The Intersect
June. 7, 2011

Officials suggest new role for more capable Reserve force
U.S. Department of Defense
Capabilities gained from a decade of combat have transformed military Reserve Components into a full-spectrum operational force that should be integrated into the active fighting force, a defense official said. Paul Patrick, deputy assistant secretary of defense for reserve affairs for readiness training and mobilization, briefed an audience here on the Comprehensive Review of the Future Role of the Reserve Component, approved by Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates.More

Gates says Guard, Reserve roles need examining
U.S. Department of Defense
The Defense Department is taking a look at the roles of the National Guard and Reserve Components, Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates said. Gates spoke to the men and women of Task Force Currahee, a unit built around the 101st Airborne Division's 4th Brigade, and based in Paktika province. The secretary thanked the soldiers for their service during a town hall meeting and took questions.More

May jobs report shows market worsening for vets
Navy Times
May employment numbers from the Labor Department show little improvement in the job market, especially for veterans. Overall, the report shows the national unemployment rate is 9.1 percent, with little change in the last month because the economy created only 54,000 net jobs in May. The May report, shows a worsening job market for veterans.More

Guard, Reserve employers earn top Defense Department honor
U.S. Department of Defense
Fifteen employers have been chosen to receive the 2011 Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award in recognition of the support they provide to their employees who serve in the National Guard and Reserve. Officials at Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve, a Defense Department agency, announced the 15 recipients of the department's highest recognition for employers, noting that they stood out from a field of 4,049 nominations submitted by Guard and Reserve service members or their families.More

Lawmaker: Find 400,000 jobs for vets in 2 years
Army Times
The chairman of the House Veterans' Affairs Committee announced an ambitious goal of finding jobs for 400,000 veterans within two years, a move that would reduce the unemployment rate for veterans of all generations from 7.7 percent today to about 4.5 percent. To do this, Rep. Jeff Miller, R-Fla., said he doesn't want to create new programs or spend additional money. Instead, he wants to concentrate on making sure existing public and private programs are working efficiently.More

Blast-related brain injuries could cause unique damage
USA Today
Mild brain injuries from an explosion — one of the most common wounds suffered by troops in Afghanistan — appear to be different and more extensive than mild brain injuries that result from playing sports, according to a study in The New England Journal of Medicine. The findings support a growing theory that brain injury from a blast is so unique that it may even be a newly uncovered disease, scientists say.More

Revised US fleet plan extends some ships to 70 years
Defense News
The U.S. Navy's two command ships, each about 40 years old, are busy vessels. The Japan-based Blue Ridge, flagship of the U.S. Seventh Fleet, recently completed a cruise around the Far East and supported relief operations in Japan. The Mount Whitney, flagship of the Sixth Fleet in the Mediterranean, served as a headquarters ship for the initial coalition strikes in March against Libya.More

GAO: Fewer civilian providers accepting Tricare
Navy Times
A new congressional report confirms what Tricare beneficiaries already know: It is getting harder to find private health care providers who accept the military's health insurance. The 63-page report, released by the Government Accountability Office, says a combination of low reimbursement rates, concern about possible cuts in federal health programs and shortages of civilian providers have made it more difficult to Tricare beneficiaries to find civilian providers.More

Chapman praises state lawmakers for passage of military voting bill
Shelby County Reporter
Alabama Sec. of State Beth Chapman on June 1 praised the Alabama House of Representatives for passing the final version of a bill that would make it easier for military and overseas voters to vote while serving abroad. Senate Bill 55, created by Chapman and Sen. Gerald Dial, R-Lineville, was approved with a 97-0 vote and now goes to Gov. Robert Bentley for approval.More

The challenging feats of warriors
Pinellas Park Bacon
Over six strenuous days soldiers representing reserve medical units from across the country pushed the limits of their endurance, strength and knowledge to compete for the distinction of "best warrior" of the U.S. Army Reserve Medical Command. They jumped from a helicopter and swam 1,000 meters back to shore. They marched six miles before dawn in full gear and shot at moving targets. They were timed through an obstacle course and fought each other in the Army's style of mixed martial arts.More

Gates says US support troops should go home first
Military.com
A soon-to-begin U.S. troop withdrawal from Afghanistan should leave combat power intact as long as possible to press an anti-Taliban offensive, U.S. Defense Sec. Robert Gates. He said support troops should go first. On his final trip to assess a war in its 10th year, Gates told Soldiers the endgame in Afghanistan is more likely to turn out well if the drawdown promised by President Obama begins with an emphasis on removing non-combat forces rather than the infantry and others still trying to cement recent gains against a resilient Taliban.More

National Guard (in federal status) and Reserve activated as of May 31
U.S. Department of Defense
This week the Navy announced a decrease in activated reservists, while the Army, Marine Corps and Air Force announced an increase. The Coast Guard announced no change. The net collective result is 872 more reservists activated than last week. At any given time, services may activate some units and individuals while deactivating others, making it possible for these figures to either increase or decrease.More