News Archives For February 2009

Obama Praises Troops, Families
Blackanthem Military NewsAddressing an audience at Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, N.C., the president praised the work of U.S. servicemembers in Iraq who have contributed to a substantial drop in overall violence, dealt al-Qaida a “serious blow” and bolstered Iraqi security forces. more

Podcast "Command Performance"
Blackanthem Military NewsThe Pentagon Channel is giving troops a chance to get to know their favorite entertainers a little better with a new video podcast called “Command Performance.” The podcast consists of an interactive session with popular entertainers... more

First Amputee Accepted
Blackanthem Military NewsStaff Sgt. Johnathan Holsey became the first amputee accepted by the Warrant Officer School in Fort Rucker, Ala., where he is to report in April. He is currently assigned to Human Resources Command in Alexandria, Va. more

Soldier Re-enlists to be With Guard
Blackanthem Military NewsFew people could fault Army Spc. Bobby Gladney when he did not immediately re-enlist after seven years of service in the National Guard, which included a deployment here in 2003. Gladney had family back home in Mississippi... more

Father, Son Team Up for Iraq
Blackanthem Military NewsDenver and Eric Gillespie, both Navy veterans and ACE employees, soon will complete their six-month tours. What made the deployment so special was meeting, working with and getting to know the Iraqi people, they said. more

New Way Forward for Defense
Blackanthem Military NewsIn a speech mainly dedicated to the economic crisis facing the world, the president honored the nation's men and women in uniform, vowing to increase the size of the Army and Marine Corps, raise military pay and provide the medical care veterans deserve. more

Vet Gives Voice to Military Musicians
Blackanthem Military NewsMusic is considered by many to be a universal language, and for some military veterans, it is the only language that allows them to describe their experiences in combat and their struggles afterward. more

Army Seeks Skills From Non-Citizens
Blackanthem Military NewsUnder the Military Accessions Vital to the National Interest pilot recruiting program -- a Department of Defense-wide initiative -- the Secretary of Defense has authorized the Army to recruit up to 890 individuals who are living legally in the United States but who are not citizens. more

Violence in Iraq at Six-Year Low
Blackanthem Military NewsArmy Maj. Gen. David Perkins, director for strategic effects at Multinational Force Iraq, told reporters in Baghdad the downtick in violence marks a 90-percent decrease since the surge of U.S. troops began in 2007. more

System for Seriously Injured Vets
Blackanthem Military NewsTwo years is much too long to determine service disabilities, especially when the injuries obviously qualify a servicemember for full benefits and compensation, a senior Defense Department official said here today. more

Military Opens Mental Health Clinic
Blackanthem Military NewsThe Bagram Freedom Restoration Center here is the first mental health clinic for troops in Afghanistan. The center’s main goal is to give servicemembers skills to cope with combat stress and the rigors of deployment, and return them to duty quickly. more

Soldier, Family Center
Blackanthem Military NewsThe construction of a new Soldier and Family Assistance Center here underscores the nation’s commitment to those who sacrifice so much, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff said during a groundbreaking ceremony yesterday. more

Toy Drive for Iraqi Children
Blackanthem Military NewsWhen Maj. Robert Kirkpatrick, an Army reservist here, answered the requests of friends and co-workers back home in Illinois about what they could send him during his deployment, his thoughts went to the children living near here in southern Iraq. more

LA. First Black General Officer
Blackanthem Military NewsFour weeks to the day after the inauguration of American's first black president, the Louisiana National Guard promoted its first black officer to the rank of brigadier general. Owen Monconduit received his first star during a ceremony on Camp Liberty, Iraq, Feb. 17. more

Largest Force Deployed Since WWII
Blackanthem Military NewsThousands of family members and more than a hundred civilian and military officials converged on the Dane County Veterans Memorial Coliseum to bid farewell to some 3,200 members of the 32nd Infantry Brigade Combat Team on its way to service in Iraq. more

More Time Between Deployments
Blackanthem Military News The nation’s top military officer expressed concern here yesterday about servicemembers and their families “toughing it out” with frequent deployments and little time together between those deployments. more

‘Military Saves Week’ to Help Troops
Blackanthem Military NewsU.S. military members are affected by the global economic downturn, and the Defense Department is providing information and services to help troops and their families develop “good financial stewardship,” a senior Pentagon official said today. more

Strykers Gear Up for New Mission
Blackanthem Military NewsThe Army’s Stryker armored vehicle will get its first crack at the resurgent Taliban and terrorist strongholds in Afghanistan this summer when the 2nd Infantry Division’s 5th Stryker Brigade Combat Team hits the ground there. more

‘Adopt a U.S. Soldier’
Blackanthem Military NewsSince its inception four years ago, “Adopt a U.S. Soldier” has connected more than 100,000 servicemembers to 265,000 supportive Americans who have sent them regular care packages, wrote letters and, on occasion, run errands for family members. more

Vietnam Vets Serve Again in Iraq
Blackanthem Military NewsThis is Derry’s second tour in Iraq. He serves as the officer in charge of the battalion’s air movement request section. His job includes viewing flight schedules for battalion soldiers and ensuring they have adequate fuel and time to execute missions. more

Afghanistan Additional Troops
Blackanthem Military News The commander of NATO and U.S. forces in Afghanistan said yesterday that while he’s pleased with President Barack Obama’s authorization to send 17,000 more troops to Afghanistan, tough times are ahead. more

Weatherman Takes on Battle
Blackanthem Military NewsIt was just after 1 a.m. on Jan. 24. He was just two months into his first deployment after graduating from advanced-skills training here in September. The special operations weather team journeyman and the Marines he served with were on patrol... more

12,000 Soldiers to Afghanistan
Blackanthem Military NewsPresident Barack Obama has ordered a Marine expeditionary brigade and an Army Stryker brigade combat team -- totaling 12,000 soldiers and Marines -- to Afghanistan. Of the 12,000, 4,000 are soldiers and the remaining 8,000 are Marines. Both units will deploy later this spring. more

Presidential Scholars Program
Blackanthem Military NewsMore than a dozen Department of Defense Education Activity students are among the 3,000 U.S. high school students chosen as candidates for the 2009 Presidential Scholars Program. more

Guardsmen Take on NBA Stars
Blackanthem Military NewsArizona Army and Air National Guardsmen were honored for their combat service Feb. 15 with an opportunity to score against National Basketball Association greats Shaquille O’Neal and David Robinson during the 2009 NBA All-Star Weekend here. more

Grandmother Pursues Her Dream
Blackanthem Military NewsWhen some people reach a certain stage in life, they may decide to set their dreams aside. But one grandmother of three decided to make her dream come true -- a quarter of a century later. more

Economic Crisis Overlays all Threats
Blackanthem Military NewsThe global economic crisis colors all other threats confronting the United States, the new director of national intelligence told the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence on Feb. 12. more

Americans Help Burned Girl
Blackanthem Military NewsU.S. troops treated a badly burned Afghan girl and a provincial reconstruction team trained Afghan soldiers and prison guards in recent examples of efforts to make both an immediate and a long-term difference in Afghanistan. more

Suicide Prevention Hotline
Blackanthem Military NewsNearly 100,000 veterans, family members or friends of veterans have reached out for help by calling the Department of Veterans Affairs suicide prevention hotline at 1-800-273-TALK. The hotline was launched July 2007. more

Prepare for ‘Hybrid’ Warfare
Blackanthem Military NewsThe U.S. military boasts dominant nuclear and conventional capabilities, but must improve its capacity to fight irregular wars, NATO's supreme allied commander for transformation said yesterday. more

Issued OCIE During PCS Move
Blackanthem Military NewsAll Soldiers can now keep some of their issued organizational clothing and individual equipment (OCIE) when they making a permanent change of station move. Soldiers can keep items based on two factors .. what the items are, and what unit the Soldier is moving to. more

Support Group Adaptive Clothing
Blackanthem Military NewsA troop-support group that provides clothing specially adapted for wounded troops, will roll out a new line of garments later this year. Since 2004, Sew Much Comfort has provided adaptive clothing and comfort accessories to injured servicemembers throughout the United States, Germany, Iraq, Afghanistan and Kuwait. more

Valentine’s Day Messages Home
Blackanthem Military NewsSoldiers may not be with their loved ones tomorrow for Valentine’s Day, but they’ve figured out the next best option. Soldiers of the 1st Cavalry Division’s 4th Brigade Combat Team sent videotaped messages home through a program called “Heart To Heart.” more

Equality in Iraq
Blackanthem Military NewsWASHINGTON (American Forces Press Service) – As Iraq becomes increasingly self-sufficient, U.S. forces remain on hand to offer training and guidance aimed at building relationships and a better future for the nation. more

Movie Premiere Hits Close to Home
Blackanthem Military NewsSenior military officials and government dignitaries gathered to watch the premiere of “Taking Chance,” the HBO made-for-TV movie, at the Motion Picture Association of America here Feb. 9. more

‘Valentines for Veterans’ Concerts
Blackanthem Military NewsA nonprofit organization and officials from four Veterans Affairs hospitals joined forces to plan four free “Valentines for Veterans” concerts to show appreciation to veterans and their families. The free concerts are for veterans and their families only. more

Special Ops ‘Fight’ Conflicts...
Blackanthem Military NewsA panel of experts provided insights on persistent conflicts throughout the world to more than 300 participants in the 20th Annual Special Operations/Low-Intensity Conflict symposium here yesterday. more

Increase ‘Dwell Time’ for Troops
Blackanthem Military News“There's no question in my mind that the 15-month tours were very, very hard on our troops and on their families,” Gates said during a Pentagon news conference. “And I think we moved to get back to 12 months deployed just as quickly as we could.” more

Efforts Focused Outside War Zones
Blackanthem Military NewsThough U.S. special operations forces are working with local and regional governments to reduce and prevent instability on a global scale, very few actually are engaged in direct combat, the commander of U.S. Special Operations Command said today. more

Transform Iraq One Village at a Time
Blackanthem Military NewsThe combined forces focused recent efforts near Tikrit, northwest of Baghdad, where they transformed a former “ghost town” into a viable community and are preparing to renovate a structurally unsafe school without running water. more

Surge in Afghanistan
Blackanthem Military NewsThe top U.S. military officer said today he doesn't expect the United States to deploy more than about 30,000 additional troops to Afghanistan, emphasizing the need for the State Department and other U.S. agencies to do their part as well. more

From War Zone to Campus
Blackanthem Military NewsMilitary veterans transitioning from service to the classroom face challenges more complex than simply memorizing dates, learning theories and mastering equations. Adjusting to the college environment often is the most difficult part of the transition from military life... more

Seek Mental Health Care
Blackanthem Military NewsThe chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff emphasized the importance of de-stigmatizing mental-health care for returning war veterans today as he cut the ribbon on a newly renovated facility designed to improve that care. more

People 'First and Foremost'
Blackanthem Military NewsAs the military begins to shift its focus from Iraq to Afghanistan, it can't lose focus on supporting troops and their families, most importantly by increasing the “dwell time” at home stations between deployments, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff said here today. more

DoD Offers Tax Preparation Help
Blackanthem Military NewsWith April 15 looming, the Defense Department is on call to take the sting out of tax return preparation for servicemembers. “Each of the legal offices provides some form of tax preparation assistance...” more

Intelligence Lab Tests Best Practices
Blackanthem Military NewsA new laboratory being built at U.S. Joint Forces Command’s Joint Warfighting Center here will enable analysts and warfighters alike to “step into” data fields like those that bombard them during real-life missions. more

Americans Build Iraq's Schools
Americans Build Schools, Communities in Iraq U.S. servicemembers in Iraq are building communities and goodwill as their role there increasingly shifts to helping the Iraqis toward sovereignty. U.S. soldiers started renovations on a high school and transferred a police station to Iraqi leaders. more

Sew Much Comfort Gives Clothing
Blackanthem Military NewsA troop-support group that provides clothing specially adapted for wounded troops recovering in military hospitals, will roll out a new line of garments later this year. more

Reduce Mental Health Stigma
Blackanthem Military NewsThe general suffered from post-traumatic stress after surviving a near-death experience during his first deployment to Iraq in 2004. Now he willingly shares his tale of recovery and hopes his example will help others in dealing with war’s invisible wounds. more

African-American Citizenship
Blackanthem Military NewsThe national theme of this year's African-American History Month observance running through February is "Quest for Black Citizenship in the Americas." In keeping with this theme, the Equal Employment Opportunity Web site features a quiz "Paving the Way to the Presidency." more

Guard Leaders Discuss Successes
Blackanthem Military NewsHaving enough equipment for domestic response missions, providing support services to warriors and families, and forging international partnerships were just a few of the topics discussed here yesterday by leaders... more

‘Successful’ Iraqi Elections
Blackanthem Military NewsIraq’s government and its security forces deserve praise for overseeing the successful and mostly violence-free provincial elections that were held countrywide Jan. 31, a senior U.S. military officer posted in Iraq said today. more

Unique Deployment Opportunity
Blackanthem Military NewsWASHINGTON (American Forces Press Service) – Being deployed to Afghanistan as part of a provincial reconstruction team is the experience of a lifetime for an intelligence officer with a passion for Middle Eastern culture. more

American Youth to Face Challenges
Blackanthem Military NewsIn a speech aimed at American youth, Navy Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, encouraged the college-aged generation last night to help shape their country’s future. more

More U.S. Troops Needed
Blackanthem Military NewsEscalating levels of violence committed by resurgent Taliban fighters and al-Qaida terrorists operating in southern and eastern Afghanistan and along the border with Pakistan has caused “a deteriorating security situation,” Morrell said at a Pentagon news conference. more

Web Site Helps Deployed Troops
Blackanthem Military NewsAbout 20 percent of servicemembers returning from Iraq and Afghanistan experience adjustment difficulties such as stress, irritability and sleep problems, Dr. Robert Ciulla, program manager for, said. more

New Bridge Brings Hope
Blackanthem Military NewsMore than 100 Afghans and Panjshir Provincial Reconstruction Team members attended the ribbon-cutting ceremony of the new $180,000 Bakshi Khiel Bridge in the Rokha district of Afghanistan’s Panjshir province Jan. 26. more

Iraqis Vote
Blackanthem Military NewsMembers of the 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, Multi-National Division – Baghdad, assisted the Iraqi security forces with security, while Iraqis exercised their democratic right to vote Jan 31. more

Army Pulls Body Armor
Blackanthem Military NewsThe Army is collecting more than 16,000 sets of body armor ballistic inserts, even though it considers those inserts to be fully capable of doing the job they were designed to do. The results of "first article tests" on the effectiveness of three designs of ballistic inserts are being questioned. more

USO, NFL Host Super Bowl Party
Blackanthem Military NewsFor the third straight year, the National Football League and the USO of Metropolitan Washington teamed up to sponsor a Super Bowl party for Washington-based servicemembers and their families. more

Obama's Super Bowl Messages
Blackanthem Military NewsDeployed troops watching the Super Bowl game between the Pittsburgh Steelers and Arizona Cardinals yesterday were greeted with messages from their new commander in chief and top Defense Department officials. more

Army-issued Body Armor Safe
Blackanthem Military NewsWASHINGTON (American Forces Press Service) – Soldiers should have full confidence in the quality of a particular series of Army-issued body armor plates that has come under recent scrutiny, Army officials said. more

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