military

Updated Jan. 23 at 11 a.m. ET

The Supreme Court has reinstated President Trump's order placing restrictions on transgender persons enlisting and serving in the military by granting a stay of two lower court injunctions that had blocked the president's policy. The justices voted 5-4, reflecting the high court's conservative majority.

A replacement for Defense Secretary Jim Mattis will step in two months earlier than anticipated, President Trump announced Sunday.

Deputy Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan will take over as acting Pentagon chief starting Jan. 1.

"Patrick has a long list of accomplishments while serving as Deputy, & previously Boeing. He will be great!" wrote Trump on Twitter.

Updated at 10:45 p.m. ET

Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, a living Marine Corps legend who made history by securing special permission from Congress to lead the Pentagon, is stepping down after a slow freeze-out by President Trump.

Drift between the two men reached a point at which Mattis objected so strongly to the president's policy choices that he opted to resign rather than go along.

Updated at 1:10 p.m. ET

The U.S. plans to withdraw all of its troops from Syria, a senior Pentagon official tells NPR. About 2,000 U.S. troops are currently in the northeastern part of the country, near the Turkish border.

The decision to remove all troops from Syria was made by the White House late last week and sent to Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis, the official says.

President Trump is expected to extend the deployment of thousands of U.S. troops to the U.S.-Mexico border into January rather than withdrawing the personnel in the middle of December, Pentagon officials tell NPR. The move would further extend the rare deployment of active-duty troops at the Mexico border, rather than just National Guard personnel.

Now that the Democrats have won control of the House of Representatives, the question is this: Will there be more oversight of U.S. military operations?

One Capitol Hill aide told NPR that there likely will be greater focus by Democrats on the way ahead in Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria, where U.S. troops are on the ground, training local forces and going after terrorist enclaves.

Tim Revell / Columbus Dispatch

According to a report from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, the number of homeless veterans in Ohio dropped by 13 percent last year.

Downtown Columbus
Aerial Impact Solutions

Three years in the making, the National Veterans Memorial and Museum opens Saturday on the banks of the Scioto River. 

Jeremy Lock / Wikimedia Commons

The Ohio Air National Guard is celebrating a milestone, naming Col. Rebecca O’Connor as its first female brigadier general. Very few people reach the rank, and it takes congressional approval do so.

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.

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