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 Congress & DoD

  1. Military Religious Freedom Foundation Mikey Weinstein said senior Pentagon civilians and officers have complained to his group about military participation in a National Day of Prayer event on Capitol Hill. Courtesy of Mikey Weinstein

    Group calls for DoD to withdraw from Prayer Day event

    Longtime critics of Christian conservatives' influence in military culture are demanding the Pentagon back away from involvement in a National Day of Prayer event on Capitol Hill next month, saying it's a thinly veiled rally for far-right fundamentalists.

    • Apr. 17, 2014
  2. President Obama gestures April 17 as he speaks in the White House briefing room in Washington. The president spoke about the health care overhaul, the situation in Ukraine and other topics. Carolyn Kaster / AP

    Deal reached on calming Ukraine tensions — for now

    In a surprise accord, Ukraine and Russia agreed Thursday on tentative steps to halt violence and calm tensions along their shared border after more than a month of Cold War-style military posturing triggered by Moscow's annexation of Crimea.

    • Apr. 17, 2014
    • NEWS /
    • Congress & DOD
    The U.S. will send medical supplies, helmets and other nonlethal aid to the Ukrainian military in response to Russia's 'dangerously irresponsible' efforts to destabilize the country, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said Thursday. Susan Walsh / AP

    U.S. sending nonlethal aid to Ukraine military

    The U.S. will send medical supplies, helmets and other nonlethal aid to the Ukrainian military in response to Russia's 'dangerously irresponsible' efforts to destabilize the country, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said Thursday.

    • Apr. 17, 2014
    • NEWS /
    • Congress & DOD
    Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel briefs the press April 2 aboard the amphibious transport dock ship USS Anchorage (LPD 23) in Honolulu. Erin A. Kirk-Cuomo / Defense Department

    Hagel launches broad review of military justice system

    The Pentagon is launching a 'systemic' review of the entire military justice system that will look at how commanders convene courts-martial and impose nonjudicial punishments.

    • Apr. 16, 2014
  3. 'Complex' report on allotments now 3 months late

    Defense officials are more than three months late on a report on the military allotment system, which will recommend steps to protect troops from unscrupulous businesses and lenders that use allotments to take advantage of them.

    • Apr. 16, 2014
  4. Marines jump out of an MV-22B Osprey while conducting parachute operations over Djibouti last year. At least 5,000 U.S. troops are operating on the African continent. Sgt. Christopher Q. Stone / Marine Corps

    DoD quietly expanding AFRICOM missions

    Just five years ago, the Pentagon considered Africa such a strategic backwater that the global map of combatant commands carved the massive continent into two chunks and placed most of it under control of the chief of U.S. European Command in Belgium.

    • Apr. 16, 2014
  5. Secretary of State John Kerry is surrounded by security as he arrives April 16 in Geneva, where he is scheduled to participate in talks on the ongoing situation in Ukraine with representatives from Ukraine, Russia and the European Union. Jim Bourg / AP

    U.S. readies sanctions on Russia, aid for Ukraine

    The Obama administration is preparing to ratchet up sanctions on Russia and boost assistance for the Ukrainian military in the coming days, U.S.

    • Apr. 16, 2014
    • NEWS /
    • Congress & DOD

    Congress unhappy with DoD, VA health records progress

    House lawmakers plan to hold back millions in dollars of technology funding from Defense and Veterans Affairs department planners until Congress is convinced they are making progress on developing a way to share electronic medical records.

    • Apr. 16, 2014
  6. A veteran patient recieves a vaccination. Tricare announced Tuesday its plans for reinstating thousands of beneficiaries who lost eligibility for Tricare Prime last October. Stephanie McCrobie / U.S. Navy

    Tricare presents plan for re-enrolling some in Prime

    Tricare announced Tuesday its plans for reinstating thousands of beneficiaries who lost eligibility for Tricare Prime last October, but by law, not all who were booted off Prime will be able to re-enroll.

    • Apr. 15, 2014
    • NEWS /
    • Congress & DOD
    A pro-Russian activist guards a barricade Tuesday outside the regional police building seized in the eastern Ukrainian city of Slavyansk. Ukraine's acting president accused Russia enacting 'brutal plans' to destabilize the southeast of his ex-Soviet country by backing separatist militants. Genya Savilov / AFP via Getty Images

    Russia tests Obama's ability to stop its advances

    President Obama is once again faced with the complicated reality of following through on his tough warnings against overseas provocations as the White House asserts that Russia is stoking instability in eastern Ukraine.

    • Apr. 15, 2014
  7. The Corps' top enlisted Marine disagrees with the idea that tobacco products should be banned from base stores. Marti Gatlin / Marine Corps

    SMMC says tobacco ban is a 'shameful idea'

    The sergeant major of the Marine Corps will fight for Marines' right to buy and use tobacco products on base, despite Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel's full support of a review of the product's use and sales aboard military installations.

    • Apr. 13, 2014
  8. Official: U.S. looking into Syria toxic gas reports

    The U.S. ambassador to the United Nations said Sunday that reports of a poison gas attack in a rural village north of Damascus were so far '

    • Apr. 13, 2014
    • NEWS /
    • Congress & DOD

    Window opens on secret camp within Guantanamo

    Attorney James Connell has visited his client inside the secret Guantanamo prison complex known as Camp 7 only once, taken in a van with covered windows on a circuitous trek to disguise the route on the scrub brush-and-cactus covered military base.

    • Apr. 13, 2014
    • NEWS /
    • Congress & DOD
    Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps Micheal P. Barrett testifies April 9 on Capitol Hill. Listening to his right are Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy Michael D. Stevens and Sergeant Major of the Army Raymond F. Chandler. Sgt. Marionne T. Mangrum/Marine Corps

    Barrett: Fiscal discipline good for both Corps and Marines

    Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps Mike Barrett faced backlash for a comment he made at a Senate Armed Services subcommittee that appeared to imply that the reduced pay raise and possible cuts to Marines' benefits would serve to promote better discipline in the ranks.

    • Apr. 11, 2014
  9. Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps Mike Barrett signs an open letter to Marines April 11. Hope Hodge Seck/Staff

    Sgt. Maj. Barrett writes open letter to Marines following backlash

    Following backlash from his statements in front of the Senate Armed Services subcommittee on personnel April 9, Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps Mike Barrett is working to clarify his position in a written letter to Marines.

    • Apr. 11, 2014
  10. White House unveils expanded support for military, vets' caregivers

    The White House continued its focus on veterans and military families by announcing new programs Friday to expand support and services available to those who care for injured or ill troops.

    • Apr. 11, 2014
  11. Army Chief of Staff Gen. Ray Odierno and singer-songwriter Bret Michaels spoke at the 2014 Military Child of the Year Awards in Arlington, Va., on Thursday. Sgt. Mikki L. Sprenkle/Army

    Rock star, top defense officials reward Military Children of the Year

    After Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Martin Dempsey donned a bandana to sing Lee Greenwood's '

    • Apr. 11, 2014
    • NEWS /
    • Congress & DOD
    Troops and and civilians enjoy American fast food at the Kaiserslautern Military Community Center's food court in 2009. Army & Air Force Exchange Service PAO

    40 lawmakers seek to halt closure of military fast food outlets

    Forty lawmakers have signed a letter asking the Labor Department to exempt some military morale, welfare and recreation and exchange operations — such as fast food concessions — from wage regulations affecting federal contractors on military bases.

    • Apr. 10, 2014
    • NEWS /
    • Congress & DOD

    McKeon satisfied with military on Benghazi

    The GOP chairman of the House Armed Services Committee said Thursday he is satisfied with how the military responded to the deadly attack on the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya.

    • Apr. 10, 2014
  12. House Armed Services Committee Chairman Howard 'Buck' McKeon, R-Calif., runs a March 14 hearing on Capitol Hill. Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images

    Congressman: Wait until '15 for major pay, benefits reform

    The chairman of the House Armed Services Committee wants to wait on major military compensation reform until next year, but may accept some smaller changes to pay and benefits in the current budget debate.

    • Apr. 10, 2014
    • NEWS /
    • Congress & DOD
    Damage Controlman 3rd Class Sean Clooney tests for contamination during a chemical, biological, and radiological drill, as Executive Officer Jay Steingold evaluates aboard the amphibious assault ship USS Peleliu. Navy

    Pentagon seeks more funds to counter bio weapons

    The Pentagon wants to spend more money on a secret program to track weapons of mass destruction because of new information showing an increased need to locate chemical and biological weapons, military budget plans show.

    • Apr. 10, 2014
    • NEWS /
    • Congress & DOD
    Mongolian Defense Minister Dashdemberal Bat-Erdene presents a horse as a gift to U.S. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel on Thursday at the Mongolian Ministry of Defense in Ulan Bator. Hagel endorsed stronger military ties with Mongolia as it seeks a U.S. partnership as a counterweight to its powerful neighbors Russia and China. Alex Wong / AFP via Getty Images

    Hagel seeks to increase ties with Mongolia

    After days of high-profile, pressure-filled meetings, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel got to horse around a bit during a short stop in Mongolia on Thursday.

    • Apr. 10, 2014
    • NEWS /
    • Congress & DOD
    Sgt. Maj. of the Marine Corps Micheal Barrett says Marines don't spend much time thinking about compensation and benefits. 'They don't want an easy life,' he told lawmakers Wednesday. 'They want to be tougher people.' Mark Wilson / Getty Images

    Sgt. Maj. of the Marine Corps Barrett: Less pay raises discipline

    Lower pay and slimmed-down benefits will make Marines more disciplined and less wasteful, according to the Corps' top enlisted Marine.

    • Apr. 9, 2014
    • NEWS /
    • Congress & DOD
    Sen. Barbara Mikulski, D-Md. Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images

    Key senator opposes commissary budget cut

    The chair of the powerful Senate Appropriations Committee strongly opposes a Pentagon plan to cut funding for commissaries, another signal that the drastic $1 billion proposed reduction will not survive the congressional budget process.

    • Apr. 9, 2014
    • NEWS /
    • Congress & DOD
    In a letter, Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein appealed to President Barack Obama to reconsider his administration's decision to task the CIA with editing a torture report harshly critical of the spy agency's treatment of terror suspects after the Sept. 11 attacks before it can be made public. J. Scott Applewhite / AP

    U.S. officials reject Rubio claim about CIA report

    The State Department is seeking the declassification of a 10-month-old letter expressing its concerns about a controversial Senate torture review, U.S. officials said Wednesday.

    • Apr. 9, 2014

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