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Army modernization efforts of 2016
WASHINGTON (Army News Service) -- Supporting the fight around the globe means providing Soldiers with the most advanced technology available.

The right technology can ensure overmatch against future adversaries in an increasingly complex and dangerous world, where the threat is often "elusive and ambiguous," according to Army Vice Chief of Staff Gen. Daniel B. Allyn, speaking at an industry event in Michigan, Oct. 27.

The Army must ride the wave of technology or risk being left behind, cautioned Lt. Gen. Michael E. Williamson, the principal military deputy to the assistant secretary of the Army for Acquisition, Logistics and Technology.

Consumer electronics are advancing at an incredibly rapid pace, with the average time to obsolescence of some devices as short as 24 months, he noted at a "Network Readiness in a Complex World" panel in July, he said.

Fortunately for Soldiers and the American people, Army researchers and scientists and industry partners made great strides in modernization in 2016. The following is a sampling of 10 of their top advancements and milestones.

30MM CANNON FOR STRYKER

The first prototype Stryker infantry carrier vehicle, outfitted with a 30-millimeter cannon, was delivered to the Army Oct. 27.
 
Army's top stories of 2016
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

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

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
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
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. 
 
New cyber center at Fort Gordon
Senior Army leaders will break ground Nov. 29 at Fort Gordon, Georgia, for the new headquarters of Army Cyber Command, the command has announced.  

The new center, designed to be state of the art, will be a hub that brings together the Army's cyberspace operations, training, skill development and education at a single location. 

Construction is expected to take two and a half years, officials said. The plan calls for facilities to be completed in two phases:   
 
  • The first phase of construction will include new facilities supporting Army cyber operations and command and control functions. It is scheduled to be completed in May 2018 and cost $85.1 million.
  • The second phase of construction will establish a home for Cyber Protection Team operations, capable of supporting more than 1,200 cyber soldiers and civilians. This phase is expected to be done in early 2019 and ready to be occupied in late 2020.
 
Six Cadets Charged

news Release - USMA

Charges were preferred yesterday against six cadets involving drug-related offenses.

Members of the Class of 2017 Joshua Bobo, Jaelen Gadson, Tevin Long, Christopher Monge, Jalen Swett and Class of 2016 Jared Rogers, have been similarly charged with Article 81 (Conspiracy to Distribute Controlled Substances) and Article 112a (Wrongful Use, Introduction and Distribution of Controlled Substances) of the Uniform Code of Military Justice.

The cadets are currently on administrative leave away from the academy. They are presumed innocent until proven guilty in trial by courts-martial. The preferring of charges against a service member is the first step in the court-martial process. The next step is a pretrial investigation pursuant to Article 32, which is similar to a civilian grand jury. The Article 32 hearing, however, provides greater procedural rights for the defendant: the right to be present during the public hearing, the right to present evidence, the right to cross-examine witnesses, and the right to have a defense lawyer.

The pretrial investigation will be conducted by a military officer at West Point. The evidence obtained and his or her recommendation will be provide to a senior military officer who may then dispose of the case or recommend a trial by courts-martial to the Superintendent, the senior officer at West Point.

fROM:  http://www.usma.edu/news/Shared%20Documents/Six%20Cadets%20Charged.pdf

 
A Golden Jump

Under Secretary of the Army Patrick Murphy in a tandem jump with Sgt. 1st Class Joe Ablen of the Army Golden Knights, the U.S. Army’s parachute team out of Fort Bragg, N.C., Nov. 10 at West Point. 

Read more... 

 
California Guardsmen Ordered to Pay Back Bonuses
The U.S. Defense Department is ordering almost 10,000 one-time National Guardsmen from California to pay back enlistment bonuses, according to a news report.

Many of the veterans have to pack back the bonuses, totaling as much as $15,000 or more, or face such penalties as interest charges and tax liens, according to an article published Saturday by David Cloud, a reporter for The Los Angeles Times.

Like other branches of service, the Guard used enlistment bonuses to entice more people to enter the ranks a decade ago during the U.S.-led wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. However, California Guard officials were found guilty of mismanaging the program.
 
 
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