Tagged: service

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Ellison Wants Answers About White Supremacists in the Military

Rep. Keith Ellison[1] wants the Pentagon to disclose any information it has about white supremacists currently serving in the the military[2].

The Minnesota Democrat sent a letter to Defense Secretary James Mattis last week asking about “steps currently being taken to screen recruits for extremist ties,” Military Times reported.

Ellison’s letter came after a ProPublica and “Frontline” report found that three active duty service members were associated with Atomawaffen, a white supremacist group that has been tied to five murders in the past year.

“The involvement of service members in white supremacist organizations or other hate groups is cause for significant concern, particularly given their combat and weapons training,” Ellison wrote in his letter[3].

Ellison also pointed to a Military Times survey that found that nearly 25 percent of respondents said they had seen “examples of white nationalism from their fellow service members.”

Similarly, the survey said that 42 percent of non-white troops had personally experienced white nationalism in the military.

Ellison’s letter requested that Mattis produce information on the number of reports of service members with extremist ties for the past five years.

“In addition, I seek information on the steps currently being taken to screen recruits for extremist ties,” he said.

The ProPublica and “Frontline” report highlighted that one member of the Marines was allegedly involved in the racial violence around white nationalist demonstrations in Charlottesville, Virginia, last year.

Since then, Mattis has praised the military’s “widely diverse force.”

Ellison requested that Mattis send the response by May 21.

Watch: Trump Thanks Kanye Again, Mocks Obama on North Korea

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Reports of Sexual Assault in the Military Rise by 10 Percent, Pentagon Finds

WASHINGTON — More than 6,700 Defense Department employees reported being sexually assaulted in the 2017 fiscal year — the highest number since the United States military began tracking reports more than a decade ago, according to Pentagon data released on Monday.

The new data showed a 10 percent increase of military sexual assault reports from the previous fiscal year. The uptick occurred amid a Marine Corps scandal over sharing nude photos and heightened public discourse about sexual harassment in American culture.

Pentagon officials sought to portray the increase as reflective of more troops and military civilians trusting commanders and the military’s judicial system enough to come forward.

In all, 6,769 people reported assaults for the 2017 fiscal year, which ended Sept. 30. It was the largest yearly increase since 2014 and the most reports since the Pentagon started tracking the data in 2006.

Roughly two-thirds of the reports resulted in disciplinary action, the data show. The remaining 38 percent were discounted because evidence was lacking, victims declined to participate in hearings or other reasons.

The Army, Navy and Air Force each saw a roughly 10 percent uptick in sexual assault reports. The increase nearly reached 15 percent in the Marine Corps.

Separately, roughly 700 complaints of sexual harassment were reported across the military in the 2017 fiscal year, according to the Pentagon data. Ninety percent of the reports were from enlisted troops.

In March 2017, a social media group made up of active duty and former Marines was accused of sharing explicit photos of female colleagues, prompting a widespread investigation by the Naval Criminal Investigative Service. A number of Marines were punished, and the service started a campaign to educate its troops on sexual harassment and assault.

Despite efforts to rid the internet of military-themed groups such as the one found last year, others have continued to pop up.

Gen. Robert B. Neller, the Marine Corps commandant, said the service was in a “better place” after the scandal.

Lawmakers have long hammered the military on its predominantly male culture and have sometimes lobbied for military courts to be civilian run so due process is absent of command influence.

Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, who last week called sexual assault a “cancer” in the military, has demanded that leaders throughout the ranks make sure the problem does not spread.

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Army to Test First Next-Gen Ground Combat Vehicles in 2019

Army[1] maneuver officials on Monday said the service’s Next Generation Combat Vehicle will allow it to team manned and unmanned vehicles and create an unbeatable overmatch against enemy armored forces.

Developing the NGCV to replace the fleet of Cold-War era M1 Abrams tanks[2] and Bradley Fighting Vehicles[3] is the Army’s second modernization priority under a new strategy to reform acquisition and modernization.

The Army intends to stand up a new Futures Command this summer, which will oversee cross-functional teams that focus on each of the of the service’s six modernization priorities: long-range precision fires; next-generation combat vehicle; future vertical lift; a mobile and expeditionary network; air and missile defense capabilities; and soldier lethality.

“The Next Generation Combat Vehicle needs to be revolutionary,” Gen Robert Abrams, commander of Forces Command, told an audience at the Association of the United States Army’s Global Force Symposium.

“It’s got to be 10X better than our current fleet and guarantee our overmatch into the future.”

The Army will need such an increase in capability to deal with threats such as Russia’s T14 Armata tank and China’s efforts at improving composite armor and reactive armor combinations on its ground vehicles, said Col. Ryan Janovic, the G2 for Army Forces Command.

Brig. Gen. David Lesperance, deputy commander of the Army’s Maneuver Center of Excellence at Fort Benning[4], Georgia, and leader of the cross-functional team in the effort, said the NGCV will consist initially of three phases of prototyping and experimentation to refine the program’s requirements.

Part of the Army’s intent with its new acquisition and modernization strategy is to develop requirements in two to three years rather than the traditional five-to-seven-year process.

The program will seek to develop the robotic combat vehicle and a manned combat vehicle that can be used in an unmanned role based on the commander’s needs, Lesperance said.

There will be three phases for the “delivery of capability for experimentation” between 2018 and 2024, he said.

By late fiscal 2019, “we will deliver one manned versus two unmanned combat platforms that will initially go through [Army Test and Evaluation Command] testing, then will go through a six-to-nine month, extended experimentation in an operational unit in Forces Command,” Lesperance said.

Army officials will take the results of that effort and use it in the second phase of the program to deliver “a purpose-built robotic combat vehicle and a purpose-built manned fighting vehicle” in 2021 to ATEC and then to operational units at the beginning of second quarter of 2022, he said.

For the third phase, the Army plans to deliver seven manned and 14 unmanned prototypes in late 2023 and into early 2024 “that allow us to look, at a company level, [at] what manned-unmanned teaming could be,” Lesperance said.

“Imagine making contact with the enemy with an unmanned robot, and allowing a decision-maker to understand quicker and then make a better decision out of contact. Then move to a position of advantage to deliver decisive lethality in a way that we do not do now in 100 percent manned platforms,” he said.

“Each phase of the program in 2020, 2022 and 2024 will ultimately allow us to write the best requirement we can come up with based on experimentation, and the analytics to back it up that ultimately allow us to write the right doctrine, develop the right organizations and then deliver the right capability that will be compliant with how we are going to fight differently in the future,” Lesperance said.

— Matthew Cox can be reached at [email protected][5].

Show Full Article[6]

© Copyright 2018 Military.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

References

  1. ^ Army (www.military.com)
  2. ^ M1 Abrams tanks (www.military.com)
  3. ^ Bradley Fighting Vehicles (www.military.com)
  4. ^ Fort Benning (www.military.com)
  5. ^ [email protected] (www.military.com)
  6. ^ Show Full Article (www.military.com)
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Keeping women in the military takes more than just opening up combat roles, committee says

As the military is turning more toward women to fill its ranks, a 67-year-old advisory board is lending a hand to the Defense Department on how to market to and attract women to serve in 2018 and beyond.

The Defense Advisory Committee on Women in the Services released its annual report[1] earlier this month and a large chunk of the recommendations focus on how the military can keep women in the service and keep them from leaving in the middle of their careers.

“There is concern across all of the branches at mid-career retention for women versus men. All of the services in varying career fields, at varying points but still within that mid-range of a 20 year career, they are experiencing challenges with women leaving at higher rates,” said Janet Wolfenbarger, chairwoman of the committee during a March 19 event at the Association of the United States Army in Arlington, Va.

The committee is guiding DoD to possibly retaining more mid-career women with recommendations like making policy changes that make transitions of service members between components and even military services easier.

DoD already adopted one of the committee’s recommendations, which is to start exit surveys to assess why the attrition level for women is higher than men at certain career points.

“It turns out at the time the committee did this work that there wasn’t a concerted effort that got after those exit surveys universally across all those surveys. It turns out that as we were publishing this report we were informed there will be exit surveys,” Wolfenbarger said.

Another issue affecting women mid-career is options for maternity leave.

In 2016, then-Defense Secretary Ash Carter announced[2] an increase in maternity leave to 12 weeks and expanded paternity[3] leave to three weeks.

Wolfenbarger said the committee found there need to be some tweaks to that, specifically how it’s used. The committee recommended allowing flexible, noncontinuous parental leave by request.

“Although current maternity and parental leave policies are a strong step in the right direction, more can be done to tailor leave to families’ unique situations,” the report stated. The flexible option “is one potential way to support a service member after a child joins the member’s family, whether through birth or adoption. The committee believes allowing noncontinuous leave, when requested, could help service members better balance their unique family needs during critical junctures of their lives and, in turn, help support retention efforts.

The committee also suggested removing the stipulation that a couple needs to be married to receive full parental leave benefits.

While the military continues to do its best to retain women in mid-career, it also wants to help recruit new women to the force.

“We had briefings from all across the services on marketing efforts. All of them are doing relative to gaining women who are [eligible] now, who not only qualify but want to raise their hand and serve in the military. Our belief was after listening to some of those marketing approaches … there may have been missed opportunities there from looking at the things women were most interested in, in the [marketing] surveys,” Wolfenbarger said.

The committee suggests tailoring some marketing to women’s specific interests in order to inspire them to join.

“Women were more likely than men to be motivated by travel, education, and helping others and their communities,” the survey stated. “Data such as these can help the military services optimally tailor marketing messages to encourage more women to consider the many benefits of military service. Although a marketing strategy focused on patriotism may have been successful at recruiting men in the past, current data indicate that strategy does not align with the motivations of prospective female military members, and the data also illustrate more effective ways to recruit women.”

The committee also suggests studying best practices of other countries for better recruitment of women.

References

  1. ^ annual report (dacowits.defense.gov)
  2. ^ announced (federalnewsradio.com)
  3. ^ expanded paternity (federalnewsradio.com)
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1ST BRIGADE COMBAT TEAM: 1-32nd CAV demonstrates lethality at gunnery training

Bandits from 1st Squadron, 32nd Cavalry Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division, recently conducted crew gunnery training to confirm mastery of motorized crew fundamentals and maximize lethality.

The two-week gunnery training that ended Friday qualified 49 crews on their assigned machine guns; MK19 grenade launchers; and tube-launched, optically tracked, wire-guided missiles, building crew confidence in the process.

Captain Daniel T. Little, commander, A Troop 1-32nd Cav. Regt., said Bandit troopers need to be proficient in crew tasks and weapons systems so they are able to conduct continuous reconnaissance and surveillance operations in any environment.

“This gunnery exercise tested the Bandits in a variety of harsh weather conditions including periods of daylight and darkness which increased the overall complexity. Crews were forced to transition rapidly between optics and lasers in order to identify and engage multiple targets within the time limit.  Our crews executed their tasks expertly,” Little said.

Specialist Luis Abad, an A Troop gunner, said his favorite part of gunnery was “waking up in the cold” because it built up his character as an individual and Soldier. Not only did gunnery build the grit and resilience of Bandit troopers, but it also reinforced the “deploy and fight now mentality” that is first on the 1st BCT commander’s list of expectations for the Bastogne brigade.

“Anything can happen in combat and gunnery allowed [my] whole crew to move and execute using live rounds, giving everyone a good grasp of what their job is within the truck,” said Spc. Joseph Levato, a B Troop MK19 gunner.

The Bandits recognized the importance of growing as teammates within their crews during gunnery in order to maximize their performance and lethality.

“[Gunnery] helped me develop by giving me a hands on situation for engaging targets while working as a [mounted] team [member], unlike regular ranges that usually focus on individual performance,” said Pfc. Louis Dekany, an A Troop gunner. “It develops everyone’s roles within the team.”

The teamwork of the crews led them to succeed in the competition for the coveted title of “Top Gun,” awarded to the highest-performing crew for each weapon system at gunnery.

Winning crews included Sgt. David Kelly, Spc. Brando Cervantes, and Pvt. James Osburn for the TOW system; Sgt. 1st Class Eric Harder, Sgt. Ayrton Leiser, and Pvt. Brandon Beecher for the MK19; Sgt. Seth Jarrell, Spc. Jonathan Passman, and Pfc. Nickalas Woody for machine gun; and Lt. Col. Adisa King, Spc. Zackery Khan, and Spc. Austin Heiser for the Commander’s Cup on the mine-resistant ambush-protected, all-terrain vehicle. The competition sparked crews to work harder and outperform each other.

Staff Sergeant Anthony Renza, a senior scout in B Troop, said his favorite part of gunnery was “being in the running for Top Gun and seeing [his] crew come alive with motivation and drive to succeed.”

Notably, D Troop successfully qualified nine crews, which is the highest number of qualified crews in any forward support company in Bastogne. D Troop now holds the only qualified crew of food service specialists. This shows the unit’s focus on ensuring every trooper is trained and ready for combat, no matter their military occupational specialty.

The troopers of 1st Squadron developed their fundamental motorized crew skills, contributed to 1-32nd CAV’s readiness, and displayed their proficiency and lethality during gunnery training. The Bandits will continue to train to ensure they have the most lethal crews in the brigade and are ready to fight and conduct reconnaissance whenever called, in any conditions.

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1ST BRIGADE COMBAT TEAM: 1-32nd CAV demonstrates lethality …

Bandits from 1st Squadron, 32nd Cavalry Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division, recently conducted crew gunnery training to confirm mastery of motorized crew fundamentals and maximize lethality.

The two-week gunnery training that ended Friday qualified 49 crews on their assigned machine guns; MK19 grenade launchers; and tube-launched, optically tracked, wire-guided missiles, building crew confidence in the process.

Captain Daniel T. Little, commander, A Troop 1-32nd Cav. Regt., said Bandit troopers need to be proficient in crew tasks and weapons systems so they are able to conduct continuous reconnaissance and surveillance operations in any environment.

“This gunnery exercise tested the Bandits in a variety of harsh weather conditions including periods of daylight and darkness which increased the overall complexity. Crews were forced to transition rapidly between optics and lasers in order to identify and engage multiple targets within the time limit.  Our crews executed their tasks expertly,” Little said.

Specialist Luis Abad, an A Troop gunner, said his favorite part of gunnery was “waking up in the cold” because it built up his character as an individual and Soldier. Not only did gunnery build the grit and resilience of Bandit troopers, but it also reinforced the “deploy and fight now mentality” that is first on the 1st BCT commander’s list of expectations for the Bastogne brigade.

“Anything can happen in combat and gunnery allowed [my] whole crew to move and execute using live rounds, giving everyone a good grasp of what their job is within the truck,” said Spc. Joseph Levato, a B Troop MK19 gunner.

The Bandits recognized the importance of growing as teammates within their crews during gunnery in order to maximize their performance and lethality.

“[Gunnery] helped me develop by giving me a hands on situation for engaging targets while working as a [mounted] team [member], unlike regular ranges that usually focus on individual performance,” said Pfc. Louis Dekany, an A Troop gunner. “It develops everyone’s roles within the team.”

The teamwork of the crews led them to succeed in the competition for the coveted title of “Top Gun,” awarded to the highest-performing crew for each weapon system at gunnery.

Winning crews included Sgt. David Kelly, Spc. Brando Cervantes, and Pvt. James Osburn for the TOW system; Sgt. 1st Class Eric Harder, Sgt. Ayrton Leiser, and Pvt. Brandon Beecher for the MK19; Sgt. Seth Jarrell, Spc. Jonathan Passman, and Pfc. Nickalas Woody for machine gun; and Lt. Col. Adisa King, Spc. Zackery Khan, and Spc. Austin Heiser for the Commander’s Cup on the mine-resistant ambush-protected, all-terrain vehicle. The competition sparked crews to work harder and outperform each other.

Staff Sergeant Anthony Renza, a senior scout in B Troop, said his favorite part of gunnery was “being in the running for Top Gun and seeing [his] crew come alive with motivation and drive to succeed.”

Notably, D Troop successfully qualified nine crews, which is the highest number of qualified crews in any forward support company in Bastogne. D Troop now holds the only qualified crew of food service specialists. This shows the unit’s focus on ensuring every trooper is trained and ready for combat, no matter their military occupational specialty.

The troopers of 1st Squadron developed their fundamental motorized crew skills, contributed to 1-32nd CAV’s readiness, and displayed their proficiency and lethality during gunnery training. The Bandits will continue to train to ensure they have the most lethal crews in the brigade and are ready to fight and conduct reconnaissance whenever called, in any conditions.

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1ST BRIGADE COMBAT TEAM: 1-32nd CAV demonstrates lethality …

Bandits from 1st Squadron, 32nd Cavalry Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division, recently conducted crew gunnery training to confirm mastery of motorized crew fundamentals and maximize lethality.

The two-week gunnery training that ended Friday qualified 49 crews on their assigned machine guns; MK19 grenade launchers; and tube-launched, optically tracked, wire-guided missiles, building crew confidence in the process.

Captain Daniel T. Little, commander, A Troop 1-32nd Cav. Regt., said Bandit troopers need to be proficient in crew tasks and weapons systems so they are able to conduct continuous reconnaissance and surveillance operations in any environment.

“This gunnery exercise tested the Bandits in a variety of harsh weather conditions including periods of daylight and darkness which increased the overall complexity. Crews were forced to transition rapidly between optics and lasers in order to identify and engage multiple targets within the time limit.  Our crews executed their tasks expertly,” Little said.

Specialist Luis Abad, an A Troop gunner, said his favorite part of gunnery was “waking up in the cold” because it built up his character as an individual and Soldier. Not only did gunnery build the grit and resilience of Bandit troopers, but it also reinforced the “deploy and fight now mentality” that is first on the 1st BCT commander’s list of expectations for the Bastogne brigade.

“Anything can happen in combat and gunnery allowed [my] whole crew to move and execute using live rounds, giving everyone a good grasp of what their job is within the truck,” said Spc. Joseph Levato, a B Troop MK19 gunner.

The Bandits recognized the importance of growing as teammates within their crews during gunnery in order to maximize their performance and lethality.

“[Gunnery] helped me develop by giving me a hands on situation for engaging targets while working as a [mounted] team [member], unlike regular ranges that usually focus on individual performance,” said Pfc. Louis Dekany, an A Troop gunner. “It develops everyone’s roles within the team.”

The teamwork of the crews led them to succeed in the competition for the coveted title of “Top Gun,” awarded to the highest-performing crew for each weapon system at gunnery.

Winning crews included Sgt. David Kelly, Spc. Brando Cervantes, and Pvt. James Osburn for the TOW system; Sgt. 1st Class Eric Harder, Sgt. Ayrton Leiser, and Pvt. Brandon Beecher for the MK19; Sgt. Seth Jarrell, Spc. Jonathan Passman, and Pfc. Nickalas Woody for machine gun; and Lt. Col. Adisa King, Spc. Zackery Khan, and Spc. Austin Heiser for the Commander’s Cup on the mine-resistant ambush-protected, all-terrain vehicle. The competition sparked crews to work harder and outperform each other.

Staff Sergeant Anthony Renza, a senior scout in B Troop, said his favorite part of gunnery was “being in the running for Top Gun and seeing [his] crew come alive with motivation and drive to succeed.”

Notably, D Troop successfully qualified nine crews, which is the highest number of qualified crews in any forward support company in Bastogne. D Troop now holds the only qualified crew of food service specialists. This shows the unit’s focus on ensuring every trooper is trained and ready for combat, no matter their military occupational specialty.

The troopers of 1st Squadron developed their fundamental motorized crew skills, contributed to 1-32nd CAV’s readiness, and displayed their proficiency and lethality during gunnery training. The Bandits will continue to train to ensure they have the most lethal crews in the brigade and are ready to fight and conduct reconnaissance whenever called, in any conditions.