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 Congress & DoD

  1. Airmen lift their right hand as they repeat the oath of enlistment at the Air Force Basic Training graduation ceremony, Lackland Air Force Base, Texas. The Air Force has withdrawn a requirement that all airmen who take the oath of enlistment and officer appointment conclude with 'so help me God,' the service announced Wednesday. Staff Sgt Vernon Young Jr. / Air Force

    Air Force nixes 'so help me God' requirement in oaths

    The Air Force has withdrawn a requirement that all airmen who take the oath of enlistment and officer appointment conclude with 'so help me God,' the service announced Wednesday.

    • Sep. 17, 2014
    • NEWS /
    • Congress & DOD
    A U.S. special operations forces soldier leads a group of soldiers from Iraqi Special Operations Force's 8th Regional Commando Battalion in July 2011. Department of Defense

    Analysis: U.S. officials parse term 'ground troops' when describing Iraq mission

    The question of whether the U.S. will send combat troops into Iraq has become a tortured debate over what terms such as 'ground troops' actually mean.

    • Sep. 17, 2014
    • NEWS /
    • Congress & DOD
    President Barack Obama on Sept. 17 speaks to the US Central Command (CENTCOM) at MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa, Florida. Mandel Ngan / Getty Images

    White House: U.S. troops in Iraq could call in airstrikes

    American troops on the ground in Iraq 'could be in a position to even call in air strikes' on ISIL targets White House spokesman Josh Earnest told reporters aboard Air Force One Wednesday afternoon.

    • Sep. 17, 2014
    • NEWS /
    • Congress & DOD
    US Sen. Barbara Mikulski says Congress is moving in a positive direction toward adopting a continuing resolution. Mark Makela / Getty Images

    Senior senator: Both chambers should pass CR, Syrian rebels authorities before weekend

    A senior Senate Democrat is hopeful both chambers can pass a stopgap spending measure and approve presidential authorities to train and equip Syrian rebels by this weekend.

    • Sep. 17, 2014
    • NEWS /
    • Congress & DOD
    The dome of the US Capitol is seen March 19, 2014 in Washington, DC. As work continues on the dome restoration, the last chance for ?scaffold-free? views of the Capitol is approaching, with the best opportunity within the next two weeks. AFP PHOTO/ Karen BLEIER KAREN BLEIER / AFP

    House passes bill to oversee VA hospital building

    The House has passed a bill to increase oversight of veterans' hospitals under construction, following a report that some medical centers take three years longer to complete than estimated and cost an extra $366 million per project.

    • Sep. 17, 2014
  2. President Obama, with Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel and Gen. Lloyd J. Austin III, Commander of the US Central Command, before the start of a briefing at MacDill Air Force Base, Fla., on Wednesday. Pablo Martinez Monsivais/The Associated Press

    Obama reaffirms opposition to U.S. combat in Iraq

    President Obama reaffirmed Wednesday that he does not intend to send U.S. troops into combat against the Islamic State group, despite doubts about the ability of Iraqi forces, Kurdish fighters and Syrian rebels to carry out the ground fight on their own.

    • Sep. 17, 2014
    • NEWS /
    • Congress & DOD
    Iraqi soldiers brandish their weapons during a military training exercise Sunday in the mainly Shiite southern city of Basra. About half of Iraq's army is incapable of partnering effectively with the U.S. to roll back the Islamic State group's territorial gains in western and northern Iraq, and the other half needs to be partially rebuilt with U.S. training and additional equipment, Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said Wednesday. Haidar Mohammed Ali / AFP

    Dempsey: Half of Iraqi army not OK as U.S. partners

    About half of Iraq's army is incapable of partnering effectively with the U.S. to roll back the Islamic State group's territorial gains in western and northern Iraq, and the other half needs to be partially rebuilt with U.S.

    • Sep. 17, 2014
    • NEWS /
    • Congress & DOD
    About one-quarter of Americans ages 17 to 24 are considered too fat to serve in the military. A group of 450 retired generals and admirals see nutritional requirements as key to reversing that trend. Joe Raedle / Getty Images

    Stay the course on school lunches, retired brass say

    About seven in 10 young adults are ineligible for military service, according to a new report from a group that is pushing school nutrition standards as a way to improve that situation.

    • Sep. 17, 2014
  3. The Department of Veterans Affairs says investigators have found no proof that delays in care caused any deaths at a VA hospital in Phoenix. Dr. Samuel Foote, a former clinic director for the VA in Phoenix, said the report appears designed to 'minimize the scandal and protect its perpetrators rather than to provide the truth.' Ross D. Franklin / AP

    Ex-VA doctor: Phoenix report a 'whitewash'

    A doctor who first exposed serious problems at the troubled Phoenix Veterans Affairs hospital said Wednesday that a report on patient deaths there is a 'whitewash' that minimizes life-threatening conduct by senior leaders at the hospital.

    • Sep. 17, 2014
    • NEWS /
    • Congress & DOD
    Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., chairman of the House Select Committee on Benghazi, and Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., right, the ranking member, arrive on Sept. 17 as the panel holds its first public hearing to investigate the 2012 attacks on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya. J. Scott Applewhite / AP

    Benghazi probe looks set to go deep in 2016 race

    The Republican chairman of a special House panel on Benghazi charted a course Wednesday for his investigation to stretch deep into a 2016 presidential election that former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton seems likely to enter.

    • Sep. 17, 2014
    • NEWS /
    • Congress & DOD
    Vice President Joe Biden provided the commencement address at the U.S. Military Academy's Class of 2012 graduation and commissioning ceremony at Michie Stadium. Mike Strasser / U.S. Military Academy

    As VP, Biden keeps academy nominations secret

    During his final year in Congress in 2008, then-Sen.

    • Sep. 16, 2014
    • NEWS /
    • Congress & DOD
    Army Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, testifies Sept. 16 at the Senate Armed Services Committee on Capitol Hill. Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images

    Obama will consider ground troops in Iraq on 'case-by-case basis,' Dempsey says

    President Obama is considering putting combat troops on the ground in Iraq on a 'case-by-case basis,' his top military adviser said Tuesday.

    • Sep. 16, 2014
  4. IG: Sexual assault investigators should improve methods

    Military investigators responding to reports of sexual assaults do not always follow the widely accepted standards set by civilian police agencies, according to a new Pentagon Inspector General's report.

    • Sep. 16, 2014
    • NEWS /
    • Congress & DOD
    House Select Committee on Benghazi Ranking Member Rep. Elijah Cummings, D- Md., walks onstage to anounce the release of a website titled 'Benghazi on the Record' during a Sept. 16 news conference on Capitol Hill. Cliff Owen / AP

    Democrats launch website to counter GOP Benghazi narrative

    House Democrats are pre-emptively launching a new website to counter Republican claims about the fatal 2012 terror attack on the U.S.

    • Sep. 16, 2014
  5. Survey: Financial concerns plague military families

    The active-duty community's uncertainty about their future and concerns about their own financial stability are clear in the results of this year's Blue Star Families annual Military Family Lifestyle Survey.

    • Sep. 16, 2014
    • NEWS /
    • Congress & DOD
    The U.S. Air Force Academy Class of 2013 marches into Falcon Stadium for graduation in Colorado Springs, Colo. Mike Kaplan / Air Force

    Lawmakers follow different paths on service academy nominations

    New York high-school students face a number of challenges in seeking admission to one of the nation's prestigious service academies — including geography.

    • Sep. 15, 2014
    • NEWS /
    • Congress & DOD
    An F/A-18F Super Hornet takes off on Sept. 13 from the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77). MC3 Brian Stephens / Navy

    U.S. would hit back against an Assad attack, sources say

    The United States would retaliate against Syrian President Bashar Assad's air defenses if he were to go after American planes launching airstrikes in his country, senior Obama administration officials said Monday.

    • Sep. 15, 2014
  6. President Obama bestows the Medal of Honor on retired Army Command Sgt. Maj. Bennie G. Adkins on Sept. 15 at the White House. Carolyn Kaster / AP

    'Truly extraordinary': Medal of Honor awarded to 2 soldiers for actions in Vietnam

    More than four decades later, two soldiers on Monday received the Medal of Honor for their actions during the Vietnam War.

    • Sep. 15, 2014
  7. An F/A-18C Hornet launches from the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77) on Sept. 10. MC3 Joshua Card / Navy

    U.S. airstrikes target Islamic State in Iraq

    The United States launched airstrikes in Iraq on Monday in what defense officials said is the start of an expanded action against Islamic State extremists.

    • Sep. 15, 2014
    • NEWS /
    • Congress & DOD
    The U.S. Capitol building in Washington. Mark Wilson / Getty Images

    House GOP moves ahead on Syrian rebel training

    Lawmakers raced Monday to authorize an expanded mission to arm and train moderate Syrian rebels before heading back to the campaign trail, with House Republicans preparing legislation backing a central plank of President Obama's strategy against the Islam

    • Sep. 15, 2014
  8. Qatari Foreign Minister Khalid bin Mohammed al-Attiyah attends the Foreign Ministers of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) on June 2 in Riyadh. Fayez Nureldine / Getty Images

    Tiny Qatar plays outsize role in U.S. war strategy

    Just miles from where former Guantanamo Bay terror suspects have resettled, American warplanes take off from Qatar's al-Udeid air base in the global war on extremism.

    • Sep. 15, 2014
    • NEWS /
    • Congress & DOD
    US President Barack Obama meets with, Senate Minority Leader Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky.; Speaker of the House Rep. John Boehner, R-Ohio; Senate Majority Leader Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev.; and House Minority Leader Rep. Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., in the Oval Office of the White House. Alex Wong / Getty Images

    Three ways House work on CR, Syrian rebels plan could play out

    Whether or not the federal national security apparatus shuts down in October suddenly is all about Saudi Arabia, the Islamic State, Syrian rebel forces and lawmakers' feelings about President Barack Obama.

    • Sep. 15, 2014
    • NEWS /
    • Congress & DOD
    This undated photo provided by the Wisconsin Historical Society shows First Lt. Alonzo H. Cushing. President Obama is bestowing the nation's highest military honor on the Union Army officer who was killed more than 150 years ago in the Battle of Gettysburg. Cushing died in July 1863 while standing his ground against Pickett's Charge. Congress had to grant an exemption for Cushing, since recommendations for a Medal of Honor must be made within two years of an act of heroism. AP

    Civil War officer's heroism earns Medal of Honor

    After an act of Congress and years of lobbying by descendants and admirers, a Union Army officer who made the ultimate sacrifice more than 150 years ago will be recognized for his heroism when President Barack Obama grants him the nation's highest commend

    • Sep. 15, 2014
    • NEWS /
    • Congress & DOD
    Sailors prepare to launch aircraft from the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77) on Sept. 13 in the Arabian Gulf. MC3 Joshua Card / Navy

    White House still seeking coalition in Mideast war

    The White House said Sunday it will find countries willing to send combat troops to fight Islamic extremists in Syria and Iraq, but it's too early to identify them.

    • Sep. 14, 2014
    • NEWS /
    • Congress & DOD
    Retired Marine Gen. John Allen warned an audience in Washington on Sept. 10 that removing troops from the country too early could have dire results. Haraz N. Ghanbari / The Associated Press

    Retired Marine Gen. Allen: Timeline for Afghanistan pullout 'too short'

    A former Marine commander of all U.S. troops in Afghanistan warned a Washington, D.C. crowd this week that a rigid timeline for U.S. withdrawal might plunge Afghanistan back to a pre-9/11 reality.

    • Sep. 12, 2014

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