The Navy has announced it would cancel three early separation programs in order to retain sailors and increase the size of the fleet.
The announcement, made on Wednesday by Vice Adm. Robert P. Burke, the chief of Naval Personnel, ends one program that allowed enlisted personnel to apply for early separation and a second through which senior officers could retire early. A program that allowed servicemembers to request early separation for family or personal hardships is also being cancelled.
In the announcement, Burke cited the needs of the “growing Navy” as the reason for the changes.
“This requires more people, at a time when we are still working our way back to desired sea duty manning levels, and when the competition for talent is especially keen,” Burke said. “We will certainly recruit and train many more sailors to help meet these demands, but that will not be enough.”
Earlier this year the Navy increased the high-year tenure limits for E-4 through E-6 sailors by two years for each paygrade in another attempt to improve retention. On Thursday, they announced a high-year tenure increase from five to six years for E-3 sailors.
The Navy has a long-term goal to expand to about 350,000 sailors to meet President Donald Trump’s 355 ship goal. Currently, the Navy has 322,000 sailors and 277 commissioned ships.
Benjamin Franklin nailed it when he said, "Fatigue is the best pillow." True story, Benny. There's nothing like pushing your body so far past exhaustion that you'd willingly, even longingly, take a nap on a concrete slab.
Retired U.S. Army Lt. Col. Charles Kettles was awarded the Medal of Honor July 18, 2016, for his actions while serving as a Flight Commander assigned to the 176th Aviation Company (Airmobile) (Light), 14th Combat Aviation Battalion, Americal Division. Then-Maj. Kettles distinguished himself in combat operations near Duc Pho, Republic of Vietnam, on May 15, 1967. (U.S. Army/Spc. Tammy Nooner)
by Martin Slagter, The Ann Arbor News, Mich.
YPSILANTI, MI - When a brigade of U.S. troops was ambushed by the North Vietnamese Army in the Song Tra Cau riverbed on the morning of May 15, 1967, Lt. Charles Kettles volunteered to lead the rescue, and he refused, again and again, to back down when faced with a barrage of gunfire.
His aircraft badly damaged, left spilling fuel, and his gunner was severely injured during the treacherous operation.
But he helicoptered in and out of the battlefield four times, saving the lives of 44 soldiers in a death-defying emergency operation that would become a legendary tale of bravery in the Vietnam War.
The M160 Robotic Mine Flail at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri. Photo: Maj. Dan Marchik/U.S. Army
The battlefield of the future could feature robot medics delivering life-saving care to casualties in the line of fire. At least, that's what the Army is aiming for — and it's willing to pay millions for help doing it.
A Chinese tank rolls at the training ground "Tsugol", about 250 kilometers (156 miles ) south-east of the city of Chita during the military exercises Vostok 2018 in Eastern Siberia, Russia, Thursday, Sept. 13, 2018 (Associated Press/Sergei Grits)
China is developing a lot of new and advanced weaponry, but a recent state media report suggests the Chinese military may not be entirely sure what to do with these new combat systems.
The commandant of the U.S. Coast Guard called the ongoing partial government shutdown "unacceptable" following reports that some Coast Guardsmen are relying on donations from food pantries while their regular paychecks remain on hold.
"We're five-plus weeks into the anxiety and stress of this government lapse and your non-pay," Adm. Karl Schultz said in a video message to service members. "You, as members of the armed forces, should not be expected to shoulder this burden."