The best and brightest from this week's Army Times


Awards add up when you’re trying to move up

Soldiers who are looking for ways to improve their chances of moving up to sergeant and staff sergeant would do well to check out the Awards and Decorations section of the Promotion Point Worksheet.

Active and reserve soldiers can earn up to 125 points for advancement to sergeant, and 165 for staff sergeant for awards, decorations, badges, certificates of achievement and assignments to airborne positions that qualify for jump pay.

Awards and badges can make a significant contribution to a soldier’s promotion-point total.


2013 defense bill neuters plan to change compensation, retirement

The 2013 defense authorization bill blunts a major Defense Department effort to force budget-cutting changes in military compensation.

Deficit-reduction efforts could still force changes, but in the defense policy bill, passed by Congress Dec. 21, lawmakers have foiled a Pentagon scheme to force Congress to vote on legislation that could eliminate the 20-year retirement benefit.

An independent commission, made up of members appointed by President Obama and congressional leaders, will still study ways to reform compensation and retired pay, but there is no requirement that Congress ever vote on recommendations that come out of the panel.


Johnson’s ex-wife: Help lawbreakers’ spouses

The ex-wife of bigamous former brigade commander James Johnson III is calling for expanded financial protections for the spouses of lawbreaking service members, saying her husband was given a light sentence to protect her.

“In my opinion, the [jury]panel was trying to protect me,” Kristina Johnson, whose 25-year marriage ended in September, told Army Times. “I got to keep my military medical benefits. I got to keep my military privileges. I got to keep half of Jim’s retirement, but justice wasn’t served. It was a mixed feeling for me.

“He just walked. He just got away with misconduct,” she said.


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