Author Toni Rico

Her heart might have been breaking into a thousand pieces, but retired Army Capt. Zaira Yhap-Serrano enlisted her son, Andrew Yhap-Serrano, into the Army Aug. 12 at Fort Sam Houston, Texas. Initially Yhap-Serrano said she tried to talk her son out of enlisting, but came to the decision that she had to respect his choice. “As an Army officer, it is the highest privilege and honor to recite the Oath of Enlistment to a recruit, but as a mother… I don’t know how I did it,” she said. Nonetheless she said enlisting her son was one of her proudest moments…

From the retro vault: Yes, the Army once had a video series titled “Military Etiquette and Grooming” (something a few soldiers might think is still needed today), but instead of the film focusing on proper wear of the uniform, the Army wanted to teach female soldiers … proper dating etiquette? Yes ladies, “The Pleasure of Your Company,” one of the films in the series, teaches you that if you have just joined the Army it is best you learn to let a man order dinner for you on a date. That part comes in at minute 6:01, but if you…

You’ve all experienced it, seen it happen or heard about it. A civilian comes up to a soldier trying to start a conversation and then asks:  “Have you ever killed anybody?” They might take it a step further and ask “What was it like?” Inspired by a YouTube video called “S— Civilians Say to Veterans,” Army Times asked soldiers about the stupidest, strangest or outrageous questions or comments they’ve heard from civilians about their service. Check out today’s issue of Army Times for more stupid questions and share your own stories in the comments below or by tweeting @ArmyTimes using…

By  Jeff Schogol In one of the most sickening displays of disrespect toward a veteran since the Vietnam War, students swore at and harassed retired Army Gen. David Petraeus, who recently began teaching a class at the City University of New York. A video posted on Youtube titled “CUNY Students Confront War Criminal David Petraeus” shows Petraeus walking through a gauntlet of students who aggressively taunt him for close to 90 seconds. “There’s blood all over you, I can smell it,” one student yells. Petraeus, who served as the top U.S. commander in both Iraq and Afghanistan,  takes the abuse…

Today we all pause to remember that awful day. Army spokesman George Wright tweeted out a picture of the flight path of American Airlines Flight 77, which crashed into the Pentagon on 9/11. The floor plan shows the devastating impact the attack had on the Army’s G-1 personnel office. Lt. Gen. Timothy Joseph Maude, deputy chief of staff for personnel, was killed that morning, with many others. The G-1 office took a direct hit that day; Maude was the highest ranking member of the military who was killed in the Pentagon attack. In addition to Maude, the personnel office lost 28 people.…

Our top story today finds out who are the most decorated combat heroes from the post 9/11 era.  Army, Navy and Air Force service members make our list of the top 10, but not Marines. Experts say that is because the Marines have tougher standards for awarding combat valor medals than other services. Find out more about this new generation of combat heroes in the Sept. 16 issue of the Army Times and leave your thoughts and comments below. In tough news for service members, President Obama is asking for a 1 percent pay raise for service members on…

Spotted on the web: Urban Outfitters military-inspired clothing includes a vest with a 3rd Ranger Battalion scroll over the top left-breast pocket. Some in the military community were upset about it, and eventually Urban Outfitters removed the item from their website, although when you click on the original link the site says the vest is “sold out.” A screenshot of the original vest appears above. Other military themed clothing remains on the website, including jean jackets with Army and Air Force ranks, although other items with unit patches seemed to have been removed. What do you think? Was the vest…

Our top story this week: Active and Reserve soldiers who are selected for involuntary separation can choose the 15-year retirement option, which will be offered again this year. But it’s only open to certain soldiers. Find out who qualifies, and what happens to your retirement pay, in this week’s Army Times. Also on the cover, for service members, veterans and retirees the threat of delayed paychecks in November is looming as Congress returns Sept. 9 from a summer break, with strong odds of another round of sequestration. If lawmakers and the White House fail to reach an agreement on spending…

Almost half of soldiers don’t think the Army’s got their six, that’s according to an annual leadership survey. The survey showed 47 percent of active-duty soldiers and 42 percent of reserve-component soldiers agreed or strongly agreed that “the Army no longer demonstrates that it is committed to me as much as it expects me to be committed.” Do you think Big Army is looking out for you? Meanwhile, commanders at four major posts are restricting sales of liquor at PXs, or are considering it. Who is affected? Soldiers at Fort Bliss, Texas; Fort Bragg, N.C.; Fort Hood, Texas; and Army…

A recent news report says Mexican drug cartels are recruiting from the military ranks. An article on FOXNews.com is sounding the alarm on drug cartels recruiting hit men from the Army. The article makes its case on the apprehension of three former Army soldiers in the last several years. FOXNews.com mentions the recent sentencing of Michael Apodaca, a private first class who was stationed at Fort Bliss, Texas. He did a hit for a drug cartel and was sentenced to life in prison July 25. Apodaca was first arrested for the contract killing in 2009. The article also mentions a…

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