Military Training

The Air Force’s $2.6 Million Defender Fender-Bender

Ever yawn while at the wheel, maybe slumber a little bit at a stop sign – and tap the car in front of you? I’m sure it has happened to a lot of us. Just be thankful you weren’t at the controls of an F-16 when it happened. Back in July, one U.S. F-16 ran into the other at South Korea’s Kusan air base. Thankfully, both were on …

The Tweet Shall Inherit the Earth

A couple of Time colleagues – International editor Jim Frederick, author of the acclaimed Black Hearts, and Nate Rawlings, an up-and-comer at the magazine and an Army vet of the Iraq war – wore our fingertips to the bone on Veterans Day. It was my first chance to try to chat using Twitter; limited to 140 characters per …

Truth: A Firing Offense

The top U.S. commander in Afghanistan fired the No. 2 U.S. trainer of Afghan security forces Friday for “inappropriate public comments” about Afghan President Hamid Karzai. Marine General John Allen relieved Army Major General Peter Fuller after Fuller told the Politico website that Karzai was “isolated from reality”:

The

The Pathbreaker: A Conversation with Major General Marcia Anderson

Audiences attending the Opportunity Nation Summit on the campus of Columbia University will hear from some of the leading experts in government, international affairs and the media. They will also get a testimony on public service by one of the Army’s pathbreaking leaders, Maj. Gen. Marcia Anderson.

Anderson, who completed ROTC at …

A Navajo Code Talker…Speaks So We Can Understand, at Last

For those of us to young to remember, the exploits of the Navajo code talkers during World War II have become legend. They were the guys who transmitted messages in their native language (with some English mixed in) between the Marine units closing in on Japan – a code the Japanese could not crack. Chester Nez, now 90, tells his …

The Story So Far

As of Thursday of this week, “Don’t Ask” has been dead for a month. To this point, the outreach I’ve received from peers and coworkers has been extremely positive, which appears to be the trend across all branches of the services. Contrary to all of the hullabaloo raised by those against the repeal, to my knowledge there hasn’t …

Putting Women Aboard Subs…And Tweaking the Blueprints



I finally had the opportunity to tour a Trident-class submarine; you know, the large ballistic missile boats, four of which are soon to be home to several women officers. I was surprised at how big it was inside…yet not. Being a surface sailor, I was trying to visualize how this ship could be configured to accommodate enlisted …

Combat Contracting 101



War-zone contracting is a complicated business, because the pressures of combat drive people – not to mention governments – to do things they might not otherwise do. Besides which, it’s boring to wade through all the fine print.

Case in point: a contract to train 80 Afghan wanna-be pilots in both flying and English. Raytheon …

Evaluating Army Officers, Top to Bottom

For years there has been debate inside the Army about the optimum way to assess the performance of its officers. In an institution with more than a half-million people in uniform, what yardsticks work best to promote the good officers while weeding out the bad? Plainly the service needs some help: a recent study found than more than …

Hard to Believe…

The Pentagon’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy dies today. It’s an obit I never thought I’d write. It hardly seems possible — as one who covered the debate for close to two decades — that the ban on openly gay men and women serving in uniform is passing into the pages of history. What will military reporters bored with hardware and …

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