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Congress' little-known power to help constituents PDF Print E-mail

Each year, members of Congress exercise a little-known power to help constituents obtain a nomination to one of the country’s four elite service academies, which prepare future officers for the Army, Navy, Air Force and Merchant Marine. In doing so, they are helping the nominees obtain a highly sought college education worth nearly $500,000 while shaping the leadership of the military. Those nominations are often secret, sometimes political and always prestigious. In some cases, a USA Today examination shows, they go to children of friends, political supporters and donors to the lawmakers’ campaigns. At a time when the public ranks Congress’ performance at all-time lows, lawmakers have retained this 171-year-old perk described by historian Lance Betros as “a prized currency of patronage, a means of pandering to political favorites.”

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Ex-West Point Cadet Loses Suit Vs. LaBelle's Staff PDF Print E-mail

A former West Point cadet has lost a multimillion-dollar lawsuit against members of R&B singer Patti LaBelle's entourage whom he accused of beating him as he waited for a ride outside a Houston airport terminal. In his lawsuit, Richard King alleged he was attacked without provocation by LaBelle's bodyguard and two others while waiting outside Bush Intercontinental Airport in 2011. King had just arrived in Houston, his hometown, while on spring break from West Point. After five days of testimony and 10 hours of deliberation, a federal jury in Houston on Tuesday night absolved Zuri Edwards, LaBelle's manager and son; Efrem Holmes, her bodyguard; and Norma Harris, her hairdresser. LaBelle had been dropped from the suit early in the trial.

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As cyber force grows, manpower details emerge PDF Print E-mail

The military will need to expand its force of cyber warriors beyond plans for 6,200 personnel, and the individual services are hammering out the manpower-related details of precisely how to build that force from the ground up, according to a new Pentagon report. The emerging requirements have the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps developing an array of new recruiting tactics, extended service commitments, training programs, retention bonuses and unique career tracks for the cyber career field, says the report, a copy of which was obtained by Military Times. The document outlines the service-specific efforts to meet U.S. Cyber Command’s current requirement to stand up a “Cyber Mission Force” with 133 teams of cyberwarriors by the end of 2016. That’s just the beginning for a career field that is likely to see dramatic growth despite budget cuts affecting most of the military. The Army is modeling part of its cyber recruitment and training efforts after its Special Forces model, the report says. It is also working with the U.S. Military Academy to identify soldiers who might have educational backgrounds well suited to a cyber career.

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Army Wins All Four Matches Against Navy PDF Print E-mail

WEST POINT, N.Y. -After day one of the Army Navy golf Star Match, Army holds a strong 4-0 lead after winning all four-ball matches Saturday under blue skies at the West Point Golf Course. The Black Knights go into Sunday’s singles round needing only two of seven points to claim their third-straight star. “Today was phenomenal,” said head coach Brian Watts. “For the guys to go out and compete as hard as they did and come away with four points is a big deal, a big lead in Ryder Cup format. Tomorrow we aren’t going to change anything in regards to a game plan, we are just going to go out and try to hit fairways and greens. Everyone has their own way to get around our golf course so I’m going to step aside and let the guys play and hopefully come away with a win.”

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Retired general talks about book at Rotary meeting PDF Print E-mail

At the recent 2014 Patriot’s Day meeting of the Harker Heights Rotary Club, the guest speaker was retired Lt. Gen. Dave Palmer, who graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point, N.Y., in 1956 and had a military career that almost spans the Cold War era. Six of those years were spent at Fort Hood. He was superintendent of West Point and has been retired from the military since 1991. “When I received the invitation to speak from Rotarian Dan Nicholas, I thought he told me to share about my latest book and I told him give me three to four hours and that’ll be no problem,” Palmer said. “He said ‘No, you’ve got 20 minutes.’ So I guess I’m locked into that time frame.” Palmer has written many history books, but the book he selected to talk about is what he described as more of a mystery: “George Washington’s Military Genius.”

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