Joint Base Lewis-McChord

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.

KUOW Photo/Patricia Murphy

A new program in Lacey, Wash., gives soldiers training and a career track in software development after discharge from the Army.

Three Washington-based soldiers are in jail after the stabbing death of a fellow soldier over the weekend. The arrests came after the person who allegedly wielded the knife sought medical treatment for a cut to his hand.

Police say the murder happened off base following an exchange of words between two groups of Joint Base Lewis-McChord servicemen. A roadside confrontation seemed to end peacefully once everyone realized they were fellow soldiers.

It was jarring for survivors and witnesses of the 2012 attack by U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Robert Bales on two villages in Afghanistan to come to the U.S. to testify at his trial this month, translator Ahmad Shafi tells Morning Edition.

They were at Washington State's Joint Base Lewis-McChord — a place much different than their homes in Kandahar. What's more, the U.S. military's system of justice was strange to them.

A military jury has sentenced Robert Bales, the U.S. Army staff sergeant who admitted to killing 16 Afghan civilians in 2012, to life in prison without parole. During the punishment hearings held this week, Bales was confronted by family members of victims and people who survived the attacks of March 11, 2012.

US Army

A solider from Joint Base Lewis-McChord will be awarded the Medal of Honor.

Spokane-born Staff Sgt. Ty Carter of  will be one of only a handful of living American soldiers to receive the nation’s highest military honor. The Army says US troops were far outnumbered that day in 2009 at Combat Outpost Keating in eastern Afghanistan. During the battle the Army says Carter killed enemy troops and risked his own life to save an injured soldier pinned down by a barrage of enemy fire.

Flickr Photo/The U.S. Army

The Army says Joint Base Lewis-McChord's 4th Stryker Brigade will be one of 10 combat teams deactivated nationwide. The move is just one part of the Army’s plan to reduce its forces as the war in Afghanistan winds down.

The brigade has about 4,000 soldiers. Nearly 350 of them returned home Sunday after a seven-month deployment to Afghanistan. Overall, the Army plans to reduce the force by 80,000 soldiers by 2017.

A case that featured harrowing testimony of combat-related mental illness ended Monday with a guilty verdict. Army Sergeant John Russell was convicted for murdering five fellow servicemen at a military mental health clinic in Baghdad in 2009.

A military judge found the 48-year-old Texas native guilty of premeditated murder. A public affairs spokesman at Joint Base Lewis-McChord near Tacoma says Sergeant Russell showed no visible reaction.

The Pentagon's intelligence arm has "moderate confidence" that North Korea may have developed the technology to create nuclear weapons that are small enough to fit on a long-range missile.

NPR's Larry Abramson filed this report for our Newscast unit:

"The Defense Intelligence Agency assessment says such a weapon would probably not be very reliable. This is the first time the U.S. has concluded that Pyongyang's nuclear efforts have reached this point.

KUOW Photo/Patricia Murphy

Last week the Department of Defense delayed anticipated furlough notices for civilian employees. The DOD said the two-week delay would allow it to analyze the impact of the federal budget sequester on its workforce.

But not everyone got a reprieve.

Photo courtesy Stephanie Silsby

Love is a popular theme today and for retailers, it's a cash cow of hearts and roses. But relationships that endure take work. For the Silsby family of Lacey the secret is weathering change.

Patricia Murphy

The Army says it won’t release the investigation into how Madigan Army Medical Center handled some soldiers' diagnoses for post-traumatic stress disorder. The denial comes one week after the Secretary of the Army visited Joint Base Lewis-McChord, south of Tacoma, to announce the completion of an Army-wide review on the same subject.

High Desert Warrior

Attorneys for Staff Sergeant Robert Bales say they’re unsure if they’ll pursue a mental health defense in the case. 

But if they do, the judge has ordered that the soldier must undergo a so-called sanity board review.

Bales is accused of murdering 16 Afghan civilians and wounding six others in an overnight rampage last March.

The U.S. Army announced Wednesday that Staff Sgt. Robert Bales will face a general court-martial on 16 counts of premeditated murder and other charges. If convicted, the maximum penalty is death. The decision follows a pretrial hearing last month.

An attorney for  Bales says she's "disappointed" by the Army's decision to seek the death penalty against the Washington-based soldier accused of massacring Afghan villagers in March.

Photo courtesy of I Corps

This month Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta laid out plans for the future of the US military. And as troops return from Afghanistan, that strategy includes shifting security operations to the Pacific Rim. Soldiers from Joint Base Lewis-McChord (JBLM) will play a major role in that plan.

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