military

The U.S. Army has reinstated more than 30 recruits it had forcibly discharged from a program created to fill high-demand positions throughout the military in exchange for a fast track to citizenship, according to documents filed in federal court on Monday.

The Trump administration is taking aim at a law designed to protect military service members from getting cheated by shady lending practices.

NPR has obtained documents that show the White House is proposing changes that critics say would leave service members vulnerable to getting ripped off when they buy cars. Separately, the administration is taking broader steps to roll back enforcement of the Military Lending Act.

The U.S. Army has halted the process of discharging immigrants who enlisted under a program designed to recruit people with critically needed skills.

Reports emerged in July that the Pentagon had canceled the enlistment contracts of dozens of these recruits.

"Effective immediately, you will suspend processing of all involuntary separation actions," says the memo from Marshall Williams, the acting assistant secretary of the Army for manpower and reserve affairs.

The program is known as Military Accessions Vital to the National Interest.

Vice President Pence described the White House's plans for a Space Force, a sixth branch of the U.S. military that would be responsible for operations in outer space, in a speech on Thursday.

The White House says that the Space Force will be created by 2020. The change, which would require approval from Congress, would be a dramatic change in the organization of the Defense Department.

"We must have American dominance in space, and so we will," Pence said in his speech at the Pentagon.

Nick Evans / WOSU

The evening crowd slowly wanders in at American Legion post 532 in Southwest Columbus. It’s a Tuesday, when they do a weekly taco dinner.

Post Commander Bernie Brogan served in the Army as a Military Policeman during the Vietnam era. He says all the barstools will be gone within an hour.

Infinite Impact

The Veterans Memorial and Museum has been in development in downtown Columbus since 2015, but last week it added an adjective: It's now the National Veterans Memorial and Museum.

Aerial view of the National Museum of the United States Air Force on Wright Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton.
U.S. Air Force

A statewide committee that’s been looking at military base realignment during the past year has made some recommendations.

Updated at 6:10 a.m. ET

President Trump on Tuesday signed an executive order to keep open the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay, after pledging during the campaign to "load it up with some bad dudes."

Ohio National Guard

Ohio lawmakers are presenting a united front in efforts to get a missile defense base located at Camp Ravenna in Northeast Ohio.

President Trump has signed into law a bill that will support jobs and research functions at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton. The “National Defense Authorization Act” signed by the president contained several bipartisan amendments introduced by U.S. Senators Sherrod Brown and Rob Portman.

Updated at 10:30 p.m. ET

Following a federal court ruling, the Pentagon has confirmed it will allow openly transgender individuals to enlist in the military beginning Jan. 1. The Trump administration had resisted that deadline in court, seeking to have its ban on new transgender troops reinstated — but on Monday, Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly upheld an earlier decision to temporarily block President Trump's ban.

"The Defense Department is starting the first agency-wide financial audit in its history," the Pentagon's news service says, announcing that it's undertaking an immense task that has been sought, promised and delayed for years.

Of the tally that is starting this week, chief Pentagon spokesperson Dana W. White said, "It demonstrates our commitment to fiscal responsibility and maximizing the value of every taxpayer dollar that is entrusted to us."

Esther Honig, WOSU News

While trying to choke back tears, former Army Sergeant James Powers recalled a tough transition from the military to civilian life.

Defense Secretary Jim Mattis is leaving an Obama-era policy on transgender military service members largely intact, saying he needs input from an expert panel to determine the best way to implement President Trump's ban that would keep transgender people from serving in the U.S. military.

Trump barred transgender would-be recruits from signing up, but he gave Mattis discretion to decide the status of transgender people who are already serving.

Human rights groups filed two federal lawsuits Monday against President Trump and other top members of his administration, alleging that a ban against transgender people serving in the military is unconstitutional.

Plaintiffs include both transgender people who are currently serving in the military and transgender people who wish to serve but are no longer able to because of the ban.

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