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Military Comprehension syllabus
Killexams : Military Comprehension syllabus - BingNews Search results Killexams : Military Comprehension syllabus - BingNews Killexams : A look inside Syllabus

What really is a syllabus? Is it a tool or a manifesto? A machine or a plan? What are its limits? Its horizon? And who is it really for? And what would happen if you took the syllabus as seriously as you take the most serious forms of writing in your own discipline? 

It’s so familiar. The first day, the first class meeting, the noises, the competing interests of choosing seats and choosing neighbors, the geometry of students and backpacks, tools, food, books. For you, it’s curtain up. You’ve brought with you a set of handouts, the ones you quickly say are also and always available online in the course learning module. You distribute the handouts, making eye contact as you do it—everyone is so young, and the class is more diverse each time you steal a glance. You’re looking for their response, even before they’ve read a word of what you’ve set down. 

You remind yourself that your students are there for one of two reasons. Either they have to be there, or they want to be there. Either your course is a) required of everyone or maybe required in some specific track, or b) it’s an elective. You know that neither category guarantees an easy ride, and you wouldn’t want it any other way. Teaching is hard. One of your goals is to have the students who have to be there want to be there. Another goal is surely to make students who choose your course tell others that it was amazing, that you were terrific. Teaching is hard, you tell yourself again. Knowing that is part of being a teacher. 

You feel the electricity of performance, the responsibility of winning students over to your discipline. You run through what you’re going to say this hour in a distracted, internal monologue. A few moments later, and the class has settled down into what looks like an attentive practicing of the handout. It feels as if it’s your moment to lose: students poring over the little world you’ve created for them, a place where the hierarchy of the university—your mastery, their innocent but open-minded ignorance—is mediated by a simple document and the set of rules to which it conforms. Their eyes turn to you. Electronics are stowed. You pick up a piece of chalk. House lights down. You begin. You will be at that blackboard, chalk in hand, for sixteen weeks, and during that time your voice, and your brilliance, will fill the space. 

You begin talking, but something strange is happening. All your expertise seems to have left you, and you’re jabbering on in what you recognize as a steady stream of amateurish nonsense. But that’s not the most horrifying part. What’s truly frightening is that the students are looking at you as if you’re making perfect sense—or, more accurately, as if it doesn’t matter whether you’re brilliant or banal. 

Then the alarm clock goes off and you wake up. It’s four a.m., still dark, and you don’t have to be on campus for another two weeks. You spent last night fine-tuning your syllabus one last time and in the process ratcheting up your own anxiety. 

You’ve just awakened from one version of the Academic’s Performance Dream. In the dream-class, you were about to tell the students something for sixteen weeks, which might be fine if your course were a one-way transmission to an adoring audience and nothing more. You wouldn’t really teach a class that way. 

And yet you’re beginning to concede that the dream that woke you is more or less a critique—your critique—of your own teaching, your unconscious mind accusing you of a particular kind of earnest, hardworking—what to call it?—laziness. You’re half-awake now and recognize too much of your own teaching style. It isn’t a horror show—far from it. Reasonably genial, largely inert, a series of solos in which you enacted knowledge of the subject, underscoring memorable points with chalk, points dutifully copied by a silent room of students whose own thoughts remained locked away for the semester or at least until the final exam. 

The sun’s coming up, and your morning resolution is not to teach that way again. You’re not even sure what kind of teaching that was, but it felt deeply incomplete. You’re awake now and, breaking the rules you’ve set for yourself, you’ve got your laptop open in bed. You’re anxiously looking over that syllabus one more time. Is it too much, too little, too complicated, too filled with arrows that point the student to side roads? Could you read your own syllabus and make a reasonable guess as to what the course wants to accomplish, as opposed to what your department’s course catalogue says that the course studies or describes? Could you recognize what the course challenges students to do? And how exactly would you, the teacher who wrote that syllabus, follow through on your own expectations for students? 

Dreaming or waking, these questions never seem to go away. Teachers aim high. Big targets, big goals. A class that sings with intellectual engagement. Rigorous but fair grading, and each student doing better than you had hoped. The gratification of giving the exemplary lecture to a room of attentive students. Your own delight in the difficulty that comes with thinking seriously about things that count. All good goals, which, taken together, add up to an ideal of the teacher-focused class. “You’re a star!” says somebody in the hallway, possibly without irony. 

But stars are bright, distant things, and the light they throw off is old, old news. What might it mean to teach now, to shine now, in the present, close to the moment and our students? This question is about more than diversity or age or ethnic sensitivity or a sympathetic engagement with the complexities of gender, or disability, or any of the other qualities that distinguish person from person. First or last, teaching is inevitably about all of these things.3 But to be present asks that we do so much more. Our students, hungry for something that starry light can’t provide by itself, need from us not just knowledge—even knowledge tempered by sensitivity—but craft. 

The myth of Prometheus—the Greek name means “forethought”—tells us that this most generous of Titans stole fire from the gods and brought it to us clay-built human creatures, functionally kindling life in our dark world. Teaching in the present is a bit like stealing fire. Here, o starry teacher, the fire is your own but briefly. Teaching is renouncing the glamour and assurance of the well-executed solo and sharing that light with your students, moving the focus from something we’ve long called teaching and giving the torch to learning. You can teach by yourself, or at least tell yourself that you can, but you can’t learn (let’s for a moment allow it to be a transitive verb meaning “to make them learn”) by yourself. 

Modern English learn has as one of its antecedents the Old English form gelaeran, which meant “to teach.” This etymological paradox isn’t a paradox at all, of course. If teaching is the thing that happens when students are learning, subject and object come to be bound together, like Aristophanes’s conception of the sexes balled up inseparably in The Symposium, a Möbius-like continuum of teaching and learning, enacted by teacher and student. 

We begin to discern the contours of this perplexing space of learning when we awake from the dream (it was always only a dream, never a solid reality) of the masterful teacher delivering knowledge. We can map out something so complex only by making a concerted effort to describe its nuances, conundrums, its areas of density and lightness. We perform this mapping and engage in this forethought when we compose a syllabus, but only if it is indeed an attempt to map the space of learning. Which means that, as we’ll say in several ways throughout this book, a syllabus isn’t so much about what you will do. It’s about what your students will do. 

This essay is an excerpt from Syllabus: The Remarkable, Unremarkable Document That Changes Everything by William Germano and Kit Nicholls.

William Germano is professor of English at Cooper Union. His books include Getting It Published and From Dissertation to Book. Twitter @WmGermano Kit Nicholls is director of the Center for Writing at Cooper Union, where he teaches writing, literature, and cultural studies.

Tue, 04 Oct 2022 09:05:00 -0500 en text/html
Killexams : How to Spot a Veteran

As you look for ways to honor and thank military veterans in your community, you might wonder how to spot a veteran. 

While there are many jokes about veteran stereotypes and things veterans tend to do that make them easy to identify, finding and getting to know veterans can also be a serious matter if you're looking to support and thank the community. 

Here are a few tips for finding veterans near you. 

How to Spot a Veteran

Check with local veterans organizations. If you're looking to reach out to groups of veterans or learn the best way to help those who live near you, your local veteran organizations are a great place to start. The Veterans of Foreign War (VFW) and American Legion groups often have their own halls or buildings that host veteran-focused events or volunteer opportunities. Wounded Warrior Project and Team Red, White & Blue are two organizations often used by younger veterans that might have chapters near you. Visiting or contacting these organizations is a great place to start for those looking to meet or help local veterans. 

Related: Celebrate Veterans Day

Watch for military insignia. Military veterans are often very proud of their service and wear hats, shirts or jackets that broadcast their affiliation with specific military branches or units. Navy veterans, for example, often wear ball caps that say which ship or boat they served on. If you're hoping to spot a veteran so that you can thank them for their service, keeping your eyes open for related clothing is a great way to start. 

Look for military vehicle tags and stickers. Many states give out special license tags to veterans, while some states have special tags for disabled and non-disabled veterans. Some veterans also put military insignia bumper stickers on their cars. Both license plates and stickers are a way to see whether the person you're parked near or driving behind is a veteran. 

Related: State Veterans Benefits

How to Spot a Fake Veteran

People faking veteran status or having certain types of military service is known as "stolen valor" and is a big course among true military veterans. But unless you served and are intimately familiar with military ranks and insignia, it is likely difficult to know whether the person you have met is a fake veteran. If you meet someone in your community who says they are a veteran, it is usually best to assume they are telling the truth.

However, some people use a fake veteran status to scam others out of money or resources. This is especially true when it comes to military romance scams. If you think something is a scam or suspect it might be a scam, it probably is. 

How can you spot a military romance scammer? Here are a few common military romance scam claims: 

  • They say they are being charged money to go on leave.
  • They say they need someone to request leave for them.
  • They say there is a fee for getting married, going on leave or communicating.
  • They say they need permission to get married.
  • They say they have to pay for early retirement.
  • They say they need someone to pay their medical expenses.
  • They say they need money to feed or house their military troops.

Learn more about ways to spot a military romance scam.

What to Say to a Veteran

Many veterans are tremendously proud of their military service. Simply asking a veteran about their military service is a great way to offer support. Hearing these stories of service can also help you as a non-veteran understand how to better support veterans in your communities.

Here are some starter questions.

What to Ask a Veteran:

  • How long were you in the military?
  • What military service were you in?
  • Where were you stationed?
  • Why did you choose to serve?
  • How did military service change your life?

What Not to Say to a Veteran:

While asking a veteran about their military service is a good way to honor them and create connection, there are some questions that are seen as taboo. Some veterans may not want to talk about their combat experience, and it's important to be respectful. 

For example, stay away from:

  • Did you ever kill someone in the military?
  • Did anyone you know die in the military?

RelatedUnderstanding Military Time

Want to Know More About the Military?

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Mon, 03 Oct 2022 06:49:00 -0500 en text/html
Killexams : The Rise of Wokeness in the Military

The following is adapted from a talk delivered on July 20, 2022, at the Allan P. Kirby, Jr. Center for Constitutional Studies and Citizenship on Hillsdale’s Washington, D.C. campus, as part of the AWC Family Foundation Lecture Series. 

Complaints by veteran soldiers about younger generations who lack discipline and traditional values are as old as war itself. Grizzled veterans in the Greek phalanx, Roman legions, and Napoleon’s elite corps all believed that the failings of the young would be the ruin of their armies. This is not the chief worry of grizzled American veterans today. The largest threat they see by far to our current military is the weakening of its fabric by radical progressive (or “woke”) policies being imposed, not by a rising generation of slackers, but by the very leaders charged with ensuring their readiness.

Wokeness in the military is being imposed by elected and appointed leaders in the White House, Congress, and the Pentagon who have little understanding of the purpose, character, traditions, and requirements of the institution they are trying to change. The push for it didn’t begin in the last two years under the Biden administration—nor will it automatically end if a non-woke administration is elected in 2024. Wokeness in the military has become ingrained. And unless the policies that flow from it are illegal or directly jeopardize readiness, senior military leaders have little alternative but to comply. 

Woke ideology undermines military readiness in various ways. It undermines cohesiveness by emphasizing differences based on race, ethnicity, and sex. It undermines leadership authority by introducing questions about whether promotion is based on merit or quota requirements. It leads to military personnel serving in specialties and areas for which they are not qualified or ready. And it takes time and resources away from training activities and weapons development that contribute to readiness.

Wokeness in the military also affects relations between the military and society at large. It acts as a disincentive for many young Americans in terms of enlistment. And it undermines wholehearted support for the military by a significant portion of the American public at a time when it is needed the most.


Let me give some examples of what I mean by wokeness.

In 2015, then Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus rejected out-of-hand a Marine Corps study concluding that gender-integrated combat formations did not move as quickly or shoot as accurately, and that women were twice as likely as men to suffer combat injuries. He rejected it because it did not comport with the Obama administration’s political agenda.

That same year the Department of Defense opened all combat jobs in the U.S. military to women, and Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter committed to “gender-neutral standards” to ensure that female servicemembers could meet the demanding rigors involved in qualifying for combat. Since then, the Army has been working for a decade to put in place the gender-neutral test promised by Carter. But after finding that women were not scoring as highly as men, and under fierce pressure from advocacy groups, the Army threw out the test. Now there is no test to determine whether any soldier can meet the fitness requirements for combat specialties.

In 2015, near the end of his second term, President Obama initiated a change to the Pentagon’s longstanding policy on transgender individuals in the military. Before that change could take effect, the incoming Trump administration put it on hold awaiting future study. Subsequent evidence presented to Secretary of Defense James Mattis—including the fact that transgender individuals suffering from gender dysphoria attempt suicide and experience severe anxiety at nine times the rate of the general population—raised legitimate concerns about their fitness for military service. 

This led the Trump administration to impose reasonable restrictions on military service by those suffering gender dysphoria. But only hours after his inauguration in January 2021, President Biden signed an executive order that did away with these restrictions and opened military service to all transgender individuals. Since then, the Biden administration has decreed that active members of the military can take time off from their duties to obtain sex-change surgeries and all related hormones and drugs at taxpayer expense.

Along similar lines, the Biden administration has recently ended support for a longstanding policy prohibiting individuals infected with HIV from serving in combat zones. The policy had been based on sound science tied to the need for HIV medications and the danger of cross-infection through shared blood.

Physical fitness has long been a hallmark of the U.S. military. But in latest years, fitness standards have been progressively watered down in pursuit of the woke goal of “leveling the playing field.” The Army, for instance, recently lowered its minimum passing standards for pushups to an unimpressive total of ten and increased its minimum two-mile run time from 19 to 23 minutes. The new Space Force is considering doing away with periodic fitness testing altogether.

Back in 2016, Navy Secretary Mabus decreed that Navy sailors would no longer be known by traditional job titles such as “corpsman,” adopting instead new gender-neutral titles such as “medical technician.” The resulting blowback was so severe from enlisted sailors who cherished those historic titles that the Navy was forced to reverse the changes. But wokeness has a way of coming back, and last year the Navy released a training video to help sailors understand the proper way of using personal pronouns—a skill Americans have traditionally mastered in grade school. The video instructs servicemembers that they need to create a “safe space for everybody” by using “inclusive language”—for instance, saying “hey everybody” instead of “hey guys.” Can the return of gender-neutral job titles be far behind? 

Much of the emphasis of wokeness today is on promoting the idea that America is fatally flawed by systemic racism and white privilege. Our fighting men and women are required to sit through indoctrination programs, often with roots in the Marxist tenets of critical race theory, either by Pentagon diktat or through carelessness by senior leaders who delegate their command responsibilities to private Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion instructors.

These indoctrination programs differentiate servicemembers along racial and gender lines, which runs completely counter to the military imperative to build cohesiveness based on common loyalties, training, and standards. Traditional training and education programs used to combat racial and sex discrimination have been supplanted by programs that promote discrimination by replacing the American ideal of equality with the progressive ideal of equity—which in practice means unequal treatment based on group identity.

The Biden administration’s Chief of Naval Operations, Admiral Michael Gilday, decided last year to add Ibram X. Kendi’s book, How to Be an Antiracist—one of the leading sourcebooks on critical race theory—to his list of recommended readings. To give an idea of how radical Kendi’s book is, one of its famous (or infamous) arguments is that “Capitalism is essentially racist,” and that “to truly be antiracist, you also have to be truly anticapitalist.” 

Last year, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin told the House Armed Services Committee, “We do not teach critical race theory, we don’t embrace critical race theory, and I think that’s a spurious conversation.” Despite repeated denials by Austin and others in the Pentagon that critical race theory is being taught in the military, there is no shortage of evidence to the contrary. 

Indeed, last year a senior officer in the U.S. Space Force, Lt. Col. Matthew Lohmeier, was removed from command for publicly describing the role of critical race theory in indoctrinating servicemembers at his installation. And just this summer, multiple media outlets reported on training materials on the problems of “whiteness” obtained through Freedom of Information Act requests from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. One training slide read: “In order to understand racial inequality and slavery, it is first necessary to address whiteness.”

Congressmen have obtained curricular materials from West Point showing lectures titled “Understanding Whiteness and White Rage” and classroom slides labeled “White Power at West Point.” When challenged about this, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Mark Milley became defensive: “I wanna understand white rage, and I’m white,” he said. “I’ve read Mao Zedong. I’ve read Karl Marx. I’ve read Lenin. That doesn’t make me a communist.”

The rationale for practicing communist writings in the service academies in the past has been that by doing so, we learned about our Soviet enemies at the time and how they thought. How is that analogous to practicing Leftist tracts accusing white people (including servicemembers)—just by virtue of their being white—of racism?

Last year, Secretary Austin alarmingly called for a one-day military-wide stand-down to address the so-called problem of “extremism” in the ranks, despite the fact that there has been no evidence presented—including in testimony by senior officials—that there is a problem of extremism in the military. Commanding officers were required to discuss the course using a PowerPoint presentation that included Ted Talks asking the question, “What is up with us white people?”

Since 2008, the Air Force has created at least eight “Barrier Analysis Working Groups” to “create an inclusive culture regardless of race, ethnicity, sex, orientation, religion, or disabilities.” These groups include the “Indigenous Nations Equality Team” and the “Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, or Questioning Initiatives Team.” President Biden signed an executive order in 2021 requiring all organizations in the military—as well as in the rest of the federal government—to create Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) offices, to produce strategic DEI plans, and to create bureaucratic structures to report on progress towards DEI goals. The overall goal, Biden said, was “advancing equity for all”—again using the Left’s euphemism for achieving desired outcomes through discriminatory policies. 

Wokeness also comes in the form of conflating the mission of the military with environmental ideology. A year ago, President Biden told a group of overseas Air Force airmen that the Joint Chiefs of Staff had determined that the greatest threat facing America was global warming—a claim the Joint Chiefs had to walk back. In the same vein, Biden signed an executive order imposing a massive regime of environmental goals and requirements for the Department of Defense. These goals included transitioning to all electric non-tactical vehicles by 2035, carbon-free electricity for military installations by that same year, and net zero emissions from those installations by 2050. As a result, the Pentagon recently announced it will devote over $3 billion of its already stretched-thin military budget to climate-related initiatives in 2023 alone


Although direct “cause and effect” studies on the impact of woke policies such as these do not exist, common sense suggests that the consequences for military readiness are dramatic. Spending billions on woke programs while the Chinese are outpacing us on hypersonic weapons, quantum computing, and other important military technologies is one piece of evidence. latest reports showing the military’s dismal failure to gain new recruits in adequate numbers is another. Is anyone surprised that potential recruits—many of whom come from rural or poor areas of the country—don’t want to spend their time being lectured about white privilege?

These ideological policies move the military in a divergent direction from the American mainstream. In a latest poll of voters, for instance, 69 percent oppose the teaching of critical race theory in schools. Relatedly, Americans are increasingly losing confidence in the military. Between 2021 and 2022, the percentage of Americans who report a great deal or quite a lot of confidence in the military decreased five percentage points, from 69 to 64. In 2012, this confidence level stood at 75 percent. 

The bottom line is that precious time and money are being poured into woke programs and projects that would be better applied towards making the military more capable. The billions of dollars that will be spent on Pentagon climate change programs, the time and money spent in creating DEI structures and hiring DEI commissars, and the time spent indoctrinating servicemembers in critical race theory and addressing an imaginary crisis of extremism in the ranks—all this detracts from the purpose of our military: preserving the security and freedom of the American people and nation. 

These costs come at a time when the current administration is not even proposing to fund the Department of Defense to keep up with the rate of inflation—and a time when serious threats from China and other adversaries have never been greater. 

Last month, Ramstein Air Base in Germany scheduled a drag queen story hour at its base library, where drag queen Stacey Teed was scheduled to read to children. When lawmakers back home got wind of the event and wrote to the Secretary of the Air Force, the event was cancelled. This suggests that pushback can be effective against the tide of wokeness plaguing our military. But there needs to be a lot more pushback.

Legislation introduced this year in Congress would stop the teaching of critical race theory in the military, the creation of the multitudes of diversity offices and officials, and the rolling back of physical fitness requirements. While the ultimate success of these proposals in the legislative process is uncertain, they are a start at least.

The American military remains a faithful and loyal servant of the republic. Most Americans are still proud and trusting of our military. But this trust and support cannot be taken for granted. If Americans perceive that the military is being exploited for political purposes or being used for experiments in woke social policies, that support will evaporate, and the consequences will be dire. 

My hope and my prayer are that we figure this out before it is too late. 

Reprinted by permission from Imprimis, a publication of Hillsdale College.

Tue, 04 Oct 2022 07:43:00 -0500 en text/html
Killexams : How Divorce Impacts Your Military Benefits

Getting divorced is a complex process, and it is especially complicated in the military.

Most pitfalls for service members lie in the division of certain government benefits. There are particular restrictions for veterans that govern how their benefits are split during a divorce, as military or veteran benefits may or may not be distributed.

What Military Benefits Are Considered Marital Property?

A military pension may be considered shared property that must be divided in the event of divorce. In general, marital property that does not meet the criteria of separate property is split at divorce. Property obtained either before or after a divorce is referred to as "separate property." Property acquired during the marriage is usually considered shared property unless it was received as a gift or inherited entirely in the spouse's name.

New federal restrictions in 2017 also altered how pensions are distributed throughout all 50 states. The pension is currently locked in time as of the separation, divorce or annulment date. The purpose of this federal regulation was to prohibit an ex-spouse from receiving a higher-than-normal pension sum. For example, if the service member was a sergeant at the time of the divorce but is now a master sergeant, the ex-spouse will get a portion of the retirement income based on the lower rank.

Some examples of military benefits that would be considered separate property include Combat-Related Special Compensation (CRSC) and VA Disability Compensation. These payments are considered separate property of the retiree and are not split upon divorce because they involve an injury or medical condition and are not retirement benefits. Similarly, Department of Veterans Affairs disability compensation benefits are not subject to divorce since these benefits are viewed as a particular gratuity provided to veterans with disabilities related to their time in the military as recompense for any diseases or injuries they sustained while serving.

The 20/20/20 Rule

The 20/20/20 rule is often brought up during a military divorce when deciding upon an ex-spouse's access to the same benefits as a military spouse. The breakdown of the criteria that make ex-spouses eligible include:

  • Being married for 20 years;
  • The military spouse having served for 20 years; and
  • The 20 years of marriage overlapping the 20 years of military service.

Should the ex-spouse meet all of these requirements, they will receive access to the same benefits as a current military spouse for the remainder of their life, provided they don't remarry. They will still retain their military ID card, which grants them access to base commissaries and military exchanges. Continuation of Tricare benefits for qualifying spouses is not automatic and must be re-registered under their own names and Social Security numbers. Tricare requires applicants to provide original copies of their marriage certificates, divorce decrees and any other papers proving their ex-military spouse's service or retirement.

According to the Tricare website, eligible former spouses have the same Tricare coverage choices as retired family members up until they remarry or sign up for an employer-sponsored health plan.

The 10/10 Rule

Another rule that is often cited during a military divorce when it comes to awarding military pensions is the 10/10 rule. In short, the 10/10 rule states that, if the marriage lasted 10 years and the service member or former service member served in the military for at least 10 years during that time, the former spouse is entitled to pension payments directly from the Defense Finance and Accounting Service (DFAS). The spouse's attorney must ensure that specific language is included in the divorce paperwork.

The rule addresses only the source of payment to the spouse, which is a direct payment. The spouse gets pension-related payments directly from DFAS, which handles payments for the Defense Department. As a result, the ex-spouse is freed from the need to rely on and wait for payments from the retired service member.

The 10/10 rule generally causes confusion when retired military personnel claim that the former spouse is only eligible for military pension benefits if the pair were married for at least 10 years while they were together serving in the military. The 10/10 rule is only used to determine whether the former spouse will receive payments directly from DFAS instead of the service member or veteran. The 10/10 rule is not used to determine whether a former spouse is entitled to a portion of the pension.

The Uniformed Services Former Spouses' Protection Act

The USFSPA is a statute passed by Congress in 1982 to provide financial protection to some ex-spouses of service members. It permits states to divide military disposable retiree pay as marital property in the event of a divorce. Disposable retirement pay is defined as the total monthly retirement pay, minus:

  • Deductions for retirement pay forfeitures following a court-martial;
  • Deductions from a military member's waiver of retirement pay as a requirement for veteran benefits;
  • Amounts equivalent to retirement compensation under U.S. Code Title 10, Chapter 61 Script; and
  • Elective deductions in accordance with U.S. Code Title 10, Chapter 73 Code used for annuities paid to a spouse or ex-spouse in accordance with Title 10, Section 1408 of the U.S. Code.

Further, a former spouse can take out child support or alimony from the military spouse's retired pay; however, it still requires a court order and must pass the 10/10 rule should the award be sent as a direct payment. According to the USFSPA, no more than 65% of a retired military member's pension can be deducted for spousal and child support obligations.

Survivor Benefits Plan Elections

The SBP is an annuity that a retiring service member can elect to ensure that their beneficiary receives a portion of the retired pay after they die. SBP is a specific benefit that the retiree must elect, generally at the time of retirement from active duty or immediately upon receiving their 20-year letter as a reservist, for a spouse, child or anyone with an insurable interest in the retiree.

Even if some service members decide not to sign up for the SBP plan because they have no qualified beneficiaries, they might later get married or have a kid who qualifies for benefits and want to change their election status. Because the reasons for changing one's coverage are few and far between, the SBP election made by service members at the time of retirement is difficult to change. In such a case, a service member would have one year from the date of initial eligibility (marital change, childbirth, etc.) to announce their desire to have their beneficiary covered.

In the case of marriages, there are many different nuances to be aware of, and depending on whether it is a remarriage or not, the election process and coverage amount may be subject to change. To learn more about SBP benefits, check out our article "What You Need to Know About Your SBP Benefits" for more information on your rights and coverage.

Understanding Your Benefits in a Military Divorce

Divorces involving military personnel may be highly complex. It's crucial to know your rights when it comes to your benefits and to seek experienced legal counsel should you have any remaining questions. Even if the marriage lasted fewer than 20 years, the court may nonetheless award a portion of the military member's retirement to the civilian spouse. Every circumstance is unique. In some circumstances, the parties will divide the pension, while in others, one party will cede their pension rights in exchange for other assets after the divorce.

A former first sergeant in the United States Army Reserve and a combat veteran, Anthony Kuhn focuses on the representation of military personnel, federal employees and federal agents at Tully Rinckey, where he is a managing partner.

Know All Your Legal Rights and Benefits

Be aware and get what you are entitled to. Keep up with all the legal benefits available to you as a service member, veteran or spouse and get updates delivered straight to your inbox by subscribing to

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Sun, 18 Sep 2022 20:40:00 -0500 en text/html
Killexams : The best military discounts

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The most appealing military discounts benefit all parties concerned. Obviously, active-duty personnel and veterans enjoy special savings and services at the business they choose. The businesses themselves salute the active-duty and veteran men and women the business owners value while attracting a little extra jingle at the cash register (even considering the discount). Finally, civilians can show support for those defending their freedom by patronizing the shops, restaurants, services, and other spots showing a willingness to give a price break to those who serve.

This list of establishments out there that offer military discounts runs the range from restaurants to automakers and gyms to clothing stores. The purpose of this evergreen and growing collection of offerings brings the military member and veterans a one-stop shop for exploring and locating just the best military discounts that offer convenience and savings. 

Best car discounts

BMW Military Discount: The German automaker leads its American competitors by offering up to a $2,000 discount for financing on its models to active-duty, reservists, retired service people, veterans, and their families. Considering that BMWs do tend to run to the most expensive end of the automotive realm, the extra cash should come in handy.

Lexus Military Discount: From Japan, Toyota’s sister company Lexus offers $1,000 to active-duty personnel, the retired, veterans (within two years of discharge or separation), and family members within the household. 

General Motors Military Discount: Active-duty, reservists and National Guard personnel, retired military, combat veterans, and their spouses enjoy up to a $1,000 discount on any GM make and model.

Nissan Military Discount: Now one of the world’s top-selling automakers, Nissan extends from $500 to $1,000 discounts to active-duty, reservists, the retired (with 20 years of active duty), and veterans within two years of separation.

Best clothing discounts

Helly Hansen Military Discount: Active military members will find a huge 50 percent discount on all of Helly Hansen’s tough and rugged outdoor gear for everything from extreme winter activities to sailing. 

Under Armour Military Discount: The maker of everything from performance athletic wear to casual fashion to accessories, Under Armour offers a 40 percent discount off all purchases for all veterans, active-duty service members, retirees, spouses, and immediate family members. The company uses an online ID system to confirm military status for online orders.

Mountain Khakis Military Discount: Active-duty members, veterans, spouses, and dependents receive a 40 percent break on all purchases, including casual wear, outdoor apparel, and performance wear. As with many clothiers offering such a discount, the company extends it to multiple varieties of first responders.

Asics Military Discount: Known primarily for its athletic shoes, Asics also sells a complete line of apparel from top to bottom. It provides a 40 percent discount and uses the SheerID service to verify the status of military personnel.

Best restaurant discounts

Hard Rock Cafe Military Discount: While it might surprise military members and veterans, the international attraction and restaurant chain with the logo “Save the Planet,” Hard Rock Cafe offers an ongoing 15 percent military discount.

Logan’s Roadhouse Military Discount: Unlike most restaurants that hold off on their discounts and military specials until Veterans Day or the Fourth of July, Logan’s offers active-duty and veteran military service men and women a 10 percent discount every day. For legal reasons, it’s not available in California, North Carolina, South Carolina, or Augusta, Georgia. 

Carrabba’s Military Discount: Also expanding its discounts beyond just military or patriotic-centric holidays, the Italian restaurants of Carrabba’s offers a year-round 10 percent discount for active-duty members and veterans.

Mission BBQ Military Discount: A BBQ restaurant that bases its entire identity on the different branches of the military mission celebrates Armed Forces Month in May by offering different branches of the service a free sandwich during special celebrations throughout the month. 

Best flight discounts

Delta Airlines Military Discount: Frequently winning awards for its status as the best American airline, Delta offers more than just early boarding to individuals with a military ID. Those who serve also get free checked military bags and special deals for pet travel. In the case of combat injury, immediate family members or domestic partners fall under the Delta Medical Emergency policy and earn a discounted military medical emergency flight. Delta defines family as spouses, domestic partners, children, parents, siblings, step-siblings, stepchildren, grandparents, grandchildren, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews and father-, mother-, sister-, brother-, and son- or daughter-in-law.

Cheaptickets Military Discount: The online airline and travel booking site offers generous military discounts for active-duty individuals and veterans. Once a customer verifies their armed service status, he or she receives an 18 percent discount on airfare purchases.

Air France Military Discount: A prime choice for military members looking to travel with ample luggage or equipment, Air France offers a major baggage benefit to serving personnel. If traveling on orders, a member of the military and his or her eligible family members can check five bags up to 70 pounds each when traveling in economy class.

American Airlines Military Discount: While many airlines offer a five percent discount on flight bookings, American Airlines boosted those savings to 10 percent. The airline offers additional flight benefits throughout the year, and both active-duty members and veterans are encouraged to contact the airline for specifics. Finally, American offers baggage deals for active-duty personnel. Those include up to five bags of 100 pounds each for active-duty U.S. military and dependents traveling on orders. If on personal travel, those same individuals get up to three bags of up to 50 pounds each.

Best grocery discounts

Sam’s Club Military Discount: When active-duty and former military members and their spouses sign up for or renew their membership at Sam’s Club, they receive a $30 Military Member Package that includes a $10 Sam’s Club gift card, a free rotisserie chicken, a free lattice apple pie, free 20-count all-butter cocktail croissants, and $2 off Member’s Mark Loaded Potato Salad.

Costco Military Discount: When military members sign up at Costco, the warehouse store provides these new military customers with more than $60 in savings. This offer qualifies for all military members, veterans, and their families.

Omaha Steaks Military Discount: An online, mail-order seller of top-shelf steaks and other meat products, Omaha Steaks offers a 10 percent military discount on orders for active-duty military, retirees, veterans, spouses, and dependents. Verification is completed online.

Hickory Farms Military Discount: In the case of this culinary gift company, active-duty personnel can benefit from civilian shoppers. Anyone wishing to send a Hickory Farms gift to those who serve receives free shipping to APO, DPO, and FPO addresses on select purchases.

Best health and wellness discounts

YouFit Military Discount: The provider offers personal training, nutrition counseling, and workout classes. Membership and class prices vary by location, but all military members receive a 20 percent discount off membership fees with no contract necessary. YouFit offers the same deal to first responders.

GNC Military Discount: The vitamin and health supplement retail and online giant GNC serves up a 15 percent military discount for active-duty and retired personnel at its online shop. Military personnel need to establish an online GNC account and verify their ID before shopping.

ONNIT Military Discount: ONNIT provides high-tech Atness fitness programs. The company offers a 15 percent military discount to active-duty members and veterans who verify their ID online. ONNIT applies the same discount to Atness equipment, nutritional supplements, and apparel purchases of at least $125. ONNIT serves the same discount to first responders and teachers.

Peloton Military Discount: The home fitness company that rose to prominence during the pandemic, Peloton gives active-duty, reserve, and retired military members $200 off all of their accessories when they buy any Peloton Bike or Tread. They also offer a 20 percent military discount on its monthly fitness app membership fees.

Best personal loan discounts

SoFi Military Discount: SoFi offers non-mortgage loans in amounts ranging from $5,000 to $100,000, with an APR range of 7.9 percent to 23.4 percent for military members and veterans with a credit score of at least 650. The loaner also allows more extended loan terms for the military. 

Wells Fargo Military Discount: One of America’s oldest and most secure banks, Wells Fargo will provide loans with an APR from 5.7 percent to 20.9 percent for amounts between $3,000 to $100,000 with repayment terms up to 84 months. No minimum credit score is required for military members and veterans.

Navy Federal Credit Union Military Discount: Offering a lower high-end APR (7.2 percent to 17.7 percent), the prominent military lenders at Navy Federal Credit Union offer loan amounts from just $250 to $50,000. Active-duty members receive a 0.25 percent autopay discount for online payments.

Upgrade Military Discount: More of a newcomer to the personal loan business, Upgrade offers military members and veterans loans from $1,000 to $35,000 with three- and five-year terms. 

Best home mortgage discounts

USAA Military Discount: Well-known for providing insurance to military members and veterans for more than 100 years, USAA is an Equal Housing Lender offering $0 down on VA home loan options. USAA Bank membership isn’t necessary to apply for and receive a USAA home loan, but it does allow pre-approval.

LendingTree Military Discount: Providing current rates as low as 2.750 percent APR at the time of publication, LendingTree maintains its status as one of the online world’s top lenders by putting loaners in competition with each other. Military members and veterans can learn more about their numbers with the company’s VA Loan Calculator.

Quicken Loan Military Discount: Another massively successful online loan company, Quicken Loan asks for no down payment from military and veteran applicants for home loans ranging from 15, 25, to 30 years.

Navy Federal Credit Union Military Discount: This popular armed services-centric financial firm requests no lender fees, works with VA loans, and lists non-VA mortgage options that require no down payment.

Things to consider when seeking a military discount

While every business or service offering a discount to service members is essentially offering the active-duty, reserve, or veteran individual (with his or her dependents) a gift in the form of money saved, you still should shop for the best military discounts comparatively. Not only can you choose companies offering military discounts over those who don’t show such appreciation, but you can also break down the various categories to find who’s offering the armed services the best break. 

Once you determine the nature and rules surrounding a military discount, whether shopping in person or online, don’t hesitate to ask directly if the deal is still in place and if the stated rules still apply. If you don’t get the response you want, move on and shop for a rival. 

Finally, remember the business in question offers a good military discount because it values those who serve. It enjoys any public attention the discounts provide to convince civilians who also support the military to bring their money along with them. Such a business doesn’t seek to turn the service people away from its door and wants to avoid any disagreements over a military discount. In case of any issues or disagreements, look to work with the business to find a resolution that makes you happy and leaves them at ease.

FAQs about military discounts

Q: Who gets military discounts?

A: In most cases, military discounts apply to active-duty, reserve, and veteran servicemen and women. In some cases, the benefits expand to military family members. As with every military discount you encounter, ask for details. Legitimate offerings will include clear qualifications and instructions.

Q: Do military discounts apply to family members?

A: Again, in most cases, military discounts apply to the individual who serves or served and members of their immediate family (if those family members would legally qualify for the good or service in the civilian world). In other words, if a gym membership applies only to legal adults over the age of 18, that restriction also applies to military family members. Always make sure to confirm such details with the military discount provider.

Q: Is a military discount only for active-duty members?

A: In the civilian consumer world, military discounts very rarely apply only to active-duty service members. The general understanding for any business offering a military discount is it applies to those on active duty, military reserve, and service veterans. As with all conditions, there are exceptions, so some homework may be necessary. 

Q: Do you have to provide some proof to get a military discount?

A: Unless a vendor or business personally recognizes you on sight, you should be prepared to prove your service status or history. The most common way to prove you qualify for any of these best military discounts is to show your official military identification card.

However, other extended forms of ID should be acceptable. A military-dependent ID card for active-duty personnel is also acceptable. For those no longer on active duty, a VA-issued ID from the VA health care system or a veterans-certified driver’s license (if your state stamps its cards with that designation) can be used as verification, as well.

Q: How do I verify military discounts?

A: While an online search and an exploration of a given business’ website should flag available military discounts, it’s wise to contact that business directly for conditions, amounts, qualifications, and other details. Responsible and genuine offers will have their facts and figures laid out clearly. 

Q: Can I use my DD 214 for discounts?

A: Your DD 214 condition of discharge report is not commonly recognized by businesses offering a military discount. While you could use it if you don’t have anything else, you should be cautious because it contains personal information like your Social Security number. 

Final thoughts

While a business can set its own rules on what type or how much of a discount it wishes to offer the military, most are looking to make those who served happy. That satisfies the business’ military-supporting values — while signaling that sense of appreciation to a greater civilian world that can join in that support with their patronage. It’s a happy meeting of the ways between military service, profit motive, and patriotism.

Beyond those high-minded values, the best military discounts really come down to dollars and cents. The price breaks and bonuses offer an active-duty member or veteran an additional benefit for dedicating a portion of their lives to national defense. Seek out and take advantage of any and all of these military discounts, because you earned them.


We conducted detailed online searches to find the most prominent and generous military discounts across various categories. We then confirmed that the discount in question was still in effect. We plan to update and expand this collection periodically to include new categories and to add any new military discount offers that emerge from new businesses or existing spots that decide to get in on honoring those who serve.

Fri, 30 Sep 2022 22:15:00 -0500 John Scott Lewinski en-US text/html
Killexams : The US Military Is the Enemy of Climate Mitigation

EDITOR’S NOTE: This article originally appeared at To stay on top of important articles like these, sign up to receive the latest updates from

On October 1, the US military will start spending the more than $800 billion Congress is going to provide it with in fiscal year 2023. And that whopping sum will just be the beginning. According to the calculations of Pentagon expert William Hartung, funding for various intelligence agencies, the Department of Homeland Security, and work on nuclear weaponry at the Energy Department will add another $600 billion to what you, the American taxpayer, will be spending on national security.

That $1.4 trillion for a single year dwarfs Congress’s one-time provision of approximately $300 billion under the recently passed Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) for what’s called “climate mitigation and adaptation.” And mind you, that sum is to be spent over a number of years. In contrast to the IRA, which was largely a climate bill (even if hardly the best version of one), this country’s military spending bills are distinctly anti-human, anti-climate, and anti-Earth. And count on this: Congress’s military appropriations will, in all too many ways, cancel out the benefits of its new climate spending.

Here are just the three most obvious ways our military is an enemy of climate mitigation. First, it produces huge quantities of greenhouse gases, while wreaking other kinds of ecological havoc. Second, when the Pentagon does take climate change seriously, its attention is almost never focused on reducing greenhouse gas emissions but on preparing militarily for a climate-changed world, including the coming crisis of migration and future climate-induced armed conflicts globally. And third, our war machine wastes hundreds of billions of dollars annually that should instead be spent on climate mitigation, along with other urgent climate-related needs.

The Pentagon’s Carbon Bootprint

The US military is this globe’s largest institutional consumer of petroleum fuels. As a result, it produces greenhouse gas emissions equal to about 60 million metric tons of carbon dioxide annually. Were the Pentagon a country, those figures would place it just below Ireland and Finland in a ranking of national carbon emissions. Or put another way, our military surpasses the total national emissions of Bulgaria, Croatia, and Slovenia combined.

A lot of those greenhouse gases flow from the construction, maintenance, and use of its 800 military bases and other facilities on 27 million acres across the United States and the world. The biggest source of emissions from real military operations is undoubtedly the burning of jet fuel. A B-2 bomber, for instance, emits almost two tons of carbon dioxide when flying a mere 50 miles, while the Pentagon’s biggest boondoggle, the astronomically costly F-35 combat aircraft, will emit “only” one ton for every 50 miles it flies.

Those figures come from “Military- and Conflict-Related Emissions,” a June 2022 report by the Perspectives Climate Group in Germany. In it, the authors express regret for the optimism they had exhibited two decades earlier when it came to the reduction of global military greenhouse gas emissions and the role of the military in experimenting with new, clean forms of energy:

In the process of us writing this report and looking at our article written 20 years ago, the initial notion of assessing military activities…as potential ‘engines of progress’ for novel renewable technologies was shattered by the Iraq War, followed by the horror of yet another large-scale ground war, this time in Europe.… All our attention should be directed towards achieving the 1.5° target [of global temperature rise beyond the preindustrial level set at the Paris Climate Agreement in 2015]. If we fail in this endeavor, the repercussions will be more deadly than all conflicts we have witnessed in the last decades.

In March, the Defense Department announced that its proposed budget for fiscal year 2023 would include a measly $3.1 billion for “addressing the climate crisis.” That amounts to less than 0.4 percent of the department’s total spending and, as it happens, two-thirds of that little sliver of funding will go not to climate mitigation itself but to protecting military facilities and activities against the future impact of climate change. Worse yet, only a tiny portion of the remainder would go toward reducing the greenhouse-gas emissions or other environmental damage the armed forces itself will produce.

In a 2021 Climate Adaptation Plan, the Pentagon claimed, however vaguely, that it was aiming for a future in which it could “operate under changing climate conditions, preserving operational capability, and enhancing the natural and manmade systems essential to the Department’s success.” It projected that “in worst-case scenarios, climate-change-related impacts could stress economic and social conditions that contribute to mass migration events or political crises, civil unrest, shifts in the regional balance of power, or even state failure. This may affect U.S. national interests directly or indirectly, and U.S. allies or partners may request U.S. assistance.”

Sadly enough, however, as far as the Pentagon is concerned, an overheated world will only open up further opportunities for the military. In a classic case of projection, its analysts warn that “malign actors may try to exploit regional instability exacerbated by the impacts of climate change to gain influence or for political or military advantage.” (Of course, Americans would never act in such a manner since, by definition, the Pentagon is a benign actor, but will have to respond accordingly.)

The CIA and other intelligence agencies seem to share the Pentagon’s vision of our hotter future as a growth opportunity. A 2021 climate risk assessment by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (DNI) paid special attention to the globe’s fastest-warming region, the Arctic. Did it draw the intelligence community’s interest because of the need to prevent a meltdown of the planet’s ice caps if Earth is to remain a livable place for humanity? What do you think?

In fact, its authors write revealingly of the opportunities, militarily speaking, that such a scenario will open up as the Arctic melts:

Arctic and non-Arctic states almost certainly will increase their competitive activities as the region becomes more accessible because of warming temperatures and reduced ice. … Military activity is likely to increase as Arctic and non-Arctic states seek to protect their investments, exploit new maritime routes, and gain strategic advantages over rivals. The increased presence of China and other non-Arctic states very likely will amplify concerns among Arctic states as they perceive a challenge to their respective security and economic interests.

In other words, in an overheated future, a new “cold” war will no longer be restricted to what were once the more temperate parts of the planet.

If, in climate change terms, the military worries about anything globally, it’s increased human migration from devastated areas like today’s flood-ridden Pakistan, and the conflicts that could come with it. In cold bureaucratese, that DNI report predicted that, as ever more of us (or rather, in national security state terms, of them) begin fleeing heat, droughts, floods, and tropical cyclones, “Displaced populations will increasingly demand changes to international refugee law to consider their claims and provide protection as climate migrants or refugees, and affected populations will fight for legal payouts for loss and damages resulting from climate effects.” Translation: We won’t pay climate reparations and we won’t pay to help keep other peoples’ home climates livable, but we’re more than willing to spend as much as it takes to block them from coming here, no matter the resulting humanitarian nightmares.

Is It Finally Time to Defund War?

Along with the harm caused by its outsized greenhouse gas emissions and its exploitation of climate chaos as an excuse for imperialism, the Pentagon wreaks terrible damage by soaking up trillions of dollars in government funds that should have gone to meet all-too-human needs, mitigate climate change, and repair the ecological damage the Pentagon itself has caused in its wars in this century.

Months before Russia invaded Ukraine, ensuring that yet more greenhouse gases would be pumped into our atmosphere, a group of British scholars lamented the Biden administration’s enthusiasm for military funding. They wrote that, “rather than scaling back military spending to pay for urgent climate-related spending, initial budget requests for military appropriations are actually increasing even as some U.S. foreign adventures are supposedly coming to a close.” It’s pointless, they suggested, “to tinker around the edges of the U.S. war machine’s environmental impact.” The funds spent “procuring and distributing fuel across the U.S. empire could instead be spent as a peace dividend [that] includes significant technology transfer and no-strings-attached funding for adaptation and clean energy to those countries most vulnerable to climate change.”

Washington could still easily afford that “peace dividend,” were it to begin cutting back on its military spending. And don’t forget that, at past climate summits, the rich nations of this planet pledged to send $100 billion annually to the poorest ones so that they could develop their renewable energy capacity, while preparing for and adapting to climate change. All too predictably, the deep-pocketed nations, including the United States, have stonewalled on that pledge. And of course, as the latest unprecedented monsoon flooding of one-third of Pakistan—a country responsible for less than 1 percent of historic global greenhouse gases—suggests, it’s already remarkably late for that skimpy promise of a single hundred billion dollars; hundreds of billions per year are now needed. Mind you, Congress could easily divert enough from the Pentagon’s annual budget alone to cover its part of the global climate-reparations tab. And that should be only the start of a wholesale shift toward peacetime spending. No such luck, of course.

As the National Priorities Project (NPP) has pointed out, increases in national security funding alone in 2022 could have gone a long way toward supporting Joe Biden’s expansive Build Back Better bill, which failed in Congress that year. That illustrates yet again how, as William Hartung put it, “almost anything the government wants to do other than preparing for or waging war involves a scramble for funding, while the Department of Defense gets virtually unlimited financial support,” often, in fact, more than it even asks for.

The Democrats’ bill, which would have provided solid funding for renewable energy development, child care, health care, and help for economically stressed families was voted down in the Senate by all 50 Republicans and one Democrat (yes, that guy) who claimed that the country couldn’t afford the bill’s $170 billion-per-year price tag. However, in the six months that followed, as the NPP notes, Congress pushed through increases in military funding that added up to $143 billion—almost as much as Build Back Better would have cost per year!

As Pentagon experts Hartung and Julia Gledhill commented recently, Congress is always pulling such stunts, sending more money to the Defense Department than it even requested. Imagine how much crucial federal action on all kinds of issues could be funded if Congress began deeply cutting, rather than inflating, the cash it shovels out for war and imperialism.

Needed: A Merger of Movements

Various versions of America’s antiwar movement have been trying to confront this country’s militarism since the days of the Vietnam War with minimal success. After all, Pentagon budgets, adjusted for inflation, are as high as ever. And, not coincidentally, greenhouse gas emissions from both the military and this society as a whole remain humongous. All these years later, the question remains: Can anything be done to impede this country’s money-devouring, carbon-spewing military juggernaut?

For the past twenty years, CODEPINK, a women-led grassroots organization, has been one of the few national groups deeply involved in both the antiwar and climate movements. Jodie Evans, one of its cofounders, told me recently that she sees a need for “a whole new movement intersecting the antiwar movement with the climate movement.” In pursuit of that very goal, she said, CODEPINK has organized a project called Cut the Pentagon. Here’s how she describes it: “It’s a coalition of groups serving issues of people’s needs and the planet’s needs and the anti-war movement, because all of us have an interest in cutting the war machine. We launched it on September 12th last year, after 20 years of a ‘War on Terror’ that took $21 trillion of our tax money, to destroy the planet, to destroy the Middle East, to destroy our communities, to turn peacekeeping police into warmongering police.” Cut the Pentagon, says Evans, has “been doing actions in [Washington] D.C. pretty much nonstop since we launched it.”

Sadly, in 2022, both the climate and antiwar struggles face the longest of odds, going up against this country’s most formidable strongholds of wealth and power. But CODEPINK is legendary for finding creative ways of getting in the face of the powerful interests it opposes and nonviolently upending business-as-usual. “As an activist for the last 50 some-odd years,” Evans says, “I always felt my job was to make power uncomfortable, and to disrupt it.” But since the start of the Covid pandemic, she adds, “Power is making us more uncomfortable than we are making it. It’s stronger and more weaponized than it has been before in my lifetime.”

Among the hazards of this situation, she adds, social movements that manage to grow and become effective often find themselves coopted and, she adds, over the past two decades, “Too many of us got lazy… We thought ‘clicktivism’ creates change, but it doesn’t.” Regarding an education bill early in the Trump administration, “We had 200 million messages going into Congress from a vast coalition, and we lost. Then a month later, we had only 2,000 people, but we were right there in the halls of Congress and we saved Obamacare. Members of Congress don’t like being uncomfortable.”

As the military-industrial complex and Earth-killing capitalism only seem to grow ever mightier, Evans and CODEPINK continue pushing for action in Washington. And recently, she believes, a window has been opening: “For the first time since the sixties and early seventies, it feels like a lot of people are seeing through the propaganda, really being willing to create new structures and new forms. We need to go where both our votes and our voices matter. Creating local change—that’s our work. Our divest-from-war campaigns are all local. Folks who care about the planet need to figure out how do we make power uncomfortable.… It’s not a fight of words. It’s a fight of being.”

The major crises we now face are so deeply entangled that perhaps grassroots efforts to face them might, in the end, coalesce. The question remains: From the neighborhood to the nation, could movements for climate mitigation and justice, Indigenous sovereignty, Black lives, economic democracy, and, crucially, an end to the American form of militarism merge into a single collective wave? Our future may depend on it.

Sat, 01 Oct 2022 01:39:00 -0500 Stan Cox en-US text/html
Killexams : Is the military too ‘woke’ to recruit?

The Army missed its recruiting goal by about 15,000 new soldiers in 2022, coming up 25% short of its goal at a time when each of the services were struggling to meet their benchmarks. Military officials worry that all of the branches have had to reach deep into their pools of delayed entry applicants, a move that puts them behind in recruiting for the new year.

Military recruiters have leaned on tried-and-true factors to explain the challenges, including low unemployment and a dearth of applicants up to physical, educational and behavioral standards.

But the truth is, no one keeps detailed data on what’s stopping America’s youth from signing up. Experts and senior military leaders point to the perennial factors of competition from the private sector and a dwindling number of young Americans both qualified and interested in military service. But what they don’t have much information on is why that propensity is going down, and whether the country is undergoing an ideological shift in attitude toward military service.

One possibility that is increasingly resonating with veterans is that the military is too “woke.” Sen. Tommy Tuberville, R-Ala., for example, is among a group of Republican senators who have repeatedly blamed recruiting problems on the Biden administration for trying to build a “woke Army.”

Thomas Spoehr, director of the Center for National Defense at The Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank, recently opined that wokeness is the “chief worry of grizzled American veterans today.”

“The largest threat they see by far to our current military is the weakening of its fabric by radical progressive (or ‘woke’) policies being imposed, not by a rising generation of slackers, but by the very leaders charged with ensuring their readiness,” he wrote. “Wokeness in the military is being imposed by elected and appointed leaders in the White House, Congress, and the Pentagon who have little understanding of the purpose, character, traditions, and requirements of the institution they are trying to change.”

Spoehr acknowledged that “direct ‘cause and effect’ studies on the impact of woke policies such as these do not exist,” but suggested that “common sense” dictates that it is having an effect on recruiting.

“Is anyone surprised that potential recruits — many of whom come from rural or poor areas of the country — don’t want to spend their time being lectured about white privilege?” he wrote.

In an interview with Fox News, former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, a West Point graduate and Army officer who served in Germany during the Cold War, talked about the campaign he is launching, including TV ads and a website, to target what he calls “woke polices” directed toward the military.

“How can we ask young men and women who have decided to risk their lives for America, even die for America, to affirm that our country is inherently racist?” Pompeo wrote in a Sept. 28 opinion column for Fox. “How can we ask them to view their brothers and sisters in arms through the narrow prisms of race or gender? The clear and obvious answer is that we cannot — not without putting their lives at risk on the battlefield. A woke military is a weak military.”

But Defense Department leaders, while often apprehensive to address the intersection of politics and recruiting, have said they don’t see a connection anecdotally or statistically

“That whole ‘woke’ terminology has me a little perplexed,” Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force JoAnne Bass told Air Force Times Sept. 6. “I don’t know that I agree [with] and appreciate that term.

“I’ve said it before; I think perhaps we do need to wake up to what our society is about today. Perhaps we need to wake up to how we actually have more in common than not. Perhaps we need to wake up to the goodness of the diversity that America brings to the table. That diversity is not just singular to demographic diversity, but … it’s experiences and it’s cognitive diversity as well. I don’t subscribe to the ‘wokeness’ in the way that it’s discussed. I actually think that, yeah, we probably need to wake up to the goodness of what all airmen and what all people bring to the fight.”

In reality, service members spend hundreds of hours a year on mandatory training, covering everything from operational safety to financial responsibility and suicide and sexual assault prevention, with a tiny fraction of that focusing on diversity, equity and inclusion education.

But what seems to incense people is that the issue of racial disparity is discussed at all, not that it’s truly cutting into time spent on training.

Reader feedback

When Marine Corps Reserve Col. Matthew F. Amidon, director of veterans and military families at the George W. Bush Institute, wrote a commentary urging veterans to help during the recruiting crisis by recommending military service to their kids and other young people, Military Times was inundated with a hundreds of emails from veterans saying they would do no such thing.

Their reasons varied, but most said wokeness is to blame. They accused the military of becoming so “political,” or such a “social experiment,” that even proud veterans wouldn’t recommend service.

“I’ll be blunt. I wouldn’t encourage anyone to join today’s armed forces and I discouraged both of my sons from considering serving,” wrote Peter Demas, who described himself as a third-generation veteran. “America’s military leaders have sold out the Services for their own advancement and reflect all the poorest qualities of civilian ‘leadership’ from whom they accepted thirty pieces of silver; instead of being the nation’s repository of integrity and moral courage, they have become more political than the political animals they grovel before.”

Survey data compiled by the Defense Department three times a year shows that propensity to serve has been dipping in latest years. A report from fall 2021 shows that just 9 percent of 16- to 24-year-old survey respondents affirmed that they were likely to be serving in the military “in the next few years,” down from highs of 13% in 2018 and 15% in 2013.

But the survey doesn’t drill down into the why, leaving open questions of whether that’s due to disinterest in the military, known factors that would prevent someone from joining, or a concrete aversion overall. So, while the Pentagon regularly takes the temperature of American youth and their likelihood to join up, they don’t regularly drill down into the “why.”

Still, a vocal group of veterans insist they know the answer.

“With a woke military, whose most senior officer is concerned about ‘white rage,’ searching for a tattle tale process to discover and discharge white ‘extremists,’ blaming it on toxic masculinity, discharging real warriors for not getting vaccinated, having a two-day stand down to discuss white extremism, the promotion and expansion of women in combat, lowering physical fitness standards to accommodate naturally weaker women, recruiting with social justice and diversity ads, stating we need more female and minority pilots, promotions based on the color of one’s skin or genitalia, lowering recruiting standards, blaming the military for 247 years of institutional racism, is not the military I was in for 26 years,” wrote Dale Papworth, who said he was a retired Marine Corps lieutenant colonel.

Papworth’s comments run counter to some evidence. For instance, the dearth of women and people of color in the upper ranks suggests that if there is a biased promotions system, it’s biased toward white men.

His comments resemble those made by Fox News host Tucker Carlson last year, in response to news reports that the Air Force had authorized a maternity flight suit.

“So, we’ve got new hairstyles and maternity flight suits,” Carlson said, also referring recently updated Army and Air Force hair regulations allowing braids and ponytails. “Pregnant women are going to fight our wars. It’s a mockery of the U.S. military.”

That statement was misinformed at best, and deliberately misleading at worst. Pregnant women in the military are not allowed to deploy, while pilots and aircrew are required to secure waivers from their doctors in order to do training flights.

That is without even mentioning that the maternity flight suit that so incensed Carlson is not just worn by aircrew onboard aircraft ― it’s a standard day-to-day office uniform in aviation units.

Reader feedback suggests that a military and veteran population that has traditionally leaned conservative is no longer supportive of an institution they find unrecognizable.

“My 19-year-old has expressed in no uncertain terms he does not want to serve in the U.S. military in any capacity,” wrote Adam, who asked to be identified by his first name only. “The politicization of our [government] institutions is creeping into the services now, and that is also having an effect. They may as well put out a sign that conservative or right of center Americans are not welcome. They just keep making it worse with their messaging. Boys want to be challenged and go on adventures, not be schooled on pronouns or the sins of their skin color. Girls want to beat boys and prove themselves.”

Since 2020, the services have ramped up their diversity, equity and inclusion efforts, following a lead from then-Defense Secretary Mark Esper, who in the wake of George Floyd’s murder called on the department to do better.

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin ran with that idea in the early weeks of the Biden administration, ordering a day-long stand down in every unit to discuss the threat of violent extremism, following years of proclamation from the FBI that right-wing domestic terrorism is on the rise.

But to some, these efforts were a direct attack on their worldview.

“Instead of training and preparing for combat, today’s military is too busy worrying about teaching proper pronouns, how to incorporate men who think they’re women and women who think they’re men into the barracks and showers,” wrote Ron Eslick, describing himself as a 1970s-era Navy submariner. “[Joint Chiefs Chairman] General Milley and Sec Def Austin are a disgrace to the uniform I once wore. They are nothing less than lap dogs to the current administration. What a shame that our country has now become a second rate threat in today’s world.”

And then came the COVID-19 vaccine mandate, one of nearly two dozen inoculations service members must receive in order to join and/or stay in the military, but one whose controversy pushed thousands to preternaturally end their careers.

“Covid vaccine mandates are undermining the military’s recruitment goals as well as harming overall morale,” wrote Harrison Wills. “Even if most troops complied with the mandate, how many did so only because their livelihoods were threatened? How many troops applied for exemptions but were denied? How many soldiers suffered and/or are suffering from side effects? How many people would consider joining the military but now won’t due to coercive mandates?”

A survey released this year of more than 8,600 military families found that troops are becoming less likely to recommend that their kids join up, potentially cutting into a traditionally reliable recruiting pool.

But it wasn’t because of politics, according to Shannon Razsadin, president and executive director of the Military Family Advisory Network, who put out the survey. It was because of quality of life.

“At the end of the day, families are having a hard time making ends meet, and that’s affecting their overall well-being,” she said in July. “We see the connection between well-being and loneliness, well-being and housing, well-being and food security. When you layer that on top of the fact that fewer people are likely to recommend military service, it paints a very clear picture of concern related to the future of the all-volunteer force.”

Notably, however, the survey doesn’t ask specific questions about politics.

Addressing the ‘woke military’ message

Each of the services, along with DoD, are continuously researching the recruiting environment, including tweaking resources and messaging to draw in more prospects.

“The Department continues to review our recruiting programs to ensure current funding and policies align with the realities of today’s youth market. We recognize we must ensure the Services have the resources and support they need to successfully man the All-Volunteer Force,” Army Maj. Charlie Dietz, a Pentagon spokesman, told Military Times.

But they don’t always get it right. In 2018, the Army missed its recruiting goal by about 6,500, the result of an end-strength bump that opened up the doors for more accessions.

The service announced a host of initiatives to Boost its 2019 prospects, including a push into major metropolitan areas, with the feeling that their suburban/small-town Southeast well was starting to dry up.

“They did report some positive effects, but the fact that they’re not doing that now suggests that they were limited,” Bruce Orvis, a senior behavioral scientist at the federally funded think tank Rand Corp. who has done dozens of recruiting studies, told Military Times on Sept. 13.

It’s unlikely the Pentagon’s strategy for communicating about its initiatives will change.

“The communication methods on new policies continue to follow a long-standing standard and there have not been any discussions of framing the policies to appease someone that will mold it to meet their argument,” Dietz said.

So, while department officials don’t plan on getting into a direct argument with some of its detractors, they will continue to present their case in as straightforward and nonconfrontational a manner as possible.

“A policy that may increase diversity and inclusion makes us a better military because it brings new perspectives of decision making, operational decision making that we conduct, as well as better ideas, more unique perspectives and increased understanding of experiences which might actually make us smarter on the battlefield,” Dietz added. “We are a stronger military because of our diversity and because we represent all Americans, just like we defend all Americans.”

The chief master sergeant of the Air Force described the path forward differently.

“I feel like I’m a pretty conservative American, but … I’m a conservative American who values what everybody brings to the fight,” Bass said. “… We actually have to educate ourselves and help make ourselves more aware. Often, what you see in a two-second sound bite is not truth. When we read things like, ‘Hey, the military is focused more on pronouns,’ that could not be more inaccurate. We are not focused more on pronouns. We are focused on warfighting and ensuring that we’re able to defend the homeland. That’s what we’re focused on. But the quick two-second sound bite always seems pretty attractive.”

If a misunderstanding of policy is driving down propensity to serve, particularly in communities that have been more likely to join the military in the past, the service could take steps to diagnose that.

One would be to expand the DoD Youth Poll’s questions to drill down into why the respondents answered the way they did.

For example:

  • Do you have work or education plans already lined up?
  • Do you believe you wouldn’t be able to meet accessions standards?
  • Has someone in your life discouraged you from serving in the military?
  • Have you read or seen media reports that discourage you from military service?

A task force is already dedicated to looking into some theories about why propensity to serve is down, Orvis said.

The trick will be determining which factors can be remedied without second and third-order effects. For instance, if tight regulations on past mental health history, or criminal history, are keeping the recruiting pool small, the services may be wary of risking continued issues once someone is in uniform.

“Because you don’t want to implement something nationally, on a more or less a permanent basis, if it turns out it’s going to bite you later on it, and you just don’t know,” he said.

The services will also have to redouble their efforts to explain to American youth what it means to serve in the military.

“We must also increase desire to serve in the Army by reconnecting to America through improved marketing and meeting America through interactive events across our nation, including a dedicated surge of Army leaders and soldiers telling their stories,” retired Gen. Paul Funk II, formerly head of Army Training and Doctrine Command, told Military Times last summer.” American youth simply don’t understand us, we owe it to them to ensure they understand all the benefits of service.

But in the meantime, with every report of lower recruiting numbers, military leaders will have to fight a perception of political indoctrination.

“The U.S. Army has fallen 15,000 soldiers short of its recruitment goal this year,” tweeted Rep. Andy Biggs, R-Ariz. “Maybe we ought to stop imposing vaccine mandates, preferred pronouns, and woke education training on them. Just a thought.”

Is there truth to any of that? Maybe, but the research hasn’t been done. Until it is, the narrative belongs to the loudest voices.

Air Force Times senior reporter Rachel Cohen contributed to this report.

Meghann Myers is the Pentagon bureau chief at Military Times. She covers operations, policy, personnel, leadership and other issues affecting service members.

Thu, 13 Oct 2022 06:55:00 -0500 en text/html
Killexams : IBPS Clerk Mains 2022 on 8th October: Check Last-Minute Tips to Score High

IBPS Clerk Mains Tips to Score High: Institute of Banking Personnel Selection (IBPS) will be conducting the IBPS Clerk Mains 2022 on 8th October 2022 for the recruitment of personnel for Clerical cadre posts in 11 Participating Banks across India. IBPS Clerk Mains Admit Card 2022 is available for get from 29th September 2022 to 8th October 2022. Earlier, all eligible candidates appeared for the IBPS Clerk Prelims 2022 on 3rd and 4th September 2022.

The online written exam will be two-tier i.e., the online exam will be held in two phases: Online Preliminary and Online Main. Candidates who will qualify in Online Preliminary exam and shortlisted candidates will be called for the Online Main exam. Candidates who qualify in the Main exam and are sufficiently high in the merit will be shortlisted for provisional allotment to one of the Participating Banks.

About IBPS Clerk Recruitment

IBPS, an autonomous body, conducts the common recruitment process once every year for the selection of personnel for Clerical cadre posts in the Participating Banks across India.

IBPS Clerk 2022 Calendar

IBPS Clerk 2022 Events

Important Dates

Online Registration including Edit/Modification of Application by candidates

1st July 2022 to 21st July 2022

Payment of Application Fees/Intimation Charges (Online)

1st July 2022 to 21st July 2022

Download of call letters for Pre- exam Training*

August 2022

Pre-Exam Training*

August 2022

Prelims exam Admit Card Download

August 2022

Online Prelims Exam

3rd and 4th September 2022

Prelims exam Result

September/ October 2022

Mains exam Admit Card Download

29th September 2022 to 8th October 2022

Online Mains Exam

8th October 2022 (Tentative)

Provisional Allotment

April 2023

*In case it is possible and safe to hold PET

IBPS Clerk exam Pattern 2022

The selection process for the IBPS Clerk 2022 will be carried out in three phases: Online Prelims exam and Online Mains Exam. Candidates have to qualify in each of the three tests in the Online Prelims by securing cut-off marks to be decided by IBPS. Candidates should qualify in the Online Main Examination and be sufficiently high in the merit to be considered for subsequent provisional allotment process.

IBPS Clerk Mains exam Pattern

S. No.

Name of Tests (Objective)

No. of Questions

Medium of Exam

Maximum Marks



Reasoning Ability & Computer Aptitude

50 (Total)



45 minutes

Section A – 2 Marks


Section B – 1 Mark



General English




35 minutes


Quantitative Aptitude




45 minutes


General/ Financial Awareness




35 minutes





160 minutes

Penalty for Wrong Answers

There will be penalty for wrong answers marked in the Objective Tests (both Prelims and Mains Examination). For each question for which a wrong answer has been given by the candidate one fourth or 0.25 of the marks assigned to that question will be deducted as penalty to arrive at corrected score. If a question is left blank, i.e. no answer is marked by the candidate, there will be no penalty for that question.

Scores Obtained in Online Written Exams

The corrected scores obtained by each of the candidates in different sessions (if held) will be normalized using equipercentile method. Scores upto two decimal points shall be taken for the purpose of calculation.

*List of Version of tests (Medium of examination)

IBPS Clerk Mains 2022 Medium of Exam

IBPS Clerk Mains 2022: Best 7 Last-Minute Tips to Score High

Candidates applying for the post of the Clerical cadre and who qualified IBPS Clerk Prelims will appear for the IBPS Clerk Mains exam that will be held on 8th October 2022. Candidates who are appearing for the exam are advised to conclude their preparation well in a timely manner so they can make time for revision and rest. Read our best 7 last-minute tips to crack IBPS Clerk Mains 2022.

1. Revision Time: Go through syllabus, important topics, exam pattern, cut-off

Candidates are advised to go through the syllabus, and important courses to re-assess their progress, brush up on important exam pattern details, last-minute reminders, memorize formulas, equations, concepts, dates, etc. Keep in mind the exam pattern, cut-off, strategies & tips to keep your A-game in the exam. First, solve courses that you find easier and less time-consuming, and focus on attempting questions as per the difficulty level and not the sequence of the question paper. The last 2-3 days are crucial for revision, practicing, and relaxing.  NOTE: The test of Reasoning Ability and Computer Aptitude is divided into two parts: Section A comprising 10 questions of 2 marks each and Section B comprising 40 questions of 1 mark each. All questions in both sections (A & B) are compulsory. In other tests (General / Financial Awareness, General English, and Quantitative Aptitude), each question carries 1 mark.

2. Attempt questions correctly to avoid penalty. Avoid Guesswork

In the IBPS Clerk Mains exam, one does not need to attempt every question. There is a negative marking for every wrong answer. It is advised to leave a question blank if you do not know the correct answer. One should not waste time or risk their marks in guesswork. The penalty is 1/4th of 0.25 marks allotted to a question attempted wrongly.

3. Practice and solve quizzes, mock papers, previous years’ question papers

The best way to adapt to the real-time exam setting is solve mock papers and previous years’ question papers. Sit in a room to yourself with a timer and attempt the paper to assess how would you perform on the exam day. Remember the duration of the IBPS Clerk Mains will be 2 Hours and 40 Minutes (with sectional timing). There will be a total of 200 multiple choice questions (MCQs) from Reasoning Ability & Computer Aptitude, Quantitative Aptitude, General/Financial Awareness, and General English.

4. Do not take up new topics

The most fatal mistake just a few days before the exam would be taking up new topics. The last few days before the exam are recommended to go through important topics, re-visit the bookmarks, and revise all that you have prepared to strengthen your strong areas. If one wants further intake of information, one can read newspapers, magazines, and GK/Current Affairs to keep abreast with the latest developments.

5. Section-wise Important Preparation Tips

Reasoning Ability: Practice different Puzzles/Seating Arrangement questions (Linear, Circular, Square, Scheduling-based, Comparison-based, etc); Blood Relations (Direct or Coded Blood Relation, Generation or Relationship Tree, etc). Practice Direction Sense (draw lines while solving to keep clarity), Alphanumeric/Number Series, Syllogism, Inequality, and Input-Output.

Computer Knowledge: Computer Aptitude will assess candidates’ understanding and knowledge of computers and technical skills. Candidates should thoroughly prepare Computer Awareness, Hardware and Memory, Software and Operating System, MS Office and Shortcuts, Database Management System, Internet and Computer Security, and History and Generations of Computers.

Quantitative Aptitude: Practice BODMAS to solve questions from Simplification/Approximation. Practice table charts, bar graphs, pie charts, and line graphs to increase calculation speed while solving Data Interpretation questions. Practice factorization-based questions of Quadratic Equations. Practice all courses in Arithmetic is an important course in the IBPS RRB Clerk Mains Exam. Practice basic Arithmetic to score well in Number Series and Arithmetic Questions.

General/ Financial Awareness: Candidates should go through the monthly current affairs (4-6 months) and static GK courses including important days, important government schemes, awards & honours, international reports, important appointments, countries and currencies, states and capitals, summits and conferences, cabinet ministers, joint military exercises, the economy of Delhi, Administrative set up and Governance in NCT of Delhi, etc. To score high in Static GK questions, read all important Articles & Schedules in the Indian Constitution, Chief Ministers, Cabinet Ministers, Governors, Important Personalities, important Temples, Dams, UNESCO Heritage Sits, Art & Culture, National Parks, Bird Sanctuaries, Wildlife Sanctuaries, etc, list of longest rivers, highest mountains, sports winners, (Indian), etc.

General English: practicing Comprehension tops the list of the important courses in the IBPS RRB English section. In grammar, important courses are error-spotting, active & passive voice, idioms & phrases, sentence rearrangement, direct & indirect speech, fill in the blanks (verb, article, preposition, etc). In vocabulary, important courses are synonyms & antonyms, cloze test, fill in the blanks, idioms & phrases, one-word substitution, spell correction, etc.

7. Keep your exam items ready: Admit Card, Photographs, ID Proofs, Aarogya Setu app

Candidates are advised to get and carry their IBPS Clerk 2022 Mains Admit Card, photographs, and ID Proofs safe for the exam day. Remember candidates will not be allowed to appear for IBPS Clerk 2022 Mains exam without Prelims admit card and required photo-ID proofs/documents. Avoid the last-minute hassle. Reach the exam centre at least 2 hours before the exam time for collection of documents, verification, handwriting sampling, logging in, etc.

Currently valid photo identity proof may be PAN Card/Passport/ Permanent Driving License/Voter’s Card with photograph/Bank Passbook with photograph/Photo Identity proof issued by a Gazetted Officer or People’s Representative on official letterhead/Valid latest Identity Card issued by a recognised College or University/Aadhar Card/E-Aadhar Card with photograph/Bar Council Identity card with photograph/Employee ID). Please Note - Ration Card and Learner’s Driving License will NOT be accepted as valid ID proof.

The exam centre staff will only verify and duly stamp the call letter of the preliminary exam at the exam venue. The call letter will not be collected. Candidates should note to keep the call letter (along with authenticated/ stamped copy of the ID proof) safely. Candidates who will be called for Main exam will be required to bring this call letter along-with Main exam Admit Letter. Candidates need to retain at least 8 copies of the photograph as posted on the admit card. These photographs will be required in the further stages.

8. Get good sleep, eat mood-lifting food, keep calm

Candidates are advised to monitor their sleep and food habits during the preparation and most importantly the day before the exam. Consume healthy and mood-lifting foods and take proper sleep to rest your brain. A recharged brain is key to recalling all you have studied. Include some exercise or walks in the fresh air to rejuvenate yourself. You deserve it. Say to yourself ‘I am Prepared, Keep Calm’. Do not try to pull an all-night study just before the exam. Sleep early, get up early, eat a healthy filling breakfast to keep you full and energized throughout the exam process. Maintain healthy, peaceful environment to keep positive vibes.

Wish you the best!

IBPS Clerk Mains Admit Card 2022 get Link

Mon, 03 Oct 2022 19:50:00 -0500 text/html
Killexams : Service members sound alarm against 'extremely woke' military

While President Biden's Secretary of the Army has defended its diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) programs this week as "important," several current and former members of the U.S. military, who have put their lives on the line to ensure America's security and defend its freedoms, are sounding the alarm over what they call a culture putting "wokeness" before training and combat effectiveness.

Those service members, some of whom served with Special Operations Forces in Iraq and Afghanistan, are blaming that culture for its recruiting challenges, which have risen to a level unseen since it was transitioned to an all-volunteer force.

"The military is extremely woke," one service member told Fox News Digitial recently.

"I do perceive the Army leadership as woke, and probably the lower enlisted (they have been indoctrinated in school)," another service member said. "Equity-diversity is another way to divide and control the masses. It does nothing for the warfighter."

"We get criticized, frankly, sometimes for being ‘woke,'" Army Secretary Christine Wormuth said at a Monday discussion with other military leaders on national security and the branch’s modernization efforts. "I'm not sure what ‘woke’ means. I think ‘woke’ means a lot of different things to different people."

Members of the U.S. Army stand in formation. (U.S. Army)

She continued, "But, first of all, if ‘woke’ means we are not focused on warfighting, we are not focused on readiness, that doesn’t reflect what I see at installations all around the country or overseas when I go and visit."


The service members, who remained anonymous so they could speak freely, almost universally shared a similar sentiment, with many noting that senior members who speak out on the issue risk their careers or retirement pensions.

"Merely questioning the goals or methods used to promote ‘Equity & Diversity’ is punished and that punishment is swift, harsh, and public," one service member said.


"I 100% believe the military is woke. I see daily minorities, overweight people and women not adhering to military standards," another said. "Nobody corrects them due to the fear of being fired and labeled a racist or a sexist."

"I do think we do have a wide range of soldiers in our Army, and we've got to make them all feel included," Wormuth said Monday. "And that’s why a lot of our diversity, equity and inclusion programs are important."

Another service member pointed to the military's COVID-19 policies, noting the vaccine mandate has forced many members in good standing into difficult decisions.


"Most of us who serve did so because we came from military families. Patriotism and American values are no longer appreciated or expected," one service member said. "Troops themselves are largely treated as expendable and they don't even pretend otherwise. Spending 15+ years in the military during wartime with multiple deployments risking their lives only to be tossed out like garbage. Losing the retirement they have worked years to earn because they didn't want to take an experimental vaccine for an illness that was mild for fit and healthy people."

The military has been facing a recruiting crisis, with the Army failing to meet its recruiting goals in 2022 and the Marines, Air Force and Navy all dipping deep into their pools of delayed entry program candidates to scratch by this year, putting them well behind the pace for meeting next year's goals.

Members of the Navy Ceremonial Guard stand for the national anthem during a ceremony for National POW/MIA Recognition Day, at the U.S. Navy Memorial. (Kevin Dietsch)

"In the Army's most challenging recruiting year since the start of the all-volunteer force, we will only achieve 75% of our fiscal year '22 recruiting goal," Wormuth said in a statement after the numbers were publicly released.

While the military has faced several challenges in latest years, including restrictions to entering schools brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic and a tight jobs market, many others have pinned the blame for the issue on a culture becoming less focused on winning the nation's wars.

"How can we ask young men and women who have decided to risk their lives for America, even die for America, to affirm that our country is inherently racist?" former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo wrote for Fox News last month. "How can we ask them to view their brothers and sisters in arms through the narrow prisms of race or gender? The clear and obvious answer is that we cannot – not without putting their lives at risk on the battlefield. A woke military is a weak military. Unfortunately, woke and weak are exactly what our military is becoming under Biden’s leadership."


Many of the service members reached by Fox News Digital expressed similar concerns, with some saying they would not encourage their children to join the military.

"I would not have my children join for the same reason they are in private schools vs. public schools," one service member said.

"I couldn’t allow my kids to join the military, and risk having them serve under commanders like I saw on deployments," another service member said, citing the failures of leadership witnessed in Afghanistan and Iraq.

"They’d be better off serving for one of our allies who are focused on defending their country and will come to our aid when our woke and unready force embarrasses itself," another said.

"Why would I have my kids join an institution who works every day to call them evil and diminish the contributions of their ancestors," said another.


A Tactical Control Party Airmen and qualified Joint Terminal Aircraft Controller assigned to the 9th Air Support Operations Squadron at Fort Hood, Texas. (U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. JT May III)

Service members also complained of an overly-political culture among the military's leadership, arguing it has hindered their ability to prepare the country for conflict.

"The DOD is absolutely politicized. No matter what party is in power. Generals have basically become politicians, and ‘yes men’ and will conform to whatever party is in power," one service member said.

"It seems like in the '90s, DOD was apolitical, but that doesn’t seem to be the case now. It seems like more and more leaders are more overtly supporting a political side, rather than their oath," another said.

Though most of the members expressed concern about the direction of the military, some shared optimism that the culture could be turned around.

"I still think the military has values that are salvageable," one service member said.


Others stressed that the military needs to return its focus on the mission in order to turn things around.

"I prefer a military that was more concerned with the standards of the unit, rather than equity," a service member said, describing those initiatives as "disruptive towards the real training the military should focus on."

Fox News' Houston Keene contributed to this report.

Tue, 11 Oct 2022 09:15:00 -0500 Fox News en text/html
Killexams : Military needs to do more to help naturalize noncitizens, report says

The military has faltered in providing timely, informative guidance to noncitizen troops about the naturalization process, a latest government watchdog report found.

According to a Government Accountability Office report published Sept. 14, Department of Defense policy changes, poorly completed procedures and a lack of available information all contributed to a brief decline in service member naturalization applications.

Between fiscal years 2017 and 2018, applications for citizenship by U.S. troops fell from roughly 11,000 to 2,500. The percentage of those later approved also declined, according to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.

Though noncitizens have a long history of service in the American military — over 100,000 joined the armed forces just between fiscal years 2010 and 2021 — the military’s naturalization efforts remain inadequate.

Noncitizens who are currently in the U.S. military or previously served and are lawful permanent residents are generally eligible to apply for naturalization after one year of service, according to USCIS. Since 2002, the immigration agency has naturalized more than 148,000 members of the U.S. military. Family members of service members may also be eligible for citizenship.

In 2009, a process to streamline the naturalization process for noncitizen troops became available at basic training. A DoD policy change signed in 2017, however, lengthened the time these troops needed to serve to 180 days before they were eligible for the necessary certification that allowed them to apply for expedited naturalization. This policy was eventually suspended in 2020.

While applications have since risen to pre-2018 levels, past and existing obstacles still remain for noncitizens, the GAO report shared.

“Four of the five services lack procedures to ensure the timely processing of service member requests for certification of honorable military service,” the report said, even though DoD policies direct the services to process these requests within 30 days. The Navy does have a process for tracking but was unable to establish whether it was meeting its own goals.

Additionally, while the Navy, Air Force, and Coast Guard offer naturalization assistance to inform their noncitizen service members, the Marine Corps had no such process in place as of April 2022. The Army, meanwhile, recently emailed its troops with resource guidance. No noncitizens were serving in Space Force as of August 2021.

In July 2021, the Pentagon, VA, Department of Homeland Security and other agencies released a strategy for promoting naturalization that noted naturalizing eligible non-permanent residents is essential to national security.

After reviewing data from USCIS, as well as military policies on naturalization, the GAO offered guidance to the Pentagon and Department of Veterans Affairs to address the gaps in the naturalization process.

The report concluded with 11 recommendations, including suggesting the services develop procedures to collect info on certification processing timelines, that the Pentagon establish a policy for ensuring the services inform noncitizen troops about naturalization resources and that it, the VA and USCIS create plans to assess their progress. The Pentagon, VA and DHS — which oversees USCIS — concurred with all recommendations.

“The Office of the Secretary of Defense will establish a policy to ensure that the military services develop and maintain a process to inform applicable noncitizen service members about the military naturalization process and available assistance and resources,” Thomas Constable, the assistant secretary of defense for manpower and reserve affairs, said in a letter to the GAO.

Scarlet Kim, an attorney with the ACLU’s National Security Project, was not surprised by the reports findings, especially after the the civil rights group filed a lawsuit against the service length requirements and delays in naturalization.

“The whole objective of expedited naturalization is to make sure non-citizens obtain their citizenship before they deploy,” Kim said, adding that the issue could be solved by reimplementing the initiative. “It’s a way to streamline the process.”

In another letter responding to the government watchdog, the VA’s chief of staff said efforts to assess military naturalization assistance are “well underway.”

Meanwhile, naturalization ceremonies continue to take place both at home and abroad.

Jonathan is a staff writer and editor of the Early Bird Brief newsletter for Military Times. Follow him on Twitter @lehrfeld_media

Zamone “Z” Perez is an editorial fellow at Defense News and Military Times. He previously worked at Foreign Policy and Ufahamu Africa, where he helped produce podcasts. He is a graduate of Northwestern University, where he researched humanitarian intervention and atrocity prevention in his thesis. He can be found on Twitter @zamoneperez.

Mon, 19 Sep 2022 08:59:00 -0500 en text/html
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