Pacific key to security, Panetta tells Annapolis grads

WASHINGTON – Defense Secretary Leon Panetta told graduating midshipmen on Tuesday at the U.S. Naval Academy that as sailors and Marines, they’d be at the heart of the United States’ newly developed military strategy that defines the vast Asia-Pacific region as central to national security.

“America is a maritime nation, and we are returning to our maritime roots,” he told the nearly 1,100 graduates on Tuesday. The commissioning, which also featured remarks by Navy Secretary Ray Mabus, was held on a sunny, unseasonably warm spring day in Annapolis and punctuated by a flyover of the Blue Angels squadron.

General's suicide commentary provides a teachable moment

In January, Maj. Gen. Dana Pittard, commander of Fort Bliss in Texas, wrote some extremely harsh words about soldiers who commit suicide.

In what has now become a famous blog post, Pittard stated, “I have now come to the conclusion that suicide is an absolutely selfish act. ... I am personally fed up with soldiers who are choosing to take their own lives so that others can clean up their mess. Be an adult, act like an adult, and deal with your real-life problems like the rest of us.”

Legislation saves leave days for long-deployed guardsmen