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President Barack Obama

Obama Signs National Defense Authorization Act

President Barack Obama has signed the National Defense Authorization Act, saying in a written statement that it provides vital benefits for troops and critical contingency authorities to counter the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant. Story

Hagel Welcomes Defense Authorization Act, Calls for ‘More Predictable Budgets’

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel welcomed the fiscal year 2015 National Defense Authorization Act in a statement, but he called on Congress to work with the department on several fronts. Story

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel

Secretary Authorizes Up to 1,300 Additional Troops to Deploy to Iraq

Up to 1,300 additional U.S. troops will begin to deploy to Iraq in late January as part of Operation Inherent Resolve. Story | Special

NORAD Tunes Up Santa-tracking System

The North American Aerospace Defense Command has informed the Defense Department that every indication is that Santa Claus will arrive on time this year to deliver presents, Pentagon Press Secretary Navy Rear Adm. John Kirby said. Story | Website

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Lead Photos

Photo: INTREPID INNOVATION

Navy Adm. James A. Winnefeld Jr., vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, right, and Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert A. McDonald, center, receive a brief on a simulator for firearms training during a tour of the Center for the Intrepid in San Antonio, Dec. 19, 2014. Adm. Winnefeld brought McDonald, center professionals and researchers together to discuss innovative ways to improve the lives of wounded warriors. U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Jonathan Snyder

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Special ReportsMore »

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 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 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.The Defense Department announced the next unit rotation as the U.S. continues to demonstrate its commitment to reassuring NATO allies. 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 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. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel has directed the Defense Department to conduct a comprehensive review of the Military Health System that will focus on access to care. The review also will assess the safety and quality of health care in military treatment facilities and the health care DOD purchases from civilian providers. The MHS provides health care for more than 9.6 million beneficiaries. 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

Face of Defense

Marine Corps Sgt. Robert Smith Guam Toys for Tots Delivers Cheer

American Marines from Marine Corps Activity Guam delivered approximately 4,700 toys to the Salvation Army and Catholic Social Service. Story

Focus on the Forces

New Program Prepares Enlisted Troops for Medical School

A new program provides an opportunity for qualified enlisted members to complete preparatory coursework for their medical school application while maintaining active-duty status. Story

Guardsmen Recall Operation Just Cause

Three South Carolina Army National Guardsmen who deployed in support of Operation Just Cause a quarter-century ago marked the anniversary by reflecting on the mission in Panama and their roles in that operation. Story

In The Spotlight

Office of Personnel Management Explains Dismissal, Closure Procedures

The Office of Personnel Management explained its 2015 Washington metro area operating status dismissal and closure procedures and announced a leave and telework policy change. Story

Military Children

Deadline Nears for Military Child of Year Awards Program Nominations

A deadline extension means friends, families and mentors still have time to nominate children of military families for Operation Homefront’s Military Child of the Year awards program. Story

Twitter Activity

.@USNavy #sailor grinds a weld in an arresting gear engine room aboard the aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson http://t.co/RDz7IH0g2P
RT @DirectorDMA: A UH-1Y Venom helicopter flies over the desert dunes en route to the Chocolate Mountain Aerial Gunnery Range. http://t.co/…
RT @DoDNews: Face of Defense: #Marines in Guam Deliver Thousands Toys to Children. http://t.co/PUdjPXqIrf
RT @USNationalGuard: Photo of the Day: @NJNationalGuard #Airmen gives a card to resident at Veterans Memorial Home: http://t.co/uT6fp3XN8H
RT @USNavy: The clock is ticking to send holiday mail to some #USNavy Sailors. Get the deadlines at http://t.co/YvPUQs2Mjo
RT @USMC: Be energy smart this holiday season. Follow these Marine Corps energy tips. #EnergyEthos http://t.co/Rve1WWGOZa
RT @USMC: Santa carries a seabag. @MarForRes Toys for Tots program is still collecting: http://t.co/7qmOhav8sZ https://t.co/HGFdccpZaT
RT @DoDNews: #SecDef Authorizes Up to 1,300 Additional Troops to Deploy to Iraq http://t.co/kiIIjFebyF
RT @USNATO: Afghanistan Jan 1 2015: #NATO's mission Resolute Support-->train, advise, assist Afghan Forces http://t.co/oEBCaKINak http://t.…
RT @CENTCOM: U.S. and partner nations continued to attack #ISIL terrorists in #Iraq and #Syria Dec. 19: http://t.co/vHEDOg4IXY
#Marines delivered 4,700 toys to the Salvation Army and Catholic Social Service in #Guam @USMC http://t.co/bCJS7DF0PY http://t.co/RL8v5eliAf
The @PentagonPressSec assures kids that the @USNavy "has ships standing by to conduct any lost present recovery missions." #happyholidays
The @PentagonPresSec says #NORAD reports "The anti-Grinch firewall is up & running", adds it's prepared to defeat any #cyberattacks.
The 2-fold mission in #Iraq, to advise and assist, & to build partner capacity, hasn't & won't change, @PentagonPresSec says.
The @PentagonPresSec says, "It's not just about the U.S. aircraft. There are coalition forces participating in airstrikes, too." #pressbrief
"We are conducting airstrikes at an appropriate pace, with appropriate precision and urgency [in #Iraq]", says @PentagonPresSec
Regarding the #FBI investigation into recent #cyberattacks, @PentagonPresSec says the #DoD is "a part of the inter-agency discussion."

Facebook Activity

Army 2nd Lt. Stephen Smallwood, left, receives his first salute as an officer from Army Master Sgt. Jeramie Woodall on Clemson University's Military Heritage Plaza in Clemson, S.C., Dec. 17, 2014. The service members served together as noncommissioned officers assigned to 3rd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment.

U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Ken Scar


Air National Guard Staff Sgt. Jheren Svoboda prepares to hoist a combat rescue officer out of an HH-60 Pave Hawk helicopter during a rescue training mission near Mount Susitna, Alaska, Dec. 16, 2014. Svoboda is a flight engineer assigned to the Alaska National Guard's 210th Rescue Squadron. Alaska National Guard photo by U.S. Army Sgt. Balinda O'Neal


#Marines from Marine Corps Activity Guam delivered approximately 4,700 toys to the Salvation Army and Catholic Social Service here yesterday.

http://www.defense.gov/news/newsarticle.aspx?id=123861


The guided-missile destroyer USS Mitscher lights up its mast during night-delayed landing qualifications with Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 26 in the U.S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility, Dec 15, 2014.

U.S. Navy photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Anthony R. Martinez

For more DoD Imagery: http://oak.ctx.ly/r/27lwe


Wreaths Across America honored fallen service members Dec. 6, 2014 by coordinating wreath laying ceremonies at Arlington Cemetery, as well as veterans’ cemeteries and other locations in all 50 states, ceremonies at sea, and 24 national cemeteries on foreign soil.

(Video by Cpl. Clayton Filipowicz)



Statement by Pentagon Press Secretary Rear Adm. John Kirby on ISIL Leadership Killed:

I can confirm that since mid-November, targeted coalition airstrikes
successfully killed multiple senior and mid-level leaders within the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).

We believe that the loss of these key leaders degrades ISIL's ability to command and control current operations against Iraqi Security Forces (ISF), including Kurdish and other local forces in Iraq.

While we do not discuss the intelligence and targeting details of our
operations, it is important to note that leadership, command and control nodes, facilities, and equipment are always part of our targeting calculus.

The success of these airstrikes demonstrates the coalition's resolve in enabling the ISF to disrupt and degrade ISIL as they continue to regain control of their territory.
Honor, respect and devotion to duty are the words of wisdom from the Coast Guard's Spirit of Hope recipient.

U.S. Coast Guard


Honor, Respect, Devotion to Duty: Robert Powers | DoDLive
www.dodlive.mil
This one, powerful phrase has been carried throughout military bases since 2006 by American 300 Foundation creator, Robert Powers.
Marine Corps Pfc. Roberto Pena fires an M249 squad automatic weapon during a realistic urban training exercise on Camp Roberts, Calif., Dec. 9, 2014. Pena is assigned to the 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit.

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

For more DoD Imagery: http://oak.ctx.ly/r/27lwe


U.S. Marines lead a foot patrol during exercise Forest Light 15-1 on Oyanohara Training Area in Yamato, Japan, Dec. 9, 2014. The Marines are assigned to 2nd Battalion, 9th Marine Regiment.

U.S. Marine Corps photo by Staff Sgt. Warren Peace

For more DoD Imagery: http://oak.ctx.ly/r/27lju


C-17 Globemaster IIIs deploy flares during the U.S. Air Force Weapons School's Joint Forcible Entry Exercise 14B over the Nevada Test and Training Range on Nellis Air Force Base, Nev., Dec. 6, 2014.

U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Thomas Spangler

For more DoD Imagery: http://oak.ctx.ly/r/27k9g


#SecDef Chuck Hagel Thanks Soldier for Confronting Unethical Behavior Online

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel met with a senior noncommissioned officer Dec. 15 to thank her for leading by example and defending Army values despite facing harassment after confronting service members who were behaving unethically online.


Defense.gov News Article: Hagel Thanks Soldier for Confronting Unethical Behavior Online
oak.ctx.ly
WASHINGTON, Dec. 17, 2014 Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel met with a senior noncommissioned officer Dec. 15 to thank her for leading by example and defending Army values despite facing harassment after confronting service members who were behaving unethically online.
U.S. Stands With Pakistanis, Afghans Against Taliban

The United States condemns the deadly Taliban attack on a Pakistani school and remains committed to bringing stability to the Afghanistan-Pakistan region, Navy Rear Adm. John Kirby said today, emphasizing that the end of the NATO combat mission does not mean an end to U.S. involvement in the region.


Defense.gov News Article: U.S. Stands With Pakistanis, Afghans Against Taliban
oak.ctx.ly
WASHINGTON, Dec. 16, 2014 The United States condemns the deadly Taliban attack on a Pakistani school and remains committed to bringing stability to the Afghanistan-Pakistan region, Navy Rear Adm. John Kirby said today, emphasizing that the end of the NATO combat mission does not mean an end to U.S…
Pushing Dirt

Sailors conduct a flight deck wash down aboard the amphibious assault ship USS Peleliu in the Pacific Ocean, Dec. 13, 2014. Peleliu is on its final regularly-scheduled western Pacific deployment in the U.S. 7th Fleet area of responsibility supporting security and stability in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region.

U.S. Navy photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Ryan J. Batchelder



Wreaths Across America: Honor the Fallen

Wreaths Across America honored fallen service members Dec. 6, 2014 by coordinating wreath laying ceremonies at Arlington Cemetery, as well as veterans’ cemet...
Marines shake up the night during training.
----

U.S. Marines with Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 161 (Reinforced), 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit, provide security during a tactical recovery of aircraft and personnel mission during realistic urban training aboard Camp Roberts, Calif., Dec. 7, 2014. RUT prepares the 15th MEU Marines for their upcoming deployment, enhancing their combat skills in environments similar to those they may find in future missions.

U.S. Marine Corps video by Cpl. Steve H. Lopez



There's still time to nominate children of military families for Operation Homefront’s Military Child of the Year Award! oak.ctx.ly/r/278kg


"On the 70th anniversary of the Battle of the Bulge, we are called to do more than commemorate a victory. We must honor the sacrifice of a generation who defied every danger to free a continent from fascism."

— President Barack Obama

Read more here: http://oak.ctx.ly/r/277ty


Statement by Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel on the Pakistan School Terrorist Attack:

"On behalf of all the men and women of the U.S. Defense Department, I extend our deepest condolences to the people of Pakistan following today's ruthless attack on the army public school in Peshawar. This heartless slaughter of over 100 innocent students and teachers was an act of pure cowardice. The United States remains committed to supporting Pakistan in its efforts to combat extremism and ensure stability in the region. As we stand firm with the Pakistani people and military in their fight against terrorists, we also honor their sacrifices, and join the victims' families and loved ones in their mourning."
U.S. Army soldiers attach cargo to a CH-47 Chinook helicopter on Roberts International Airport in Harbel, Liberia, Dec. 12, 2014. The mission was to airlift incinerators to a new Ebola treatment unit built in support of Operation United Assistance.

U.S. Army photo by Sgt. 1st Class Brien Vorhees

http://www.defense.gov/home/features/2014/1014_ebola/


#MeetTheScientists: Dr. Phillip Vernon uses his skills as a research scientist to better understand the trials and tribulations of service members. Especially those injured in combat. http://go.usa.gov/FABQ


An aircraft engine is tested on the fantail of aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis in the Pacific Ocean, Dec. 11, 2014. Stennis is undergoing an operational training period in preparation for future deployments.

U.S. Navy photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Erin Hamilton


Many children are wondering how they can track Santa this holiday season. Pentagon Press Secretary Rear Admiral John Kirby gives one young girl the answer!

Watch here: http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLXW_E5mHof0HYln7C1G7OQNhpNZtlUXN7

For the Santa tracker click here: http://www.noradsanta.org/

Mobile Uploads
173rd Lithuania man of the year!
Degraded Lift Off

A C-17 Globemaster III takes off from a degraded airfield during the U.S. Air Force Weapons School's Joint Forcible Entry Exercise 14B at the Nevada Test and Training Range on Nellis Air Force Base, Nev., Dec. 6, 2014.

U.S. Air Force photo by Airman First Class Joshua Kleinholz


U.S. Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Jonathon Weimer directs an MH-60S Sea Hawk helicopter to the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis in the Pacific Ocean, Dec. 9, 2014.

U.S. Navy photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Ignacio D. Perez

For more DoD imagery: http://oak.ctx.ly/r/26w0z


A Marine conducts a static line jump from a MV-22B Osprey aircraft during realistic urban training on Fort Hunter Liggett, Calif., Dec. 9, 2014. This Marine is assigned to the Force Reconnaissance Detachment, 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit.

U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Anna Albrecht

For more DoD imagery: http://oak.ctx.ly/r/26v7n


Defense Threat Reduction Agency develops countermeasures to combat the spread of Ebola in West Africa.

“We plan to be in this business for the long term and need to do biosurveillance and strengthen biosecurity worldwide, helping partner countries build their capacity to prevent, treat and monitor the threat of infectious diseases.”


Defense.gov News Article: DTRA Medical Countermeasures Help West African Ebola Crisis
oak.ctx.ly
WASHINGTON, Dec. 12, 2014 Since 2003, the Defense Threat Reduction Agency has invested more than $300 million to develop medical countermeasures against hemorrhagic fever viruses, and those efforts are paying off today in potential new ways to fight Ebola virus disease.
Holiday wreaths adorn the graves of fallen service members across Arlington National Cemetery, Va., Dec. 13, 2014. Volunteers placed about 700,000 remembrance wreaths on National Wreaths Across America Day. Read more: http://oak.ctx.ly/r/26tlv

DoD photo by Staff Sgt. Vernon Young Jr.

For more DoD imagery: http://oak.ctx.ly/r/26tlo


U.S. sailors perform maintenance on an F/A-18C Hornet on the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson in the Arabian Gulf, Dec. 5, 2014.

U.S. Navy photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Joseph Newman

For more DoD imagery: http://oak.ctx.ly/r/26t2t


Blogs

Lead, Mentor, Train: Preparing A New Generation of Leaders
Marine Corps Gunnery Sgt. Timothy Owens, football team senior enlisted advisor for the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md., discusses his role and how he is training tomorrow’s leaders.   More
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

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