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Chad Garland

Obituary

Quiet professional remembered: Bill Dean had lasting impact on ISIS fight

A memorial Monday at an Alaska National Guard armory will celebrate a Special Forces veteran whose role in the fight against the Islamic State group in Syria was relatively unknown before he died in a climbing accident last month.

New commander takes over Horn of Africa mission ahead of proposed US shift

Army Maj. Gen. Michael D. Turello assumed command of U.S. military efforts in East Africa, where a proposal may shift the mission focus from multinational training and counterterrorism to a permanent presence that seeks to strengthen American influence on the continent.


Taji NCO infantry school to be Iraqi-run as US coalition partners draw down

A new urban training range located about 25 miles north of Baghdad at the Taji Military Complex has the capacity to train up to a battalion of Iraqi troops at a time in urban operations, the Australian and New Zealand-led Task Group Taji said in a statement Thursday.


AFRICOM commander sees recent signs of progress in Somalia

In high-level talks in Mogadishu on Tuesday, U.S. Africa Command’s Gen. Thomas D. Waldhauser and U.S. Ambassador to Somalia Donald Yamamoto discussed how to keep momentum “moving forward” in the Horn of Africa country, which has been in disarray for more than 20 years.


ROTC cadet admits to operating pro-Nazi Twitter account, Army officials say

During an investigation into “online behavior that is not consistent with Army values,” Cadet Martha Gerdes of the University of North Carolina-Charlotte admitted to posting anti-Semitic, racist and anti-gay statements on Twitter, Maj. Dean Carter, a command spokesman, said Monday in an emailed statement.


'Failure is not an option': Infantry officer becomes first woman in her division with EIB

Despite the desert heat, dozens of soldiers in Kuwait last week earned the prestigious Expert Infantry Badge, including one of the first women to receive the decoration since women began making inroads into combat arms fields previously closed to them.


Most Americans say US right to fight WWII while 1 out of 5 don’t know

Most Americans believe the United States was right to participate in World War II but many are either skeptical or don’t know, according to a poll released ahead of the 75th anniversary of the D-Day invasion that kicked off the liberation of Europe.


Supporters raise funds after Army major, two daughters die in Kentucky crash

An online fundraiser for the family of Army Ranger Maj. Agustin “Augie” Gonzalez had raised more than $140,000 as of Friday, after news that he and his daughters Noelle, 6, and Gwen, 2, died in a car crash over Memorial Day weekend.


‘Saving Private Ryan’ coming to AAFES theaters in EUCOM, CENTCOM for D-Day 75

The film is scheduled to run on June 6 in more than 20 base theaters overseas in Europe and the Middle East.


Vietnam vet presents his medals to slain ROTC cadet

A Vietnam War veteran presented two of his medals posthumously to a University of North Carolina-Charlotte ROTC cadet who was killed when he tackled a gunman who opened fire inside a classroom.


Cadet who tackled UNC shooter is posthumously honored with ROTC Medal for Heroism

Riley Howell, a University of North Carolina Charlotte student and ROTC cadet who died after charging and tackling a gunman who opened fire in a university classroom, was posthumously awarded the ROTC Medal of Heroism earlier this month.


Bob Dole, former senator wounded in WWII, is promoted to Army colonel

Former Sen. Bob Dole was officially promoted from Army captain to the honorary rank of colonel during a ceremony Thursday at the World War II Memorial in Washington, becoming the third and only living recipient of such an honor in the service’s 244-year history.


State Department orders evacuation of non-emergency US government employees from Iraq

The State Department has ordered all non-emergency U.S. government employees at the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad and the U.S. consulate in Erbil to leave the country, according to a statement posted on the embassy’s website Wednesday.


Bomber task force completes first CENTCOM mission as Iran warns US forces to leave region

The mission was the first for the unit since it was deployed to the Persian Gulf last week, in response to what U.S. officials have described as indications of Iranian threats against U.S. forces in Iraq, Syria and at sea.


A soldier’s award for tossing an enemy grenade back is upgraded to the Distinguished Service Cross

Nicholas Eslinger's quick action that night in October 2008 saved six soldiers from potential injury or death, earning him a Silver Star Medal in 2009. Last week, he received an upgraded award — a Distinguished Service Cross, the Army’s second-highest award for combat valor.


Want to know how many websites the Pentagon runs? So does the Pentagon

The Pentagon could be responsible for 5,000 publicly accessible websites. Or it could be less than half that. Nobody appears to know for sure.


No, Australian soldiers aren’t banned from using slang around US Marines

“We have lost-in-translation moments more than you would realize,” Australian Air Force Group Capt. Stewart Dowrie told the country’s 10 Daily last week. “The time to figure that out is not on the battlefield when the bullets are flying.”


Air Force carries out airstrike with F-35 for first time in combat

The service's first combat use of the F-35A Lightning II was an airstrike conducted deep in Iraq’s Hamrin Mountains, according to U.S. Air Forces Central Command.


Pentagon IDs soldier who died in noncombat incident in northern Syria

Pfc. Michael A. Thomason, 28, of Lincoln Park, Mich., died of “wounds sustained from a non-combat incident” in Kobani, Syria, according to a statement issued late Monday by the Pentagon.


‘A culture of fear’: A look at the California National Guard allegations spurring lawmakers to consider new legislation

The proposed legislation comes amid fresh scrutiny on the state’s military department after allegations of misconduct and claims of reprisal forced the removal of three top officers from their posts in the California Air National Guard earlier this month.


Merit over seniority: Army revamping 50-year-old centralized promotion board

The Army will revamp its centralized promotion board processes over the next few years to focus on advancing senior noncommissioned officers on merit, not time served.


'I just did what instinct told me to do': Soldiers awarded Silver Star medals for rescue mission

Two soldiers have been awarded Silver Star medals for a July mission where they said they barely noticed the enemy gunfire peppering their Black Hawk helicopter in Afghanistan.


How one veteran’s struggle to adjust to life after the Army led to the birth of ‘Shazam!’

The hit Warner Bros. superhero film “Shazam!” is based on a character whose origins begin with an Army veteran’s little-known struggle a century ago to adjust to life after war.


Marines killed in Afghanistan blast died only days before they were to come home

Cpl. Robert A. Hendriks, Sgt. Benjamin S. Hines and Staff Sgt. Christopher K.A. Slutman were all assigned to 25th Marine Regiment, 4th Marine Division, Marine Forces Reserve, and were in Afghanistan as a part of Operation Resolute Support.


Three Americans slain in Bagram blast identified as Marines, one a decorated NYC fireman

All three American servicemembers killed in a bombing outside Bagram Air Field were Marines, it was announced Tuesday, while the military said an Afghan contractor initially reported dead has been found alive.


Marines raise money to spread ‘Mayhem’ in tribute to former commander

Marines are raising money to donate a service dog to another Marine in need in honor of retired Col. Mark A. Smith, who died late last month and was known for his personal leadership style.


Marine colonel known for heartfelt Iraq War letters laid to rest

Retired Col. Mark A. Smith, who wrote dozens of letters praised for their compassion and eloquence to the families of his Marine Reserve battalion during a deployment early in the Iraq War, was remembered this week as a “Marine’s Marine.”


Defense Department identifies two soldiers killed in Afghanistan

The Department of Defense on Saturday identified the two soldiers who died Friday in Kunduz Province, Afghanistan, as a result of wounds sustained while engaged in combat operations.


Alabama lawmakers, family of slain CIA officer angered by 'American Taliban' John Walker Lindh's release

John Walker Lindh is currently being held at the Federal Correctional Institution Terre Haute and is set to be released May 23, based on the full term of his sentence minus time for good behavior.


USAF Academy welcomes 9-year-old with cancer as ‘youngest cadet’

Decked out in a kid-sized flight suit, Je’Moni Ford, 9, became the U.S. Air Force Academy’s “youngest cadet” this month, quickly advancing from the fourth grade straight into college — at least for a day.


Calling Captain Marvel: Meet the real-life servicemembers who share the superhero name

Photos with strangers. A kid who insists on calling you "Daddy Captain Marvel." And a little twinge of regret that you won't get to keep the moniker when you get promoted. Those are just a few of the experiences of the actual Capt. Marvels.


Age is no obstacle: Soldiers complete Army’s toughest schools after 40

Here's a look at two soldiers who recently completed physically grueling courses at a time in their lives when some soldiers might be tempted to coast into retirement.


Military file-sharing site brought back online after fixing security concerns

A Defense Department website used to transfer large files containing sensitive unclassified information was brought back online earlier this month after being shuttered over security concerns last year.


Special Operations airmen begin 830-mile memorial ruck march

Before dawn, 20 special tactics airmen began on Friday an 830-mile ruck march honoring Staff Sgt. Dylan J. Elchin, a special tactics combat controller from Hookstown, Pa., killed in Afghanistan in late November, and 19 other special tactics airmen killed in the line of duty since 9/11.


Navy linguist killed in Syria to be honored on memorial to code-makers and code-breakers

Next week, Senior Chief Petty Officer Shannon Kent will become the third woman and 177th entry on the National Cryptologic Memorial, which honors code-makers and code-breakers who’ve been killed in the line of duty since World War II.


After surviving the Taliban, Afghan translator killed by wrong-way driver in California

Waheed Etimad, 40, immigrated to the U.S. four years ago with his family on a special immigrant visa to “make a good life for his children."


'I like this guy': Trump expected to visit soldier wounded in deadly Syria blast

Capt. Jon Turnbull, 32, of Gaylord, Mich., was wounded in a Jan. 16 blast in the town of Manbij that left four Americans and dozens of others dead.


Aviano route test expected to bring regular space-available flights to Germany, US

The planned route is from Maryland’s Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport to Ramstein Air Base, Germany, on to Aviano, and ending at Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar. Return trips follow the route in reverse.


‘Higher, further, faster’: Air Force names first female fighter pilot to command F-16 Viper team

Capt. Zoe “SiS” Kotnik was named pilot and commander of the Air Combat Command’s F-16 Viper Demonstration Team last week after completing a series of certification flights.


Arctic warfare instructors offer advice for weathering polar temperatures

The polar vortex has brought record-shattering Arctic temperatures to the Midwest, Great Lakes and Mid-Atlantic this week; meanwhile, snowy conditions are impacting U.S. military bases in Europe and Asia. Some are more prepared for the cold than others.


‘Cuddles for Airmen’ and other nonprofits you didn’t know you needed

Just in case it seemed that every conceivable military-charity niche was filled, in comes A Single Plastic Fork for American Admin Clerks and Shampoo for Marines. But don't whip out your checkbooks just yet.


Texan who tried to teach English to ISIS in Mosul has been indicted

Warren C. Clark, a convert to Islam and former substitute teacher from Sugar Land, Texas, previously admitted to seeking a position teaching English at a university in the Iraqi city of Mosul, which ISIS has occupied for more than three years.


American soldier wounded in Manbij attack fighting for his life

Capt. Jonathan Turnbull, 32, a native of Gaylord, Mich., is being treated at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center and is in serious condition after being wounded in a deadly bombing in Syria last week.


Green Beret, two language specialists, SEAL-turned-DIA civilian among dead in ISIS-claimed Syria bombing

The ISIS-claimed bombing of a restaurant in Syria on Wednesday killed an Army Green Beret with four children, a former Navy SEAL working for the Pentagon’s intelligence agency and a Navy linguist, the Pentagon announced Friday. An American contractor was also killed.


Two servicemembers among four Americans killed in Syria explosion claimed by ISIS

Three additional American servicemembers were injured in the blast that occurred as U.S. military officials met with local leaders in Manbij.


Two 1st Cavalry soldiers killed in unrelated training incidents

Spc. Andrew S. Ortega was killed Sunday while deployed to Grafenwoehr Training Area, Germany. On Monday evening, a second 1st Cavalry soldier who has not been identified was killed in a "rollover accident" involving a Bradley Fighting Vehicle at the National Training Center at Fort Irwin, Calif.


Obituary

Vietnam-era Medal of Honor recipient Joe Jackson dead at 95

Retired Air Force Col. Joe M. Jackson, a recipient of the Medal of Honor, a veteran of three wars and early U-2 pilot, died Saturday at the age of 95.


Army secretary: PT belts aren’t needed in daylight

The change seems to highlight the glaringly obvious — that a belt worn to increase a soldier’s visibility to drivers of cars and other vehicles on predawn or nighttime runs would not normally be needed in broad daylight or where vehicles generally can’t go.


US officials say Syria withdrawal has begun with equipment removal

The United States has begun removing military cargo from Syria, though no American troops have withdrawn yet from the war-torn country, U.S. military officials said Friday, providing few details.


Medevac crew receives valor awards following harrowing rescue mission

Under fire and carrying a badly wounded patient, the Black Hawk helicopter was just lifting off an Afghan battlefield when the crew chief saw an Army Ranger in the landing zone get shot and drop to the ground. The Black Hawk darted back to evacuate the fallen Ranger in the face of enemy fire. There was more danger to come that day.


GALLERY

Servicemembers embrace the freeze at cold weather operations course

Falling through ice into cold water can cause rapid breathing, tunnel vision, confusion and muscle tension, but soldiers at Fort McCoy, Wis., recently learned to overcome the shock.


US pushes back on reports of civilian casualties following strike at ISIS in Syria

Military officials are refuting reports that civilians were harmed in a coalition airstrike on an Islamic State-held village in eastern Syria last week, while observers have warned of diminished transparency in the anti-ISIS campaign.


Syrian Kurds say American teen among 8 captured foreign ISIS fighters

The Kurdish People’s Protection Units, or YPG, said Wednesday they had captured U.S. citizen Soulay Noah Su, 16, who had been going by the alias Abu Souleiman al-Amriki.


Three servicemembers under investigation in death of US contractor in Iraq, reports say

Two Marines and a Navy corpsman deployed to northern Iraq are being investigated in connection with the death of a U.S. contractor last week, according to media reports describing the latest in a series of incidents and allegations of misconduct involving special operations troops.


Kurdish forces: Two American ISIS fighters captured

A Texan named Warren Christopher Clark, 34, was one of two reputed U.S. citizens captured in a counterterrorism raid near the Iraqi border, the Syrian Democratic Forces said in a release Sunday.


Memorials, funerals honor soldiers killed in deadly Afghanistan blast

Sgt. Jason McClary was the driver of a military vehicle in central Afghanistan when he was hit by a roadside bomb last month that fatally wounded him and three special operations troops.


CDs, faxes make comeback as military file-sharing service taken offline

The Navy and Marine Corps issued official guidance saying optical discs are the only way to securely send large files that contain private information after the military disabled AMRDEC SAFE. Officials with the Air Force and Army said they also lack an online alternative.


Hundreds gather to remember special tactics airman killed in Afghanistan

The public memorial service for Air Force Staff Sgt. Dylan Elchin, who was killed Nov. 27 alongside two Green Berets when their vehicle struck a roadside bomb in Afghanistan, included more than 100 fellow special tactics airmen from units in Florida and New Mexico, filling the 500-seat auditorium to capacity, the local daily reported.


Fourth servicemember dies of wounds from deadly Afghanistan bombing

Sgt. Jason Mitchel McClary, 24, of Export, Pa., died Sunday at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany from injuries he received in the Nov. 27 blast, which struck a convoy of U.S. and Afghan forces in Ghazni province’s Andar district en route to battle Taliban fighters.


Three servicemembers killed by roadside bomb blast in Afghanistan are identified

Army Capt. Andrew Patrick Ross, 29, of Lexington, Va., Army Sgt. 1st Class Eric Michael Emond, 39, of Brush Prairie, Wash., and Air Force Staff Sgt. Dylan J. Elchin, 25, of Hookstown, Pa., died Tuesday when their vehicle was struck by an improvised explosive device in Andar, Ghazni Province, Afghanistan.


Ranger likely was killed accidentally by Afghan troops, military says

American troops and Afghan forces were fighting a close-quarters battle assaulting “one of multiple barricaded al-Qaida shooters” when Sgt. Leandro A.S. Jasso was shot, officials said.


US and Russian forces have clashed repeatedly in Syria, US envoy says

American and Russian forces have clashed a dozen times in Syria — sometimes with exchanges of fire — a U.S. envoy told Russian journalists in a wide-ranging interview this week.


‘Medal of Honor’ series is veteran-made, from lighting to action

The producers of the Netflix series hope the eight stories will inspire new generations of Americans and that they’ll be able to continue telling stories of the more than 3,500 Americans who have received the country's highest military award.


Video

'I thought he was going to kill me': Army investigating Fort Riley soldier’s abuse allegations

Pvt. Tanner Frederick claims a noncommissioned officer slammed his head into the ground several times, causing him a traumatic brain injury.


ROTC Nazi? Army helping investigate allegations cadet sent racist tweets

The Army’s Cadet Command is assisting in an investigation into allegations that a Reserve Officer Training Corps cadet at a North Carolina liberal arts college was operating a pro-Nazi and white supremacist Twitter account.


7th Special Forces Group soldier dies in training accident

Spc. Nicholas C. Jividen, 21, died Nov. 6 at the National Training Center in Fort Irwin, Calif., the military said. An investigation of his death is underway.


Anti-ISIS troops pause to reflect on war and sacrifice on WWI centenary

Coalition troops in Baghdad paused for a two-minute silence Sunday morning to mark the centenary of the end of World War I in Europe, which coincides with the U.S. Veterans Day and the British Remembrance Day holidays.


What's old is new: Army rolls out 'pinks and greens' service uniform

The uniforms were presented in Washington, D.C. last year and had the support of the Sergeant Major of the Army Dan Dailey, who wore a prototype at the Army-Navy game last December.


Uncle Sam wants you — to play video games for the US Army

More than 15 years after launching “America’s Army,” a first-person shooter game aimed at enlisting real world soldiers, the Army is calling for active duty troops and reservists to compete in video gaming tournaments, or esports, in one of its latest recruiting efforts.


Looking for a five-star 'weight loss service'? Google users suggest Army Ranger School

The Army's Camp Rogers, home of the grueling first week of Ranger School at Fort Benning, Ga., is the subject of tongue-in-cheek tributes on Google Maps.


BOOKS

Review: ‘The Fighters’ offers uncommonly close look at America’s post-9/11 troops

In his new book, “The Fighters: Americans in Combat in Afghanistan and Iraq,” C.J. Chivers pulls back the curtain on some of the more than 2.7 million Americans who served the wars since Sept. 11, 2001.


Army officer files suit after getting shot by Bagram contractor

The shooting, which officials believe was a negligent discharge, occurred Dec. 19, 2016, on Bagram’s Camp Alpha, an area of the base largely reserved for special operations personnel.


Pentagon identifies soldier killed in Afghanistan

James A. Slape, an explosive ordnance disposal technician who has been posthumously promoted from specialist to sergeant, became the seventh U.S. servicemember killed in combat in Afghanistan this year when he was killed by a roadside bomb in Afghanistan on Thursday.


Canada hopes beards will boost morale, draw diverse military recruits

To the envy of some U.S. troops, members of Canada’s military can now all wear beards, provided they can do better than peach fuzz but don’t go full mountain man.


'Star Wars' producer, former Marine Gary Kurtz dead at 78

Gary Kurtz, “Star Wars” producer and Vietnam-era veteran, died Sunday in North London, England, after battling cancer.


Marines roll out lightweight jungle uniform

A new tropical uniform, which has been described as “like pajamas,” is being field tested. It's based on the same design as the current Marine Corps combat utilities, but made of a lighter material designed to dry faster and keep Marines cooler.