Entries in Marine Corps (5)


Marines to Enlist Fewer Recruits, Limit Number of Reenlistments

Creatas/Thinkstock(HAVELOCK, N.C.) -- With economic hard times meaning big Pentagon budget cuts, the Marines are planning a gradual reduction of some troops from the current 202,000 to approximately 186, 000, after the planned withdrawal from Afghanistan.

Gen. James Amos, the commandant of the Marine Corps, outlined some of what the plan will entail Wednesday to soldiers at Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point in North Carolina.

As force levels are pared down overseas, Amos said that the Marines will enlist fewer recruits.

In an announcement that undoubtedly upset current Marines, Amos also acknowledged that not everyone who wants to reenlist will be accepted.

Because of this policy change, the Marine commandant said that the service can only bring back the very best of current Marines.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


US Army Waiting List Swells to Near Record Levels

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Young Americans looking to join the armed forces may have to wait to serve.

The combination of lower recruitment target numbers, a weak economy and the implementation of the GI bill has made waiting lists, officially known as the Delayed Entry Pool, longer than they have been in recent years.

The Marine Corps, which has traditionally had a smaller recruiting base, has fulfilled more than 65 percent of its target for fiscal year 2011.  The Army entered the new recruiting year in October having fulfilled 50 percent, or half its targeting goals for next year.

The number is a near record for the Army.  The last time in recent decades the waiting list was so long was in 1996, when the Delayed Entry Pool was at 42.9 percent at the start of the fiscal year.

A number of factors are behind the surging numbers.  The military has cut back recruitment goals across the board.  The Army target, for example, for the fiscal year 2011 is 67,000, lower than 74,500 in 2010 and well below the average recruitment goal of 80,000 between 2005 and 2008.

The economy also plays a crucial part.  Unemployment remains relatively high at 9.8 percent, the same level as last year, and among 18-to-24-year-olds -- the Pentagon's prime recruiting age -- it's even higher.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio


A Father's Letter: Semper Fi

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- No funeral at Arlington National Cemetery is ordinary.  Each one marks the passing of an American hero who gave his or her life for their country and who leaves a family with a gaping hole.  But some carry a symbolic significance that others do not. 

On Nov. 22, one such funeral will be held.  Twenty-nine-year-old Marine Robert Michael Kelly will be buried that day, leaving a grieving wife, siblings, parents, friends and fellow servicemembers.  His father will be among them.  He is Lt. Gen. John Kelly, a three-star Marine General with another son serving with the corps.  Lt. Gen. Kelly is the highest ranking officer to lose a child in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.  He sent out a powerful letter after his son's death.

In the letter, Kelly talked proudly, but sadly, of his son.

"He went quickly and thank God he did not suffer.  In combat that is as good as it gets, and we are thankful.  We are a broken hearted - but proud family.  He was a wonderful and precious boy living a meaningful life.  He was in exactly the place he wanted to be, doing exactly what he wanted to do, surrounded by the best men on this earth."

The young marine was posthumously promoted to 1st Lieutenant after his death on Nov. 9.

Lt. Gen. Kelly closed the letter asking people to save most of their prayers, not for his beloved son, but for those still in harm's way, facing danger for their country.  In closing, he wrote "The pain is unimaginable" and thanked his supporters, ending with the Marine Corps motto, "Semper Fi."  Always faithful.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio


DOD Announces Fort Hood Reviews, Move Toward Increased Security

Photo Courtesy of Getty Images(ARLINGTON, Va.) – The U.S. Department of Defense has announced the release of reports from U.S. military branches that reflect how those entities implemented new procedures to improve safety following the Fort Hood shootings.

The Army, Air Force, Marine Corps and Navy addressed policies and procedures recommended by a DOD Independent Review Panel that followed the November 2009 breach.

“This tragedy caused us to take a hard look at ourselves over the last year," said Secretary of the Army John McHugh. “We are committed to ensuring the men and women and their families, who step forward and serve in these very challenging times, can rely upon us to take care of them in every way possible.”

The Army, along with other branches, announced several changes, such as the implementation of the Threat Awareness and Reporting Program that is meant to help emphasis soldier awareness in an effort to detect inside threats.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio


Tests Finds All Three Military Shootings in DC Area Are Linked

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(QUANTICO, Va.) -- Ballistics testing has linked the shooting at an empty Marine recruiting station to two other shooting incidents at military-related facilities in the Washington, D.C. area.

Laboratory tests conducted by the FBI found that the overnight shooting at a vacant Marine Corps recruiting station in Chantilly, Virginia on Oct. 26 involved the same weapon used at last week's shootings at the Pentagon and the National Museum of the Marine Corps.

The shooting at the Marine museum took place overnight on Oct. 17, and two days later, on Oct. 19, the Pentagon was fired upon around 5:00 a.m.

The FBI and law enforcement officials say it is unclear whether these incidents are more than vandalism by gun.  In each case, the shooter fired in the early morning hours, which is generally when fewer people are around.  The shots in all three shootings were fired into vacant parts of the buildings, resulting in no injuries.

Law enforcement agencies are offering a reward of up to $1,000 for anyone with information leading to an arrest.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

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