US military

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Defense Dept. Will Stop Seeking Repayment of Vets' Bonuses

Secretary Ash Carter announces change amid outcry

(Newser) - US Defense Secretary Ash Carter has ordered the Pentagon to stop seeking repayments of enlistment bonuses given to California National Guard members who served overseas. His decision comes in the wake of angry reaction from members of Congress who demanded he relieve the burden on the Guard members, reports the... More »

The Pentagon Wants Years-Old Signing Bonuses Back, and Soldiers Aren't Happy

Bureaucracy gone bad

(Newser) - The US military is trying to reclaim signing bonuses and student loan compensation it says it improperly awarded to 9,700 California soldiers during the mid- to late 2000s, at the height of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. The LA Times reports that soldiers who served their six-year contracts to... More »

US Condemns Failed N. Korean Missile Test

Reiterates 'ironclad' commitment to South Korea's security

(Newser) - US defense agencies detected an attempted missile launch in western North Korea late Friday, near the city of Kusong, Reuters reports. The object—believed to be a Musudan intermediate-range ballistic missile—failed immediately after launch, per South Korea's military. American and South Korean defense agencies declined to provide any... More »

Open Letter Supporting Trump Has 88 Notable Signatures

Retired military officials: He's the one we need to protect our national security

(Newser) - National security is the theme of Election 2016 this week, with an NBC-MSNBC forum on that topic Wednesday night and lots of apparent new support on that front for Donald Trump. The New York Times reports that 88 retired military figures—described by retired Army Lt. Gen. Michael T. Flynn... More »

Navy to Name Ship After Gay Rights Icon

'When Harvey Milk served in the military, he couldn't tell anyone who he truly was'

(Newser) - Five years after the repeal of the "don't ask, don't tell" law allowed gay sailors to serve openly, the Navy plans to name one of its ships after California's first openly gay elected official. A Military Sealift Command ship, one of several John Lewis-class oilers currently... More »

Each Thought the Other Died in War. 47 Years Later, a Miracle

Herman Johnson and Fred Rivera reunited, and much more

(Newser) - Fred Rivera believed his best friend, Herman Johnson, died in his arms after a rocket hit them during a Vietnam War firefight in 1969. "Surviving comrades of that horrid day presented me a bracelet fashioned from the leather laces of Herman’s boots," Rivera writes of what followed... More »

Pentagon: Transgender People Can Serve in Military

Changes will be phased in over one year

(Newser) - The Pentagon will let transgender individuals serve openly in the US military, ending one of the last bans on service in the armed forces, the AP reports. Defense Secretary Ash Carter announced the change Thursday. Carter says it's the right thing to do. He says only a person's... More »

Marines Getting New Gender-Neutral Job Titles

In most cases, 'man' replaced with 'Marine'

(Newser) - Now that all military jobs are open to women , the Marines are doing away with most job titles that include the word "man." Nineteen of the Marine Corps' military occupational specialties are being renamed, with, in most cases, the word "man" being replaced by the word "... More »

Pentagon Ready to Lift Ban on Transgender Troops

It could happen within days, source says

(Newser) - The end of the Pentagon's ban on transgender troops serving openly could be just days away. It has been almost a year since Defense Secretary Ash Carter ordered a review to determine whether lifting the ban would affect military readiness, and sources tell USA Today that the Pentagon will... More »

Irate With US, Okinawa Stages Massive Protest

Some 65K protest American military presence after rape, killing of local woman

(Newser) - Tens of thousands on Okinawa protested Sunday against the presence of US military bases, reports the AP , many wearing black to mourn the rape and killing of a local woman in which an American contractor is a suspect. The rally called for a review of the US-Japanese security agreement, which... More »

Navy Bans Booze for All Personnel in Japan

Okinawa crash was the last straw

(Newser) - The US Navy banned drinking and restricted off-base activity Monday for all 18,600 of its personnel in Japan after a sailor was arrested on suspicion of drunk driving on the island of Okinawa, the AP reports. In the latest incident to spark public anger in Japan, Petty Officer 2nd... More »

New Miss USA Is Army Officer

DC's Deshauna Barber will take a break from the Reserve

(Newser) - The newly crowned Miss USA is a 26-year-old Army officer from the District of Columbia who gave perhaps the strongest answer of the night when asked about women in combat. "As a woman in the United States Army, I think ... we are just as tough as men. As a... More »

American Contractor Arrested in Japanese Woman's Death

The arrest has increased tensions between the US military and Japan

(Newser) - An American contractor working on a US military base in Japan was arrested Thursday in connection with the death of a 20-year-old Japanese woman, the Washington Post reports. According to the AP , 32-year-old Kenneth Gadson told Japanese police where they could find the woman's body. Rina Shimbukuro had been... More »

Female Ranger Grad Makes History Again

Kristen Griest becomes first female infantry officer

(Newser) - She made history once. Now she's done it again. Kristen Griest, one of the first female soldiers to earn a Ranger tab , has become the US Army's first female infantry officer after the military overturned a ban on women in combat positions, reports the Army Times . "Like... More »

Cause of Air Force Crash: Forgotten Plastic Case

Case used for holding night vision goggles was left where it shouldn't have been

(Newser) - The Taliban was quick to claim responsibility for downing an Air Force transport plane in Afghanistan in October, killing 11 aboard the C-130J and three Afghans manning a guard tower, per the Washington Post . But the Air Force has finally announced the real reason for the crash: a hard plastic... More »

US Troops' Gun Sights Can Be Off by a Foot

Thermal drift has been known about for months

(Newser) - EOTech, a firm that has supplied gun sights to the US military, admits that its Holographic Weapon Sight suffers from a defect known as thermal drift. And in November, the company's parent L-3 Communications Corp. agreed to pay $25.6 million to settle a lawsuit brought by the federal... More »

Navy to Let Sailors Have Neck and Full Sleeve Tattoos

'This policy change is about being honest with ourselves'

(Newser) - The brave men and women protecting our waters are now free to get all tatted up. The Navy announced Thursday it's easing tattoo restrictions for sailors, the Virginian-Pilot reports. Under the new guidelines, which go into effect April 30, sailors will be allowed one small tattoo on the neck... More »

This Could Be Our First-Ever Female Combatant Commander

President Obama to name Lori Robinson as head of Northern Command

(Newser) - President Obama will name Air Force General Lori Robinson to lead the military's Northern Command, Defense Secretary Ash Carter said Friday. It's one of the top US military positions and Robinson would be the most senior general overseeing North American activities. She "would also be the first... More »

US Disciplines at Least 12 for Airstrike on Hospital

Strike on Doctors Without Borders hospital a 'tragic but avoidable accident'

(Newser) - More than a dozen US military personnel have been disciplined, but face no criminal charges, for errors that led to the aerial attack on a civilian hospital that killed 42 people in northern Afghanistan last year, say US defense officials speaking anonymously. Per the AP , the officials say the disciplinary... More »

Poll of US Troops Reveals Surprising Frontrunners

'The outsider candidates’ messages are resonating with individuals in uniform'

(Newser) - An unscientific survey on the presidential preferences of 931 active-duty troops, reservists, and National Guard members found a surprising frontrunner among America's military: Donald Trump. Trump secured 27% support in the survey conducted by the Military Times . Equally surprising: Bernie Sanders took second place with 22%. The Times points... More »

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