Veterans! Here’s your Top 10 News stories of the day compiled from the latest sources
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1. Navy to double the frequency of ship inspections. The Navy is making major changes in the way it inspects ships for readiness by doubling the frequency of inspections, changing the timing, and switching the way it assesses results.
2. Inhofe named top GOP senator on Armed Service Committee. Inhofe, R-Tulsa, has been on the committee since 1994 and has devoted much of his time away from Washington to visiting military bases in Oklahoma and around the world. The Air Force has bases in Oklahoma City, Altus and Enid, and the Army has a post near Lawton and an ammunition depot in McAlester
3. Community says farewell to Korean War vet among 1st black soldiers to make a combat jump. The choir soulfully sang “I’ll Fly Away” at the end of the funeral for Edward L. Posey, one of a dwindling number of military pioneers known as the “Buffalo Rangers.”
4. Afghan army recruits say they’ll be ready to go solo. Afghan recruits in 1st Battalion, 4th Company, 1st Platoon, are the vanguard of a deeply flawed force that must fight the Taliban on its own after U.S. troops withdraw by the end of 2014. Their 18 weeks of training will be tested in Afghanistan’s deserts and mountains, where hardened Taliban insurgents are poised to attack.
5. Construction is complete on behemoth airship; first flight planned. A massive cargo-carrying airship has taken shape inside one of the 17-story wooden blimp hangars at the former military base in Tustin, Calif.
6. Troops’ hearing is often a casualty of fighting, training. At least a fourth of soldiers who have served in Iraq or Afghanistan show some hearing loss, Army audiologists say, and even those who don’t deploy often are exposed to constant or concussive noises in their work or training that can cause hearing loss or tinnitus, a ringing in the ears.
7. Air Force to provide new legal service to sexual assault victims. Amid an ongoing investigation into sex-assault cases at Joint Base San Antonio, Texas, the Air Force has announced a “special victims counsel” to provide legal counsel to purported victims.
8. Vets face confusion using GI Bill at state schools. The Post-9/11 GI Bill will pick up the full in-state cost for any honorably discharged service member wishing to attend college, but many veterans face a bewildering battle to exercise those benefits.
9. Veterans’ Graduation Rates Are Focus Of New Partnership. Chronicle of Higher Education Secretary Shinseki announced a new partnership at the Student Veterans of America national conference that will produce veterans’ college graduation rates when they use the GI Bill. The VA will work with the National Student Clearinghouse as well as the student veterans group. The Chronicle notes that “despite growing calls for firm numbers on how veterans are performing in college, data on their academic performance has been sparse.” The Student Veterans of America have “grown increasingly concerned about the possibility of cuts to the GI Bill if lawmakers and the public perceive that veterans aren’t graduating.” Shinseki said in announcing the partnership, “The best measurements of success are completion rates. … Degrees, certificates of completion, certifications, licensing-that to me is how you measure. Not who goes in the front door, but who completes the program.” The Chronicle explains how the program will work.
10. Change At The Top Of Oregon Department Veterans Affairs. The Oregonian Oregon Department of Veterans Affairs chief Jim Willis said Friday he would retire March 1. Willis, an Air Force veteran of Vietnam, “said…he decided to retire after completing his agency’s budget for the coming year, seeing construction begin for the new veterans’ home in Lebanon and completion of a community center in The Dalles.” He said, “A lot of loose ends got tied up and I thought, OK, I’ve been doing this a long time. … I’ve had a blessed career.” His replacement will be named by Gov. John Kitzhaber and “must be affirmed by the Veterans Affairs Advisory Committee.” Salem (OR) Statesman Journal Announcement of Willis’ planned retirement, noting that “one of the most notable” aspects of his tenure “was improving funding for the Oregon Veterans’ Home. He also pushed for veteran health care funding under the Federal VA system and worked to increase financing limits on veterans’ home loans.”
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