News RecapA quick review of the major military related headlines from the last week:
Marines attending the Basic Reconnaissance Course at Naval Amphibious Base Coronado, California.
Photo Credit: Marine Corps, Lance Cpl. Andrew Cortez.
- The Marine Corps announced that earlier this month, Lance Corporal Alexa Bartha became the first woman to graduate from the Basic Reconnaissance Course and earn the elite 0321 MOS: Reconnaissance Marine. Semper Fi, Devil Dog.
- President Donald Trump issued three controversial pardons to military personnel convicted or accused of war crimes over the weekend: Army Second Lieutenant Clint Lorance, whose conviction came after many of his own men testified against him, was released after nine years at Fort Leavenworth. The February 2020 trial of Green Beret Major Matthew Golsetyn, who admitted to killing a suspected Taliban bombmaker on Fox News, will not go forward. And Navy Chief Special Warfare Operator Eddie Gallagher, whose high-profile trial ended with his conviction of posing with a dead body for photographs, will be allowed to retire at his current rank.
- Additionally, President Trump attempted to overrule (via tweet) the Navy’s decision to send Gallagher to a board that would decide whether or not to strip him of his Trident Pin, thereby kicking him out of the SEALs.
Rear Admiral Collin Green, Commander of Naval Special Warfare Command, who decided to order the review board for Gallagher's Trident, as well as three officers in Gallagher's chain of command.
Photo Credit: U.S. Navy, Laura Lakeway.
- The United States suspended a major joint military exercise with South Korean forces as a show of good faith to North Korea in hopes that it would help reopen nuclear talks. But North Korea has said it’s not enough.
- The exchange of American Kevin King and Australian Timothy Weeks for three Taliban prisoners that was delayed last week finally went through.
- Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Vindman, an active duty Army officer on the National Security Council who previously testified in closed impeachment hearings, made his public appearance in front of the House Intelligence Committee. Wearing his dress uniform, Vindman described the phone call at issue between President Trump and President Zelenskiy of the Ukraine as “inappropriate.”
- The Pentagon announced that the number of bases contaminated with carcinogenic chemicals from firefighting foam will probably continue to rise. As of now, 401 installations are contaminated.
- Russian returned three Ukranian Navy vessels they captured last November albeit without lights, vital engine parts, or any of the toilets.
The Ukranian patrol boat Nikopol, one of the now-toiletless vessels, is towed into port.
In Case You Missed It
This Week in Military History: It takes a brave person to face down a legendary pirate who would practically light his own head on fire to scare his enemies in combat. But Lieutenant Robert Maynard of the Royal Navy managed to tangle with Blackbeard and win.
Brave or crazy, at any rate.
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