Military

The Army is holding its first nationwide virtual recruiting campaign, after the COVID-19 pandemic forced it to scale back face-to-face interactions and revealed gaps in its digital outreach strategy.

President Donald Trump listens during a meeting with lawmakers on immigration policy in the Cabinet Room of the White House, Tuesday, Jan. 9, 2018, in Washington.
Evan Vucci / AP

They didn't like it when then-candidate Donald Trump criticized John McCain for being captured in combat. They were angrier when Trump, as commander in chief, abandoned Kurdish allies in the Middle East. And they were upset again last month when he threatened to deploy troops against American protesters.

Courtesy U.S. Army

A female soldier is poised to become the first to graduate from the Army’s John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School at Fort Bragg and don the famed Green Beret.

Representative Elise Stefanik of New York, who’s on the House Armed Services Committee, issued a statement saying the woman had met all the qualifications and is expected to graduate July 9th. She congratulated the soon-to-be graduate on Twitter.

The recent Supreme Court decision on LGBTQ job discrimination doesn't directly affect the military's transgender service ban, but people opposed to the ban say it may help their own court fight.

Soldiers gather for a 2019 awards ceremony at Fort Bragg, N.C. The base is one of 10 that Pentagon leaders say they are open to renaming.
Joshua Cowden / U.S. Army

With the call for changing the names of 10 Southern military bases gaining momentum, the question is starting to arise in Washington  and outside of it  what names might replace those of the Confederate generals they now bear?


Even as members of the Guard and Reserve are seeing longer and more frequent deployments, they don't always receive the same retirement, education, and housing benefits as active duty troops.

Soldiers of Indiana National Guard
Sgt. 1st Class Jon Soucy

As protests surged in response to the death of George Floyd at the hands of a former Minneapolis police officer, governors and mayors in more than 20 states deployed the National Guard to control the crowds.

Clifford Shuping feeds his goats outside his home in Rockwell, N.C. A Korean War era veteran, Shuping died of COVID-19 at the N.C. State Veterans Home in Salisbury last month.
Courtesy of Carrie McKinney

Clifford Paul Shuping, who served in the Army during the Korean conflict, passed away from COVID-19 at the State Veterans Home in Salisbury. As part of an effort to honor North Carolina veterans who have died during the pandemic, WUNC spoke with Shuping's family about his life and legacy.

Sarah Blake Morgan / AP

Edward Brown has always found a way to deal with his husband's military deployments in the past, but the most recent one felt different. Instead of an endless parade of family visits and last-minute errands, Brown and Staff Sgt. James Clyde were holed up inside their Fayetteville, North Carolina apartment watching Netflix and making TikTok videos.

When his mandatory two-week quarantine ended last Friday, Clyde made the short drive to Fort Bragg and boarded a plane for a nine-month deployment in the Middle East.

United States Marine Corps

Earlier this month the U.S. Marine Corps ordered the removal of the Confederate flag from Marine installations. 

A National Guard soldier called in to help quell protests in Louisville fatally shot Kentucky restaurant owner David McAtee.

Some members of the National Guard are facing consequences because they refused orders to deploy to major cities during this month's protests.

Like most long-term care facilities, VA nursing homes haven't allowed in-person visitation since early March.

For some veterans, the demonstrations against police violence are a chance to find their voice.

The stones, engraved with swastikas, mark the graves of German POWs who died in the United States during World War II.

Alex Brandon / AP Photo

Active-duty troops brought in to help if needed with the civil unrest in the nation's capitol are beginning to return to their home base, after two days of more peaceful demonstrations in Washington, D.C., senior defense officials told The Associated Press on Wednesday.

In some states, recruiters are reporting an uptick in the number of people who are expressing interest in joining the Guard.

Jay Price / WUNC

As the year began, news was emerging from China about something called a coronavirus. At the same time, nearly 3,000 paratroopers of the 82nd Airborne Division’s 1st Brigade Combat Team left Fort Bragg on a short-notice deployment.

The UCLA study shows broad support among servicemembers for transgender people in the military. But the military still bans transgender people from enlisting.

Military recruiting and training has slowed down because of the pandemic. So the Navy is trying other ways to maintain the size of the force.

Sarah Blake Morgan / AP Photo

Maj. Brian Minietta's eyes are locked down the barrel of a camera lens. He sways gently back and forth in silence, then his gruff voice belts out, in singsong: "A little patience ... yeah, yeah!"

Deployments, job losses, and the Pentagon's "stop movement" order are among the factors contributing to financial stress for troops and their families.

The coronavirus pandemic has brought big changes to one of the defining aspects of military life -- boot camp. But some people question if the changes are adequate to protect trainees.

Lonon faces away from the cemetery while walking away.
Ben McKeown / For WUNC

COVID-19 is changing all aspects of life — including the rituals we associate with death. All funerals have been upended, but veterans have now lost one particularly important ceremony: burial with military honors. 

Ivar Lonon holds two boxes containing the cremated remains of his mother and father at Salisbury National Cemetery in Salisbury, N.C., on Thursday, March 26, 2020.
Ben McKeown / For WUNC

Among all the milestones, the key rituals of life being cancelled or postponed because of the coronavirus pandemic — weddings, baby showers, birthdays — is that iconic last one for military veterans, burial with military honors.

The Irreverent Warriors, seen here holding a 2016 'silkies hike' in Jacksonville, N.C., has been forced to suspend its hikes and hangouts because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Sean Berry / U.S. Marine Corps

The COVID-19 pandemic has forced most of us into social isolation. But for veterans with mental health issues, staying at home runs counter to advice they've long received to get out and interact with the world.

Department of Veterans Affairs medical facilities are now screening patients, employees, and visitors for coronavirus. But some are questioning the agency's responce to the pandemic.

RecruitMilitary

Kathryn Kuziel sees light at the end of the tunnel. With her husband Alex Kuziel getting out of the 82nd Airborne soon, she’s finally be able to look for a job as an IT project manager without worrying that potential employers will pass her over for someone with more staying power.

For military personnel at the U.S.-Mexico border, including National Guard troops, it's an unusual assignment. Many are quartered in hotels, and their families are allowed to visit.

Credit Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Tom Gagnier / U.S. Navy

The U.S. Department of Defense identified two service members killed in Iraq on Sunday as members of a Marine special forces unit based in North Carolina.

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