Editors missed an interesting photo of Bowe Bergdahl, the Army private first class who walked off his post in Afghanistan in June, 2009, and was released by the Taliban in May, 2014, and by then elevated in rank to sergeant, in exchange for five Taliban leaders from the U.S. military prison in Guantanamo Bay, observed Grumpy Editor.
In a Dec. 22 appearance before a military judge at Fort Bragg, N.C., on charges of desertion and misbehavior before the enemy, Bergdahl wore a military dress uniform with 10 “hash marks” on his right sleeve.
What’s unusual about that?
Each service stripe (or hash mark) represents three years of honorable service and is usually worn on the left sleeve. So 10 hash marks indicate 30 years of military service for Bergdahl --- who is 29.
This was clearly shown in photos by Andrew Craft of The Fayetteville Observer and distributed by The Associated Press and Jonathan Drake, Reuters photographer, when Bergdahl was arraigned in an 11-minute proceeding that included about two dozen journalists in attendance.
See several Drake photos of Bergdahl with 10 hash marks on his right sleeve here.
Bergdahl faces another pretrial hearing Jan. 12 before Army Judge Col. Jeffery R. Nance, who will preside over future hearings in the case.
IN CASE YOUR FAVORITE NEWS OUTLETS MISSED THESE...
White House reporters keep trying. Representatives of more than 50 journalism and open government organizations met with Josh Earnest, President Obama’s press secretary, in December, again urging greater openness and transparency from the federal government. Four months earlier, the national organizations sent a follow-up letter (to one sent a month prior) to President Obama urging changes to policies that constrict information flow to the public, including prohibiting journalists from communicating with staff without going through public information offices, requiring government public information officers to vet interview questions, and monitoring interviews between journalists and sources.
The next war involving U.S. troops will be unlike prior battles. As reported in Stars and Stripes, female Marines will be the first members of the U.S. military permitted to wear locks and twists in their hair while in uniform. Meanwhile, the Army announced breast-feeding soldiers will no longer have to use restrooms as milk expressing stations under an updated policy that also ensures their commanders provide mothers adequate lactation breaks.
And in other developments --- While the big news was California Gov. Jerry Brown’s pardoning of 91 “former criminals,” media focused solely on actor Robert Downey Jr., one of those in the group, with substance abuse in his background. Meanwhile, as talk, and stories, on low reservoirs in California due to climate change continued into the new year, the state’s snowpack reached 136 percent --- with more storms on the way --- meaning come water runoff in the spring, those reservoirs will be filled, thus curbing drought talk…Little was mentioned near year end that U.S. taxpayers will be footing 22 percent of the United Nations’ $2.7 billion budget this year…Only media position among the “10 Best Jobs in 2016,” tallied by GoBankingRates.com: public relations specialist.
Publisher makes news on the road…
Rutland, Vt. police said the newly-named publisher of the Rutland Herald and Times Argus was spotted driving drunk and leaving the scene of a crash, adding when arrested, Catherine Nelson had a blood alcohol content more than twice the legal limit to drive.