Cutter Eagle to Undergo Phase II Overhaul

The 79-year old Coast Guard cutter Eagle made quite a sight as it returned to Coast Guard Yard in Curtis Bay, Baltimore, for Phase II of its almost $30 million overhaul. Read more »

Officer Candidate Tests for Dummies (Book Review)

In the US Military, most of the branches have different qualification tests to become an officer. Officer Candidate Tests for Dummies attempts to prepare the reader to tackle the common elements between all of the tests. You won't find much in this book about the flight and navigation questions you'll see in the Air Force, but all of the English, math, science, mechanical, and electricity questions are all explained here.

On top of that, OCT for Dummies provides tips on how to take tests, best discern word problems, study effectively, and navigate the questions. Not only is this book a resource for those wanting to become an officer, this book is just as good, if not slightly better, than the couple of ASVAB practice books I've read. Since US Army officers take the ASVAB as part of their OCT, a potential enlisted person should read this book as well before taking the ASVAB.

Read more, so I can explain.

Read more »

Tuition Assistance Down, Post-9/11 GI Bill Up

According to a report by MilitaryTimes.com, the number of service members using the tuition assistance benefit for active-duty soldiers has dropped over the past fiscal year, while the number of veterans and their families that have been using the Post-9/11 GI Bill has risen. Read more »

Education Benefit Transfer Rules May Change

In a bid to encourage enlistment and retention, the Senate version of the annual defense authorization bill includes a recommendation that the Pentagon tighten the rules that allow soldiers to transfer their Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits to family members. Read more »

USCG Ending Ground Mission in Afghanistan

Ever since 2003 the US Coast Guard has had small teams on the ground in Afghanistan to inspect and certify shipments heading from the war back to the US, but now with combat operations in Afghanistan ending months ago, that team's mission is ending, and the Coast Guard is pulling out of Afghanistan all together. Read more »

To Fight Drug Smuggling, USCG Fleet Needs Upgrades

The Coast Guard's ability to interdict drug smugglers and immigrants in the Gulf of Mexico has fallen steadily since the 2009 sequestration cuts, and it is asking for more money in fiscal year 2016 to help turn the tide. Read more »

The VA, One Year Later

It's been about a year since it was revealed that a VA hospital in Phoenix was concealing wait times for soldiers' care and that soldiers have died while waiting for care, and while progress has been made, not everyone is satisfied. Read more »

Military Personnel System In Need of an Overhaul

After only 5 weeks on the job, Defense Secretary Ash Carter is worried about both recruiting and retaining the best soldiers for America's military in the coming years. To that end, DefSec Carter has come up with a dramatic change to the US military's personnel system and structure.

Some of his proposed changes:

  • Change the promotion system to put increased weight on skill and merit, and less emphasis on seniority.

President, Defense Secretary Both Support Retirement Overhaul

The call to change military retirement benefits has gotten some support from those in the upper levels of the government, as both the White House and Defense Secretary Ash Carter both support the idea of overhauling the military retirement system. Read more »

Defense Budget Woes...Again

Both Defense Secretary Ashton Carter and Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Dempsey testified in mid-March that the House defense budget, which uses emergency war funding to skirt defense spending limits, would be vetoed by the President if it passes through Congress.

The budget proposal, which would maintain the $523 billion cap for base spending and put $94 billion into the OCO fund, came from fiscal conservatives in the House Budget Committee. Other budgets have proposed exceeding the base budget cap and providing $577 billion for the base budget with $51 billion for the OCO fund. Read more »

Coast Guard Anchor Line

North Korea's Kim Jong Un to skip China's massive WWII parade

Kim Jong Un also didn't attend the equivalent celebrations in May in Russia, North Korea's other main ally, prompting speculation that the scion of a personality cult didn't want to share the spotlight with other world leaders for his first overseas foray.
38 min 15 sec ago

North Korea denies it apologized over mine blast that maimed SKorean soldiers

North Korea has denied Seoul's claim that Pyongyang's recent expression of "regret" after a marathon negotiating session is an apology for a mine explosion that maimed two South Korean soldiers.
44 min 58 sec ago

Obama plans to boost icebreaker fleet

The announcement to boost the icebreaker fleet was an acknowledgment that the U.S. has fallen behind other nations, especially Russia, which possesses 40 icebreakers and has plans to add at least 11 more.
2 hours 6 min ago

US military probe into unsolved murders leaves Afghans dubious

The unsolved murders that unfolded between 2012 and 2013 remain among the most sensitive controversies of the American military presence in Afghanistan.
3 hours 29 min ago

Millions affected by massive OPM hack to get credit monitoring

Millions of people affected by the June data breach at the Office of Personnel Management will receive three years of credit monitoring and identity theft insurance, the agency announced Tuesday.
3 hours 52 min ago

Death toll climbs to 7 in Legionnaires' outbreak at veterans facility

The death toll from a Legionnaires' disease outbreak at a western Illinois veterans facility has climbed to seven, with the state's public health director suggesting more fatalities are likely.
4 hours 16 min ago