The best and brightest from this week’s Army Times


Staff sergeants in 58 MOSs face involuntary separation

Staff sergeants in 58 military occupational specialties will be the focus of an involuntary separation review by boards that convene in early February.

The Qualitative Service Program screenings apply to staff sergeants of the Regular Army and the Active Guard and Reserve (Army Reserve) who meet the following |criteria:

* Were promoted to staff sergeant Feb. 4, 2009, or earlier.

* Entered active service Feb. 5, 1992, or later.

The upcoming boards will be the first to screen staff sergeants.

The QSP panels will meet in conjunction with the sergeant first class promotion boards that convene Feb. 4 at Fort Knox, Ky.


Allegations against top brass raise accountability questions

For many troops, it came as no shock to learn that Marine Gen. John Allen was taking time away from his job as commander of the Afghanistan War to trade allegedly racy emails with a |37-year-old socialite from Florida.

The real surprise was that a four-star officer came under serious scrutiny for such actions.

“It’s about time those guys get caught doing something,” said one Army captain, who requested anonymity before speaking about senior commanders. “Not that I’m wishing ill on anyone, but for quite some time, a flag officer or a general officer in our force has been almost untouchable.”


Blackheart executes sniper ambush in support of Afghan troops

The scout snipers of Blackheart 2 peered through footwide murder holes they had punched in the wall of a mud compound, waiting patiently for the opportunity to kill Taliban fighters. Finally, a window emerged: Several children they’d been observing wandered away.

Cpl. Jon-Paul Abatte and Sgt. Diego Hernandez, known to his teammates as Flea, scanned the area through separate holes placed about 15 feet apart. Each scout sniper was crouched in front of an M110 7.62mm semi-automatic sniper rifle perched on a tripod. A third Marine, Lance Cpl. Tucker Jones, observed through binoculars from another murder hole, while Lance Cpl. Paul Maxinoski lay in the prone position about 50 feet away, eyes trained through the scope of a monster M107 .50-caliber sniper rifle on a small bipod.


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