Chaplains haven't been forced to provide services that go against their faith after a new Defense Department policy went into affect allowing service members to request exemptions to dress and grooming standards for religious purposes, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense Vee Penrod said at a Jan. 29 House Armed Services Committee subcommittee on military personnel hearing.
Many major agencies are getting less than what they wanted for science and technology spending during the fiscal year.
A mix of benefits cuts and military force reductions at the Defense Department could drastically reduce the Pentagon budget, said Congressional Budget Office analyst Carla Tighe Murray to a group of government workers and federal budget experts.
With the 2014 National Defense Authorization Act signed into law by President Obama Dec. 26, small businesses will get help securing contracts through two new provisions. The NDAA, which included 80 amendments, clears the Pentagon to spend $527 billion in base funding and $80 billion for overseas contingency operations.
With China's military becoming more assertive and less willing to work with the U.S. forces, the United States could either try to cultivate a better military relationship or engage with other countries to put pressure on China to work with the U.S. military, a Nov. 20 Congressional Research Service report says.
Top military officials told a House panel Wednesday that continued sequestration would make it impossible to plan for new acquisitions, and that maintenance will have to be differed on the current military fleet. If the mandatory budget cuts continue, the Air Force would have to delay purchasing four to five F-35 joint strike fighters from its requested amount of 19, Principal Deputy Assistant Air Force Secretary William LaPlante told the House Armed Services Committee subcommittee on tactical air and land forces in an Oct. 23 hearing.
If sequestration cuts continue, they could devastate military readiness and dramatically slow down modernization spending, an Oct. 11 Bipartisan Policy Center report says. The report says the full brunt of sequestration cuts hasn't hit yet, but sequestration cuts will compromise force readiness.
Navy Yard shooter Aaron Alexis didn't disclose a 2004 arrest or financial problems when he applied for security clearance as a Navy reservist in 2007, a Sept. 23 Navy statement says. The Office of Personnel background report to the Navy also failed to reveal that Alexis had shot out the tires of another person's car during a dispute in Seattle in 2004, the statement says. Alexis served in the Navy reserves from 2007-2011. At the time of the Sept. 16 shooting he was employed as an IT contractor for the Navy.
The Navy granted base access through its commercial access card to convicted felons without doing full background checks, a Sept. 16 Defense Department inspector general report says. The report (.pdf) says the Naval Commercial Access Control System's Rapidgate vetting process allowed 52 convicted felons to receive "routine, unauthorized installation access, placing military personnel, dependents, civilians and installations at an increased security risk," because the Commander of Navy Installations Command needed to reduce security costs.
Between 2000 and 2011, mental health diagnoses rose 65 percent among active duty service members and in 2011 mental disorders accounted for more hospitalizations of service members than any other illness, an Aug. 8 Congressional Research Service report (.pdf) says.