The below resources provides various types of information for Sailors while on deployment.
Medical issues are the No. 1 reason IA sailors are Not Physically Qualified (NPQ) at ECRC. IA Sailors should disclose and seek treatment for medical issues as early in the process as possible. RC Sailors in particular are encouraged to take advantage of early Tricare eligibility to get treatment for medical issues. Issues left untreated will be found at ECRC, will result in the member being sent home, and will possibly be separated from service. This can create a hardship for the NPQ'd IA Sailor, for the mission that has a gapped billet, and for the Sailor who is eventually mobilized on short-notice to replace the original IA Sailor.
Common issues found at ECRC include the below lists.
Failure to complete follow-up appointments
Medications (changes within 90 days of deployment)
Abnormal women's health exam
Other unusual issues (i.e. sleep apnea requiring CPAP machine)
Cancelled orders (in some cases, cancelled months ago and posted to BOL but not checked by the member)
Expired or no GTCC or 3-5 days advanced per diem
Civil actions / warrants
Lapsed security clearances
Members with OCONUS ultimate duty station arriving at ECRC with a POV
IA PERFORMANCE EVALUATION SYSTEM
The normal periodic Navy performance evaluation system is significantly altered for those Sailors executing IA orders. In particular, the type of IA orders being executed (Reserve, GSA, OSA or IAMM) are very important in determining what type of FITREP or evaluation is necessary. IAs must ensure that their pre-IA parent command, in-theater command and post-IA command adhere to required IA report guidance.
Performance Evaluation Culture
Each service has its own culture regarding performance evaluations and Navy IA Sailors will encounter this during their in-theater performance evaluation. When receiving an evaluation from another service (typically Army or ioint service) reporting senior, the following actions are recommended to maximize chances of success:
Outstanding performance is the primary method of ensuring a positive performance evaluation. As with any new assignment, IA Sailors should try to sit down with their reporting senior and ask what factors will be used to measure performance (what you can do to earn 5.0 marks).
Check The Details
As an IA, you may be the only Sailor for hundreds of miles. As a result, you are advised to take responsibility for your career and make yourself knowledgeable on IA performance report requirements. No matter what the trait scores or comments, you can ensure your performance report is correctly filled out. Some specific resources to help IAs in this are:
Overall IA Performance Evaluation Guidance
Performance Report Block Guidance for IAs
IA Performance Report Quick Reference Guide
Performance Reports for GSA Sailors
Utilize your Navy ADCON chain of command. Take the initiative to submit a draft of your performance report well in advance of your departure from theater. Utilize your Navy administrative chain of command (e.g. NAVCENT FWD, CTF-IA, HOA, ECRC etc.) to provide a Navy review for both correctness and content. Every reporting senior would rather chop than write-from-scratch, and the more effective a job you do, the more Navy-specific your performance report will be after your reporting senior gets done with it. To that end, take advantage of the online resources available to you to help you improve your FITREP/EVAL writing:
Keep a Signed Copy
As always, Sailors are advised to obtain a signed copy of their performance evaluation prior to departure from theater. Additionally, IA Sailors should ensure that the in-theater command knows the proper procedures for submitting to BUPERS.
Some IAs (both AC and RC) report in post-deployment surveys that they have experienced challenges reintegrating with their parent command / NOSC after returning from their IA deployment. Performance down-range is often out-of-sight, and thus can be out-of-mind for the parent command. As a result, IA Sailors have reported that:
There is no welcome-home or other recognition upon return
FITREP/EVAL scores suffer as a result of out-of-rate assignment during the deployment/mobilization
Key collateral duties, responsibilities or opportunities within the parent command/NOSC go to others which reduce the IA's advancement potential
WHAT REALLY HAPPENS?
First of all, IA Sailors should take comfort that Navy is not any single reporting senior. IAs are serving their country and are absolutely serving the Navy as they enable the Navy to meet a COCOM requirement. Advancement/promotion boards understand this fact and take it into consideration. Keep in mind that evals/fitreps for AC IA sailors mandate separate summary groups to prevent unfair grading of IAs against non-IAs.
Second, there is an element of you-get-out-what-you-put-in that applies to this problem. Sailors who don't discuss evaluation criteria with their reporting seniors, who don't communicate their IA career goals in advance, and who disappear into a black hole for the entire deployment (never communicating with their parent command) are all more likely to experience disappointment upon return.
STAYING ON THE RADAR
IA Sailors should develop and execute a communication plan with their commands to mitigate the issues that arise from being out-of-sight, out-of-mind. The following actions are simple and usually effective:
Request a midterm counseling prior to deployment/mobilization; communicate clearly and directly with your reporting senior regarding:
Concerns that IA service is a set-back for career and ways to mitigate the problem
Establish (in advance) the timeline and summary groups for IA evals/fitreps: detaching (if required), IA service (concurrent if required) and post-IA to ensure your knowledge of the competition
Specific job related roles, responsibilities and how your reporting senior plans to reintegrate you back into the fleet
Not only will such a conversation help you establish clear goals for yourself, but it will also demonstrate tact, proactive planning and teamwork that the Navy values in Sailors.
Schedule and follow through on regular updates with your parent command/NOSC. Your updates make your deployment/mobilization less of an "Individual" Augmentation by including your entire command on what you are doing. Be sure to include updates to your command on your return schedule and your wishes for any welcome home events. When you include your shipmates as a part of your mission, they are more likely to treat you as part of the unit upon your return.
Separation from loved ones is a stressor that directly impacts the resiliency of IA Sailors. When IA Sailors and their loved ones don't discuss in advance about expectations with regard to communication mediums (phone, email, letters etc.), especially frequency, one party is inevitably hurt or made unnecessarily anxious. IA Sailors management (or mismanagement) of communication during separation can lead to more or less stress. In extreme cases, the stress can lead to the degradation of the IA Sailor's ability to perform the mission or disruption to the Sailor's chain-of-command may occur when folks at home take extraordinary measures to establish contact with their Sailor such as initiating an AMCROSS protocol.
IA Sailors can take some basic steps to mitigate the risk of otherwise avoidable relationship issues while down-range. Setting low expectations and striving to exceed them is always a better plan than ambiguity.
The steps below represent some minimal actions IA Sailors can take during pre-deployment to prepare for a more successful deployment and eventual return. Additionally, Military One Source has some excellent resources including These Boots, How to Successfully Communicate As a Couple, Keeping Your Marriage Strong through Separations, Staying in Touch When Your Service Member is Deployed and Staying Involved in Your Child's or Teenager's Life When You're Deployed. Pay attention to the lessons learned from other IA couples.
Make a plan as to the frequency of communication that those at home can expect to hear from you. Talk with your in-country POC first to understand what your availability and access to communication methods might reasonably be. Make a plan you can execute. One of the most stressful issues for those at home is when IA Sailors are overdue for communication.
Make a plan for the medium of communication: whether email, phone calls, letters, packages or otherwise.
Make a plan to address the content of communication. Many couples have been helped by determining in advance what topics they want/do not want to talk about. For example, a spouse at home may not want to know that you came under fire yesterday. It may help if you and your loved ones establish in advance what topics you will and will not discuss.
For most IA Sailors, there are financial concerns when mobilizing that may range from small to great. As part of your readiness and to make you an overall more resilient Sailor, you should be aware of the benefits as well as some of the special services available to you to help you while mobilized. There are many financial incentives for mobilization, which fall into the following broad categories.
Basic pay includes the basic active duty wage based on time-in-service and paygrade, the basic allowance for subsistence (BAS) and the basic allowance for housing (BAH) based on the Page 2 location the member is deploying from. Sometimes questions related to BAS arise when IA Sailors are in a location where government messing is provided. The following clarification is provided by the Navy Pay and Personnel Support Center (NPPSC):
IAW DODFMR Vol 7A Para 250201, all officers and all enlisted members are entitled to BAS. However, IAW DODFMR Vol 7A Para 250204, all members must pay for all meals or rations received from a government mess. The latter does not negate BAS, however. The BAS payment rules stands. Rather, in the latter condition, reimbursement of the government will be required:
Officers will always pay for their meals as shown on their mess bills via their mess treasurer.
Enlisted members will have a meal deduction posted to their pay accounts anytime they are on field duty, sea duty, or accession pipeline.
There are no exceptions to the meal deductions for IAs, if they are in a field duty status then they will have meal deductions on their accounts.
IA Sailors (both AC and RC) will collect BAH based on the PLEAD (home address) shown in the member's mobilization orders. For RC sailors, this is derived from the member's Page 2 record. For AC Sailors this is derived from the member's current PDS except where member has been approved for BAH based on dependent's location.
In addition, when deployed/mobilized to a location greater than 50 miles from their Page 2 residence, they will be entitled to per diem. Normally, no per diem is payable for TDY exceeding 180 days without Secretary of the Navy (SECNAV) approval, per the JFTR. Currently, per diem is being paid to Sailors on contingency operations orders exceeding 180 days based on a SECNAV determination.
In locations where mobilized personnel are expected to procure their own lodging and meals, the per diem will include lodging (government or commercial), meals (government or commercial) and incidentals ($3.50 per day).
In some AORs where the government provides all lodging and meals (e.g., forts, FOBs, and other operational posts) "Incidentals Only Per Diem" applies ($3.50 per day).
Reimbursing travel pay is the responsibility of CNIC.
Questions regarding this policy and/or specific situations, work through your chain of command. Any issues that cannot be resolved contact USFF IA Support: firstname.lastname@example.org.
TAX LIABILITY RELIEF
In addition to extra pay, there are opportunities for IA Sailors to reduce their tax liability. For RC Sailors with equivalent earnings in their civilian career, an immediate tax reduction comes from the fact that BAH and BAS elements of their military pay are not taxed. Additionally, the following may also apply:
Combat Zone Tax Exclusion
Complete tax free pay Enlisted/Warrants
Officers up to allowable limit
Stops at the end of the month of zone departure
Social Security and Medicare still collected
Enlisted bonuses and subsequent installments tax free
Officer bonuses and subsequent installments tax free to limit
Entire month credit with one day in zone
Additionally, IA Sailors should take this opportunity to review their traditional and ROTH TSP elections.
Savings Deposit Program (SDP): The SDP is available to IAs serving in designated AORs and is intended to incentivize saving. Deposits in the program earn a government guaranteed 10% annual interest return.
Financial Counseling: Available free through Military OneSource, a Certified Financial Planner (CFP) will meet with you, review your income, liabilities, and help you develop a budget and a savings plan to support your financial goals.
Tax Preparation: Free e-filing, another service available free through Military One Source.
Apply for reduction of interest to a maximum allowable rate of 6% for any credit obligation, terminate certain leases and service contracts, and protect your family from eviction and sign up for alerts to protect your credit and your identity while deployed.
For additional topics and guidance, refer to the MilitaryOne Source personal financial management page, call Military OneSource directly at 1-800-342-9647.
Establishment of active pay accounts is a common problem RC personnel experience. The switch should be done at NMPS and RC personnel should work with NMPS staff to ensure that their pay account is up and running. No RC personnel should ever depart CONUS on mobilization orders without an active pay account.
There are some pay changes IA Sailors who are mobilizing from a sea-duty assignment to a non-sea-duty assignment (for example, an IAMM Sailor currently assigned to a USS vessel but mobilizing to a Provincial Reconstruction Team) need to monitor on their LES to avoid overpayment or underpayment during the IA assignment:
Not eligible after 31st day of IA assignment
Sea counter stopped with the stop of sea pay
Special detailing considered for credit of IA assignment
No meal deduction for entire IA assignment
Special Duty Assignment Pay (SDAP)
Eligibility can continue up to the first 90 days of IA assignment
If command transfers special duty assignment to another qualified command member, SDAP can be stopped the first day of IA assignment
Military healthcare can be an intimidating topic, especially for Reserve Component (RC) families coming from civilian healthcare or for any family that is relocating during the IA Sailor's mobilization to an area where the usual TRICARE services are unavailable. This page provides the need-to-know info for military families, covering three main topics:
Available plans (when the IA Sailor is ordered to Active Duty (AD) for 30 or more days)
Pre-activation early eligibility for TRICARE
TRICARE after mobilization and deactivation
WHEN ACTIVATED FOR MORE THAN 30 CONSECUTIVE DAYS
When the service member is activated (called or ordered to AD for more than 30 consecutive days under federal orders) the service member becomes eligible for the same health and dental benefits as active duty service members. The service member will enroll in one of the following Prime options upon arrival at the final duty station:
TRICARE Prime Remote
TRICARE Prime Overseas
TRICARE Prime Remote Overseas
They can be reviewed here.
The service member’s family becomes eligible for the same TRICARE benefits as active duty family members when the service member is on active duty for more than 30 consecutive days. The family can use any of the TRICARE plans depending on where they live when the service member is activated.
Additionally, if the service member is enrolled in the TRICARE Dental Program when called to active duty, the coverage is automatically terminated. The service member is now covered by active duty dental benefits and receives dental care at military dental treatment facilities and through the TRICARE Active Duty Dental Program. If not already enrolled, they can enroll in the TRICARE Dental Program at any time.
PRE-ACTIVATION OR EARLY ELIGIBILITY
If the service member is issued delayed-effective-date active duty orders for more than 30 consecutive days in support of a contingency operation, National Guard and Reserve members may qualify up to 180 days early for active duty TRICARE benefits. This pre-activation benefit begins on the date the orders are issued, but not earlier than 180 days before reporting to active duty.
This early eligibility program is totally dependent on the RCs and the service member’s personnel units updating the Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System (DEERS) with this delayed effective date order information.
Family members of RC member’s eligible for early coverage, who are eligible in DEERS, are also qualified for this program. Family members have the option to enroll in TRICARE Prime during this period. The RC member will not enroll in TRICARE until they reach their final deployment location. In this early eligibility period RC members' medical care will be taken care of by a Military Treatment Facility (MTF) (per BUMEDINST 1300.3A), if the member resides within 50 miles of a Military Installation. If the member resides more than 1 hour from an MTF, care must be sought from TRICARE Network Providers (if Available). To find a list of network providers in your area contact your regional Managed Care Support Contractors: South 1-800-444-5445, North 1-877-874-2273, West 1-888-874-9378.
Service members identified as eligible for the early benefit are not eligible for the Reserve Dental program, managed by United Concordia. In this early eligibility period RC service members’ dental care is treated the same as active duty dental care. If the member resides less than 50 miles from a Dental Treatment Facility (DTF) the service member must contact that DTF. If the service member resides more than 50 miles from a DTF the service member must contact United Concordia prior to visiting the dentist for an authorization 866-984-2337 to ensure there are not out-of-pocket costs.
When the service member leaves active duty, or deactivates, the family’s health plan options may be different if the service member was called to active duty in support of a contingency operation. If activated in support of a contingency operation:
Sponsor is immediately covered by the Transitional Assistance Management Program (TAMP) for 180-days. TAMP coverage begins on the first day after leaving active duty service. Family members are also covered during the TAMP period.
After TAMP ends, service members may qualify to purchase TRICARE Reserve Select for personal and family coverage.
If service members don't qualify for TRICARE Reserve Select, another option is to purchase the Continued Health Care Benefit Program.
Service members continue to be covered under active duty dental benefits during TAMP. After TAMP ends, TRICARE Dental Program coverage will automatically resume (if previously enrolled) and monthly premiums resume until the 12-month minimum enrollment period is reached.
If the service member’s family is enrolled in the TRICARE Dental Program, their coverage continues uninterrupted, however their premium payments will revert back to their original rates.
If the service member was not activated in support of a contingency operation, the family does not qualify for TAMP and active duty benefits (including dental) end immediately.
The experience of deploying as an Individual Augmentee (IA) in a Global Support Assignment (GSA), Individual Augmentee Manpower Management (IAMM), Mobilized Reserve Personnel (RC MOB), Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO) Support Assignment (OSA) or Health Services Augmentation Program (HSAP), is profoundly different from that of deploying as an organic part of a command or staff.
Chaplains provide confidential, emotional and religious support for you and your family throughout the deployment cycle. We stand ready to help you succeed in providing the best support possible for our Navy IA Sailors. Thank you for your service!
Chaplains serve at parent commands as facilitators of IA pre-deployment, family readiness, spiritual readiness and resiliency, and similar briefs and training opportunities. We conduct pre-deployment needs assessment, offer confidential pastoral care and counsel. We facilitate your religious needs, identify pre-deployment stressors, introduce the nearest Spiritual Fitness Division (CREDO) office and provide information on marriage enrichment, personal growth, spiritual growth, family enrichment, singles retreats, and links to Navy and community services as required. We assess your needs and provide the desired level of service for further follow-up. Religious Ministry Teams (RMT) are accessible at all Navy Mobilization Processing Sites (NMPS).
Chaplains provide pastoral counseling with clergy confidentiality privilege.
Pastoral counseling can address the following:
Military/work related issues
Adjustment to military life/culture
Chaplains provide training on the following GMT topics:
Chaplains know which programs are offered by the local CREDO and how they can help the IA Sailor and family to prepare for deployment.
CREDO’s common programs are the Personal Growth Retreat, Marriage Enrichment Retreat, Family Growth Retreat, and Spiritual Growth Retreat. Many CREDOs also offer one-day seminars, custom training and exportable training in a variety of formats.
Available Religious Materials through the Chaplain:
Pastoral care books
Chaplains know what local/on base religious services are available.
Roman Catholic Mass schedule
In some locations, chaplains facilitate baptisms, weddings, christenings and funerals.
Chaplains can assess deployment-related needs and assist the Sailor in meeting them. These include spiritual, emotional, and relational needs.
In a conversation with Navy family members, Chaplains have an opportunity to listen for existing personal and family issues, and to provide support and/or early referral. Questions about hope, meaning, and faith may be appropriate, e.g., “What gives you hope in difficult situations?” “What do you and your loved ones find yourselves worrying about?” “What opportunities for growth does this deployment open for you and your loved ones?” “What role does your faith play in your preparations for deployment, boots on ground and redeployment?”
To Access a Chaplain for IA Sailor Support
Contact your command chaplain
For urgent matters, access the duty chaplain through your nearest Navy installation quarterdeck
For routine matters, contact a USFF command staff chaplain for IA Sailors and families:
Norfolk, Virginia: 757-836-7815
Port Hueneme, California: 805-310-3326
The IA Joint Report is a coordinated and collaborated newsletter with input from U.S. Fleet Forces Command (USFFC), Navy Installations Command (CNIC), Naval Reserve Forces Command (CNRFC), and Expeditionary Combat Readiness Center (ECRC) to communicate important messages relevant to IA Sailors' deployments and those who support them throughout the IA Continuum. The IA Joint Report replaces, by name and content, The CIAC Paddle to incorporate our other stakeholders input into one document to minimize potential redundancies and getting a consistent message to the wider audience.
The Navy Personnel Command (BUPERS) IA Guidance and Policy Webpage provides specific IA policy and applicable instructions for both active and reserve Sailors in receipt of deployment orders, including reserve component (RC) personnel mobilized as part of an established commissioned unit.