The Intersect
Nov. 16, 2010

Lawmaker fears 'chasm' between troops and public
The Washington Post
Rep. Ike Skelton, the outgoing chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, said that he fears the development of "a chasm" between U.S. military troops and the rest of the citizenry. For the 24th straight year, Skelton, D-Mo., was the keynote speaker at the Veterans Day ROTC breakfast at Lincoln University, in Pennsylvania. It was his first public event since Republican Vicky Hartzler defeated him in the recent mid-term election.More

Rep. McKeon: Defense authorization bill unlikely to pass in lame-duck session
The Hill
The incoming Republican chairman of the House Armed Services Committee might be faced with the weighty task of overseeing passage of the 2011 defense authorization bill early next year. Rep. Buck McKeon, the leading Republican on the military affairs panel and probable new chairman, said that it's not likely Congress will pass the massive defense policy bill by year's end. The bill has been mired in the debate over repealing the ban on openly gay people serving in the military. Congress is also hampered by a compressed post-election work schedule.More

Hunter named National Guard and Reserve components caucus co-chair
Congressman Duncan Hunter
Congressman Steve Buyer, R-Ind., announced that Congressman Duncan Hunter will serve as co-chair of the National Guard and Reserve Components Caucus. Buyer served as co-chair since the Caucus was started 18 years ago. "It's an honor to serve as the next co-chair of the National Guard and Reserve Caucus," said Hunter, a member of the House Armed Services Committee. "Those who serve our nation in the Guard and Reserve capacity are making enormous contributions to the combat mission overseas. I hope to incorporate many of my own experiences serving in both Iraq and Afghanistan when advocating for the issues that are most important to the men and women of the Guard and Reserve, as well as their families.More

Gen. Chiarelli: 'We just don't know'
If there's a member of the brass who's taken mental-health issues in the military head on, it's four-star Gen. Peter Chiarelli. On his second deployment to Iraq, he served as commander of all coalition ground forces. Since then, he's gone before Congress to explain the Army's work on the invisible wounds of war and created a suicide-prevention task force. When word got out that Newsweek was investigating the science of battlefield concussions, his office lined up an interview with articles editor Andrew Bast.More

Veterans Day highlights Veterans Affairs claims backlog
Amid a throng assembled at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, Harold Wiley presses his hand against the name of "Anthony Wayne Manstis" etched into black granite — killed in a helicopter shot down seven days before his 22nd birthday in 1970. "Tony Manstis was my roommate in Vietnam," Wiley says. "I think about him a lot."More

US deficit panel proposes steep military cuts
Defense News
Promising to "cut spending we simply can't afford, wherever we find it," the co-chairmen of a U.S. presidential commission propose to:

■ Reduce military weapon buying by 15 percent.
■ Cut spending on weapon research by 10 percent.
■ Close a third of U.S. military bases overseas.
■ Freeze military pay.More

Groups hope Pentagon study on gays sways Congress
The Washington Post
Gay rights advocates said they hoped Congress will be moved to repeal the law known as "don't ask, don't tell" after a Pentagon study found it could be done with little harm to the military. The Senate is expected to vote soon on ending the 17-year-old legislation barring gays from serving openly in the armed forces. Several senators, including Olympia Snowe, R-Maine, and Jim Webb, D-Va., have said they wanted to see the study's findings before deciding how to vote.More

Retired soldiers heed call to return to duty in Iraq, Afghanistan
After 33 years in a U.S. Army uniform, Col. D. Ladd Pattillo of Austin, Texas, retired from the reserves. It was August 2000, and he was 53 years old. Four years later, around Christmas, he answered a life-altering phone call. His country needed him again, this time in Iraq. With the help of a personal trainer, he spent seven months toughening up before deployment. Wearing 50 pounds of body armor isn't easy on anyone, let alone someone his age.More

National Guard Bureau chief says work will continue
Knoxville News Sentinel
The drawdown in Iraq brought some Tennessee National Guard units home early, but that doesn't mean the Guard's mission will slow down, the nation's top Guardsman said. "We have become transformed from a strategic resource to an operational resource," said Gen. Craig McKinley, chief of the National Guard Bureau, just before he took the podium at the East Tennessee Military Affairs Council's 28th annual Veterans Day ceremony. "The National Guard is ready to continue serving. The president will give us his guidance, but the Guard's always ready to respond."More

National Guard (In Federal Status) and Reserve Activated as of Nov. 9, 2010
U.S. Department of Defense
This week the Army, Navy and Air Force announced a decrease in activated reservists, while the Marine Corps and Coast Guard announced an increase. The net collective result is 392 fewer 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