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Archived Military Matters

The About.com U.S. Military Newsletter

Note: Newslinks contained in this archived newsletter will take you to the discussion area of the U.S. Military Forum, but links to the stories from there are probably no longer valid. Online news-sources normally leave links active for only a few days.

Newsletter #49

Howdy all, and welcome to the 49th edition of Military Matters, the newsletter for About.com's U.S. Military Information Page. If you need information about anything concerning the Military, please try http://usmilitary.about.com. If you know anyone who is interested in military matters, please feel free to email them a copy of this newsletter.

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Last Poll: Should High Schools which ban Military Recruiters Lose Federal Funding? 80 Percent of you said, "Yes."


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This Issue's Poll: How Truthful are Military Recruiters? (1) Always Truthful; (2) Mostly Truthful; (3) Somewhat Truthful; (4) Rarely Truthful; (5) Never Truthful


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Fighting Financial Battles: FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. -- At the Fort Bragg army base, it's easy to find soldiers who've received overseas hazardous-duty pay for service during the Gulf War or in Bosnia. Yet you'll see far more who've remained stateside and fallen prey to the financial minefield that surrounds them in the nearby town of Fayetteville -- pawn shops, paycheck-loan companies, "no-interest until" furniture and other stores, and similar businesses.

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Targeted Pay Raises: Seven more organizations representing enlisted personnel have signed on to a Fleet Reserve Association proposal to provide bigger pay raises for E-5s and above. The association, based in Alexandria, Va., unveiled a pay-reform plan in February that asks for targeted basic pay increases of up to 3.4 percent for petty officers and noncommissioned officers in pay grades of E-5 through E-7.

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6 New Ways to Boost your Army Promotion Points: Get ready, soldier. You can soon take real charge of your own career. A new promotion point worksheet won't be fielded for a few months, but Pentagon officials say now is the time for ambitious specialists, corporals and sergeants to focus on achievements that will pay off in stripes.

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Pentagon is Considering Paying Bonuses in Lump Sum: The Department of Defense is considering a proposal to double the incentive value of re-enlistment bonuses by paying all of the money -- up to $60,000 for some skills -- in a lump sum. Today, under a congressional edict, selective re-enlistment bonuses are divided into a 50 percent lump sum with the remaining 50 percent paid in annual installments over the new term of enlistment.

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Changing Your Pay Records Online: By summer, if you're in the Navy, Army or Air Force, you'll be able to make certain changes to your pay accounts yourself -- as long as you've got access to a personal computer or a telephone. If you're a Marine or a retiree, you already should be able to look up your pay record on the Internet through a new payroll support system called Employee/Member Self Service, or E/MSS.

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Bus Carrying G.I.s Overturns in France: VERDUN, France -- A bus carrying American military personnel and their families on a day trip from Germany to Paris overturned on a French highway early Wednesday morning, injuring 29 people.

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British Special Ops Forces Failed Drug Test: The British Army is poised to dismiss seven soldiers from its elite Parachute Regiment after they failed random drugs tests. A Ministry of Defence (MoD) spokesman told BBC News Online: "Seven members of the 1st Battalion of the Parachute Regiment were found to have provided positive samples following the unit's testing as part of the forces' drug testing programme."

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How China Will Take Taiwan: The Clinton administration and a bevy of China experts want to portray China's recent threats against Taiwan as empty bluster. Top intelligence and military officials say the Chinese don't have the wherewithal to launch an invasion of Taiwan, and won't for some time. President Clinton, ever the politician, says that Beijing is just playing hardball to try to influence this week's Taiwanese presidential elections. According to CIA director George Tenet, "our hope is that after the election this all settles down and that the normal pattern of peaceful dialogue between the two countries resumes." Who knew the CIA was in the hoping business?

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NATO Denies Spies in Kosovo Operation: ANKARA, Turkey--Allied and NATO officials Thursday denied a report that a spy gave information to the Serbs during last year's Kosovo campaign, but a Pentagon spokesman acknowledged they might have had advance word of air strikes.

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Two Vietnam War Remains Identified: WASHINGTON - The remains of two U.S. military officers missing in action from the Vietnam War have been identified and returned to their families for burial, the Pentagon said on Tuesday.

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Cohen Winds up Vietnam Visit: HO CHI MINH CITY - Winding up a landmark visit, U.S. Defence Secretary William Cohen saw and heard reminders Wednesday of the Vietnam War and received assurances from military and civilian leaders that the communist government has set aside hard feelings from the conflict.

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He's Ready to Take a Bullet, but an Anthrax Shot?: To take the anthrax shot or not? That is the question facing hundreds of thousands of military personnel, who are under orders to roll up their sleeves for the controversial jab or face dismissal. Among those making the decision is TIME.com writer Frank Pellegrini, who is on leave as he undergoes initial training for the Army Reserves. Having completed boot camp in Fort Jackson, S.C. - regular readers may recall his series describing his experiences there - he is now in the Army's journalism school. In this supplement to his series, he describes how he is dealing with the decision.

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11 Things Marine Sergeants Want Right Now: For 20 sergeants, it was an opportunity of a lifetime: the chance to tell the Corps' top two leaders what's broken and how to fix it. With an eye on retention, the Corps' leadership invited the sergeants to come to Washington, D.C., for the first-ever Sergeants Symposium, a five-day event in which NCOs were allowed to air grievances and make recommendations for how to improve life in the Corps.

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Search Narrows for New Army Enlisted Chief: The search for a soldier to replace Robert Hall as sergeant major of the Army has been narrowed to 13 command sergeants major, according to Pentagon sources.

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U.S. Drug War Gaining Allies: MANAGUA -- When officials here announced last week that they hope to sign a treaty within the next few months giving U.S. military ships the right to pursue suspected narcotics traffickers into Nicaraguan coastal waters, the surprise was the reaction: Instead of the usual cries of American intervention, there was dead quiet.In a startling turnaround, cooperation with the U.S. military against drug trafficking, which just a few years ago was political poison in Central America, has become politically profitable.

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Military and Private Sector in a War for Recruits: The military has engaged the private sector in a fight for recruits that must be won if it expects to win wars on the battlefield, defense and service officials say. "We are in a war for talent that the military services must win," said Alphonso Maldon Jr., assistant defense secretary for force management policy, in Feb. 24 testimony before a Senate subcommittee.

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Gay Abuse in Military Doubled Last Year: Washington -- Reports of anti- gay harassment in the military more than doubled last year, despite renewed Pentagon efforts to curb such abuse after the killing of a gay soldier in his barracks, a legal aid group for gay service members said yesterday.

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Union Says Contracting Out AF Jobs is a Mistake: DAYTON, Ohio -- Plans to turn over Air Force work usually done by government employees to private contractors will cost the military valuable experience not easily regained, says a labor union protesting the action.

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Housing Standards: It's the American dream -- a home to call your own. Unless, of course, you enlisted in the military.The Pentagon's reform of the housing-allowance system includes an effort to set a minimum standard for off-base living quarters for service members at each pay grade and dependent status. But those standards are an apartment, townhouse or duplex for all but the highest-ranking enlisted members.

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U.S. May have to Fight Albanians: WASHINGTON - A senior Pentagon official warned yesterday that U.S. troops in Kosovo this spring may have to fight their former allies, ethnic Albanian guerrillas who are rearming themselves and threatening cross-border attacks against Serbia.

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Israel gets first joint U.S.-Israel anti-missile battery: PALMACHIM AIR FORCE BASE, Israel -- Six khaki-colored Arrow missile tubes rose skyward Tuesday, part of a pricey American-Israeli project to shoot enemy missiles out of the stratosphere. The Arrow, designed to intercept missiles at high altitude and far away from their targets, will cost more than $2 billion during its 10-year life span. More than half the funding is coming from the United States, according to U.S. officials.

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Toys 'R' U.S.: The Navy's announcement that it is arming 2,000 ship-based officers with Palm V computers would seem, at first glance, to be a sound business decision, and proof that the Pentagon can indeed buy "off the shelf" products to the benefit of the taxpayer. The purchase is touted as the largest government buy ever of hand-held devices. But is it an investment in productivity, or a faddish move that has no place in the military arena?

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CyberSpace - Taking the Offensive: You're in a war and you want to take down an enemy's power grid, disrupt his supply routes and destroy his communications lines. Traditionally, this would be a job for bombs and missiles. But it soon may be the job of keyboard warriors armed with computers -- perhaps a special corps that would operate outside the traditional hierarchical structure on which militaries are based. After years of emphasizing the defensive side of information warfare -- detecting and thwarting those whom would launch cyber attacks on U.S. systems -- the Defense Department is taking off the cyber gloves.

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Fake Veteran Pledes Guilty for Lying: A former Amelia, Ohio police chief who crafted an elaborate tale of Vietnam War heroism pleaded guilty to related charges in federal court Monday. Donald R. "Nick" Nicholson faces up to 18 months in prison and $105,000 in fines for unlawful use of a false military discharge certificate and unauthorized wearing of military medals and decorations.

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Rescue Hero Convicted: HURLBURT FIELD - An Air Force helicopter pilot honored for leading a daring rescue off Iceland was found guilty at a court-martial Friday of molesting two underage girls.

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NCO Resigns to Avoid Court Martial: CLOVIS - A Cannon Air Force Base sergeant has resigned to avoid a court martial on a charge of negligent homicide in the death of his 7 1/2-month-old baby, who died last July after being locked in a vehicle.

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Clinton Administration Tells Abanians to Behave: The Clinton administration, worried that its Balkan mission is becoming an election issue, puts pressure on its ethnic-Albanian allies. It may be too late.

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You can read more military news on the About.com U.S. Military Site at:


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LINK OF THE WEEK: Historical Photos: Check out these glimpses from the U.S. Army's past.

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CHAT: Dennis Fauchier (DennisHOST) will be hosting General Military Chats every Saturday from 6:00 PM (EST) to 7:00 PM (EST) and every Wednesday from 12:00 PM (EST) to 1:00 PM (EST). Edward Hanrahan (AssassinHOST) will host every Saturday night from 9:00 PM (EST) to 1:00 AM (EST).

A HREF="http://usmilitary.about.com/mpchat.htm">(AOL Link)</A>

MILITARY HUMOR: A telphone repair man joined the Army. As part of his basic training, he went out on the rifle range. He fired 99 shots at the target, and missed the target with every shot! His Drill Instructor tried to find out why.

"What's the matter with you?" shouted the DI. "Why can't you hit the target? What were you in civilian life?"

"I was a telephone repair man," replied the new recruit, "and I don't know why I can't hit the target. Let me see..."

The man checked his rifle, checked his rifle again, and checked his rifle a third time. He then put his finger in front of the muzzle, pulled the trigger, and blew the end of his finger off!

"Well," the phone man said, writhing in pain, "the bullets are leaving here fine. The trouble must be on the other end!"

For more military humor, check out the Military Humor Netlink on the About.com U.S. Military Site at

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With those words of wisdom, I once again leave you.,

Rod Powers
About.com's U.S. Military Information Site

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