military

Searching For Answers
8:34 am
Wed November 20, 2013

Veterans Affairs Makes Getting Information Even Harder

The Veterans Affairs hospital in Seattle
KUOW Photo/John Ryan

After Army veteran Eddie Creed died at the Seattle VA hospital in April 2012, his loved ones awaited official word: Why had he received a lethal overdose of morphine in his sleep there? The VA still hasn't released the independent investigation it commissioned concerning his accidental overdose.

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Military
10:29 am
Tue October 29, 2013

With More Addicted Soldiers, Military Expands Treatment Options

Flickr Photo/Charles Williams

For thousands of service members who use opiates to manage chronic pain from war injuries, the road to dependence and addiction can be paved with compassion.

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Body Art Guidelines
12:27 pm
Tue September 24, 2013

US Army To Issue New Rules On Tattoos

The Army is issuing new guidelines concerning body art, including neck tattoos.
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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Military Tactics
9:38 am
Thu September 5, 2013

Why Do Chemical Weapons Evoke Such A Strong Reaction?

Originally published on Tue September 10, 2013 2:22 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

It took more than two years and at least 100,000 lives lost for the U.S. government to threaten Syria with military action. The catalyst was the Syrian military's alleged use of chemical weapons. President Obama called the attack on August 21st an assault on human dignity.

NPR's Jackie Northam examines why chemical weapons evoke such a strong and different reaction than conventional weapons.

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Staff Sgt Robert Bales
11:38 am
Fri August 23, 2013

U.S. Soldier Sentenced To Life In Afghan Village Attacks

Staff Sgt. Robert Bales, foreground, is seen in a courtroom sketch earlier this week, as prosecutor Lt. Col. Jay Morse, right, speaks to the jury. Bales was sentenced to life in prison without parole Friday.
Peter Millett AP

Originally published on Fri August 23, 2013 1:14 pm

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.

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Military Trial
9:59 am
Wed August 21, 2013

Emotional Testimony: Bales' Sentencing Trial Begins For Massacre In Afghanistan

In this courtroom sketch Staff Sgt. Robert Bales, foreground, is seated as prosecutor Lt Col. Jay Morse, right, speaks to the jury in a courtroom at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash., August 20, 2013.
AP Photo/Peter Millett

Staff Sgt Robert Bales, who pleaded guilty in June to the murder of 16 Afghan civilians, is being tried before a military jury of six who will decide whether he should be eligible for parole. Nine Afghan villagers who survived the massacre have flown to Joint Base Lewis-McChord for the sentencing trial.

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WikiLeaks Case
5:27 am
Wed August 21, 2013

35-Year Sentence For Bradley Manning

U.S. Army Pfc. Bradley Manning at Fort Meade, Md., on Tuesday.
Saul Loeb AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed August 21, 2013 11:31 am

Update at 10:18 a.m. ET. 35 Years:

Army Pfc. Bradley Manning, who was responsible for the largest leak of classified information in U.S. history, was sentenced by a military judge to 35 years in prison Wednesday, according to reporters covering the trial at Fort Meade, Md. He'll get about 3 1/2 years' credit for time he's already spent behind bars.

More details (added at 10:30 a.m. ET):

-- Manning is also to be dishonorably discharged.

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No More Secret Ops
9:13 am
Wed July 17, 2013

Port Angeles Won't Be Buzzed By Special Forces Again, Says Mayor

Port Angeles Mayor Cherie Kidd
City of Port Angeles

The mayor of Port Angeles says she got more than an apology when she went to Joint Base Lewis-McChord on Monday. Mayor Cherie Kidd says she also received a promise that the military will not buzz her city with training helicopters again.

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Military Base Conservation Efforts
11:27 am
Thu July 11, 2013

Federal Agencies Pool Money To Preserve Buffer Around Military Base

Spc. Reese Von Rogatsz US Army

Originally published on Wed July 10, 2013 3:21 pm

Urban development around military bases in the Northwest and across the nation is creating a headache for the U.S. Defense Department. So Wednesday, several federal agencies announced they will pool money to preserve buffer lands, starting with Joint Base Lewis-McChord near Tacoma.

Federal and state money will be used to buy conservation easements or buy property outright to prevent development on more than 2,600 acres of farmland and prairie. The land is in Thurston County, Washington near Joint Base Lewis-McChord.

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Midway Albatross
9:00 am
Wed June 19, 2013

Photographing Midway Island, And Gen. Peter Chiarelli On Brain Injury

Chris Jordan on Midway Island.
Flickr Photo/Kris Krug

 Photographing Midway Island
Seattle-based photographer Chris Jordan has traveled around the world to document mass consumption and the waste that results from it. His most recent work is focused on Midway Island, an atoll thousands of miles from the nearest land mass. Jordan documented the impact of ocean detritus on Midway’s native albatross species. The result is Jordan’s first film, to be released later this year. But “Midway” is about more than birds.  How did this work affect the photographer himself?

Understanding Post Traumatic Stress And Traumatic Brain Injuries
There are many invisible wounds soldiers in combat face. Thirty-six percent of soldiers have traumatic brain injury or post-traumatic stress as a result of their time in the military. General Peter Chiarelli retired from his position as Vice Chief of Staff of the US Army after serving as a combat commander in Iraq for two tours. He is now the CEO of One Mind for Research, where he works to get rid of the stigma service members and veterans face when they seek assistance for PTSD and traumatic brain injury.

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Afghan Special Forces
12:47 am
Tue June 4, 2013

As U.S. Troops Draw Down, Can Afghans Take The Lead?

Villagers in Kasan gather to meet with Afghan local police and the Afghan National Army along with ANASF team members during a morning shura to discuss security.
David Gilkey NPR

Originally published on Wed June 12, 2013 8:25 am

There's just a sliver of light in the eastern sky as the patrol leaves the American compound through a thick metal door.

They scamper across Highway 2, a narrow asphalt road that leads to Kabul, just an hour's drive away — if not for the war. They cross an old graveyard and head toward the silhouette of a tree line, all seen through the eerie green glow of night-vision goggles.

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International & Military News
9:00 am
Wed May 8, 2013

International Intervention In Syria, Sexual Assault In The Military, And Studying Hormone Levels

Lt. Col. Jeff Krusinski, chief of sexual assault prevention in the Air Force, was arrested and charged with sexual battery over the weekend.
Arlington County Police Department

How The World Is Responding To Syria
The US and Russia have agreed to convene an international conference to discuss ways of diplomatically settling the ongoing conflict in Syria. Dr. Steven Cook, senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, discusses the implications of this conference and how the international community should be intervening in the crisis.
 
Sexual Assault In The Military  
The Pentagon has released a report on sexual assault in the military. It estimates that 26,000 military members were sexually assaulted in 2012, a large increase from the previous year. The report comes out just as Sen. Patty Murray and Sen. Kelly Ayotte argued for a bill that would work to reduce sexual assaults and help victims of the crime. Sen. Patty Murray and KUOW’s Patricia Murphy explain the new bill and the Pentagon's study.   

The Effects Of Blast Injuries On Hormone Levels In Veterans
A new study suggests that people with blast injuries are more likely to have irregular hormone levels. The hormone imbalance can lead to PTSD-like symptoms, depression and physical symptoms that raise the risk of heart attacks and strokes. University of Washington professor Charles Wilkinson studied the hormone levels in veterans who had suffered from concussions caused by blast injuries.

Basketball Diplomacy
NBA Hall of Famer Dennis Rodman is using his friendship with North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un to ask for the release of Kenneth Bae, the Lynnwood man sentenced to 15 years of hard labor for "hostile acts" against the government. Rodman took to Twitter on Tuesday to ask Kim to “do me a solid and cut Kenneth Bae loose.” We talk with Seattle Times editorial writer Thanh Tan, who first urged Rodman via social media to approach his “lifelong friend” on Bae’s behalf.

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Military Sexual Assault
9:56 pm
Tue May 7, 2013

Washington Senator Patty Murray Introduces Bill To Combat Military Assault

Lt. Col. Jeff Krusinski, chief of sexual assault prevention in the Air Force, was arrested and charged with sexual battery over the weekend.
Arlington County Police Department

The latest report on military sexual assault from the Department of Defense shows a sharp increase in assaults from previous years.  For fiscal 2011, the military estimated there were 19,000 cases of sexual assault, while 3,192 cases were reported. In fiscal 2012, the estimate spiked to 26,000 cases, with just 3,374 cases reported. The estimates are based on surveys given by the DoD to military service members.

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Program Methods Questioned
8:56 am
Fri April 19, 2013

Army Surgeon General Suspends Trust Enhancement Program Following Investigation

Program’s Director, Claudette Elliott. Investigators claim Elliott encouraged employees to participate in what were deemed to be questionable practices, including the unauthorized use of Wiccan rituals and energy readings.
Courtesy/LinkedIn

  

Correction: An earlier version of this story misspelled the name of the program director, Claudette Elliott.

The Army has suspended the Trust and Enhancement Sustainment Task Force, a program that was created to help improve patient care by building on trust. Documents from the investigation obtained by KUOW show that investigators found the task force lacked the structure and employee training standards needed to execute its mission.

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Military Intelligence
2:39 pm
Thu April 11, 2013

North Korea May Have A Nuclear Warhead To Put On A Missile, Says Pentagon

A South Korean soldier stands at a military checkpoint connecting South and North Korea at the Unification Bridge last week in Paju, South Korea.
Chung Sung-Jun Getty Images

Originally published on Fri April 12, 2013 4:13 am

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.

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