National Guard June 2012 : Page 17

NEWSBREAKS unemployed, nearly two-thirds are be-tween ages 35 and 60, according to the Labor Department. The program, which began last month, provides 12 months of train-ing assistance equal to the monthly full-time payment rate under the Montgomery G.I. Bill-Active Duty pro-gram, which currently pays $1,473 per month. Participants must be enrolled in a community college or technical school program approved for VA benefi ts. The program must lead to an associate de-gree, noncollege degree or certifi cate. To qualify, a veteran also must:  Be unemployed on the day of appli-cation;  Have a discharge that is not dishon-orable;  Not be eligible for any other VA edu-cation benefi t program;  Not receive VA compensation for be-ing unemployable;  Not be enrolled in a federal or state job training program; and  Pursue a program that leads to em-ployment in one of 210 occupations designated as high demand by the Labor Department. The list of oc-cupations, available on the VA web-site, includes jobs in construction, machine operation, transportation, preschool education, health care and many other fi elds. The program will fund up to 45,000 participants between July 1 and Sept. 30, and an additional 54,000 par-ticipants from Oct. 1, 2012, through March 31, 2014. Labor o cials said the department will o er employment assistance to every veteran who com-pletes the program. Some of the MRAPS will be placed in brigade combat team confi gurations for as-needed troop transport and route clearance missions. Some will be put in storage facilities. And others will be kept for training purposes, accord-ing to Army o cials. Now that the war in Iraq is over and plans for an Afghan drawdown are underway, the Army is outlining a long-term plan for the vehicles to place roughly 60 percent of them in storage or prepositioned stocks and 30 percent of them with units. The remaining 10 percent will be used for home-based troop training. In addition, a small number will be divested, o cials said. The MRAP plans are a key part of the calculus of the Army’s overall fl eet strategy which plans to incrementally fi eld the next-generation Joint Light Tactical Vehicle. Now in development, the JLTV is a high-tech light tactical vehicle that Army Plans for MRAP’s Future While Awaiting JLTV’s Arrival The Army is in the process of re-fi ning a long-term plan for its fl eet of 20,000 mine-resistant, ambush-pro-tected vehicles. J | 17

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