October 18, 2021
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Top Story
The Navy has issued deadlines for compliance with COVID-19 vaccine requirements: Dec. 28 for Reserve members and Nov. 28 for active-duty members. The COVID Consolidated Disposition Authority has been created to "ensure a fair and consistent process" for any Navy service member whose discharge is recommended due to noncompliance with the mandatory vaccine policy.
Full Story: The Hill (10/14),  The Hill (10/14) 
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In the Pentagon
US Air Force Gen. Jacqueline Van Ovost on Friday took over the US Transportation Command, becoming the second woman to be put in charge of a combatant command. Van Ovost "knows the importance of breaking barriers," said Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin.
Full Story: Stars and Stripes (tiered subscription model)/The Associated Press (10/15) 
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On the Hill
Marine Corps Lt. Col. Joe Plenzler, testifying at the first of three legislative committee hearings related to recruiting practices of violent extremist groups as they apply to US veterans last week, said that it's important to figure out how widespread the issue is and what solutions exist. Plenzler and other panel members recommended a joint task force be set up by the VA and the Defense Department to promote information sharing.
Full Story: The Hill (10/13) 
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Service Section News
The Army is changing the rules under which soldiers test for infantry, soldier and medical badges, reducing some logistical hurdles in an effort to make the training and testing more accessible. The current process is time consuming, making it difficult for active-duty units and extremely hard for the Reserve and National Guard.
Full Story: Military online (10/14) 
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Reserve Life
Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz is deploying the state's National Guard to help out at hospitals overwhelmed with COVID-19 and the Puerto Rico National Guard is verifying data on more than 600,000 people they vaccinated in past months. Meanwhile, Oregon has begun pulling out Guard members who were sent to hospitals in August and Florida's National Guard Public Affairs director says that its "COVID missions have officially concluded" after a 20-month deployment.
Full Story: KGW-TV (Portland, Ore.) (10/14),  US Air Force (10/14),  The New York Times (10/16),  Florida Politics (10/15) 
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Military retirees and dependents can continue to use their laminated paper ID cards until they expire, the Pentagon confirmed in response to reports that security personnel are telling them they have to upgrade to new IDs to access facilities. "Bottom line: Expired USIDs are being phased out; non-expired USIDs continue to be accepted as usual," said Army Maj. Charlie Dietz, a Pentagon spokesman.
Full Story: Military online (10/14) 
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