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Army to discharge 500 NCOs in move to reduce ranks

NCO'sMore than 500 senior non-commissioned officers will be involuntary discharged this year as the U.S. Army moves to reduce its ranks, a Pentagon official says.

That's more than triple the 160 active duty and reserve NCOs released last fiscal year, Stars and Stripes reported Wednesday.

The 506 soldiers were being released because "the Army can no longer retain soldiers in over-strength skills as we improve grade and [Military Occupational Specialty], Lt. Gen. Howard Bromberg, deputy chief of staff for personnel, said in an email.

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Special ops leader ordered Osama Bin Laden death photos destroyed after AP request for documents

William McRavenA newly-released email shows that 11 days after the killing of terror leader Osama bin Laden in 2011, the U.S. military’s top special operations officer ordered subordinates to destroy any photographs of the al-Qaida founder’s corpse or turn them over to the CIA.

The email was obtained under a freedom of information request by the conservative legal group Judicial Watch. The document, released Monday by the group, shows that Adm. William McRaven, who heads the U.S. Special Operations Command, told military officers on May 13, 2011 that photos of bin Laden’s remains should have been sent to the CIA or already destroyed. Bin Laden was killed by a special operations team in Pakistan on May 2, 2011.

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US Citizen Possibly Targeted for Drone Attack

Drone attacksAn American citizen who is a member of al-Qaida is actively planning attacks against Americans overseas, U.S. officials say, and the Obama administration is wrestling with whether to kill him with a drone strike and how to do so legally under its new stricter targeting policy issued last year.

The CIA drones watching him cannot strike because he's a U.S. citizen and the Justice Department must build a case against him, a task it hasn't completed.

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Documents reveal chaotic US military sex-abuse record

US military baseAt U.S. military bases in Japan, most service members found culpable in sex crimes in recent years did not go to prison, according to internal Department of Defense documents. Instead, in a review of hundreds of cases filed in America's largest overseas military installation, offenders were fined, demoted, restricted to their bases or removed from the military.

In about 30 cases, a letter of reprimand was the only punishment.

More than 1,000 records, obtained by The Associated Press through the Freedom of Information Act, describe hundreds of cases in graphic detail, painting a disturbing picture of how senior American officers prosecute and punish troops accused of sex crimes.

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Former Army recruiting program under investigation after loophole abuse

recruiting program investigatedAn Army National Guard program that gave freelance recruiters a bonus for each recruit they referred is under investigation after the reported abuse of $29 million in taxpayer dollars, according to information disclosed at a Senate hearing Tuesday.

The Recruiting Assistance Program, created in 2005 to boost military enrollment and buttress forces in Iraq and Afghanistan, allowed non-recruiters to receive “referral payments” of $2,000 to $7,500 for each new member that they referred.

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Military's Progress on Women in Combat Criticized

Women in US militaryA year after the Pentagon opened combat jobs to female servicemembers, plans for integrating women into these jobs remain problematic, women’s advocates said this week.

The Marine Corps and the Army, which have the largest number of military occupational specialties still closed to women, have, according to critics, unclear and inconsistent approaches to integrating women fully into the forces by January 2016, the deadline set by former Defense Secretary Leon Panetta.

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U.S. Air Force cheating investigation nearly doubles

USAF cheating scandalThe number of U.S. Air Force nuclear weapons officers under investigation for allegedly cheating on a proficiency test has nearly doubled, officials said.

The Pentagon announced the investigation Jan. 15, saying 34 nuclear weapons officers allegedly either cheated on their monthly proficiency test or knew about the cheating and kept quiet.

A military official, speaking on condition of anonymity, told NBC News that number has nearly double though the official wouldn't give a precise number of people being investigated.

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