Military Training

The Lessons of Ending “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”

There is going to be a fair amount of noise in coming days over the expected September 20 end — that’s next Tuesday — of the Pentagon’s 17-year old policy banning openly gay men and women from serving in uniform. Expect to see some gay service personnel emerge from the closet (most will stay there, some forever), and opponents …

For Conspicuous Gallantry and Intrepidity…

It was just over two years ago that Dakota Meyer formally became a hero. His Marines knew it then, and the rest of us will learn about it Thursday afternoon when President Obama presents him with the Medal of Honor. Here’s what he did to earn the nation’s highest award for valor. Semper Finest.

“How Did the U.S. Military Retool Itself Post-9/11?”

In the decade after 9/11, just how much did the U.S. military have to recalibrate to fight the wars it found itself launching in Afghanistan and, 18 months later, in Iraq? This week, on Command Post, we discuss the retooling of the American armed forces with Eric Schmitt of the New York Times — co-author of Counterstrike: The Untold

The Haze of War



At the tail end of last Friday’s hearing into military suicides before the House Armed Services Committee’s personnel subcommittee, Rep. Judy Chu finally got a chance to speak. Although not a member of the panel — she serves on the Education and Labor, Judiciary, and Small Business committees — chairman Rep. Joe Wilson, R-S.C., …

Not Only That: They Missed

A tough week is nearly over. It’s been pouring nonstop in the East, floods are inundating the northeast, GOP presidential candidates are hectoring one another, fires are racing across Texas, President Obama’s pleading for work from Congress, and someone turned the lights out in San Diego.

Just thank God you’re not Commander Mark …

The Protected Principles of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”

On my desk I have a proposed bill ensuring no troop is “pressured to approve of another person’s sexual conduct if that sexual conduct is contrary to the personal principles of the member” with respect to the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.”

What I should do here is point out what is obviously upsetting about this …

General Donn Starry, 1925-2011

Donn Starry, 86, who helped rewrite Army plans for waging war a generation ago, died August 26 of cancer in Canton, Ohio. Many in the military cite him as a key architect responsible for rebuilding the U.S. Army following the Vietnam War. Starry helped draft and implement the Army’s so-called AirLand Battle conventional war-fighting …

Baby-Killing Python Slated to Help Train Army Rangers

Do you find this unsettling?

A python that killed a 2-year-old Florida girl in 2009 will now be used in training at Eglin Air Force Base. The 8-foot, 6-inch python, named Gypsy, has lived at the Camp Rudder snake house since shortly after the incident. The albino Burmese python now will be used in swamp training at ranger camp…

It seems

National Guard to the Rescue!

Watch a pair of what appear to be New Jersey National Guard trucks on Sunday, gloriously plowing through Hurricane Irene’s waters in Manville, N.J., some 30 miles southwest of New York City. It’s impressive, at least until they cross under a railroad bridge that is the photographer’s perch. Then he crosses to the other side to see …

“Raunchy” Captain Gets to Stay, For Now

The Navy earlier this week decided that the former No. 2 officer aboard the carrier USS Enterprise — who achieved notoriety last December when his off-color shipboard videos became public — gets to stay in uniform. But Captain Owen Honors career is likely over, and could be selected for early retirement in the coming days.

The Pentagon’s Foreign-Language Frustrations

As Defense Secretary Leon Panetta told 2,500 troops Tuesday about the foreign-language skills he championed as a congressman, an active-duty Army officer was complaining about the paucity of military personnel who can speak anything other than English.

The current push to train soldiers to speak the local languages in Afghanistan …

The New Greatest Generation

Colleague Joe Klein has a great cover story this week on the flip side of veterans’ joblessness, PTSD and suicide: the exemplary examples being set in fields far removed from the battlefields by vets of our post-9/11 wars. As he notes, it’s currently behind the Time paywall, which means you won’t be able to read it online for awhile. …

Army Suicide Rate Hits New High

Just when you’re thinking the Army may have turned the corner on its troops’ killing themselves, a new number has surfaced that dashes those hopes. On Friday, the Army said it suffered a record 32 suspected suicides in July, the most since it began releasing monthly data two years ago.

The Army is waging war on suicide just as …

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