Military Retirement and Transition to the Blended Retirement System

By Summer 2021 M-VETS Student Advisor Mike Smiley Summary Military retirees and current Servicemembers ought to be aware of the military pension system that is applicable to their circumstance and the implications it can have on their financial wellbeing. The system of service member pensions is periodically revised, most recently and radically, as of January … Continue reading “Military Retirement and Transition to the Blended Retirement System”

M-VETS Secures Disability Compensation for a Retired U.S. Air Force Veteran due to Exposure to Agent Orange in Vietnam

(M-VETS Student-Advisors Megan Huppee (left) and Samantha Lewis (right)) The Antonin Scalia Law School Mason Veterans and Servicemembers Legal Clinic (“M-VETS”) secured Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA) disability compensation for a retired U.S. Air Force veteran for his service in Vietnam.  M-VETS argued in a brief before the DVA that the veteran was entitled to … Continue reading “M-VETS Secures Disability Compensation for a Retired U.S. Air Force Veteran due to Exposure to Agent Orange in Vietnam”

M-VETS Prevails and Secures Honorable Discharge for Army Combat Veteran

The Mason Veterans and Servicemembers Legal Clinic (M-VETS) successfully argued before the Army Discharge Review Board for an Army Combat veteran to receive a fully Honorable conditions discharge.  Filed in 2019, the M-VETS request was recently approved by the Army Discharge Review Board and the veteran now has a fully Honorable conditions discharge reflected on … Continue reading “M-VETS Prevails and Secures Honorable Discharge for Army Combat Veteran”

Supported Decision-Making

By Summer 2021 M-VETS Student Advisor Megan Huppee Introduction – What is Supported Decision-Making? Supported Decision-Making (“SDM”) is an informal or formal way individuals can have trustworthy people help them make decisions. SDM has evolved as one alternative to guardianship.[1] Guardianship is the legal process in which a court determines when a person can no … Continue reading “Supported Decision-Making”

Federal Tax Benefits That May be Available to Military Members

By Summer 2021 M-VETS Student Advisor David Zhang This blog post is not intended to provide, and should not be relied on for, tax, legal or accounting advice. You should consult your own tax, legal and accounting advisors before engaging in any transaction. Military members and their families have life events that may affect their … Continue reading “Federal Tax Benefits That May be Available to Military Members”

The Discharge Appeal Review Board: Another Opportunity for a Discharge Upgrade

By Spring 2021 M-VETS Student Advisor Anne Cotter On April 7, 2021, the Department of Defense (“DoD”) announced that it had formed the Discharge Appeal Review Board (“DARB”).[1] The DoD established the DARB pursuant to 10 U.S.C. § 1553a to conduct a final review of a veteran’s request for a discharge upgrade. The DARB gives … Continue reading “The Discharge Appeal Review Board: Another Opportunity for a Discharge Upgrade”

Special Victim Counsel Services Extended to Victims of Domestic Violence

By Spring 2021 M-VETS Student Advisor Raphael Johnson The Department of Defense reaffirmed its commitment to protecting and supporting victims of domestic violence by extending Special Victim Counsel services to military-connected victims of domestic violence. The Fiscal Year 2020 National Defense Authorization Act directed the Department of Defense to extend Special Victim Counsel services to … Continue reading “Special Victim Counsel Services Extended to Victims of Domestic Violence”

The War Within: The Uncomfortable Truth About Sexual Assault and a Pervasive Culture of Harassment in the Military

By Spring 2021 M-VETS Student Advisor Alana Nielson “I wanted to believe in the Navy’s ability to properly handle cases of sexual assault. However, after having been through the process, it became clear that while step one [reporting the assault] is for the victim, all else is done explicitly for the image of the Navy, … Continue reading “The War Within: The Uncomfortable Truth About Sexual Assault and a Pervasive Culture of Harassment in the Military”

Veteran Suicide Prevention: Small Strides Forward

By Spring 2021 M-VETS Student Advisor Alexandra Morgan For almost 10 years, the suicide rate among veterans has been 1.5 times higher than the rate for non-veteran adults.[1] Suicide is not an easy topic for anyone. Often times, the brave men and women who selflessly join the U.S. Armed Forces are portrayed and expected to … Continue reading “Veteran Suicide Prevention: Small Strides Forward”