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President Rivlin Visits West Point US Military Academy
On the second day of his visit to New York, President Reuven Rivlin visited West Point US Military Academy, where he was received by Dean of the Academic Board, Brigadier General Timothy E. Trainor.

The President was welcomed with a Guard of Honor, and the playing of both the Israeli and US national anthems. During his visit, the President met with around 40 cadets and heard from them about their training and expectations of their military service.

Rivlin laid a wreath at the grave of Gen. David Daniel “Mickey” Marcus, known as the first IDF General, who came to Israel from the USA to join in the War of Independence, and greatly contributed to Israel’s fledgling military abilities. He was tragically shot and killed by ‘friendly fire’ and brought back to the US for burial at West Point.
 
Fort Hood lacked system to identify soldier as threat
 A U.S. Army report says Fort Hood did not have a system in place that could have anticipated a deadly rampage last April that left four soldiers dead and 16 wounded.

The report released Friday says there were no clear warnings that Spc. Ivan Lopez would go on a two-block shooting spree before killing himself. It concluded Lopez's supervisors would have had difficulty recognizing any personal problems leading up to the attack.

The report found that no single factor prompted the incident, despite Army investigators' previous findings that Lopez was in an argument over a leave request before the shooting.
 
 
DoD won't change social media policy
espite the high-profile Jan. 12 hacking incident that resulted in the takeover of U.S. Central Command's official Twitter and YouTube accounts, Defense Department officials have no plans to reevaluate policy on the use of social media, according to a DoD spokesperson.

Currently, official DoD social media accounts are subject to guidance from September 2012 that outlines military members' use of social media. In the wake of the CENTCOM incident, DoD officials called for passwords to be changed at more than 50 Office of the Secretary of Defense-level social media accounts. But no new or special guidance has been issued for the thousands of other official, military-affiliated social media accounts as leaders are reviewing practices, DoD spokesman Col. Steve Warren said in a Jan. 13 press conference.
 
 
Boko Haram Not America's Priority, Says Retired U.S. Army Chief

The Executive Dean, College of Criminal Justice and Security at the University of Phoenix, Major Gen. James 'Spider' Marks, has said that the growing insecurity and pogrom in the North-eastern part of Nigeria is not a priority to the United States of America. Marks, who retired after 30 years of service in the US Army, said this in an interview on CNN, which has since gone viral. Responding to questions on why over 40 world leaders including about four million people took to the streets in France when 17 people were killed by terrorists recently, whereas during the same period, over 2,000 people were allegedly massacred in Baga, Borno State without any global outcry, the ex-military general maintained that Nigeria and the entire black Africa was not a priority for the US. He explained: "The stack difference is that while world leaders are in complete solidarity and outrage against what happened in France vis-à-vis Nigeria. Truly, that should be surprising because what is happening in Nigeria is real madness, but it is not a priority.

Read more... 

 
Armed Services Committee chair vows DoD reform agenda
By the reckoning of the new chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, defense procurement reform is near the top of the priorities list of a national security apparatus that's also trying to figure out how to deal with a new iteration of Islamic extremism, a resurgent Russia and the U.S. political leadership's impasse over arbitrary caps on the defense budget.

But Rep. Mac Thornberry (R-Texas), who became chairman this month after having spent the past year leading the committee's efforts on acquisition reform, is in no rush to fix procurement all at once. While the system is in dire need of repair, another attempt to force change from Capitol Hill would prove not only counterproductive, but dangerous, he said Tuesday at the American Enterprise Institute.
 
In a speech outlining his committee's priorities for the 114th Congress, Thornberry said he hopes to have some acquisition changes ready for a vote no later than the end of this year. But whatever adjustments Congress churns out of the effort should be part of a slow, steady march toward a better procurement system, not a single legislative landmark that purports to have fixed DoD acquisition once and for all, he said.
 
Army does about-face on officer pension policy
U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar joined a group of her colleagues to challenge a new retirement policy by the Army that would have tossed out scores of soldiers at the rank of captain and major at a reduced pension.

In an unusual move, the Army has relented.

It was a classic case of how the military sometimes operates. Former noncommissioned officers went to Officer Candidate School as the Army expanded its officer corps to fight the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Some have served for years as commissioned officers and risen through the ranks to become captains and majors. But when the Army wanted to deplete its ranks of captains and majors, the soldiers were forced to retire at their highest previous enlisted rank.
 
 
Greg Plitt, USMA 2000, Killed By Train
A fitness model and actor featured on the cover of numerous fitness magazines was struck and killed by a train while filming on the tracks in Southern California, authorities said Sunday.

Two men were filming George Plitt Jr., 37, on the railroad track north of the Burbank train station Saturday afternoon when Plitt was hit by a Metrolink passenger train, said Burbank Police Sgt. Scott Meadows.

Investigators, who interviewed witnesses who saw Plitt standing on the track even as the train's horn was blaring, have ruled out a suicide, he said.
 
 
Senate panel OKs bill to lower veteran suicide rate
A bill aimed at reducing a suicide epidemic among military veterans cleared a Senate committee on Wednesday, as lawmakers vowed quick action on a measure that was blocked in the last session of Congress.

The Senate Veterans Affairs Committee unanimously approved a bill named for Clay Hunt, a 26-year-old veteran who killed himself in 2011. The bill is aimed at reducing a suicide epidemic that claims the lives of 22 military veterans every day.

The House-passed measure would require the Pentagon and Veterans Affairs Department to submit to independent reviews of their suicide prevention programs and make information on suicide prevention more easily available to veterans. It also would offer financial incentives to psychiatrists and other mental health professionals who agree to work for the VA and assist military members as they transition from active duty to veteran status.
 
 
Colonel going to court-martial in HIV case
A Special Forces officer charged with knowingly exposing a woman to HIV will face a court-martial.

The case against Col. Jeffrey Pounding was referred to court-martial by Maj. Gen. Jeffrey Buchanan, commander of the Military District of Washington and general courts-martial convening authority, on Jan. 9.

Pounding is scheduled to be arraigned Monday morning at Fort McNair in Washington, D.C., said Courtney Wittmann, a spokeswoman for the Military District of Washington. A trial date has not been set.
 
 
Lawmakers champion Army officer convicted of murder
Three Republican congressmen have taken up the cause of Clint Lorance, a jailed former Army lieutenant fighting to overturn his murder conviction by a U.S. military court for killing two Afghan men in a war zone.

The lawmakers sent a letter Tuesday to Secretary of the Army John McHugh alerting him that they were closely following the appeals process and pressing court officers to review new evidence in Lorance’s case, which hinges on whether he violated the rules of engagement for the war zone.


 
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