FAQ

How do I know if I have security clearance?
As a general rule, you’ll remember the dozens of pages of paperwork you filled out in the form of an SF-86 or SF-85. But if you’re not sure (common for some military enlistees who had to fill out a lot of other paperwork), here’s more information on how to check on your security clearance status: How Do I Check on My Security Clearance Status? - ClearanceJobs
How can I confirm a US soldier's employment and ranking?
If you’re willing to wait a few weeks, have the individual fill out SF-180. This can be done in hard copy or online.SF-180 is Standard Form 180, Request Pertaining To Military Records. This will instruct the National Military Records Center to send you a certified copy of the individual’s DD-214.The DD-214 is the only way to verify that someone was in the military, what their job was, how long they served, what awards they received, and what their discharge status is, among other things.You could ask the individual to see their copy, but you run the risk they forged it (rare, but it happens).By filling out the SF-180 and listing yourself as the requester, the DD-214 will be delivered directly to you, eliminating the chance that the individual tampered with it.
Why were the MARCOS and Garud Commando Force created when the Indian Army already had Para SF?
Para SF is the Special Forces unit of Indian Army and on same lines as Army , both Air Force and Navy also raised their own Special Operations Unit. Now the question asks on whether why were additional units raised when Para SF already existed to fill in the niche of all requirements. Here we have to remind ourselves that , Para SF is a Strategical Asset and overall under the command of Army and not Air Force and Navy. Hence the need for seperate units to fill in the Unconventional Mandate of the other wings was justified totally.I will discuss here the matter in length looking back at the history of both the units and how Para SF alone did not fill in all requirements :MARCOS :MARCOS Operatives with GTAR-21 and AK-103The need for a specialized amphibious unit under Indian Navy was felt and accepted in 1985 which were to be utilized for defence of offshore assets against terror attacks. Specialized Commandos would be able to evict the terrorists in such an attack and hence the raising of an “Indian Marine Special Force” was sanctioned.This was not the first time when a need of a dedicated Amphibious Special Operations Force was felt. During 1971 War , Indian Navy Divers trained Bengali Rebels in Underwater Demolition Operation which were not too widely successful . The need for a dedicated Special Operations Force was felt which can carry out Clandestine Operations , Recon and Counter-Terrorism Operations.A MARCO Medic providing medical aid to a local KashmiriIn 1987 , two Indian Navy Officers : Lt. Arvind Singh and Lt Shamsher Singh Deopa were sent to USA to attend the SEALS course where they emerged on top. On returning to India , these men formed the nucleus of IMSF and later known as MARCOS. IMSF made its debut in 1987 in Sri Lanka where they performed a stellar 55 Combat Operations which included conducting amphibious raids on LTTE strongholds blowing up their ammunition dumps , camps and boats.MARCOSMARCOS was mainly created for flushing out hostiles and sanitizing water routed as needed by Indian Navy. The force would comprise of sailors and officers who will not only be trained divers but also specialized operators in land warfare , Close Quarter Battles , Handling arms and ammunition , Airborne Operations and Combat Diving.MARCOSMARCOS were placed under Indian Navy who generally had a need for a dedicated Special Operations Force and not depend on Army Para SF to conduct operations for them. MARCOS has been hugely successful in their combat orbat especially in amphibious operations like Op.Cactus , Op.Rakshak and multiple anti-piracy operations. Army Para SF have also trained their own operators in Combat Diving where they attend the course similar to MARCOS at Diving School , Kochi. However this does not subvert the need for MARCOS who are more specialized in their cause and can perform Special Operation Jobs at behest of the Navy.MARCOSGarud Commando Force :GarudsSimilar to Navy , Air Force also felt a need for a dedicated Special Operations Force. Earlier named as the ‘Tiger Force' , they were an immediate need for Indian Air Force to safeguard its assets and air bases after Pakistani sponsored terrorists attacked two major Airbases in 2001. Though the attacks were successfully repelled the need for a dedicated unit was felt by Indian Air Force.GarudsIAF earlier utilized Army units for safeguarding vital assets who were deployed on a rotational basis and hence newer units needed constant training hence an exclusive Air Force Unit was sanctioned for which can perform dedicated air force tasks. Garuds were raised on lines of Para SF and MARCOS and modeled on RAF Regiments with additional mandate of safeguarding vital assets and air force specific operational tasks. Garuds were also trained and equipped for additional roles as well which included conducting Combat Search and Rescue Operations as well as other niche like Counter Terrorism Operations and Special Operations like destroying enemy assets or conducting duck drops to infiltrate enemy territory .Both MARCOS and Garuds fills in the niche of a dedicated Special Operations Force which can perform various sort of mandates and operations specific to the need of the commands they are placed under. It nullifies over-stretching of Para SF in varied roles and duties and helps them to concentrate on their own mandate and specialization. Para SF was raised for Unconventional Warfare Needs in Indian Army and was placed under Army Command rather than a Tried Services Command. This led the Navy and Air Force to raise its own force specific to the need of the command. The need of the time is a Joint Special Operations Command which can bring all the three units under one umbrella so that they can undertake operations with equal synergy and as per Strategical Requirements.MARCOS at Wular Lake
Do military members have to pay any fee for leave or fiancee forms?
NOOOOOOO. You are talking to a military romance scammer. I received an email from the US Army that directly answers your question that is pasted below please keep reading.I believe you are the victim of a military Romance Scam whereas the person you are talking to is a foreign national posing as an American Soldier claiming to be stationed overseas on a peacekeeping mission. That's the key to the scam they always claim to be on a peacekeeping mission.Part of their scam is saying that they have no access to their money that their mission is highly dangerous.If your boyfriend girlfriend/future husband/wife is asking you to do the following or has exhibited this behavior, it is a most likely a scam:Moves to private messaging site immediately after meeting you on Facebook or SnapChat or Instagram or some dating or social media site. Often times they delete the site you met them on right after they asked you to move to a more private messaging siteProfesses love to you very quickly & seems to quote poems and song lyrics along with using their own sort of broken language, as they profess their love and devotion quickly. They also showed concern for your health and love for your family.Promises marriage as soon as he/she gets to state for leave that they asked you to pay for.They Requests money (wire transfers) and Amazon, iTune ,Verizon, etc gift cards, for medicine, religious practices, and leaves to come home, internet access, complete job assignments, help sick friend, get him out of trouble, or anything that sounds fishy.The military does provide all the soldier needs including food medical Care and transportation for leave. Trust me, I lived it, you are probably being scammed. I am just trying to show you examples that you are most likely being connned.Below is an email response I received after I sent an inquiry to the US government when I discovered I was scammed. I received this wonderful response back with lots of useful links on how to find and report your scammer. And how to learn more about Romance Scams.Right now you can also copy the picture he gave you and do a google image search and you will hopefully see the pictures of the real person he is impersonating. this doesn't always work and take some digging. if you find the real person you can direct message them and alert them that their image is being used for scamming.Good Luck to you and I'm sorry this may be happening to you. please continue reading the government response I received below it's very informative.   You have contacted an email that is monitored by the U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Command. Unfortunately, this is a common concern. We assure you there is never any reason to send money to anyone claiming to be a Soldier online. If you have only spoken with this person online, it is likely they are not a U.S. Soldier at all. If this is a suspected imposter social media profile, we urge you to report it to that platform as soon as possible. Please continue reading for more resources and answers to other frequently asked questions:  How to report an imposter Facebook profile: Caution-https://www.facebook.com/help/16... Caution-https://www.facebook.com/help/16...   Answers to frequently asked questions:  - Soldiers and their loved ones are not charged money so that the Soldier can go on leave.  - Soldiers are not charged money for secure communications or leave.  - Soldiers do not need permission to get married.  - Soldiers emails are in this format: john.doe.mil@mail.mil Caution-mailto: john.doe.mil@mail.mil anything ending in .us or .com is not an official email account.  - Soldiers have medical insurance, which pays for their medical costs when treated at civilian health care facilities worldwide – family and friends do not need to pay their medical expenses.  - Military aircraft are not used to transport Privately Owned Vehicles.  - Army financial offices are not used to help Soldiers buy or sell items of any kind.  - Soldiers deployed to Combat Zones do not need to solicit money from the public to feed or house themselves or their troops.  - Deployed Soldiers do not find large unclaimed sums of money and need your help to get that money out of the country.  Anyone who tells you one of the above-listed conditions/circumstances is true is likely posing as a Soldier and trying to steal money from you.  We would urge you to immediately cease all contact with this individual.  For more information on avoiding online scams and to report this crime, please see the following sites and articles:   This article may help clarify some of the tricks social media scammers try to use to take advantage of people: Caution-https://www.army.mil/article/61432/ Caution-https://www.army.mil/article/61432/   CID advises vigilance against 'romance scams,' scammers impersonating Soldiers  Caution-https://www.army.mil/article/180749 Caution-https://www.army.mil/article/180749   FBI Internet Crime Complaint Center: Caution-http://www.ic3.gov/default.aspx Caution-http://www.ic3.gov/default.aspx   U.S. Army investigators warn public against romance scams: Caution-https://www.army.mil/article/130... Caution-https://www.army.mil/article/130...   DOD warns troops, families to be cybercrime smart -Caution-http://www.army.mil/article/1450... Caution-http://www.army.mil/article/1450...   Use caution with social networking  Caution-https://www.army.mil/article/146... Caution-https://www.army.mil/article/146...    Please see our frequently asked questions section under scams and legal issues. Caution-http://www.army.mil/faq/ Caution-http://www.army.mil/faq/ or visit Caution-http://www.cid.army.mil/ Caution-http://www.cid.army.mil/ .  The challenge with most scams is determining if an individual is a legitimate member of the US Army. Based on the Privacy Act of 1974, we cannot provide this information. If concerned about a scam you may contact the Better Business Bureau (if it involves a solicitation for money), or local law enforcement. If you're involved in a Facebook or dating site scam, you are free to contact us direct, (571) 305-4056.   If you have a social security number, you can find information about Soldiers online at Caution-https://www.dmdc.osd.mil/appj/sc... Caution-https://www.dmdc.osd.mil/appj/sc... . While this is a free search, it does not help you locate a retiree, but it can tell you if the Soldier is active duty or not.  If more information is needed such as current duty station or location, you can contact the Commander Soldier's Records Data Center (SRDC) by phone or mail and they will help you locate individuals on active duty only, not retirees. There is a fee of $3.50 for businesses to use this service. The check or money order must be made out to the U.S. Treasury. It is not refundable. The address is:  Commander Soldier's Records Data Center (SRDC) 8899 East 56th Street Indianapolis, IN 46249-5301 Phone: 1-866-771-6357  In addition, it is not possible to remove social networking site profiles without legitimate proof of identity theft or a scam. If you suspect fraud on this site, take a screenshot of any advances for money or impersonations and report the account on the social networking platform immediately.  Please submit all information you have on this incident to Caution-www.ic3.gov Caution-http://www.ic3.gov (FBI website, Internet Criminal Complaint Center), immediately stop contact with the scammer (you are potentially providing them more information which can be used to scam you), and learn how to protect yourself against these scams at Caution-http://www.ftc.gov Caution-http://www.ftc.gov (Federal Trade Commission's website)
Why don't schools teach children about taxes and bills and things that they will definitely need to know as adults to get by in life?
Departments of education and school districts always have to make decisions about what to include in their curriculum.  There are a lot of life skills that people need that aren't taught in school.  The question is should those skills be taught in schools?I teach high school, so I'll talk about that.  The typical high school curriculum is supposed to give students a broad-based education that prepares them to be citizens in a democracy and to be able to think critically.  For a democracy to work, we need educated, discerning citizens with the ability to make good decisions based on evidence and objective thought.  In theory, people who are well informed about history, culture, science, mathematics, etc., and are capable of critical, unbiased thinking, will have the tools to participate in a democracy and make good decisions for themselves and for society at large.  In addition to that, they should be learning how to be learners, how to do effective, basic research, and collaborate with other people.  If that happens, figuring out how to do procedural tasks in real life should not provide much of a challenge.  We can't possibly teach every necessary life skill people need, but we can help students become better at knowing how to acquire the skills they need.  Should we teach them how to change a tire when they can easily consult a book or search the internet to find step by step instructions for that?  Should we teach them how to balance a check book or teach them how to think mathematically and make sense of problems so that the simple task of balancing a check book (which requires simple arithmetic and the ability to enter numbers and words in columns and rows in obvious ways) is easy for them to figure out.  If we teach them to be good at critical thinking and have some problem solving skills they will be able to apply those overarching skills to all sorts of every day tasks that shouldn't be difficult for someone with decent cognitive ability  to figure out.  It's analogous to asking why a culinary school didn't teach its students the steps and ingredients to a specific recipe.  The school taught them about more general food preparation and food science skills so that they can figure out how to make a lot of specific recipes without much trouble.  They're also able to create their own recipes.So, do we want citizens with very specific skill sets that they need to get through day to day life or do we want citizens with critical thinking, problem solving, and other overarching cognitive skills that will allow them to easily acquire ANY simple, procedural skill they may come to need at any point in their lives?
What happens to all of the paper forms you fill out for immigration and customs?
Years ago I worked at document management company.  There is cool software that can automate aspects of hand-written forms.  We had an airport as a customer - they scanned plenty and (as I said before) this was several years ago...On your airport customs forms, the "boxes" that you 'need' to write on - are basically invisible to the scanner - but are used because then us humans will tend to write neater and clearer which make sit easier to recognize with a computer.  Any characters with less than X% accuracy based on a recognition engine are flagged and shown as an image zoomed into the particular character so a human operator can then say "that is an "A".   This way, you can rapidly go through most forms and output it to say - an SQL database, complete with link to original image of the form you filled in.If you see "black boxes" at three corners of the document - it is likely set up for scanning (they help to identify and orient the page digitally).  If there is a unique barcode on the document somewhere I would theorize there is an even higher likelihood of it being scanned - the document is of enough value to be printed individually which costs more, which means it is likely going to be used on the capture side.   (I've noticed in the past in Bahamas and some other Caribbean islands they use these sorts of capture mechanisms, but they have far fewer people entering than the US does everyday)The real answer is: it depends.  Depending on each country and its policies and procedures.  Generally I would be surprised if they scanned and held onto the paper.   In the US, they proably file those for a set period of time then destroy them, perhaps mining them for some data about travellers. In the end,  I suspect the "paper-to-data capture" likelihood of customs forms ranges somewhere on a spectrum like this:Third world Customs Guy has paper to show he did his job, paper gets thrown out at end of shift. ------  We keep all the papers! everything is scanned as you pass by customs and unique barcodes identify which flight/gate/area the form was handed out at, so we co-ordinate with cameras in the airport and have captured your image.  We also know exactly how much vodka you brought into the country. :)
How does a media company get a press pass for techcrunch disrupt?
Fill out the press pass request form. Here's the form for TC Disrupt SF 2015: Press
How do you fill out tax forms?
I strongly recommend purchasing a tax program, Turbo tax, H&R block etc.These programs will ask you questions and they will fill out the forms for you.You just print it out and mail it in. (with a check, if you owe anything)I used to use an accountant but these programs found more deductions.
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