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

US leans on risky drone strikes in urban Syrian fight

U.S. drone pilots now routinely launch missiles at what the Pentagon calls “danger-close” distances to proxy ground forces fighting Islamic State in densely populated cities.
6 hours 17 min ago

Once homeless, Iraq War veteran moves into unique new home

The Iraq War veteran was medically discharged from the Army in 2014, had to quit his trucking job for medical reasons, and found himself living out of his pickup last year in Orange County, a sprawling area of Southern California known for beaches, Disneyland and high housing costs.
9 hours 45 min ago

Sierra Leone death toll now up to 450 after mudslides

Rescue officials in Sierra Leone warned Friday that the chances of finding survivors in the debris of this week's mudslides "are getting smaller every day," as bereaved and homeless survivors faced the magnitude of all they have lost.
9 hours 52 min ago

Report of Ukraine witness to DNC hacking stirs confusion

A report that a cooperating witness has emerged out of Ukraine to help the FBI's inquiry into the 2016 hacking of the Democratic National Committee is drawing confusion and denials in Ukraine.
9 hours 59 min ago

Duke University removes damaged Robert E. Lee statue

Duke University removed a statue of Gen. Robert E. Lee early Saturday after it was vandalized amid a national debate about monuments to the Confederacy.
10 hours 7 min ago