What makes someone want to become a soldier? What does it look like to transition from a civilian to a soldier? How does it affect individuality?
Raymond McCrea Jones, who used to be on staff at the New York Times, wanted to answer those questions. He embedded himself in a company of 162 Army recruits at Fort Benning in Georgia for 10 weeks. His fly-on-the-wall photos show the experience of basic training, from 4 a.m. wakeup calls to grueling field exercises.
The American military permits people to serve regardless of sexual orientation, but there are still policies precluding military service based on gender identity.
About 15,000 transgender people currently serve in the American military in violation of the rules. The United States lags behind many other Western nations that allow transgender people to serve openly, but Secretary of Defense Ash Carter is pushing for change.
Tommy Sowers served two tours in Iraq as a green beret. The Duke graduate earned a Ph.D. at the London School of Economics, and he taught at West Point and at Duke.
Sowers ran as the Democratic Party's nominee for Missouri’s 8th Congressional District in 2010 and later became an assistant secretary for the Veterans Affairs. He worked to help veterans gain access to benefits.
The U.S. Army announced Thursday it is cutting about 40,000 soldiers nationwide. Fort Bragg is home to more than 50,000 troops in Fayetteville. The base will largely be spared deep cuts in the latest round of military downsizing.
Some combat veterans are posting signs in their yards, asking neighbors to be courteous with their fireworks this July Fourth weekend. The signs come from a non-profit called Military with PTSD, and it's sending them to vets across the country.
Christine Weber is a former Marine with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder who lives in Charlotte. She says sudden loud noises, including fireworks, remind her of gunfire and rocket launchers during her deployment in Iraq.
Fifteen military veterans are wrapping up a week-long academic training bootcamp at UNC-Chapel Hill designed to help them transition easier into college. It's part of a national program called the Warrior-Scholar Project.
Lara Taylor, director of Carolina's orientation, says some vets come straight from service, while others have been out for a few years.
The discipline of military service, as it does for many young men, changed John Blackjack’s life.
"He was a wild child with us," said Roseanne Wray, whose family adopted and raised Staff Sgt. Blackjack. "The Army did something wonderful for him. They turned him into a soldier."
Blackjack, who died May 31 of a respiratory illness, was a miniature mule. Since 1983, he had served as the mascot for a major supply unit, the 1st Theater Sustainment Command. An estimated 25,000 soldiers had contact with him while serving at Ft. Bragg since the Wrays donated him to the Army.
Most people expect their eternal rest will be peaceful.
But not the ones who want to be buried in the Eastern Carolina State Veterans Cemetery now under construction in Goldsboro.
North Carolina’s newest veterans cemetery is right under the flight path of Seymour Johnson Air Force Base. On some days, the roar of low-flying fighter jets and aerial tankers overwhelms the cemetery every few minutes.
A massive data breach at the federal Office of Personnel Management has exposed the Social Security numbers and personnel records of nearly every federal worker. The implications for federal employees, military service members and the intelligence community could be extraordinary.
But at a very basic level U.S. service members have been at high risk for identity theft for decades.
Combat veterans often struggle at the end of life with feelings of guilt, abandonment and regret. For some dying service members and their families, a military hospital is a place where they can make those last days meaningful.
Almost 1,000 British paratroopers are now packing up at Fort Bragg after nearly two months of training with their U.S. counterparts in the 82nd Airborne Division.
Multinational coalitions are a hallmark of modern conflict, in part because they give political legitimacy to military actions and spread the costs in both money and lives. But shrinking military budgets in both countries have made the ability to join forces more important.