NAVY - DNU Flash - 7/29/2008
Remembering USS Forrestal
" Dear son,
I´m very sad, because I can´t grow my garden this year. I´m sad to be old and not be able to do it alone because this is the time to seed the land and your mother loved so much the flowers. If you were here you could helped me, but you can´t once you are in jail.
With Love, your dad."
"BY GOD, father don´t touch the garden!! It was there I hiden the dead bodys"
"Now you can seed the flowers, dad. This is the best I can do now."
WASHINGTON, July 28, 2008 - The latest GI Bill considerably improves the opportunity for today's servicemembers to obtain their education, a senior Defense Department official said.
President Bush signed the Post-9/11 Veterans Education Assistance Act of 2008 on June 30. The new law mirrors the tenets of the original GI Bill, which gave returning World War II veterans the opportunity to go to any school they wanted while receiving a living stipend, Bob Clark, the Pentagon's assistant director of accessions policy, said.
"The original GI Bill was said to be one of the most significant social impacts of the 20th century," Clark said. "We believe the new bill is going to have a similar impact."
The new GI Bill is applies to individuals who served on active duty on or after Sept. 11, 2001, and offers education benefits worth an average of $80,000 – double the value of those in the previous program. It covers the full costs of tuition and books, which are paid directly to the school, and it provides a variable stipend for living expenses. It's also transferable to family members of career servicemembers.
Its only restriction is that payment amounts are limited to the most expensive in-state cost to attend a college or university in the state where veterans attend school, he said.
The variable stipend is based on the Defense Department's basic allowance for housing for an E-5, which averages about $1,200 a month, and $1,000 a year will be paid directly to the servicemember for books and supplies, he added.
Enrollment into the Post-9/11 GI Bill is free. Eligibility for the Montgomery GI Bill is based on service commitment and requires active-duty servicemembers to pay a $1,200 fee over the initial year of their enlistment.
The new bill requires that an individual serve at least 90 days on active duty after Sept. 10, 2001, and if discharged, be separated on honorable terms. Servicemembers discharged due to a service-connected disability are eligible if they served 30 continuous days on active duty. Servicemembers must serve 36 aggregated months to qualify for the full amount of benefits.
Servicemembers are entitled to benefits of the new bill for up to 36 months and have up to 15 years from their last 30 days of continuous service to use their entitlements. But as successful as Defense Department officials anticipate the new bill to be, Clark suggested that new recruits still enroll in the Montgomery GI Bill.
The Montgomery GI Bill gives benefits for higher education as well as vocational training, apprenticeship programs and on-the-job training, he explained. The Post-9/11 GI Bill focuses solely on higher education and can only be used at institutions that offer at least an associate's degree, he said.
"We recommend that all new recruits think hard before turning down the Montgomery GI Bill, because they will limit their opportunities for additional education without it," he added.
Servicemembers also are "highly encouraged" to use the Defense Department's tuition assistance program while on active duty, because the Post-9/11 GI Bill's full entitlements, such as the living stipend and book allowance, will not be available, Clark said.
"If you use the Post-9/11 GI Bill while on active duty, it will merely cover tuition or the difference of what tuition assistance will pay," he explained. "Another downside to that is each month you use [the new bill], you lose a month of your 36 months of eligibility."
So, if servicemembers serve on active duty on or after Aug. 1, 2009, and meet the minimum time-in-service requirement, they will be eligible for the new GI Bill while also maintaining benefits from the Montgomery GI Bill, he said.
The Post-9/11 GI Bill also brings good news for officers and for servicemembers who enlisted under the loan repayment program. Since eligibility for the Post-9/11 GI Bill is based on time already served, more servicemembers will be able to take advantage of its benefits, Clark added. Officers commissioned through one of the service academies or through ROTC and enlisted servicemembers participating in the loan repayment program don't qualify for the Montgomery GI Bill, he said.
Those servicemembers will be able to qualify if they finish their initial obligatory service. Commissioned officers must complete their initial five-year commitment if they attended a service academy or their four-year agreement if they were commissioned through college ROTC. Servicemembers whose college loans were paid off by the Defense Department as a re-enlistment incentive must finish their initial commitment – whether it is three, four or five years – before they can apply, Clark said.
"Any amount of time an individual served after their obligated service counts for qualifying service under the new GI Bill," he said.
Another facet unique to the Post-9/11 GI Bill is that it's transferable to family members. The feature gives the defense and service secretaries the authority to offer career servicemembers the opportunity to transfer unused benefits to their family. Though Defense Department officials still are working with the services to hash out eligibility requirements, there are four prerequisites that are subject to adjustment or change, Clark said.
Currently transferability requirements are:
-- Qualifying service to be eligible for the Post-9/11 GI Bill;
-- Active duty service in the armed forces on or after Aug. 1, 2009;
-- At least six years of service in the armed forces;
-- Agreement to serve four more years in the armed forces.
"We're really excited about transferability," Clark said. "That was one of the things about education and the GI Bill that's come up the most often from the field and fleet."
Individuals who may not qualify to transfer unused benefits because they leave the service before the new bill's effective date most likely still will qualify for the bill. As long as the separated servicemembers meet the minimum qualifying time served, they can contact their local Veterans Affairs office and apply for the program. While payments are not retroactive, eligibility is, Clark said.
"This new bill will allow our veterans to chase their dreams," Clark said. "It will allow them to go back and experience college like they deserve, much like their grandfathers did in World War II."
More information about the Post-9/11 GI Bill is available at local Veterans Affairs Office and at www.gibill.va.gov.
Nelson: "Run up the signal, Hardy."
Hardy: "Aye, aye sir."
Nelson: "Hold on, that's not what I dictated to Flags. What's the meaning of this?"
Hardy: "Sorry sir?"
Nelson (reading aloud): "England expects every person to do his or her duty, regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation, religious persuasion or disability." - "What gobbledegook is this?"
Hardy: "Admiralty policy, I'm afraid, sir. We're an equal opportunities employer now. We had the devil's own job getting 'England' past the censors, lest it be considered racist."
Nelson: "Gadzooks, Hardy. Hand me my pipe and tobacco."
Hardy: "Sorry sir. All naval vessels have now been designated smoke-free working environments."
Nelson: "In that case, break open the rum ration. Let us splice the mainbrace to steel the men before battle."
Hardy: "The rum ration has been abolished, Admiral. Its part of the Government's policy on binge drinking."
Nelson: "Good heavens, Hardy. I suppose we'd better get on with it. Full speed ahead."
Hardy: "I think you'll find that there's a 4 knot speed limit in this stretch of water."
Nelson: "Damn it man! We are on the eve of the greatest sea battle in history. We must advance with all dispatch. Report from the crow's nest please."
Hardy: "That won't be possible, sir."
Hardy: "Health and Safety have closed the crow's nest, sir. No harness, and they said that rope ladders don't meet regulations. They won't let anyone up there until a proper scaffolding can be erected."
Nelson: "Then get me the ship's carpenter without delay, Hardy."
Hardy: "He's busy knocking up a wheelchair access to the fo'c'sle."
Nelson: "Wheelchair access? I've never heard anything so absurd."
Hardy: "Health and safety again, sir. We have to provide a barrier-free environment for the differently abled."
Nelson: "Differently abled? I've only one arm and one eye and I refuse even to hear mention of the word. I didn't rise to the rank of admiral by playing the disability card."
Hardy: "Actually sir, you did. The Royal Navy is under represented in the areas of visual impairment and limb deficiency."
Nelson: "Whatever next? Give me full sail. The salt spray beckons."
Hardy: "A couple of problems there too, sir. Health and safety won't let the crew up the rigging without hard hats. And they don't want anyone breathing in too much salt - haven't you seen the adverts?"
Nelson: "I've never heard such infamy. Break out the cannon and tell the men to stand by to engage the enemy."
Hardy: "The men are a bit worried about shooting at anyone, Admiral."
Nelson: "What? This is mutiny!"
Hardy: "It's not that sir. It's just that they're afraid of being charged with murder if they actually kill anyone. There's a couple of legal-aid lawyers on board, watching everyone like hawks."
Nelson: "Then how are we to sink the Frenchies and the Spanish?"
Hardy: "Actually sir, we're not."
Nelson: "We're not?"
Hardy: "No, sir. The French and the Spanish are our European partners now. According to the Common Fisheries Policy, we shouldn't even be in this stretch of water. We could get hit with a claim for compensation."
Nelson: "But you must hate a Frenchman as you hate the devil."
Hardy: "I wouldn't let the ship's diversity co-ordinator hear you saying that sir. You'll be up on a disciplinary report."
Nelson: "You must consider every man an enemy, who speaks ill of your King."
Hardy: "Not any more, sir. We must be inclusive in this multicultural age. Now put on your Kevlar vest. It's the rules. It could save your life"
Nelson: "Don't tell me - health and safety. Whatever happened to rum, sodomy and the lash?"
Hardy: As I explained, sir, rum is off the menu! And there's a ban on corporal punishment.
Ohio Democratic Rep. Dennis J. Kucinich on Friday called on the House Judiciary Committee to impeach President Bush.
In prepared testimony for a committee hearing, Kucinich said Bush should be held accountable for leading the nation into an unwarranted invasion of Iraq.
“The war was totally unnecessary, unprovoked and unjustified,” said Kucinich, a former presidential candidate. “The question for Congress is this: What responsibility do the president and members of his administration have for that unnecessary, unprovoked and unjustified war? The rules of the House prevent me or any witness from utilizing familiar terms. But we can put two and two together in our minds. We can draw inferences about culpability.”
Lamar Smith , the top Republican on the panel, said “Nothing is going to come out of this hearing with regard to impeachment of the president. I know it, the media knows it, even the Speaker knows it.” Smith added that the hearing “will only serve to impeach our own credibility.”
The House voted 238-180 on July 16 to send the latest in a series of Kucinich impeachment resolutions to the committee. Friday’s hearing, billed as an examination of “Executive Power and Its Constitutional Limitations,” was not explicitly an impeachment hearing.
Kucinich has said he would file articles of impeachment in the House every month until there was an impeachment hearing. It was unclear whether Friday’s proceedings, with testimony by other lawmakers and expert witnesses, would satisfy Kucinich.
In any case, there is no chance the House is actually going to move to impeach the president. Democratic congressional leaders, fearing a potential political backlash, foreswore any effort to do so after regaining a House majority in 2006.
Two former secretaries of State unveiled a plan Tuesday to require better consultation between Congress and the president over sending U.S. troops into war.
The legislation, the product of a blue-ribbon commission headed by James A. Baker III, secretary of State under President George Bush, and Warren Christopher, who held the same office under President Bill Clinton, would establish a joint congressional committee and require that the president consult with its members before sending the military into battle.
“This statute gives Congress a seat at the table in deciding whether or not to go to war — not just a seat at the table, but one with a permanent staff, a permanent professional staff, and access to all the available intelligence information,” Christopher said.
Christopher and Baker urged Congress and a new administration to quickly take up their proposal, and said they had reached out to the campaigns of Sens. Barack Obama , D-Ill., and John McCain , R-Ariz.
The plan also would require Congress to vote on a concurrent resolution to authorize the conflict within 30 days after military action begins. If that resolution fails, it would allow an expedited vote on a joint resolution of disapproval, which would become law only with the president’s signature or over his or her veto.
Any military action expected to last more than a week would require consultation, and formal consultation would continue every two months. If action requires secrecy, the president would have to consult within three days after the action began. Covert operations, humanitarian missions, limited reprisal against terrorists and repelling attacks on the United States would be exempt.
Under the Constitution, only Congress can declare war. However, since the end of World War II, presidents have committed the U.S. military to several conflicts without asking for declarations of war, though in some cases Congress has enacted authorizing resolutions, as it did in the run-up to the war in Iraq. Congress also has the power to limit spending for military operations, though it could be politically difficult to do so once U.S. troops have been committed to a conflict.
The proposal would replace the 1973 War Powers Resolution, which the commission concluded was ineffective at best and unconstitutional at worst.
The Department of Defense announced changes today to improve the enlistment screening process by standardizing enlistment criteria and generating uniform reporting of waiver types across all services.
This week DoD and the nation celebrated the 35th Anniversary of the All Volunteer Force (AVF). Since its inception, our volunteer military has upheld the traditions of strong and selfless service to the nation. Presently, more than 1.4 million men and women choose to serve on active duty, along with nearly 1.1 million members of the National Guard and Reserves.
"Waivers have long been a part of the enlistment process, allowing communities a greater voice in identifying young persons who, despite factors such as youthful misconduct, are judged trustworthy and capable, and found fully qualified for service in the armed forces," said Bill Carr, deputy under secretary for military personnel policy.
The most noticeable change to the policy is in the area of conduct waivers. Previously, each service categorized offenses differently, making it impossible to provide reliable comparisons across services, over time.
"Under the new policy all conduct offenses will be classified into one of four different categories. The most severe offenses will be classified as "major misconduct," while less severe offenses will be considered "misconduct," "non-traffic," or "traffic" offenses. Also new is a coding system allowing services to track the level of the misconduct and the specific offense in question," said Carr.
Recent research suggests patterns of smaller offenses such as underage drinking and curfew violations are often more problematic over a career than a single major youthful offense such as burglary, which is the most common offense in the "major misconduct" category.
About one in five recruits receives exceptional admission to the military by means of a waiver. About one third are for medical waivers– most frequently for high body fat – and nearly two thirds involve youthful misconduct waivers.
The standardization of data will allow the department to better analyze the relationship between offenses or categories of offense on the one hand, and attrition or performance concerns on the other.
This new policy, will go into effect on Oct. 1, 2008, does not prohibit further changes in the management of the military's screening for service in the armed forces, but it does represent another affirmative step in sustaining the pattern of success that has come to characterize AVF.
Today's AVF is highly educated with nearly 95 percent of recruits holding a high school diploma, compared to about 75 percent of contemporary youth. Moreover, two thirds are drawn from the top half of American youth in math and verbal aptitude.
The new policy can be viewed online at DTM 08-018
We have seen Prime Minister Tusk's remarks concerning Missile Defense negotiations and are studying them closely. Poland remains a close and important ally of the United States. We remain in negotiations with Poland and do not plan to comment publicly on the details.
Missile defense is an important potential area of cooperation between the United States and Poland. An agreement would be an important means of deepening the defense and security relationship between our countries. This is also important for the security of NATO nations as recognized in the Bucharest summit communique which endorsed this effort and spoke of its importance to the security of the Alliance.
2008/546 - Released on July 6, 2008
This is from a mom on the USNA net as she relayed from her son.
A few of us Plebes in 12th Company made the sign from twelve blue magnets (blankets). Then, 7 of the Second Class went to
Although they were caught, and interrogated by a Sergeant Major (E-9 in the Army), they never broke and when
So...Three hours after being captured, they returned to the
Go Navy! Beat Army!
IN CONGRESS, July 4, 1776.
The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America,
When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.--That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.--Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.
He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.
He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.
He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.
He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.
He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.
He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected; whereby the Legislative powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.
He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.
He has obstructed the Administration of Justice, by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary powers.
He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone, for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.
He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harrass our people, and eat out their substance.
He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.
He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil power.
He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:
For Quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:
For protecting them, by a mock Trial, from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:
For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:
For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:
For depriving us in many cases, of the benefits of Trial by Jury:
For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences
For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies:
For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws, and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:
For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.
He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.
He has plundered our seas, ravaged our Coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.
He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.
He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.
He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages, whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.
In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.
Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our Brittish brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which, would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.
We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States; that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.