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Articles written by Lolita C. Baldor

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Oklahoma bid for Guard exception to vaccine mandate denied

WASHINGTON (AP) — Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin on Monday rejected a request by Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt that his state's National Guard be exempt from a Pentagon requirement that all military members be vaccinated against COVID-19. Stitt, a...

 

Oklahoma challenging Pentagon's vaccine mandate for Guard

WASHINGTON (AP) — A dispute between Oklahoma's governor and the Pentagon over the COVID-19 vaccine mandate is setting up the first critical test of the military's authority to require National Guard troops to get the shot and laying the groundwork...

 

Military weighs penalties for those who refuse COVID vaccine

WASHINGTON (AP) — As deadlines loom for military and defense civilians to get mandated COVID-19 vaccines, senior leaders must now wrestle with the fate of those who flatly refuse the shots or are seeking exemptions, and how to make sure they are...

 

Navy probe finds major failures in fire that destroyed ship

WASHINGTON (AP) — A Navy report has concluded there were sweeping failures by commanders, crew members and others that fueled the July 2020 arson fire that destroyed the USS Bonhomme Richard, calling the massive five-day blaze in San Diego preventa...

 

Milley defends calls to Chinese at end of Trump presidency

WASHINGTON (AP) — The top U.S. military officer told Congress on Tuesday that he knew former President Donald Trump wasn't planning to attack China and that it was his job to reassure the Chinese of that fact in the phone calls that have triggered...

 

Joint Chiefs chairman calls Afghan war a 'strategic failure'

WASHINGTON (AP) — The top U.S. military officer called the 20-year war in Afghanistan a "strategic failure" and told Congress on Tuesday that he believes the U.S. should have kept several thousand troops in the country to prevent the unexpectedly...

 

Milley: US coordination with Taliban on strikes 'possible'

WASHINGTON (AP) — Army Gen. Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said Wednesday that it's "possible" the United States will seek to coordinate with the Taliban on counterterrorism strikes in Afghanistan against Islamic State militant...

 

As US military leaves Kabul, many Americans, Afghans remain

WASHINGTON (AP) — As the final five U.S. military transport aircraft lifted off out of Afghanistan, they left behind up to 200 Americans and thousands of desperate Afghans who couldn't get out and now must rely on the Taliban to allow their departu...

 

Biden promise to strike extremists faces new Afghan reality

WASHINGTON (AP) — By promising to strike the extremists who killed 13 Americans and dozens of Afghans, President Joe Biden now confronts the reality of finding and targeting them in an unstable country without U.S. military and intelligence teams...

 

Pentagon: US troops must get their COVID-19 vaccines ASAP

WASHINGTON (AP) — Military troops must immediately begin to get the COVID-19 vaccine, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said in a memo Wednesday, ordering service leaders to "impose ambitious timelines for implementation." More than 800,000 service...

 

2 US lawmakers' Kabul trip prompts Biden administration fury

WASHINGTON (AP) — Two members of Congress flew unannounced into Kabul airport in the middle of the chaotic evacuation stunning State Department and U.S. military personnel who had to divert resources to provide security and information to the...

 

For US military leaders, Afghan news strikes personal chord

WASHINGTON (AP) — For senior military and Pentagon leaders, this week's news was profoundly personal. The photos and videos pouring out of Afghanistan hit a nerve, and triggered searingly vivid flashbacks to battles fought, troops lost and tears sh...

 

COVID vaccines would be required for military under new plan

WASHINGTON (AP) — Members of the U.S. military would be required to have the COVID-19 vaccine beginning Sept. 15, under a plan announced by the Pentagon Monday and endorsed by President Joe Biden. That deadline could be pushed up if the vaccine...

 

Pentagon on lockdown after shooting near Metro station

WASHINGTON (AP) — Gunshots were fired Tuesday morning near the entrance of the Pentagon, resulting in multiple injuries. The facility, the headquarters of the U.S. military, was placed on lockdown. The Arlington County Fire Department reported...

 

'Welcome home': Evacuation flight brings 200 Afghans to US

WASHINGTON (AP) — The first flight evacuating Afghans who worked alongside Americans in Afghanistan brought more than 200 people, including scores of children and babies in arms, to resettlement in the United States on Friday, and President Joe Bid...

 

US to keep about 650 troops in Afghanistan after withdrawal

WASHINGTON (AP) — Roughly 650 U.S. troops are expected to remain in Afghanistan to provide security for diplomats after the main American military force completes its withdrawal, which is set to be largely done in the next two weeks, U.S....

 

Study: Texas bases lead Army posts in risk of sexual assault

WASHINGTON (AP) — Female soldiers at Army bases in Texas, Colorado, Kansas and Kentucky face a greater risk of sexual assault and harassment than those at other posts, accounting for more than a third of all active-duty Army women sexually...

 

Navy SEALs to shift from counterterrorism to global threats

WASHINGTON (AP) — Ten years after they found and killed Osama bin Laden, U.S. Navy SEALs are undergoing a major transition to improve leadership and expand their commando capabilities to better battle threats from global powers like China and...

 

US to withdraw all troops from Afghanistan by Sept. 11

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden will withdraw all U.S. troops from Afghanistan by Sept. 11, the 20th anniversary of the terrorist attacks on America that were coordinated from that country, several U.S. officials said Tuesday. The decision...

 

US bombs facilities in Syria used by Iran-backed militia

WASHINGTON (AP) — The United States launched airstrikes in Syria on Thursday, targeting facilities near the Iraqi border used by Iranian-backed militia groups. The Pentagon said the strikes were retaliation for a rocket attack in Iraq earlier this...

 

Congress split on US strikes in Syria on Iran-backed militia

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Biden administration defended the U.S. military airstrikes in Syria as legal and appropriate Friday, saying they took out facilities that housed valuable "capabilities" used by Iranian-backed militia groups to attack American...

 

Pentagon chief urges immediate reduction in Taliban violence

WASHINGTON (AP) — Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, in his first news conference as Pentagon chief, said Friday that progress toward peace in Afghanistan and an end to U.S. military involvement there depends on the Taliban reducing attacks. He said,...

 

Pentagon deploys troops to fuel COVID-19 vaccine drive

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Pentagon will deploy more than 1,100 troops to five vaccination centers in what will be the first wave of increased military support for the White House campaign to get more Americans inoculated against COVID-19. President...

 

Let down your hair: New Army rules for ponytails, nail color

WASHINGTON (AP) — Female soldiers can let their hair down, and flash a little nail color under new rules being approved by the Army. But male soldiers will still have to shave. Army leaders announced Tuesday that they are loosening restrictions on...

 

Defense chief orders review of military sex assault programs

WASHINGTON (AP) — Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, in his first directive since taking office, has given his senior leaders two weeks to send him reports on sexual assault prevention programs in the military, and an assessment of what has worked... Full story

 

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