In most cases, when an employer pays a signing bonus to attract new workers, that payment is understood to be essentially unrecoverable. But the Pentagon has a different understanding — and it's ordering the California National Guard to claw back thousands of dollars paid to soldiers who reenlisted to fight in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Eleven U.S. Army soldiers are headed to the Summer Olympics in Brazil next month on a mission that doesn't have anything to do with security. They're all U.S. Olympians, including some who only recently became American citizens.

U.S. Army Soldiers assigned to 16th Combat Aviation Brigade, 7th Infantry Division come together for the first reenlistment of cavalry scout Kayci Landes in the Army at JBLM on May 4.
Coutesty of 16th Combat Aviation Brigade

A  soldier from Joint Base Lewis-McChord  will become the first woman in the Army to reenlist as a cavalry scout. 

Army cavalry scouts work in tanks and are the eyes and ears of the commander during battle. It’s a position that’s only recently been opened to women. 

Commander Lt. Col. Vylius Leskys administeres the Oath of Enlistment to Levani Ilasa, the first woman in the country to be enlisted into 19K - M1 Armor Crewman.
Photo courtesy of the Seattle Army Recruiting Battalion

Two Washington women signed up this week for Army jobs that were previously only open to men.

Loren Ross is the second woman in the country to enlist in infantry since the Army opened the positions up to women earlier this year.

Soldiers perform fast rope insertion certifications at Joint Base Lewis-McChord in January 2015.
Flickr Photo/CC BY NC SA 2.0)/

Joint Base Lewis-McChord is no longer considering a controversial proposal to land helicopters at seven wilderness sites around the state.

Officials at JBLM made the decision after receiving feedback from stakeholders and reading 2,350 comments from the public which were mostly negative. 

U.S. Army Pfc. Dustin Hein, with the 1st Battalion, 8th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, smokes a cigarette between training missions at the National Training Center at Fort Irwin, Calif., Nov. 11, 2009.
Flickr Photo/MilitaryHealth

Soldiers like their smokes and chew.

At Joint Base Lewis-McChord near Seattle, 35 percent of soldiers use tobacco, just slightly higher the average for the entire Army.

Allie and Matthew McClintock. It was a big deal for him to be photographed in his uniform.
Courtesy of Allie McClintock

When two Green Berets pulled up outside Allie McClintock’s Tacoma home in January and came through the white picket fence to front porch, her first thought was that her husband, Sgt. First Class Matthew McClintock, was injured.

U.S. Army Capt. Jennifer Peace (right) and her wife, Debbie, with their youngest daughter at their home in Spanaway, Wash.
KUOW Photo/Patricia Murphy

Capt. Jennifer Peace walks into the room, a tall, thin woman in crisp uniform, with minimal makeup and trim brown hair.

But when soldiers call her ma’am, she has orders to correct them. They must call her sir.

File photo of Bowe Bergdahl at his graduation from basic training with the Army.
Bergdahl family

There’s a recommendation on whether Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl will face a court martial, but it’s not being released to the public yet.

Bergdahl’s attorney says the hearing officer overseeing the Army’s case sent his recommendations Monday to the U.S. Army Forces Command at Fort Bragg, North Carolina.

File photo of Bowe Bergdahl at his graduation from basic training with the Army.
Bergdahl family

U.S. Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl faces a hearing Thursday to determine whether he’ll be court-martialed on a desertion charge.

Henry Chamberlain looks at mementos from World War II. He spent three and a half years as a prisoner of the Japanese.
KUOW Photo/Patricia Murphy

In 1945 President Harry Truman declared Sept. 2 as Victory Over Japan Day. Japan surrendered aboard the USS Missouri. It was the official end of World War II.

But the suffering wasn't over for Henry Chamberlain, who had been captured on the Philippines' Bataan Peninsula more than three years before.

For young people who don't succeed in high school, joining the military can seem like a good option, particularly when there are few other job prospects.

But Dejanique "Daisy" Armstrong, a young, gay woman from Stockton, Calif., never planned to enlist in the Army. She ultimately made that choice as a last resort.

Iraq War veteran Phil Klay has won the National Book Award for fiction. The judges described the short stories in Klay’s collection “Redeployment” as brutal, piercing and sometimes darkly funny.

An Army sergeant who faced two counts of premeditated murder announced via Twitter he will plead guilty to a lesser charge at Joint Base Lewis-McChord Thursday.

Sergeant 1st class Michael Barbera says he will plead guilty to communicating a threat.

AP Photo/Elaine Thompson

Joint Base Lewis-McChord south of Seattle is one of five bases nationwide that will keep troops returning from West Africa in a controlled monitoring environment for 21 days after they return.