Another Navy officer caught up in 'Fat Leonard' bribery scandal
November 21st, 2013
07:19 PM ET

Another Navy officer caught up in 'Fat Leonard' bribery scandal

By CNN Pentagon Producer Larry Shaughnessy

The Navy has reassigned the second in command of a unit that protects ships and harbors as part of an ongoing criminal investigation into alleged bribery by a defense contractor.

Capt. David Haas has been suspended as deputy commander of Coastal Riverine Group One while the Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) probes activities of Glenn Defense Marine Co., and its chairman, Leonard Glenn Francis, according to a Navy statement released Thursday. Francis is known by the nickname “Fat Leonard."


Women will be first to graduate from Marine Corps infantry training course
Women Marines going through infantry training. Thursday, three women will be the first to graduate from the grueling course.
November 19th, 2013
12:44 PM ET

Women will be first to graduate from Marine Corps infantry training course

WASHINGTON (CNN) - This year, for the first time in the history of the Marine Corps, the graduation class at its infantry training course will include women.

Fifteen women voluntarily began the training at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, on September 24. On Thursday, three of them will graduate from the course, a milestone for women seeking equality in the Armed Forces, according to Capt. Maureen Krebs, a Marine Corps spokeswoman.

A fourth woman finished the course, but was injured and couldn't pass the required combat fitness test. She will be allowed to graduate once she heals and passes that test.

The women went through the same physically grueling exercises as the male Marines, including carry 90 pounds of combat gear on a 12.5-mile march, Krebs said.

They also had to perform three pull ups, just as the men did. For ordinary Marine Corps physical fitness tests, women can choose either the pull up or something called a "flew arm hang."

Pentagon says women in all combat units in 2016

This is part of Marine Corps research regarding the capability of women to serve in infantry units. Since last year, 10 women officers have entered Marine infantry officer training at Marine Base Quantico, Virginia. So far none of the officers have completed that course.

However, the women who passed the enlisted course will not join infantry units. They instead will be sent to non-combat jobs throughout the Corps.

Their 59 days of arduous work will instead become part of the Marine Corps ongoing research into the possibility of having women serve in combat.

Opinion: Women on the front lines? Of course

November 8th, 2013
06:52 PM ET

Pentagon investigation: Petraeus did not want top honor for soldier

By Larry Shaughnessy

A nagging mystery of the Afghanistan war was why one Marine and one soldier were awarded Medals of Honor for their role in the same battle, but the honor was conferred nearly two years apart.

Turns out part of the reason is that Gen. David Petraeus, who once served as the commander of U.S. Forces in Afghanistan, didn't think the soldier, Army Capt. William Swenson, deserved the nation's highest award for valor.

Swenson three times exposed himself to overwhelming enemy fire to try to rescue wounded U.S. and Afghan troops during the Battle of Ganjgal in eastern Afghanistan in 2009.

Two years later, Marine Sgt. Dakota Meyer was decorated with a Medal of Honor for similar actions in the same battle. Swenson was also recommended for the medal but his case became lost in the military bureaucracy.

November 5th, 2013
06:00 AM ET

Iron Man suit, from the silver screen to the battlefield

By Larry Shaughnessy

A U.S. Special Operations soldier kicks in the door of a terrorist safe house.  The bad guys open fire with AK-47s, but the bullets just bounce off the soldier as he fires back.

It’s a scene that easily could have been included in any of the hugely successful “Iron Man” movies, but the man who runs U.S. Special Forces Command, Adm. William McRaven, wants to make it reality, and soon.

McRaven gave the green light to what the Pentagon officially calls a Tactical Assault Light Operator Suit, but everyone refers to it colloquially as “The Iron Man suit.”

McRaven recently spoke about losing a special operator in Afghanistan. "I would like that last operator to be the last one we ever lose," he said.

Corps testing solar-powered Marines concept
Solar like these may soon help Marines in battle.
November 4th, 2013
06:20 PM ET

Corps testing solar-powered Marines concept

By Larry Shaughnessy

For years, top Marine commanders have been worried about the amount of weight each of their troops carries.

There's the body armor, weapons and ammunition. Those are must-haves. But they also carry lots of water to keep from becoming dehydrated and batteries for their radios, GPS gear and night-vision goggles.

Now, the Marine Corps is looking at how to reduce the water and battery weight.

At a base in California this month, Marine and Navy researchers are testing a concept called Marine Austere Patrolling System, with a built-in solar panel and a water filtration system.

This isn't about the Marine Corps suddenly joining the "green" movement. It's about weight and safety.


October 29th, 2013
01:44 PM ET

Bigger, Lighter, Deadlier! Navy launches new stealth destroyer

By Larry Shaughnessy

(CNN) - The Navy's newest warship slipped out of dry dock this week into the waters of Maine, marking a new era for war fighting at sea.

The USS Zumwalt, the first of the DDG-1000 class of destroyers, is longer, faster and carries state-of-the-art weapons that will allow it to destroy targets at more than 60 miles, according to the Navy.

At 610 feet long and 81 feet wide, the Zumwalt is longer and thinner than the USS Arizona, a battleship sunk at Pearl Harbor. But it weighs about half as much.

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Filed under: Contractors • drones • Navy • Pentagon • weapons
The 'brim'ming controversy about Marines hats
Marine Corps Commandant Gen. James Amos wearing the dress version of the Male Frame Cover, the hat worn by Marine men since 1922 and maybe soon by women Marines.
October 25th, 2013
07:38 PM ET

The 'brim'ming controversy about Marines hats

By Larry Shaughnessy

At ease Marines. The Corps is not going to make men change their hats.

A New York Post headline, "Obama wants Marines to wear 'girly' hats," generated a lot of attention this week.

But alas, the service says that's not the case.

Arizona Air National Guard members indicted in pay scheme
File photo of Col. Gregg Davies, formerly of Arizona Air National Guard.
October 21st, 2013
06:53 PM ET

Arizona Air National Guard members indicted in pay scheme

WASHINGTON (CNN) - An Arizona grand jury has indicted 21 members of the Arizona Air National Guard, including a colonel, for allegedly defrauding the federal government out of more than $1.4 million, Arizona's attorney general announced Monday.

The guardsmen were part of the 214th Reconnaissance Group, which operated Predator drones over Iraq and Afghanistan from a base in Tucson, Arizona.

Russian Ambassador worries use of force in Syria could “ruin” US relations
September 6th, 2013
05:43 PM ET

Russian Ambassador worries use of force in Syria could “ruin” US relations

The Russian ambassador to the United States said any use of American military force against war-wracked Syria could carry serious consequences and hoped such an outcome would not ruin already tense relations.

While things are difficult between Washington and Moscow, Sergey Kislyak said in Washington that ties have not plunged to Cold War depths – yet.

“They’re not in good shape,” Kislyak said at an appearance in Washington for the Center for the National Interest.

Nidal Hasan's beard shaved off at Fort Leavenworth Prison
September 4th, 2013
08:11 PM ET

Nidal Hasan's beard shaved off at Fort Leavenworth Prison

By Larry Shaughnessy

The beard that delayed the Fort Hood court martial trial for months is gone. Maj. Nidal Hasan, the former Army psychiatrist convicted of 13 murders and dozens of attempted murders, is clean shaven again.

According to an Army statement about Hasan's incarceration at the U.S. Disciplinary Barracks at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, "All inmates must conform to AR 670-1, wear and appearance of Army Uniforms and Insignia."

The statement also said, "In keeping with the provisions" of the regulations, "Inmate Hasan has been shaved."

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