The military was front and center this week as we tracked several stories from the front lines to the White House. The National Defense Authorization Act — the bill that will fund the military in the next fiscal year — passed the House and the Senate. But, it carried with it a proposal to rename 10 military bases dotted across the Southern United States including the famous Forts Bragg, Benning, and Hood. President Trump, who has threatened to veto the bill if it included such language, has not changed his position; the bill remains unsigned.
The possibility of a name change comes at a hard time for Fort Hood which has been beleaguered by a raft of soldier deaths. Though the Army has handed down punishments for officers at the base, there remains confusion about who is really to blame.
The Navy announced this week that it will be investing in a new training program for warrant officers which will focus on unmanned aerial vehicles, or UAVs. The move is part of a wide effort by the DoD to modernize the branches. While new tech becomes more important, old machinery is being decommissioned. The Marine Corps announced its plan to release Tank Crewmen from their specialties in preparation for retiring a large number of Marine tank units.
Nowhere is the military’s modernization effort more visible than with the Space Force. As America’s newest branch, the Space Force is working rapidly to establish itself. This week, the Pentagon announced that Space Force General John Raymond will be added to the Joint Chiefs of Staff, bringing the military advisory group to eight members. And, with one year under their belt, Space Force leadership has selected a striking (and already embattled) moniker for the branch’s far-flung service members. (Here’s a tip, they won’t be called Spacemen…)