Up to 20,000 National Guard troops are anticipated in Washington, D.C., in the week leading up to and on Inauguration Day, according to Metropolitan Police Chief Robert Contee. Secretary of the Army Ryan McCarthy has authorized the Guard troops to be armed, and the Secret Service along with the Army are collaborating to assess whether additional background screening will be performed.
All eight Joint Chiefs of Staff members condemned last week's attack on the Capitol in a letter to US troops, saying "Any act to disrupt the Constitutional process is not only against our traditions, values, and oath; it is against the law." The letter reinforced Congressional certification of Joe Biden as President-elect.
The House Future of Defense Task Force is calling for the US to prioritize investment in defense technologies and working with the private sector to advance innovations. "A whole-of-government approach that better partners with the private sector will lead to advancements that help our entire country and our economy," write Reps. Seth Moulton, D-Mass., and Jim Banks, R-Ind.
The jobless rate for all veterans in the US was 5.3% in December, a drop of 1% from November, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports. The rate for Iraq and Afghanistan War veterans fell to 5.1% from 6.9% over the same period while the rate from Gulf War-era veterans reached 4.4%.
Thousands of National Guard troops are heading to Washington, D.C., to help secure the Capitol through Inauguration Day, but states may need to balance their own need as intelligence organizations warn of possible attacks on state governments, including those closest to D.C. "We're not going to pull too much out of their states and put them at risk, so a very delicate risk management process is underway," Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy said.
The Navy Reserve has updated its Meritorious Advancement Program so it lines up with the cycles of the Navy's overall advancement exam to give Reserve sailors more promotional opportunities. "We've refined and improved the program to further empower command triads the ability to recognize their most talented sailors through immediate advancement," said Reserve Force Command Career Counselor Master Chief Kimberly Cedar.
Air Force Reserve Senior Airman Louis Shackelford began a clothing donation effort two years ago when the Air Force changed uniform styles, giving socks, shirts and belts he could no longer use to others in need. Now he's reached out to other Reserve airmen for donations to the Max Clinic of Harborview Medical Center in Washington, which helps people with a number of different needs as the transition to the Operational Camouflage Pattern continues through April.
Tricare Select beneficiaries were required to set up a payment plan by Dec. 31 to pay new enrollment fees, but nearly 175,000 have not done so, putting their continued coverage in jeopardy. Coverage can be reinstated if back enrollment fees are paid within six months.