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

Blue Angels visit NAS Kingsville in preparation for Wings Over South Texas

In less than 100 days, the skies over Naval Air Station Kingsville will be filled with dizzying displays of aerial stunts from some of the best pilots in the world.
6 hours 34 min ago

Naval officer who lost job over anti-war sentiments, antisemitism reinstated

Cmdr. John F. Sharpe, a former lieutenant commander and public affairs officer assigned to the aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson, was investigated for hate group activity and separated from the service in 2009.
8 hours 6 min ago

John McCain, five others to receive Naval Academy Distinguished Graduate Awards

The alumni association’s Distinguished Graduate Award Selection Panel made its selections Dec. 8. The six men selected will be honored at a ceremony March 23.
8 hours 27 min ago

Border arrests surge, erasing much of Trump's early gains

Denials of entry for people at official crossings and border arrests reached 39,006 in November, up 12 percent from 34,855 in October and more than double the 15,766 who were stopped or arrested in April.
10 hours 58 min ago

Even Santa needs help getting to some places: remote Alaska

It's not easy to get to Saint Michael, Alaska. Not even if you're Santa Claus. Luckily, jolly old St. Nick could hitch a ride on a military transport plane to the tiny island community that's closer to Russia than Alaska's largest city, Anchorage.
13 hours 54 min ago