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Austin says no decision has been made yet on Afghanistan troop withdrawal, but 'violence must decrease now’

The United States has yet to decide the future of its military posture in Afghanistan, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said Friday, urging an end to violence in the nation where American troops have been fighting for nearly 20 years.

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Pentagon increases vaccination deployment authorization to 4,700 troops

The Pentagon on Friday said it had alerted thousands of active-duty troops to prepare to deploy to support coronavirus vaccination efforts throughout the United States.


Army considers change to Combat Fitness Test scoring for male, female soldiers

The reevaluation of the Army Combat Fitness Test comes weeks after Congress delayed its implementation over concerns the new test created an unfair disadvantage to female soldiers.


Austin, lawmakers name eight to commission for renaming military bases that honor Confederates

The commission to rename military bases honoring Confederate leaders will include three retired generals, a retired admiral, a former drill sergeant, a civilian defense policy expert, a congressman and the secretary of the Smithsonian, Pentagon and congressional leaders announced Friday.


Pentagon cannot track sexual misconduct reports filed by its civilians, GAO finds

The Defense Department has no ability to track exactly how many workplace sexual assaults are reported by its civilian population, according to a new Government Accountability Agency report published amid the military’s high-profile fight against sexual misbehavior among its troops.


Army War College commandant is suspended, under investigation

Maj. Gen. Stephen J. Maranian took command of the War College in July, when he became that school’s 52nd commandant.


Senate confirms Hicks as first woman to serve as Pentagon’s No. 2 civilian

Kathleen Hicks will become the first woman to serve as the Pentagon’s No. 2 ranking civilian after the Senate confirmed her late Monday as deputy defense secretary.


Army’s 18th Airborne Corps is looking for soldiers' ideas to curb sexual assault and harassment

The Army’s 18th Airborne Corps wants soldiers to pitch ideas for improving the service's sexual assault and harassment prevention program that they believe would better address the long-standing problem within its ranks, the corps announced Monday.


Army's 1st Combat Aviation Brigade is deploying to Europe

The Army’s 1st Combat Aviation Brigade will deploy to Europe in April to support training operations in at least four allied countries, the service announced Monday.


Pentagon to deploy more than 1,000 troops for vaccination efforts; first team goes to California

The Pentagon will deploy more than 1,000 active-duty troops to support coronavirus vaccination efforts at multiple locations throughout the United States, the Defense Department announced Friday.


Air Force launches global security review after intruder accessed Joint Base Andrews and entered plane

The Air Force has launched a global security review of its bases after a man illegally accessed Joint Base Andrews, Md., on Thursday and entered an airplane on the installation best known as the home of Air Force One, defense officials said.


Idaho Guard pilots killed in Black Hawk crash were experienced aviators, fathers

The Idaho National Guard identified the pilots as Chief Warrant Officer 4 Jesse Anderson, 43; Chief Warrant Officer 3 George “Geoff” Laubhan, 39; and Chief Warrant Officer 3 Matthew Peltzer, 43.


Defense secretary will order military-wide stand down to address extremism

The Pentagon has a zero-tolerance policy for any service members engaging in extremist activity. But defense officials and lawmakers have long been critical of Pentagon efforts to keep extremists from its ranks.


Three National Guard pilots killed in Idaho Black Hawk crash were flying in bad weather

The names of the pilots killed were being withheld until 24 hours after family notification per Pentagon policy, officials said.


Austin will dismiss all Pentagon policy board members, and is launching a review of at least 42 panels

In a Jan. 30 memorandum, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin wrote advisory boards play an “important role” in shaping policy, and he would rely on their expertise in the future.


Busiest year ever for National Guard shows the force should be bigger, two generals say

The United States needs more National Guard troops, two top Guard generals said Friday as tens of thousands of part-time troops responded to recent crises including the coronavirus pandemic, racial protests, and violence in the nation's capital.


New Army grooming standards allow ponytails, buzzcuts for female soldiers

Female soldiers will be permitted by late February to wear several additional hairstyles in uniform under a new Army policy that is part of an effort to improve racial and gender equality throughout the service.


5,000 National Guard troops will remain in DC beyond mid-March

National Guard forces in D.C. drew down from nearly 26,000 for President Joe Biden’s inauguration Jan. 20 to about 13,000 over the weekend.


Biden ends Trump-ordered ban on transgender service members

The order immediately stops involuntary separations, discharges, and denials of reenlistment or continuation of service due to gender identity.


Thousands of National Guard troops could remain in DC into March

The plan to extend some troops’ deployments comes at the request of federal law enforcement officials, including the Secret Service.


Senate, House pass waiver for Austin, clearing way for confirmation of first Black defense secretary

President Joe Biden has pitched retired Army Gen. Lloyd Austin, who he sought out for the role, as uniquely fit for leading the Pentagon. He has urged Congress to approve his pick as quickly as possible.


David Norquist takes over as acting defense secretary

David Norquist, a Pentagon mainstay throughout former President Donald Trump’s term, was sworn in Wednesday as the acting defense secretary, taking over the Defense Department's top position until a permanent choice is approved by Congress.


Austin commits to relying on career civilians to craft Pentagon policy if he becomes defense secretary

Retired Army Gen. Lloyd Austin, who spent 41 years in the Army and retired in 2016 after leading the Defense Department’s U.S. Central Command, told the Senate Armed Service Committee that he understood the “enormous difference” between leading in uniform and serving as the civilian leader of the Pentagon


Virginia Army National Guardsman charged in US Capitol riot

Jacob Fracker, an infantryman who serves in the Virginia National Guard, is the first known service member to have been directly involved in the siege of the Capitol or charged in connection to it.


Acting defense secretary ordered review of Pentagon’s extremism policies

The Pentagon has a zero-tolerance policy for any extremism among its forces — but some Defense Department officials and members of Congress have been critical of the department’s efforts to keep extremists from its ranks.


Air Force selects Alabama’s Redstone Arsenal to house US Space Command headquarters

The Air Force has chosen Alabama’s Redstone Arsenal to house the 1,400-member U.S. Space Command Headquarters, service and state officials said Wednesday.


Pentagon authorizes National Guard troops to carry firearms in DC

National Guard troops stationed in and around the Capitol have been approved to carry their service firearms, M4 carbines and M9 pistols, as law enforcement and Army officials fear the potential for further violence ahead of President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration next week.


Army moves to oust 2nd lieutenant over anti-Semitic post on TikTok

The Army plans to remove a second lieutenant at Fort Stewart, Ga., from the service over his anti-Semitic social media post last year that went viral and resulted in his suspension from leadership roles, a service spokesman said Monday.


Experts tell senators a waiver for retired 4-star to become defense secretary could set 'dangerous precedent'

Retired Army Gen. Lloyd Austin, President-elect Joe Biden’s pick for defense secretary, should commit to working closely with career civilians to craft Defense Department policy without surrounding himself exclusively with military officials, experts told a panel of senators Tuesday.


Up to 15,000 National Guard troops could activate to help law enforcement during Biden inauguration

The National Guard deployment in Washington this week will increase from roughly 6,200 troops from D.C. and six states to about 10,000 troops by the weekend.


Fort Bragg captain questioned over attendance at rally before Capitol siege resigned commission last year, officials say

Capt. Emily Rainey, a psychological operations officer stationed at Fort Bragg, N.C., resigned her commission last year after a run-in with local law enforcement, though she remains on active-duty awaiting her discharge.


Police officer who died after Capitol siege was an Air National Guard veteran

Officer Brian Sicknick was mortally injured during a clash with a mob of President Donald Trump’s supporters as they sieged the Capitol Building on Wednesday.


Thousands of National Guard troops deploying to DC; Pentagon leaders decry violence after Capitol siege

Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy said more than 5,000 troops from six states will join the 1,100 D.C. Nation Guard members already on duty in Washington to man checkpoints around the city, including positions around the Capitol.


More National Guard troops are activated as Trump supporters force their way into US Capitol

National Guard troops were activated Wednesday to help federal law enforcement ward off a mob of President Donald Trump’s supporters who stormed the U.S. Capitol, breaking windows and forcing a halt to proceedings to certify the presidential election results.


Navy SEAL accused in death of Green Beret in Mali will plead guilty

Chief Petty Officer Tony DeDolph, a member of the elite SEAL Team 6, reached an agreement with the Navy to plead guilty to several charges in the June 4, 2017, death of Staff Sgt. Logan Melgar.


DC Guard activating as Trump backers are expected to protest in nation’s capital

The D.C. Guard troops will not carry firearms or wear protective gear. No National Guard or active-duty troops from outside of Washington were expected to deploy in response to the protests.


Trump vetoes NDAA, setting up override votes in Congress

President Donald Trump on Wednesday issued his promised veto of the defense spending and policy bill that was passed easily by Senate and House lawmakers earlier this month, setting up votes to override Trump’s attempt to kill the legislation.


70 West Point cadets accused of cheating while studying remotely during pandemic

West Point officials said 72 plebes and one second-year cadet were accused of cheating on a calculus final in May when instructors found “irregularities in the mathematical work submitted by cadets” during the grading process.


Report: Black members of Air Force, Space Force not treated the same as white troops, services need to figure out why

The initial inspector general review was launched at the request of the Air Force Department’s top civilian and military leaders during the summer amid a racial reckoning nationwide following the killing of George Floyd by Minneapolis police.


North Carolina man fires shots at Greensboro recruiting center after Army rejects him for service

James Alexander Cooper was arrested soon after he fired shots at about 6 p.m. at the Armed Forces Recruiting Center and charged with a felony count of discharging a firearm into an occupied building.


Space Force plans to nearly triple in size in second year, could accept Army, Navy transfers

The U.S. Space Force plans to almost triple in size and add a Reserve element in 2021, the service’s top general said Tuesday as the newest military branch neared its first birthday.


Guard troops from at least 26 states helping with coronavirus vaccine distribution

National Guard troops in at least 26 states are assisting with distributing the coronavirus vaccine as part of a massive national inoculation effort to curtail the disease that has killed more than 300,000 in the United States.



F-16 pilot killed in Michigan crash flew combat missions last year in Afghanistan

The Air National Guard pilot killed in an F-16 crash Tuesday in a remote area of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula was a 37-year-old combat-tested veteran of the Afghanistan war, Guard officials said Friday.


Senate passes $740 billion defense bill with enough support to override threatened Trump veto

The Senate easily passed a $740.5 billion defense bill on Friday, just days after the House overwhelmingly approved the measure that President Donald Trump has vowed to veto.


Biden: Austin is 'the right person' to be defense secretary

President-elect Joe Biden implored Congress on Wednesday to grant his defense secretary nominee, retired Army Gen. Lloyd Austin, a rare waiver to allow him to lead the Pentagon.


Biden officially announces he’s picked retired CENTCOM Gen. Lloyd Austin for defense secretary

Retired Army Gen. Lloyd Austin, a former commander for U.S. Central Command, will be nominated to serve as President-elect Joe Biden’s defense secretary, the incoming commander in chief announced Tuesday.


Army fires several Fort Hood leaders, including a two-star, following probe triggered by several deaths at the base

Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy said Tuesday that he had relieved or suspended 14 Army leaders at Fort Hood including a two-star general as a result of a probe into the command climate at the Texas installation launched amid a rash of deaths among soldiers.


Trump orders the withdrawal of the majority of US troops in Somalia

Most of the troops to be removed from Somalia will be relocated to neighboring countries, from where they will continue efforts against the al-Qaida-aligned al-Shabab group.


Defense bill would continue Stars and Stripes' funding

The compromise Defense Department spending and policy bill lawmakers revealed Thursday would fund Stars and Stripes in 2021, maintaining the news organization that the Pentagon sought to close earlier this year.


Report: Lack of training time, budget cuts among top contributors to 224 military aviation deaths since 2013

Among the issues negatively impacting military pilots and aviation crews are an increasingly frequent amount of overseas deployments, low morale and irregular Pentagon funding from Congress, according to a new report.


US to continue advise and assist operations in Afghanistan and Iraq after drawdown, Milley says

Army Gen. Mark Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said the United States would continue to train, advise and assist missions and the separate counterterrorism operations even after it removes some 2,500 troops from Afghanistan and about 500 from Iraq by mid-January.


Milley: US debating how many troops to keep in Somalia as al-Shabab remains a threat to America

Army Gen. Mark Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said the debate was ongoing about the positioning of some 700 U.S. troops in Somalia, confirming news reports that the White House was seeking a change in the military posture there.


Air Force is looking for some airmen to transition to new jobs, National Guard or Reserve

The Air Force will need some of its active-duty troops to transfer early to Reserve or National Guard duty or change specialties amid the highest retention rate that the service has seen nearly two decades, a top general said Tuesday.


Navy to offer voluntary early separation for some enlisted sailors in overstaffed jobs

The Navy hopes granting some enlisted sailors an early release from their enlistment commitment will ensure promotion opportunities for sailors who intend to remain in the Navy without forcing people from the service involuntarily.


New Army policy will allow soldiers who are deployed or pregnant to be promoted before finishing required training

The courses covered by the new policy include the basic leader course, the advanced leader course, the senior leader course, the master leader course and the sergeants major academy.


Army merges Europe, Africa commands under a single 4-star headquarters

USAREUR-AF will be headquartered in Wiesbaden, Germany, where U.S. Army Europe had been posted. Meanwhile, soldiers assigned to the former U.S. Army Africa will remain at Vicenza, Italy.


Analysts tell lawmakers Biden should freeze US troop level in Afghanistan until Taliban agrees to end war

A trio of foreign policy experts told the House Armed Services Committee that without continued U.S. military support — especially air power — the Afghan national security forces were unlikely to win the ongoing war with the Taliban, which would likely return to power.


Pentagon announces six finalists as locations for US Space Command headquarters

The Pentagon has narrowed its choices on the permanent headquarters location for U.S. Space Command to six finalists, Air Force officials announced Thursday. A final decision is expected in early 2021.


Acting defense secretary orders top special ops civilian to report directly to him

The change makes the assistant secretary of defense for special operations and low intensity conflict a service secretary-like position responsible for the oversight and advocacy of the military’s special operations forces.


Pentagon will draw down to 2,500 troops in both Afghanistan and Iraq

The decision would give military officials about 10 weeks to remove about 2,500 troops from Afghanistan and about 500 from Iraq.


Air Force Gen. Hyten won't seek second term as Joint Chiefs vice chairman

Air Force Gen. John Hyten, the military’s No. 2 officer, intends to retire next year at the end of his first term in the high-level Pentagon position, his spokeswoman said Monday.


Army activates Iron Dome batteries at Fort Bliss to test Israeli-built air defense systems

The Army on Friday activated two new air defense artillery batteries at Fort Bliss, Texas, charged with evaluating the two Iron Dome missile defense systems that the United States recently purchased from Israel.


Army looks at tech popular in big-time sports for answers to costly soldier injuries

Looking to solve the costly training injuries that have long-plagued its soldiers, the Army is set to test technology popular with major sports programs to help the service build individualized approaches to its troops’ fitness workouts.


Pilot errors, leadership decisions, ejection-seat malfunction blamed in deadly F-16 crash at Shaw AFB

Air Force 1st Lt. David Schmitz, 32, was killed June 30 as he attempted to land at Shaw Air Force Base during a nighttime training flight.


Trump fires Esper via Twitter, replaces him with counterterrorism chief Christopher Miller

Mark Esper’s dismissal comes some five months after rumors of Trump’s ire with his second Senate-confirmed Pentagon leader first began circulating throughout Washington.


Army does not suspect foul play in Fort Jackson basic training death

Pvt. James Noel Zamora was the third trainee to die this year during Basic Combat Training at Fort Jackson, where some 50,000 recruits begin their Army service annually.


National Army museum opening on Veterans Day tells the US soldier’s story from 1600s to today

The 185,000-square-foot museum at Fort Belvoir has been a longtime coming. The Army Historical Foundation has worked for more than a decade to build the service’s first comprehensive museum.


Medal of Honor recipients to appear on Exchange’s ‘Chief Chat’ broadcasts this month to share valor stories

The Army & Air Force Exchange Service will host Medal of Honor recipients from World War II, Vietnam and Afghanistan on its “Chief Chat” social media broadcasts this month to recognize valor for Veterans Day.


Pentagon plans to open a school focused entirely on beating drones

The Pentagon wants to open a new school in the coming years specifically to teach troops to spot and kill small enemy drones, as the military seeks a uniform approach to defeating the small, unmanned aircraft, which officials have labeled a growing battlefield threat.


Former Fort Benning soldier pleads guilty to sneaking 13-year-old into barracks for a week of sex

A former Army specialist faces at least 10 years imprisonment after pleading guilty Tuesday to federal child exploitation charges, admitting he snuck a 13-year-old runaway into his barracks at Fort Benning, Ga., for six days of sex, U.S. attorneys announced Wednesday.


Army general: Military troops won’t be on the streets distributing coronavirus vaccines when they are ready

Military troops will not have a hands-on role in distributing coronavirus vaccines to Americans once inoculations are ready to go to the public, said the Army general in charge of the federal government’s effort to quickly secure and dispense a vaccine.


Fort Sill basic trainees are first to get Army’s new, throwback greens

Some 200 new privates nearing the end of basic training at Fort Sill, Okla., received the Army’s new, throwback style dress green uniforms this month, becoming the first recruits issued the World War II-inspired threads.


Hawaii-based general credits the mindset of soldiers with coronavirus-free training rotation in Louisiana

If all goes as planned, some 5,500 soldiers with the Army's 25th Infantry Division will return to Schofield Barracks in Hawaii without a single coronavirus case reported during an almost monthlong training exercise in Louisiana, the division’s top general said Monday.


Mold in Fort Bragg barracks displaces 200 soldiers, but no health issues reported

Some 200 Fort Bragg soldiers were forced from their barracks this month after mold was found in two buildings housing troops with the 528th Special Operations Sustainment Brigade on the Army post in North Carolina, service officials said Thursday.


US jets intercept Russian bombers off Alaskan coast for 14th time this year

F-22 Raptor stealth fighter jets scrambled late Monday to intercept Russian long-range bombers and fighters flying off Alaska’s coast, the North American Aerospace Defense Command said Tuesday.