U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Jesus Sepulveda Torres

This year, some significant changes to the Marine Corps Physical Fitness Test went into effect — tougher standards, new exercises, a revamped sliding grade scale based on age, and more stringent requirements for a top score. As Task & Purpose previously reported, the aim was to make the test more challenging — and the data, as well as feedback from Marines who recently ran the test, indicate that the service may have succeeded.

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Associated Press photo by Steven Senne

The Pentagon will send an additional 4,000 troops to Afghanistan as early as next week, U.S. officials confirmed June 15 — just one day after President Donald Trump delegated his authority to determine downrange troop levels to Secretary of Defense James Mattis.

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U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Brandon Maldonado

Defense officials have drawn up plans for as many as 1,000 ground troops to head to Syria in the coming weeks, the Washington Post reported this afternoon. If approved by President Donald Trump and Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, the deployment would nearly double the American presence in the country ahead of the expected offensive on the Islamic State’s de facto capital, Raqqa.

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