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IAVA | January 27, 2016

IAVA Daily News Brief – January 27, 2016

The 18th sergeant major of the Marine Corps, Ronald L. Green, speaks to Marines assigned to Marine Forces Reserve and Marine Forces North aboard Marine Corps Support Facility New Orleans, La. | Military Times >>
The 18th sergeant major of the Marine Corps, Ronald L. Green, speaks to Marines assigned to Marine Forces Reserve and Marine Forces North aboard Marine Corps Support Facility New Orleans, La. | Military Times >>


Today’s Top Stories

Reporter’s Notebook: Navy SEAL Commander’s Suicide
In looking into the suicide of a Navy SEAL team commander, Job W. Price, during a deployment in late 2012, Times reporters learned more about the stresses on elite Special Operations troops, the stigma that many have felt about seeking help for mental health issues and what the military is trying to do to change that. Christopher Drew, one of the reporters who worked on the story, discusses these issues. | New York Times >>

The U.S. was supposed to leave Afghanistan by 2017. Now it might take decades.
Top U.S. military commanders, who only a few months ago were planning to pull the last American troops out of Afghanistan by year’s end, are now quietly talking about an American commitment that could keep thousands of troops in the country for decades. | Washington Post >>

New veterans ID cards won’t be available until 2017
Congress passed legislation for a new veterans ID card last summer, but it will likely be another year before any are issued. The Department of Veterans Affairs has begun drafting regulations for production and issuing of the ID cards, designed to give veterans easy proof of their military service for non-federal activities. | Military Times >>


At the keyboard is 18-year-old Elham Fanoos, playing in a practice room at Hunter College in Manhattan. He has the long delicate fingers of a natural (as it turns out, a gifted) pianist. He sits perfectly erect, his dark eyes lowered. He seems at one with the music and an instrument that are a long way from his home in Afghanistan. | NPR >>

Ten police officers in the southern Afghan province of Oruzgan were poisoned by a rogue officer and shot in the head by Taliban fighters the officer was working with, the second insider attack on the police in the province in less than two weeks, officials said on Tuesday. | New York Times >>

In recent months, the so-called Islamic State group has captured territory straddling Afghanistan’s eastern border with Pakistan – claiming it as a new province of the “caliphate” it has declared in parts of Syria and Iraq. The BBC’s Justin Rowlatt spoke to one of the IS leaders in this remote region. | BBC News >>


Iraq’s urgent need for more police officers to secure neighborhoods in Ramadi and other cities freed from Islamic State control is expected to be a priority of Defense Secretary Ashton Carter’s when he meets next month with allies in Brussels, Defense officials said Monday. | USA Today >>

The U.S. is headed toward deeper military involvement in Iraq, Syria and Libya to fight the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), according to President Obama’s former national security adviser Tom Donilon. | The Hill >>

Elite Iraqi troops have taken the lead wherever the country’s military forces have had success on the battlefield, and they are expected to do the same in the long-delayed campaign to wrest Mosul back from the Islamic State. | >>

Military Affairs

The Humanitarian Service Medal has been authorized for award to the hundreds of soldiers who participated in Operation Urgent Response, the February 2014 winter relief mission in Slovenia. Award of the HSM is limited to soldiers who deployed to Slovenia, and who directly participated in the relief effort Feb. 7-12, 2014, according to a directive issued by the military awards branch of the Human Resources Command Jan. 20. | Army Times >>

The Navy is searching for ways to improve a longstanding series of military drills with its partner nations across Southeast Asia. Depth — including the addition of drones and other high-tech weapons, more gunnery and training to intercept smugglers — will be added to Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training, said Lt. Cmdr. Arlo Abrahamson, a spokesman for 7th Fleet’s Singapore-based Task Force 73. | Stars and Stripes >>

Secret biological and chemical warfare tests conducted on U.S. Navy ships in the 1960s do not appear to have affected the health of participating sailors and Marines, according to a report released earlier this month. | Military Times >>


This week at Sundance will see the premiere of the trailer for Range 15, a zombie movie starring US Army veterans. Sick of Kathryn Bigelow and other directors’ depictions of ex-soldiers, former infantry officer Nick Palmisciano created an Indiegogo campaign to raise money to create a film that portrayed veterans as more than sad sacks with PTSD. The crowdfunder raised over a million dollars. Palmisciano then hired a lead cast of veterans, including Marcus “the Lone Survivor” Luttrell, along with roles played by William Shatner and Danny Trejo. | Broadly >>

An Army veteran who lost three limbs during his tour of duty Iraq and now participates in everything from surfing to snowboarding is sharing his story with veterans in Charleston. | Associated Press >>

Tomorrow, Marvel Comics will release Venom: Space Knight #3, the latest space tale of Flash Thompson, a veteran and double amputee, who now, finally, gets prosthetic legs. And to make sure the character’s change had the ring of realism, Marvel reached out to Wounded Warrior Project, a nonprofit that helps veterans, which brought Nevins on board for this sci-fi ride. | Washington Post >>

Inside Washington

The three Democratic presidential frontrunners gave their final pitches to Iowa voters Monday night at a nationally televised town hall event just one week before that state’s caucuses, answering questions directly from voters on a host of domestic and foreign policy issues. Here’s a look at some of the key military and veterans policy issues they discussed: | Military Times >>

After a smooth and overall positive hearing before the Senate Armed Services Committee, Eric Fanning’s confirmation to be the next Army secretary still is not guaranteed. Sen. Pat Roberts, R-Kan., is standing firm on a hold he placed last fall on Fanning’s nomination. | Army Times >>

The phrases “100% disabled” or “total VA disability ratings” get thrown around a lot in veterans disability benefits claims. Problem is, that phrase doesn’t always mean the same thing to everyone. In fact, it can mean several different things in at least five different types of service-connection claims. | Task & Purpose >>

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