military

Former wives and partners of servicemen who survived domestic abuse told their harrowing stories before the House Armed Services military preparedness subcommittee as they pressed for more attention to and resources for the growing problem within the armed forces.

"We are here today because domestic violence has become a forgotten crisis in our military," chairwoman Jackie Speier, D-Calif., said in her opening remarks before the military preparedness subcommittee.

Screenshot: U.S. Space Command Facebook Page

A ceremony Monday at Peterson Air Force Base in Colorado Springs marked the official re-opening of the U.S. Space Command. 

Airman 1st Class Rose Gudex / U.S. Air Force

The Pentagon is diverting $8 million in construction money from Peterson Air Force Base to help pay for fencing on the U.S.-Mexico border. 

Updated at 9:00 p.m. ET

The Pentagon revealed on Wednesday the full list of $3.6 billion in military construction projects that will get shelved to help build a wall along the U.S.- Mexico border, according to documents obtained by NPR.

Lawmakers from Virginia to Arizona learned their states will lose millions in military construction projects as part of the plan.

The Trump administration has started the arduous process of canceling $3.6 billion in military construction projects to fund its plans to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.

Defense Secretary Mark Esper began notifying lawmakers Tuesday which projects will be canceled in their districts. Top Democrats immediately blasted the plan.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., was among the first lawmakers to say his district will be impacted by the funding cuts, for the U.S. Military Academy at West Point.

The children of some U.S. military members and government workers overseas will have a harder time getting citizenship under a Trump administration policy announced Wednesday.

The changes will affect a relatively small number of people. But the announcement touched off widespread confusion and outrage — with immigrant and veterans' advocates questioning why the administration would change the rules for people who are serving their country.

President Trump and Vice President Pence are taking one small step that they hope will mark a giant leap toward the military branch they want for outer space. At a ceremony Thursday at the White House, the pair plan to take part in a ceremony commemorating the return of the U.S. Space Command after a 17-year hiatus.

It started as a joke.

Early last year, President Trump riffed on an idea he called "Space Force" before a crowd of Marines in San Diego.

It drew laughs, but the moment was a breakthrough for a plan that had languished for nearly 20 years.

"I said maybe we need a new force, we'll call it the Space Force," Trump said at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar in March 2018. "And I was not really serious. Then I said, 'What a great idea, maybe we'll have to do that.'"

Terrance Boult / University of Colorado Colorado Springs

A Colorado university professor took thousands of photos of students and faculty without their knowledge as part of research to improve facial recognition software for the U.S. military.

Updated at 7:13 p.m. ET

The U.S. Army issued a tweet ahead of Memorial Day weekend with a question for service members and veterans: "How has serving impacted you?"

Among the thousands of responses: harrowing tales of trauma, depression and sexual assault.

In a thread, an Army tweet that preceded the question featured a video by Pfc. Nathan Spencer, a scout with the Army's First Infantry Division.

Wesley Fryer / Flickr Creative Commons

AIR FORCE ACADEMY, Colo. (AP) — The U.S. Air Force Academy has removed its commandant of cadets amid an investigation, but officials didn't release any details.

The Colorado Springs Gazette reported Monday that Brig. Gen. Kristin Goodwin was relieved from her duties as head of military training at the school.

She was the first openly gay general at the academy.

The move came a month before Goodwin was to be transferred to another job at the Pentagon. It was unclear if she would still take that position.

Lt. Col. Bree "B" Fram left a doctor's office on April 2. Presenting that day as Bryan, the name given to them at birth, B should have been relieved.

"Overall, it's a good thing," said B. "It just didn't feel great to have to do it on someone else's timeline other than my own."

"It" was an official diagnosis of gender dysphoria. As a transgender member of the military, B had to secure the diagnosis by April 12 in order to continue serving openly.

Abigail Beckman / 91.5 KRCC

The Cadet Chapel at the United States Air Force Academy has a spectacular presence both up close and from a distance. Seventeen gleaming aluminum spires reflect the sun and the sky, shining panels of stained glass cast a purple glow on the tile floor. Sound fills the space, creating a soul-stirring acoustic experience.

The Army and Air Force Exchange Service, one of the largest retailers in the United States which serves millions of active-duty military members and their families, is clarifying a memo sent this week which recommended that stores stop displaying the news on their televisions.

The message, obtained by NPR, told managers, "News channels should not be shown on common area TVs due to their divisive political nature."

Ed Andrieski / Associated Press

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (AP) — A renovation of the Air Force Academy chapel has been canceled after funds were transferred to a Florida base.

Updated March 27 at 5 p.m. ET

The Department of Defense is shifting $1 billion from a military personnel account to build a 57-mile fence at the southern U.S. border, saying the funds were freed up after some service branches fell short of their recruiting goals.

U.S. Secretary of the Air Force Heather Wilson said in a letter to President Trump that she plans to resign from her post effective in late May.

Wilson has been named as the sole finalist to be the next president of the University of Texas at El Paso, a position that the system's regents will vote on after a state-required waiting period of 21 days. She said she will resign after getting the job.

Pfc. Anthony Blankenship points to mold on the grout of his bathroom and a greenish mildew stain around the tiles next to the toilet.

"That's kind of a mold pattern growing underneath," he says. "Workers at times just put new grout over the mold. At times, contractors wouldn't show up at all for problems ranging from clogged plumbing to faulty ventilation ducts."

New security measures at the Department of Defense that limit the release of military records about U.S. troops deployed abroad could put the accuracy of the 2020 census "at risk," according to a newly released internal Census Bureau document.

Requiring only men to register for the draft is unconstitutional, a federal judge has ruled.

The Military Selective Service Act states that men in the U.S. ages 18 through 25 must register in case the country needs a military draft. Women face no such requirement. On Friday, a federal judge in Texas ruled that a males-only draft violates the equal protection provisions of the U.S. Constitution.

Updated at 4:34 p.m. ET

The Trump administration is changing the number of American troops that will remain in Syria.

Approximately 400 troops will stay there, a senior administration official has told NPR. That's double the number announced Thursday night by White House press secretary Sarah Sanders.

Updated at 5:32 p.m. ET

President Trump pushed forward Tuesday with his plan to launch a space force as a new branch of the military. But it would at first be under the umbrella of the Air Force, and it requires approval of Congress — which is far from certain.

This represents at least a temporary shift. Trump had stated that he wanted a space force that is "separate but equal" from the Air Force.

Congress is keeping watch and the military has introduced prevention programs. Yet sexual assaults at military service academies keep rising. The leaders of those academies got an earful when they testified before a House Armed Services subcommittee on Wednesday.

New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham has ordered the majority of National Guard troops deployed at her state's Southern border to withdraw, condemning what she called a "charade of border fear-mongering" by President Trump, who has warned of an immigration emergency in the region.

"I reject the federal contention that there exists an overwhelming national security crisis at the Southern border," Lujan Grisham said, adding that the area has "some of the safest communities in the country."

Updated at 10:30 a.m. ET

An additional 3,750 troops will be sent to the Southern border to help install wire barriers and monitor crossings, officials said. The new deployment will bring the number of active-duty troops there to around 6,000.

In a tweet on Sunday, President Trump said that "STRONG Border Security" is necessary in the face of "Caravans marching through Mexico and toward our Country."

Navy veterans long denied VA benefits are declaring victory after a decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. The court sided with the plaintiff, a Vietnam vet with cancer who sued the Department of Veterans Affairs, demanding it recognize that his health conditions were caused by Agent Orange.

Updated Jan. 23 at 11 a.m. ET

The Supreme Court has reinstated President Trump's order placing restrictions on transgender persons enlisting and serving in the military by granting a stay of two lower court injunctions that had blocked the president's policy. The justices voted 5-4, reflecting the high court's conservative majority.

A decade-long fight ended at the Supreme Court this week, when justices refused to hear an appeal by veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan who say that toxic smoke from burn pits made them sick.

Uncle Sam may want Generation Z, but the feeling doesn't seem to be mutual.

That's the conclusion recruiters relayed to General Frank Muth, the head of Army Recruiting Command, last July when he spoke with them to figure out why the Army fell short of its recruiting goal by 6,500 people in the last fiscal year.

In an effort to ramp up recruitment, the Army this year is trying something different.

Updated at 6:35 p.m. ET

More troops are expected to be deployed to the Southern border to construct or upgrade 160 miles of fencing and provide medical care to a steady stream of migrant families arriving from Central America, according to military sources.

The deployment and fence construction along the California and Arizona borders would be paid for by the Pentagon, from the Department of Defense's discretionary funding.

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