Tuition Assistance Down, Post-9/11 GI Bill Up

According to a report by MilitaryTimes.com, the number of service members using the tuition assistance benefit for active-duty soldiers has dropped over the past fiscal year, while the number of veterans and their families that have been using the Post-9/11 GI Bill has risen.

Education Benefit Transfer Rules May Change

In a bid to encourage enlistment and retention, the Senate version of the annual defense authorization bill includes a recommendation that the Pentagon tighten the rules that allow soldiers to transfer their Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits to family members.

Reserve and Guard New Retirement Plans

The details for the new National Guard and Reserve "blended benefits" proposal are coming out, and while some groups are unhappy, other groups are looking forward to the increased flexibility and retirement benefits for those who retire early.

SMA Dailey's Weekly PT Routine

For the new Sergeant Major of the Army, Dan Dailey, PT time is sacred, and he is trying to spread that enthusiasm throughout the Army.

New Drone Facility at Buckley AFB

The Colorado Army National Guard is opening a new maintenance and training facility for drones at Buckley Air Force Base.

The facility will include simulators, classrooms, mission planning rooms, and maintenance bays for the RQ-7 Shadow drones. This facility will allow the drone operators to train more closely with soldiers on the ground, increasing the usefulness of the RQ-7's surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities.

The VA, One Year Later

It's been about a year since it was revealed that a VA hospital in Phoenix was concealing wait times for soldiers' care and that soldiers have died while waiting for care, and while progress has been made, not everyone is satisfied.

Military Personnel System In Need of an Overhaul

After only 5 weeks on the job, Defense Secretary Ash Carter is worried about both recruiting and retaining the best soldiers for America's military in the coming years. To that end, DefSec Carter has come up with a dramatic change to the US military's personnel system and structure.

Some of his proposed changes:

  • Change the promotion system to put increased weight on skill and merit, and less emphasis on seniority.

Defense Budget Woes...Again

Both Defense Secretary Ashton Carter and Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Dempsey testified in mid-March that the House defense budget, which uses emergency war funding to skirt defense spending limits, would be vetoed by the President if it passes through Congress.

The budget proposal, which would maintain the $523 billion cap for base spending and put $94 billion into the OCO fund, came from fiscal conservatives in the House Budget Committee. Other budgets have proposed exceeding the base budget cap and providing $577 billion for the base budget with $51 billion for the OCO fund.

Congress Insists on Joint Camo Pattern

It looks like uniforms are back on Congress' budget-cutting radar - language in the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal 2015 looks to get rid of service-specific camo patterns, according to an article over at Military.com.

Pentagon Advises Employees to Remain Vigilant

The Pentagon's internal security agency, the Pentagon Force Protection Agency, sent out an internal memo to its personnel last week that they could potentially be targets for ISIL or other terrorist groups, and to take appropriate precautions.

National Guard News Wire

Army coaches keeping track of player repetitions

Experienced players, who have their practice time limited, are expected to give maximum when they are in action. Coach Jeff Monken said he's not toning down practices but just pulling back the turns on his veterans.
3 hours 14 min ago

Hamas closes Gaza crossing with Israel after shadowy killing

Mazen Faqha was freed in a 2011 prisoner exchange after Israel jailed him for directing suicide bombing attacks against Israelis.
5 hours 26 min ago

Blasts kill 6 as troops battle militants in east Bangladesh

Paramilitary troops have been trying since Friday to flush out Islamist radicals holed up in a building with a large cache of ammunition.
5 hours 37 min ago

Pakistan starts building fence along Afghan border

The two countries share a 1,500-mile border known as the Durand Line, which was drawn during colonial times and is not recognized by the Afghan government.
5 hours 56 min ago

Medical relief group: Syria hospitals need 'fortification'

Three-quarters of hospitals surveyed were "makeshift hospitals," in buildings not initially designed to provide medical care, because real hospitals were either destroyed or made inoperable.
5 hours 56 min ago