The best and brightest from this week's Army Times


Unfit or nondeployable targeted for separation — over 25,000 this year

The Army is cutting its ranks more quickly than expected as it works toward its eventual goal of 490,000 active-duty soldiers.

In addition to natural attrition, most of the reductions the Army will make this year will come from two places: Officials project as many as 15,000 soldiers could be booted for misconduct or not meeting the required standards, such as physical fitness and weight control.

The Army also estimates it will separate as many as 11,000 active-duty soldiers who have been backlogged in the military’s disability evaluation system.


Service time to rise Aug. 1 for transfer of GI Bill benefits

Soldiers who request to transfer Post 9/11 GI Bill education benefits to family members on or after Aug. 1 will incur a four-year service obligation, regardless of their time in service.

The pending policy change is required by the federal laws that established the Post 9/11 GI Bill program four years ago.

Hagel scraps UAV medal, but controversy remains

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel’s decision to scrap the new medal for unmanned aerial vehicle pilots and cyber warriors may not end the controversy over how to properly honor the high-tech troops who operate from remote locations outside a combat zone.

Hagel stunned many Pentagon observers April 15 when he reversed his predecessor’s decision in February to create the Distinguished Warfare Medal and place it near the top of the military’s official order of precedence.


Nominations open for Service Member of the Year

Nominations are open for the 2013 Service Member of the Year award and Military Times is looking for everyday heroes, soldiers who inspire the men and women they work with just by doing what they do.

Fellow service members, supervisors and commanding officers — as well as parents and spouses — can nominate any active duty, National Guard or Reserve soldier who will be serving through August 2013 and who demonstrated not only exemplary service but made a significant impact within his or her community in 2012.

Winners will receive a trip for two to Washington, D.C., in July, where they will tour the nation’s capital and attend an award ceremony with the military’s top leaders.


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