Military

A photo of David Englert with his son Logan
David Englert

Charlotte resident David Englert served 21 years in the military, first in the Marines, then in the Air Force. 

Just before his 18-year-old son Logan left for college, the two sat down to talk about their life together as a military family.

Retired Four-Star Army Gen. Lloyd Austin will be the first Black U.S. secretary of defense. Host Leoneda Inge talks about what this historic appointment might mean for troops and veterans of color with David Chrisinger, an expert on white supremacy in the military, and Mary Tobin of the West Point Women's alumni association who mentors young Black officers.


At a drive-through vaccination site in Elizabeth City, N.C., Tech Sgt. Steven Simpson of the North Carolina National Guard administers a COVID-19 vaccination as Maj. Hollis Guenther gives the next recipient instructions about the vaccine.
Jay Price / WUNC

North Carolina is among more than a dozen states that have called up the National Guard to help at vaccination sites, and Joe Biden may mobilize Guard units nationally.


NC Military Voices: Tarsha Burroughs

Jan 15, 2021
A photo of Tarsha Burroughs
Tarsha Burroughs

Raleigh resident and Purple Heart veteran Tarsha Burroughs decided to join the Army Reserves after studying education. She was in the middle of teaching a high school math class when she got the call to prepare for deployment.

A VA Inspector General's report has found that the agency improperly denied benefits to thousands of veterans who couldn't see a doctor during the pandemic.

A photo of Ted and Brittany Corcoran
Ted Corcoran

When Ted Corcoran joined the Army in 2000, he needed a steady job and a place to live.  

"I wish I had a noble reason for joining the military, but in reality, I was very poor, and I didn't have a whole lot of options," Corcoran said.

He trained to be a medic so he would have a skill set that he could immediately put to use in the civilian world. As he neared the end of his stint in the Army, he was working as an EMT and preparing to transition out of the reserves. He never expected to be sent to Iraq.

But in 2005, he got a letter in the mail telling him to prepare for deployment."It was a real simple choice, it was show up a Fort Jackson, or there will be a warrant put out for your arrest for desertion," Corcoran said.At first, he thought he'd just keep his head down and focus on the mission, but as his work roles changed during his deployment, his world view changed as well.  


An image of a sign for Fort Bragg
Fish Cop / Public Domain

Updated at 5:30 p.m.

The Army is investigating a psychological operations officer who led a group of people from North Carolina to the rally in Washington that led up to the deadly riot in the U.S. Capitol by supporters of President Donald Trump.

Months of physical distancing and pandemic anxiety has been especially tough on veterans who were already dealing with post-traumatic stress disorder and other combat-related injuries.

Some of Los Angeles County's 3900 homeless veterans had been lined up to move into the complex under construction. After the fire, many will remain on the streets.

Native Americans join the military at a high rate, but some struggle with the military's role in displacing and subjugating Indigenous people throughout the nation's history.

The National Mall in Washington, D.C. is generally quiet these days, as the resurgent COVID-19 pandemic keeps people home and the Smithsonian museums shuttered.

President-elect Joe Biden's administration is poised to effect significant change to U.S. military culture.

The incoming commander-in-chief has announced his nomination for defense secretary: retired, four-star general Lloyd Austin. If confirmed, Austin would become the nation's first Black defense secretary. Biden has also pledged to lift a near-total ban on transgender people serving in the military when he takes office in 2021.

An image of a sign for Fort Bragg
Fish Cop / Public Domain

Officials at the Army’s largest base have identified the two men whose bodies were found in a training area this week.


Burnout is a common problem for family members who care for disabled veterans. And for many of them, the pandemic has made things even harder.

More than 50 Department of Veterans Affairs medical centers are involved in trials to test vaccines and treatments for COVID-19, and the agency is calling on vets to volunteer.

Advocates say the Army is too quick to write off soldiers as deserters when they don't show up for duty. That can delay searches when a service member disappears because of an accident, suicide, or abduction.

President Roosevelt opened all branches of the military to Black troops in 1941, but for African-American service members like Luther Hendricks, racism still was prevalent.

Veterans traditionally are more likely to vote for Republican candidates. But polls suggest their support for President Trump has eroded.

Like many college classes, ROTC training is mostly online because of the pandemic. But some cadets have resumed limited in-person training.

Military personnel have been voting by mail since the Civil War. This year, some polls suggest that troops' political preferences may be changing.

An aircraft carrier in open ocean pictured from the top from left
US Navy

Voting by mail is nothing new for military service members. Deployed worldwide at any of the nearly 800 foreign bases, military personnel are offered some exceptions during the elections. Some vote by fax from a battleship, and many sent their ballots weeks ago, after receiving them earlier than most voters, at least 45 days before the election. 

The 159-year-old military newspaper, which is published by the Department of Defense, has been targeted for elimination by some Pentagon leaders.

U.S. Navy Mess Attendant First Class Doris Miller speaking during his war bond tour stop at the Naval Training Station, Great Lakes, Ill. on Jan. 7, 1943.
U.S. Navy photo courtesy of the National Archives

Henry Kissinger called supercarriers "100,000 tons of diplomacy," and that power has long been reflected in the Navy's conventions for naming them. Most are named for U.S. presidents. The USS John F. Kennedy. The Reagan. The Lincoln.The Navy now is quietly charting a new course.

A supercarrier now on the drawing boards will be christened the USS Doris Miller.

The newly introduced bill would make sexual harassment a crime under military law. The measure is a response to the killing of Fort Hood Army soldier Vanessa Guillen this summer.

A group of VA psychologists across the country have formed race-based stress and trauma support groups for veterans of color.

Battleship North Carolina, Navy, Wilmington, USS
U.S. Navy, 1946

Wilmington, North Carolina is about to become the first World War II Heritage City in the United States.  President Donald Trump is expected to make the formal announcement during a visit to the Port City on Wednesday.

About 300,000 veterans lived to see this year’s 75th anniversary of V-E Day, marking the end of World War II, according to Pew Research.

Fort Bragg
Fort Bragg / creative commons

A paratrooper who is based at Fort Bragg in North Carolina has received a Purple Heart.

The Fayetteville Observer reported Tuesday that Sgt. David Scudder was wounded in Afghanistan last year.

"Top Gun: Maverick" is scheduled for release next year. But perceptions of the military and warfare have changed since the original iconic movie premiered in 1986.

The military issued a "stop movement" order in March in response to the pandemic. While the ban has been loosened, some service members and their families still can't relocate to new bases.

blue and orange light in the sky at night over a metal tower
Antonin Rémond

In 2011, U.S. and Russian leaders signed an updated strategic arms reduction treaty. Unless that agreement, New START, is renewed before February, the two largest nuclear arsenals will be unconstrained for the first time since the height of the Cold War. 

In Annapolis, Md., young men and women in crisp white uniforms and white masks are doing what students here have been doing for 175 years — taking their first steps to becoming officers in the U.S. Navy.

These exercises are a part of the traditional "plebe summer," an intensive crash course that prepares first-year students for the transition to military life. They learn how to salute and march as a unit, along with lots of new lingo: floors are called "decks," toilets are "heads," and the students are "midshipmen."

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