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Army's top stories of 2016 PDF Print E-mail
Uniform changes, new directives and football were among the topics that dominated headlines for the Army in 2016. Below is a list of this year's most-read articles by the Army News Service.

1-2) SLEEVES CAN NOW BE ROLLED UP 

The hottest topic among readers this year, with a pair of articles in the top two slots, turned out to be the Army's decision to permit Soldiers to roll up the sleeves on their combat uniforms so they can keep cool.

Army officials announced the policy change in late June, following a 10-day trial at Fort Hood, Texas, which was initiated after a specialist asked Army Chief of Staff Gen. Mark A. Milley during a reenlistment ceremony whether he and his fellow Soldiers could roll up their sleeves due to the hot weather. Milley and Sgt. Maj. of the Army Daniel A. Dailey agreed, and an official memorandum was rolled out Army-wide a few weeks later. 

3) NEW DIRECTIVE: OFFICERS MUST BE VETTED BEFORE PROMOTIONS 

A new Army directive over the summer caught the attention of many readers, especially those of officers looking to be promoted. Updated regulations now require that officers selected for promotion be vetted for mental, physical, moral, and professional fitness and meet the standards for exemplary conduct before their names are forwarded to the Army secretary for certification.
 
George McDowell USMA 1937 Keys to Longevity PDF Print E-mail

The keys to longevity? Good friends and a bourbon old-fashioned

103-year-old Meyerland resident talks about his long and interesting life

 

 
At 103 years of age, George McDowell has earned the right to live by his own rules.
 
He's got seven of them, a list formed about 30 years ago when he was in his 70s. A couple of his favorites — hanging out with younger people and having a cocktail every day — ended up forming the highlight of his week: a neighborhood Friday night happy hour.
A decade ago when McDowell's wife Rae died — she was 90 — he invited his Meyerland neighbors over for a cocktail.

McDowell was 93 then, and admits he was the oldest person there. But it was apparent that his neighbors, all a decade or two younger, were hungry for companionship and conversation, too.
 
When Eggnog Sparked a Riot at West Point PDF Print E-mail

On the night before Christmas in 1826, Captain Ethan Allen Hitchcock turned in shortly before midnight. Visions of sugar plums may not have been dancing in the head of the U.S. Military Academy faculty member, but dreams of a silent night likely were. Although the academy’s superintendent, Colonel Sylvanus Thayer, had warned Hitchcock that the cadets inside his dormitory might attempt to throw their traditional Christmas drinking party overnight, all was quiet in West Point, New York, as Thayer drifted asleep snug in his bed inside the North Barracks. 

 Unbeknownst to Hitchcock, however, a party had already started. Cadets had been secretly smuggling liquor into their barracks for days as Christmas approached, a risky venture that could have resulted in their expulsions because for an Army man, Thayer ran a tight ship. Since the colonel took charge of the academy in 1817, his strict discipline had transformed it from a school in disarray into an elite institution. A West Point graduate himself, Thayer prohibited everything from playing cards to tobacco to even novels. 

 
In a bit of leniency, “The Father of West Point” had allowed alcohol on the Fourth of July and Christmas. That changed, however, following a rowdy celebration on July 4, 1825, when cadets engaged in a “snake dance” and hoisted the school’s commandant, William Worth, on their shoulders and carried him back to their barracks. 
 
USMA 1977 Grad Tapped for Army Secretary PDF Print E-mail
President-elect Donald Trump on Monday announced he plans to nominate a billionaire West Point graduate and former infantry officer to become Army secretary.
 
Trump intends to nominate Vincent "Vinnie" Viola, the founder and executive chairman of the high-frequency trading firm Virtu Financial and owner of the National Hockey League's Florida Panthers, to become the top civilian at the military's biggest service.
"Whether it is his distinguished military service or highly impressive track record in the world of business, Vinnie has proved throughout his life that he knows how to be a leader and deliver major results in the face of any challenge," Trump said in a statement.
 
Viola trained as an Airborne Ranger and served in the 101st Airborne Division, according to the release. He's "living proof of the American dream," it states, born and raised in an Italian immigrant family in Brooklyn. His father worked as a truck driver and served in the Army during World War II -- an experience that inspired the younger Viola to serve his country.
 
Retired generals set to fill key roles in new administration PDF Print E-mail
Retired generals appear poised to play a significant role in President-elect Donald Trump’s administration, with a number of notable names consulted in recent days about possible Cabinet appointments.

Already one former high-ranking officer has been tapped by the incoming president: retired Army Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, the former Defense Intelligence Agency director who served as Trump’s top military adviser through the campaign. He’ll now shift to being the White House's national security adviser, filling a similar role for the businessman turned commander in chief. 

But a number of other prominent retired military leaders are also under consideration by Trump. 

Over the weekend, he had formal transition meetings with retired Marine Corps Gens. James Mattis and John Kelly. Sources say both men are under consideration for the secretary of defense post, as well as other positions. 
 
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