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Ryan Leigh Dostie

Ryan Leigh Dostie is an Iraq War veteran. She joined the U.S. Army to serve her country. But before she was deployed, she experienced violence from one of her own when she was raped by a fellow soldier. 

This hour, we sit down with Dostie. She is a Connecticut resident and author of the new book: Formation: A Woman’s Memoir of Stepping Out of Line.

Recent statistics show sexual assaults in the military have surged in recent years. We talk with a retired colonel about this disturbing trend.

And we want to hear from you. Are you a veteran? How do you think the U.S. military should confront this epidemic of violence in its ranks?

Jade Allen / Connecticut Public Radio

The Department of Defense has announced it will delay the implementation of restrictions on veterans that would prohibit them from transferring benefits to their loved ones and dependents. The restrictions had been set to go into effect this Friday, July 12. Currently many troops can allow their children to ease the cost of higher education through transferring their post-9/11 GI Bill benefits -- but the new rules would remove that right.

President Trump is ordering the Pentagon to rewrite a rule allowing athletes to delay mandatory active service in order to play professional sports directly upon graduation.

"These student-athletes should be able to defer their military service obligations until they have completed their professional sports careers," Trump wrote in a presidential memorandum issued on Wednesday.

U.S. Air Force

"Will America Attack Iran Over One Dead Robot?" That is the question a Daily Beast headline asks in the wake of Iran downing an unmanned U.S. drone in the Gulf. This hour, we get the latest on this evolving story from reporter Adam Rawnsley and consider what it all means for the future of U.S.-Iran relations. 

Jade Allen / Connecticut Public Radio

Amid growing tensions in the Middle East, Connecticut’s Air National Guard troops are heading overseas.

On June 18, a ceremony to commemorate the deployment of nearly 150 members of the 103rd Airlift Wing was held at the Bradley Air National Guard Base hangar.

Pentagon To Take A 'Hard Look' At Raytheon, UTC Tie Up

Jun 18, 2019
The Pentagon
David B. Gleason (Flickr) / Creative Commons

The Pentagon is reviewing Raytheon Co’s planned merger with United Technologies, but scrutiny of the proposed deal by the federal government will not end there.

The Defense Department announced it is deploying 1,000 more U.S. troops to the Middle East "for defensive purposes" amid growing tensions with Iran.

Acting U.S. Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan said Monday in a statement that the action, meant to address air, naval, and ground-based threats, comes after "a request from the U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) for additional forces."

The Trump administration has blamed Iran for a series of attacks on oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman.

Jessica Hill / Associated Press

U.S. National Security Adviser John Bolton delivered the commencement address at the U.S Coast Guard Academy in New London Wednesday, welcoming the graduating cadets into their service careers as he warned them of the dangers they are about to face.

The United States Coast Guard Academy in New London, Conn.
Chion Wolf / Connecticut Public Radio

Reports of unwanted sexual contact – behavior that ranges from unwanted touching to rape – from female cadets at New London’s Coast Guard Academy rose from 8 percent in 2016 to 12.4 percent last year.

Updated at 10:30 a.m. ET

An additional 3,750 troops will be sent to the Southern border to help install wire barriers and monitor crossings, officials said. The new deployment will bring the number of active-duty troops there to around 6,000.

In a tweet on Sunday, President Trump said that "STRONG Border Security" is necessary in the face of "Caravans marching through Mexico and toward our Country."

James Vaughan / Flickr

Humans are great at making a mess of things. So far, however, that mess has been confined to Earth. But as we develop into a spacefaring species, our capacity for destruction, pollution, and prejudice (towards aliens of earthly and unearthly origins) threatens to have cosmic consequences.

Frankie Graziano / Connecticut Public Radio

Coast Guard active-duty personnel and their families are benefitting from local food banks as they deal with the financial uncertainty of the government shutdown.

Frankie Graziano / Connecticut Public Radio

Coast Guard families are enduring hardships as active duty personnel and civilian employees live without pay during the government shutdown.

Frankie Graziano / Connecticut Public Radio

Thanks to what he calls a “quirk in history,” Connecticut Senator Richard Blumenthal said that members of one United States military branch may not get paid in full during the government shutdown.

Updated at 5:20 a.m. ET on Thursday

President Trump and first lady Melania Trump traveled to Iraq to visit U.S. troops on the day after Christmas, an unannounced trip about which the president nonetheless had been hinting for some time.

The Trumps' arrival at Al Asad Air Base followed the president's recent orders to pull back on U.S. troop deployments elsewhere — orders that have come under intense scrutiny.

Updated at 10:45 p.m. ET

Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, a living Marine Corps legend who made history by securing special permission from Congress to lead the Pentagon, is stepping down after a slow freeze-out by President Trump.

Drift between the two men reached a point at which Mattis objected so strongly to the president's policy choices that he opted to resign rather than go along.

Seventeen national guardsmen from Connecticut are being deployed as part of two separate detachments in Romania and a second undisclosed location. Some of them are pictured here with Connecticut Lt. Gov. Nancy Wyman during a send-off ceremony.
Frankie Graziano / Connecticut Public Radio

The Connecticut Army National Guard’s cyber warfare detachment is getting its first deployment.

Chion Wolf / Connecticut Public Radio

Federal investigators have determined the Coast Guard Academy in New London retaliated against a black, female officer after she complained she was bullied and harassed.

Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Public Radio

David McGhee grew up with two mysteries. One was his grandmother's suitcase — it was full of stuff she shared with no one. The other mystery was about the boy's grandfather, a soldier who died before David was born.

Pedro Encina / Flickr

This week marks the 45th anniversary of a coup in Chile that overthrew the democratically elected president Salvador Allende and radically changed the course of Chilean history.

Carmen Baskauf / WNPR

Adriana Falcón Trafford is a West Hartford resident who came to Connecticut from Chile in 1974 to escape the dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet. This week marks the 45-year anniversary of the military coup in which brought Pinochet to power.  Connecticut Public Radio's Where We Live reflected on the events and what they meant for Chile and for the world. 

Derek Bridges / Creative Commons

I didn't vote for U.S. Senator John McCain when he ran for president in 2000 and again in 2008. I was deeply angry with him in 2008 when I felt he capitulated to political pressure when choosing his running mate. I realize now that I felt angry because I expected more from him. In my mind, he was a man with integrity.

U.S. Air Force Photo / Wikimedia Commons

President Donald Trump on Wednesday posthumously awarded Air Force Technical Sergeant John Chapman the medal of honor. It’s the nation’s highest and most prestigious military award.

The Trump administration is taking aim at a law designed to protect military service members from getting cheated by shady lending practices.

NPR has obtained documents that show the White House is proposing changes that critics say would leave service members vulnerable to getting ripped off when they buy cars. Separately, the administration is taking broader steps to roll back enforcement of the Military Lending Act.

James Vaughan / Flickr

Humans are great at making a mess of things. So far, however, that mess has been confined to Earth. But as we develop into a spacefaring species, our capacity for destruction, pollution, and prejudice (towards aliens of earthly and unearthly origins) threatens to have cosmic consequences.

Frankie Graziano / Connecticut Public Radio

United States Senator Chris Murphy told employees of the Mazak Corporation in Windsor Locks Monday that a re-industrialization of America is afoot. He’s excited about Connecticut’s manufacturing jobs outlook, but he said that even more jobs can be had if the Pentagon makes a deeper commitment to “buy American.”

Technical Sergeant John L. Houghton, Jr., United States Air Force / Wikimedia Commons

In March 2003, the U.S. invaded Iraq--in what turned out to be a baseless search for hidden “weapons of mass destruction.” Fifteen years later, we are still dealing with the deadly fallout of the decision to go to war.

Harriet Jones / Connecticut Public Radio

Electric Boat says it will expand its waterfront facilities in Groton and increase its workforce by 1,900 jobs, in a partnership with Connecticut that will also see it receive millions of dollar in state aid. 

The guests of honor during Saturday's monument dedication ceremony received Congressional Gold Medals. The memorial honoring the Borinqueneers is located on a cul-de-sac on the corner of Washington St. and Borinqueneers Way in New Britain.
Frankie Graziano / Connecticut Public Radio

A monument has been built in New Britain to commemorate the service of a segregated United States Army unit made up of volunteers from the island of Puerto Rico -- the Borinqueneers. On Saturday, dignitaries from Connecticut and Puerto Rico came together to honor these veterans.

Creative Commons

Does the investigation of Trump lawyer Michael Cohen signal the beginning of the end for the Trump presidency? 

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