By Mike Mount
The U.S. military's combat awards process is in disarray and because of that the official Department of Defense statistics do not accurately reflect those who have been awarded combat medals for bravery in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, according to some members of Congress.
One of those congressmen, Rep. Duncan Hunter, R-California, is calling for the Army and other services that supply information for the Pentagon's statistics to correct the dozens of disparities, because it is a "disservice" to those who have fought bravely in combat in Iraq and Afghanistan and in our past wars and conflicts.
"There have been repetitive and serious breakdowns at multiple levels of the awards process. Problems are visible across all services, but, overall, there appears to be a lack of transparency and even accountability," according to Hunter.
By Larry Shaughnessy
October is when America's favorite color seems to be pink.
NFL football players don pink cleats and hang pink towels from their belts.
The wives of both major presidential candidates risk a fashion police citation by wearing the same shade of pink to the second debate. And the president himself is seen wearing a pink rubber bracelet.
Everywhere there are pink ribbons. In almost every case, this temporary change of hues is in recognition of October being Breast Cancer Awareness month, when public service organizations unite to promote breast cancer awareness, share information on the disease, and provide greater access to services.
But when the Army recently sent out pictures of a pink tank at Fort Sill, Oklahoma, saving woman from the disease was not the goal.
Fort Sill is one of the places where soldiers go to learn how to fire artillery at targets. When you are shooting a gun that fires a round the size of a cured ham, you don't shoot at paper targets, you shoot at three-dimensional targets.
Attorneys argued again Thursday about whether accused Fort Hood shooter Maj. Nidal Hasan can be forcibly shaved so that his stalled court-martial can proceed.
Thursday afternoon's hearing at the Army Court of Criminal Appeals in Virginia was called to address Hasan's continued refusal to shave before court appearances, the Army said.FULL STORY
By Mike Mount, Senior CNN National Security Producer
A report last week by Security Clearance has spurred senior U.S. Army officials to quickly buy and field an anti-roadside bomb system for thousands of soldiers deployed to the violent eastern part of Afghanistan, according to Army documents obtained by CNN.
The documents show that senior Army leaders were scrambling last week to purchase the equipment, known as Palantir, for the 4th Brigade Combat Team (4th BCT) of the 1st Infantry Division "as quickly as possible" in response to reporting that highlighted delays and denials of requests for the Palantir system by Army leadership.
The 4th BCT, based out of Fort Riley, Kansas, initially requested the software before its spring 2012 deployment and was rejected by the Army.
By Mike Mount
The accidental posting of personal information online about top Army combat award recipients has created confusion over whether some soldiers were ever told that they had earned Silver Stars for heroism.
At issue is the discovery last week of a document inadvertently published on the Web by a contractor that listed hundreds of valor award recipients beginning in 2001.
The list includes the names and Social Security numbers of Medal of Honor and the Distinguished Service Cross recipients from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The list also includes the names of hundreds of Silver Star recipients from the same conflicts, but does not note their Social Security information.
By Mike Mount, CNN Senior National Security Producer
Army staff at the Pentagon are denying or delaying some requests for a preferred anti-roadside-bomb system preferred by Army combat units deploying to restive regions of Afghanistan, according to internal Army documents obtained exclusively by CNN's Security Clearance.
Improvised explosive devices (IEDs) continue to be a leading killer of U.S. troops in Afghanistan, and the anti-IED program has been at the center of an ongoing controversy with the Army accused of denying troops a better - and less expensive - system developed by an outside company in favor of one developed in-house.
According to the documents, the latest rebuff by Army staff was aimed at the 4th Brigade Combat Team (4th BCT) of the 1st Infantry Division, based in Fort Riley, Kansas.
By Larry Shaughnessy
The former deputy commander of the Army's 82nd Airborne Division has been charged with numerous violations of military law, including forcible sodomy, the Army said Wednesday.
Brig. Gen. Jeffrey Sinclair has been charged with "forcible sodomy, wrongful sexual conduct, attempted violation of an order, violations of regulations by wrongfully engaging in inappropriate relationships, misusing a government travel charge card" and several other counts, said Col. Kevin Arata, a spokesman for the Fort Bragg-based 82nd Airborne Division, which since its creation during World War I has been one of the most celebrated units in the Army.
By the CNN Wire Staff
A U.S. soldier laid out an elaborate plot by a group of active and former military members to overthrow the government, telling a southeast Georgia court Monday that he was part of what prosecutors called an "an anarchist group and militia."
Dressed in his Army uniform, Pfc. Michael Burnett spoke in a Long County court about the group of Army soldiers and its role in the December deaths of a former soldier Michael Roark and his teenage girlfriend Tiffany York. Roark, he said, was killed because he allegedly took money from the group and planned to leave.FULL STORY
By Jamie Crawford
Soldiers killed themselves at a higher monthly rate in July than any other since detailed statistics have been kept on the issue, the U.S. Army said Thursday.
A total of 38 confirmed or suspected suicides were counted by the Army last month in a tally that took into account both active and non-active duty soldiers who serve in the Army National Guard or Reserve. Three of those active duty soldiers were deployed at the time of their death.
Prior to the announcement, the highest monthly level suicide rate for soldiers was 33 in the months of June 2010 and July 2011 according to statistics released by the Army.
By Larry Shaughnessy
In the wake of the massacre at a Sikh temple in Wisconsin, a number of reports emerged that the gunman was a former soldier who embraced the white supremacist movement during his time in the Army more than a decade ago.
Wade Michael Page served at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, from 1995 until he left the Army in 1998. A criminologist who interviewed Page told CNN that's where he became a white supremacist.
"What he told me during the course of our time together was that he really started to identify with the neo-Nazism during his time in the military," Pete Simi, a Univerisity of Nebraska criminologist told CNN recently. "He (Page) really started getting into during his time in the military."
But the Army Thursday said extremism in the military is not as widespread as the Page case might seem to indicate.