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www.huh?: Navy Publishes "Rights and Benefits" on CD-ROM, Web

Special to American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Feb. 8, 2001 – The Navy's annual "Owner's and Operator's Manual," the January All Hands magazine, contains a special twist this year: a CD-ROM packed with rights and benefits information.

The "manual," also known as the All Hands Navy almanac, debuted in late January. It customarily contains facts and figures such as listings of surface ships, submarines, aircraft and weapons, Navy rank insignia, and pay tables.

The new, limited-edition compact disc replaces the Rights and Benefits Issue previously published by the magazine every few years. The disk contains a small program, allhands.exe, that details sailors' and Marines' many benefits, including pay and allowances, overseas duty, advancement opportunities and medical care.

The Rights and Benefits disk is in a plastic sleeve stuck to the inside back cover of the magazine. Anyone with a computer and CD-ROM drive can access the program, and best of all, Navy officials added, it links to the Navy Lifelines Services Network Web site with a single mouse click.

In the past, the officials said, some information in the printed Rights and Benefits issue was outdated when it hit the street. To solve that problem, the Naval Media Center, Lifelines2000 and the Bureau of Naval Personnel teamed up to couple technology, content for the disk and a "living" Web site.

The home page of the Lifelines multimedia site, www.LIFELines.navy.mil, links to a bevy of tools and information for the entire Navy department family, from active duty sailors and Marines, to civilian employees, family members, veterans and retirees.

The disk, intended to help sailors and Marines make the right career choices, hyperlinks to the Navy Quality of Life Web site at www.LIFELines.navy.mil/rights.[link no longer available] No matter how old the CD-ROM gets, it links to the live Web site and the regularly updated online rights and benefits handbook, the officials said.

With the current "war for talent" to retain the best personnel, they said, the Navy is committed to keeping sailors and Marines well-informed about their rights and benefits, thereby maintaining readiness. They called the CD the latest in a series of steps the Navy has taken to help sailors "accelerate their lives."

Many key personnel quality-of-life and quality-of-service programs and policies have changed, they said, so a review of rights and benefits is more important than ever.

For the first time, the "All Hands" Web site, www.mediacen.navy.mil, will also allow users to download and print high-resolution copies of the almanac charts containing commissioned and enlisted rank insignia and ratings.

Requests for copies of the All Hands almanac edition with CD-ROM can be made via e-mail to All Hands distribution manager Garland Powell at powell@mediacen.navy.mil. Include name, command, telephone number, e-mail and mailing addresses, and the number of copies desired. Inquiries related to magazine content should be directed to "All Hands" magazine at allhands@mediacen.navy.mil.

(From the Navy News Service) (Editor's technical note: Persons with the CD can easily share the Rights and Benefits program by copying the 1.3-megabyte file, allhands.exe, to a high-density diskette, Zip or other high-capacity disk, writable compact disc or a hard drive. The program requires no setup or installation and so can be played directly from storage media.)

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