(Associated Press/Evan Vucci)

Editor's Note: This article by Gina Harkins originally appeared on Military.com, a leading source of news for the military and veteran community.

The Navy secretary is reminding military personnel in his charge that they must remain apolitical, less than a month after the sea services fielded a request from White House officials to hide a ship named for one of President Donald Trump's political rivals, and sailors were photographed sporting patches that mimicked a presidential campaign slogan.

An administrative message released on Friday warns sailors and Marines against activities that "could appear to imply sponsorship, approval or endorsement of a political candidate, campaign or cause."

"Sailors and Marines ... have a long history of supporting and defending the Constitution of the United States," Navy Secretary Richard Spencer wrote. "Now that election season is approaching, it is appropriate for us to remember that, as military professionals, we are an apolitical body."

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(Twitter/Sean Spicer)

Former White House Chief of Staff and Republican Party Chairman Reince Priebus was recently sworn in as an ensign in the Naval Reserve at the age of 47.

There are undoubtedly many who will dismiss this as a stunt. The U.S. military is consistently one of the most trusted institutions in America. As a career politico, Priebus could certainly use the halo effect of military service going forward. Based on his history, there's little doubt he'll pursue another high office, whether elected or appointed.

There's certainly some level of self-interest involved. For all the bluster vets have about selfless service, almost everyone who's joined had at least some amount of selfishness involved. Whether it's college money, bonus money, learning a skill, or learning self-discipline, everyone joins looking to get something out of it.

Very few, if any, service members are solely doing it out of love of country and expecting nothing in return. Priebus, to the extent he may be doing this for selfish reasons, is not much different than anyone else joining the military — it's just that instead of looking to learn diesel engine repair to get a job at a truck stop, he's building a service history to help his future run for governor or senator.

Just because he's playing at a higher level is no reason to hate on him.

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(U.S. Navy/Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Ciarra C. Thibodeaux)

Yarrrrrrr, get ready to walk the plank, maties! Or, at least, hold yourself prone on your elbows for an extended period of time!

The Navy plans on adding a plank event to the service's physical readiness test in 2020, replacing sit-ups that are shown to "do more harm than good," Chief of Naval Operations Adm. John Richardson announced on Thursday.

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(DoD/U.S. Army Sgt. Amber I. Smith)

Patrick Shanahan has a message for the next generation of naval officers: what doesn't kill you only makes you stronger.

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(DoD photo by Claudett Roulo.)

Former Navy SEAL Eric Greitens, who resigned in disgrace as governor of Missouri last year, is putting his uniform back on — just not as a Navy SEAL.

Greitens, who stepped down in May 2018 amid criminal charges related to an alleged extramarital affair, has become a reserve naval officer with Navy Operational Support Center — St. Louis, a spokeswoman for Navy Recruiting Command confirmed to Task & Purpose. The Kansas City Star first reported the news.

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The U.S. Navy's Littoral Combat Ship was supposed to be cheap, fast, flexible and easy to build.

But after spending $30 billion over a period of around two decades, the U.S. Navy has managed to acquire just 35 of the 3,000-ton-displacement vessels.

Sixteen were in service as of late 2018. Of those 16, four are test ships. Six are training ships. In 2019 just six LCSs, in theory, are deployable.

While that number should increase as the remaining ships in the class finally commission into service, the LCS's low readiness rate calls into question the wisdom of the Navy's investment in the type.

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