Gender Equality = Women Registering for Draft?

The push for gender equality in all branches of the US military will likely mean that women will have to register for the draft, according to Army Secretary John McHugh. Currently just males 18-25 have to register for the Selective Services System, an independent government agency. Failure to register is a felony and can limit access to things like student loans and government jobs.

President Calls for More Icebreakers


President Obama has requested money from Congress for new icebreaker ships for the Coast Guard, and would also like to accelerate the acquisition for an already-planned new icebreaker.

This request comes for a few reasons: the warming of the Arctic waters and the coastline around Alaska is increasing the amount of ship traffic through the area, a large amount of untapped resources are available in the Artic area, the US has fallen behind many other nations in icebreaking ability.

Cutter Eagle to Undergo Phase II Overhaul

The 79-year old Coast Guard cutter Eagle made quite a sight as it returned to Coast Guard Yard in Curtis Bay, Baltimore, for Phase II of its almost $30 million overhaul.

Officer Candidate Tests for Dummies (Book Review)

In the US Military, most of the branches have different qualification tests to become an officer. Officer Candidate Tests for Dummies attempts to prepare the reader to tackle the common elements between all of the tests. You won't find much in this book about the flight and navigation questions you'll see in the Air Force, but all of the English, math, science, mechanical, and electricity questions are all explained here.

On top of that, OCT for Dummies provides tips on how to take tests, best discern word problems, study effectively, and navigate the questions. Not only is this book a resource for those wanting to become an officer, this book is just as good, if not slightly better, than the couple of ASVAB practice books I've read. Since US Army officers take the ASVAB as part of their OCT, a potential enlisted person should read this book as well before taking the ASVAB.

Read more, so I can explain.

Tuition Assistance Down, Post-9/11 GI Bill Up

According to a report by MilitaryTimes.com, the number of service members using the tuition assistance benefit for active-duty soldiers has dropped over the past fiscal year, while the number of veterans and their families that have been using the Post-9/11 GI Bill has risen.

Education Benefit Transfer Rules May Change

In a bid to encourage enlistment and retention, the Senate version of the annual defense authorization bill includes a recommendation that the Pentagon tighten the rules that allow soldiers to transfer their Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits to family members.

USCG Ending Ground Mission in Afghanistan

Ever since 2003 the US Coast Guard has had small teams on the ground in Afghanistan to inspect and certify shipments heading from the war back to the US, but now with combat operations in Afghanistan ending months ago, that team's mission is ending, and the Coast Guard is pulling out of Afghanistan all together.

To Fight Drug Smuggling, USCG Fleet Needs Upgrades

The Coast Guard's ability to interdict drug smugglers and immigrants in the Gulf of Mexico has fallen steadily since the 2009 sequestration cuts, and it is asking for more money in fiscal year 2016 to help turn the tide.

The VA, One Year Later

It's been about a year since it was revealed that a VA hospital in Phoenix was concealing wait times for soldiers' care and that soldiers have died while waiting for care, and while progress has been made, not everyone is satisfied.

Military Personnel System In Need of an Overhaul

After only 5 weeks on the job, Defense Secretary Ash Carter is worried about both recruiting and retaining the best soldiers for America's military in the coming years. To that end, DefSec Carter has come up with a dramatic change to the US military's personnel system and structure.

Some of his proposed changes:

  • Change the promotion system to put increased weight on skill and merit, and less emphasis on seniority.

Coast Guard Anchor Line

Trump named Time magazine's Person of the Year

The Time cover reads, "Donald Trump: President of the Divided States of America" and the cover image features a photograph of the president-elect sitting in his private residence at Trump Tower.
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US puts sanctions on 2 men, charity in Yemen for AQAP ties

The Obama administration has imposed sanctions on two people and a charity in Yemen it accuses of supporting al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula.
42 min 33 sec ago

Recently announced concerts, shows and theater

Retired Marine Gen. John Kelly picked to head Homeland Security

President-elect Donald Trump has chosen retired Marine Gen. John F. Kelly to run the Department of Homeland Security, turning to a blunt-spoken border security hawk who clashed with the Obama administration over women in combat and plans to close the prison at Guantanamo Bay, according to people familiar with the decision.
58 min 6 sec ago

Republicans seek to speed up approval for Mattis waiver in must-pass budget bill

Republicans in Congress proposed legislation Tuesday that could speed up approval of a waiver for Marine Corps Gen. James Mattis to be considered for defense secretary.
1 hour 2 min ago

Off-base events

A calendar of nearby events of interest to people living on U.S. facilities in the Pacific.
1 hour 15 min ago