US military

December 29, 2021

DOD Reforms Target the Military’s Missing Weapons Problem

The Department of Defense introduced new measures to its process of keeping track of its guns and explosives to combat a problem with lost or stolen military weapons making their way onto the streets of America.

An Associated Press investigation found that the U.S. military has a problem with missing weapons, including assault rifles, machine guns, handguns, armor-piercing grenades, artillery shells, mortars, grenade launchers, and plastic explosives.

Under the National Defense Authorization Act, the Pentagon will now have to provide Congress with an annual report on weapons loss and security. AP’s investigation found that military officials neglected to advise lawmakers of their ongoing AWOL weapons problem.

“Clearly the accountability on this issue was stopping at too low of a level,” said Rep. Jason Crow (D-CO), a U.S. Army veteran and member of the House Armed Services Committee who supported the reforms.

Under the new requirements, “if there are hundreds of missing weapons in that report, members of Congress are going to see it and they are going to be asked about it publicly and held accountable for it,” Crow said.

The U.S. Army significantly altered how its units report missing, lost, or stolen weapons. The new system utilizes Vantage software, giving commanders a real-time look at any AWOL weapons.

The National Defense Authorization Act also requires the Secretary of Defense to report confirmed thefts or recoveries of weapons to the FBI’s National Crime Information Center.

According to AP, the other branches are implementing reforms as well.

“The Marine Corps said it is developing internal procedures for improved oversight through increased inspections of units. The Navy required units to notify a higher headquarters when reporting weapons losses. The Air Force has replaced its munitions property book system with a commercial application,” the outlet said.


New reforms target US military’s missing weapons problem

October 3, 2021

Military suicide rate on the rise

The rate of suicides in the US military spiked 15 percent last year, new data shows.

Last year saw 580 suicides compared to 504 the previous year. The Army National Guard experienced the most significant increase by about 35 percent.

“The findings are troubling,” Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said. “Suicide rates among our service members and military families are still too high, and the trends are not going in the right direction.”

John Kirby, the Pentagon’s press secretary, said that the Defense Department could not fully explain the dramatic increase.

“It’s difficult to denote specific causality with suicide on an individual basis, let alone on an institutional basis,” Kirby said. “And I think that’s why it’s so difficult for us to speak to it with any specificity, except to say we take this very, very seriously.”


Military suicides rise 15% as senior leaders call for action

September 1, 2021

Father of Marine killed in Kabul terror attack says meeting with Biden ‘didn’t go well’

Mark Schmitz, the father of a marine killed in the terror attack in Kabul last week, staunchly criticized his meeting with President Biden, saying that it “didn’t go well.”

“Well, initially, I wasn’t going to meet with him, but then I felt I owed it to my son to at least have some words with him about how I felt, and it didn’t go well,” Schmitz told Sean Hannity of Fox News.

Marine Lance Cpl. Jared Schmitz, Schmitz’s 20-year-old son, was one of the 13 service members killed by a suicide bomber at the Kabul airport.

Schmitz added that Biden “talked a bit more about his own son than he did my son, and that didn’t sit well with me,” referring to Biden’s late son Beau, who died of brain cancer in 2015.

“I actually leaned into my son’s mother’s ear, and I said ‘I swear to God if he checks his watch one more time…’ and [that] was probably only four times in,” Schmitz said. “I couldn’t look at him anymore after that, considering, especially, the time and why we were there. I found it to be the most disrespectful thing I’d ever seen.”


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