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  1. MV Cape Ray returned to Portsmouth, Va., after destroying Syrian chemical weapons on a 7-month deployment to 6th Fleet. Mark D. Faram / Staff

    Ship that destroyed Syrian chemical weapons returns home

    The MV Cape Ray, which successfully disposed of hundreds of tons of Syrian chemical weapons this summer in the Mediterranean Sea, returned to homeport of Portsmouth, Va. Wednesday.

    • Sep. 17, 2014
  2. Maj. Michael J. Donahue Army

    Paratrooper major killed in Afghanistan

    A paratrooper from Fort Bragg, North Carolina, was killed Tuesday in Afghanistan, officials announced Wednesday.

    • Sep. 17, 2014
  3. Marines from 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing listen to a brief in 2006 as they begin training as part of the Lioness Team on Camp Korean Village, Iraq. An essay arguing against women in infantry units is stirring up debate. Sgt Jennifer L. Jones/Marine Corps

    Selfish? Officer's take on women in combat raises outcry

    The Marine Corps is about to launch one of its most comprehensive experiments to test the mettle of women in combat, but an active-duty female officer has a message for the Corps: Don't bother.

    • Sep. 17, 2014
  4. Airmen lift their right hand as they repeat the oath of enlistment at the Air Force Basic Training graduation ceremony, Lackland Air Force Base, Texas. The Air Force has withdrawn a requirement that all airmen who take the oath of enlistment and officer appointment conclude with 'so help me God,' the service announced Wednesday. Staff Sgt Vernon Young Jr. / Air Force

    Air Force nixes 'so help me God' requirement in oaths

    The Air Force has withdrawn a requirement that all airmen who take the oath of enlistment and officer appointment conclude with 'so help me God,' the service announced Wednesday.

    • Sep. 17, 2014
  5. Officers of the U.S. Border Patrol check vehicles in a control facility in Texas. Jose Cabezas / Getty Images

    Border Patrol: Soldier allegedly smuggled immigrants through Texas checkpoint

    Border Patrol agents arrested a soldier who allegedly attempted to bring two undocumented aliens through a Texas checkpoint Sept. 11, hiding them in a pickup truck he was driving while wearing an Army uniform, according to a court document.

    • Sep. 17, 2014
  6. Air Force enlisted promotions overhaul likened to 'fifth-generation' aircraft

    The chief of Air Force enlisted policy made her case for the long-awaited overhaul to the way airmen are evaluated and promoted, likening the impending changes to a 'fifth-generation' system during the final day of the annual Air Force Association confere

    • Sep. 17, 2014
  7. Secretary of State John Kerry, center, is flanked by Senate Foreign Relations Chairman Robert Menendez, D-N.J., right, and Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., the ranking member, left, as he arrives to shore up President Barack Obama's strategy to combat Islamic State extremists in Iraq and Syria, on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Sept. 17, 2014.Obama reaffirmed Wednesday that he does not intend to send U.S. troops into combat against the Islamic State group, despite doubts about the ability of Iraqi forces, Kurdish fighters and Syrian rebels to carry out the ground fight on their own. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite) J. Scott Applewhite / AP

    House grudgingly approves arms for Syrian rebels

    The Republican-controlled House voted grudgingly to give the administration authority to train and arm Syrian rebels on Wednesday as President Obama emphasized anew that American forces 'do not and will not have a combat mission' in the struggle against I

    • Sep. 17, 2014
  8. Members of the Air Force Band perform a concert Sept. 12 commemorating the Air Force's 67th anniversary at the Air Force Memorial in Arlington, Va. The Air Force was formed as a separate branch of service Sept. 18, 1947, as part of the National Security Act of 1947. Scott M. Ash / Air Force

    James: 'Enduring spirit and unmatched dedication' prevail as Air Force turns 67

    On this date in 1947, Stuart Symington had the honor of becoming the first Secretary of the Air Force. Nine months ago, I had the honor of becoming the 23rd Secretary of the Air Force.

    • Sep. 17, 2014
  9. US Secretary of the Air Force Deborah Lee James and the Chief of US Air Force Gen. Mark A. Welsh III attend the 2014 Air and Space Conference and Technology Exposition on Sept. 15 at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center in National Harbor, Md. Alex Wong / Getty Images

    Air Force to Congress: Protect readiness, enact CR

    The leadership of the Air Force has a clear message for Congress: Help.

    • Sep. 17, 2014
  10. Roberto I. Guerrero, deputy assistant secretary of the Air Force for energy, speaks during the Air Force Association's Air & Space Conference, on Tuesday. Rob Curtis/Staff

    Efficiency is watchword for Air Force energy chief

    The Air Force's new energy chief repeatedly uses one word to describe his mission: efficiency.

    • Sep. 17, 2014
  11. A U.S. special operations forces soldier leads a group of soldiers from Iraqi Special Operations Force's 8th Regional Commando Battalion in July 2011. Department of Defense

    Analysis: U.S. officials parse term 'ground troops' when describing Iraq mission

    The question of whether the U.S. will send combat troops into Iraq has become a tortured debate over what terms such as 'ground troops' actually mean.

    • Sep. 17, 2014
  12. President Obama greets members of the military before taking the stage to speak at US Central Command (CentCom) at MacDill Air Force Base, Fla., on Wednesday. Obama had earlier consulted with military officials about the U.S. counterterrorism campaign against Islamic State militants. Pablo Martinez Monsivais/The Associated Press

    Wary lawmakers ready to OK arms for Syrian rebels

    Wary House lawmakers prepared to give President Obama authority to arm and train Syrian rebels in the fight against Islamic State militants Wednesday as Iraq's new prime minister dismissed the notion that the struggle could lead to U.S.

    • Sep. 17, 2014
  13. Defense attorney Birney Bervar speaks to a reporter outside federal court on Sept. 17 in Honolulu. Benjamin Bishop, a former civilian defense contractor working at the U.S. military's Pacific headquarters, was sentenced to seven years and three months in prison for divulging military secrets to his Chinese girlfriend and keeping classified documents at his Honolulu home. Audrey McAvoy / AP

    Defense contractor gets 7 years in military secrets case

    A former civilian defense contractor working at the U.S.

    • Sep. 17, 2014
  14. Iraq's Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi listens to a question during a Sept. 17 with The Associated Press in Baghdad. Iraq's new prime minister says foreign ground troops are neither necessary nor wanted in his country's fight against the Islamic State group. Hadi Mizban / AP

    Iraq premier nixes U.S. ground troops

    Iraq's new prime minister ruled out stationing U.S. ground troops in his country, chiding the international community Wednesday for inaction in Syria and lamenting the '

    • Sep. 17, 2014
  15. The fast combat support ship USNS Bridge has been inactivated as a budget-cutting measure. Christopher P. Cavas / Staff

    Big Navy supply ship inactivated

    Weeks of disagreement over the future of the Navy's biggest supply ships has ended with a decision to inactivate one of the four vessels.

    • Sep. 17, 2014
  16. President Barack Obama on Sept. 17 speaks to the US Central Command (CENTCOM) at MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa, Florida. Mandel Ngan / Getty Images

    White House: U.S. troops in Iraq could call in airstrikes

    American troops on the ground in Iraq 'could be in a position to even call in air strikes' on ISIL targets White House spokesman Josh Earnest told reporters aboard Air Force One Wednesday afternoon.

    • Sep. 17, 2014
  17. US Sen. Barbara Mikulski says Congress is moving in a positive direction toward adopting a continuing resolution. Mark Makela / Getty Images

    Senior senator: Both chambers should pass CR, Syrian rebels authorities before weekend

    A senior Senate Democrat is hopeful both chambers can pass a stopgap spending measure and approve presidential authorities to train and equip Syrian rebels by this weekend.

    • Sep. 17, 2014
  18. Rear Adm. James G. Foggo, second from right, has been tapped to lead 6th Fleet. Foggo, seen here in 2011 aboard amphibious command ship Mount Whitney, was the operations commander for the Joint Task Force Odyssey Dawn. MC2 Daniel Viramontes / Navy

    Submariner tapped to lead 6th Fleet

    Rear Adm. James Foggo has been tapped to lead 6th Fleet and get a third star, the Defense Department announced Wednesday.

    • Sep. 17, 2014
  19. The dome of the US Capitol is seen March 19, 2014 in Washington, DC. As work continues on the dome restoration, the last chance for ?scaffold-free? views of the Capitol is approaching, with the best opportunity within the next two weeks. AFP PHOTO/ Karen BLEIER KAREN BLEIER / AFP

    House passes bill to oversee VA hospital building

    The House has passed a bill to increase oversight of veterans' hospitals under construction, following a report that some medical centers take three years longer to complete than estimated and cost an extra $366 million per project.

    • Sep. 17, 2014
  20. Wounded, injured soldiers biking from post to post

    About 20 soldiers from Fort Campbell and Fort Knox who have been wounded or injured or who are ill are riding bicycles from one post to the other this week.

    • Sep. 17, 2014
  21. President Obama, with Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel and Gen. Lloyd J. Austin III, Commander of the US Central Command, before the start of a briefing at MacDill Air Force Base, Fla., on Wednesday. Pablo Martinez Monsivais/The Associated Press

    Obama reaffirms opposition to U.S. combat in Iraq

    President Obama reaffirmed Wednesday that he does not intend to send U.S. troops into combat against the Islamic State group, despite doubts about the ability of Iraqi forces, Kurdish fighters and Syrian rebels to carry out the ground fight on their own.

    • Sep. 17, 2014
  22. NATO and Afghan security forces inspect the site of a suicide attack Tuesday in Kabul, Afghanistan. Relatives of a U.S. Naval reservist from Ohio say he was among the three troops killed in the attack. Rahmat Gul / AP

    Family: Navy reservist killed in Afghan suicide bombing

    Relatives of a U.S. Navy reservist from Ohio say he was among the three troops killed when a suicide car bomber struck in Afghanistan.

    • Sep. 17, 2014
  23. Iraqi soldiers brandish their weapons during a military training exercise Sunday in the mainly Shiite southern city of Basra. About half of Iraq's army is incapable of partnering effectively with the U.S. to roll back the Islamic State group's territorial gains in western and northern Iraq, and the other half needs to be partially rebuilt with U.S. training and additional equipment, Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said Wednesday. Haidar Mohammed Ali / AFP

    Dempsey: Half of Iraqi army not OK as U.S. partners

    About half of Iraq's army is incapable of partnering effectively with the U.S. to roll back the Islamic State group's territorial gains in western and northern Iraq, and the other half needs to be partially rebuilt with U.S.

    • Sep. 17, 2014
  24. Sgt. Charles C. Strong was killed Sept. 15 in Herat province. Marine Corps

    MARSOC Marine killed in apparent insider attack in Afghanistan

    A MARSOC Marine was killed in Afghanistan this week in an apparent insider attack.

    • Sep. 17, 2014
  25. About one-quarter of Americans ages 17 to 24 are considered too fat to serve in the military. A group of 450 retired generals and admirals see nutritional requirements as key to reversing that trend. Joe Raedle / Getty Images

    Stay the course on school lunches, retired brass say

    About seven in 10 young adults are ineligible for military service, according to a new report from a group that is pushing school nutrition standards as a way to improve that situation.

    • Sep. 17, 2014
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