Posts tagged military
Posts tagged military
Time magazine Washington deputy bureau chief Mark Thompson on Tuesday’s episode of PBS Newshour, talking about an annual Pentagon study on sexual assault in the United States military released on the same day:
This is a longstanding problem. I was on this show 16 years ago talking about it.
That line really stuck with me, although the whole thing isn’t quite as gloomy as those two sentences might imply; Thompson feels we may have reached a turning point with the culture of silence.
And you gotta love a guy who replies to the customary closing of “thanks a lot for being with us” with “you bet.”
David Crary writing for the Associated Press:
Prior to repeal, various conservative groups and individuals — including many conservative retired chaplains — warned that repeal would trigger an exodus of chaplains whose faiths consider homosexual activity to be sinful. In fact, there’s been no significant exodus — perhaps two or three departures of active-duty chaplains linked to the repeal. Moreover, chaplains or their civilian coordinators from a range of conservative faiths told The Associated Press they knew of virtually no serious problems thus far involving infringement of chaplains’ religious freedom or rights of conscience.
According to this piece published on September 22, 2011, there were 2,900 chaplains on active duty in the U.S. military at the time.
W.J. Hennigan wrote a pretty nice piece for the Los Angeles Times about the use of smartphone and tablet technology by the U.S. military:
Frustrated that he had to flip through dozens of maps stuffed inside his chopper, Carlson, 31, loaded the documents onto his personal iPad, enabling him to zoom in, zoom out and quickly move from one map to another.
Carlson’s brainstorm shortened the time it took to pinpoint a location from “three minutes to about 30 seconds,” he recalled recently, and it soon helped change the way the military is thinking about warfare. The Marines now have more than 30 iPads in cockpits across their fleet of helicopters and fighter jets.
The Army is using iPhones, Androids and BlackBerrys in mock wartime situations in New Mexico and Texas.
Such devices are coming in handy in simulated security raids and checkpoint stops to take pictures of Arabic writing and gather biometric data, such as fingerprints and iris scans, McCarthy said.
Wendell Marsh for Reuters:
The U.S. Army’s chief medical facility, Walter Reed Army Medical Center, retired its ceremonial flags on Wednesday, as it closes its historic facility after more than a century of treating wounded American fighters and presidents.
The complex in northwest Washington near the Maryland border shifts most of its operations in August and finally shuts its doors on September 15 as a part of a consolidation with the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland.
The new facility will be called the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center and will have campuses in Bethesda and Fort Belvoir, Va.
In 2007, there was a bit of a scandal involving patient neglect and poor maintenance, where patients were kept in a building infested by rats, cockroaches, and mold. It may have contributed to the replacing of Walter Reed, but the Department of Defense had started planning a new facility in 2005.
Still though, there’s 102 years of history there. I’ve linked to MSNBC’s page for this story, which includes a slideshow of fourteen pictures of or related to the facility.
The title of this piece by Elisabeth Bumiller for The New York Times is really “Obama Ends ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ Policy,” but that’s not quite accurate, as it won’t end for another sixty days:
President Obama formally certified on Friday that the American military is ready for the repeal of the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy as Pentagon officials said that nearly two million service members had been trained in preparation for gay men and women serving openly in their ranks.
Enactment of the repeal will come in 60 days, on Sept. 20. The two-month waiting period is called for in the legislation passed late last year that ended “don’t ask, don’t tell,” the 17-year-old law that banned openly gay men, lesbians and bisexuals from military service.
“As of Sept. 20, service members will no longer be forced to hide who they are in order to serve our country,” Mr. Obama said in a statement. He signed the certification, along with Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta and Adm. Mike Mullen, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, about 3:30 p.m. in the Oval Office.
The certification comes after an extended preparation period, sought by military leaders and Pentagon officials, many of whom were initially reluctant to end the policy in the middle of two wars. Pentagon officials said they would use the 60-day period to review the possibility of extending some limited health, housing and legal benefits to same-sex couples.
The 60-day period is in the legislation because of the late Senator Robert C. Byrd of West Virginia, who as his price for supporting the bill in May 2010 demanded that the measure return to Congress for a two-month review period. It is unclear to what extent Congress will review the law and whether any hearings will be held.
Of course, as recently as last week, the Department of Justice was still trying to keep DADT in place. But progress in two months is progress.