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2020 Vision: The US military in a new decade

2020 VISION

Navy’s timeline to build 355 ships hastened but feasibility questioned

The acting Secretary of the Navy in December directed the service to reach 355 or more ships within 10 years, an accelerated timeline that trims two decades off previous plans. Yet it remains unclear how the Navy could reach that number — or whether it should.


2020 VISION

In response to alarming Air Force suicide rates, commanders focus on connecting with airmen

If the alarming suicide epidemic in the Air Force drives any change in 2020, it could be a grassroots effort that starts at the unit level, with commanders communicating more on a personal level with their airmen and knowing more about them and the struggles they face.


2020 VISION

Finding new ways to better serve growing number of female veterans

While more women than ever are relying on the VA, it’s still a male-centric system, with predominantly male waiting rooms, exam areas and doctors. Female vets say the lack of gender-specific care, privacy, equitable facilities and security can be barriers to seeking treatment.


2020 VISION

New law addresses lack of available, affordable child care

After Navy spouse Samantha Wilson moved from Naval Air Facility Atsugi, Japan, to Naval Air Station Whidbey Island in Washington state in November 2018, she landed a job but needed child care for her 1-year-old daughter.


2020 VISION

Army enters 2020 focused on solidifying new recruiting campaign changes

The Army is revamping the way it recruits after missing its recruiting goal in 2018 for the first time in more than a decade. It plans to build on 2019 efforts to refocus its recruiting system and marketing strategy to better connect with Generation Z — those born from the mid-1990s and about 2010 — who have grown up in a digital world.


2020 VISION

New decade brings new tensions after collapse of US-North Korea nuclear talks

The previous decade ended with real fears that North Korea might test-fire an intercontinental ballistic missile, dashing hopes for peace and provoking a new cycle of “fire and fury.” That didn’t happen.


2020 VISION

Lawmakers seek ways to combat the veteran suicide crisis in 2020

Sgt. Daniel Somers, 30, was an Iraq War veteran and California Army National Guardsman when he shot himself June 10, 2013. He left a suicide note, later published online, damning the VA system that he said had failed him.


2020 VISION

Reducing violence and troop numbers in Afghanistan a difficult task for US

The United States looks set on reducing violence while decreasing its footprint in Afghanistan in 2020, but doing so will be a challenge, and ending the war outright is unlikely, experts say.


2020 VISION

New details on commandant’s plans for Marine Corps modernization expected this year

Marines will likely get greater clarity in the coming months on the commandant’s bold new vision for a leaner and meaner force to fight near-peers like China and Russia in contested waters and on coastlines.


2020 VISION

Burn pit legislation passed by Congress could lead to improved accountability, better care for vets exposed to hazards

Veterans and lawmakers have been sounding the alarm for years that burn pits could be this generation’s Agent Orange, with potential health consequences for troops and the threat of delayed care and denied disability claims by the Department of Veterans Affairs.


2020 VISION

Negotiations between Washington, Poland continue into 2020 regarding deployment of additional US troops

The U.S. and Poland are still trying to figure out how to beef up the American military mission in the country after more than a year of negotiations, but 2020 could be the year when the long-discussed initiative gets put into action.


2020 VISION

GI Bill students could see changes in housing allowance

The Department of Veterans Affairs implemented changes Dec. 1 to its process for calculating student veterans’ housing allowances — a move that sets up 80,000 GI Bill recipients to get different amounts in the new semester than they did last year.


2020 VISION

Soldiers, get ready for ACFT in ’20

The Army has spent years developing its next-generation fitness assessment to gauge soldiers’ ability to accomplish combat-related tasks, and in 2020 the Army Combat Fitness Test will become the service’s official physical evaluation.


2020 VISION

Etc.: More of what's new in 2020

Starting Jan. 1, all service-connected disabled veterans, Purple Heart recipients, former prisoners of war and primary veteran caregivers became eligible to shop at commissaries and exchanges. And a pay raise is on the way.