In The News

American Legion secured a 24-hour guard for the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier 82 years ago today

The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery has been constantly guarded for more than 80 years.

On July 2, 1937, approval was granted for 24-hour guarding of the tomb — even in situations of hazardous weather conditions. The change came following efforts from the American Legion for nonstop oversight.

The American Legion has played a significant role in the tomb’s history. When American Legion founder Hamilton Fish was elected in 1920 after World War I, he introduced legislation to remember an unknown soldier who was buried in France. Then-President Warren G. Harding dedicated the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in 1921 in the presence of Allied generals and American Legion members, according to the veterans group.

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Sea Breeze exercise underway in the Black Sea with Ukraine, NATO allies

About 3,000 troops from 19 countries are taking part in military drills in the Black Sea, an exercise that has raised concerns in Russia.

The 12-day Sea Breeze 2019 exercise, involving Ukraine, the U.S., a dozen other NATO allies and a few other nations, began Monday in the northwestern part of the Black Sea. It will involve 32 warships and 24 aircraft.

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SEAL war crimes suspect not guilty on murder charge

More than nine months after he was charged with murder, attempted murder and a string of other alleged war crimes tied to a 2017 deployment in Iraq, Special Warfare Operator Chief Edward “Eddie” Gallagher strolled out of a Naval Base San Diego courtroom a free man, guilty only of appearing in an inappropriate photograph.

Military prosecutors had accused Gallagher, 40, of stabbing to death a seriously wounded Islamic State prisoner of war on May 3, 2017 in a SEAL compound near Mosul, but a military panel composed mostly of combat-tested Marine officers disagreed and found for the chief.

Several junior petty officers in Alpha Platoon, SEAL Team 7 also alleged that he had shot at least two civilians from a sniper perch and later tried to cover up his actions, but jurors tossed those charges, too.

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Tuskegee Airman receives diploma 80 years after high school

A Missouri man who was unable to finish high school but went on to serve as crew chief for the famed Tuskegee Airmen has received an honorary diploma nearly 80 years after leaving high school.

The Jefferson City News-Tribune reports that James Shipley got the diploma in a Sunday ceremony.

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Panel weighs fate of SEAL accused of war crimes

A Navy SEAL murdered a wounded war prisoner in Iraq in 2017 and the proof is his own words, his own photos and the testimony of his fellow troops, a military prosecutor told a jury Monday.

Defense attorneys called it a “mutiny” by entitled, junior SEALs trying to oust a demanding chief.

The case of the highly decorated Special Warfare Operator Chief Edward “Eddie” Gallagher is now in the hands of a jury of five Marines and two sailors, including a SEAL, many of whom had been in heavy combat in Iraq.

Both sides told jurors that witnesses had lied on the stand and it was their duty to push through the evidence to find the truth. The panel will weigh whether Gallagher, a 19-year veteran on his eighth deployment, went off the rails and fatally stabbed the war prisoner on May 3, 2017, as a kind of trophy kill, or was the victim of allegations fabricated after the platoon returned to San Diego to stop him from getting a Silver Star and being advanced.

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West Point welcomes new cadets with Class of 2023

WEST POINT, N.Y. — The Class of 2023 is reporting for duty at the U.S. Military Academy.

West Point will welcome almost 1,200 candidates on Monday to begin a rigorous six weeks of Cadet Basic Training. The arrivals on “R-Day,” or reception day, will immediately begin their first lessons in marching, military courtesy and discipline.

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R-DAY YouTube video: CLICK HERE
Swearing In Ceremony: CLICK HERE

Acting Secretary of Defense Mark T. Esper’s meeting with German Minister of Defense Ursula Von der Leyen

Chief Pentagon Spokesman Jonathan R. Hoffman provided the following readout:

Acting Secretary of Defense Mark T. Esper met yesterday with German Minister of Defense Ursula Von der Leyen on the margins of the NATO Defense Ministerial. 

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Army to Adjust Standards for New Combat Fitness Test This Fall

Beginning this fall, soldiers across the Army will have a year to bone up on physical fitness in order to ace the challenging new six-event Army Combat Fitness Test, which will become the required standard across the service by October 2020. But Army officials say they still plan to make some final adjustments to grading and standards based on early testing results.

The Army is now about eight months into year-long field test of the ACFT involving 63 battalions of active, National Guard and Reserve soldiers.

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Astronaut Anne McClain, USMA 2002, Returns from Space Station Mission

NASA astronaut Anne McClain and two of her Expedition 59 crewmates returned to Earth from the International Space Station Monday, landing safely in Kazakhstan at 10:47 p.m. EDT (8:47 a.m. Tuesday, June 25, local time) after months of science and four spacewalks aboard the microgravity laboratory.

McClain, Expedition 59/Soyuz Commander Oleg Kononenko of the Russian space agency Roscosmos and David Saint-Jacques of the Canadian Space Agency launched Dec. 3, 2018. They arrived at the space station just six hours later to begin their 204-day mission, during which they orbited Earth 3,264 times traveling 86,430,555 miles.

After post-landing medical checks, McClain and Saint-Jacques will return to Houston and Kononenko to Star City, Russia.

The Expedition 59 crew contributed to hundreds of experiments in biology, biotechnology, physical science and Earth science, including investigations into small devices that replicate the structure and function of human organs, editing DNA in space for the first time and recycling 3D-printed material.

McClain, a lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Army and native of Spokane, Washington, conducted two spacewalks totaling 13 hours and 8 minutes on her mission into space.

Saint-Jacques, also on his first space mission and only the sixth Canadian astronaut to perform a spacewalk, joined McClain on her second outing, which totaled 6 hours and 29 minutes. Kononenko, on his fourth mission, conducted two spacewalks totaling 13 hours and 46 minutes, bringing his career total to 32 hours and 13 minutes spread over five spacewalks.

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WP-ORG e-mail problem resolved.

We deeply apologize for the inconvenience of lost email for the past 12 hours (from around 2:30A Eastern on 6/23 – 2:45 6/24). Any email sent to a WP-ORG email address during that time was sadly lost, related to a temporary configuration issue. The problem has been resolved.