Marine sniper Rob Richards died last August, not long after being compelled to depart the Marine Corps at the reduced rank of corporal. Richards had been a sergeant—not to mention a Purple Heart recipient, reportedly nominated for the Bronze Star, and a veteran of three combat deployments—when a video was put on the Internet showing him and three other Marines urinating on the dead bodies of Taliban fighters.
Yesterday the news broke that the U.S. Embassy in Yemen was shutting down its operations and evacuating American personnel under pressure from the Iranian-backed militia that has seized the capital, Sanaa. It appears that the evacuation is now complete, and that it was a disorderly affair in which U.S. vehicles were seized by the rebels, and Marines tasked with guarding diplomatic personnel were ordered to turn over their weapons to the Houthi gunmen at the airport. CNN reports:
In April the Army will open its famous Ranger School to women, and some are concerned that the Army is tilting the evaluation to ensure that female students will graduate the course.
Sixty female soldiers will attempt the course as part of the Department of Defense’s effort to open ground combat arms units to members of both sexes. This April’s mixed Ranger School class is a “pilot program,” and the results will be used to determine whether or not the Army will open the school on a regular basis in the future.
The popularity of Clint Eastwood’s new drama ‘American Sniper’ has boosted the sales of pro-military clothing. A number of pro-military retailers said they had seen a noticeable spike in sales since the movie premiered across the country last weekend. One retailer had even seen his orders more than double.
Hundreds of thousands of American veterans have served in Afghanistan since 2001, and around 20,000 troops remain there today, though the number plummets daily with the abandonment of bases and the turnover of major installations to the Afghan government. By early next year, there will be only 9,800 American troops left in the country, a number that will be reduced by half no later than the end of 2015. According to the White House, it will be reduced again, effectively to zero, by the end of 2016.
So how are things going?