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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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US Marine to be retried for Iraq murder

Lwrence Hutchins IIIA Camp Pendleton Marine freed on appeal after serving more than six years for the murder of an unarmed man in Hamdaniya, Iraq, during the height of the war will be retried in a military court.

Sgt. Lawrence Hutchins III will be arraigned Wednesday at Camp Pendleton, Marine Corps Forces Central Command said Monday.

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U.S. Vets Exposed to Cadaver Parts From Contaminated Lab

vets exposed to cadaver partsThe U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs ordered $241 million of cadaver tissue and other material derived from human and animal bodies in the last three years, some of it from vendors warned by federal regulators about contamination in their supply chain.

About $4.7 million of the VA purchases came from Alachua, Florida-based RTI Surgical Inc. (RTIX) and the nonprofit Musculoskeletal Transplant Foundation, of Edison, New Jersey, according to data obtained by Bloomberg News under a Freedom of Information Act request.

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Why Are US Special Operations Forces Deployed in Over 100 Countries?

military deployment“Dude, I don’t need to play these stupid games. I know what you’re trying to do.” With that, Major Matthew Robert Bockholt hung up on me.

More than a month before, I had called US Special Operations Command (SOCOM) with a series of basic questions: In how many countries were US Special Operations Forces deployed in 2013? Are manpower levels set to expand to 72,000 in 2014? Is SOCOM still aiming for growth rates of 3 percent to 5 percent per year? How many training exercises did the command carry out in 2013? Basic stuff.

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US Air Force copter crashes in England, killing 4

USAF helicopterA U.S. Air Force Pave Hawk helicopter crashed in the coastal marshes of eastern England during a training mission on Tuesday night, killing all four crew members aboard, officials said.

The helicopter crashed at about 6 p.m. local time near Salthouse on the Norfolk coast, a statement from the U.S. Air Force said. The aircraft was based at the nearby Royal Air Force station in Lakenheath, Suffolk County, which hosts USAF units and personnel.

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Obama signs defense bill, criticizes Congress' Guantanamo restrictions

Defense bill signedPresident Barack Obama Thursday signed legislation to fund the nation's defense, a measure that includes a small military pay raise and changes in how the military deals with sexual assault allegations.

Congress approved the legislation with bipartisan votes juse before ending its 2013 session last week.

The bill would provide about $625 billion for defense operations, slightly less than last year.

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