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DoD Authorization:

The Department of Defense announced today that effective immediately, service members are authorized to wear Service Stars on their Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medals (GWOT-EM) to represent deployments in support of approved GWOT operations.

Undersecretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness Jessica Wright signed a memorandum authorizing the new policy change retroactive to Sept. 11, 2001.

Only one GWOT-EM is awarded for each approved operation. For example, a service member who was awarded the medal for an Operation Enduring Freedom deployment, and is subsequently authorized a second award for an Operation Inherent Resolve deployment would wear a single Service Star on the GWOT-EM to denote both awards.

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Soldier killed, 6 hurt in training accident on U.S. Army base
A late night training accident turned deadly, with one Fort Carson soldier dying and six others suffering injuries in a vehicle rollover accident on the Colorado base, the U.S. military said Saturday.

The accident -- which is still under investigation -- happened around 10 p.m. Friday (midnight ET), according to a military statement.

All of the injured, including one in critical condition, were medically evacuated. The military hasn't identified them or the soldier killed, waiting on next-of-kin notification.

 
Couple accidently buys $20K Lombardi sweater at thrift store
he thrift stores in Asheville, N.C., are chock full of hidden hipster gems. But nothing is quite as valuable as the 58-cent sweater purchased by an elderly couple that they later learned was owned by legendary Packers coach Vince Lombardi.

Sean McEvoy and his wife, Rikki, bought a vintage West Point sweater at a Goodwill store in Asheville for $0.58, took it home and, while watching a Lombardi documentary, suddenly realized they'd just purchased a very similar sweater.

"I was watching a Vince Lombardi documentary and I said to my wife, we have a sweater just like that," McEvoy said. "Wouldn't it be great if it was actually Vince Lombardi's?"

At this point, Rikki tells him she saw a name tag, which is just about the craziest part of this whole story, because it means someone had the sweater, could've easily discerned Lombardi was a previous owner, and still gave it to Goodwill.

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Congressman pushes Army Regarding Revoked Green Beret's Silver Star

The Army, citing an investigation but little else, has revoked a Green Beret's Silver Star and rescinded a previous decision to upgrade his award to the Distinguished Service Cross. The service also stripped the officer's Special Forces tab.

While the Army has remained mum on details of the allegation against Maj. Matt Golsteyn, Rep. Duncan Hunter claims the Army could not find one piece of corroborating evidence after a year-and-a-half-long investigation. He also said, in an article published by The Daily Beast, that Golsteyn's men have been threatened and repeatedly promised immunity in order to get them to incriminate the officer, to no avail.

In Februrary 2010, Forward Operating Base McQueary in Marjah, Afghanistan, came under attack. Then-Capt. Golsteyn ran alone through an open field and enemy gunfire as dozens of coalition soldiers were pinned down, according to the Army's account, as relayed by the Washington Post.

After receiving a Silver Star for his actions in 2011, he was later nominated for an upgrade to a DSC.

Golsteyn was subsequently investigated in the unrelated death of an Afghan bomb-maker, according to Hunter's editorial.

"The allegation was presented through informal channels to the Army, which went to extraordinary lengths to investigate Golsteyn. The Army tried to turn up anything it could, but was unable to find one piece of evidence to corroborate the allegation," Hunter wrote.

The Army has not cited what particular rules of engagement Golsteyn broke, or even publicly confirmed the accusation. No charges have been filed against Golsteyn. Golsteyn's attorney Phil Stackhouse told Army Times Golsteyn is not available for an interview.

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‘Iron Man’ Suit’s Process Important to U.S. Department of Defense
MacDill Air Force Base, FL – The Tactical Assault Light Operator Suit is being designed to give protection and capabilities to U.S. special operators, but the process of designing it may be as revolutionary as the suit itself, said U.S. Special Operations Command officials.

TALOS started 18 months ago, after incidents downrange caused SOCOM to take a hard look at how special operators are outfitted.

“We’ve put a lot of great technology on the battlefield, but have we really taken a step back and taken a clean sheet and said for the next five, 10, 15 years do we need what we’ve got now, or do are there other game-changing technologies we can incorporate?” James Geurts, Socom’s acquisition executive, said during a recent interview.

Geurts said there are two fundamental reasons for the TALOS program. The first is the most obvious — DoD needs to examine new ways to protect and enable special operations service members.

“It’s not just body armor; it’s all the things that go into that,” he said.

This includes sensors, heads-up displays, an exoskeleton to reduce the load special operators carry, medical sensors, and much, much more.

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Fort Hood Soldiers Killed and Wounded By Hasan to Get Purple Hearts

The Army has approved the award of the Purple Heart and its civilian counterpart to the victims of Army psychiatrist Nidal Hasan in the 2009 shooting rampage at Fort Hood, Texas.

Thirteen people were killed and more than 30 wounded in the shootings that had been treated as an incident of "workplace violence" rather than a terrorist act.

Hasan, who was convicted in 2013 of 13 counts of murder and 32 counts of attempted murder, has admitted to being influenced by the late Anwar Awlaki, chief propagandist for the al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula terrorist group. A major at the time of the shooting, Hasan was stripped of his rank and dismissed from the Army after his conviction.

The Army had denied the Purple Heart awards and the benefits that go with them, but Congress passed an amendment included in the National Defense Authorization Act last year clearing the way for the award of the Purple Heart to soldiers killed and wounded by Hasan and the Defense of Freedom Medal to the civilians.

The amendment changed the rule to allow for an event to be deemed an attack by a "foreign terrorist organization" if the perpetrator "was in communication with the foreign terrorist organization before the attack" and "the attack was inspired or motivated by the foreign terrorist organization."

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The president's 2016 budget request: Defense Department

DoD's IT budget numbers remain elusive, requests $5.5 billion for DoD cyber capabilities


The Defense Department requests $5.5 billion for "cyber capabilities enhancements" in fiscal 2016, according to a 29-page budget brief outlining the DoD's budget proposal. That's more than one-third of the $14 billion for cybersecurity governmentwide in the president's fiscal 2016 budget request.

What's included in cyber capabilites enhancements is unclear.

The only dollar amount linked to cyber in the DoD budget provided by the White House is a request for $8 million for "cyberspace" in the Pentagon Reservation Maintenance Revolving Fund.

The National Nuclear Security Administration, which through its labs takes assignments from the DoD and other agencies in arrangements called  "work for others," requests $160 million for "information technology and cybersecurity" in fiscal 2016 – less than the fiscal 2015 level of $180 million. 

Gathering detailed information on the DoD's IT spending is difficult because the budget provides very little transparency into classified spending or spending on IT that is embedded in weapons systems or satellites. The budget also fails to carve out specific funds for U.S. Cybercommand.

Read more...

 
Department of Defense Doubles Cancer Research Funding in 2015

Doctors and researchers seeking a cure for mesothelioma will soon be able to tap into millions of dollars set aside by the U.S. Department of Defense for cancer research.

The Office of Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs (CDMRP) invested $50 million in the Peer Reviewed Cancer Research Program (PRCRP) for 2015 — an amount that doubles the money awarded to the program last year.

With the additional funding, asbestos-related cancer researchers can extend current studies and launch new ones to improve traditional treatments, introduce emerging therapies or test new cancer drugs. Funding in 2014 was $25 million.

Researchers hold out hope that their military-focused programs will develop the medical advancements that extend life expectancy or develop a cure for U.S. service members and families affected by mesothelioma. Former service members are a prime demographic for development of the rare and fatal cancer.

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DoD budget highlights technology for military's future

In President Barack Obama's 2016 federal budget, Defense Department priorities include a number of tech-focused initiatives that officials hope will start to mold the military of the future.

DoD's $585 billion budget request looks to undo the damage of sequestration by modernizing the military and many of its aging systems, as well as by training and equipping a smaller, more agile force. The budget includes billions in science, technology, research and development spending, and outlines investments for improving acquisition and driving innovation.

"The budget finishes the job of reversing mindless austerity budgeting and makes needed investments in key priorities, even while setting the nation on a fiscally responsible course," the budget documents state. "The proposed increases in the discretionary budget caps make room for a range of domestic and security investments that will help move the nation forward."

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$70M sought for new sewage treatment plant at West Point

WEST POINT, N.Y. (AP) - Sen. Charles Schumer says he'll fight to make sure $70 million in funding for a new wastewater treatment plant at West Point stays in President Barack Obama's proposed federal budget.

The Times Herald-Record of Middletown reports (http://bit.ly/18NlLvD ) the New York Democrat announced this week that the proposed funding was included in the spending plan that Congress will consider.

The money would be used to replace the U.S. Military Academy's aging sewage plant, built in 1956 and upgraded 16 years later.

Read more...

 
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