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Air Force A Capella Group Soars To ‘America’s Got Talent’ Semifinals
The Air Force Academy’s a cappella group is advancing to the semifinals of NBC’s America’s Got Talent after bombarding viewers with a lethal combination of heart-melting harmonies and dance moves during the show’s quarterfinals on Aug. 16.
The all-male group, called In The Stairwell, performed a cover of Fun’s “Some Nights” Tuesday evening at the Dolby Theater in Los Angeles. Of the eleven acts who competed, only seven were selected to advance to the semis. Losers included a Donald Trump impersonator and a singing clown named Puddles Pity Party.
In The Stairwell entered the quarterfinals buoyed by the praise they’d received from celebrity judges during the previous round. “We are ready to fly,” vocalist Benjamin Hightower said in an Air Force Academy news release prior to Tuesday’s performance. “We are going to do our best and hope America supports us.”
Freshman cadets at the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colorado formed In The Stairwell in 2004. The group got its name because of a policy that prohibited singing in the school’s dormitories, leaving the young vocalists only one place to polish their pipes: the stairwell.
In The Stairwell is now an official Air Force Academy club.
As the military services each roll out new policies regarding hemp-derived products like cannabidiol, or CBD, the Defense Department is not mincing words.
"It's completely forbidden for use by any service member in any of the services at this point of time," said Patricia Deuster, director of the Human Performance Laboratory at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences in Bethesda, Maryland.
The warning, along with the policies issued recently by the Air Force, Coast Guard and Department of the Navy, comes as CBD is becoming increasingly ubiquitous across the country in many forms, from coffee additives and vaping liquids to tinctures, candies and other foods, carrying promises of health benefits ranging from pain and anxiety relief to sleeping aids and inflammation reduction.
The Navy has fired five senior leaders so far in August – and the month isn't even over.
While the sea service is famous for instilling in officers that they are responsible for any wrongdoing by their sailors – whether they are aware of the infractions or not – the recent rash of firings is a lot, even for the Navy.
A Navy spokesman said there is no connection between any of the five officers relieved of command, adding that each relief is looked at separately.
'We are a people organization' — Army leaders push renewed focus on soldiers amid rise in sexual assaults and suicides
After months of focusing on modernization priorities, Army leadership plans to tackle persisting personnel issues in the coming years.
Acting Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy said Tuesday at an event with the Foundation for Defense of Democracies that what people can to hear service leadership "talk a lot about ... our people. Investing in our people, so that they can reach their potential. ... We are a people organization."
Two U.S. military service members were killed in Afghanistan on Wednesday, the Resolute Support mission announced in a press release.
Their identities are being withheld pending notification of next of kin, the command added.
A total of 16 U.S. troops have died in Afghanistan so far in 2019. Fourteen of those service members have died in combat including two service members killed in an apparent insider attack on July 29.
Two U.S. troops in Afghanistan have been killed in non-combat incidents and a sailor from the aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln was declared dead after falling overboard while the ship was supporting operations in Afghanistan.
At least two defense contractors have also been killed in Afghanistan. One was a Navy veteran and the other had served in the Army.