By Larry Shaughnessy
An Air Force officer charged with sexual battery stemming from an incident in Northern Virginia had received training for his job heading up a military unit aimed at preventing sex assaults, military records show.
Lt. Col. Jeffrey Krusinski, a 1994 graduate of the Air Force Academy who served tours in both Iraq and Afghanistan, was arrested early on Sunday for allegedly grabbing a woman's buttocks and breasts in a parking lot in Arlington County not far from the Pentagon.
A police report said the unidentified woman fought off her assailant, who appeared intoxicated.
Krusinski, 41, is due in an Arlington County court on Thursday after local officials refused a request from the Air Force for it to handle the case.
By Larry Shaughnessy
The general at the center of a military and legal controversy is telling his side of the story for the first time since throwing out the sexual assault conviction of an Air Force officer.
Lt. Colonel James Wilkerson III was found guilty last year by a jury of Air Force officers of sexually assaulting a woman at his home outside Aviano Air Base in Italy.
He spent four months in a Navy brig before Lt. General Craig Franklin, the convening authority in the case, threw out the verdict.
Franklin was the officer who ordered Wilkerson's court martial at Ramstein Air Base in Germany. But military law allowed him to have the final say.
By Larry Shaughnessy, CNN Pentagon Producer
Capt. Emil Kapaun served in the U.S. Army in World War II and Korea but he didn’t carry a rifle and never fired a shot. His weapons were a Bible and his faith.
Capt. Kapaun was also Father Kapaun, a Roman Catholic chaplain who will be awarded the Medal of Honor on Thursday, 60 years after his death while a North Korean prisoner. The Medal of Honor is the highest award for valor in the U.S. military.
Kapaun was born and raised in Pilsen, Kansas. After high school he attended Conception Abbey, a Benedictine monastery in Missouri. After the abbey, he studied for the priesthood at Kenrick Seminary in St. Louis. Kapaun was ordained in 1940 and that same year became a U.S. Army chaplain.
After serving at several posts in the United States and India, he left the Army and went to the Catholic University of America in Washington to earn a master's degree in education. After getting the degree in 1948, he returned to the Army.
In June 1950, Kapaun was ordered to Korea as the war was in its earliest stages.
Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel quoted President Dwight D. Eisenhower Wednesday, telling rising military officers "the wise and prudent administration of the vast resources required by defense calls for extraordinary skill."
In his first major policy speech since taking over the Pentagon, Hagel focused on the budget problems facing the Defense Department and the rest of the government.
"A combination of fiscal pressures and a gridlocked political process has led to far more abrupt and deeper reductions than were planned for or expected. Now DoD is grappling with the serious and immediate challenge of sequester - which is forcing us to take as much as a $41 billion cut in this current fiscal year," Hagel said at the National Defense University at Fort McNair.
By Carol Cratty and Larry Shaughnessy
Audio of Pfc. Bradley Manning telling a military court that he provided classified information to the WikiLeaks website has been posted on the Internet by the Freedom of the Press Foundation.
"This marks the first time the American public has heard the actual voice of Manning," the group said in a statement Monday.
Access to the military court proceedings for Manning is limited, and observers are not allowed to use recording devices. The foundation did not say how it obtained the audio but complained that the proceedings should be available to the public.
"By releasing this audio recording, we wish to make sure that the voice of this generation's most prolific whistle-blower can be heard - literally - by the world," said the group's statement.
By Larry Shaughnessy
Attorney-client privilege is a bedrock legal principle.
But on Monday, a U.S. military commission released a photo of what appeared to be an ordinary smoke detector on the ceiling of a room where attorneys met with terror detainees at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
The smoke detector was actually a listening device that could have been used to eavesdrop on conversations that were supposed to be private.
But the Miami Herald reported that one of the top military lawyers for the Gitmo detention facility said he looked into the matter as soon as he learned about it and found that no one was listening in on privileged conversations.
A military judge hearing the case against accused 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and four others ordered the photo released.
Pfc. Bradley Manning pleaded guilty Thursday to 10 of the 22 charges against him, but not the major one, in what the government says is the largest leak of classified documents in the nation's history. And, for the first time, he offered his rationale for the crimes.
In court, Manning detailed why and how he sent classified material to WikiLeaks, a group that facilitates the anonymous leaking of secret information through its website.
By Barbara Starr and Larry Shaughnessy
WASHINGTON (CNN) - Defense Secretary Leon Panetta was packed up and ready, as he says, to "get the hell out of town." But it looks like he can't step aside just yet from the top job at the Pentagon.
The Senate on Thursday dashed Panetta's hopes of quickly confirming his intended replacement, Chuck Hagel, before the start of a one-week congressional recess.
Proponents failed to muster enough support in a procedural vote to end debate on Hagel's appointment and push the nomination toward a concluding vote.
Democrats are calling Republican opposition a filibuster, while GOP members say they simply want more time to address concerns.
By Larry Shaughnessy
It should come as no surprise that U.S. Army soldiers can fight.
But Staff Sgt. Colton Smith can say he's the Army's ultimate fighter.
Smith, who is based at Fort Hood, won the season 16 finale of "The Ultimate Fighter" on national TV last weekend by beating Canadian Mike Ricci in three five-minute rounds of mixed martial arts (MMA).
"It's an amazing feeling of accomplishment," Smith said in a story posted on Fort Hood's website.
By Larry Shaughnessy
Defense Secretary Leon Panetta sent a memo this week to all the troops and civilians who work for him to address concerns about the mandatory spending cuts that would occur if the president and lawmakers do not reach a budget agreement by the end of the year.
In it, Panetta wrote that if the procedure, known as sequestration, were to occur, it "would not necessarily require immediate reductions in spending."
He also wrote that "under sequestration, we would still have funds available after Jan. 2, 2013, but our overall funding for the remainder of the year would be reduced."
It's a very different spin on the sequestration from Panetta, who in the past said it would be a "disaster." If this "meat ax" approach to budget cutting were used, he said, it would "hollow out the force."
The cuts are slated to be across the board, totaling roughly $500 billion over 10 years.
Panetta tried to reassure the troops that "the president indicated his intent to exercise his legal authority to exempt military personnel" from the mandatory cuts.
But he couldn't make the same promise to the Defense Department's million or so civilian employees.
Instead he said, "Should we have to operate under reduced funding levels for an extended period of time, we may have to consider furloughs or other actions in the future."
Asked about the change of tone, a senior defense official said, "The secretary continues to believe that sequestration would be devastating and is puzzled that Congress can't reach a deal."
The same official said the memo reflects the Office of Management and Budget's view of the issue, especially with respect to furloughs.
Panetta wrapped up the memo by writing, "I want to assure you that we will do our very best to provide clear information about the status of events as they unfold."