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Sending cadets to learn from military officers has deep-seated roots at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point.
The academy has been sending cadets to train with active duty officers under the Cadet Troop Leader Training program since at least the 1920s, said West Point spokesman Lt. Col. Christopher Kasker.
In nearly 100 years of sending cadets to military installations, 21-year-old Cadet Mitchell Alexander Winey is the only cadet in the academy’s records to have died during the mandatory three-week course, he said.
Winey and eight active duty soldiers died when their vehicle overturned in flood waters June 2. Three soldiers were rescued and were able to return to work.
Putting cadets with a mentor began with installations along the East Coast and then grew to encompass installations across the continental United States and abroad during the 20th Century, Kasker said.
“Cadets attend Cadet Troop Leader Training once during either of the final two summers at the Military Academy, and it’s a graduation requirement for cadets,” he said. “Having the opportunity to work with soldiers, a platoon sergeant, company commander, first sergeant and other leaders in a company provides an experience that will shape and influence the rest of a cadet’s time at West Point. It provides cadets a foundation to inform their self-development and how they want to grow as a leader.”
Just about every Army post supports the cadet training, Kasker said. The Academy submits a request to the Department of the Army in October of each year requesting support, posts report the number of cadets they could support to the Army and then the Academy assigns the cadets to a military installation based on a number of factors — to include class rank, post preference, desired branch and summer schedule.
A new Army Emergency Relief website is now up and running with an online assistance tool that is easy to navigate on mobile devices.
"It now works well from a smart phone, tablet, desktop, laptop, whatever device," said retired Col. Guy Shields of AER.
AER conducted a "soft launch" of the website last month to insure that it was working smoothly prior to making an announcement. It was important to work through any issues to insure that the back-end processing of online assistance applications was functional, Shields said. But he added that the new site is now up and running like a champ.
The website offers new features to Soldiers and families that they can easily negotiate, said retired Command Sgt. Maj. Charles Durr, AER assistance officer.
It provides a loan calculator, AER news and videos, and portals to apply for scholarships or loans.
"The thing that I'm really excited about is the online assistance feature -- which really is all about providing a more streamlined assistance process for our Soldiers and their families," Durr said. "It will enable them to execute that with ease, anytime, anywhere, by use of any electronic device, and it can be executed securely in a matter of minutes."
hough significant progress that is being achieved, Defense Secretary Ash Carter wants to push harder in the campaign to defeat the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, Pentagon Press Secretary Peter Cook told reporters today.
“The secretary has not been satisfied with the pace, which is why he's always talking about accelerating [it],” Cook said. “He is satisfied we are making progress in Iraq and Syria, but the secretary's view is the sooner this threat is defeated, the better.”
Carter will continue to push coalition partners, U.S. forces and commanders to see what else can be done to accelerate ISIL’s defeat further, he added.
ISIL Fight Needs Close Coordination
“We've seen [significant] developments on the ground in Iraq and Syria, but this is a fight that requires careful coordination,” the press secretary said. The coordination is daily between Iraq’s government and the U.S.-led coalition to drive ISIL out of Fallujah and liberate the city’s residents, he added.
“We continue to provide support, airstrikes being the most obvious example of support for the fight in Fallujah,” Cook said, adding that Army Lt. Gen. Sean MacFarland, the Combined Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve commander, remains the U.S. military’s point person with the Iraqis in Baghdad, providing advice and counsel to government officials.
The Army has built critical partnerships across the African continent, but there is still work to be done especially as armies across the region continue to fight threats such as Boko Haram and al-Shabaab, the outgoing commander of U.S. Army Africa told Army Times.
“Africa matters,” said Maj. Gen. Darryl Williams. “We’ve learned a lot, and we continue to learn. The enemy knows no boundaries, so it’s important to have good partners on the African continent.”
It’s more important than ever to continue working with partners, not just in Africa but around the world, Williams said.
“One of the things that strikes me is the interconnectedness of these fights, these threats that we face, whether they be in Africa or Europe,” he said. “All of the combatant commands, and certainly the [Army service component commands], we’re working the same mission sets. It’s important now more than ever that we continue to work together and communicate.”
Williams relinquished command to Maj. Gen. Joseph Harrington on June 1 during a ceremony in Vicenza, Italy, where U.S. Army Africa has its headquarters.
The White House said Tuesday that President Barack Obama will veto the Senate's version of the annual defense policy bill, objecting to provisions that would bar the closing of the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and limit the size of the National Security Council staff.
An 18-page statement from the Office of Management and Budget listed the Obama administration's serious reservations with the legislation, which also denies the Defense Department's request for a new round of military base closings.
"The bill would undermine expert judgments of the department's civilian and military leadership and constrain the ability of the president and the secretary of defense to appropriately manage and direct the nation's defense," the statement said.
The Armed Services Committee passed the defense policy bill last month. The full Senate is now considering the bill, which authorizes $602 billion in military spending for the fiscal year than begins October 1.
nfantry combat is loud, and gunshots are an occupational hazard of being a soldier. A single gunshot can temporarily blow out a soldier's hearing, reducing situational awareness and the ability to overhear commands. Prolonged gunshot noise exposure over a soldier's career can do irreparable harm to hearing.
Which is why the U.S. Army has developed an all-in-one hearing system that not only boosts the hearing of troops in the field, it also acts to cut down the noise of battle. The system, known as Tactical Communication and Protective System (TCAPS), is currently rolling out to units in the field.
In the past, protecting a soldier's hearing has traditionally come with a trade-off: the inability to hear quieter sounds, particularly human voices. Ear protection also deadens sounds to the point where the wearer can't figure out where they're coming from—a necessity when someone is shooting at you and you need to figure out where they are.
Suicide rates have been increasing among all active U.S. Navy, Air Force and Army personnel, but those in the Army appear to be most at risk, new research indicates.
An analysis of all U.S. military suicides between 2005 and 2011 revealed that the suicide rate among Army members was roughly double that seen among the second highest risk group, the Marines.
The investigation further revealed that guns are the principal cause of most military suicides. Firearms were implicated in more than 62 percent of all suicide cases that have a definitive cause of death, the study found.
"The trends in suicide are similar to what others have found," said study lead author Andrew Anglemyer, from California State University, Monterey Bay. "The differences in those rates between services are striking, though. Not only are most suicides in the active duty military among the Army personnel, but the suicide rate among Army personnel is the highest and has been every year since 2006."
The Army has launched two investigations after a deadly truck accident killed nine soldiers and injured three others on Fort Hood, Texas.
Experts from the Army Combat Readiness Center are leading the first investigation. The team visited the accident site on Saturday, said Maj. John Miller, a spokesman for the 1st Cavalry Division.
The second investigation is an AR 15-6, or a commander’s fact-finding investigation, Miller said. The investigating officer appointed to conduct the 15-6 is in the “preliminary stages” of gathering information, he said.
As the investigations unfold, soldiers on Fort Hood will remember the fallen during a pair of memorial services.
Cadet Mitchell Alexander Winey, 21, will be remembered during a memorial service at 1 p.m. Thursday, June 9.
Seventy-two years ago today, 156,000 Allied troops, 9,000 aircraft and nearly 5,000 ships launched the largest amphibious invasion in modern warfare.
To history buffs, it's known by many names, D-Day, the Invasion of Normandy or even Operation Overlord, the name Sir Winston Churchill, then prime minister of England, gave it in accordance with his intense interest in operation nomenclature.
Now, 72 years later, the world has changed, but the 50 mile stretch of coastline known as Normandy remains in solidarity in welcome to the troops, both the veterans and today's generation of Soldiers, who in their estimation, did not invade, but "liberated" Normandy.
"Invasion is an act of war, a liberation is an act of helping people to get rid of some kind of tyranny," Denis van den Brink, communications officer of the city of Carentan, France, said. "Actually both terms are correct. It was an invasion in a way that suddenly foreign armies swept through France. But it was a real liberation from the tyranny of fascism. "
What is it, where is it and how is it spread?
Zika is a mosquito-borne virus closely related to yellow fever, dengue, and West Nile viruses. A Zika virus outbreak was identified in Brazil in early 2015; since then, it has spread to more than twenty-five other countries in Central and South America and the Caribbean. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued a Level 2 Travel Alert (Practice Enhanced Precautions) for areas where Zika virus transmission is ongoing. This includes the recommendation that women who are pregnant, or trying to become pregnant, consider postponing travel to any area where Zika virus transmission is ongoing.
Prevention - what can I do to prevent catching it?
The best way to prevent diseases spread by mosquitoes is to avoid being bitten. There is currently no vaccine for Zika. Mosquitoes that spread Zika virus bite mostly during the daytime and prefer to bite people, and live indoors and outdoors near humans. The best prevention is to minimize standing water in items like buckets, bowls, animal dishes, flower pots and vases.
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Recent Fallen Grads
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