It’s really a bummer for any person to lose tenure when one takes a break from work. Even the Navy sees this as a missed opportunity, and that’s why it has formulated a new program to address this.

Officials announced last August 28 the formation of the Career Intermission Pilot Program (CIPP), a provision that allows Navy sailors to take a break from official active duty without being permanently separated from the unit. The program gives service personnel the opportunity to leave from duty to focus on personal or professional development, as reported in Navy.mil.

Sailors who enlist in the novel program are given this one-time chance to be listed to the Individual Ready Reserve (IRR) for up to three years. After the IRR duration, the personnel will be taken back to active duty seamlessly and without loss of tenure. While in IRR, sailors can still enjoy full medical and dental coverage for them and their dependents. They will also be given stipends every month.

Navy officials look at the program as a benefit not only for the sailors but also for the fleet in general. The Navy sees the value of personnel skills and experience, hence the creation of the program. In the past, sailors who decide to take a break from active duty will have no other choice but to file for permanent separation, thereby losing the potential of the Navy to gain from the soldier’s extensive know-how.

The CIPP has been availed by 22 sailors and 25 officers, and is intended to be offered until the year 2015.

[ Photo credit: US Navy ]

The heroic efforts of the US Military in Afghanistan will never be forgotten, thanks to ceremonies that commemorate our fallen soldiers.

Two of the casualties of the Benghazi terrorist attack were remembered by the US Navy and Marines in Clinton, Ohio last August 28. Navy SEALs Tyrone Woods and Glen Doherty were honored with a marker planted on the grounds of Ohio Veterans Memorial Park.

The brainchild behind this memorial was Marine veteran Don Maurer, who served in the Vietnam War. Now 66 years old, Maurer said that it was unfortunate for the two fallen soldiers to not have received distinction and recognition while they were still alive. With the markers now in place, Maurer feels bittersweet. “It brings tears to my eyes looking at it,” Maurer said in a news release.

The markers measure 8×16 inches and are made of black granite with the names of Woods and Doherty inscribed. The placing of the markers was witnessed by members of the Navy and Marines, together with veterans.

The memorial park in Clinton houses a wall of markers containing names of Ohioans who were killed while on duty. Names include those who served during the Vietnam War, as well as casualties of Afghanistan and Iraq. While Woods was from Oregon and Doherty from Massachusetts, Army veteran Ray Arnold, also a serviceman during the Vietnam conflict, said, “we felt even though those boys weren’t from Ohio they need to be honored.”

[ Photo credit: ohio.com ]

Buzz about sexual harassment in the military may have died down in recent weeks, but it has not stopped the process of providing justice to the victims.

Court proceedings for the sexual assault case against three players of US Naval Academy Football will run its course starting today, August 27. Cmdr. John Schofield, spokesperson for the academy, said that the hearing will be held at the Washington Navy Yard.

Set to start at 8:00 AM, the hearing aims to verify the possibility of the accused to be subjected to a court martial. The proceedings are expected to last for three days, according to a news source.

The three accused personalities, whose identities have not yet been revealed by the Navy, were charged with sexual assault against a female midshipman. The crime was allegedly committed in April 2012, when the victim found herself drunk and with bruises all over her body. Later she discovered that the three football players had sex with her while they were intoxicated.

Should the footballers be found guilty, they will not only be dishonorably discharged from service, but also be imprisoned from five years to life.

This case is one of the first widely-publicized cases of sexual assault in the Navy in recent years. It is expected that the public will place a close watch on the case.

Just months after Steven Spielberg accepted the directorial duties for the Navy SEALs film “American Sniper”, The Wrap reported that the critically-acclaimed director has backed out of the project and will be replaced by Clint Eastwood.

Last May, Spielberg confirmed his plans to direct the biopic of Navy SEAL sniper Chris Kyle, who wrote the New York Times bestseller “American Sniper: The Autobiography of the Most Lethal Sniper in U.S. Military History”. Originally produced by Warner Bros. and Dreamworks, the film might experience a slight delay due to the sudden pullout.

According to reports, the reason behind Spielberg’s withdrawal is budget-related. Expectedly, Dreamworks — which Spielberg co-founded — also pulled out of the film project.

Fortunately for the studio behind “Sniper”, Eastwood is interested to direct the Navy SEAL biopic. It’s interesting to note that his earlier films “Flags of Our Fathers” and the Oscar Best Picture nominee “Letters From Iwo Jima” delved on topics about war. Should Eastwood continue with the “Sniper” movie, this will be his first war film after eight years.

Eastwood is currently working on another film project entitled “Jersey Boys” also for Warner Bros., so he’ll be quite busy in the coming months.

[ Photo credit: Fanny Bouton via Flickr ]

The military’s largest document leak case has just been concluded with a heavy sentence.

Army Private Bradley Manning was slapped with a 35-year imprisonment sentence for his direct involvement in releasing highly sensitive military documents to WikiLeaks. Military judge Col. Denise Lind issued the verdict, according to Navy Times.

Manning was charged last July with violations of the Espionage Act, among other offenses. However, he was acquitted of “aiding the enemy” — the most serious charge on a military personnel — thereby sparing him from life imprisonment.

Hours after the announcement of Manning’s sentence, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange released a statement criticizing the attack of the US government on the case. “While the defense should be proud of their tactical victory, it should be remembered that Mr Manning’s trial and conviction is an affront to basic concepts of Western justice,” Assange said. “Mr Manning’s treatment has been intended to send a signal to people of conscience in the US government who might seek to bring wrongdoing to light. This strategy has spectacularly backfired, as recent months have proven. Instead, the Obama administration is demonstrating that there is no place in its system for people of conscience and principle. As a result, there will be a thousand more Bradley Mannings,” he added futher.

Manning was deployed to Iraq in 2009, and released more than 700,000 documents to WikiLeaks a few months after. Some of the documents include reports on Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts, as well as classified files of the State Department. Manning was arrested and imprisoned in 2010.

The F-35B Lightning II is a joint aircraft project of the US Navy, Marine Corps and Air Force. It’s touted as one of the most advanced jets in the fleet, boasting of a combination of excellent fighting capabilities and a developed stealth mode.

August 12 saw the successful touchdown of two F-35B Lightning II jets on USS Wasp, as part of the second test phase for the breakthrough aircraft. Dubbed as Development Testing II (DT-II), the exercise aims to assess the F-35B’s ability to perform key operations aboard amphibious assault ships.

Test & Evaluation F-35 Naval Variants director Capt. Erik Etz touted the significance of the strike jet program. “We’re providing an envelope that will be utilized by Marine Corps and U.K. aviators when they go out and employ the aircraft in a real environment,” Etz shared in a news item. “The testing we’re doing here will provide a significant amount of data so we can clear the envelope and clear the aircraft to operate day and night,” he added.

The F-35B jets are scheduled for initial operations by 2015 through the US Marine Corps.

DT-II involved a milestone in the program’s testing stages, as Lt. Col. C.R. Clift successfully launched the unit from the USS Wasp flight deck, and landed the aircraft on the same ship. “Throughout the night we conducted eight successful launches and landings, so we’re on target and quickly gaining experience with F-35B night operations at sea,” Clift said.

[ Photo credit: US Navy ]