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Army secretary: 'No investigations' into Vindman after officer's testimony in impeachment case

Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy said Friday that the service was not pursuing punishment for Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, the former National Security Council staffer who testified during the impeachment case against President Donald Trump.

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DOD budget proposal cuts all funding to Stars and Stripes; lawmakers, others back news organization

The Pentagon’s fiscal year 2021 budget request would strip Stars and Stripes of all its federal funding, more than $15 million annually, a Defense Department official said Wednesday, as lawmakers and others defended the editorially independent news organization.


Space Force seeks $15.4 billion in its first budget request

The U.S. Space Force requested a $15.4 billion budget for fiscal year 2021 that would grow the size of the military’s new, sixth branch and invest billions on research and design aimed at improving the defenses of key U.S. space assets.


DOD proposes stripping Stars and Stripes’ funding in 2021 budget request

Pentagon officials first informed Stars and Stripes’ leadership of the proposed budget cuts to the news organization Monday morning, after The Wall Street Journal published a story identifying the planned funding reduction.


Pentagon’s proposed 2021 budget focuses on future weapons to compete with Russia, China

The request includes funds to build up the military’s newest service, the U.S. Space Force, to buy dozens of aircraft, ships and land vehicles, and a proposed 3% boost in troops’ pay.


'Spacemen' and 'space cadets' are out, as Pentagon officials wrangle with what to call Space Force members

Planners have sought guidance from both military officials and troops expected to transfer into the Space Force to determine what their service’s equivalent will be to soldiers, sailors, airmen, Marines and Coast Guardsmen.


'Spacemen' and 'space cadets' are out, as Pentagon officials wrangle with what to call Space Force members

Planners have sought guidance from both military officials and troops expected to transfer into the Space Force to determine what their service’s equivalent will be to soldiers, sailors, airmen, Marines and Coast Guardsmen.


Trump promotes 100-year-old Tuskegee Airman to brigadier general

Charles McGee is among the last survivors of the Tuskegee Airmen, the famous group of African-American military pilots and air corps personnel whose success in World War II was considered critical to the eventual integration of the military after the war.


Esper: Pentagon's 2021 budget request builds modern, lethal force focused on China, Russia

The Pentagon’s proposed budget for fiscal year 2021 is meant to ensure the Defense Department can compete militarily with its great-power competitors China and Russia, Defense Secretary Mark Esper told senior leaders in a memorandum.


AFRICOM general says US troops were not prepared for Kenya attack, orders security review

Gen. Stephen Townsend said Thursday that he has launched a security review of all bases housing U.S. troops in Africa in the wake of an attack on a Kenyan military post that left three Americans dead.


SEAL charged with Green Beret’s death was promoted after incident was ruled a homicide

The Navy promoted SEAL Team 6 member Tony DeDolph from petty officer 1st class just weeks after Army Staff Sgt. Logan Melgar died June 4, 2017 during an incident in which fellow service members said DeDolph placed the Green Beret in a choke hold.


DOD houses American evacuees from Chinese coronavirus epicenter at March Air Reserve Base

More than 200 Americans evacuated this week from Wuhan, China, the center of an outbreak of a deadly virus that has quickly spread across the globe, will be given temporary housing on March Air Reserve Base in Riverside, Calif.


Pentagon: US troops in South Korea are combat ready despite lack of major training events

Last year, the U.S. military and South Korean forces completed 273 of 309 “planned activities,” or training missions, even though three major, large-scale exercises long considered the bedrock of the nations’ military partnership were canceled.


Trump unveils Space Force logo, draws Star Trek comparisons

The dark blue circular logo features the words “United States Space Force” and “Department of the Air Force” surrounding a design that appears to show a planet with stars in the background and a triangular arrowhead symbol.


Pentagon: 34 troops diagnosed with brain injuries from Iran strikes; reporting requirements will be reviewed

The Pentagon said Friday that 34 U.S. service members suffered concussions from the Iranian missile attack Jan. 8 on al Asad Air Base in Iraq and it will review its injury reporting requirements amid the shifting narrative about casualties resulting from that strike.


More than 800 Army officers undergoing new, expanded battalion commander assessment at Fort Knox

The new testing adds additional physical fitness testing, evaluations by a team of psychologists and a blind panel, in which senior Army officers, including at least three generals, conduct a blind interview of the potential candidates to assess first-hand their preparedness for command.


Trump downplays severity of injuries to US troops in Iran missile attack

“I heard they had headaches and a couple of other things. I can report it is not very serious,” Donald Trump said at a news conference in Davos, Switzerland, arguing that potential traumatic brain injuries are less severe than amputations.


Pentagon to continuously monitor, restrict travel for foreign service members training at US bases

Foreign military students in the Pentagon’s U.S.-based training programs will face continuous monitoring of their activities and new restrictions on off-duty travel in the wake of a deadly shooting last month at Naval Air Station Pensacola in Florida, defense officials said Friday.


Army’s 10th Mountain Division headquarters tapped for Afghanistan deployment

Maj. Gen. Brian Mennes, the division’s commander, will lead the deployment. In a statement, Mennes called the 10th Mountain the “most deployed in the Army.”


Eleven US troops flown to hospitals from al Asad Air Base in days after Iran missile attack

“As a standard procedure, all personnel in the vicinity of a blast are screened for traumatic brain injury, and if deemed appropriate are transported to a higher level of care,” said Navy Capt. Bill Urban.


Commander of Navy destroyer USS Decatur is fired for loss in 'confidence'

Navy officials declined to provide additional details about Cmdr. Bob Bowen’s firing, but one official said it was not related to any criminal allegations.


Rapidly deployed 82nd Airborne soldiers to replace Marines at Baghdad embassy, could see pay boost

The bulk of the brigade, which is made up of nearly 4,000 paratroopers, is expected to remain in Kuwait, at least for the time being, defense officials said. The brigade, which is specially trained to deploy on short notice, was rushed into the Middle East during the first week of 2020 as tensions increased with Iran.


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

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.


Navy, Marine Corps JAGs must address culture and lack of ethics, review finds

Navy and Marine Corps lawyers have failed to learn from past mistakes and many of them display a lack of basic ethics in their approach to cases, according to a review of the services’ judge advocate general corps released Friday.


Pentagon leaders say Iran missile attack was meant to kill American troops

The Pentagon’s top leaders said Wednesday that they believe the ballistic missiles launched by Iran against U.S. military positions in Iraq was an unsuccessful strike meant to kill American troops in retaliation for an Iranian leader’s death.


Trump: No Americans harmed in attack by Iran, which 'appears to be standing down'

President Donald Trump said no American troops were injured or killed in an attack Tuesday night by Iran, which launched more than a dozen ballistic missiles at Iraqi bases hosting American troops in retaliation for the United States killing one of Iran’s top military leaders.


Esper: Iraqi government has not asked US troops to leave

Iraq’s government has made no formal request that American forces leave its country, despite a nonbinding vote Sunday to expel U.S. and other troops after the Pentagon killed a top Iranian commander in Baghdad, Defense Secretary Mark Esper said Tuesday.


Esper: No plans for US troops to leave Iraq

The Pentagon’s top civilian and general said Monday that the U.S. military had no plans to leave Iraq, disavowing an American general’s draft letter mistakenly made public that appeared to indicate an imminent troop withdrawal.


Rangers among US special operators deploying to Middle East in response to tensions with Iran

Army Rangers will anchor a special operations task force deploying to the Middle East as part of the U.S. effort to bolster security in the region after killing Iran’s top military leader last week, defense officials said Monday.


3,000 additional troops to deploy to Middle East as Pentagon prepares for Soleimani strike fallout

The new deployment will include roughly 3,000 82nd Airborne Division soldiers who were placed on prepare-to-deploy orders earlier this week amid growing tensions in Iraq between the United States and Iran.


Starting Thursday, nearly all privately owned firearms will be prohibited on Offutt AFB

The new policy prohibits almost all personal firearms from base, ending a regulation that allowed individuals with DOD identification and concealed carry permits issued by Nebraska or certain other states to access the post with guns that were locked in their vehicles.


Video

Pentagon sends 100 Marines to US Embassy in Baghdad amid protests over airstrikes

The Pentagon on Tuesday sent some 100 Marines to the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad to bolster security after Iraqi Shiite protesters enraged by American airstrikes on Iran-backed militia in Iraq and Syria breached the compound, U.S. officials said.


Baltimore man faces murder charge in National Guard soldier’s weekend slaying

Maryland Army National Guard Spc. David Collins died of stab wounds he received in an altercation outside a Baltimore County nightclub just after midnight Saturday, according to police and Army officials.


Space Force is now an official branch of the military — but it still doesn't have its own troops

The sixth branch of the U.S. military became reality Friday evening when President Donald Trump signed into law the fiscal year 2020 National Defense Authorization Act, the yearly bill that sets Pentagon policy.


Pentagon ordered to turn over documents cited in decision to ban transgender service members

A federal judge on Wednesday ordered the Pentagon to turn over thousands of documents that the Defense Department has refused to release to the public but has said it used to justify its decision to ban most transgender people from military service.


Graham: US drawdown in Afghanistan possible, but some troops must stay to fight terrorists

The United States could conduct its missions in Afghanistan of fighting terrorist groups and supporting the Afghan military with about 8,600 troops, Sen. Lindsey Graham said Wednesday.


Ex-Army civilian faces bribery, other charges in contract-steering scheme

A former U.S. Army civilian once responsible for handling government contracts at Kuwait’s Camp Arifjan was arrested this week in the Philippines on bribery and other charges stemming from a scheme to steer contracts to a particular company and split profits, the Justice Department announced Thursday.


Military’s outgoing top enlisted leader unveils unique rank insignia for SEAC

The U.S. military’s top enlisted service member unveiled a new, distinctive rank insignia specifically for the senior enlisted adviser to the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, an insignia that he will wear for his last week on the job.


Esper: Pentagon not 'discussing or considering' sending 14,000 new troops to Middle East

The Pentagon will not send 14,000 new U.S. troops to the Middle East, Defense Secretary Mark Esper said Friday, a day after a senior Defense Department official told lawmakers that more military forces could deploy to the region to counter Iran.


Pentagon official confirms military is considering sending more troops to the Middle East

A top Defense Department official told lawmakers Thursday that more military forces could be sent to the Middle East as a check on Iran, after he and other Pentagon officials denied a news report that the increase could be as much as 14,000 new troops.


Pentagon approves awarding of Humanitarian Service Medal for recent typhoon responses

The Joint Chiefs of Staff approved the medal for service members who directly contributed to humanitarian and disaster relief operations in Guam and the U.S. Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands after they were struck by Typhoon Mangkhut and Typhoon Yutu.


GAO: 102 military bases face water shortage risk; Pentagon must track issue better

More than 100 U.S. military installations face water shortage risks, according to the Government Accountability Office, which warned in a new report that the Pentagon needs to use better standards for monitoring and determining the bases that could be impacted.


Air Force instructor, student pilot killed in T-38 crash at Vance Air Force Base

Lt. Col. John “Matt” Kincade and 2nd Lt. Travis B. Wilkie were piloting the supersonic T-38C Talon training aircraft that crashed in an incident that involved a second T-38 during a routine formation Thursday.


Two airmen killed in T-38 crash during training mission at Vance Air Force Base

Video shot by Oklahoma City’s KOCO News shows one T-38 flipped over a few hundred feet off of a runway with markings in the ground that indicate its path from the runway. A second T-38 was resting upright several hundred feet from the flipped jet.


The agency that recovers and IDs remains of missing troops needs more money, partner organizations say

“Land of the free, home of the brave, yet 81,864 missing Americans are buried in unmarked graves,” said the chief executive officer of an organization that works hand-in-hand with Defense Prisoner of War/Missing in Action Accounting Agency to recover missing remains of Americans.


House Democrats call for DOD IG probe into border deployment, charging racist motivation

House Democrats on Friday charged President Donald Trump’s decision last year to send thousands of American troops to the U.S. southern border was politically motivated and rooted in racism as they renewed a call for the Pentagon inspector general to probe its legality.


Police offer $10,000 reward in search for Marine deserter wanted for killing mom’s boyfriend

Officials said Thursday that they believe Cpl. Michael Alexander Brown was near Roanoke, Va., and closed area schools, urging residents to remain indoors following a report the wanted Marine was spotted in the city.


More than four million additional people will get access to DOD commissaries in 2020

The expansion grants veterans with a documented service-related disability, Purple Heart recipients, former prisoners of war and certain veteran caregivers access to commissaries, military exchanges, and some morale, welfare and recreation services on bases within the United States.


AWOL Marine is wanted in the killing of his mother’s boyfriend

Marine Cpl. Michael Alexander Brown, 22, is wanted on charges of second degree murder and the use of a firearm in the commission of a felony for his alleged role in the death of 54-year-old Rodney Brown.


Military retirees, survivors to see 1.6% COLA boost in 2020

Military retirees and eligible survivors will receive a 1.6% boost in their monthly pay beginning in January based on the Pentagon’s annual cost of living adjustment, the Defense Department announced Wednesday.


Military’s top court will look at Bergdahl conviction, consider Trump's and McCain's influence

The court’s decision to review the case comes about two years after former Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl pleaded guilty in late October 2017 to the charges and he was sentenced to a reduction in rank to E-1 private, the forfeiture of about $10,000 in pay and a dishonorable discharge after a weeklong trial.


National Guard beefing up cyber security teams ahead of 2020 election

Twenty-seven states activated National Guard cyber security cells in November 2018 to help ensure critical network infrastructure remained unobstructed during the mid-term elections, the Guard’s top general said Tuesday, predicting more states would deploy such teams in 2020.


Navy’s top submariner is confirmed as next STRATCOM commander

Vice Adm. Charles Richard will be promoted to four-star admiral when he takes the helm of STRATCOM at Offutt Air Force Base in Nebraska. Richard has most recently been serving as the Navy’s submarine forces commander since August 2018.


Navy SEAL Eddie Gallagher seeks Trump pardon, family says

Family members of Navy SEAL Eddie Gallagher, who beat murder charges this year but was convicted of posing for a photograph with an enemy corpse, are asking President Donald Trump for a pardon, they wrote Thursday on social media.


Carolina Army Guard troops move into eastern Syria with Bradley Fighting Vehicles

The 4-118th Infantry Regiment is part of the 30th Armored Brigade Combat Team, which includes about 4,200 soldiers from Army National Guard units from North and South Carolina and West Virginia.


Former Air Force Academy ethics instructor pleads guilty to exploiting child for sex

Air Force Capt. Paul Sikkema will register as a sex offender and spend 10 years under intensive supervised probation after pleading guilty this week to charges that he attempted to lure a 14-year-old online for sex.


Trump presents Medal of Honor to second Green Beret for actions in Battle of Shok Valley

Master Sgt. Matthew O. Williams described the honor as “humbling” and unexpected. He never considered the possibility of receiving the Medal of Honor, an upgrade of the Silver Star that he received in the months after that fight.


Green Beret becomes second Medal of Honor recipient for actions in Battle of Shok Valley

Army Green Beret Master Sgt. Matthew O. Williams' actions, according to Pentagon records, allowed a team of 12 Green Berets and some 100 Afghan commandos to escape the savage, six-hour gun battle.


Pentagon purchases hundreds more F-35s as military misses its combat readiness goal for the jets

Top Pentagon officials announced Tuesday that the military would buy another 478 F-35 Joint Strike Fighters in a $34 billion deal that will reduce the average cost of the aircraft about 12.7% in three installments of aircraft deliveries.


Two prisoners were captured in Delta Force’s al-Baghdadi raid

Defense Secretary Mark Esper credited President Donald Trump with ordering the operation some seven months after the United States announced the Syrian Democratic Forces had liberated the last of ISIS-controlled territory in Syria.


US troops won't physically monitor Turkey-Kurd ceasefire, but drone flights will continue in NE Syria

American troops will not physically monitor the temporary ceasefire in northeastern Syria between NATO ally Turkey and the Kurdish-dominated militia that the United States has backed in recent years to fight the Islamic State in that country, Defense Secretary Mark Esper said Friday.


Pentagon won’t comply with Trump impeachment probe, DOD official tells House Democrats

Robert R. Hood, assistant secretary of defense for legislative affairs, cites several “legal and practical concerns" in declining to participate in the impeachment probe aimed at President Donald Trump.


Pentagon says it will send 2,000 troops to Middle East to deter Iran

The new deployment largely consists of fighter jets and air defense capabilities and follows the deployment of other troops last month to bolster Saudi defenses after September attacks that devastated two key Saudi oil facilities.


Air Force special operator killed in fall during Idaho mountain rescue training

Tech. Sgt. Peter Kraines was practicing mountain rescue techniques near Boise when he was killed Tuesday. He was assigned to the 24th Special Operations Wing based at Fort Bragg.


Trump to award Medal of Honor to Green Beret for heroics in 2008 Afghanistan fight

Through a six-hour firefight in the mountains of eastern Afghanistan’s Nuristan province on April 6, 2008, Army Master Sgt. Matthew O. Williams continuously braved insurgent rocket-propelled-grenade, sniper and machine gun fire, allowing his fellow soldiers to escape alive.


Pentagon warns Turkey not to invade Syria as Trump blasted for abandoning Kurdish partners

The Pentagon warned Turkey against a military incursion in northeastern Syrian land controlled by Kurdish forces that the United States has backed for five years in their fight against the Islamic State, the Defense Department said Monday in a statement.


Top US commander in Europe endorses more Javelin missiles to Ukraine

The United States should provide more Javelin missiles to Ukraine’s military as it battles pro-Russian forces in the eastern region of the country, said Air Force Gen. Tod Wolters, the top American military commander for U.S. and NATO forces in Europe.


Army's maligned UCP uniforms quietly retired years after new camo design became the norm

Originally meant for urban, desert and wooded battlefields, the green-blue-gray Universal Camouflage Pattern was ultimately scorned as virtually useless in most environments and had largely disappeared in recent years from major Army posts.


Analysis

Gen. Dunford, steady force at the Pentagon, gives way to Gen. Milley as new Joint Chiefs chairman

Since October 2015, when he was sworn in as the 19th chairman of the Joint Chiefs, Marine Gen. Joseph Dunford provided unfiltered and often unheralded military advice and options to former President Barack Obama and President Donald Trump, a trio of defense secretaries and two acting Pentagon chiefs.


Initial standards for the coming Army Combat Fitness Test are unveiled

After conducting testing at more than 60 battalions in recent months, Army leaders grouped military occupational specialties, or MOS, into three levels with different scoring requirements based on the typical physical demands of those jobs.


Pentagon to send Patriot battery to Saudi Arabia to help protect against further attacks

The Defense Department announced the deployment Thursday, about one week after the Pentagon announced more troops would be sent to the Middle East as a direct result of the Sept. 14 drone and cruise missile attack on Saudi Arabia.


Fort Carson-based soldier dies during medic training in South Korea

Staff Sgt. Kelly L. Richards, 32, died during the training at Camp Casey, where he had been sent temporarily to participate in the EFMB testing while his unit was deployed to Kuwait, according to the Army.


Four Marine officers fired in wake of deadly 2018 collision during in-air refueling

Marine All-Weather Fighter Attack Squadron 242 suffered from “inadequate oversight of training and operations” and an “unprofessional command climate” when the Hornet fighter jet crashed Dec. 6 into the rear of the KC-130 Super Hercules while conducting air-to-air refueling off Japan’s coast.


Three US troops wounded in apparent insider attack in Afghanistan

A statement from NATO’s Kabul-based Resolute Support mission said the servicemembers suffered “non-life-threatening injuries,” and the attacker, an Afghan Civil Order police officer, was killed in the incident.


GALLERY

Pentagon marks POW/MIA day with joint U.S.-British parachute jump

The Pentagon’s annual National POW/MIA Recognition Day honors the more than 140,000 American servicemembers who have served in POW camps and the tens of thousands more who have gone missing in wars fought in foreign lands.