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Guy Who Attended West Point For A Few Months In The 90s Insists He’s An Army Veteran
Here’s a question I’m sure our readers will have no problem answering: If a person attends the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, drops out after less than two years, and never spends a day on active duty, is he or she a veteran?
The answer is, of course, yes. Or at least according to Scott R. Blake, a former employee of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and resident of Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania, who attended — but never graduated from — West Point in the early 90s.
In fact, Blake is so certain of his veteran status that not only did he try to invoke veterans’ preference when he applied for a special investigator job with his home state in 2014, but he also filed an appeal with with the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania after the Civil Service Commission denied him that preference, according to Penn Live.
Blake argued in his appeal that the Army basic training he completed as a cadet, combined with the classes he attended at the academy, qualified him as a member of active duty. And he won. As Penn Live reports, in February 2016, Pennsylvania judges overturned the commission’s denial, concluding that Blake met the definition of a “soldier” under federal law.
Technically, the judges judged correctly. West Point is, after all, where cadets go to learn how to be officers in the Army, and people who serve in the Army are called “soldiers.” And indeed, according to federal law, the term “active duty” applies to anyone serves on “full-time duty as a cadet or midshipman at the United States Military Academy,” or at any of the other military service academies.
However, Blake’s veteran status was short lived. The Civil Service Commission appealed the Common Court ruling, and, on July 25, Pennsylvania’s Supreme Court overturned it, instantly transforming Blake back into just a regular dude from Pennsylvania who once got really, really close to joining the Army, but didn’t.
“We conclude that the General Assembly did not intend to bestow a veteran’s preference to someone who was a cadet at a military academy, but never obligated himself to perform, or otherwise undertook, any subsequent military service,” Justice Christine Donohue wrote in the Supreme Court opinion.
Blake attended West Point from July 1991 to January 1993, and then transferred to a civilian college. Donohue acknowledged Blake’s short-lived service as a scholar of war, but noted that he didn’t stay at the academy long enough to, as Penn Live reports, “incur an obligation to serve in the army as an officer or as an enlisted man.”
“Blake went to college,” Donohue wrote. “He did not serve in the armed forces of the United States and thus he is not a ‘solider’. He is not entitled to receive a veterans’ preference when applying for civil service jobs in this commonwealth.”
The U.S. Space Force has a name tape for uniforms now. Get excited people.
In a tweet from its official account, the Space Force said its uniform name tapes have "touched down in the Pentagon," sharing a photo of it on the chest of Gen. John W. Raymond, the newly-minted Chief of Space Operations for the new service branch nested in the Department of the Air Force.
PALM BEACH, Fla. (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump gave a minute-to-minute account of the U.S. drone strikes that killed Iranian military commander Qassem Soleimani in remarks to a Republican fund-raising dinner on Friday night, according to audio obtained by CNN.
With his typical dramatic flourish, Trump recounted the scene as he monitored the strikes from the White House Situation Room when Soleimani was killed.
The U.S. Navy will name its fourth Ford-class aircraft carrier after Doris Miller, an iconic World War II sailor recognized for his heroism during the Pearl Harbor attack, according to reports in The Honolulu Star-Advertiser and U.S. Naval Institute News.
Acting Navy Secretary Thomas Modly is expected to announce the naming of CVN-81 during a ceremony on Monday in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, according to USNI. Two of Miller's nieces are expected to be there, according to the Star-Advertiser.
Two immigrants, a pastor and an Army sergeant have been convicted of conspiracy to commit marriage fraud as part of an illegal immigration scheme, according to federal prosecutors.
Rajesh Ramcharan, 45; Diann Ramcharan, 37; Sgt. Galima Murry, 31; and the Rev. Ken Harvell, 60, were found guilty Thursday after a nine-day jury trial, according to a news release from the U.S. attorney's office in Colorado.
The conspiracy involved obtaining immigration benefits for Rajesh Ramcharan, Diann Ramcharan, and one of their minor children, the release said. A married couple in 2007 came to the U.S. from Trinidad and Tobago on visitor visas. They overstayed the visas and settled in Colorado.
DUBAI (Reuters) - Iran said on Saturday it was sending to Ukraine the black boxes from a Ukrainian passenger plane that the Iranian military shot down this month, an accident that sparked unrest at home and added to pressure on Tehran from abroad.
Iran's Tasnim news agency also reported the authorities were prepared for experts from France, Canada and the United States to examine information from the data and voice recorders of the Ukraine International Airlines plane that came down on Jan. 8.
The plane disaster, in which all 176 aboard were killed, has added to international pressure on Iran as it grapples with a long running row with the United States over its nuclear program that briefly erupted into open conflict this month.