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NEWS | April 9, 2019

Military Life Cycle: New VA benefits program

By Senior Airman Derek Seifert 633rd Air Base Wing Public Affairs

U.S. Army Soldiers and U.S. Air Force Airmen were visited by former top senior enlisted leaders of each military branch to receive information on Military Life Cycle, a new Veterans Affairs program regarding benefits and entitlements at Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Virginia, April 3 and 4, 2019.


Pinnacle 5, the group that visited, is comprised of retired senior non-commissioned officers of all the services, Jack Tilley, former Sgt. Maj. of the Army, Alford McMichael, former Sgt. Maj. of the Marine Corps, James Herdt, former Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy, Frederick Finch, former Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force, and Vincent Patton, former Master Chief Petty Officer of the Coast Guard.


While Military Life Cycle does not offer or consist of any new benefits available to service members, it is a module-based program that breaks the information apart to make it easier and more accessible to find.


The 45 to 60-minute modules available online are:


  • Reserve Component Dual Payment
  • VA Community Integration Resources
  • VA Education Benefits Resources
  • VA Home Loan Guaranty Program
  • VA Life Insurance Benefits
  • Vet Centers
  • Survivor and Casualty Assistance Resources
  • VA Benefits 101
  • Social and Emotional Health Resources


“The problem at hand is that most individuals do not learn about all of their VA benefits until long after they leave the service,” said Patton. “Most service members who are still in uniform don’t define themselves as veterans and they feel they don’t need to know about the benefits until the time comes. What comes with this life cycle program is a lot of information, so it’s important for service members to start early in their military careers learning about the benefits available to them.”


Pinnacle 5 plans to visit installations of each branch around the United States to provide Military Life Cycle knowledge to senior NCO’s, NCO’s and family members to educate as many people as possible.


“I think it is important for people to understand that one day, you have to take off the uniform,” said Tilley. “People just don’t think about it that way and they want to wait until the last minute to prepare and I’d simply tell you, as far out as possible, sit down and think about what you’re going to do after you transition out of this career.”


For more information visit, or Also, visit the local Transition Assistance Program manager or benefit advisor.