The best and brightest from this week's Army Times


Tuition assistance suspended in latest budget casualty

The Army’s popular tuition assistance program is being suspended because of the budget squeeze, although the thousands of soldiers enrolled in courses will be allowed to complete those courses.

But after the shutdown, which began at 5 p.m. Eastern time March 8, no one will be allowed to add new courses or enter the program.

“Soldiers who are in courses now can complete those courses, but they will not be allowed to enroll in new courses,” said Lt. Col. Tom Alexander, spokesman for the Army’s personnel chief. “This suspension is necessary given the significant budget execution challenges caused by the combined effects of a possible yearlong continuing resolution and sequestration.”

Army yanks XM25 after accident injures soldier – is it safe?

The Army’s XM25 Counter Defilade Target Engagement system has been removed from service after a training accident injured a soldier in Afghanistan early last month.

A soldier was injured during Feb. 2 live-fire training when the primer of a 25mm high-explosive air burst round ignited as a result of a double feed, according to Army spokesman Matthew Bourke.

Although the primer and propellant were initiated, safety mechanisms prevented the round’s warhead from detonating. The weapon was inoperable after the explosion.

“The gunner training on the weapon system received superficial injuries,” Bourke said. “The gunner was medically evaluated and returned to duty.”


Retired officers petition high court on self-defense ruling

Several dozen retired general and flag officers are urging the Supreme Court to hear a case that could vastly limit troops’ right to self-defense in combat zones.

The rare petition is putting a spotlight on the case of an Army lieutenant serving a 15-year sentence at Fort Leavenworth, Kan., for killing an Iraqi.

An Army court convicted 1st Lt. Michael Behenna in 2009 of “unpremeditated murder” despite his claim of self-defense in the killing of an Iraqi man suspected of triggering a roadside bomb that killed two of Behenna’s soldiers in April 2008.


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