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Defense Secretary Ash Carter

Carter Takes Ceremonial Oath of Office at Pentagon

Defense Secretary Ash Carter took the ceremonial oath of office as the 25th secretary of defense at the Pentagon today. Vice President Joe Biden officially swore in Carter last month during a White House ceremony. Story

Army Gen. Martin E. Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff

Dempsey Reflects on Leadership, Building Leaders

Investments in leadership will pay dividends the U.S. military can’t imagine today, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff said in a recent interview. Story

Navy Adm. James A. Winnefeld Jr.

Winnefeld, USO Tour Stars Visit, Thank Troops in Afghanistan

Service members assigned to Bagram Airfield in Afghanistan enjoyed a brief reprieve from their Resolute Support mission, thanks to the USO and a group of celebrities who wanted to say, “Thank you for your service.” Story | Special

Navy Adm. Michael S. Rogers

Cybercom Chief: Cyberspace Threats Blur Roles, Relationships

Over five years of U.S. Cyber Command operations, global movement of threat activity through cyberspace has blurred roles and relationships among government agencies, as well as between the public and private sectors and the real and virtual worlds, the Cybercom commander told a House panel. Story

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Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan administers the oath of office to Defense Secretary Ash Carter as his wife, Stephanie, holds the Bible and their children, Ava and Will, look on during a ceremonial swearing-in at the Pentagon, March 6, 2015. Vice President Joe Biden officially swore in Carter as the 25th secretary of defense last month. DoD screen shot

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Special ReportsMore »

The president’s fiscal year 2016 budget request of $534 billion protects America today, while positioning the U.S. military to face the threats of tomorrow. The budget funds ongoing strategic priorities including the rebalance to the Asia-Pacific and sustaining a global approach to countering violent extremists.The Defense Department supports the continuing education and empowerment of military women as they risk their lives to protect our nation. This Defense.gov special report takes a closer look at the contributions of women in the U.S. armed forces as they continue to lead our nation's defense into the future.In support of the U.S. Agency for International Development, the Defense Department made critical contributions to the fight against the Ebola virus disease outbreak in West Africa. Chief among these were the deployment of men and women in uniform to Monrovia, Liberia, as part of Operation United Assistance.The nation's top defense leaders are urging Congress to move now to prevent major, across-the-board spending cuts that are scheduled to take effect Oct 1, 2015.The president authorized U.S. Central Command to conduct targeted airstrikes to protect U.S. personnel in Iraq. He also authorized a humanitarian effort to save thousands of Iraqi civilians on Mount Sinjar from the threat posed by Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) terrorists. The Defense Department named cyberspace a new domain of warfare in 2011. Today, U.S. Cyber Command, the services, and U.S. partners and allies are working together to make that inherently collaborative, adaptable environment a suitable place for military command and control.The Defense Department announced the next unit rotation as the U.S. continues to demonstrate its commitment to reassuring NATO allies. President Barack Obama urged Americans to recognize every spouse, parent, sibling, child, and loved one who stands with our service members. Obama said Each year, the Defense Department marks National African American History
Month by honoring the contributions of African Americans who work to keep
the country safe. In proclaiming February as National African American
History Month, President Barack Obama noted: Given today's globalized access to knowledge and the rapid pace of technology development, innovation, speed, and agility have taken on a greater importance. The Department of Defense serves as an innovative leader in developing technology to protect Americans and troops – on and off the battlefield.The United States is demonstrating its continued commitment to collective security through a series of actions designed to reassure NATO allies and partners of America's dedication to enduring peace and stability in the region, in light of the Russian intervention in Ukraine.One person has the power to teach resilience, recognize warning signs, intervene, chat, or make a call; it only takes one person or one act to save another person's life. The Department of Defense, in collaboration with the Department of Veterans Affairs, has launched the The Defense Department is taking a stand against sexual assault in the military in an effort to maintain the well-being of U.S. service members and their families. Check out American Forces Press Services' special coverage, which includes information about resources dedicated to preventing and appropriately responding to this crime.


National Guard

Virginia National Guard soldier Guard Units in Several States Respond to Latest Winter Storm

National Guard units have been called to action in several states in the South, the Midwest and the Northeast in recent days to clear snow and help stranded motorists, among other missions, in response to the latest winter storm. Story | Photos

Face of Defense

Air Force Tech. Sgt. Jeffrey Landis Reserve Airman Helps Family Escape Fire, Becomes ‘Hometown Hero’

Air Force Tech. Sgt. Jeffrey Landis, a reservist aircraft maintenance mechanic working out of Joint Base Charleston, South Carolina, alerted a family to vacate their home when their garage was going up in flames. Story

In The Spotlight

First Lady: End Mental Illness Stigma

Service members, veterans and family members who have stepped up to tell their life stories can help the nation understand that seeking help for mental health issues is a sign of strength, First Lady Michelle Obama said at a mental-health summit. Story

Science and Technology

DARPA Tool Could Work Against ISIL

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency prepares for the diverse threats in today’s national security landscape – from low-tech ‘lone-wolf’ terrorists to high-tech adversaries to groups like ISIL that use both approaches. Story | Special

Guard, Reserve News

Richard O. Wightman Jr. DoD Salutes Guard, Reserve Family Readiness Programs

Richard O. Wightman Jr., principal deputy assistant secretary of defense for reserve affairs, presented awards to the top unit in each reserve component for outstanding programs that support unit missions and family readiness during a Pentagon ceremony. Story | Special

Twitter Activity

#SecDef Carter says, "In the years ahead, your country will call on you to continue that tradition, perhaps sending you into harm’s way."
"We have some of our amazing soldiers, sailors, airmen, Marines, and Coast Guardsmen here today. You represent the finest fighting force."
#SecDef: I have learned from my kids and from my students that every generation is different. We must attract the finest among them.
#SecDef Carter says, "We have to think outside this five-sided box and be open to their best practices, ideas, and technologies."
#SecDef: This is the moment to continue to shine the beacon of American leadership and to seize the many bright opportunities in front of us
#SecDef says to Bill Perry "You stood up for me early in my career, you stood in for my father at my wedding, and here you are again today."
HAPPENING NOW: Watch the ceremonial swearing-in of #SecDef Ash Carter here: http://t.co/IznytMHfO0
FACT: #SecDef Carter is author or co-author of 11 books and more than 100 articles on physics, technology, national security, and management
As a young man, #SecDef worked as a gas station attendee, hospital orderly, fishing boat mate & counselor on a suicide prevention hotline
FACT: #SecDef Carter earned his bachelor's degrees in physics and in medieval history, summa cum laude, at @Yale University.
Later today, there will be a ceremonial swearing-in for #SecDef Ash Carter. Watch LIVE at 3PM here: http://t.co/ebchaXmkT4
#Marines take cover as detonation ignites giving passage to a building during an urban breaching course @camp_lejeune http://t.co/4CWOrtgXTb
RT @USMC: Viper in the Night Marines w/ the @15thMEUOfficial maintain an AH-1Z Viper aboard the USS Anchorage, March 2. http://t.co/ItbXND…
RT @Martin_Dempsey: Schedule changes here prevent me from holding my Facebook Townhall today. Look forward to discussing Tues. 2:00 PM http…
#Soldiers watch for enemy activity during an exercise with Lithuanian troops as part of Operation Atlantic Resolve http://t.co/Gthb1voIeG

Facebook Activity

Investments in leadership will pay dividends the U.S. military can’t imagine today, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff said during a recent interview.

Defense.gov News Article: Dempsey Reflects on Leadership, Building Leaders
A soldier mans a machine gun from a tactical vehicle's turret while providing security outside a simulated enemy compound during Decisive Action Rotation 15-05 at the National Training Center on Fort Irwin, Calif., Feb. 25, 2015. The rotation ensures brigades remain versatile, responsive and consistently available for the present and unforeseen future contingencies.

U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Richard W. Jones Jr.

Marines take cover behind a blast blanket as a detonation cord ignites, blowing a door in and giving the Marines a clear passage to breach a building during an urban breaching course on Camp Lejeune, N.C., March 3, 2015. The Marines are assigned to the 2nd Marine Division's Mobility Assault Company, 2nd Combat Engineer Battalion.

U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Justin T. Updegraff

U.S. Army Pfc. Daniel J. Ackerman, left, and Cpl. Frank P. Perretta watch for enemy activity during a combined training exercise with Lithuanian troops as part of Operation Atlantic resolve in Pabrade training area, Lithuania, March 4, 2015. Operation Atlantic Resolve is a U.S. Army Europe-led land force assurance training mission taking place across Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland.

U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Pablo N. Piedra

As part of the Military Adaptive Sports Program, U.S. Army Special Operations Command Care Coalition hosted 45 of its wounded, ill and injured service members to participate in a week-long training event at MacDill Air Force Base, Fla., Feb. 23 - 27.

Wounded Warriors from U.S. Special Operations Command are preparing for interservice athletic competitions scheduled to take place at Quantico, Virginia later this year.

The Facebook Townhall today with General Martin E. Dempsey has been cancelled. The Townhall has been rescheduled to Tuesday, March 10, 2015 at 2:00 PM. We will keep you posted if there are any other changes.
U.S. Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Zachery Johnson prepares to engage targets from a UH-1Y Venom during Amphibious Squadron/Marine Expeditionary Unit Integration Training above San Clemente Island Feb. 28, 2015. Johnson is a crew chief with Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 161, 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit.

U.S. Marine Corps photo by Sgt. Jamean Berry

Timothy Babb takes a breath during swimming practice on Nellis Air Force Base, Nev., Feb. 27, 2015. The Air Force Trials are an adaptive sports event designed to promote the mental and physical well-being of seriously ill and injured military members and veterans.

U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Siuta B. Ika

U.S. U.S. Marine Corps with Special-Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Force Crisis Response-Africa ascend ropes during an obstacle course on Rota Naval Base, Spain. The course tested the Marines’ physical readiness with a series of demanding obstacles designed to simulate the challenges of a combat environment.

U.S. Marine Corps photograph by Lance Cpl. Christopher Mendoza

Sleep. Activity. Nutrition. The Performance Triad is the Army’s comprehensive plan to improve the overall health readiness and wellness of the total Army.

Army’s Performance Triad Can Help You Reach Your Healthy Living Goals | DoDLive
An AV-8B Harrier prepares to land on the flight deck of the amphibious assault ship USS America (LHA 6) during training operations in the Pacific Ocean, Feb. 25, 2015. The aircraft is assigned to Marine Attack Squadron 311.

U.S. Navy photo by Seaman John Kelvin Chavez

Sequestration threatens military readiness, the size of warfighting forces, the capabilities of air and naval fleets, and ultimately the lives of the nation’s men and women in uniform, Defense Secretary Ash Carter told a Senate panel yesterday.

Defense.gov News Article: Carter: Nation ‘Would be Less Secure’ Under Sequestration
U.S. Army Sgt. Lopiccolo, right, checks on his soldiers providing security during a visit to the regional police logistics center in Nangarhar province, Afghanistan, Feb. 17, 2015. Lopiccolo is assigned to the 101st Airborne Division's 3rd Brigade Combat Team and Train, Advise, Assist Command East.

U.S. Army photo by Capt. Jarrod Morris

Special Amphibious Reconnaissance Corpsman (SARC)
Navy special amphibious reconnaissance corpsmen offer a glimpse into what it takes be a one of them. Those doing the job provide medical and operational services to Fleet Marine Forces and Marine Corps Forces Special Operations Command.

Defense.gov Video Player

Happy National Anthem Day from #US4AThe "Star-Spangled Banner" officially became the national anthem of the United States of America, March 3, 1931.A special thanks to the 3rd Infantry Division Band's Woodwind Quintet for providing the music for our tribute. #ResoluteSupport #3ID #NationalAnthemDay #Anthem
Secretary of Defense Ash Carter testifies before Senate Armed Services Committee on Budget:

If confronted with sequestration-level budgets, and continued obstacles to reform, I do not believe that we can simply keep making incremental cuts while maintaining the same general set of objectives that have anchored our defense strategy. We would have to change the shape, not just the size, of our military - significantly impacting parts of our defense strategy.
We cannot meet sequester with further half-measures.

As Secretary of Defense, I will not send our troops into a fight with outdated equipment, inadequate readiness, or ineffective doctrine. But everything else is on the table - including parts of our budget that have long been considered inviolate.

This may lead to decisions that no Americans - including members of Congress - want us to make.

I am not afraid to ask the difficult questions, but if we are stuck with sequestration's budget cuts over the long term, our entire nation will have to live with the answers.

Timeline Photos
During my recent travels, I've had the opportunity to talk with students, service members and their families, and international partners. I want to hear from you on Facebook as well. I'll answer your questions Thursday from 3:15 to 3:45 PM EST. Leave your questions under the image. I look forward to answering as many as I can. Update: Schedule changes here in DC prevent me from holding my Facebook Townhall today. I have received great questions though and look forward to discussing Tuesday at 2:00 PM. Keep posting and I'll see you then.
The Navy Reserve is beginning a yearlong celebration of its centennial, and Defense Secretary Ash Carter today offered his congratulations to “this great American institution for 100 years of distinguished service in defense of this country.”

Defense.gov News Article: Carter Honors Navy Reserve as Centennial Observance Begins
A landing craft air cushion enters the well deck of the amphibious assault ship USS Essex in the Pacific Ocean, March 1, 2015. The Essex is conducting an integration training exercise to prepare for an upcoming deployment.

U.S. Navy photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Christopher B. Janik

Adm. Michael S. Rogers, commander of U.S. Cyber Command and director of the National Security Agency, spoke to cadets, staff and faculty during a Leader Professional Development Session at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, N.Y., Jan. 9, 2015.

Defense.gov News Article: Rogers Discusses Cyber Operations, ISIL, Deterrence
U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Jason Robertson takes off from Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, Feb. 15, 2015, to photograph Cope North 15, a large-formation exercise. Robertson is an aerial combat photojournalist assigned to the 1st Combat Camera Squadron. The exercise enables U.S., Japanese and Australian air forces to develop combat capabilities to enhance air superiority, electronic warfare, air interdiction, tactical airlift and aerial refueling. U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Jason Robertson


Gen. Mark A. Welsh III

50 years ago today, 1st Lieutenant Hayden Lockhart Jr. was flying an F-100 over North Vietnam on his way to destroy an enemy target. As he neared the target, he encountered substantial anti-aircraft fire, but pressed on to the objective even though he knew it meant putting himself at grave risk of being shot down. After successfully dropping his bombs directly on the target, Lt. Lockhart realized his jet was on fire and had to eject. That day he became the first Airman taken prisoner in Vietnam and began an unimaginable nearly 8-year ordeal as a Prisoner of War. He knew the risk, but that knowledge didn’t stop him from accomplishing his mission. 50 years later, Airmen still know the risk and they still step up to accomplish the mission. Our Air Force is what it is today, because of men and women like this. Today we salute Lieutenant Colonel Lockhart and those that followed in his giant footsteps.
In 1981, Congress passed legislation authorizing and requesting the president to proclaim the week beginning March 7, 1982, as Women's History Week. Congress continued to pass joint resolutions declaring a Women's History Week every March until 1987, when it passed a law designating March 1987 as Women's History Month after being petitioned by the National Women's History Project to do so. Since that time, every president has issued proclamations for Women's History Month.

Defense.gov Special Report: Women's History Month 2015
Paratroopers assigned to 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division descend toward Holland Drop Zone against the backdrop of a crystal clear sky and last quarter moon during an airborne proficiency jump at Fort Bragg, N.C.

U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Mary S. Katzenberger

U.S. Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Timmothy Annoni signals as a fuel probe seats to the aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson during a replenishment with the Military Sealift Command fleet replenishment oiler USNS Walter S. Diehl in the Persian Gulf, Feb. 18, 2015. The carrier is supporting Operation Inherent Resolve, conducting strike operations in Iraq and Syria as directed.

U.S. Navy photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Scott Fenaroli

Members of the U.S. Air Forces in Europe Band interact with the crowd during the Fasching parade in Ramstein-Miesenbach, Germany. The band and about 1,400 other participants marched in the parade for more than two hours entertaining the crowd.

U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Timothy Moore

U.S. Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Nicholas Ferris signals to an AH-64 Apache helicopter during deck landing qualifications aboard the amphibious dock landing ship USS Fort McHenry (LSD 43) in the Arabian Gulf, Feb. 24, 2015. Ferris is a boatswain's mate.

U.S. Navy photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Adam Austin


New Devices May Soon Help Soldiers Nose Out Chemicals
Researchers are refining for Army use a commercial technology that will allow soldiers to quickly and accurately detect an array of chemical and biological hazards – from mustard agent to anthrax – using a swatch of paper about the size of a postage stamp.   More
Naval Astrophysicist Explores Star Formation in Orion’s Belt
T.L. Wilson, a U.S. Naval Research Laboratory astrophysicist, is part of a multinational research team that has discovered an outburst in the infrared from a deeply embedded protostar.   More

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