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Military News Briefs for the Week of May 18, 2001

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, May 18, 2001 – (This is a summary of the top American Forces Press Service news stories for the week ending May 18, 2001.)

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RUMSFELD SAYS SERVICE MEMBERS BUILDING 21st CENTURY MILITARY

U.S. service members are changing the military to meet the threats of the 21st century, Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld said May 18 during Armed Forces Day ceremonies at Andrews Air Force Base, Md.

To start the ceremonies for this year's Joint Service Open House, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Army Gen. Henry Shelton presented Air Medals to the 24 crew members of the Navy EP-3 electronic surveillance aircraft hit by a Chinese fighter near Hainan Island March 31.

Standing in front of a Navy EP-3 reconnaissance aircraft, Rumsfeld thanked the crew for their heroism.

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DoD EXAMINES CAPTAIN/LIEUTENANT RETENTION

Officer retention patterns are changing, causing the services increasing worry about continuation rates, particularly among O-3s.

Anecdotal reports to DoD officials suggest Army, Air Force and Marine Corps captains and Navy lieutenants are leaving the military in numbers not seen since 1973 -- the founding of the all-volunteer force.

If the stories are accurate, the services might find trouble ahead when it comes time to pick promotion-worthy O-3s -- they prefer large candidate pools, but might not have that luxury in some specialties.

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WEB SITE LEADS TO WEALTH OF MOVING INFORMATION

The Military Traffic Management Command's detailed and easy-to-read Web pages help service members, movers and transportation personnel find up-to-date information about the world of personal property shipments.

The Web site address is www.mtmc.army.mil. Originally established in 1996, it provides essential information about moving everything from household goods to privately owned vehicles, boats, mobile homes and pets. Every day, up to 500 service members, civilian employees and their dependents, military travel offices and moving companies around the world tap the site.

Hank Spieler, chief of MTMC's domestic and international rates, said the household goods shipment system isn't sophisticated enough to trace the location of household goods. However, service members can find the location of their belongings by calling the carrier.

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