President Trump praised the men and women of the American armed forces who are overseas during the Christmas season, expressing that “every American heart is thankful” for their service to the nation.
During a video conference call at Mar-a-Lago on Sunday, Trump addressed rooms full of deployed military personnel at five overseas bases in Qatar, Kuwait and Guantanamo Bay, wishing them a Merry Christmas and thanking them and their families for their service on behalf of the American people.
“I just want to wish everybody a very, very merry Christmas, we say Merry Christmas, again, very, very proudly,” Trump told the armed forces, according to White House pool reports. Very very merry Christmas. “We’re going to have a great year, an incredible year. I’m thrilled to bring seasons greetings on behalf of the first lady and our entire family and most importantly, on behalf of the American people.
“Today and every day we’re incredibly thankful for you and for your families,” Trump continued. “Your families have been tremendous. Always underappreciated, military families, the greatest people on earth.”
Accepting recruits with those mental health conditions in their past carries risks, according to Elspeth Ritchie, a psychiatrist who retired from the Army as a colonel in 2010 and is an expert on waivers for military service.
While bipolar disorder can be kept under control with medication, self-mutilation — where people slashing their skin with sharp instruments — may signal deeper mental health issues, according to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Health Disorders, which is published by the American Psychiatric Association.
WASHINGTON – People with a history of “self-mutilation,” bipolar disorder, depression and drug and alcohol abuse can now seek waivers to join the Army under an unannounced policy enacted in August, according to documents obtained by USA TODAY.
The decision to open Army recruiting to those with mental health conditions comes as the service faces the challenging goal of recruiting 80,000 new soldiers through September 2018. To meet last year’s goal of 69,000, the Army accepted more recruits who fared poorly on aptitude tests, increased the number of waivers granted for marijuana use and offered hundreds of millions of dollars in bonuses.
Expanding the waivers for mental health is possible in part because the Army now has access to more medical information about each potential recruit, Lt. Col. Randy Taylor, an Army spokesman, said in a statement. The Army issued the ban on waivers in 2009 amid an epidemic of suicides among troops.
The United States Air Force will put its ageing fleet of nuclear-capable B-52 bombers on 24-hour alert for the first time since the end of the Cold War, according to its chief of staff.
Amid rising tensions with North Korea and a resurgent Putin-led Russia, General David Goldfein told Defense One that the strategic bomber force will be ready at a day’s notice for the first time in 26 years.
Adapting to the ‘reality of the global situation’, Goldfein’s order would see B-52s readied at Barksdale Air Force Base in Louisiana and armed with nuclear weapons – something not seen since 1991.
In response to the news, North Korea said President Trump was ‘overheated with a war fever’ and branded him a ‘hooligan’ and a ‘lunatic’.
The government-owned news agency KCNA lashed out in a furious tirade: ‘Dignitaries of White House, and State and Defense Departments of the US are having a hard time cooling Trump overheated with a war fever, but only the south Korean puppet forces are fanning up the lunatic fingering a nuclear button.
Blame it on Obama! Iran claims to have developed “father of all bombs,” a monster 10-ton bomb, said to rival the United States’ ‘mother of all bombs,” or MOAB and also brags how it has infiltrated the U.S. military over the recent years.
A senior Iranian military leader claims the Islamic Republic has developed the “father of all bombs,” a 10-ton bomb that is said to rival the United States’ ‘mother of all bombs,” or MOAB, according to regional reports.
Iranian General Amir Ali Hajizadeh, commander of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corp’s airspace division, claimed in an interview over the weekend with the country’s state-controlled media that Iran has developed the 10-ton bomb and has the capability to drop them from aircraft.
[…]Hajizadeh also claims that Iran has infiltrated the U.S. military and has sensitive documents in its possession.
“We have infiltrated into the Americans’ command control centers over the recent years,” he was quoted as saying in a television interview broadcast on PressTV, another Iranian-controlled outlet.
Iran’s clandestine spy network has been threatening and blackmailing scores of journalists, even going so far as to detain and threaten the family members of these reporters, in order to ensure positive coverage in global media outlets, according to a new report that estimates at least 50 international journalists have been threatened in just the past year.
[…]Outlets such as the BBC and Voice of America have been subjected to threats and in some cases have had their computers hijacked by Iran, according to the report, which states that “all international media outlets with Persian-language services are concerned” about the Islamic Republic’s often-secret efforts to blackmail reporters in order to gain positive headlines.
James Alex Fields Jr was denied by the army because of a history of anti-psychotic medication that he was prescribed.”
Fields had an “infatuation” with Adolf Hitler and Nazis, German military history and World War II, according to the suspect’s high school history teacher
“Fields trained in August but was released from active duty due to a failure to meet training standards in December of 2015” – Army spokesman Lt. Col. Jennifer Johnson
Mediaite reported that Fields had served in the Army for less than four months, from August 18th to December 11th, 2015 (a Facebook post from his mother marks his arrival at boot camp).
“The Army can confirm that James Alex Fields reported for basic military training in August of 2015,” Army spokesman Lt. Col. Jennifer Johnson told Task & Purpose in a statement. “He was, however, released from active duty due to a failure to meet training standards in December of 2015. As a result, he was never awarded a military occupational skill nor was he assigned to a unit outside of basic training.” – Read more: Charlottesville Murder Suspect James Alex Fields May Be A Veteran, But He Was Never A Soldier by Jared Keller
The 20-year-old man accused of driving his car into a crowd of counter-protesters during a white nationalist rally Charlottesville, Va., had an “infatuation” with Adolf Hitler and Nazis, according to the suspect’s high school history teacher.
James Alex Fields Jr., 20, was arrested Saturday and charged with second-degree murder after he allegedly slammed his car into a group of people in downtown Charlottesville, killing 32-year-old Heather Heyer and injuring 19 others.
Derek Weimer said he was not surprised when authorities named Fields as the driver. Weimer, who taught history to Fields Jr. at Randall K. Cooper High School in Union, Ky., said he was quiet yet bright student who had “radical ideas on race.”
“He was very infatuated with the Nazis, with Adolf Hitler,” Weimer told WCPO News in Cincinnati. “He also had a huge military history, especially with German military history and World War II. But, he was pretty infatuated with that stuff.”
Weimer also said that Fields Jr. wanted to go into military service but was rejected on mental health grounds.
“His senior year, he was real gung-ho about joining the Army,” Weimer said. “And he, towards the end of the year, found out that he was denied, and it was because of a history of anti-psychotic mediation that he was prescribed.”