U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Brian Morales

“SFETY is our number one concern,” read a slide in a recent safety standdown briefing in the Norfolk area. Although the “A” was nowhere to be found, there were plenty of warnings against speeding, motorcycle safety, and of course driving under the influence. Judging from its effectiveness at incorporating spell check, it is unlikely that this presentation, and others like it, had much of an effect in preventing any of the aforementioned behaviors. It’s a shame, too, because entirely preventable incidents like DUIs can have a severe impact on armed forces personnel and the military at large. Surely there must be a more effective way to discourage service members from drinking and driving.

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Photo by Staff Sgt. Mikki Sprenkle

Eighteen. That is the percentage of 114th Congress that has worn the uniform of the United States military. For the past 25 years, that number has been declining with almost every successive delegation elected. As the military continues to grow more secluded and alienated from the rest of the population, nowhere are the strains in the civilian-military relationship more evident than in the make-up and recent actions of Congress.

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