Category Archives: Veterans Affairs

Joint Chiefs to Congress: Budget Cuts Will Result in Deaths

Joint Chiefs to Congress: Budget Cuts Will Result in Deaths

Commandant of the Marine Corps General James F. Amos speaks along side Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) Admiral Jonathan Greenert before the House Armed Services Committee in 2012. US Navy Photo

Commandant of the Marine Corps Gen. James F. Amos speaks alongside Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) Adm. Jonathan Greenert before the House Armed Services Committee in 2012. US Navy Photo

The Joint Chiefs of Staff made another round of dire warnings about impending sequestration at a hearing Wednesday, this time telling the House Armed Services Committee who may die because of budget problems — and how.
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CNO's HASC Opening Statement

CNO’s HASC Opening Statement

Adm. Jonathan Greenert with fellow service chiefs addressing Congress in an undated photo. US Navy Photo

Adm. Jonathan Greenert with fellow service chiefs addressing Congress in an undated photo. US Navy Photo

Chief of Naval Operations Admiral Jonathan Greenert’s opening statement to the House Armed Services Committee for the Feb. 13 House Armed Services Committee’s hearing on the effects of the Continuing Resolution and Sequestration. This post originally appeared in Adm. Greenert’s blog.

Shipmates,

Today I testified before the House Armed Services Committee to outline the readiness impacts of sequestration and the lack of an appropriations bill. The following is my opening statement:
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SECNAV: Monitor Sailors to be Buried in Arlington

SECNAV: Monitor Sailors to be Buried in Arlington

Facial reconstruction of the two unknown sailors from USS Monitor from a March,6 2012 ceremony in Washington D.C. U.S. Navy Photo

Facial reconstruction of the two unknown sailors from USS Monitor from a March,6 2012 ceremony in Washington D.C. U.S. Navy Photo

Two of the U.S. Navy’s oldest unknown sailors from the Civil War ship USS Monitor will be interred in Arlington National Cemetery in March, announced Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus on Tuesday.

The decision comes after more than a decade of work to by the Joint Prisoner of War Missing in Action Command to identify the remains, Navy spokesperson Lt. Lauryn Dempsey told USNI News on Wednesday. Read More

Opinion: Chuck Hagel and the Necons

Opinion: Chuck Hagel and the Necons

Senator Chuck Hagel speaks at the Forum on the Law of the Sea Convention held at the Willard Intercontinental Washington Hotel, Washington D.C, May 9, 2012. DoD Photo

Senator Chuck Hagel speaks at the Forum on the Law of the Sea Convention held at the Willard Intercontinental Washington Hotel, Washington D.C, May 9, 2012. DoD Photo

Chuck Hagel’s going over at the hands of Republican members of the Senate Armed Services Committee Thursday was more than an argument over political and policy differences; it was another spasm in the efforts of neoconservatives to define U.S. security policy in their own image.

Hagel, a Republican former two-term senator from Nebraska, had once been considered one of the neoconservatives’ own, at least for a while. After joining the Senate in 1997, he quickly became one of Republican Sen. John McCain’s more avid wingmen. He helped run the Arizonan’s 2000 campaign for the party’s presidential nomination. Hagel also voted for the 2002 resolution to authorize U.S. action against Iraq, the precursor to the March 2003 invasion.
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Sequestration Dominates: WEST Day One

Sequestration Dominates: WEST Day One

Sequestration dominated the first day of WEST 2013 at the San Diego Convention Center on Tuesday, with Adm. James A. Winnefeld, Jr., Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, offering a sober assessment on the limits of American military power should the additional $500 billion in military cuts go into effect.

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Opinion: Women in Combat is Old News

Opinion: Women in Combat is Old News

In a joint news conference on Thursday afternoon, the Secretary of Defense and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs announced the discontinuation of the 19-year-old Combat Exclusion Policy. The removal of existing gender barriers will be implemented on a rolling timeline: the services must report initial plans by this May, and by January 2016 all fields should be opened to qualified service members regardless of gender. The timeline delays are planned to give the services time to comply, to figure out how to apply for any desired waivers, and to evaluate resulting questions or concerns. The end of the Combat Exclusion Policy seems anticlimactic yet absurdly necessary.

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Drafting Women?

Drafting Women?

The Pentagon announced yesterday it would end its official policy banning women from serving in ground-combat roles, opening an estimated 230,000 positions to female servicemembers. The unexpected move by departing Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta has met mixed reaction, and numerous questions remain about the practical effects of the decision.

The Thursday announcement by Panetta—who was joined by Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Martin Dempsey—settles one of the last remaining policy disparities between men and women in combat, allowing females to join infantry, artillery, armor, and other combat-coded posts previously reserved solely for men, including the special operations components. But, while the policy change topples some of the last remaining walls for women in uniform, it also poses serious questions for policy makers, chief among them being the status of women vis-à-vis the Selective Service System.

Lance Cpl. Stephanie Robertson, a member of the female engagement team (FET) assigned to 2d Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment, Regimental Combat Team 7, in Marjah, Afghanistan, in 2010. USMC Photo

Lance Cpl. Stephanie Robertson, a member of the female engagement team (FET) assigned to 2d Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment, Regimental Combat Team 7, in Marjah, Afghanistan, in 2010. USMC Photo

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The Royal Navy's Pacific Strike Force

The Royal Navy’s Pacific Strike Force

Naval History Magazine, January 2013
After more than five exhausting years of global conflict, the British Commonwealth organized a powerful modern fleet that fought as equal partners with the U.S. Navy in the late stages of the Pacific war.

For the Royal Navy, the end seemed to come quickly in the Pacific war. Less than three days after the conflict’s outbreak, Japanese aircraft attacked and sank the most powerful British warships in Far Eastern waters, the modern battleship Prince of Wales and the battlecruiser Repulse . Their loss, followed within a couple of months by the capture of the naval bases in Hong Kong and Singapore, effectively drove the British navy out of the Pacific.

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But the Royal Navy—in the form of the British Pacific Fleet (BPF)—returned to make a major contribution in 1945 to the defeat of Japan. The BPF, its vital bases, and logistical support organization did not exist until late 1944, but eight months later, the fleet had become the most powerful deployed force in the history of the Royal Navy.

The BPF did not begin to come into focus until the August 1943 Quadrant Conference of Allied leaders in Quebec. Agreement was reached that greater priority should be given to the Pacific war, while retaining the “Germany first” principle. But for much of 1944, Prime Minister Winston Churchill and the British Chiefs of Staff argued over how best to implement the decisions.

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