Hands in pockets? Satirical blog takes aim

“No hands in pockets” is one of the more consistently complained about rules for troops, and today the fake military news website, The Duffle Blog, has taken aim at it. 

The blog, which is like a military version of The Onion, parodied the Army’s top enlisted man, Sgt. Maj. of the Army Raymond F. Chandler III, with a fake opinion piece in response to a real petition filed on the White House’s website to allow troops to put their hands in their pockets. 

Controversial speaker pulls out of Pentagon prayer breakfast

WASHINGTON – An evangelical Christian speaker exposed a few years ago for using a fake degree and clinical garb to bolster his credentials as a caregiver has pulled out as guest speaker at a Pentagon prayer breakfast after a protest from a well-known advocate of church-state separation in the military.

 Ray Giunta, a Las Vegas pastor, counselor and co-founder of We Care Ministries, was to speak Wednesday at the weekly Pentagon Prayer Breakfast, as first reported by the Huffington Post.

Five military students named Rhodes Scholars

WASHINGTON – Five students with military ties were among the 32 Americans awarded the prestigious Rhodes Scholarship last week, earning a year of studies at the University of Oxford in England.

The scholarship, whose alumni include world leaders such as former President Bill Clinton and current U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice, is awarded based on academic achievement, personal character and “instincts to lead,” according to the committee’s criteria.

Kelly takes over at SOUTHCOM

WASHINGTON — Marine Gen. John F. Kelly assumed command of U.S. Southern Command at a ceremony on Monday in Miami.

Kelly, previously stationed at the Pentagon as Defense Secretary Leon Panetta’s senior military assistant, received his fourth star and took over the post from retiring Air Force Gen. Douglas Fraser.

Navy names latest sub the USS Delaware

The Navy’s newest fast-attack submarine will be named for the nation’s first state.

Navy Secretary Ray Mabus announced Monday that SSN-791 – sponsored by Second Lady Jill Biden – will be the USS Delaware.

Dempsey: Scandals are distressing, but not distracting

WASHINGTON –In a message to the military community today, Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Martin Dempsey said the numerous scandals surrounding high-ranking military officials are distressing but not distracting.

“We are not distracted, but we are concerned,” he wrote in an online post. “We’re committed to learning and adapting. We’re committed to honoring the profession and protecting the nation.

McRaven: No evidence Pakistan knew of Bin Laden hideout

WASHINGTON – It appears the Pakistani government had no idea where terrorist kingpin Osama bin Laden was hiding, said Adm. William McRaven, commander of U.S. Special Operations Command.

Pakistan wasn’t informed of the May 2011 raid in advance because U.S. leaders believed the opposite, and that prior notice would compromise the mission, the Pentagon’s American Forces Press Service quoted McRaven telling a Washington audience on Wednesday at the Heroes Summit, sponsored by Newsweek and the Daily Beast.

If not Allen, then who?

STUTTGART, Germany – If the alleged “inappropriate and flirtatious” email exchanges with a Florida socialite prove troubling enough to derail Marine Gen. John Allen’s nomination as NATO’s next supreme allied commander and leader of U.S. forces in Europe, the White House national security team will have one more hole to fill.

Allen, who has been caught up in the sex scandal that ended the career of CIA Director David Petraeus, is now the subject of an inspector general probe that is examining some 20,000 to 30,000 pages of documents related to emails allegedly exchanged between Allen and Jill Kelley, the Tampa socialite at the center of the scandal, according to defense officials.

Panetta headed for Asia-Pacific next week

WASHINGTON – Defense Secretary Leon Panetta leaves Sunday on his fourth trip in just over a year to the Asia-Pacific region, an area now defined as central to U.S. national interests and military strategy.

Panetta will be joined next week in Perth, Australia, by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Martin Dempsey and Adm. Samuel Locklear, head of U.S. Pacific Command, for annual U.S.-Australia ministerial meetings.

Think tank: Sequestration-sized DOD cuts doable, and not so bad

WASHINGTON – Congress should rein in military pay increases, raise fees on Tricare and reform DOD’s retirement system to help reduce the national budget deficit while maintaining a strong national defense, according to a report released this week by the Center for American Progress, a left-leaning Washington think tank.

The report also suggests that sequestration, severe budget cuts scheduled to take effect in early 2013 if Congress fails to act to reduce the federal deficit, doesn’t have to be such a bad thing either. Sequestration would cut $600 billion out of the DOD budget on top of nearly $500 billion in reductions to planned future spending that DOD says it can handle.

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