Browsing: Congress

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…

Army Times managing editor Richard Sandza appeared on HuffPost Live last night to discuss his front-page report on child abuse in the Army. His research found 30,000 cases of abuse in recent years, including 118 deaths. Further, there was a 28% increase in cases between 2008 and 2011. Click here to see what Richard and experts had to say about the trend.

It’s finally happening: the Army, Marines, Navy and Air Force will soon be wearing the same camouflage pattern. Maybe. A House panel voted last week to force the services into settling on a pattern and implementing it by October 2018. The bill is likely to pass the House of Representatives, but House members are worried that service leaders will make a strong plea to the Senate to keep their troops in service-specific camo. The bill does include some exceptions for desert and woodland patterns, and each service would be able to keep its differing shades of combat boots and headwear.…

Things got awfully testy at a House Armed Services Committee hearing yesterday, as Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-Calif.) berated Chief of Staff of the Army Gen. Ray Odierno and Secretary of the Army John McHugh over an Army program. It gets good around 3:00, when McHugh and Odierno finally get a chance to respond. From Marcus Weisgerber at Defense News: Typically military posture hearings are a chance for lawmakers to grandstand and spout political soundbites that they promote to constituents in their home districts. Those at the witness table often stick to their script of talking points, rarely deviating from the party line,…

Congress is taking a vacation next week — on the eve of what’s been called the biggest potential fiscal disaster to hit the nation in decades, when massive, across-the-board budget cuts begin wreaking havoc on the Pentagon and all other federal agencies. Talk about whistling past the graveyard. The sequestration ax adds big drama to this particular hiatus. But it’s hardly unusual for House and Senate lawmakers; the congressional work schedule has withered on the vine for years. At this writing, there have been 32 regular “workdays” so far this year — Monday through Friday, federal holidays excluded. The House…

An Internet rumor that American troops in Afghanistan no longer get breakfast has prompted a response from the Pentagon via Twitter. A chain email says the last-minute deal Congress passed to avoid the so-called “fiscal cliff” also denies breakfast to troops in Afghanistan. The email garnered enough attention that rumor-debunking site Snopes.com picked up on it and rated the email “partly true” since some bases stopped serving hot breakfasts as they get ready for the drawdown. From Snopes: It isn’t true that, due to fiscal cliff-related budget cuts, breakfast has been completely eliminated for all U.S. troops stationed outside the…

It’s no secret that military programs are under close scrutiny as spending is cut. The inevitable power struggle has left a presidential budget seeking one thing, think-tanks and pundits demanding something else, winded lobbyists arguing their cases and Congress adding to the quagmire. So who has final say as to what military programs are a “go” or “no go?” When a panel testifying before the House Armed Services Committee said that power resides with the president, Rep. Roscoe Bartlett, R-Md., did something unheard of. At a House Armed Services Subcommittee hearing Thursday, he pulled out the Constitution. Here’s what he…

Some funding for the Ground Combat Vehicle remains on hold after the Army failed to provide a detailed report on the costly program by Jan. 15, a deadline required by the 2011 National Defense Authorization Act. The Army on Jan. 13 submitted an interim report to Congress, stating the report was not complete and would be submitted in late March, said Army spokeswoman Lt. Col. Alayne Conway. The report will include an analysis of alternatives with technical data and an explanation of any plans to adjust the program requirements during the technology development phase. The authorization act puts a hold…

The number of reported sexual harassment and assaults at the three service academies is up 61 percent from last year, according to this story. Pentagon officials say the rise could be due to an increase in education and training. There were 41 incidents reported for the 2009-2010 school year, up from 25 last year, according to this annual report required by Congress. In the year before the survey, 12.9 percent of women and 1.9 percent of men indicated experiencing unwanted sexual contact, and 56 percent of women and 12 percent of men indicated experiencing sexual harassment. According to the survey…

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