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US Army preparing for major changes to force structure
The Army is preparing to make what it deems as necessary, and major, organizational changes to its force structure within the next five years, according to the Futures and Concepts Center director.

“There is going to be a fundamental change in the organizational structure to fight the way we are describing,” Lt. Gen. Eric Wesley told an audience at the Center for a New American Security in Washington on March 4.

“The Army has relied on counterinsurgency operations over the past 15 years that depended greatly on the Brigade Combat Team. But now, with a new focus on large-scale ground combat operations anticipated in the future operating environment, “that will require echelons above brigade, all of which will solve unique and distinct problems that a given BCT can’t solve by itself,” Wesley said.
 
West Point cadets honor Peter Zhu
A West Point cadet who was mortally injured on a ski slope last month was honored in a tribute at the military academy in advance of his funeral Thursday.

Cadet Peter Zhu’s company on Tuesday trekked more than six miles to the slope on academy grounds where Zhu, 21, was found unconscious on Feb. 23, according to a post on the West Point Facebook page.

Members of Zhu’s company, Company E1, traveled with their military issued gear and carried Zhu’s ruck, or backpack, to Victor Constant Ski Area.
 
 “What we didn’t expect was that we would be joined by approximately 200 others from the Corps of Cadets,” Felix Rosa Negron, a member of the Class of 2020, said in the Facebook post. “We carried his ruck untouched as we found it, and reminisced about our experiences with him.”
 
Lethality Automated System (ATLAS) Isn't a killer robot
In February, the U.S. Army asked experts for ideas on how to build a system that would allow tanks and other ground-combat vehicles to quickly and automatically “acquire, identify, and engage” targets.

Some saw this as a step toward autonomous killer robots, leading the Army to now tweak its request.

Yes, it now says, it wants bots to be able to identify and kill targets. But that doesn’t mean “we’re putting the machine in a position to kill anybody,” an Army official told Defense One.

Just A Misunderstanding
According to the Defense One story, the Army decided to revise its request for information to make it clear that the Advanced Targeting and Lethality Automated System (ATLAS) would not violate the Defense Department’s policy requiring that a human always make the decision to use lethal force.
 
US Army tackles sexual assault
The Army has recently expanded its Not in My Squad initiative as part of its ongoing fight against sexual assault, the Army's top enlisted leader told lawmakers Feb. 27, 2019.

Introduced in 2015, the program empowers junior leaders at the squad level to reduce sexual assault and violence by building cohesive units through shared and mutual trust.

According to written testimony provided to lawmakers by Sgt. Maj. of the Army Daniel A. Dailey, the service has now spread the program to 27 ready and resilient campuses on Army installations.

In the first quarter of fiscal year 2019, Dailey testified that the service has also conducted 17 workshops that showed positive feedback.

Certified resiliency trainers have been embedded at the company level to train soldiers on sustaining readiness and optimizing performance.
 
How Well Do You Know Your Military?
The American public knows the U.S. military is the most elite and lethal fighting force in the world, but it turns out there's a pretty big knowledge gap when it comes to what is known about military life.

So, we're making it one of our missions to lift the fog and help you get to #KnowYourMil.
 
 
Cadet Peter L. Zhu dies in skiing accident
Cadet Peter L. Zhu, a member of the Class of 2019, passed Feb. 28 at Westchester Medical Center in Valhalla, New York, with his family by his side, after succumbing to injuries sustained on Feb. 23 while skiing at Victor Constant Ski Area located on the academy grounds.

"I wish to extend to his family the sincere and profound sympathy of the U. S. Military Academy and all members of this command. We lost a brother today, and the pain will be felt for a long time," said Superintendent Lt. Gen. Darryl A. Williams.

Zhu, 21, of Concord, California, was found unresponsive by a fellow skier on Saturday afternoon on the slope. Ski Patrol conducted life-saving measures as he was transported to Keller Army Community Hospital and then airlifted to Westchester. The details of this incident are under investigation.
 
Former Air Force officer is Iran spy currently at large
The U.S. Department of Justice has jus charged a former U.S. Air Force officer with spying on behalf of Iran.

Monica Elfriede Witt, a former counterintelligence officer who now lives in Iran, assisted Iran in spying on her fellow intelligence officers, according to a Department of Justice press release detailing the indictment on Wednesday.

“Monica Witt is charged with revealing to the Iranian regime a highly classified intelligence program and the identity of a U.S. Intelligence Officer, all in violation of the law, her solemn oath to protect and defend our country, and the bounds of human decency,” said Assistant Attorney General John Demers.
 
Astronaut Buzz Aldrin at the 2019 State of the Union Address

Buzz Aldrin [USMA 1951] saluted after being introduced by President Donald Trump at the 2019 State of the Union address, Tuesday, February 5, 2019, at the Capitol in Washington. During the speech, President Trump said: "In 2019, we also celebrate 50 years since brave young pilots flew a quarter of a million miles through space to plant the American flag on the face of the Moon. Half a century later, we are joined by one of the Apollo 11 astronauts who planted that flag: Buzz Aldrin."

READ MORE... 

 
New Army fitness test
Army soldiers struggle to haul heavy sleds backward as fast as they can down a grassy field at Fort Bragg, filling the brisk North Carolina morning air with grunts of exertion and the shouts of instruction from their coaches.

Watching from the sidelines, Sgt. Maj. Harold Sampson shakes his head. As a military intelligence specialist he spends a lot of time behind a desk. Over his two decades in the Army, he could easily pound out the situps, pushups and 2-mile run that for years have made up the service’s fitness test.
 
But change has come. The Army is developing a new, more grueling and complex fitness exam that adds dead lifts, power throws and other exercises designed to make soldiers more fit and ready for combat. “I am prepared to be utterly embarrassed,” Sampson said on a recent morning, two days before he was to take the test.

Commanders have complained in recent years that the soldiers they get out of basic training aren’t fit enough. Nearly half of the commanders surveyed last year said new troops coming into their units could not meet the physical demands of combat. Officials also say about 12 percent of soldiers at any one time cannot deploy because of injuries.
 
Ring Melt held at West Point for first time

Worn smooth, the crass mass of brass bears the scars of a long life. The crest that once adorned the side has long since disappeared as have the words etched around the stone.

Lying on a placard beside the name of its owner and his cadet photo, the class ring is a testament to the life its wearer lived. Now, it is time for the ring to begin a new journey, its worn edges melted away and the gold used to craft rings that will carry the Class of 2020 through their lives.

The West Point Association of Graduates hosted its annual Ring Melt Ceremony Jan. 25 where class rings from old grads living and deceased were donated and melted down into a gold brick that is used as part of the gold to craft the next classes rings.

Fifty-five rings were donated this year and the gold will be used to craft the rings for the Class of 2020, which they will receive Ring Weekend in August.

"This ceremony was surreal," Class of 2020 Cadet Emma Powless said. "I really wish the whole Class of 2020 could have seen what went into it and how it was executed. I think it is important to know what goes into our rings and how much it means to people to have their rings go into our classes'. I think, for the most part, people understand the meaning of a class ring, but I think today ties it all together and you get to see the physical representation of what is going into them."

The ring melt has occurred every year since 2001, but this year marked the first time it has been held at the U.S. Military Academy. The ceremony started at Eisenhower Hall where either a representative from the family donating the ring or someone on the family's behalf placed the ring into a crucible. A few ounces of legacy gold, which was extracted from last year's melt, was also included which ties together each of the 18 melts that have occurred. The rings were then taken to be melted.

READ MORE... 

 
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