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National Guard


In May 2005, the Chief of the National Guard Bureau (NGB) signed a Memorandum of Agreement with the Under Secretaries for Health and Benefits, Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), solidifying a partnership between NGB and the VA. The hallmark of this partnership remains the continued access to all National Guard (NG) Veterans and their Families by the VA as part of its outreach program. Additionally, the partnership’s primary goal remains the education of all NG Veterans and their Families regarding their VA benefits and services and how to access them. To this end, the TAA serves as the state-wide point of contact and coordinator for the easy access to those benefits and services.

While NGB initially designed the TAA Program to serve NG members and their Families, the TAA also provides the same support and assistance to all members of the Armed Forces, both active and reserve, Veterans, Military Retirees, and their Families. This support includes assisting them in accessing VA healthcare facilities, obtaining services through the Military Health System (TRICARE), and in applying for other VA services and benefits, such as compensation and pension for disability, insurance, loan guarantee, vocational rehabilitation/employment, and education benefits. The TAA also engages with other Joint Force Headquarters (JFHQ) staff members and the Family Assistance Center in building a state coalition of support with the VA and community organizations, which benefit all service members, Veterans, Military Retirees, and their Families.

State Coalition Model

The state coalition is a model that ties together the resources of the Department of Defense, the VA, the NG, and state/local community resources in an effort to ensure that NG members and their Families receive all the support, benefits and services available to them. Unlike active duty service members who return to a specific military base with onsite support and services for themselves and their Families, members of the reserve components return to their communities and civilian employment. The state coalition provides a community based network of support at the local level, which includes VA, NG, and state/local community organizations, to assist all Service Members, Veterans, Military Retirees, and their Families.

Role of the Transition Assistance Advisor

The TAA matches the needs of Service Members, Veterans, Military Retirees, and their Families by:

  • Providing information and assistance in understanding and obtaining services and benefits from the VA and TRICARE to meet their specific needs.
  • Coordinating with appropriate VA, TRICARE, Veteran Service Organizations, and other federal, state and local community resources to provide critical information and assistance in obtaining services and benefits.
  • Participating in the mobilization and demobilization process to brief and advise regarding all available benefits and services.
  • Assisting and participating in the Yellow Ribbon Reintegration Program.
  • Researching and resolving issues associated with entitlements when they encounter problems.
  • Providing advice to the JFHQ, and coordinating with Family Support Specialists and Employer Support Groups, regarding benefits and services available through the VA, Department of Labor (Federal and State), and other service and benefit programs.
  • Highlighting best practices through a monthly electronic TAA report, quarterly newsletters, and monthly conference calls with the VA.


Disclaimer of Endorsement  

Reference herein to any specific commercial products, process, or service by trade name, trademark, manufacturer, or otherwise (e.g. fund raisers), does not necessarily constitute or imply its endorsement, recommendation, or favoring by the United States Government, the State of Rhode Island or my employer, Skyline Ultd Inc. The views and opinions expressed herein do not necessarily state or reflect those of the United States Government, the State of Rhode Island, or my employer, Skyline Ultd Inc., and shall not be used for advertising or product endorsement purposes.

Dedication Ceremony for the Rhode Island Air Force Veterans Memorial

You will find information regarding this dedication ceremony below in the TAA DOCUMENT LIBRARY within the UPCOMING EVENTS file folder.   

   40th Annual Rhode Island National Guard Military Ball

You will find a FLYER below in the TAA DOCUMENT LIBRARY within the UPCOMING EVENTS  file folder. 

   Veterans Online Shopping Benefit

You will find a FLYER below in the TAA DOCUMENT LIBRARY.


Veterans Choice Program Law Extended 

You will find a FACT SHEET below in the TAA DOCUMENT LIBRARY.


Eligibility for Burial Determinations in Advance of Need in a VA National Cemetery


You will find information regarding this subject in the "TAA Document Library" below within a file folder with the same subject title. 

For more information visit:


Veterans Can Now Schedule VA Appointments Online in Some Locations with Smartphones

New Online Appointment Scheduling Service Integrated with My HealtheVet

Have you heard the good news? Veterans in many parts of the country are now able to use the new Veteran Appointment Request (VAR) App to request or schedule certain appointments online. VAR is a new web application that is also accessible via smartphones, tablets and desktops. More than 60 VA Medical Centers (VAMCs) have started using VAR, and more are coming online every few weeks. Visit the VA App Store at to see where VAR is available.

What does this mean for you? If you are a Veteran who receives VA health care, where the VAR App is live, you will be able to:

* View or Cancel existing clinic appointments

* Make requests for help scheduling primary care and mental health appointments at facilities where you receive care

* Self-schedule primary care appointments with your assigned primary care provider

VAR is going to make scheduling appointments easier and more accessible for Veterans. Here is everything you need to know before you access the app.

What is VAR?

VAR is a web-based app that works on any compatible web browser, whether on your desktop or mobile device.

How do you use VAR?

To use VAR, visit the VA App Store at The link also includes a user manual, quick start guide and answers to frequently asked questions to assist you with how to use the app on your mobile phone or desktop computer.

What's required to use VAR?

You must have a DS Logon Level 2 - Premium account to use VAR. If you need help getting an account, please call the VA Mobile Solutions Help Desk at 1-877-470-5947 or visit the DS Logon "My Access Center" website at

What else can VAR help you do?

You can use VAR to view all of your upcoming appointments any time of day. You can also cancel most currently scheduled appointments, including all appointments made through the app. VAR only allows new appointment requests at this time. To make changes to a primary care or mental health appointment, you should first cancel the existing appointment, and then use the VAR App to either schedule or request a new one. Any updated information in your schedule will appear both in the VAR App and in My HealtheVet .

When will VAR be available everywhere?

Over the next few months, VAR will be made available to many more Veterans who receive VA health care. Go to the VA App Store at to see if VAR is currently available at your VAMC.


President Donald J. Trump Signs S. 305 into Law

On Tuesday, March 28, 2017, the President signed into law: S. 305, the "Vietnam War Veterans Recognition Act of 2017," which encourages the display of the U.S. flag on March 29, National Vietnam War Veterans Day.


VA National Cemeteries Pre-Need Eligibility Determinations (December 2016)

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) now provides eligibility determinations for interment in a VA national cemetery prior to the time of need. Through the Pre-Need Determination of Eligibility Program, upon request, individuals can learn if they are eligible for burial or memorialization in a VA national cemetery.

Interested individuals may submit VA Form 40-10007, Application for Pre-Need Determination of Eligibility for Burial in a VA National Cemetery, and supporting documentation, such as a DD Form 214, if readily available, to the VA National Cemetery Scheduling Office by: toll-free fax at 1-855-840-8299; email to; or mail to the National Cemetery Scheduling Office, P.O. Box 510543, St. Louis, MO 63151.

VA will review applications and provide written notice of its determination of eligibility. VA will save determinations and supporting documentation in an electronic information system to expedite burial arrangements at the time of need. Because laws and personal circumstances change, upon receipt of a burial request, VA will validate all pre-need determinations in accordance with the laws in effect at that time.

Eligible individuals are entitled to burial in any open VA national cemetery, opening/closing of the grave, a grave liner, perpetual care of the gravesite, and a government-furnished headstone or marker or niche cover, all at no cost to the family. Veterans are also eligible for a burial flag and may be eligible for a Presidential Memorial Certificate.

Information on VA burial benefits:, or by calling VA regional offices toll-free at 800-827-1000.

To make burial arrangements at any open VA national cemetery at the time of need, call the National Cemetery Scheduling Office at 800-535-1117.


United States Army Retired Soldier Handbook

2016 Online Addition

You will find the PDF version below in the TAA Document Library. 


 New GI Bill Rates for FY17 Team

The Department of Veteran's Affairs (DVA) recently published new rates for the GI Bill Programs.

The new monthly rates for 'full time' enrollment for Chapters 30, 1607 and 1606, which become effective on 1 October 2016, are as follows:

-Chapter 30 (2 years of active duty): $1,509.00

-Chapter 30 (3 years of active duty): $1,857.00

-Chapter 1607 (40%): $742.80 -Chapter 1607 (60%): $1,114.20

-Chapter 1607 (80%): $1,485.60

-Chapter 1606: $369.00

The new rates for the Post-9/11 GI Bill, which became effective on 1 August 2016, are as follows:

-Tuition - Public schools: up to 100% of the In-State tuition cost


- Private/Foreign schools: up to $21,970.46 per academic year

-Monthly Housing Allowance

- US Public/Private Schools: E5 with dependents (zip code where school is located)

-Monthly Housing Allowance

- Foreign Schools: $1,611.00

-Monthly Housing Allowance/On-Line Attendance Only: $805.50

-Books and Supplies Stipend: $1,000.00 per academic year ($41.67 per credit)

Further information on GI Bill rates can be found at:


RI Military Organization Needs Volunteers at the Airport's Military Lounge

The military lounge at TF Green Airports needs volunteers to staff it. Open 15 hours daily, the lounge provides a welcoming place for military service members, Veterans, and their Families to relax and group during their travels. After three years in operation, more than 7,000 visitors have passed through its doors. Volunteers work four-hour shifts with free parking at the airport. New volunteers can begin by sending an email to


VA Offers Seamless Care for Traveling Veterans

If you are enrolled and receive your health care with VA, you will receive the same, consistent care, whether at your local VA treatment site, or an alternate VA site of care. In order to help VA ensure you receive consistent care while you are traveling, the VA asks that you notify your VA Patient Aligned Care Team (PACT), preferably 4 to 6 weeks prior to departure, or as soon as you are aware of the trip. Early planning will allow time for PACT and the Traveling Veteran Coordinator to coordinate your care at an alternate VA facility. 

To coordinate your health care with another VA health care facility, you should inform your PACT of the following:

          • travel destination(s), and temporary address

          • a valid telephone number

          • arrival and departure dates

          • specific care concerns

Your PACT will contact the Traveling Veteran Coordinator, who will assist in coordinating your care at the alternate facility.

For more information, contact your PACT or Traveling Veteran Coordinator at your local VA facility.


VAe Moves to Providence, Rhode Island

Veterans Assembled electronics (VAe) is a Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business providing electronics training & employment assistance for service disabled veterans. Recently, VAe moved its New England Facility to Providence, RI to better serve our veterans.

VAe invites service disabled veterans to come learn more about exciting career paths and opportunities offered through the STRAC™ Model.  You can find a flyer below in the "TAA Document Library" withing the "Current Flyers" folder. 

For more information, please contact Julie Frisone, Veteran Advocate at 401-301-7665, or email



The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) recently renamed the Operation Enduring Freedom/Operation Iraqi Freedom/Operation New Dawn (OEF/OIF/OND) Care Management Program to the Transition & Care Management (TCM) Program. The OEF/OIF/OND Care Management Program was established in October 2007 by the VA to address the needs of wounded and ill Servicemembers and Veterans, as they returned from deployment and transition from the Department of Defense health care system to the VA system of care.

The renaming of the OEF/OIF/OND Program to the TCM Program is intended to more accurately reflect the purpose, target population, and future vision of providing care management, not only for those Veterans with service in combat supporting OEF/OIF/OND, but also to post 9/11 Veterans who need care management.

Post 9/11 returning Servicemembers or Veterans in need of assistance should contact Ms. Erin Butler, TCM Program Manager, Providence VA Medical Center, at 401.273.7100 X6137, or via email at


    Rhode Island National Guard Retirees' 2017 Meeting Schedule  

Schofield Armory, 705 New London Avenue, Cranston, RI 02920-3097

Coffee @ 9AM followed by Meeting @ 10AM

Saturday,  March 11, 2017

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Saturday, December 9, 2017

Guest speakers at each meeting. Come join them! 





You will find the PDF version below in the TAA Document Library. 


The following website provides a wealth of VA information specific to the Guard and Reserve. 


Did You Live at Camp Lejeune from the 1950s - 1980s?

The following website provides current information regarding this subject.



Folder: Providence VA Medical Center Updates
Folder: Eligibility for Burial Determinations in Advance of Need in a VA National Cemetery
Folder: Upcoming Events
Veterans Online Shopping Benefit (Flyer).pdf
Providence VA Medical Center's Veterans' Update (April 2017).pdf
The Charles Duncan Buried with Honors Act of 2016 (Public Law 114-273).pdf
Veterans Choice Program Law Extended - Fact Sheet (April 19, 2017).pdf
Providence VA Medical Center's Research Newsletter Spring 2017.pdf
Women's Veteran Group.pdf
What to Do When a Veteran Passes Away (November 2016).pdf
Providence VA Regional Office Regularly Scheduled Out-Based and Itinerant Services (February 1, 2017).pdf
VA's General Rating Formula for Mental Disorders (PTSD, etc.).pdf
Retired Military Handbook 2016.pdf
DoD Announces New Outreach Efforts to Veterans Regarding Discharges and Military Records (12-30-2016).pdf
VA UPDATE - Camp Lejeune Water Supply Contaminants (9.9.16).pdf
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Transition Assistance Advisor

Chuck O’Connor

Sergeant Major, USA (Retired)

 Contractor, Skyline Ultd. Inc.

A Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Business

Joint Force Headquarters 
Rhode Island National Guard
Command Readiness Center
645 New London Avenue 
Cranston, RI 02920-3097 
Office (401) 275-4198
Fax (401) 275-4306






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