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Army

photo courtesy of UW Innovative Programs Research Group

Heavy alcohol use and binge drinking are on the rise in the military. And many service members with a problem don’t voluntarily seek treatment.

Research from the University of Washington found that allowing soldiers to assess the impacts of their drinking confidentially can help them cut down.


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)/https://flic.kr/p/rakSmz

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.

Hundreds of service members and civilians from various nations lined the road to the landing zone at NATO headquarters in Kabul. They had gathered to salute the two U.S. Marines and two U.S. Army soldiers participating in Operation Proper Exit.

Moments later, two Blackhawk helicopters swooped in, kicking up dust and debris. The four service members disembarked and walk past the cheering audience. One soldier walks with a subtle limp. One Marine has a prosthetic right arm, and the left is missing below the elbow.

Army Eyes 3-D Printed Food For Soldiers

Nov 4, 2014

Army scientists have spent decades concocting meals that last without refrigeration and survive high-altitude airdrops. And now, the Army is eyeing a new form of cooking: 3-D printing! Yes, food that comes fresh out of a printer, for our troops.

Lauren Oleksyk, a food technologist leading the team at the Army's Natick research center, lays out the vision.

Imagine soldiers who are strapped, head to toe, with sensors that measure if they're high or low in potassium or cholesterol.

Moving On: Project Helps War Widows Recover

Sep 26, 2014

In the kitchen of a rental house near a beach in San Diego, a group of moms is preparing dinner.

The 13 women from all around the country have one thing in common: They lost their husbands in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.

They are part of the American Widow Project, a support group for women whose husbands were killed in Iraq and Afghanistan. The Defense Department estimates there are more than 3,200 military widows and widowers from those wars.

The women gather once a month in small groups for bonding and adventure. On this weekend, they're at the beach.

David Rohde is a former New York Times journalist who was held captive by the Taliban for seven months.

He says Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, who was just released after being held for five years by the Taliban, faces a long road ahead, that begins with debriefing by the U.S. military who want to know more about the Taliban.

Rohde speaks to Here & Now’s Robin Young.

Along with celebrations over the release of U.S. Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, there are growing questions. House Intelligence Committee Chair Mike Rogers of Michigan is asking whether the Obama administration broke the law in not consulting Congress over the negotiations and says this is a “dangerous” precedent: “If you negotiate here, you’ve sent a message to every Al Qaeda group in the world — by the way, some who are holding U.S. hostages today — that there is some value now in that hostage in a way that they didn’t have before.”

Flickr Photo/Hammerin Man (CC-BY-NC-ND)

Ross Reynolds talks to Dr. Anna Friedman, a tattoo historian and researcher, about the long history of tattoos in the military. The U.S. Army recently announced new restrictions on the size and placement of soldiers' tattoos.

A preliminary military hearing at Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Washington continues today to determine whether then-staff sergeant (now sergeant first class) Michael Barbera should face a court-martial in the March 2007 slayings of two unarmed Iraqi brothers.

The brothers were herding cattle in Diyala Province, near where Barbera’s Army reconnaissance team was hiding. Prosecutors say the boys posed no threat, but that Barbera went down on one knee, pointed his rifle, and killed them anyway.

On the day after a deadly shooting incident on the grounds of Fort Hood, Texas, in which a gunman killed at least three people, wounded 16 and then reportedly killed himself, there was this welcome news:

This post has news through 11:20 p.m. ET on Wednesday. For updates since then, click here.

A gunman opened fire on the military post of Fort Hood, Texas, on Wednesday, killing three and injuring 16, before putting the gun to his head and killing himself, Lt. Gen. Mark A. Milley said at a televised news conference.

The agency charged with bringing home and identifying American war dead is slow, inefficient and stymied by outdated methods, according to a joint investigation by NPR and ProPublica.

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

(The following transcript is from an interview with Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, the head of the Defense Intelligence Agency, as aired on Morning Edition.)

Masooma, pictured with her children, recounted the events of pre-dawn March 11, 2012 when she says a U.S. soldier rampaged through two villages killing 16 people, mostly children. Staff Sergeant Robert Bales pleaded guilty to the massacre.
AP Photo/Anja Niedringhaus

The Department of Defense has denied a request by reporters for information about Staff Sergeant Robert Bales’ murder of 16 Afghan civilians.

Top commanders in the U.S. Army have announced publicly that they have a problem: They have too many "toxic leaders" — the kind of bosses who make their employees miserable. Many corporations share a similar problem, but in the Army's case, destructive leadership can potentially have life or death consequences. So, some Army researchers are wondering if toxic officers have contributed to soldiers' mental health problems.

US Army To Issue New Rules On Tattoos

Sep 24, 2013
Flickr Photo/Binder.donedat

It is not uncommon for an soldier to have tattoos but strict new guidelines for what tattoos soldiers are allowed to have are about to go into place.  New rules governing things like tattoos and grooming for soldiers have been approved by the Secretary of the Army and are only awaiting a final signature from Sgt. Maj. of the Army Raymond Chandler. What are the new rules and why the change? David Hyde talks with Stars and Stripes Afghanistan correspondent, Josh Smith about the new rules.

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