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Training death 'preventable,' report finds PDF Print E-mail
A soldier's failure to account for his possession of live ammunition and unit leaders' failure to conduct brass and ammo checks led to Spc. Kevin J. Rodriguez's death at Fort Campbell, Army documents show.

Rodriguez, a soldier with Company A, 1st Battalion, 187th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, "Rakkasans," was participating in a blank-fire training exercise at Range 17 on Oct. 6. Rodriguez was part of the Opposition Force (OPFOR) during the training when another soldier fired his weapon toward Rodriguez. The magazine contained at least three rounds of live ammunition, according to Army documents. Two rounds struck Rodriguez in his chest protector while a third struck his upper left arm and chest area and entered his heart.

The documents are part of the Army's AR 15-6 investigation into the training mishap. They were provided to The Leaf-Chronicle Monday as part of a Freedom of Information Act request filed in January. All names except for Rodriguez's were redacted in the more than 700 pages of documents provided in the request.
 
Turkey searches air base used by US army over failed coup PDF Print E-mail
Turkish police investigators have entered and searched the Incirlik air base in the south of the country in connection with the recent failed coup.

According to Turkish media on Monday, seven soldiers were arrested after prosecutors and police searched the base, which is jointly used by Turkish and US-led forces to allegedly target Daesh terrorists.

The so-called multinational task force against Daesh started its controversial mission in Iraq in late 2014 after Daesh seized control over territories west and north of the country. The air campaign was later expanded to cover areas in northern Syria despite criticism from the Syrian government that the attacks violate the sovereignty of the Arab country.

Earlier in the week, the commander of the Incirlik base, General Bekir Ercan Van, was arrested along with over a dozen of his officers over accusations of complicity in the coup.

At least one of the F-16 jets commandeered by coup plotters was reportedly refueled by a plane which had taken off from the base.  

Turkey has also disconnected the base’s electricity, forcing it to revert to internal power sources.
 
USMA taps artificial intelligence to help cadets negotiate PDF Print E-mail
A company that sells software that analyzes the human voice and touts the virtues of empathy, rapport and emotional intelligence is joining forces with West Point United States Military Academy in an effort to help cadets become better negotiators.

Cogito Corp. is a Boston-based company that makes software that can analyze a person’s voice in real-time. That information, the company says, can help customer service representatives show more empathy; the result is phone conversations that are more efficient and personalized, according to Cogito.

Col. James Ness of West Point said that this kind of tech will help their students become better negotiators, a key skill for people in the military.

“Cogito’s behavioral analytics technology will systematically analyze communication patterns within negotiating sessions and provide insight into the cadet’s psychological state,” Ness, who directs the engineering psychology program at West Point, said in a statement. “This technology will provide an unbiased assessment of how each cadet is being perceived by the other party. It will deliver insights into how they can modify their behavior to improve negotiation outcomes.”
 
Hanson and Taylor West Point Garrison Command Team PDF Print E-mail
Col. Andrew S. Hanson assumed command and Command Sgt. Maj. Roderick C. Taylor assumed responsibility of the U.S. Army Garrison-West Point from Col. Landy D.
Dunham and Command Sgt. Maj. Joel D. Crawford July 7 at Eisenhower Hall. Hanson is a Special Forces officer who graduated from the U.S. Military Academy in 1994 and Taylor is Quartermaster. Lt. Gen. Robert L. Caslen, Jr., superintendent of the U.S. Military Academy, said the garrison is a vital part to the culture of excellence that the U.S. Military Academy upholds. “West Point is truly a community because of their hard work,” Caslen said of the outgoing command team. “Landy Dunham and Command Sgt. Maj. Crawford have been an amazing team and their efforts have had a direct impact on the incredible reputation West Point enjoys throughout the Army.” Caslen went on to welcome the new command team of Hanson and Taylor. “We’re thrilled to have you both here and look forward to working with you as you lead this great installation to continued excellence and even greater success,” Caslen said
 
Academy graduates - pro sports PDF Print E-mail

DOD clears the way for military academy graduates to jump straight to pro sports

High-caliber cadet-athletes at the three Department of Defense run service academies can thank former Navy Midshipman standout Keenan Reynolds for changing service academy protocol.

The quarterback was drafted by the Baltimore Ravens with their sixth-round pick after lighting up college football. Reynolds broke records, including those for most rushing touchdowns in NCAA Division I history (85), most career total touchdowns (88) and yards rushing by a quarterback (4,559).

Reynolds’s success prompted the Department of Defense to take a second look at its policy regarding the mandatory 24-month active duty stint upon graduation. On Monday, the Air Force Academy provided an updated policy to The Colorado Springs Gazette, making it clear that a professional sports career is possible directly upon graduation. 

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