Less incentives for troops this year

The fiscal 2012 defense budget taking shape in Congress could have the fewest significant initiatives for military personnel, retirees and their families in a generation. Blame the ballooning debt crisis, which has left Republicans and Democrats alike looking for ways to curb federal spending, including for defense. And credit a long list of pay and […]

Geronimo, bin Laden share similarities

Like every other American, I was stunned last Sunday when I learned that Osama bin Laden was killed by Navy Seals in a military enclave in Pakistan. I felt relieved that we had finally run the admitted mastermind of the Sept. 11th terrorist attacks to ground. I was glad that our military and intelligence members […]

Press release: NM senators want military paid if government shutdown happens

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Tom Udall and Jeff Bingaman joined a bipartisan group of senators today in cosponsoring the Ensuring Pay for Our Military Act of 2011 (S. 724) to assure that military personnel continue to be paid in the event of a government shutdown.

Rating system needs improvement

After a three-year effort by the departments of Defense and Veterans Affairs to improve the process, ill and injured military members still endure a long, complex and often contentious evaluation system when seeking disability ratings and compensation for service-related health conditions. The process has been made more convenient and even shortened by an average six […]

Military update: Debate heating over TRICARE

Senior Defense officials defended their plan to raise TRICARE Prime fees modestly for working-age retirees last week at a hearing of the House armed services subcommittee on military personnel. Next day, representatives of military associations testified. Five of them, including one who spoke on behalf of 13 other groups too, said they could accept what […]

Editorial: Military action in Libya not justified

Now in the fifth day of America’s third war, President Barack Obama has failed to offer Congress or the American people a reasonable and thorough justification for Operation Odyssey Dawn, or a definition of the mission and success in Libya. He sought support from European nations and the Arab League in concert with the United […]

Press release: Local Army Reserve battalion completes training in New Jersey

The 5th Battalion, 3rd Brigade, 100th Division, based in Lubbock, Tx, recently completed its Annual Training at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst on Jan. 31, 2011. Despite subfreezing temperatures, the Battalion successfully trained 87 Soldiers in both Civil Affairs and Military Information Support Operations initial training (MOS-T), as well as the Non-Commissioned Officer Civil Affairs Advanced Leaders […]

Budget delays harming readiness

Defense officials are shaking their heads in disbelief as congressional leaders continue to delay passing a wartime defense appropriations bill for fiscal year 2011, which began last October. With the military spending bill now more than five months overdue, lawmakers last week passed a new stopgap “continuing resolution,” this “CR” to last two weeks, so […]

Military force won’t deter drug cartels

Freedom New Mexico Mexican President Felipe Calderon has promised to send more than 2,500 additional military troops to his northeast border to deal with the growing violence right across from the Rio Grande Valley. Calderon said last month that he would deploy four more battalions, each with about 650 troops, to Mexico’s northeast border. He […]

Proposed fee increases ‘modest’

Lawmakers seeking guidance from military associations on whether to support the new Defense Department plan to raise TRICARE Prime enrollment fees modestly for working-age retirees next year, and then to adjust them annually for inflation, will get mixed signals this time around. Joyce Wessel Raezer, national director of the National Military Family Association, is not […]