Attention Medically Retired Junior Enlisted Personnel


woundedwarriorbutton_320x200Medically Retired JUNIOR enlisted personnel are eligible for same Insurance coverage as Military Retirees, Senior NCOs, and Officers.

By Robert L. Hanafin, Major, U.S. Air Force-Retired

      The articles I normally write are intended to ignite debate, controversy, or expose the wrong doing within our government using factual links to primary sources. However, today I decided to write about something that I hopefully believe everyone can agree on, and something that even our wounded enlisted troops may not be taking advantage of. These are Veterans benefits that have traditonally gone to higher ranking enlisted members, Officers, federal civil service, and military retirees like ME.  

Though not viewed as Veterans Benefits in the tradtional sense because they have been relatively restricted to ROTC or military academy cadets, senior NCOs, Navy Chiefs, Officers, and of course us Military Retirees. There have been well established auto, life, and health insurance companies that were created by Retired Military Personnel specifically focused on well, Retired Military Personnel. Many have extended membership to our wounded warriors E5 and below in line with the Global War on Terror and I believe as a result of the Wounded Warrior Act and well good business practices.     


     Let me make it perfectly clear that I’m not here to SELL insurance or SELL anything. The reason I’m writing this is inspiration from something I noted in my latest auto insurance bill from Armed Forces Insurance that frankly even as an Army Dad took for granted until NOW.

      That is that NOW Medically Retired JUNIOR enlisted are eligible to join some of the various group insurance plans (Auto, Renters, Home, Health, etc) that were once the exclusive realm of us senior NCOs, Officer, and yes even federal government employees.

      For those of us in the Pro-Peace movement, there are no questions on any application for these benefits that I’m aware of asking what your political views or affiliation is. As long as you have the green necessary to pay premiums these companies could care less what color your opinions are.

      Thus I’m sending out this reminder of something that hopefully most Junior enlisted Veterans already know through the established Wounded Warrior Act programs.

     One more time, though I use Armed Forces Insurance (AFI) as an example that’s because it is MY insurance compamy and the one I’m most familiar with. I’m not endorsing nor selling AFI. Others come to mind that I’ve yet to check into but if YOU qualify should look into (USAA comes to mind plus others).

      If anyone desires me to compile a list of military service affiliated (not part of DOD mind you) insurance services that are more cost effective in our economic meltdown, by all means please ask me in the comments section.

Major Hanafin 

Am I Eligible to Join the Armed Forces Insurance Exchange (AFIE)? :
By joining AFIE now, you will be extending your membership to your children.
You are eligible for membership with Armed Forces Insurance if you meet the following criteria: 

      All active duty, retired and "former" commissioned, warrant, and noncommissioned officers of the U.S. military services. National Guard and Reserve, Coast Guard, U.S. Pubic Health Service, and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)

      All active duty, reserve and medically retired Junior Enlisted personnel.

Major Hanafin’s note: check with your desired provider to ensure you understand what their definition of Junior enlisted is, but I’m sure it means any service member medically retired below the rank of E5.

    * A military veteran
          o Active Duty
          o Retired
          o Former
          o National Guard
          o Reserve

    * Department of Defense Employee (current or retired) with a pay grade equivalent to GS-6 or above.

    * Officer candidate in commisioning program
          o Academy
          o ROTC
          o OCS/OTS

    * Or are you:
          o Spouse of the above
          o Widow of the above
          o Child of current or former AFI member
          o Former Spouse of a current or former AFI member

If you’re still not sure you qualify for our membership,
contact customer service at 1-800-495-8234.

Insurance coverage outside of routine Veterans benefits is not FREE but it is competitively well INEXPENSIVE.

I’ve done price quote comparisons with GEICO, and a few other companies that will virtually cover anyone willing to pay, and I’ve been honestly told they cannot compete with the active duty and veteran military membership of companies like USAA, and AFI to name a few.

However, that’s not the thrust of my article. It is aimed at Medically Retired JUNIOR enlisted. I have a gut feeling that many of them, and their families are not universally aware that this additional veterans benefit is out there.

Click here for a comparison with USAA

I found that membership in USAA is open to all veterans who left military service on or after January 1, 1996 regardless of rank.

Foremost, for additional links to information aimed specifically at Military Medically Retired members regardless of rank GO HERE.

Of course let’s not forget the wealth of information available from the Wounded Warrior Program and as a result of the Wounded Warrior Act.

One more time, the intent of my article IS NOT to endorse nor SELL any insurance company but provide informaton to our Junior enlisted members and their families that they may or may not be aware of. That is why I intentionally did not use any company logos in my article.

In fact, though I do not endorse them, as a VT staff writer, nor does VT, I believe that the most important links of value for our lower enlisted Wounded Warriors and their families are to the Wounded Warrior Project and Wounded Warrior Act.

Bobby Hanafin
The Mustang Major


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Readers are more than welcome to use the articles I've posted on Veterans Today, I've had to take a break from VT as Veterans Issues and Peace Activism Editor and staff writer due to personal medical reasons in our military family that take away too much time needed to properly express future stories or respond to readers in a timely manner. My association with VT since its founding in 2004 has been a very rewarding experience for me. Retired from both the Air Force and Civil Service. Went in the regular Army at 17 during Vietnam (1968), stayed in the Army Reserve to complete my eight year commitment in 1976. Served in Air Defense Artillery, and a Mechanized Infantry Division (4MID) at Fort Carson, Co. Used the GI Bill to go to college, worked full time at the VA, and non-scholarship Air Force 2-Year ROTC program for prior service military. Commissioned in the Air Force in 1977. Served as a Military Intelligence Officer from 1977 to 1994. Upon retirement I entered retail drugstore management training with Safeway Drugs Stores in California. Retail Sales Management was not my cup of tea, so I applied my former U.S. Civil Service status with the VA to get my foot in the door at the Justice Department, and later Department of the Navy retiring with disability from the Civil Service in 2000. I've been with Veterans Today since the site originated. I'm now on the Editorial Board. I was also on the Editorial Board of Our Troops News Ladder another progressive leaning Veterans and Military Family news clearing house. I remain married for over 45 years. I am both a Vietnam Era and Gulf War Veteran. I served on Okinawa and Fort Carson, Colorado during Vietnam and in the Office of the Air Force Inspector General at Norton AFB, CA during Desert Storm. I retired from the Air Force in 1994 having worked on the Air Staff and Defense Intelligence Agency at the Pentagon.