News Archives For June 2009

Welcome Home to all Wounded
American Forces Press ServiceThe Army’s wounded are welcomed back to the country by a team of three Soldiers from the U.S. Army Military District of Washington: the Medical Evacuation to CONUS Hospitals team. more

Baghdad Declares Holiday
American Forces Press ServiceWASHINGTON (American Forces Press Service) – As the United States completed its withdrawal of combat forces from Iraqi cities in accordance with today’s deadline, Baghdad commemorated the milestone with a national holiday. more

Looking Into ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’
American Forces Press ServiceA day after President Barack Obama reaffirmed his pledge to overturn the so-called “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” law, Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates said today he has Defense Department lawyers exploring ways to make it more flexible until the law is changed. more

Withdrawal Marks Historic Day
American Forces Press ServiceCONTINGENCY OPERATING BASE BASRA, Iraq (American Forces Press Service) – In accordance with Article 5 of the security agreement between the U.S. and Iraqi governments, Iraqi security forces now have full ownership of security in their cities, towns and villages more

Wounded Warriors Return to Iraq
American Forces Press Service Six wounded soldiers, all amputees, returned here last week hoping to close the door on the combat that changed them forever. The last time Sgt. Christopher A. Burrell was in Iraq, he was pulled from a burning vehicle in Baghdad’s Sadr City neighborhood. more

Substance Abuse in the Military
American Forces Press ServiceImproved recognition, treatment and prevention of substance abuse among servicemembers is the focus of a recent collaboration between the Defense Department and the National Institute on Drug Abuse, a senior defense official said. more

Iraqi Troops Ready
American Forces Press ServiceThe withdrawal of U.S. combat troops from all Iraqi cities and towns was completed over the weekend and ahead of tomorrow’s deadline, a Pentagon spokesman said on a cable TV news show today. more

Military Has Met SOFA Deadline
American Forces Press ServiceThe U.S. military will have no issues complying with the U.S.-Iraq Status of Forces Agreement, which requires all U.S. troops to withdraw from Iraqi cities by June 30, the commander of Multinational Force Iraq said today. more

Military Spouses Thank Gates
American Forces Press ServiceSince he took office two and a half years ago, Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates has traveled the world talking with troops about their service and sacrifices. At each meeting, the secretary is careful to thank the troops’ families, recognizing their sacrifices as well. more

New Combat Medic Training Manual
American Forces Press ServiceThe U.S. Army Medical Department's recently published "68W Advanced Field Craft: Combat Medic Skills," was named a "Hot Product" at the 27th Annual EMS Today Conference and Exposition, hosted by the Journal of Emergency Medical Services. more

VA Begins Stimulus Payments
American Forces Press ServiceThe first $250 payments to veterans as part of President Obama's recovery plan were sent Monday, and officials at the Department of Veterans Affairs said all payments will be distributed by June 30. more

Afghans Focus on Attacks
American Forces Press ServiceFORWARD OPERATING BASE SALERNO, Afghanistan (American Forces Press Service) – Insurgents operating in eastern Afghanistan increasingly are focusing their attacks away from coalition forces and on local residents, military officials here said. more

Soldiers to Improve Army Products
American Forces Press ServiceFar away from the battlefields of Iraq and Afghanistan, a relatively small group of soldiers subject themselves regularly to searing heat, freezing cold, extreme altitudes and exhausting exercise. more

Obama Rolls Up Sleeves for Kids
American Forces Press ServiceVolunteers were already hard at work stuffing backpacks full of goodies for military kids today in Fort Lesley J. McNair’s gymnasium when President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama arrived to give them a hand. more

Africa Focuses on Extremists
American Forces Press ServiceThe top U.S. military officer with responsibility for Africa concedes he’s worried about the threat of violent extremists taking hold there, particularly in Somalia, and said U.S. Africa Command is working to help regional governments prevent it. more

Training the 'Daughters of Iraq'
American Forces Press ServiceLoud chatter filled the room as ten women from the Daughters of Iraq gathered at an old high school in Yusifiyah, south of Baghdad, June 12, to train new hires, update information in the U.S forces database and discuss present conditions... more

Struggle to Understand Suicides
American Forces Press ServiceWASHINGTON (American Forces Press Service) – Each case is as unique as the name inscribed on the dog tags. Soldiers are taking their own lives in record numbers, and Army senior leaders are struggling to understand why. more

Violence as Troops Leave Iraq
American Forces Press ServicePredicting an uptick in violence in Iraq as U.S. combat troops leave the cities by June 30, Pentagon Press Secretary Geoff Morrell said today that deployed troops have geared up for the heightened threat... more

Forces Work Toward Goals in Iraq
American Forces Press ServiceIraqi and U.S. forces continued to make strides toward meeting the terms of the U.S.-Iraq security agreement in recent days with the transfer of a joint security station to Iraqi control and meetings that offered provincial leaders and... more

Increased Emphasis on Safety
American Forces Press ServiceWASHINGTON (Army News Service) - In the past several years, Army efforts to increase safety has decreased the number of Soldier deaths due to off-duty activities such as motorcycling. more

Post-9/11 GI Bill Transfers
American Forces Press ServiceIt’s official. The Defense Department signed off yesterday on policies and procedures servicemembers will use to transfer their unused Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits to their spouses or children, a Pentagon official said today. more

‘Great Signs of Success’ with Border
American Forces Press ServiceAfghan, Pakistani and coalition military operations designed to restrict militants’ movements and eliminate safe havens along the Afghanistan-Pakistan border have accomplished visible gains, a senior U.S. military officer posted in Afghanistan said today. more

Military Unites With Hollywood
American Forces Press Service“Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen” hits theaters nationwide as the culmination of more than a year of DoD support, ranging from script and uniform notes to C-17 aerial maneuvers and jumps from the Army's Golden Knights parachute... more

Parents Share Graduation from Iraq
American Forces Press ServiceAs his daughter, Ercilia, crossed the stage to receive her diploma at Belton High School's 2009 graduation ceremony in Texas, Staff Sgt. Ronal Cantarero tried to hold back his tears. He couldn't. It was one of the proudest moments of his life as a parent... more

Transfering Control to Iraqis
American Forces Press ServiceSoldiers from the 1st Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, transferred responsibility of Joint Security Station Basateen, JSS Suleikh, and Tharwa II to the government of Iraq, June 8. more

Soldiers Deliver Trucks to Iraqi Army
American Forces Press ServiceSoldiers from 115th “Muleskinner” Brigade Support Battalion of the 1st Cavalry Division’s 1st Brigade Combat Team delivered five up-armored Ford F-350 trucks to the 11th Iraqi Army Division at Joint Security Station Rasheed here June 19. more

Suicide Prevention Message
American Forces Press ServiceThe Department of Veterans Affairs took to the road, literally, when it decided to advertise about its “VA Suicide Prevention Lifeline” on public transportation buses in 124 communities across the country. more

Impact of Deployments on Children
American Forces Press ServiceDeployments since fighting began in Iraq and Afghanistan have affected nearly 2 million military children, and about 234,000 of those children currently have at least one parent deployed, according to a 2007 Defense Manpower Data Center report. more

Reliving the 1919 Army Convoy
American Forces Press ServiceNearly 90 years ago on July 7, 1919, the country's first Army transcontinental convoy of 81 brand new military vehicles departed from mile marker zero near the White House and headed cross-country via the Lincoln Highway to San Francisco, Calif. more

Soldiers, Singers Tell Army Story
American Forces Press ServiceDuring Army's birthday this year, the service is celebrating the noncommissioned officer, the support of families to the warfighter, and a rich Army heritage of more than 200 years -- all stories worth telling... more

Next 18 months Critical in AF
American Forces Press ServiceThe general said the conflict should not be viewed solely as a military struggle. It is not a question of whether the United States is winning, he said, but whether the Afghan people are winning. The Afghan government is the ultimate deciding factor... more

Fort Jackson Soldier earns Silver Star
American Forces Press ServiceStaff Sgt. Sean Samaroo, 4th Battalion, 10th Infantry Regiment, was awarded the Silver Star for his actions in Afghanistan in a ceremony June 11. The ceremony took place at the newly designated Wanat Range, formerly known as Camden Range. more

Military Fathers' Sacrifices
American Forces Press ServicePresident Barack Obama recognized in his Father’s Day proclamation the sacrifices military fathers make every day, and hosted the Military Father of the Year today at the White House for a town hall session on fatherhood. more

Enablers to Support Special Ops
American Forces Press ServiceWith heavy demand on special operations capabilities and limitations on how quickly these forces can grow, it’s critical that the services develop more capabilities to support special operators, the commander of U.S. Special Operations Command told Congress. more

Father, Son Serve Together in Iraq
American Forces Press ServiceThis Father’s day weekend has special meaning for Army Maj. Benjamin Rex. Rex, a native of Albion, Ind., is serving here alongside his son, Army Pfc. Jeromy Bruce Rex. The soldiers serve together with the 82nd Airborne Division’s 3rd Brigade Combat Team, based out of Fort Bragg, N.C. more

Military Flexibility to Handle Threats
American Forces Press ServiceThere is a need for both counterinsurgency specialists and the conventional weaponry needed to deter nations. The upcoming Quadrennial Defense Review will take this into account and look at new ways to size the force... more

Privatization of Military Housing
American Forces Press ServiceThe fiscal 2010 budget request will bring the Defense Department’s housing inventory in the United States that is funded for privatization to 98 percent, Wayne Arny, deputy undersecretary for installations and environment... more

Soldier Pushes Self, Inspires Others
American Forces Press ServiceWhen the Army became her vehicle seven years ago, Sgt. Gabrielle M. Martinez got behind the wheel, fastened her seat belt and ignited the engine. Then she put her foot on the gas. She didn't just come along for the ride. more

Iraq Withdrawal Plans on Track
American Forces Press ServiceEverything is on track for the withdrawal of American troops from the cities of Iraq. Iraqi security forces are set to assume responsibility for the areas, Iraqi spokesman Ali al-Dabbagh said at a June 15 news conference. more

Bombing Activity on Afghan Route
American Forces Press ServiceWith at least 10 improvised explosive devices found and detonated in recent weeks on a key route leaders prepared to travel along on June 13, Soldiers in Afghanistan's Wardak province set up a traffic checkpoint. more

New 'America's Army 3'
American Forces Press ServiceThousands of gamers will be able to play "America's Army 3," the newest version of the Army's popular video game, beginning Wednesday. The original game has been out since July 4, 2002, but the new version... more

Pentagon's New Public Affairs Chief
American Forces Press ServiceWhen Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates tapped Price Floyd to run the Defense Department's public affairs operation, he gave him two basic marching orders: improve the way the department communicates -- especially to young people -- and solicit feedback in the process. more

Army Traffic Safety Training Facility
American Forces Press ServiceThe facility cost approximately $500,000 and took almost three years to build. It is equipped with one motorcycle simulator and 25 driving station simulators, affording Soldiers with little or no driving experience an opportunity to learn... more

Soldier Showcases Gear at Pentagon
American Forces Press ServiceRepresentatives of Program Executive Office Soldier displayed to visitors some of the technologies they are fielding or plan to field -- including a water-cooled vest, a lighter machine gun, and a common control panel for unmanned vehicles. more

Ailing Teen Becomes a Soldier
American Forces Press Service Lately Kayla Colyer-Platzer's reality has been consumed with her battle against Hodgkin's disease. However, the 15-year-old high school student was able to get a break from her worries, June 15, when she became a Soldier for a day at Fort Greely. more

Info for Soldiers Heading to Korea
American Forces Press ServiceSoldiers on orders for Korea need to know about the new Army Instructions on tour lengths and options for bringing family members. These new instructions are critical to ensuring quality of life for family members... more

Army Moves to Privatize Lodging
American Forces Press ServiceSoldiers in a temporary duty or permanent change of station status who need lodging aboard Army installations will begin to see improvements in those accommodations as the service moves to privatize lodging at 10 posts beginning Aug. 15. more

Army Moves to Privatize Lodging
American Forces Press ServiceSoldiers in a temporary duty or permanent change of station status who need lodging aboard Army installations will begin to see improvements in those accommodations as the service moves to privatize lodging at 10 posts beginning Aug. 15. more

Missile Defense Focus on Challenges
American Forces Press ServiceNorth Korea and Iran pose serious nuclear and missile proliferation concerns for the United States and other nations and will be major considerations in the U.S ballistic missile defense review... more

Disjointed Security Threats
American Forces Press ServiceThe threats that face the United States are more amorphous today than at any time in history, and the commands responsible for defending North America must maintain vigilance, Air Force Gen. Gene Renuart said here today. more

Army Takes New Approach to Suicide
American Forces Press ServiceAs the number of Soldiers committing suicide continues to rise, the Army's suicide prevention campaign shifts its focus to junior leaders in an effort to arm them with the tools they need to help their Soldiers before a problem reaches a tragic end. more

Retired Capt. Continues Career
American Forces Press ServiceThe average Army career, if a soldier chooses to make a life of the service, is a little more than 20 years. But for one jovial 62-year old Army captain, 20 years hardly seemed like enough. more

Army Marks 234 Years of Service
American Forces Press ServiceCiting the organization’s long history of selfless service and sacrifice, Deputy Defense Secretary William J. Lynn III helped to commemorate the Army’s 234th birthday today at a Pentagon ceremony. more

Training for Quick Response
American Forces Press ServiceBAGHDAD, Iraq (Blackanthem Military News) - The ability to rapidly respond to a time sensitive target is something Paratroopers stressed to their Iraqi counterparts during a training event, June 10, in east Baghdad's 9 Nissan District. more

Command to Focus on Battle Tactics
American Forces Press ServiceABOARD A U.S. MILITARY AIRCRAFT (American Forces Press Service) -- Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates said a new "intermediate" command set for Afghanistan will allow the commander to concentrate on day-to-day tactical events across the country. more

Unique Soldiers Help Alleviate Stress
American Forces Press ServiceAfter serving 15-months in Iraq, Sgt. 1st Class Boe and Sgt. 1st Class Budge, 528th Combat Stress Control, 44th Medical Command, made the march across the tarmac at Green Ramp on Pope Air Force Base June 6. more

Amputee Makes Army History
American Forces Press ServiceSince sustaining an injury in Iraq nearly five years ago, a lot has changed for then Staff Sgt. Johnathan W. Holsey. He lost his left leg below the knee and got a prosthetic, he's gone snowboarding for the first time, run a marathon, and he's made Army history... more

Foreclosure Protection for Military
American Forces Press ServicePresident Barack Obama’s latest efforts to look after home renters gives military members additional protection if the homes they rent are foreclosed, a Defense Department official said today. more

Colbert EntertainsTroops in Iraq
American Forces Press ServiceArriving in a C-17 from Kuwait, Colbert landed at the Baghdad International Airport, June 5, and began preparing for his shows at Camp Victory's Al Faw Palace, as part of his tour "Operation Iraqi Stephen: Going Commando." more

May Recruiting Shows Success
American Forces Press ServiceMay was a banner recruiting month for every military service, but especially for the Marine Corps, which topped its active-duty goal by 42 percent and attracted nearly 1,200 recruits to the Marine Corps Reserve, more than double the goal of 565. more

Momentum Shift in Afghanistan
American Forces Press ServiceWASHINGTON (American Forces Press Service) – Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates said he hopes to see signs that the new strategy in Afghanistan is working over the next year to 18 months as Afghan security forces improve. more

Families Drive Budget Request
American Forces Press ServiceThe nation’s top military officer told Congress yesterday the fiscal 2010 defense budget request puts money where it’s needed: to recruit and retain the quality troops and their families who form the foundation of the all-volunteer force. more

Army Applies Science to Uniform Fit
American Forces Press ServiceThe Army and Marine Corps are surveying their populations to better design clothing to fit warfighters for the next 10 to 15 years. The Army has maintained an anthropometric database – the scientific term for a database derived from body measurements -- since World War II. more

Romanian Forces End Mission in Iraq
American Forces Press ServiceMilitary operations in Iraq formally ended for Romanian forces June 4, as one of America's coalition allies prepared to ship out some of its remaining troops with an end-of-mission ceremony held by Romania's 26th Infantry "Red Scorpions" Battalion. more

Operation 'Good Heart' Gives Life
American Forces Press ServiceAs an Iraqi girl and her mother carefully stepped out of a mine resistant ambush protected vehicle, they turned to find nearly an entire village anxious and waiting for their return from a two-month long journey. more

Shooting Victim Praises Army
American Forces Press ServiceA soldier wounded last week during an attack at a recruiting office in Little Rock, Ark., that claimed a fellow soldier’s life expressed no bitterness today at his attacker, and said the incident has done nothing to dampen his desire to serve in the Army. more

Seattle Seahawks get Army Training
American Forces Press ServicePlayers arrived at the installation at 9 a.m. for greetings and initial briefings, then divided into 16 groups to be escorted by organizations representing a cross section of Army activities, and hands-on military training gave the athletes new respect for Army life... more

Iraq's Hot, but a Tourist Hotspot?
American Forces Press ServiceIraq's first notable tourist, Jonah, hated it. Belched out of a whale and stuck under Ninevah's parching, sweltering sun, the Bible says he cared more for the plant that shaded him than for the city he was sent to save. more

Proposed Budget Requirements
American Forces Press ServiceThe fiscal 2010 defense budget request is a “reform budget” that builds on lessons learned on the battlefield to shape the military to confront other potential threats around the world, now and in the future, Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates told Congress today. more

Father of Seven Returns to Duty
American Forces Press ServiceArmy Spc. Jonathan Goodwin is a lot of different things: husband, father of seven children, jokester, and the kind of person who can light up a room with his sense of humor. But before he was any of these things, he became a soldier, signing up for his first enlistment in May 1992. more

Security Command Makes Progress
American Forces Press ServiceMultinational Security Transition Command Iraq is working toward its mission to assist the Iraqi Interior Ministry in generating a professional and credible police force, one of the command’s deputy commanders said today. more

Schools Help Pay for Education
American Forces Press ServiceThe Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) announced today that it has entered into more than 700 agreements with institutions of higher learning across the nation to participate in the Post-9/11 GI Bill’s “Yellow Ribbon Program.” more

Pets of Patriots' Program
American Forces Press ServiceWhen Soldiers deploy they often leave behind loving family members, including small furry ones. To alleviate some of the concerns Soldiers have regarding their pet's care, the Hawaiian Humane Society offers a unique service called the "Pets of Patriots" program. more

Obama Honors D-Day Veterans
American Forces Press ServiceU.S. President Barack Obama, French President Nicolas Sarkozy, Prince Charles of Wales, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom Gordon Brown and Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper spoke here yesterday at a ceremony honoring the servicemembers... more

Deployed Parents See Graduations
American Forces Press ServiceThis year, as it’s been for the last five, no high school senior graduating from a Department of Defense Education Activity school in Europe will look around wishing a parent could be there as the sound of “Pomp and Circumstance” fills the air. more

I.A.M. Strong Concert Tour
American Forces Press ServiceThe 2009 Army Concert Tour, which includes artists Sugarland, Tim McGraw and Lynyrd Skynyrd, is sponsored by I.A.M. Strong, the Army's campaign to combat sexual harassment and sexual assaults by engaging all Soldiers to prevent inappropriate behavior before it occurs. more

DoD Priority Placement Program
American Forces Press ServiceThe program provides hiring preference to eligible civilian employees who’ve been displaced from their jobs because of downsizing or restructuring, said Jeff Nelson, chief of the Civilian Assistance Reemployment Division... more

Father, Son Serve in Iraq
American Forces Press ServiceWhen Cpl. Jared P. Lopez joined the Marine Corps in September 2006, he always knew there would be a possibility that he would deploy at the same time as his father, who has served in the Marine Corps for nearly 20 years. But he didn’t think they would end up on the same base in Iraq. more

Reaching Out to Muslim World
American Forces Press ServicePresident Barack Obama reached out to the Muslim world today, urging a new beginning that rises above historical tensions and is built on commonly held principles that reject violence and promote cooperation and stability. more

Soldier Seeks to Fulfill Dream
American Forces Press ServiceBefore he was wounded in Iraq while serving in the Army as a special operations soldier, Matt Nyman’s life revolved around family and outdoor activities. Now, despite having lost his right leg below the knee, he’s planning on fulfilling a long-time dream... more

Army Preps for 234th Birthday
American Forces Press ServiceTogether with members of local communities, Army Soldiers, civilians and family members will join to celebrate the Army's birthday on June 14, with events throughout the month, highlighting... more

Joint War Games Test Security
American Forces Press ServiceWASHINGTON (American Forces Press Service) – A series of seminar-type, joint-force war games being held at McLean, Va., are examining present and future threats, senior U.S. military officers said here today. more

Joint War Games Test Today’s Security
American Forces Press ServiceWASHINGTON (American Forces Press Service) – A series of seminar-type, joint-force war games being held at McLean, Va., are examining present and future threats, senior U.S. military officers said here today. more

Senior Veterans Compete to Win
American Forces Press ServiceMilitary veterans competing in the National Veterans Golden Age Games each year have their own reasons for participating. Some come out for the camaraderie, while others come to socialize and catch up with old friends. more

Gates Meets Soldiers on Front Lines
American Forces Press ServiceDefense Secretary Robert M. Gates stepped down inside a missile silo here yesterday to get an up-close look at the system he says will protect the United States from an intercontinental ballistic missile threat. more

Army Spouses Play Soldiers for a Day
American Forces Press ServiceA formation of Soldiers, toting weapons and battle gear fell in on Minick Field, May 9, to test their fitness and combat skills. The group was all but uniform. Some wore ACUs, some BDUs. Others sported a combination of both with either black or brown boots or sneakers. more

New Soldier-Dads Get Leave
American Forces Press ServiceThe Army wants Soldier-dads to know there is a new paternity leave policy available to them and spread the word to military bloggers at the Pentagon today. The policy allows new dads up to 10 consecutive days of administrative leave after the birth of a child. more

Soldiers Support D-Day Ceremonies
American Forces Press ServiceWhen the time comes Saturday, to honor the servicemen who fought and died supporting the D-Day invasion, thousands are expected to flock to the shores of Utah Beach and Omaha Beach to pay homage to the bravery and sacrifice of these heroes. more

Input From Troops in Afghanistan
American Forces Press ServiceThe top Army Reserve officer arrived in Afghanistan today to hear firsthand how his deployed soldiers are faring, particularly in light of continued demand for their capabilities in both Afghanistan and Iraq. more

Up-close Look at U.S. Missile Defense
American Forces Press ServiceDefense Secretary Robert M. Gates stepped down inside a missile silo here yesterday to get an up-close look at the system he says will protect the United States from an intercontinental ballistic missile threat. more

Laptops For Flat Tops
American Forces Press today announces the company’s second Laptops for Flat Tops contest, which will award one laptop with an embedded Webcam (for the family) and an additional Webcam (for the soldier) to two families... more

Army to Celebrate 234th Birthday
American Forces Press ServiceThe Army Birthday Ball is set for June 13 at the Hilton Washington Hotel located at 1919 Connecticut Ave. Northwest, in Washington, D.C. The reception for this year's Birthday Ball is set for 5:30 p.m. and the ball itself begins at 7 p.m. more

Troops on Pace to Leave Iraq
American Forces Press ServiceAmerican combat troops are on pace to leave Iraqi cities by the June 30 deadline stipulated by the U.S.-Iraq security agreement.. Army Brig. Gen. Keith Walker said in a news conference that security throughout the country has continued to improve. more

Cash Bonus to Replace ‘Stop Loss’
American Forces Press ServiceThe Deployment Extension Stabilization Pay program replaces the “Stop Loss” involuntary extension program and pays a cash bonus of up to $6,000 to soldiers in units set to deploy who elect to stay in past their end-of-service date... more

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