With the focus lately on Iran, Russia, terrorists and likely U.S. presidential candidates, most print/broadcast media missed eyebrow-raising developments concerning U.S. military that turned up last week, notes Grumpy Editor.
As saber-rattling around the world grows, Army Chief of Staff Gen. Ray Odierno warned, “The unrelenting budget impasse has compelled us to degrade readiness to historically low levels." Only a third of the Army’s brigades are ready, due to budget cuts, he added.
Gen. Odierno explained that the Army’s active force has seen a reduction of 80,000 soldiers while 13 brigade combat teams and three aviation brigades have been slashed and reorganized.
“Even today,” continued the general, “we only have 33 percent of our brigades ready, when our sustained rate should be closer to 70 percent. We are unable to generate readiness for unknown contingencies and under our current budget, Army readiness will at best be flatline over the next three to four years.”
But --- and shocking to former military personnel --- a change in long-frowned-on tattoos is seen as yielding more recruits.
Gen. Odierno said, "Society is changing its view of tattoos and we have to change along with that." Thus, he indicated a revision in the number and size of soldiers' tattoos is coming soon. New rules still will prohibit tattoos on necks and tattoos that are extremist, racist or sexist.
Meanwhile, Defense Secretary Ash Carter, in a speech at his former high school in Abington, Pa., said the U.S. military faces another challenge: signing up recruits with high-tech skills.
Carter pointed out the military has to attract about 250,000 people a year to replace those who leave the service.
Only about a third of the 21 million Americans age 17 to 21 are eligible to join the military, he revealed, and half are unable to pass the entry examination while the remainder are ineligible, unable to meet physical fitness or character standards.
FYI, IN CASE YOUR FAVORITE EDITORS MISSED THESE…
Fuzzy framework? While Iranian leaders and followers were shouting “Death to America,” some Washington politicians and political writers were high fiving over agreement to a "framework" on Tehran’s development of nuclear weapons --- with another meeting (after a long list of prior meetings) slated in June. Meanwhile, FreeBeacon.com reported just hours after that announcement, “Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif accused the Obama administration of misleading the American people and Congress in a fact sheet released following the culmination of negotiations with the Islamic Republic”…A Washington ceremony at the National World War II Memorial marking the 70th anniversary of the battle of Okinawa received scant coverage by media. A wreath was presented to honor the 183,000 allied service members who fought in the 82-day struggle on Okinawa that began April 1, 1945, leaving more than 12,500 U.S. service members killed and 38,000 wounded in combat…Although major media covered President Barack Obama’s remarks at last week’s opening of the Edward M. Kennedy Institute in Boston, all was mum about his participation two hours later in a DNC fundraiser in Bean Town…With cries of drought bouncing around California, Dublin --- with about 50,000 population in the East Bay region of Alameda County --- was moving ahead with construction of a $35 million water park, after 10 years of planning…Circle April 24. That’s Tax Freedom Day --- 114 days into the year, longest yet --- "when the nation as a whole has earned enough money to pay federal, state and local taxes for the year,” said the Tax Foundation…In the “dah” department, guess how a Republican answers this --- Among questions sent to GOP supporters by the Republican National Committee, seeking a yes, no or no opinion response: "Do you think our Republican leaders in Congress should be aggressive in forcing the Obama White House to work with them to create jobs, cut taxes and regulations, end economic uncertainty and make American more competitive?"...Not so “smart”? Exploding smart meters were reported in Stockton, Calif., with a power surge that left more than 5,000 homes without electricity.
Talk about multitasking ---
A Reno radio station is searching for an experienced full-time talk show producer and on-air operator. Does that sound interesting? But wait: skills sought include running the studio, screening calls, scheduling guests, researching topics, locating/editing audio, posting content to social media, updating the website, maintaining podcasts, creating promos and working with the team.
And, oh, yes, handling stress, deadlines --- and “crazy hours.”