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Army cadets told to steer clear of Chinese social media app TikTok
Army cadets have been instructed not to use the TikTok social media app while in uniform, an Army official told Task & Purpose on Thursday.
Maj. Gen. John Evans, head of U.S. Army Cadet Command, "directed all ROTC and JROTC units verify that the TikTok application was not being used for official purposes," Lt. Col. Nichole Downs, a spokeswoman, said in a statement. "No guidance was issued regarding Cadets' private use of TikTok."
Downs added that the Army had not issued more specific instructions related to TikTok, but noted the service has formal guidance that applies to all current and emerging social platforms.
In recent weeks, screenshots of purported emails shared with Task & Purpose by a source on condition of anonymity referenced instructions from Cadet Command "that all ROTC/JROTC programs are not to use TikTok as a platform for ROTC recruiting OR highlighting our program activities." Another asked recipients to "spread the word" to cadets that TikTok "is not authorized for use by Cadets."
"This platform has been banned for all Army representation," the email continued. "Reiterate that inappropriate dancing or activities in uniform are strictly prohibited. This is being driven from the Department of the Army level so it is clearly a major problem Army wide. What Cadets do on their own time is their business, but anything on TikTok cannot mention ROTC or be in uniform."
That certainly won't come as good news to cadets who have been enjoying the #rotc and #jrotc TikTok pages — of which there are plenty. And it's not just Army cadets, the other services have their fair share of ROTC videos spanning from the purest of pure content about being excited to be in uniform, to jokes about being in the service, to plenty of cringeworthy lip syncing and dancing.
At present, the guidance seems to only apply to Cadet Command. A spokeswoman for the U.S. Military Academy at West Point told Task & Purpose cadets there have not been "issued any specific guidance" on TikTok. The Department of the Army has not issued any service-wide guidance specifically for TikTok.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) expressed concerns to Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy about TikTok last week, urging him to "assess the potential national security risks posed by China-owned technology companies before choosing to utilize certain platforms."
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The Air Force's top general says one of the designers of the ride-sharing app Uber is helping the branch build a new data-sharing network that the Air Force hopes will help service branches work together to detect and destroy targets.
The network, which the Air Force is calling the advanced battle management system (ABMS), would function a bit like the artificial intelligence construct Cortana from Halo, who identifies enemy ships and the nearest assets to destroy them at machine speed, so all the fleshy humans need to do is give a nod of approval before resuming their pipe-smoking.
An F-15 is rocking a WWII paint job to honor a B-17 pilot who gave his life to save a wounded crewman
An F-15C Eagle is sporting a badass World War II-era paint job in honor of a fallen bomber pilot who gave everything to ensure his men survived a deadly battle.
A U.S. E-11A Battlefield Airborne Communications Node aircraft crashed on Monday on Afghanistan, Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. David Goldfein has confirmed.
Beloved basketball legend Kobe Bryant, his daughter, and seven other people were killed in a helicopter crash in Calabasas, California on Sunday. Two days earlier, Army Spc. Antonio I. Moore was killed during a vehicle rollover accident while conducting route clearing operations in Syria.
Which one more deserves your grief and mourning? According to Maj. Gen. John R. Evans, commander of the U.S. Army Cadet Command, you only have enough energy for one.
After 70 years, service members are finally filing medical malpractice claims against the US military
Jessica Purcell, a captain in the U.S. Army Reserve, was pregnant with her first child when she noticed a swollen lymph node in her left underarm.
Health-care providers at a MacDill Air Force Base clinic told her it was likely an infection or something related to pregnancy hormones. The following year they determined the issue had resolved itself.
It hadn't. A doctor off base found a large mass in her underarm and gave her a shocking diagnosis: stage 2 breast cancer.
Purcell was pregnant again. Her daughter had just turned 1. She was 35. And she had no right to sue for malpractice.
A 1950 Supreme Court ruling known as the Feres doctrine prohibits military members like Purcell from filing a lawsuit against the federal government for any injuries suffered while on active duty. That includes injury in combat, but also rape and medical malpractice, such as missing a cancer diagnosis.
Thanks in part to Tampa lawyer Natalie Khawam, a provision in this year's national defense budget allows those in active duty to file medical malpractice claims against the government for the first time since the Feres case.
With the Department of Defense overseeing the new claims process, the question now is how fairly and timely complaints will be judged. And whether, in the long run, this new move will help growing efforts to overturn the ruling and allow active duty members to sue like everyone else.