The best and brightest from this week's Army Times



GI Bill transfer deadline looms for QSP soldiers

Soldiers considered for involuntary separation by the Qualitative Service Program boards that met last fall face an approaching deadline if they want to transfer Post-9/11 GI Bill education benefits to dependents.

QSP screenings were held in October for sergeants first class and in November for command sergeants major and sergeants major.

The official results of those retention screenings will be approved Jan. 31.


Bill lets commanders ask about troops’ guns

Commanders can again ask troops whether they own a firearm or have access to one if they think a service member poses a suicide risk or might hurt somebody, under a new law.

The question is meant to persuade troubled troops to consider temporarily giving up any personal weapons they could use to harm themselves, a practice known as “voluntary means restriction.”

Earlier legislation, the 2011 Defense Authorization Act, prohibited military leaders from collecting or recording data on gun ownership by military members who lived off base.


Women OK’d for special operations

Women have been cleared for Army special operations.

The Army is recruiting women to become pilots and crew chiefs for the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment for the first time as part of its ongoing effort to expand roles for women in the service.

The move by the 160th is the result of an appeal by Army Chief of Staff Gen. Ray Odierno to expand combat roles for women.

“We are looking for women to serve in the cockpit. We’ll start with a pilot [trial]program, and assuming there’s no significant issues, we’ll integrate women,” said Brig. Gen Clayton Hutmacher, the commander of Army Special Operations Aviation Command. “We plan on going out and actively recruiting women. We’re fully supportive of this initiative.”


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