Midshipmen come up short in 30th annual Annapolis Cup croquet challenge

St. John's College defeated the U.S. Naval Academy 5-0 in the 30th playing of their annual croquet battle.

Here's a look at the action.

How to tell if a North Korean missile is fake

WASHINGTON -- German analysts this week determined that missiles displayed by North Korean military officials during a military parade earlier this month were likely fake.

Here are a few signs to look for in determining the authenticity of military hardware.

Pentagon suspends class for 'inflammatory' teaching on Islam

WASHINGTON—A course at a military staff college that included what the Pentagon called “objectionable and in fact inflammatory” statements about Islam has been suspended after a student who completed the class last month complained to military authorities.

An initial review has uncovered worrying material that contradicts years of official doctrine about the global war on terrorism.

Report: Obama surges in campaign donations from military members

The U.S. military has long been closely linked with the Republican party, particularly when it comes to presidential candidates, but that may be changing.

In March, President Barack Obama took in the most campaign contributions from those within the military and the Department of Defense, trumping the previous leader, conservative candidate Ron Paul, according to data collected by the Center for Responsive Politics. Despite essentially locking up the Republican nomination, Mitt Romney lags far behind.

Mental health advocate listed on TIME magazine's most influential

WASHINGTON - Time magazine has christened veterans advocate Barbara Van Dahlen the "Mobilizer" and named her to this year's 100 most influential people list.

She's a tireless champion for veterans and servicemembers having access to mental health services. When the psychologist learned that they struggle to get treatment through official channels — or were hesitant to use the military and Department of Veterans Affairs systems — she rallied the private sector to step up.

Study recommends deploying lasers on ships, bases and planes

WASHINGTON – The United States is steadily losing its technological edge as adversaries big and small ramp up their abilities to repel U.S. power projection into hazardous areas of the globe, according to a new report from the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments.

The solution? Blast ’em with lasers.

No resolution in earlier Marine corpse abuse case

WASHINGTON — While the military grapples with another corpse abuse scandal in Afghanistan, officials still haven’t offered any resolution to the case uncovered earlier this year of Marines urinating on Taliban corpses.

In January, Marine Corps investigators tracked down four Marines from the 3rd Battalion, 2nd Marines who appeared in an online video abusing the corpses after a firefight. However, no charges have been filed against the men yet, and no punishment has been publicly announced.

Another Medal of Honor, not for Iraq

WASHINGTON – In the last five years, the White House has awarded as many Medals of Honor for heroics in Vietnam as it has for valor on the battlefield in Iraq.

On Monday, White House officials announced that they’ll present the Medal of Honor to the family of Army Spc. Leslie H. Sabo Jr. for his heroics during the Vietnam War. It’s the third time since 2007 that the honor will be bestowed decades after that war ended.

Facebook complicates military deaths overseas

WASHINGTON – Military leaders have extolled social media sites as a way for deployed troops to keep in touch with families back home, but they also have issued strict warnings over the years about what information gets released there. Expect this story to enter the next “what not to do” round of training:

Ariell Taylor-Brown learned her husband, the father of her two daughters, was killed in Afghanistan last week when another soldier from his unit posted on her Facebook page that there was an emergency

North Korea launch failure equals comedy success

WASHINGTON -- Friday's missile launch may have been just the latest public disaster for Pyongyang, but it was a rousing success for amateur comedians across the Internet.

Here's a look at some of the funnier reactions:

Air Force special operator awarded Air Force Cross in Pentagon ceremony

WASHINGTON – At the height of the battle in a pro-Taliban village in Laghman province, one of the many bullets whizzing around Air Force Capt. Barry Crawford sheared the antenna clean off the radio the combat air controller had been wearing as he directed airstrikes and guided medevac helicopters.

Displaying “selfless actions and expert airpower employment,” in the words of his medal citation, he stayed in the open to help land the choppers that would evacuate wounded Afghan commandoes. After mounting a spare antenna, he was back pouring fire at the enemy, both from the Apaches he was directing and from the barrel of his assault rifle.

Worst job list includes 'enlisted military'

WASHINGTON – Low pay, high physical demands and plenty of stress make being an enlisted servicemember one of the worst jobs in America, according to a new analysis by the website CareerCast.com.

In their ranking of 200 professions, “enlisted military soldier” came in third worst, only ahead of dairy farmer and lumberjack. The best jobs in America, according to the web site, are software engineers, actuaries, human resource managers and dental hygienists – all professions with significantly better salaries and significantly less stress.

Lessons learned in Libya

STUTTGART, Germany — When U.S. Africa Command stood up in 2008, it was touted as a military combatant command unlike the others. Rather than warfighting, AFRICOM’s focus was to be security cooperation with its partners in Africa. With nearly half of its headquarters staff composed of civilians, AFRICOM also was designed to improve how a military command coordinates with other elements of the U.S. government.

So when Operation Odyssey Dawn launched in March 2011, AFRICOM found itself in an unlikely role: leading a kinetic military operation on the African continent. While the no-fly zone mission over Libya eventually proved to be a success, AFRICOM's unique structure complicated U.S. efforts, particularly during the early stages of the mission, according to an article in the March edition of PRISM, a National Defense University security studies journal.

Survey tackles issues facing gay troops and their families

WASHINGTON – Officials from the Military Partners and Families Coalition are conducting an online survey to see how the repeal of the “don’t ask, don’t tell” law has affected same-sex partners and what challenges they still face.

The survey, available at www.milpfc.org/survey, is also designed to highlight those families’ continuing problems accessing military benefits. Same-sex military partners are not eligible for housing stipends, Tricare coverage and a host of other benefits open to straight military couples.


Robots go from desert to jungle in new Navy lab

WASHINGTON – There’s a swimming pool, a giant sandbox, a climbing wall, a jungle adventure room and wide open spaces to run wild.

While it might sound like a great place to take the kids, it’s actually the Naval Research Laboratory’s new lab for the development of autonomous robots – which on their best days, often seem to operate on the level of small, make that very small, children.

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