Military

Image of Duke Professor Missy Cummings, drone advocate and expert.
Missy Cummings

  

Although the word drone may at first evoke an image of a stealth killing machine, the work of Mary 'Missy' Cummings proves drones are much more than that initial thought. 

Soldier saluting
U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs

NC Veterans Affairs and American Legion 9/11 Remembrance

8:15 a.m., corner of Saunders St. and N. Salem St., Apex

NCDVA Director Ilario Pantano, a former US Marine and witness to the attacks, will give remarks and introduce Speaker Pro Tempore of the NC House of Representatives Skip Stam.  Representative Stam, also a former US Marine, will headline the ceremony and speak to the events of 9/11 and the courage of past, present and future generations of Americans.

pigs
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals activists say they will ramp up their efforts to halt military training they say harms and even kills animals.  The organization is urging the Army and Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel to turn exclusively to modern training equipment -- such as computer simulators. 

PETA says the United States is one of only six NATO nations that still uses live animals in military medical training.  PETA's director of lab investigations Justin Goodman says it's the military's own study that reveals the dangers.

Someone has posted an apartment on Craigslist that looks suspiciously like the Camp Lejeune barracks. The "lovely" space is located in a "gated community with 24-hour private security." The ad also touts the "active community with running trails" and "motivation specialists to encourage you along your way." Other amenities include a courtesy wake-up service at or around 0530. "Extremely short commute to work!!!," the ad notes. Read the listing:

Creative Commons

Islamic militants are slowly gaining more control of Iraq. 

The group known as the Islamic State is asserting its will in the northern part of the country. It has made Mosul its de facto capital, and has driven thousands of Christians out of the city.

But the battle is not just sectarian, it is political.

The U.S. has been unsuccessful in its push for the Shiite majority to be more inclusive toward Sunnis and Kurds, and some say a one-state solution cannot work.

Army Sgt. Ryan Pitts will be the ninth living veteran to receive the nation's highest award for valor for actions in Iraq or Afghanistan, when President Obama presents him with the Medal of Honor later today.

As NPR's Tom Bowman reports, Pitts is credited with holding off a brutal Taliban attack back in 2008. Tom filed this report for our Newscast unit:

"Soldiers from Chosen Company were setting up an outpost in the rugged hills near the Pakistan border. Suddenly they came under attack by more than a hundred Taliban fighters.

  

In his debut novel, Chapel-Hill based author Michael B. Jones explores a tumultuous relationship between a father and son who search for happiness and identity as their lives fall apart around them.

headshot of ethicist David Gushee
theology.mercer.edu

Many have criticized the American government's use of torture since 9/11 including military experts who say it it is ineffective. But for Christian ethicist David Gushee, the very question of effectiveness is a degrading one. He believes the usefulness of a behavior does not affect its morality. 

Gushee is part of the non-governmental, bipartisan Task Force on Detainee Treatment, convened by the Constitution Project. Gushee speaks tonight at 7pm at Pullen Memorial Baptist Church in Raleigh. A declassified report on CIA torture is expected to be released by the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence later this summer. 

A group of retired generals is advising lawmakers not to support legislation that would get rid of the Common Core academic standards.

The group Mission Readiness: Military Leaders for Kids says the standards will help ensure the success and strength of the military by better preparing students who choose to serve. Military officers say about 23 percent of graduates looking to enroll don’t pass entrance exams in math, literacy and problem solving.

Teachers at North Carolina's military bases are preparing for up to five furlough days due to cuts from the sequester
Fort Bragg

Jasmine Pollard is an Army reservist. She had just gotten back from a nine-month deployment when she and her now wife decided to marry. The ceremony was in California, a state that allows same-sex marriages.

Her wife also serves. She's a medic stationed at Fort Bragg. So Jasmine, 20, decided to move back East so they could be together. She'd hoped to go to school, taking advantage of a federal law the says military dependents can receive in-state tuition rates.

She ran into problems.

She called Fayetteville State University to ask about the waiver.

A half-century after the first G.I. Joe action figures hit U.S. shelves, the man who oversaw the toy's creation has died of cancer in Rhode Island. Former Hasbro executive Donald Levine was 86. He was also a veteran of the Korean War who said that G.I. Joe was an attempt to honor those in the U.S. armed forces.

"Someday I'm going to do something to honor this military, these military people, who fight in the wars," Levine said in archive footage cited by NPR's Elizabeth Blair for All Things Considered.

A field of flags outside the Airborne and Special Operations Museum in Fayetteville, NC.
Gerry Dincher / Flickr/Creative Commons

People will gather across the state for Memorial Day ceremonies honoring men and women who died in service to the US military.

Governor Pat McCrory and the commander for Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune will gather for a ceremony at the Battleship North Carolina in Wilmington.

During World War II, the battleship participated in every major naval offensive in the Pacific, survived a broadside torpedo attack, and earned 15 battle stars.

Marine Brigadier General Robert Castellvi said the armed forces are facing new issues since the time the North Carolina sailed.

Expert Infantry / Creative Commons

Women are still excluded from certain areas of military service, but the Department of Defense has given branches until 2016 to eliminate "unnecessary gender-based barriers to service". Now, bases are evaluating how women fare during training that was reserved for men.

Camp Lejeune is studying enlisted female Marines who have passed their first 29 days of general training and volunteer for another 30 days of specialized training. At the end of it, their male peers can become machine gunners and missile men.

Air Force airmen lay sandbags to protect against a flooding disaster in MO in 2011.
Dept. of Defense

Climate change and the way we use energy are threats to national security, according to group of U.S. military generals at the nonprofit CNA Corporation.

Their research shows stronger storms will likely divert more troops to humanitarian missions and American dependence on fossil fuels forces convoys to routinely transport fuel through dangerous areas.

Host Frank Stasio talks with retired Lt. Gen. Richard Zilmer, a member of the Military Advisory Board at CNA Corporation.

map, states, veteran education assistants
Student Veterans of America / StudentVeterans.org

North Carolina is one of only eight states in the country where none of the state's schools offer in-state tuition or residency exemptions for veterans. With the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan winding down, the number of veterans living in the state is expected to balloon by as much as 60,000.

This presents an opportunity for the state to change course and join the rest of the country in training service members who have called North Carolina home while in the military, though are technically residents of the states from which they enlisted.

Return From War

Apr 10, 2014
Intrepid Life Coffee and Spirits owner and Marine veteran Matt Victoriano
Carol Jackson

Military veterans face many challenges in combat zones and on battlefields. But what about the struggles they face when they return to civilian life?  

Veteran salutes other veterans
flickr.com

  

The complexities of war do not fit neatly into a poem or a novel. Writers grapple with how to address conflict responsibly, honestly and creatively. An April 12th panel at the North Carolina Writers' Network Spring Conference at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro will examine the challenges of writing about war. 

Jeffrey Berejikian teaching a class.
http://berejikian.net/

Individuals are more likely to dwell on losses than gains. They are also more likely to take risks to recover losses than to achieve new gains. Those ideas have long been accepted in social science circles, but now they are being applied to international relations. 

Department of Defense Seal
defense.gov / Department of Defense

    

The sexual assault case against Army General Jeffrey A. Sinclair halted this week when a judge’s review of emails revealed “unlawful command influence” in the rejection of a plea deal in January. The latest development provides an opportunity for Sinclair’s defense team to renegotiate a plea bargain with a new group of military officials. 

Karl Eikenberry headshot
stanford.edu

From 2009 to 2011, Karl Eikenberry served as U.S. ambassador to Afghanistan where he worked to stabilize the country and build a stronger foundation for democracy.

The challenge is great as many question the intervention of American troops. Eikenberry, a Goldsboro, NC native, believes the humanities can provide an innovative approach to modern diplomacy.

Department of Defense Seal
defense.gov / Department of Defense

    

Army General Jeffrey A. Sinclair's sexual assault trial began yesterday. General Sinclair is one of the highest ranking military officers to be tried by jury. The case comes just as legislation to address sexual assault in the military goes before the Senate for a vote.

Lance Cpl. Justin A. Rodriguez / U.S. Marine Corps

Camp Lejeune is one of the Marine's largest bases. Here at WUNC, we report on the base regularly because it's located in North Carolina. We used to call it Camp "Luh-JOON". But we recently started pronouncing it "Luh-JERN". How come?

Matt Victoriano and Robin Young in front of Matt's new business, Intrepid Life Coffee & Spirits
Robin Young via Twitter / Here & Now

A Marine Corps vet is receiving national attention for his attempts to open a small business in Durham, North Carolina.

The radio show Here & Now has been following Matt Victoriano's story since last October. The program's host, Robin Young, met Victoriano at the 2012 Democratic National Convention. Victoriano had served in Iraq and had been a sniper team leader. Since then he's been coping with post traumatic stress while trying to open a small business.

The Forgotten First: B-1 and the Integration of the Modern Navy
http://core.ecu.edu / ECU Creative Writing department

  

The United States military today has a diverse array of service men and women. But in the early 20th Century, that was far from the case. In World War II, African American men were still predominantly relegated to minor roles. The B-1 Navy band began to change that. It was made up of the first African American men to hold a position higher than messman in the United States Navy. And it was the first of many black World War II Navy bands. 

Contaminated water at the Camp Lejeune military base has been linked to adverse health effects.
Sanjay Parekh, via Flickr

 

A new study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that babies born to mothers who drank contaminated tap water at Camp Lejeune while pregnant had elevated risks of childhood cancers and serious birth defects.  

Military Jobs
usmilitary.com

A report by the state Commerce Department highlights the economic impact of the military in North Carolina.

The Commerce Department says the state has a tremendous opportunity to grow the economy by helping military personnel find employment after their service ends. 

More than 60,000 people stationed in North Carolina are projected to leave the military over the next five years.  Commerce spokesman Josh Ellis says many of them will stay here.

Soldier saluting
U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs

First Lieutenant Nathan Rimpf of Raleigh lost both his legs to an improvised explosive device in Afghanistan last year.  He received a Purple Heart and got two titanium legs when he returned. And on Thursday he'll be a new home owner.

The NC National Guard responds to New York after Hurricane Sandy in 2012.
The National Guard / Flickr Creative Commons

More than a hundred North Carolina Air and Army National Guard units are trying to reschedule training time they missed during the government shutdown. 

That amounts to about 6,400 troops who could not conduct three weekend drills earlier this month.  Maj. Matthew Devivo says a short lapse in funding was enough to make conducting drills impossible.

"That's operational funds.  That's maintenance funds.  We couldn't move equipment to do training and we couldn't feed the soldiers who would come to drill," Devivo says.

The memorial commemorating the victims of the 1983 bombing in Beirut
Michael D. Dunn / Flickr Creative Commons

Marines at Camp Lejeune are remembering the 1983 bombing of their base in Beirut, Lebanon.

It was 30 years ago Wednesday that a truck loaded with explosives crashed into the barracks and killed 241 service members. Dan Joy was a corporal there. He says he and other surviving veterans have been gathering this week.

"When we started talking, little tidbits of things that we did sort of all came back, you know, and they were just young kids," Joy said.

Zero to Eighty Over Unpaved Roads: A Memoir
Evelyn McNeill / evelynmcneill.com/

  

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