Marines with Regional Command (Southwest) (RC(SW)) exit a CH-46 Sea Knight helicopter aboard Kandahar Airfield (KAF), Afghanistan, Oct. 27, 2014. (U.S. Marine Corps/Sgt. Dustin D. March)

In 2013, the Department of Defense began an approximately six-year review of 159 mental health programs, many of which were launched after the U.S. invaded Iraq and Afghanistan. According to preliminary DoD records obtained in a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit, the DoD found “a large proportion" of these programs did not track spending and were “unable to document evidence of program outcomes."

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Spock (StarTrek.com)

Editor's Note: This article by Oriana Pawlk originally appeared onMilitary.com, a leading source of news for the military and veteran community.

The 14th Air Force, at Vandenberg Air Force Base, California, has been renamed. It will now live long and prosper as Space Operations Command, or SPOC, according to a recent service announcement.

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An aerial view of the Pentagon building in Washington, June 15, 2005. U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld defended the Guantanamo prison against critics who want it closed by saying U.S. taxpayers have a big financial stake in it and no other facility could replace it at a Pentagon briefing on Tuesday. (Reuters/Jason Reed JIR/CN)

Five top defense officials have tendered their resignations this month, ultimately leaving nearly one-third of the Pentagon's Senate-confirmed positions vacant, defense officials said.

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A screenshot of the 18th Airborne Corps post featuring Waffen-SS Obersturmbannfǘhrer Joachim Peiper shared on the official Facebook page of the Department of Defense

Don't worry: You have not crossed into the alternative universe portrayed in The Man in the High Castle wherein the Nazis won World War II.

That said, voracious consumers of Defense Department social media content might have been slightly confused on Monday when the 18th Airborne Corps posted a story on Facebook to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the Battle of the Bulge that prominently featured a colorized portrait of infamous Waffen-SS Obersturmbannfǘhrer Joachim Peiper.

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The Pentagon's top spokesman tried to downplay recent revelations by the Washington Post that U.S. government officials have consistently misled the American public about the war in Afghanistan for nearly two decades.

Washington Post reporter Craig Whitlock first brought to light that several top officials acknowledged to the Office of the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction that the war was going badly despite their optimistic public statements. The report, based on extensive interviews and internal government data, also found that U.S. officials manipulated statistics to create the public perception that the U.S. military was making progress in Afghanistan.

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Spc. Woo Jung, Company A, 603rd Aviation Support Battalion, 3rd Combat Aviation Brigade, shows the difference of water quality after being processed utilizing the Tactical Water Purification System during a training exercise on Hunter Army Airfield Jan. 27. (U.S. Army/Spc. Scott Lindblom)

Congress has reached a deal on a spending bill that would require the military to stop using firefighting foam containing toxic chemicals linked to cancer, but would abandon efforts to place stronger regulations on the chemicals.

The bill, called the National Defense Authorization Act, has been the focus of intense negotiations for months. House Democrats saw it as their best chance to force President Trump's Environmental Protection Agency to increase its oversight of a class of chemicals, called perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances — commonly known as PFAS — that have contaminated drinking water sources across the country.

Senate Republicans resisted these measures, wary of forcing chemical companies and the Defense Department to undertake extensive cleanups.

But when hopes of a compromise faded last week, Democrats were left with little choice but to agree to significantly weaker provisions or kill the entire defense spending bill.

The bill that emerged out of a joint House-Senate committee this week had been stripped of measures that would require the EPA to designate the chemicals as "hazardous" and set a nationwide safety standard for PFAS in drinking water.

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