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Hagel Calls Service Members on Christmas,

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel called service members taking part in U.S. operations around the world to wish them a Merry Christmas. Story

First Lady Michelle Obama

First Lady Participates in NORAD Tracks Santa Program

First Lady Michelle Obama personally answered phone calls from children to discuss Santa's journey as part of the annual NORAD Tracks Santa program run by the North American Aerospace Defense Command. Story | Website

Defense Leaders Release Holiday Messages

Defense Department leaders and their spouses have released a series of holiday videos to thank service members and their families for their sacrifices. Story | Messages

Airman during training in South Carolina

Defense.gov Launches Year-in-Review Sites for Stories, Photos

The Defense Department launched its annual Year in Review and Year in Photos microsites on the Defense.gov home page. Story

Photo EssaysMore »

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Lead Photos

Photo: MEDICAL EXERCISE

U.S. Army Maj. Juli Fung provides a medical screening for a Honduran child during a Medical Readiness Training Exercise in the Department of Gracias a Dios, near Soto Cano Air Base, Honduras. Dec. 17, 2014. Fung is assigned to Joint Task Force-Bravo’s Medical Element, which provided medical care to more than 1,500 Honduran citizens during the two-day operation. U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Jason Tedesco

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Special ReportsMore »

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. 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 CFC is the world's largest and most successful annual workplace charity campaign, with more than 150 CFC national and international campaigns raising millions of dollars each year. Defense Department employees nationwide have the opportunity to give to the DoD campaign from Sept. 1, 2014 to Dec. 15, 2014. In his memo, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel expressed his unwavering support for the campaign and strongly encouraged members of the workforce to participate in any way they can. 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.Defense Department leaders and their spouses extend holiday wishes to U.S. troops and their families around the world.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 fiscal year 2015 defense budget request works to square priorities with resources, Defense Department officials said while calling for a 1 percent pay raise for the military.

Features

Focus on the Forces

Cookie Caper Brings Taste of Home to Forces Serving OverseasThis story contains video.

Volunteers participated in the annual Cookie Caper, providing 24,000 Christmas cookies for Airmen stationed at Misawa Air Base, Japan. Video

Face of Defense

Brandon's family Army Family Receives Basement Make-over for Christmas

An Army staff sergeant received a huge Christmas surprise when he and his family discovered the basement of their Virginia home had been renovated thanks to Operation Homefront. Story

In The Spotlight

Priya Butler, director of operations, USO Southwest Asia USO, Friends Help Bring Christmas to U.S. Troops in Baghdad

More than 7,000 presents have been donated to service personnel deployed in Iraq by groups wanting to show their support for the troops during the holiday season. Story

Experts Scan World Horizons for Biothreats

The Defense Threat Reduction Agency is working to advance its biosurveillance capabilities with a goal of increasing global health security. Story | Special

Science and Technology

Scientists Work to Improve Disease Diagnostics

Defense Department scientists are working around the world to improve disease diagnostics with many supporting the U.S. Ebola response in West Africa. Story | Special

‘Armed With Science’ Recognized Among Top 50 National Blogs

The Defense Department’s “Armed with Science” blog has been honored for the second consecutive year as one of the nation’s top 50 “must-read” information technology blogs. Story | Blog | Special

Twitter Activity

The latest issue of @AirmanMagazine showcases some of the best visuals of 2014 from around @usairforce. Take a look http://t.co/rDsdYwUMdn
100th year of naval photography celebration continues. .@AllHandsMag salutes Navy photographers, past and present. http://t.co/WXjOWDDew6
RT @thejointstaff: .@Martin_Dempsey loves a good book. He posted reviews regularly, see The Chairman's Nightstand here: http://t.co/ydeZ45Y…
RT @thejointstaff: 2014 saw combat mission end in Afghanistan. @Martin_Dempsey traveled there in May to talk with troops and commanders htt…
RT @PentagonPresSec: Directing artillery fire against an enemy so close it kills you. Today,1944, Lt. John Fox earns his Medal of Honor. ht…
VCJCS & Secretary of Veterans Affairs visited with wounded service members http://t.co/Sw29lnbPTq @thejointstaff
RT @CENTCOM: New Operation Inherent Resolve video shows airstrike against three ISIL buildings near Aleppo, #Syria: http://t.co/NCaQhLrHUB
RT @CENTCOM: VIDEO: Airstrike against three #ISIL buildings, Dec. 21, near Aleppo, #Syria: http://t.co/NCaQhLrHUB
RT @CENTCOM: U.S. and partner nations continued to attack #ISIL terrorists in #Iraq and #Syria Dec. 26: http://t.co/0m5jfeianE
RT @USNavyEurope: #USSDonaldCook to enter #BlackSea - reaffirm U.S. dedication & commitment to Allies & Partners http://t.co/lzQJFOlXay
A sailor greets his family on the pier after completing a six-month deployment in Everett, Wash., Dec. 19, 2014. http://t.co/EywVF9qb5c
USS Kidd and USS Wayne E. Meyer display lights during Naval Base San Diego’s 3rd annual Holiday Lights Open House. http://t.co/Q5UfaaqHRi
"It’s worth the effort to have a happy holiday. No matter where you are, or what you’re going through." http://t.co/FuUIYlp0Lr

Facebook Activity

Check out the latest issue of Airman magazine http://oak.ctx.ly/r/28z1o showcasing some of the best visuals of 2014 from around the Air Force.

Apple: http://oak.ctx.ly/r/28z1r
Android: http://oak.ctx.ly/r/28z1s
Kindle: http://oak.ctx.ly/r/28z1u

No tablet? Click to read from your PC/Mac: http://oak.ctx.ly/r/28z1v


100th year of naval photography celebration continues. All Hands salutes Navy photographers, past and present. From the photo gallery of http://oak.ctx.ly/r/28ym8 All Hands Magazine brings you the best photos submitted in 2014. Take a look at their Facebook page: http://oak.ctx.ly/r/28ymg


Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Adm. James A. Winnefeld Jr. and Secretary of Veterans Affairs Robert McDonald visited with wounded service members at the Center for the Intrepid.

http://www.army.mil/article/140514/


A sailor greets his family on the pier after completing a six-month deployment in Everett, Wash., Dec. 19, 2014. The sailor is assigned to the USS Rodney M. Davis, which returned from its final deployment to the Pacific and Indian oceans. U.S. Navy photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Justin A. Johndro


The guided-missile destroyers USS Kidd, left, and USS Wayne E. Meyer display their lights during Naval Base San Diego’s third annual Holiday Lights Open House in San Diego, Dec. 19, 2014. During the event, the public was invited to drive through and observe the decorated ships along the base's waterfront.
U.S. Navy photo by Seaman Amanda Chavez


"It’s worth the effort to have a happy holiday. No matter where you are, or what you’re going through." oak.ctx.ly/r/28pqt



Timeline Photos
Silent Night Deployed #3ID Soldiers gathered with the Bagram Airfield community for the Christmas Eve Candlelight Service in Afghanistan. (U.S Army Photo by Sgt. 1st Class David Wheeler, 3rd Infantry Division Public Affairs) #DogFaceSoldiers #ROTM #SilentNight #ChristmasEve
Pfc. Tamiesha Scriven presses the switch during the Joint Forces Command – United Assistance tree lighting event in Monrovia, Liberia, Dec. 18, 2014. Although away from family for the holidays, Scriven and other Soldiers find ways to stay connected: http://oak.ctx.ly/r/28v27
Soldiers magazine http://oak.ctx.ly/r/28v2a wants to know how have you stayed connected with your friends and family while deployed for the holidays?
(U.S. Army photo by Spc. Rashene Mincy)


Happy Holidays from Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel and his wife Lilibet! oak.ctx.ly/r/28uo1


Happy Holidays from Chuck & Lilibet Hagel

Holiday greetings for troops and families from Chuck & Lilibet Hagel.
Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel today called service members taking part in U.S. operations around the world to wish them a Merry Christmas, according to Pentagon Press Secretary Navy Rear Adm. John Kirby. Read more here, http://oak.ctx.ly/r/28ue6.
"Merry Christmas everybody!" —President Obama and @FLOTUS in the weekly address: http://go.wh.gov/y4DgKx
cc: The White House


Weekly Address: Happy Holidays from the President and First Lady

In this week’s address, the President and First Lady wished Americans a Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays, and thanked our brave troops for their service.
Santa Claus and service members bow their heads in prayer during the Joint Forces Command – United Assistance holiday tree lighting event on Barclay Training Center in Monrovia, Liberia, Dec. 18, 2014. U.S. Army photo by Spc. Rashene Mincy

See more of how troops participated in #holiday events in this Defense.gov photo essay, http://oak.ctx.ly/r/28tzr #holidaymemories


Merry Christmas to all DOD personnel everywhere and your families!
Here are some favorite #HolidayMemories from some of our service members currently serving overseas. Comment down below and share your favorite holiday memory? oak.ctx.ly/r/28pqk


Holiday Memories from Deployed Heroes
Gen. Mark A. Welsh, his wife Betty and several airmen send #Holiday greetings to service members and their families. http://oak.ctx.ly/r/28aoh


Holiday Message from the Air Force Chief of Staff

A holiday message from the Air Force Chief of Staff.



British and German troops gather on a soccer pitch at ISAF Headquarters to sing "Silent Night" and play a soccer match to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Christmas Truce (Weihnachtsfrieden). The truce took place on the front lines of World War I when British and German forces temporarily stopped fighting to exchange seasonal greetings and share goodwill. (U.S. Army video by Col. Brian Tribus) HM Armed Forces German Army/Deutsche Bundeswehr #GoodwilltoAll
The @PentagonPresSec expresses his gratitude, dedication and appreciation during this #holiday season.


Secretary of the United States Air Force Deborah Lee James and husband Frank Beatty send #Holiday greetings to service members and their families. oak.ctx.ly/r/28al0


Holiday Message from the Secretary of the Air Force

A holiday message from the Secretary of the Air Force.
https://fbcdn-sphotos-e-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-xap1/v/t1.0-9/p100x100/10385398_10152971387932679_7866523373751761092_n.jpg?oh=b2dd253e603fd426609066c77999e7e0&oe=554772AA&__gda__=1429147153_a49439406fc7361478f27ad4891fc95c

U.S. Coast Guard

There's no place like home for the #holidays! #USCG Cutter Legare returns home following a 52-day patrol through the Caribbean and eastern Pacific Ocean. Read about the crew's accomplishments: http://goo.gl/H3nDXa

Timeline Photos
♫ Up on the rooftop five Marines pause, with their M249 SAWs ♫ — with Fred Grabiel and 47 others.
Each week, we will feature an image from the Marine Corps, highlighting current events around the world. The image will be placed on our avatar to be seen by all of our fans. Click on the photos in our Photos of the week album for detailed information about the image. Semper Fidelis.
Secretary of the U.S. Navy, Ray Mabus and sailors aboard the USS Ross send #Holiday greetings to service members and their families. oak.ctx.ly/r/28aig


Holiday Message from the Secretary of the Navy

A holiday message from the Secretary of the Navy.
It begins! Follow #Santa as he makes his way around the world, using the NORAD Tracks Santa at http://t.co/wn7zyRwf4X.


Official NORAD Santa Tracker
t.co
Follow Santa as he makes his magical journey!
Check out some holiday memories from troops around the world oak.ctx.ly/r/28i4u Share your story using #holidaymemories


Loving My Not-So-Happy Holidays | DoDLive
www.dodlive.mil
For me, Christmas was the zenith. The pinnacle of childhood achievement. It was THE day. Bigger than birthdays and summer vacation and roller coasters combined. I spent my Decembers doodling in my notebooks about presents and dreaming of making cookies with my mother. Yes, Christmas was the best…



Not much sunlight today, but it's a bit more than yesterday with the Winter Solstice! Here's what it looks like from the Eielson AFB control tower. What are you going to do with a few more minutes of daylight?U.S. Pacific Air Forces United States Air Force Airman Magazine
.@GenDunford and his wife send #Holiday greetings to Marines and their families. oak.ctx.ly/r/28b7k


Happy Holidays, Marines!

Commandant of the Marine Corps General Joseph F. Dunford, Jr., and his wife, Mrs. Dunford, send their holiday greetings to Marines and their families. Semper...
Gen. Raymond T. Odierno, his wife Linda and their dog Tootsie send a #Holiday greeting to service members and their families. http://oak.ctx.ly/r/28je8


Holiday Message from the Army Chief of Staff

A holiday message from the Army Chief of Staff.
Secretary of the @USArmy John M. McHugh sends a #Holiday greeting to service members and their families. http://oak.ctx.ly/r/28hul

Blogs

Track Santa Claus With NORAD Website
The North American Aerospace Defense Command’s NORAD Tracks Santa website, http://www.noradsanta.org/, features a mobile version, a holiday countdown, new games and daily activities and more for children.    More
Loving My Not-So-Happy Holidays Each Year
Blogger Jessica L. Tozer shares her story about her life-long (but not intentional) tradition of having not-so-happy holidays, and why she still thinks it’s a day worth celebrating.   More

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