CARTER: DoD Will Offer New Fertility Benefit To Troops

Lt. Jeremy Rodrigues, U.S. Coast Guard Reserve member, cradles his newborn son’s feet in his hands during their first meeting at the San Diego International Airport, Dec. 12, 2012.
Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Connie Gawrelli

Secretary of Defense Ash Carter announced on Jan. 28 that the Pentagon is funding a pilot program that allows all active duty service men and women to preserve sperm and eggs prior to deployment.

“The new benefit will protect active service members ability to start a family in the event of combat injury,” Carter said in a speech on Force of the Future reforms. “We can help our men and women preserve their ability to start a family, even if they suffer certain combat injuries.”

In an email with Task & Purpose, DoD spokesperson Matthew Allen said that through the TRICARE purchased care network, the DoD will cover the cost for active-duty service members to freeze their sperm or eggs.

The pilot will last two years, at which point the department will decide whether or not to renew the program.

This is a boon to many service men and women and their families, being that nearly half of all active duty service members are under 26 — prime ages for child bearing or fathering.

The program takes into account the roughly 1,300 veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan who suffered injuries that required reproductive surgeries.

“One purpose of the pilot is to understand the costs and potential recruiting and retention benefits for providing this medical service,” Allen said. “After two years, the pilot may be renewed or service members can pay for additional storage out of pocket.”

Currently, seven military treatment facilities cover the cost of in-vitro fertilization and artificial insemination for eligible active duty personnel and their spouses.

“By providing this additional peace of mind for our young service members, we provide our force greater confidence about their future,” Carter said.

The U.S. military's withdrawal from northeast Syria is looking more like Dunkirk every day.

On Wednesday, the U.S. military had to call in an airstrike on one of its own ammunition dumps in northern Syria because the cargo trucks required to safely remove the ammo are needed elsewhere to support the withdrawal, Task & Purpose has learned.

Read More Show Less

Retired two-star Navy. Adm. Joe Sestak is the highest ranking — and perhaps, least known — veteran who is trying to clinch the Democratic nomination for president in 2020.

Sestak has decades of military experience, but he is not getting nearly as much media attention as fellow veterans Pete Buttigieg and Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii). Another veteran, Rep. Seth Moulton (D-Mass.) has dropped out of the race.

Read More Show Less

After preliminary fitness test scores leaked in September, many have voiced concerns about how women would fare in the new Army Combat Fitness Test.

The scores — which accounted for 11 of the 63 battalions that the ACFT was tested on last year — showed an overall failure rate of 84% for women, and a 70% pass rate for men.

But Army leaders aren't concerned about this in the slightest.

Read More Show Less
This photo taken on Oct. 7, 2018, shows a billboard that reads "The State Central Navy Testing Range" near residential buildings in the village of Nyonoksa, northwestern Russia. The Aug. 8, 2019, explosion of a rocket engine at the Russian navy's testing range just outside Nyonoksa led to a brief spike in radiation levels and raised new questions about prospective Russian weapons. (AP Photo/Sergei Yakovlev)

Editor's Note: This article originally appeared on Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty

Three U.S. diplomats have been removed from a train and briefly questioned by Russian authorities in the sensitive Arctic shipyard city of Severodvinsk, near the site of a mysterious explosion in August that killed five nuclear workers.

Russia's Interfax news agency reported on October 16 that the diplomats were taken off the train that runs between Severodvinsk and Nyonoksa around 6 p.m. on October 14.

Read More Show Less

The U.S. Coast Guard had ordered the owner of an illegal 45-foot charter boat, named "Sea You Twerk," to stop operating.

He didn't, the Coast Guard said.

Now, Dallas Lad, 38, will serve 30 days in federal prison, a judge ruled Friday. When he is released, Ladd of Miami Beach, who pleaded guilty, will not be able to own or go on a boat for three years.

Read More Show Less