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Must Read: Ethical Lapses in the U.S. Military Explained

By Winslow T. Wheeler Straus Military Reform Project   The defense trade press and even some major media have recently produced reports about ethical problems in the US military officer corps.  Bill Hartung writes at Huffington Post that “Military Ethics Reform Should Start at the Top,” advocating a reduction in our astoundingly–even historically–high officer bloat.  Lt. Col. Danny Davis writes in Armed Forces Journal that our officers are “Seduced by Success” by winning, but only at the minor tactical level, against literally incompetent, almost unarmed enemies. These are important articles, and I urge you to read them, but retired Army Major Don Vandergriff (who has written about officer education, how our over-officered military means an ineffective military,  and more) brought to my attention an article that puts the disconnected media reports about individual examples of officer ethics problems into a broader and far more … Read entire article »

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Top Military and Vet Stories of 2013

By Rick Rogers Rick Rogers Media There were no shortages of big military and veterans’ stories in 2013 that are sure to reverberate well into 2014 and beyond. From the Bradley Manning and Edward Snowden cases to the continuing fight of veterans to win disability benefits to the boogeyman of sequestration to military sexual assaults to gays and lesbians gaining legal standing in the ranks, it’s been an eventful if not historic year. Here now are my top military and veteran stories of the year: Sequestration or Much Ado About Very Little, Part I. The sky was supposed to fall after a congressional committee failed to agree on spending cuts to defense and domestic programs and thereby allegedly triggered across-the-board … Read entire article »

Defense and Vet Stories You’ll See More of in 2014

By Rick Rogers Rick Rogers Media Hindsight is 20/20. Predicting the top stories for the coming year is more challenging, but here are the issues you’ll be reading more about in the coming year. If there is a theme here it’s that after more than a decade of fighting overseas, the country takes a closer look at domestic security than last year and what as a nation Americans are willing to give up in the privacy sphere in the name of internal security. So, here in reverse order are my top military and veteran stories for 2014. Iraq fails. This nation was cobbled together by the British after World War I from three regions dominated by the Kurds, Sunnis and … Read entire article »

VA Unveils San Diego Projects for 2014

By Rick Rogers Rick Rogers Media The Veterans Affairs San Diego Healthcare System has announced several new projects for 2014, including the February opening of the 40-bed Aspire Center in Old Town. The first facility of its kind in San Diego County, the Aspire Center will serve veterans from across the area, including 80,000 in North County, with intensive in-patient care. Roughly 265,000 veterans live in the county. The ribbon cutting is set for Feb. 17, with patients expected to arrive at the $30 million domiciliary later that month or early March. The Aspire Center will primarily treat younger veterans suffering mild to moderate Traumatic Brain Injury and Post Traumatic Stress who are homeless or are at risk of becoming … Read entire article »

Military Headline News: The Morning Report

  House lawmakers scrambled Tuesday to find a budgetary fix to resume death gratuity payments to families of troops killed overseas, the latest surprise side-effect of the week-old government shutdown. Over the weekend, Defense Department officials acknowledged that the shutdown had halted the $100,000 payouts given to fallen troops’ families, usually paid within a few days of their deaths.  At least five U.S. servicemembers have died in Afghanistan since the start of the month. More here    The United States is preparing to announce a decision on assistance to Egypt, the White House said Tuesday, and U.S. officials told CNN military aid will be cut, though not all of it. The announcement comes in the wake of the July coup against President … Read entire article »

Military Headline News: The Morning Report

Better solution than Guantanamo Bay?  Instead of sending suspected terrorists to Guantanamo Bay or secret CIA “black” sites for interrogation, the Obama administration is questioning terrorists aboard U.S. naval vessels.?? That’s the pattern emerging with the recent capture of Abu Anas al-Libi, one of the FBI’s most wanted terrorists, long-sought for his alleged role in the 1998 bombings of U.S. embassies in Africa. Questioning suspected terrorists aboard U.S. warships in international waters is President Barack Obama’s answer to the Bush administration detention policies that candidate Obama promised to end. More here    Department of Veterans Affairs officials are blaming the partial government shutdown for the slight increase in the veterans claims backlog this week, but critics question whether VA leaders are … Read entire article »

The Morning Report for 7 Oct. 2013

Monday marks 12 years since the U.S. invaded Afghanistan, and for a conflict that’s been seemingly forgotten by most Americans who’ve grown weary of war, it seems fitting that the anniversary should be overshadowed by a domestic story: the federal government shutdown. More here   The man whom U.S. Navy SEALs tried to nail in Somalia over the weekend was a Kenyan man who had plotted to attack Kenya’s parliament building and the United Nations headquarters in Nairobi, according to a Kenyan government intelligence report. The pre-dawn, seaside SEAL raid on Saturday targeted Abdulkadir Mohamed Abdulkadir, who is also known as Ikrima, a U.S. official told The Associated Press. The U.S. troops are not believed to have captured or … Read entire article »

Military Headline News: The Morning Report

The United States and Russia agreed Thursday on a plan to seize Syria’s chemical weapons in what the Obama administration deemed a diplomatic breakthrough, even though the resolution would stop short of triggering military action should Syria not comply. The draft U.S.-Russian resolution received support from fellow permanent United Nations Security Council members France, China and Britain, and was put before the full council on Thursday night. The draft also was to be submitted to the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, which is expected to add its own text to the resolution, Russian officials said. U.S. officials said the resolution calls Syria’s chemical arsenal a threat to international peace and security and makes it legally … Read entire article »

Podcast: Military Headline News

Military Headline News, brought to you by Defensetracker.com, your source for military and veterans news. A NATO troop was killed Thursday by an insider attack by Afghan security. On Saturday another insider attack killed three Army Green Berets. Sixty-two members of NATO were killed in such attacks last year. More here The Navy is honoring a San Diego war hero by naming a destroyer after him. Marine Sgt. Rafael Peralta died from a grenade blast during the battle for Fallujah in 2004. For his heroics he received the Navy Cross. More here Combat stress, drug abuse and other mental health issues sent about 20,000 troops to hospitals last year. In fact, those issues accounted for more in-patient hospital days than war wounds and injuries, … Read entire article »

Warrior & Family Support News

COMMUNITIES IN ACTION Fallen Twin Towers extend memorial to Utah’s fallen warriors Dixie Press Online The monument rolled into Washington City on a flatbed truck at 4 p.m. Washington City police cruisers escorted the truck from the Interstate-15 off-ramp to the parking lot of The Home Depot on Telegraph Road where a small crowd of people had already … Johnson sees trials, triumphs during military service Dickinson County News Johnson sees trials, triumphs during military service. Wednesday, September 25, 2013. By Russ Mitchell — Managing Editor … Smaller bases in Afghanistan are closing as part of a systematic process to bring U.S. troops home, so Johnson spent much of … Grand opening of renovated outreach center set Desert Dispatch The Home Depot Foundation has contributed approximately $11,000 to the center, according to Sherri Morris, the … Read entire article »