US military

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Father of Slain Soldier: Trump Didn't Send Promised $25K

Check was only sent after man went public

(Newser) - The father of a soldier killed in Afghanistan in June says he was "floored" when President Trump promised to write him a check for $25,000—but it never arrived. Chris Baldridge tells the Washington Post that when Trump called a few weeks after his son, Army Sgt. Dillon... More »

Trump Gets Entangled in New Gold-Star Family Feud

Rep. Frederica Wilson pushes back after Trump says she's lying about convo on fallen soldier

(Newser) - Trump the candidate had a very public feud with a Gold Star family; Trump the president appears to be embroiled in one, too. The dust-up began with a Democratic Florida congresswoman, who says President Trump told the widow of a slain soldier that her husband "knew what he signed... More »

Fallen Soldier's Mom: Trump Never Called

She says she never heard from him even after writing letter

(Newser) - President Trump's claim Tuesday that he has called the family of every American soldier to die during his presidency was simply untrue, reports the AP , which found three families that never got the call. Two of them didn't receive a letter. Sheila Murphy, whose Army son died in... More »

Trump: Other Presidents Didn't Call Families of Fallen Soldiers

He says most of his predecessors 'didn't make calls'

(Newser) - President Trump seemed to politicize the calling of the families of fallen soldiers Monday when he was asked about four US servicemen killed in an ambush in Niger last week. Trump, speaking at a White House press conference, said he plans to call their families as he has done "... More »

What Are US Special Forces Doing in Niger?

Green Beret deaths bring attention to support mission in African country

(Newser) - The deaths of three Green Berets in Niger on Wednesday—along with those of several Nigerien soldiers—is raising questions about the US mission in the African country, reports the Washington Post . The incident, involving what are believed to be the first hostile-fire casualties in the country for US troops,... More »

Mattis' Off-the-Cuff Talk to Troops Caught on Video

He asks them to 'hold the line' until US gets back to 'respecting each other'

(Newser) - A video of defense chief James Mattis giving an off-the-cuff pep talk to US troops is gaining traction online. In the clip—see it here —Mattis asks the troops to "hold the line until our country gets back to understanding and respecting each other and showing it,"... More »

One Factor in Trump's Afghan Decision: Mining Riches

Trump expected to announce increase in troops, also eyes Afghanistan minerals

(Newser) - President Trump formally goes before the nation at 9pm EDT Monday—his first such forum since addressing a joint session of Congress in February—to lay out his strategy for the war in Afghanistan. The big expected takeaway: an announcement of an increase in troops with the goal of reversing... More »

US Hasn't Shown Military Bands Are Worth the Bill

GAO demands performance measures, Pentagon to oblige

(Newser) - A $437 million annual budget is allotted for US military bands. While that's less than 0.1% of the Department of Defense's total budget, it's also about as much as Latvia's entire defense budget, reports Fox News . The funds pay for instruments—the Air Force requested... More »

Colonel Accused of Rape Wins $8.4M Lawsuit Against Accuser

Jury sides with man who lost out on promotion, orders woman to pay

(Newser) - A woman who accused a former Army colonel of raping her when they were both cadets at West Point in 1986 has been ordered to pay him $8.4 million. A jury in Virginia sided with Col. David "Wil" Riggins against blogger Susan Shannon in Riggins' defamation lawsuit, the... More »

Transgender Service Members Sue Trump, Pentagon

They want to block ban before it takes effect

(Newser) - Transgender service members who say they have served "honorably and successfully" in the military are suing the man who is trying to kick them out. Five service members filed a lawsuit Wednesday against President Trump and top Pentagon officials over Trump's call to ban transgender people from serving... More »

Transgender Spending Dwarfed by Military's Viagra Purchases

Meanwhile, a transgender ex-Navy SEAL wants to talk to Trump

(Newser) - Kristin Beck spent 20 years as a Navy SEAL, including time on Team 6—and she would like President Trump to tell her in person why he feels she didn't belong in the military . "Let's meet face-to-face and you tell me I'm not worthy," the... More »

The Big Question After Transgender Military Ban

What about those already serving?

(Newser) - President Trump's decision to ban transgender people from serving "in any capacity" in the military raises a question, notes Slate . What about the thousands of transgender troops already in the ranks? A study by the RAND Corporation estimated that up to about 11,000 trans troops may be... More »

Trump: Transgender People Can't 'Serve in Any Capacity'

President announces military move on Twitter

(Newser) - President Trump announced Wednesday that transgender people will not be allowed "to serve in any capacity" in the US military. In a series of tweets , he said the military "cannot be burdened with the tremendous medical costs and disruption that transgender in the military would entail." He... More »

Pentagon Delays Move on Transgender Recruits

Defense chief Mattis postpones acceptance of them for another 6 months

(Newser) - The military isn't quite ready to recruit transgender troops. A new policy allowing the Pentagon to do so was supposed to begin on July 1, but defense chief Jim Mattis said Friday night that it would be delayed six months, reports USA Today . A Pentagon statement said Mattis had... More »

THAAD Up and Running, Though Not Without Grumbles

Over money, health issues, and more

(Newser) - After last month announcing it would deploy the Terminal High-Altitude Area Defense system in South Korea within the year, the US military says THAAD is now operational and—in what is sure to thrill Kim Jong Un—"has the ability to intercept North Korean missiles," per the New ... More »

Osan Air Base Should Be on Your Radar. It's on North Korea's

It's fewer than 50 miles from the DMZ, and thousands of Americans are there

(Newser) - Osan Air Base may not be a name you're familiar with, but it's a US Air Force base that sits in a prime location: fewer than 50 miles from the Demilitarized Zone that separates North and South Korea. If that's not enough to get your attention, this... More »

Dangerous Syria Fallout? Moscow Ditches Hotline With US

Russia pulls out of communication link designed to keep pilots from colliding

(Newser) - One potentially dangerous consequence from the US strike on Syria : A hotline of sorts between Russia and the US is kaput. In the wake of the strike, Moscow says it will no longer participate in what is known as a "deconfliction line," reports the AP . The premise was... More »

Prof 'Tries Not to Vomit' as Passenger Gives Seat to Soldier

Tweet by Drexel's George Ciccariello-Maher isn't going over well

(Newser) - As a first-class airline passenger gave up his seat to a service member on a recent flight, many of his fellow passengers applauded, but an associate professor at Pennsylvania's Drexel University took the less popular route: He tweeted that he was "trying not to vomit or yell about... More »

Marines Join Fight to Retake Raqqa From ISIS

They'll provide support for local forces, special ops: officials

(Newser) - US Marines have joined the fight to retake the Syrian city of Raqqa from the Islamic State, defense officials say. The 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit, which departed San Diego in October, has been deployed to ISIS' de facto capital and will fire artillery guns, including M777 Howitzers, from an outpost... More »

Trump's Navy Pick Pulls Out

Philip Bilden didn't want to divest holdings

(Newser) - The financier that President Trump nominated to be secretary of the Navy has decided that the job would be too hard on his finances. Philip Bilden, a former military intelligence officer who spent 20 years working in private equity in Hong Kong, cited conflict-of-interest rules when he withdrew from consideration... More »

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