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

Syrian experts visit critical dam spillway near main Islamic State base

Syrian engineers and Red Crescent officials on Wednesday visited a spillway of a key dam west of the Islamic State group's stronghold of Raqqa, opening the gates and relieving pressure, according to the aid organization and Syrian Kurdish media.
3 hours 3 min ago

Michigan Air Force base commends 'nose art' painters

Three artists who designed "nose art" for U.S. military aircrafts were recognized at a Michigan Air National Guard 127th Wing ceremony for continuing the long-held tradition in military avionics.
3 hours 3 min ago

VA smoking ban gets first hearing in House

The Department of Veterans Affairs has attempted for years to rally congressional support against a 25-year-old mandate that there must be smoking areas at its health care facilities. At a Wednesday hearing, a bill finally introduced to repeal that law was discussed publicly for the first time.
3 hours 21 min ago

CENTCOM: Avoiding civilian casualties in Mosul will become more difficult

Avoiding civilian casualties in Iraq will become more difficult as the battle to recapture western Mosul from the Islamic State group intensifies, Army Gen. Joseph Votel told House lawmakers on Wednesday.
3 hours 53 min ago

Former Minot commander promoted to brigadier general

The former commander of the 5th Bomb Wing at Minot Air Force Base has been confirmed by the U.S. Senate to the rank of brigadier general.
4 hours 5 min ago

Japan's Self-Defense Forces to guard US vessels in drill

The Japanese and U.S. governments have begun arranging for Self-Defense Forces ships, by this summer, to protect U.S. military vessels for the first time in peacetime, it has been learned.
4 hours 7 min ago