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 »

Service-Wide PT Test Cancelled

After more than 2 years of testing, research, and development, Coast Guard officials have decided not to implement a service-wide fitness test. Read more »

Military Pay Raises Not Keeping Pace with Private Sector

Although the 2016 Defense budget calls for a 1.3 percent raise in basic pay for soldiers and their families, the paychecks for military members are still getting smaller according to Col. Mike Hayden (USAF, ret.), the director of government relations for the Military Officers Association of America. Read more »

Pentagon Advises Employees to Remain Vigilant

The Pentagon's internal security agency, the Pentagon Force Protection Agency, sent out an internal memo to its personnel last week that they could potentially be targets for ISIL or other terrorist groups, and to take appropriate precautions. Read more »

USCG Cutter Fires at Iranian Vessel

Both the US Coast Guard and the Iranian Navy have confirmed that a single shot was fired from the USCG cutter Monomoy late last month. Read more »

Order of 8 USCG Cutters Assured

The Coast Guard's National Security Cutter (NSC) is among the largest and most sophisticated cutters ever designed by the Coast Guard, and while the USCG originally wanted 8, the looming and ever-present budget cuts threatened to reduce that number down to 6. In late June of this year, however, the Coast Guard was given assurances that all 8 would be made as ordered. Read more »

Early Retirement Program May Open for Enlisted

Coast Guard officers that have between 15 and 19 years of service come Oct. 1, 2015 can apply for an early retirement with the USCG's Temporary Early Retirement Authority (TERA) between now and August 15.

TERA allows some Coast Guard officers that might be interested in starting a second career a chance to start that sooner, while still receiving some retirement pay and trimming the USCG's payroll. Read more »

China Boards USCG Cutter - In Multinational Exercise

The Chinese Navy boarded a US Coast Guard cutter off the coast of Hawaii just this past week, but there's nothing to worry about - it's all part of the drill.

The Chinese sailors from the destroyer Haikou boarded the USCG cutter Waesche as part of a counter piracy exercise. Counter piracy is just one of the many exercises that take place during the Rim of the Pacific exercises hosted by the United States off the coast of Hawaii. Read more »

Coast Guard Anchor Line

As administration wages war on legal marijuana, military veterans side with pot

Frustrated by federal laws restricting their access to a drug many rely on to help treat post-traumatic stress disorder, chronic pain and opioid addiction, veterans have become an influential lobbying force.
9 hours 15 min ago

Trump's immigration crackdown is stressing out deployed US troops

"Parole in place" reprieves, known inside the military as PIP, are meant to keep deployed service members focused by easing any worry about the safety of undocumented spouses and immediate family back home.
9 hours 27 min ago

Coast Guard to enforce US pot laws on water

Since Jan. 30, adult Maine residents can legally possess up to 2.5 ounces of marijuana and grow as many as six flowering pot plants.
10 hours 31 min ago

Old Ironsides restored, returns to harbor

The Constitution, launched in 1797, has undergone waves of major repairs since the 1830s, with the most recent prior restoration being a three-year comprehensive structural project that ended in 1995 ahead of its 200th anniversary.
10 hours 36 min ago

Col. Michael Downs bids farewell to San Angelo

Michael Downs relinquished command of the 17th Training Wing to Col. Ricky Mills during the base's change of command ceremony on Friday.
10 hours 49 min ago

Taliban capture two more districts as summertime fighting continues

The Taliban seized control of two districts in different areas of Afghanistan in a matter of hours, official said Sunday — the latest advances by the militants, who have vowed to step up attacks as the year progresses.
11 hours 56 min ago