Celebrate the Life of a Global Space Pioneer and American Legend – John Glenn

December 9, 2016

BringingTheFutureWithinReach_033-000-01377-9Few Americans have made a greater personal contribution to America than the recently departed John Glenn. His life path defines what it is to place your country first and to do it with grace and style. He put his own life in harm’s way to move the nation to the forefront of space exploration at a time we needed it most.

He traveled to outer space and through the halls of the U.S. Senate as Senator of Ohio. He also was an activist for keeping America safer by introducing legislation to curb worldwide nuclear proliferation.

Now, you can bring home publications that honor Glenn’s contribution to our space effort. Bringing the Future Within Reach: Celebrating 75 Years of the NASA John H. Glenn Research Center, 1941-2016 provides in-depth descriptions of the many research specialties NASA embarked upon that helped the U.S. win the race to the moon; and that championed electric propulsion, considered key to future space flight.

033-000-01375-2_spinoff-2016Another publication, Spinoff, 2016 features dozens of commercial products derived from NASA technology that are improving everything from medical care and software tools to agricultural production and vehicle efficiency.

To find other publications related to John Glenn, visit the Government Publishing Office’s online bookstore at http://bookstore.gpo.gov  and type “John Glenn” into the search box. You will be directed to publications that honor his life and the contributions he’s made to our space program and to exciting technologies that lie just ahead in the near future.

For that young girl or boy in your life, here’s a true role model depicting how one person can make such a significant difference by following his or her dream, and by living an exemplary life that shows anything is possible.

HOW DO I OBTAIN THESE PUBLICATIONS?

Shop Online Anytime: You can buy eBooks or print publications —with FREE Standard Shipping worldwide— from the U.S. Government Online Bookstore at http://bookstore.gpo.gov.

Shop our Retail Store: Buy a copy of any print editions from this collection at GPO’s retail bookstore at 710 North Capitol Street NW, Washington, DC 20401, open Monday–Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., except Federal holidays, Call (202) 512-0132 for information or to arrange in-store pick-up.

Order by Phone: Call our Customer Contact Center Monday through Friday, 8 am to 5:30 pm Eastern (except US Federal holidays). From US and Canada, call toll-free 1.866.512.1800. DC or International customers call +1.202.512.1800.

Visit a Federal depository library: Search for U.S. Government publications in a nearby Federal depository library. You can find the records for most titles in GPO’s Catalog of U.S. Government Publications.

About the author: Blogger contributor Ed Kessler is a Promotions Specialist in GPO’s Publication and Information Sales program office.


Pearl Harbor at 75 & Three Pacific Battles That Shaped WWII

December 6, 2016
uss-arizona-burning1

Battleship USS Arizona on fire and sinking (Image source: archives.gov)

Moments before 8 a.m. on December 7, 1941, the United States was ‘suddenly and deliberately attacked.’ Hundreds of Japanese fighter planes and bombers launched a surprise assault on Pearl Harbor in Hawaii. The swift, devastating volley on the U.S. naval base killed 2,403 Americans. With President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s famous “a date which will live in infamy” proclamation, America had finally joined WWII.

008-046-00301-7That momentous week of loss and defiance took place seventy-five years ago. After Pearl Harbor, the U.S. fought Imperial Japanese forces for a superior hold in Pacific waters. On the list of the 10 greatest battles of that front, you will find Midway, Coral Sea, and the Philippine Sea. GPO makes available a U.S. Naval War College study, Major-Fleet Versus-Fleet Operations in the Pacific War, 1941-1945, that takes a look at those three major naval operations.

Japanese planning in the Pacific War, according to author and naval historian Dr. Milan Vego, was unnecessarily complicated and focused too closely on offensive maneuvers. Nonetheless, Japan was hell-bent on defeating the U.S. Pacific fleet.

425px-sinking_of_carrier_shoho_during_battle_of_coral_sea_1942

Sinking of Japanese carrier Shoho during Battle of Coral Sea, 1942

American military intelligence, and eventually the entire fleet, prevailed. The book’s primary-source archival material points to the timely concentration of U.S. forces at the appropriate place and at the appropriate time. The U.S. dominated the resultant Coral Sea, Midway/Aleutians, and the Philippine Sea battles—victories that presented a big sea change in the Pacific theater.

The author provides a detailed, well-supported sketch of three major battle areas that decisively shaped WWII. Maps, strategic context, and action analysis provide an authoritative, insightful resource for naval professionals. Major-Fleet Versus-Fleet Operations in the Pacific War identifies universal, tactical lessons of interest for today’s U.S. Navy and, of course, military history buffs.

HOW DO I OBTAIN THIS RESOURCE?

Shop Online Anytime: You can buy eBooks or print publications —with FREE Standard Shipping worldwide— from the U.S. Government Online Bookstore at http://bookstore.gpo.gov.

Shop our Retail Store: Buy a copy of any print editions from this collection at GPO’s retail bookstore at 710 North Capitol Street NW, Washington, DC 20401, open Monday–Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., except Federal holidays, Call (202) 512-0132 for information or to arrange in-store pick-up.

Order by Phone: Call our Customer Contact Center Monday through Friday, 8 am to 5:30 pm Eastern (except US Federal holidays). From US and Canada, call toll-free 1.866.512.1800. DC or International customers call +1.202.512.1800.

Visit a Federal depository library: Search for U.S. Government publications in a nearby Federal depository library. You can find the records for most titles in GPO’s Catalog of U.S. Government Publications.

About the author: Blogger contributor Chelsea Milko is a Public Relations Specialist in GPO’s Public Relations Office.


A Plum Book of Political Positions

December 5, 2016

21-660_SEN-GOVTAFF_cover.inddWith the change of a new administration, learn about Presidential appointed and other positions within the Federal Government in the new 2016 United States Government Policy and Supporting Positions, or the “Plum Book” now available from the U.S. Government Bookstore.

What is the Plum Book? Known officially as the “United States Government Policy and Supporting Positions,” the Plum Book is published alternately by the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs or by the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, who handled this year’s version. The 2016 edition lists over 9,000 civil service leadership and support positions (filled and vacant) in the Legislative and Executive branches of the Federal Government that may be subject to noncompetitive appointments.

History of the “Plum Book”

The Plum Book was first published in 1952, when the Dwight D. Eisenhower Administration was voted into office after 20 years of Democratic administrations– first under President Franklin D. Roosevelt and then under President Harry S. Truman. Truman-Eisenhower-Transition

Image: Out-going President Truman meets with incoming President Eisenhower to discuss the transition. (Is that a draft copy of the first Plum Book that Truman is handing to Eisenhower?😉

With a touch of humor, someone at the original publishers decided the book should have a purple or plum-colored cover to reflect that it contained the “plum” political appointee jobs, and the tradition has stuck ever since for the printed version.

What Type of Positions are Listed in the Plum Book?

The United States Government Policy and Supporting Positions 2016 (Plum Book) includes both politically appointed and Career Civil Service positions, agency heads and their immediate subordinates, policy executives and advisers, and the aides who report to these political appointee officials.  These encompass:

  • Executive Schedule and salary-equivalent positions paid at the rates established for Levels I through V of the Executive Schedule.
  • Senior Executive Service “General” positions (i.e., those positions which may be filled by a career, non-career, or limited appointment)
  • Senior Foreign Service positions
  • Schedule C positions excepted from the competitive service by the President, or by the Director, Office of Personnel Management, because of the confidential or policy-determining nature of the position duties
  • Other confidential or policy-determining positions at the GS-14 and above level excepted from the competitive civil service by law because of the confidential or policy-determining nature of the position duties

The duties of such positions may involve advocacy of Administration policies and programs, and the incumbents usually have a close and confidential working relationship with the agency head or other key officials.

To Fill or Not to Fill , that is the Question

Interestingly, the book lists ALL such political appointment positions, whether there is someone currently in the job or it was vacant as of June 30, 2016.  If the job was occupied by a career Federal employee appointee, the phrase “Career Incumbent” is shown without a name; otherwise, the name of the political appointee is listed.

And positions such as boards, committees or commissions that require “member” positions by political party affiliation are listed with the name of the incumbent along with a (D) for Democrat, (R) for Republican or (I) for Independent.

Type of Appointment and Salaries

Listings are labeled with letter codes that denote the type of appointment under which the position is categorized:

Appointment Code What It Stands For
CA Career Appointment
EA Limited Emergency Appointment
NA Non-career Appointment
PA Presidential Appointment without Senate Confirmation
PAS Presidential Appointment with Senate Confirmation
SC Schedule C Excepted Appointment
TA Limited Term Appointment
XS Appointment Excepted by Statute

However, several categories of jobs can be filled by more than one type of appointment, e.g., SES positions listed in this publication may be filled by using career Federal employees or various outside appointments. On these, no ‘‘Type of Appointment’’ is shown for such positions when they are vacant.

Plum-Book-Political-Appointments-GSAImage: List of “noncompetitive” political appointment positions at GSA. Source: 2012 Plum Book. (CLICK ON IMAGE TO ENLARGE)

Finally, information is included on the various base salary scales for each pay plan and level or grade, along with the percent above that base for different locality pay areas.

CONCLUSION

So if you are still hunting for that perfect holiday gift, it might be time to “pick a plum” or two—a 2016 Plum Book, that is—one to give, and one to keep for yourself!

How can I obtain a copy of United States Government Policy and Supporting Positions 2016 (Plum Book)?

Shop Online Anytime: You can buy eBooks or print publications —with FREE Standard Shipping worldwide— from the U.S. Government Online Bookstore at http://bookstore.gpo.gov.

 Shop our Retail Store: Buy a copy of any print editions from this collection at GPO’s retail bookstore at 710 North Capitol Street NW, Washington, DC 20401, open Monday–Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., except Federal holidays, Call (202) 512-0132 for information or to arrange in-store pick-up.

Order by Phone: Call our Customer Contact Center Monday through Friday, 8 am to 5:30 pm Eastern (except US Federal holidays). From US and Canada, call toll-free 1.866.512.1800. DC or International customers call +1.202.512.1800.

Visit a Federal depository library: Search for U.S. Government publications in a nearby Federal depository library. You can find the records for most titles in GPO’s Catalog of U.S. Government Publications.

About the author: Adapted by Trudy Hawkins, Senior Marketing and Promotions Specialist in GPO’s Publication & Information Sales Division in Washington, DC, from an original post by Michele Bartram, former Government Book Talk Editor in support of the U.S. Government Online Bookstore (http://bookstore.gpo.gov).

 


Great Gift Ideas from the Federal Government – Check Out Our New Holiday Catalog

November 25, 2016

us_holiday_2016_catalog_final_coverThis year consider giving family and friends reading options from publishers across the Federal government. From insightful commentary on how America is reacting to world hot spots, to glorious posters of our nation’s art collection and natural beauty, to fun educational kits for the kids.

Open up the GPO Holiday Catalog and find a few treasures, many of which are incredibly low priced “stocking stuffer” gift ideas.

Enjoy your holidays and learn a lot too!

HOW DO I OBTAIN THE HOLIDAY CATALOG?

You can click on the link or image above to view or print the catalog. Or, click on the Holiday Catalog 2016 collection  below to shop publications in our catalog online.

Shop Online Anytime: You can buy eBooks or print publications —with FREE Standard Shipping worldwide— from the U.S. Government Online Bookstore at http://bookstore.gpo.gov.

 Shop our Retail Store: Buy a copy of any print editions from this collection at GPO’s retail bookstore at 710 North Capitol Street NW, Washington, DC 20401, open Monday–Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., except Federal holidays, Call (202) 512-0132 for information or to arrange in-store pick-up.

Order by Phone: Call our Customer Contact Center Monday through Friday, 8 am to 5:30 pm Eastern (except US Federal holidays). From US and Canada, call toll-free 1.866.512.1800. DC or International customers call +1.202.512.1800.

Visit a Federal depository library: Search for U.S. Government publications in a nearby Federal depository library. You can find the records for most titles in GPO’s Catalog of U.S. Government Publications.

About the author: Blogger contributor Ed Kessler is a Promotions Specialist in GPO’s Publication and Information Sales program office.


Stunning Images of National Parks Around DC

November 16, 2016

Washington, DC is populated with renowned stone edifices and towering monuments. Some even call our nation’s capital “American Rome.” Of course, national treasures are not limited to the metropolitan and man-made. Sublime natural beauty abounds in the parks of the Potomac River watershed.

Battlefields, wildlife preserves, canals, aquatic gardens, forests. The National Capitol Region has them all. And the National Park Service celebrates them in “A Photographer’s Path: Images of National Parks Near the Nation’s Capital,” available through GPO.

024-005-01275-3_a-photographers-path-images-of-national-parks-near-the-nations-capitalA Photographer’s Path: Images of National Parks Near the Nation’s Capital

National Park Service photographer Thomas Paradis spotlights the idyllic, artful, and even curious scenes within the region. It’s a “pictorial journey” that “reveals the subtlety and nuance of our natural landscapes.”

Now, I’ll let the images speak for themselves:

Swallowtail perched on branch. Manassas National Park

Swallowtail perched on branch. Manassas National Park

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Looking toward Chimney Rock. Catoctin Mountain Park

Looking toward Chimney Rock. Catoctin Mountain Park

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Heron over Great Falls. Great Falls Park, George Washington Memorial Parkway and Chesapeake & Ohio Canal National Park

Heron over Great Falls. Great Falls Park, George Washington Memorial Parkway and Chesapeake & Ohio Canal National Park

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

HOW DO I OBTAIN THIS PUBLICATION?

Shop Online Anytime: You can buy eBooks or print publications —with FREE Standard Shipping worldwide— from the U.S. Government Online Bookstore at http://bookstore.gpo.gov.

Shop our Retail Store: Buy a copy of any print editions from this collection at GPO’s retail bookstore at 710 North Capitol Street NW, Washington, DC 20401, open Monday–Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., except Federal holidays, Call (202) 512-0132 for information or to arrange in-store pick-up.

Order by Phone: Call our Customer Contact Center Monday through Friday, 8 am to 5:30 pm Eastern (except US Federal holidays). From US and Canada, call toll-free 1.866.512.1800. DC or International customers call +1.202.512.1800.

Visit a Federal depository library: Search for U.S. Government publications in a nearby Federal depository library. You can find the records for most titles in GPO’s Catalog of U.S. Government Publications.

About the author: Blogger contributor Chelsea Milko is a Public Relations Specialist in GPO’s Public Relations Office.

 


Veterans Day: Serving Those Who Served

November 9, 2016

arlington-820751_960_720As we well know, November 11 is Veterans Day. But it wasn’t always called that. At the end of WWI, President Woodrow Wilson declared November 11 as the first Armistice Day with the following words: “To us in America, the reflections of Armistice Day will be filled with solemn pride in the heroism of those who died in the country’s service and with gratitude for the victory.” Not until June 1, 1954 did President Dwight D. Eisenhower sign the law that struck out the word “Armistice” and replaced it with “Veterans.” Thus, November 11 became a day to honor American veterans of all wars. GPO employees printed that original act and now make it digitally available on govinfo.

One important way the U.S. Government honors all military service veterans is by providing first-rate health benefits and services. The Department of Veteran’s Affairs serves more than 8 million Veterans each year. Coverage is immediate, travels with recipients, meets healthcare law standards, and surpasses quality and effectiveness measurements. It’s the care Veterans have earned.

GPO makes available these health and benefits resources from the VA and its Veterans Health Administration:

Health Care Benefits Overview 2016 Edition, Vols. 1 & 2

051-000-00256-3This comprehensive medical benefits publication includes the standard FAQs on basic eligibility requirements, enrollment, copays, Medicare Part D prescription drug coverage, and the like. It also highlights community living centers, medical foster homes, geriatric evaluation, home telehealth, and online tools that are part of the VA’s silver plate of world-class care.

Federal Benefits for Veterans, Dependents and Survivors 2016

051-000-00258-0This annual publication provides a complete summary of all Federal benefits available to qualified American veterans and their families. It’s must-have, up-to-date information on the benefits and rights owed to those who accepted the responsibility to defend America when duty called.

In the VA’s own words: “Our Servicemembers and Veterans have sacrificed to keep our country – and everything it represents – safe…Thank you for your service. Now let us serve you.”

HOW DO I OBTAIN THESE RESOURCES?

Shop Online Anytime: You can buy eBooks or print publications —with FREE Standard Shipping worldwide— from the U.S. Government Online Bookstore at http://bookstore.gpo.gov.

Shop our Retail Store: Buy a copy of any print editions from this collection at GPO’s retail bookstore at 710 North Capitol Street NW, Washington, DC 20401, open Monday–Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., except Federal holidays, Call (202) 512-0132 for information or to arrange in-store pick-up.

Order by Phone: Call our Customer Contact Center Monday through Friday, 8 am to 5:30 pm Eastern (except US Federal holidays). From US and Canada, call toll-free 1.866.512.1800. DC or International customers call +1.202.512.1800.

Visit a Federal depository library: Search for U.S. Government publications in a nearby Federal depository library. You can find the records for most titles in GPO’s Catalog of U.S. Government Publications.

About the author: Blogger contributor Chelsea Milko is a Public Relations Specialist in GPO’s Public Relations Office.


College Prep from the U.S. Government

November 4, 2016
President Lyndon B. Johnson signs the Higher Education Act. Lady Bird Johnson, Congressman Jake Pickle, and others look on. LBJ Library photo by Frank Wolfe

President Lyndon B. Johnson signs the Higher Education Act. Lady Bird Johnson, Congressman Jake Pickle, and others look on. LBJ Library photo by Frank Wolfe.

On November 8th, 1965, President Lyndon Baines Johnson signed the Higher Education Act. A part of LBJ’s Great Society domestic agenda, the legislation authorizes the administration of Federal student aid programs. GPO employees printed the original legislation and now make it digitally available on govinfo.

In addition, GPO makes available a number of free Department of Education eBooks that place real answers in the hands of college and vocational school-bound students. A bit of good guidance can make those first steps toward college more surefooted.

My Future, My Way: First Steps Toward College

9780160930959The Department of Education’s Federal Student Aid folks have assembled this ePub to frame some big, scary college planning questions without oversimplifying them. It’s arranged in a series of prompts, mythbusters, and graphics. It features a nifty comparison of vocational, technical, and professional career choices as well.

This booklet tackles the “when should I begin thinking of college?” and “what can a college education do for me?” and “how will I pay for college?” FAQs. As is often the case when undertaking something new, school kids might not even know which questions to ask. Give them a tailor-made activity book like My Future, My Way and post-high school success will be a bit more achievable.

College Preparation Checklist

college-prep-checklist_page_01This checklist is really a to-do list. It breaks down the college planning timeline into elementary, middle, and high school subsections; each subsection details what to do, when to do it, and who can help. It’s full of sensible suggestions about more than just which classes to take. Comprehensive college prep is “also about developing the skills that will help you succeed in college and life.” Things like money planning, time management, test scores, and scholarships all have a place in the balance between studying and having fun.

The College Preparation Checklist is certainly not designed to replace traditional guidance counseling. The goal here is to get any student considering college to start asking questions now that will make career planning less intimidating.

Funding Your Education: The Guide to Federal Student Aid

funding-your-education_page_01If planning for college is a towering task, then paying for college can be an even bigger challenge. This concise electronic brochure highlights the types of federal student aid and steps to remember when applying for aid. With this resource, the Office of Federal Student Aid aims to “ensure that all eligible individuals can benefit from federally funded financial assistance for education or training beyond high school.”

Getting ready for the post-secondary world may seem daunting but with these Department of Education resources, students don’t have to do it alone.

HOW DO I OBTAIN THESE RESOURCES?

Shop Online Anytime: You can buy eBooks or print publications —with FREE Standard Shipping worldwide— from the U.S. Government Online Bookstore at http://bookstore.gpo.gov.

Shop our Retail Store: Buy a copy of any print editions from this collection at GPO’s retail bookstore at 710 North Capitol Street NW, Washington, DC 20401, open Monday–Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., except Federal holidays, Call (202) 512-0132 for information or to arrange in-store pick-up.

Order by Phone: Call our Customer Contact Center Monday through Friday, 8 am to 5:30 pm Eastern (except US Federal holidays). From US and Canada, call toll-free 1.866.512.1800. DC or International customers call +1.202.512.1800.

Visit a Federal depository library: Search for U.S. Government publications in a nearby Federal depository library. You can find the records for most titles in GPO’s Catalog of U.S. Government Publications.

About the author: Blogger contributor Chelsea Milko is a Public Relations Specialist in GPO’s Public Relations Office.


%d bloggers like this: