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Coast Guard Officer Punished For Flashing White Supremacist Symbol On National TV
The U.S. Coast Guard officer who "intentionally" flashed a white supremacist hand gesture in the background of a live TV interview in September was officially censured by the branch shortly after the incident, the Post and Courier reported on Thursday.
- The Coast Guard issued a letter of censure to the unidentified officer on Oct. 5, less than a month after the officer appeared in the background of an MSNBC interview on Hurricane Florence response efforts.
- "While your actions may have seemed funny or playful to you, they clearly showed lack of maturityu and an inability to understand the gravity of the situation," the letter, obtained by the Post and Courier through a Freedom Of Information Act request, says.
- Shortly after the incident occurred, the Coast Guard stated that the branch "had identified the member and removed him from the response," adding that "his actions do not reflect those of the United States Coast Guard."
- The letter also notes that Coast Guard personnel were "directly cautioned by a Public Affairs Specialist about the controversy surrounding that symbol just prior to the live interview being conducted," a statement that suggests defense officials are wising up to the use of white supremacist imagery among U.S. service members.
- While the letter of censure won't see the light of day if the officer comes up for a promotion, an explanatory document will follow him around for the rest of his career, Coast Guard spokesman Lt. Cmdr. Ryan Kelley told the Post and Courier.
- More than 30% of service members see white nationalism as a significant threat to national security, according to an October 2017 Military Times poll. Only 27% said the same about Syria, 22% for Afghanistan, and 17% for Iraq.
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The Pentagon has identified the two soldiers were killed in combat in Afghanistan on Wednesday as members of U.S. Army Special Forces.
Master Sgt. Luis F. DeLeon-Figueroa, 31, and Master Sgt. Jose J. Gonzalez, 35, both died in Faryab Province from wounds sustained from small arms fire, the Pentagon said in a press release. The incident is under investigation.
JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu hinted on Thursday of possible Israeli involvement in attacks against Iranian-linked targets in Iraq.
A series of blasts in the past few weeks have hit weapon depots and bases belonging to paramilitary groups in Iraq, many of them backed by Israel's regional foe Iran. The groups blamed the United States and Israel for the blasts on Wednesday.
President Donald Trump signed an executive order on Wednesday that will make it easier for permanently disabled veterans to have their student loan debt forgiven.
Physical fitness tests were briefly suspended earlier this week and outdoor cardio testing will be curtailed for the remainder of the summer at Eglin Air Force Base, Florida, after an airman died Saturday. She had completed her PT test on Friday.
Navy Secretary Richard Spencer has expanded a review of the Judge Advocate General Corps to include the Marine Corps, a Navy spokesman said on Thursday.
"There is value in applying this review and its subsequent recommendations across the Department of the Navy," Cmdr. Jereal Dorsey told Task & Purpose. "The review's purpose is to confirm the uniformed legal community is structurally and organizationally sound and best supporting the good order and discipline our integrated naval force."