Military

National Security
4:55 pm
Sun March 16, 2014

Uniform Rule May Keep Religious Americans From Military Service

Dr. Kamal Kalsi had to apply for special permission from the Department of Defense in order to keep his beard and turban while serving in the military.
Timothy A. Clary AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed March 19, 2014 12:23 pm

Monday, 105 lawmakers from both parties sent a letter to Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel, urging him to change a relatively obscure uniform requirement for the U.S. armed forces that some argue infringes on religious beliefs.

People who observe religions that require specific hair or dress traditions have to seek an accommodation from a superior to break the Defense Department's uniform requirements.

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Military
12:15 pm
Fri March 14, 2014

Independent Commission Says No Medical Reason To Prohibit Transgender Soldiers

Eileen Pace

A new report c0-authored by a former U.S. Surgeon General calls into question the decades-old ban on transgender Americans serving in the military.

The study, released Thursday, says that there is no compelling medical reason for the U.S. military to prohibit transgender people from serving in the military.

The Transgender Military Service Commission went on to say that President Obama could lift the ban without going through Congress.

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Military
1:01 pm
Thu March 13, 2014

Fort Sam Gunman Pleads Guilty To Shooting Army Captain

A retired Army sergeant admitted to going onto the post at Fort Sam Houston and shooting his girlfriend, an Army Captain
Eileen Pace

A retired army sergeant is facing up to 20 years in federal prison for shooting an Army captain at Fort Sam Houston. 

52-year-old Alvin Roundtree pled guilty in federal court Wednesday on one count of assaulting an officer or employee of the United States with a deadly weapon. He admitted to shooting his live-in girlfriend multiple times after she told him she was leaving him. 

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The Source - February 26, 2014
4:56 pm
Wed February 26, 2014

The Source: Defense Budget Cuts

The Pentagon
Greg West / Flikr User: gregwest98

Secretary of Defense, Chuck Hagel, outlined his vision for the future of the Defense Department Monday in a speech to the press. A very different military is coming down the line. A different world requiring different objectives, and a different set of budget realities, have led to the proposal.

Cuts to troops, vehicles, and benefits for soldiers are all part of the outlined packaged. Several media outlets have talked about pre-1940 levels, but is there any truth to it?

Guests:

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Movie Reviews
11:39 am
Fri January 10, 2014

Courage Under Fire In "Lone Survivor"

L to R: Taylor Kitsch, Mark Wahlberg, Ben Foster, and Emile Hirsch
Universal Pictures

I’m guessing that anyone that goes to see a movie named “Lone Survivor” will assume from the title of the film that only one man comes out alive, right? And that when the producer of the film, Mark Wahlberg, is also the star, that he’ll be the said survivor, yes? Wahlberg plays Houston-born Navy SEAL Marcus Luttrell, who with three fellow SEALs was ambushed by Taliban forces during a special operation on a remote Afghani mountain in 2005.

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NPR News Investigations
4:27 pm
Mon January 6, 2014

Army Takes On Its Own Toxic Leaders

NPR interviewed dozens of current or former soldiers who said they have struggled under toxic leaders.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Tue January 7, 2014 10:15 am

Top commanders in the U.S. Army have announced publicly that they have a problem: They have too many "toxic leaders" — the kind of bosses who make their employees miserable. Many corporations share a similar problem, but in the Army's case, destructive leadership can potentially have life or death consequences. So, some Army researchers are wondering if toxic officers have contributed to soldiers' mental health problems.

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Around the Nation
2:01 am
Mon January 6, 2014

An Honorable Last Wish For A Dying Marine

Hal Faulkner (left), 79, receives his new papers from two Marines after having his military status changed to "honorable discharge" at a recent ceremony. Faulkner was kicked out of the Marine Corps in 1956 for being gay.
Courtesy of Phil Latzman

Originally published on Mon January 6, 2014 7:03 am

Hal Faulkner is 79 years old and he's already lived months longer than his doctors predicted.

"I don't know what to say, it's just incredible that I'm still here," Faulkner says in a halting voice made gruff by age and cancer.

Faulkner joined the Marines in 1953, and served in the Philippines. In 1956, he got kicked out with an "undesirable discharge" for being gay. His military papers said "homosexual" on them, quite an obstacle in the 1950s.

Still, Faulkner moved on, and had a successful career in sales.

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National Security
2:24 am
Fri December 27, 2013

Marines: Most Female Recruits Don't Meet New Pullup Standard

Female Marine recruits train on the rifle range during boot camp at Parris Island, S.C., on Feb. 25. The Marine Corps said it has postponed new physical standards that would require women to do three pullups, noting that many female recruits were not yet able to do so.
Scott Olson Getty Images

Originally published on Fri December 27, 2013 7:06 am

Starting Jan. 1, every woman in the Marines Corps was supposed to meet a new physical standard by performing three pullups. But that has been put off.

The Marine Corps announced it quietly. There was no news conference — just a notice on its social media sites and an item on its own TV show, The Corps Report.

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BIbliotech And Service Members
4:42 pm
Tue December 3, 2013

Even Overseas, Bexar County Service Members Can Check Out Books From BiblioTech

Joey Palacios TPR News

As Bexar County’s digital bookless library nears three months in operation, service men and women overseas from Bexar County will receive their own library cards in the mail.

Use of BiblioTech is reserved for people who live within Bexar County, even if those people are thousands of miles away. Over the next few weeks, BiblioTech staff are mailing 8000 personal letters to the men and women in the armed forces from Bexar County . In each envelope, a library card with their login information so they can download their own books.

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National Security
11:13 am
Thu June 20, 2013

At A Texas Base, Battling Army's Top Threat: Suicide

Soldiers approach armored vehicles after a training exercise at Fort Bliss, Texas, in January.
Juan Carlos Llorca AP

Originally published on Thu June 20, 2013 5:42 pm

Suicide killed more American troops last year than combat in Afghanistan, and that is likely to be the case again this year.

According to the Pentagon, there were at least 349 confirmed suicides in 2012, compared with 310 U.S. combat deaths in Afghanistan in the same period.

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