Monday March 10, 2014
The Senate headed toward an overwhelming vote Monday in favor of big changes in the military justice system to deal with sexual assault, including scrapping the nearly century-old practice of using a "good soldier defense" to raise doubts that a crime has been committed.
A bipartisan plan would impose a half-dozen changes as Congress tries to combat the pervasive problem of rape and sexual offenses that Pentagon leaders have likened to a cancer within the ranks.
According to the Associated Press, the new legislation would change the military rules of evidence to prohibit the accused from using good military character as an element of his defense in court-martial proceedings unless it was directly relevant to the alleged crime. The "good soldier defense" could encompass a defendant's military record of reliability, dependability, professionalism and reputation as an individual who could be counted on in war and peacetime.
The measure also would give accusers a greater say in whether their cases are litigated in the military system or civilian and would establish a confidential process to allow alleged victims to challenge their separation or discharge from the military. In addition, it would increase the accountability of commanders and extend all changes related to sexual assault cases to the service academies.
Thursday February 27, 2014
I counted it as an honor to wear the uniform of the United States Armed Services. I also counted it as a responsibility of mine to represent my uniform and my country in an honorable way. A new Facebook group hs been created with the purpose of finding and exposing servicemembers who post controversial photos and comments on social media.
The group -- Military Social Media Idiots -- has one message: "If you are wearing the uniform, DON'T POST PICTURES OF YOURSELF THAT WILL DISGRACE THE UNIFORM."
What soldiers post on social media has the potential to ruin their military careers. According to a report posted on Stars and Stripes, Gen. Martin Dempsey, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff stated, "I worry a bit about ... the young men and women who are now in their teens, early teens, and who probably underestimate the impact of their persona in social media and what impact that could have later in life on things like security clearances and promotions and selections."
My advice? Soldiers, USE YOUR HEAD WHEN POSTING TO SOCIAL MEDIA!
Tuesday February 25, 2014
The Department of Veterans Affairs has launched an online GI Bill Comparison Tool to make it easier for Veterans, Servicemembers and dependents to calculate their Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits and learn more about VA's approved colleges, universities and other education and training programs across the country. The GI Bill Comparison Tool provides key information about college affordability and brings together information from more than 17 different online sources and three federal agencies, including the number of students receiving VA education benefits at each school.
The GI Bill Comparison Tool can be found at: http://benefits.va.gov/gibill/comparison
Monday February 24, 2014
In a spending proposal to be revealed February 21, the Pentagon plans to shrink the Army to its smallest force since before the World War II buildup and scrap the Air Force's A-10 attack jets, though it will maintain the Navy's carrier fleet at 11 -- for now.
According to multiple media reports, the Army had long been expecting to take hits on its end strength. The Associated Press is reporting that although the Army was scheduled to shrink to 490,000 active-duty members from a wartime peak of 570,000, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel is expected to propose cutting it to between 440,000 and 450,000.
Gen. Ray Odierno, Army chief of staff has stated that whatever the future size of the Army, it must adapt to conditions that are different from what many soldiers have become accustomed to during more than a decade of war.