News Extras

President Obama: Giving Thanks to Fallen Heroes on Memorial Day

Source:  HP Digital

In his weekly address to the American people May 25, President Obama commemorated Memorial Day by paying tribute to the men and women in uniform who have given their lives in service to the country The president said America has always risen to meet and overcome its challenges because of their brave sacrifice, and he asked all Americans to honor fallen heroes and to stand with veterans and military families as the nation comes together on Memorial Day weekend.

WEEKLY ADDRESS: Giving Thanks to our Fallen Heroes this Memorial Day

Hi, everybody. This week, I’ve been speaking about America’s national security – our past, our present, and our future.

On Thursday, I outlined the future of our fight against terrorism – the threats we face, and the way in which we will meet them.

On Friday, I went to Annapolis to celebrate the extraordinary young men and women of the United States Naval Academy’s Class of 2013 – the sailors and Marines who will not only lead that fight, but who will lead our country for decades to come.

And on Monday, we celebrate Memorial Day. Unofficially, it’s the start of summer – a chance for us to spend some time with family and friends, at barbecues or the beach, getting a little fun and relaxation in before heading back to work.

It’s also a day on which we set aside some time, on our own or with our families, to honor and remember all the men and women who have given their lives in service to this country we love.

They are heroes, each and every one. They gave America the most precious thing they had – “the last full measure of devotion.” And because they did, we are who we are today – a free and prosperous nation, the greatest in the world.

At a time when only about one percent of the American people bear the burden of our defense, the service and sacrifice of our men and women in uniform isn’t always readily apparent. That’s partly because our soldiers, sailors, airmen, Marines and coast guardsmen are so skilled at what they do. It’s also because those who serve tend to do so quietly. They don’t seek the limelight. They don’t serve for our admiration, or even our gratitude. They risk their lives, and many give their lives, for something larger than themselves or any of us: the ideals of liberty and justice that make America a beacon of hope for the world.  Read more.

Department of Defense Lead Photo

Old Guard soldiers plant flags at Arlington National Cemetery

Air Force Structure Commission Slates June 4 Meeting

Source:  American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The National Commission on the Structure of the Air Force will hold its first public hearing on June 4 at the Rayburn House Office Building here.

President Barack Obama and the chairmen and ranking members of both Armed Services Committees recently appointed eight members to serve on the commission. The United_States_Department_of_Defense_Seal.svg 2013 National Defense Authorization Act directed the establishment of this commission.

The Honorable Dennis M. McCarthy, a retired Marine Corps lieutenant-general, is the commission’s chairman and the Honorable Erin Conaton is the vice chair. The other commission members are F. Whitten Peters, Les Brownlee, retired Air Force general Raymond Johns Jr., retired Air National Guard lieutenant-general Harry M. “Bud” Wyatt III, Dr. Janine Davidson, and Dr. Margaret Harrell.

Dr. James A. Blackwell has been appointed Executive Director. The Department of Defense sponsor is Mr. Michael L. Rhodes, the director of administration and management.

The commission will conduct a comprehensive study of the Air Force’s structure to determine if and how the structure should be modified to best fill current and future mission requirements with available resources. The commission’s report to the president and Congress is due February 1, 2014.

The commission will consider whether the Air Force:

  • Meets current and anticipated requirements of the combatant commands;
  • Achieves an appropriate balance between the regular and reserve components, taking advantage of the unique strengths and capabilities of each;
  • Ensures that the regular and reserve components have the capacity to support current and future homeland defense and disaster assistance missions in the United States;
  • Provides a sufficient number of regular members to provide a base of trained personnel from which reserve components could be recruited;
  • Maintains a peacetime rotation force to support operational tempo goals of 1:2 for regular members and 1:5 for reserve members; and
  • Maximizes and appropriately balances affordability, efficiency, effectiveness, capability, and readiness.
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