Transgender sailors and Marines will be able to declare their status in the fall, and transgender recruits will be accepted at boot camp beginning next summer, Navy officials say. Defense Department handbooks offering guidance will be distributed to commanders and service members by Oct. 1.
A small number of US special operations troops are on the ground in Libya, providing direct support to local fighters as they battle the Islamic State in the city of Sirte. The troops are providing intelligence and planning US airstrikes in an effort to dislodge the militant group from its stronghold in North Africa.
The readiness crisis of the US military due to sequestration may be overstated; US forces remain the best in the world despite some concerns, say retired Gen. David Petraeus and Brookings Institution senior fellow Michael O'Hanlon. "For those concerned that America’s military is in decline or somehow not up to the next challenge, we offer a few reassuring facts," they write.
Three B-2 Spirit stealth bombers have been sent to Andersen Air Force Base in Guam for Pacific Command support. While there, the advanced aircraft will be used in several local and regional training exercises.
Gen. Robert Neller, commandant of the Marine Corps, says the branch needs to make adjustments to its force structure to be ready for modern warfare, which includes cyber and electronic weapons as well as battlefield challenges last seen during World War II. "The threats and the capabilities out there are changing too fast, and we have to be able to survive on the modern battlefield," he said in a talk at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.
A survey of veterans and employers by the Center for a New American Security is attempting to gauge how well veterans make the transition to the workplace after leaving military service. Although the unemployment rate for veterans has decreased, researchers want more information on how veterans are integrating and what additional steps could help them deal with employment and career challenges.
Service members, veterans, celebrities and civilians are posting videos of themselves doing 22 pushups a day for 22 days and nominating others to join them to raise awareness about post-traumatic stress disorder and suicide among veterans. The effort is led by veterans group 22Kill, which has set a goal of 22 million pushups.