News Summary from “Marine Corps Times”

I’ve only received two issues of Marine Corps Times ( , MCT for short) so far, and I am learning a lot. I summarize the most relevant stories (for us and for Sean) and email them to him on a weekly basis. I figured if we find it relevant or interesting, you might also.

I highly recommend a subscription; both print and online versions are available. To get the full story/details on any of the items below, you must subscribe. From the 3 October 2011 issue:

  • Army (and other) researchers are working on “cloaking” technology, and it’s closer than you think. Rather than “stealth” or turning something invisible (probably impossible), the cloak bends light waves around the object in question. They’re studying substances called metamaterials, composed of metallic and semiconducting components. “To disguise an object, the materials would have to channel all colors of visible light around the object so the viewer sees whatever lies behind it.”

    Photo by Cpl Tommy Bellegarde

  • Pres. Obama recently announced his proposed changes (i.e., cuts) to military healthcare and retirement. As you might imagine, these comments are causing quite an uproar in the military community. MCT ran an editorial making several good points. 1) By 2015, health care for troops, families and retirees will consume one out of every 10 defense dollars. 2) The primary driver of rising costs is the emergence of new/expensive drugs and the cost of care of a rising number of retirees. 3) The combination of more members staying in for 20 years and lengthening life expectancies are driving up retirement costs. The MCT editorial also points out that *any* changes (when and if passed) would apply *only* to new recruits, not existing personnel. “In the end, every dollar spent on benefits for those who don’t serve or no longer serve takes away from pay, benefits, weapons and training for those defending America’s freedom today.” An excellent point.
  • Apparently promotions in some MOSs are getting tougher to come by. “Under a new policy, corporals can lat-move to one of nine MOSs and get promoted to sergeant, regardless of cutting score.” Three of the nine MOSs are intelligence related or sound that way: 0211 counterintelligence/human intelligence specialist, 0241 imagery analysis specialist, and 0689 information assurance technician.

    Photo by Cpl Michael Curvin

  • Beginning in 2012, the Corps will field new packs that are more durable and comfortable. There’s a main pack, an assault pack, and the hydration pack. Other features include lumbar support and more adjustment straps, among other things.
  • Budget cuts are forthcoming, and the Corps leadership is trying to figure out the best way to deal with them. “Authorized end-strength will fall from 202,100 now to 186,800 or fewer next year.” They are *not* anticipating having to do any RIFs (layoffs in military-speak).
  • Marine Corps Commandant Gen Amos recently wrote a letter to Secretary of Defense Panetta to emphasize the point that the Corps “gets the job done” using less than 8% of the Pentagon’s budget.

Posted on October 2, 2011, in Marine Times Newspaper, Military Parent, Motherhood, US Marine Corps and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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