readiness is among my highest priorities,” Spencer wrote. He cited housing privatization as a “best practice toward this end.” Spencer signed the memo a week before a 13 FEB Senate hearing where military spouses testified about mold and other problems in their military housing, and their frustration in trying to get their privatized housing company to address the problems, as well as difficulties getting assistance from installation officials. In addition, preliminary results of an online survey conducted by the Military Family Advisory Network, also released 13 FEB, showed that more than half of military families who responded to a survey about their privatized housing reported having a negative experience. Since that hearing, the service secretaries and service chiefs have acknowledged there have been problems with privatized housing, including lack of adequate government oversight, and they have been fully engaged in finding out the scope of the problem, getting the issues addressed, and coming up with long-term solutions. Spencer ordered that Navy and Marine Corps to press forward with the first step in privatizing lodging – identifying their lodging requirements by 15 MAR. Navy officials will publish a Request for Interest by 1 APR. An industry forum is reportedly scheduled for 25 APR. This Navy lodging privatization effort follows a move by DoD officials which put the services on notice that they must stop using taxpayer dollars for anything related to lodging facilities by 1 OCT. This includes everything from maintenance and other operation support requirements, to repair and construction. Since they will rely on money generated by their nightly room fees to sustain these lodging operations, some of the service branches have been increasing their room fees. The full concept for privatizing the lodges is scheduled to be approved by Spencer by June, and will then go to Defense Department officials, Office of Management and Budget, and to Congress. The Army has privatized virtually all its lodging facilities in the continental U.S., Alaska, Hawaii and Puerto Rico, an effort that began in 2009. During a recent hearing before the Senate Armed Services Committee, Spencer also brought up that the Army has a “best practice with its outsourced lodging.” However, when the Army began its lodging privatization, its facilities were in “really bad shape,” the source said. “The Navy’s lodging is in great shape.” The Air Force is reportedly not considering privatizing its lodging. Through competition, the private company would be selected for taking over Navy lodging by February, 2020, and the first phase of lodging privatization would start in December 2020. [Source: MilitaryTimes | Karen Jowers | March 15, 2019]  

© 2023 by The Voice Project. Proudly created with