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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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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Troops in Iraq see spike in ‘indirect fire’ attacks

As tensions with Iran mount, U.S. officials say they have noticed a spike in the amount of mortar and rocket fire hitting targets in Iraq.

No one has come forward to take claim, but experts contacted by Military Times say there is an ongoing effort by Iran and its proxy militias in Iraq to make things more difficult for the U.S. across the region.

Indirect fire and rocket attacks over the last two months have come close to hitting U.S. military bases and American interests in Iraq from Basra to Mosul.

U.S. military officials with Operation Inherent Resolve, or OIR, told Military Times that the recent spate of “indirect fire” attacks reflected an “increase” in the number of incidents. Military officials did not provide details on the number and nature of attacks.

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Medic Testifies That He, Not Eddie Gallagher, Was Responsible for Militant’s Death

A medic testifying in the trial of Navy SEAL Edward Gallagher — who is accused of killing an injured ISIS prisoner of war in Iraq — has shockingly testified Thursday that he is the one who killed the militant, not Gallagher.

The medic told a court at Naval Base San Diego that he killed the fighter by asphyxiation. He also testified that Gallagher stabbed the fighter, but did not kill him.

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SEAL war crimes trial begins

A decorated Navy SEAL stabbed to death a wounded and captive teenage Islamic State fighter in Iraq and then bragged about it, a military prosecutor told jurors Tuesday during opening statements in a politically charged court-martial.

Lt. Brian John projected a photo of the dead prisoner in the military courtroom, along with a text message that Special Warfare Operator Chief Edward “Eddie” Gallagher sent to friends.

“Good story behind this,” Gallagher wrote. “Got him with my hunting knife.”

The defense told the jury that Gallagher treated the militant’s wounds and didn’t kill him. Attorney Tim Parlatore, who has claimed the text was an attempt at dark humor, said there’s no body, autopsy or any forensic evidence to show a killing happened.

He says the case was built on lies by junior SEALs who hated Gallagher.

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