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December 17, 2014 / 25 Kislev, 5775
 
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Posts Tagged ‘us army’

Senate Approves ‘ISIS Bill’ – US Military Hopes for More

Friday, September 19th, 2014

The U.S. Senate approved the “ISIS bill” 78-22 in a ‘last gasp’ vote Thursday, approving a measure to train and arm 5,000 Syrian rebels one day after members of Congress had done the same.

After the vote, both senators and congress members then fled Capitol Hill, heading for a grueling fall campaign prior to midterm elections.

The bill itself went straight to the desk of President Barack Obama to be signed into law.

But even as the president prepared to approve the measure intended to fight the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) terrorist group, U.S. military leaders are growing more concerned. So is the chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, Rep. Howard P. “Buck” McKeon (R-CA), who was quoted by the Washington Post as saying Obama should listen to his commanders.

“I think it’s very important that he does follow the advice and counsel that he receives, the professional advice of the military. They are the ones best suited to do that,” McKeon said.

But as to Obama’s ban on ‘boots on the ground,’ the lawmaker added, “I realize he’s commander in chief, he has the final say and the final obligation and responsibility. I would also request that he not take options off the table.”

Retired Marine General James Mattis told the House Intelligence Committee in testimony on Thursday that Obama’s ban on combat troops in the Middle East would cripple the military.

“Half-hearted or tentative efforts – or air strikes alone – can backfire on us and actually strengthen our foes’ credibility,” Mattis told American lawmakers. “We may not wish to reassure our enemies in advance that they will not see American boots on the ground.”

The testimony followed a public suggestion two days earlier by the chairman of the Joint chiefs of Staff, U.S. Army General Martin Dempsey, not to rule out the possibility. According to the Post, Dempsey pointed out that Army Gen. Lloyd Austin, commander for the Middle East, had already made the recommendation at least once in connection with a case in Iraq – but was overruled.

The U.S. military has carried out 176 air strikes against ISIS in Iraq since August 8. Obama has hinted the U.S. will also carry out air strikes against the terror group in Syria as well.

But given the clear opposition expressed by Iran and Russia, let alone Syria — and to some extent, the threatening posture maintained by Iran over the issue – it is not at all clear when or even if Obama will actually send American warplanes into Syrian skies.

US School Bars Military Dad – Army Uniform ‘Might Offend’ Students

Wednesday, September 10th, 2014

A security guard at a high school in Rochester Hills, Michigan, stopped a military dad from entering the building this week because he was wearing his Army uniform.

Lt. Col. Sherwood Baker had stopped by Rochester Adams High School to deal with a scheduling issue for his daughter, his wife Rachel Ferhadson told Fox News.

But the guard wouldn’t let him in the door. Baker was told to either take off the uniform or use the phone.

“They told him some kids might not understand, and might be offended,” Ferhadson said. “So they gave him a choice, told him he could phone in to the office or go home and change his clothes.”

Instead, Baker and his wife called the office of the school superintendent – who himself had served as a combat Marine.

A staff member came out to let the Lieutenant Colonel into the school.

The superintendent, Robert Shaner told them he was “appalled” at what had happened. The principal expressed “regret” to the family.

Baker’s wife said the school has “taken steps to correct what happened,” but added that she “doesn’t know what they would have done” if her husband had not been allowed into the school.

Shaner, meanwhile, released a statement to Fox 2 in Detroit, saying, “The district has apologized for any perception that individuals in uniform are not welcome in the school. The district does not have a policy excluding individuals in uniform and will be working with administration and the firm that handles our security to make sure district policies are understood and communicated accurately.”

Haredi Rabbi Calls on Youth to Shun IDF Costumes on Purim

Wednesday, February 12th, 2014

The head of a Haredi Orthodox group in Israel called on parents to prevent their children from dressing up as Israeli soldiers for Purim.

Rabbi Mordechai Blau, head of the Guardians of Sanctity and Education, cited tension over the drafting of yeshiva students in offering the warning on Wednesday. Israeli army costumes are popular among young Orthodox boys at Purim time.

“We are at a time of evil decrees, and dressing up as a soldier in this period does not increase happiness, rather it increases sadness,” Blau said, according to the Israel Hayom Hebrew-language daily newspaper. “There are children for whom soldiers are likely to take on a frightening meaning, like taking their older brother away” to the army.

Rather, the rabbi suggested, boys should dress in U.S. Army costumes for next month’s holiday.

Last week Haredi Orthodox demonstrators throughout Israel protested against millions of dollars in cuts to yeshiva funding ordered by Finance Minister Yair Lapid in response to a ruling by the country’s Supreme Court over the Haredi Orthodox yeshiva students’ draft deferrals.

A government committee headed by lawmaker Ayelet Shaked of the Jewish Home Party is working to finish revising a universal draft law that already has passed its first reading in the Knesset. The final bill is expected to be brought for its second and third reading in mid-March.

The leaders of the anti-Zionist Neturei Karta in previous years have urged their followers not to dress up on Purim as soldiers, policemen or rescue workers.

Agudah Presses U.S. Military on Kosher Field Meals

Tuesday, February 4th, 2014

Agudath Israel of America has asked the Pentagon to restore kosher field meals and charged that the Defense Logistics Agency had solicited a bid in April for kosher and halal “meals ready to eat,” but had recast the solicitation last month to include only halal, which adhere to Muslim religious precepts.

“As things stand now, no kosher MREs are being produced and, as previous stock has become depleted, there is essentially nothing currently available for Jewish members of the Armed Forces that meet their religious dietary needs,” Abba Cohen, Agudah’s Washington director, said in a release. “How long this state of affairs will continue is unknown.”

Cohen said he wrote Maj. Gen. Donald Rutherford, the top military chaplain, expressing his “deep concern” but also confidence “that the department will find a way to address the dietary needs of Jewish service personnel” given that the Pentagon is showing “greater interest in broadening religious accommodation” in the military.

The Pentagon announced last month that U.S. troops may accommodate religious beliefs in their garb or grooming, including kippas and beards for Jewish servicemen, as long as it does not frustrate their mission.

The U.S. military introduced kosher MREs in 1999, a result of complaints from Jewish troops during the 1991 Gulf War that such meals were not available.

Pentagon Allows Kippa and Beard If They Don’t Endanger a Mission

Thursday, January 23rd, 2014

The Pentagon made clear in an order that troops may accommodate religious beliefs in their garb or grooming as long as it does not frustrate their mission.

“The new policy states that military departments will accommodate religious requests of service members unless a request would have an adverse effect on military readiness, mission accomplishment, unit cohesion and good order and discipline,” Navy Lt. Cmdr. Nathan J. Christensen, a Pentagon spokesman said Wednesday.

The requests will be decided on a case-by-case basis, Christensen said.

Under the order, Jewish servicemen could be permitted to wear a kippah or a beard.

Among the factors that would influence a decision, a Pentagon statement listed, are “safe and effective operation of weapons,” and health and safety hazards to the personnel wearing the apparel.

 

Israel’s ‘Trophy’ Defense for APCs Passes Tough US Army Test

Tuesday, October 22nd, 2013

Israel’s “Trophy” defense system for General Dynamic’s LAV-III armored personnel has passed tough tests, including live fire under harsh terrain conditions in Canada, Israel Defense reported Tuesday.

The system withstood advanced anti-tank rocket fire, recoilless guns, short range fire and fire from different weapons simultaneously to verify the system’s functionality.

The Trophy system’s success in Israel has been proven on the IDF’s Merkava Mark IV tanks, which were deployed in Gaza during last year’s Pillar of Cloud counter-terrorist operation.

Jewish Veterans Lament Government Shutdown

Wednesday, October 16th, 2013

The national director of the Jewish War Veterans of the USA as well as The Military Coalition, a coalition of 33 leading veterans and military organizations, said that the White House and Congress are financially neglecting veterans and members of the military through the ongoing government shutdown.

Retired Army Col. Herb Rosenbleeth spoke during a Tuesday rally at the National World War II Memorial about the shutdown, which has lasted 15 days and “is eroding military readiness,” he said.

“Veterans are afraid they will not be receiving disability and pension checks, dependents and survivors are afraid they will not receive their benefits,” he said. “Our veterans have served this country; and we need the country to serve our veterans.”

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/jewish-veterans-lament-government-shutdown/2013/10/16/

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