The Army has directed recruiters to stop enlisting green-card holders in the National Guard or Reserve. Immigrants who are legal permanent residents can still enlist for active duty, but they won't be able to go to basic training until a lengthy background check has been completed, which could take more than a year.
Lawmakers are still waiting for answers from the Pentagon and the White House about an ambush in Niger two weeks ago that resulted in the deaths of four US soldiers. "They are not forthcoming with that information," said Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman John McCain, R-Ariz.
Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., sparred with Pentagon official Kenneth Rapuano on Thursday over the Defense Department's role in cyberdefense. Rapuano said the military's role in domestic affairs should be limited, while McCain argued that the Pentagon's responsibility extends to defending the nation against threats that involve cyberspace, including any attempt by a foreign entity to influence US elections.
Puerto Rico Army National Guard troops who have been on deployment in Kuwait have been allowed to return home a week early to help their families recover from Hurricane Maria. "The soldiers were happy [and] they were focused on doing whatever they needed to do to leave a week early," said Army Capt. Luis Camacho Santiago, the 215th Engineer Company's commander.
The California Air National Guard is helping provide cellphone and internet service to those evacuated from areas affected by wildfires in Northern California. A mobile operations center from March Air Reserve Base's 163rd Attack Wing set up shop in Napa, Calif., last week, enabling evacuees to contact family members and get information about their homes.
The Army's Servicemembers' Group Life Insurance Online Enrollment System launched earlier this month to streamline the enrollment process. Nearly 49,000 soldiers had used the system as of mid-October, said Lt. Col. Stacie Hatten, a branch chief with Human Resources Command.
The VA's new ID cards will go only to veterans who received honorable discharges, a decision that has angered some advocacy groups. "I find it incredibly frustrating, and deeply hurtful, that the VA would deny hundreds of thousands of veterans like me our very identity, after all that we know today about the nexus of PTSD and bad paper," said Kris Goldsmith of High Ground Veterans Advocacy, which helps veterans who have received less-than-honorable discharges.