Your Navy Operating Forward – Poland, Spain, China

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Right now your Navy is 100 percent on watch around the globe helping to preserve the American way of life. Whether it be operating and training off the coast of Spain or forward deployed to the Arabian Gulf, the flexibility and presence provided by our U.S. naval forces provides national leaders with great options for protecting and maintaining our national security and interests around the world. The imagery below highlights the Navy’s ability to provide those options by operating forward.


PACIFIC OCEAN: An EA-18G Growler assigned to the “Gauntlets” of Electronic Attack Squadron (VAQ) 136 receives fuel from an F/A-18E Super Hornet assigned to the “Kestrels” of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 137 as part of an air power demonstration above the aircreaft carrier USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) during a tiger cruise. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Matthew Granito/Released)

ROTA, Spain: Equipment Operator Constructionman Calan DeRue, assigned to Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB) 1, drives a backhoe onto a C-130 Hercules aircraft at Naval Station Rota, Spain. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Brannon Deugan/Released)

MEDITERRANEAN SEA: F/A-18F Super Hornet assigned to the “Black Lions” of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 213, fully loaded with 10 GBU-32 1,000 pound bombs, prepares to launch from the aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77). (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Matt Matlage/Released)

CORAL SEA: Sailors aboard the Henry J. Kaiser-class replenishment oiler USNS Rappahannock (T-AO 204) receive cargo from the amphibious assault ship USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD 6) during a replenishment-at-sea. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Apprentice Gavin Shields/Released)

SOUTH CHINA SEA: Members of Explosive Ordnance Disposal Mobile Unit (EODMU) 5 perform a fast-rope exercise from an MH-60S Sea Hawk helicopter assigned to the “Golden Falcons” of Helicopter Combat Squadron (HSC) 12 onto the flight deck of the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force Izumo-class helicopter destroyer JS Izumo (DDH 183). (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Nathan Burke/Released)

USTKA, Poland: A landing craft, air cushion lands on the beach in Ustka, Poland, during an amphibious assault landing demonstration as part of exercise BALTOPS 2017. (U.S. Navy photo by Chief Mass Communication Specialist America A. Henry/Released)

ZHANJIANG, China: Sailors assigned to the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Sterett (DDG 104) man the rails as the ship prepares to depart Zhanjiang, China. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Byron C. Linder/Released)

SUBIC BAY, Philippines: The Spearhead-class joint high speed vessel USNS Millinocket (JHSV 3) transits Subic Bay behind the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Sterett (DDG 104). (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Byron C. Linder/Released)

MEDITERRANEAN SEA: An MH-60S Sea Hawk helicopter assigned to the “Tridents” of Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 9 carries supplies to the aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77) during a replenishment-at-sea. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Mario Coto/Released)

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Your Navy Operating Forward – Poland, Spain, China

The SITREP: Navy Changes Grooming Policy, Marines Support ISIS Fight & More

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Lt. Jillianne Planeta stands the officer of the deck watch on the bridge of the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) in the Pacific Ocean. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Sean M. Castellano/Released)

From the military services and around the DoD, here’s your SITREP for Thursday, June 22, 2017.

    • Army researchers are working on a solution to the challenges involved with performing dock repair and security port entries.
    • The Navy has changed its grooming policies for women, including allowing female sailors to wear their hair in a bun through the rear opening of a command or Navy ball cap.
    • Marines have been conducting 24-hour fire support for the Syrian Democratic Forces as part of CJTF-OIR to defeat ISIS in Iraq and Syria.
    • Airmen from the 927th Air Refueling Wing, MacDill Air Force Base, Fla., partnered with service members from throughout the country to provide no-cost medical care to communities in Arkansas.

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The SITREP: Navy Changes Grooming Policy, Marines Support ISIS Fight & More

The SITREP: Marines Restore School, Army Test Drives Prototypes & More

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Trinidad and Tobago Defence Force Col. Roger Carter, right, the assistant chief staff officer of Headquarters, Trinidad and Tobago Defence Force, and U.S. Coast Guardsmen pose for a photo with students while at Carenage Boy Government Primary School as part of a community relations event during Phase II of Exercise Tradewinds 2017 in Chaguaramas, Trinidad and Tobago, June 16, 2017. Tradewinds, sponsored by U.S. Southern Command, brings together security forces and regional civilian agencies from 20 participating countries to strengthen relationships, build partner nation capacity and conduct subject matter expert exchanges in security-related operations. U.S. Marines are providing providing training and logistical support for Phase II of the exercise. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Sgt. Olivia McDonald)

From the military services and around the DoD, here’s your SITREP for Tuesday, June 20, 2017.

    • Serving as “test drives” for possible Army systems of the future, prototypes are playing an increasingly vital role as a natural bridge between emerging technologies and more mature solutions that are part of official programs of record.
    • The U.S. and Philippine navies will participate in the Maritime Training Activity Sama Sama June 19-25 in the vicinity of Cebu.
    • Renovating and restoring school buildings can enhance those opportunities and help children take pride in their school, especially if they take part in the work. That’s exactly what happened when U.S. Marines assisted with renovating the Carenage Boys Government Primary School in Carenage, Trinidad and Tobago.

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Disclaimer: The appearance of hyperlinks does not constitute endorsement by the Department of Defense of this website or the information, products or services contained therein. For other than authorized activities such as military exchanges and Morale, Welfare and Recreation sites, the Department of Defense does not exercise any editorial control over the information you may find at these locations. Such links are provided consistent with the stated purpose of this DOD website.

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The SITREP: Marines Restore School, Army Test Drives Prototypes & More

Volunteer ‘Doughboy’ Team Works to Bring WWI MIAs Home

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Katie Lange
DoD News, Defense Media Activity

According to the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency, there are still about 82,540 U.S. service members considered missing in action since World War II began. But that agency doesn’t account for the more than 4,400 still missing from World War I.

Army Pvt. Eugene McGrath. Photo courtesy of WW1cc.org.

Thanks to the efforts of several volunteers, the records of these men are slowly being unearthed, and more men who served 100 years ago are being identified.

Historian Robert Laplander, known for his research and writings on the “Lost Battalion” of the Great War, started to search for World War I Army Pvt. Eugene Michael McGrath after someone found battle remnants in 2005 at the site of the Lost Battalion’s last stand.

“Among the stuff was a dog tag. It was to one of the guys in the Lost Battalion who was missing in action,” Laplander said, referring to McGrath. “We decided to see if we could figure out what happened to him.”

And thus began the Doughboy MIA Project. Laplander recruited several volunteer researchers, archivists and historians to help search for McGrath’s files. Over the years, word got out of their efforts, and they began to look for other fallen World War I service members.

“We have technology today that they didn’t have back then: deep-penetration metal detectors, ground penetrating radar, spatial imaging – all that kind of stuff,” Laplander said.

In 2015, Laplander was contacted by someone at the WWI Centennial Commission and asked to highlight their efforts on the centennial’s website. Their page, ww1cc.org/MIA, has since grown by leaps and bounds.

The Process

“Between 1919 and 1932, when searchers went out after the war, the Army made every effort to try to find these men and identify the remains they had recovered that were unknown,” Laplander said. “But they had a small team, a lot to do – the Graves Registration Service handled 80,000 burials after the war – and they did the whole thing with paper forms and shoeboxes full of index cards.”

Since many of those files have disappeared or are sparse and kept all over the world, it’s a long and tedious process.

A World War I Memorial in Jackson, Mississippi. Library of Congress photo

“It’s [often] sitting at a desk looking through boxes. During one case, we went through 200 boxes of burial cards … in four days. We looked at every single card,” Laplander said.

Their searches always begin by checking the official list of missing service members to see if they can chronicle their last moves. For those who aren’t missing or lost at sea, they first check through 2,300 burial case files, found at the National Personnel Records Center in St. Louis.

“They can take you in all kinds of directions,” Laplander said. “For McGrath, I pulled his [burial] file, and then we decided to pull the file of the guys buried next to him, one on each side, and there was more information in those.”

The search for McGrath’s final resting place continues (learn more about that journey here), but the team recently had success in honoring Navy sailor Herbert H. Renshaw.

A Tribute A Century in the Making

WWI Navy sailor Herbert Renshaw. Photo courtesy of the American Battle Monuments Commission/Robert Laplander

Renshaw joined the Navy in 1914, just after his 17th birthday. The U.S. entered World War I in April 1917, and he was unfortunately a quick casualty. Renshaw was on the USS Ozark, a sub-tender, on its first out-of-harbor mission on May 22, 1917, when he lost his life.

“They hit heavy weather that afternoon. The sea was very rough. He was on the deck of the ship signaling back to another ship, and he was washed overboard,” Laplander said.

Now is probably a good time to let you know that, after the war, U.S. lawmakers decided to create American cemeteries overseas, since so many men had died. The names of anyone who was lost at sea, missing or buried in an unmarked grave were carved into walls or tablets at each cemetery.

Renshaw’s name should have been added to one of those walls – but it wasn’t, and it took nearly 100 years before anyone noticed. The person who did was Salisbury University professor Dr. Stephen Gehnrich, who was researching Marylanders killed in the war. He came across Renshaw’s name on a Navy burial file and learned details of his death through old newspaper articles. But Gehnrich noticed Renshaw wasn’t on the official list given to the American Battle Monuments Commission, which is in charge of U.S. military cemeteries and memorials. So he contacted Laplander.

Together, the pair did more research and discovered that Renshaw’s name had, for whatever reason, been left off the lists provided to the AMBC by the Naval and War Departments.

U.S. service members and the local community honor U.S. service members killed during World War I during a Memorial Day ceremony at Brookwood Military Cemetery in England. Brookwood, the final resting place for 468 service members and 41 unknown service members from World War I, is one of the smallest American cemeteries in the United Kingdom. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Chrissy Best

“In the naval register of sailors and Marines that were lost during WWI, his name is listed. But … his name wasn’t engraved at any of our cemeteries,” said Tim Nosal, the ABMC’s chief of external affairs.

So, the Doughboys petitioned in April to get his named added. Three days later, the ABMC agreed.

“It was pretty clear based on what they sent us,” Nosal said. So a former Army colonel with the ABMC made the decision – Renshaw’s name would be added at Brookwood American Cemetery in England, where the majority of naval casualties are listed.

“After 100 years, he’ll be remembered,” Laplander said.

Why It’s Important

One question Laplander always gets: One hundred years later, why do this?

The Wall of the Missing at Brookwood American Cemetery in England. Photo courtesy of the American Battle Monuments Commission

“The answer is the same always – why not? The first World War was the very first time we sent a major expeditionary force overseas to fight on foreign shores – not for land, not for wealth, but for an ideal,” Laplander said. “If we stand the chance of giving somebody a grave, why wouldn’t we?”

His team is working on identifying a few other missing men, including a soldier who had been buried by a chaplain. In a file, they found a description the chaplain gave of the burial area, as well as a set of coordinates he had given officials in 1926.

“Our ground team overseas managed to find the area, and I believe we’ve found the trench where this guy was buried,” Laplander said.

To his team, their tagline, “A man is only missing if he’s forgotten,” is crucial to their cause.

“Even if we don’t recover any more remains or identify anybody else, we’ve got people thinking about these guys,” Laplander said.

Remembrance, even so many years later, is how it should be for those who gave up everything for the rest of us.

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Volunteer ‘Doughboy’ Team Works to Bring WWI MIAs Home

WWII Bombardier Gives Up Parachute, Life for Injured Comrade

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By Katie Lange
DoD News, Defense Media Activity 

This blog is part of a weekly series called “Medal of Honor Monday,” in which we’ll highlight one of the nearly 3,500 Medal of Honor recipients who have earned the U.S. military’s highest medal for valor. 

Army Air Corps 2nd Lt. David Kingsley. Air Force photo

A few days from now, we’ll mark the 73rd anniversary of the heroic actions of Army Air Corps 2nd Lt. David Kingsley, a bombardier in World War II who knowingly traded his own life for that of an injured compatriot.

Kingsley was born in 1918 and grew up in Portland, Oregon, as the second-oldest of nine siblings. When his father died in 1928 and his older brother joined the Navy to help with finances, he very quickly became “man of the house” until his mother died in 1939.

Kingsley became a firefighter in the years that followed. But then the war began, and in April 1942, the 23-year-old enlisted in the Army Air Corps. He eventually became a bombardier and was commissioned as a second lieutenant in April 1943. A year later, he was sent to Europe with the 97th Bomb Group’s 341st Squadron.

On June 23, 1944, Kingsley was serving in his role as a bombardier in a B-17 Flying Fortress on a mission to Ploesti, Romania, in which he was tasked with dropping bombs on enemy oil refineries. The mission was a success, as Kingsley’s delivery skills severely damaged vital enemy installations.

But during the flight, his aircraft was damaged by German gunfire and forced to drop out of formation. As the plane was losing altitude, it was targeted by several Messerschmitt Bf-109 enemy aircraft, damaging the plan further and seriously injuring two of the plane’s gunners.

Kingsley jumped into action, helping tend to the wounds of the gunners, one of whom was stripped of some layers of clothes and his parachute harness so he could be covered in blankets.

Army Air Corps 2nd Lt. David Kingsley. Air Force photo

The plane continued to get hit by enemy fire, so the pilot ordered the crew to bail out. Kingsley continued helping the gunners, getting them ready to jump. But no one could find the parachute harness of the man who had been stripped of it. It disappeared and was believed to be damaged, anyway.

So without hesitating, Kingsley took his own harness off and attached it to the injured man. He then helped them both bail out, knowing he would be left behind. All eight crew members who were able to bail out survived.

The crew said the last they saw of Kingsley, he was standing on the bomb bay catwalk. Minutes later, the plane crashed into a heap of fire in the small village of Suhozem, Bulgaria. The bombardier’s body was later found in the wreckage, along with seven casualties who were on the ground.

Records show Kingsley was initially buried in a makeshift grave by sympathetic Bulgarians, but his body was exhumed and later laid to rest with full military honors in Arlington National Cemetery.

For the incredibly selfless actions at the cost of his own life, Kingsley was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor on April 9, 1945. It was presented to his oldest brother.

Kingsley is the first and only Medal of Honor recipient from the 97th Bombardment Group, now known as the 97th Air Mobility Wing. An Air Force airfield in Oregon was named Kingsley Field in his honor in the 1950s, and in 2004, a memorial near the site where his plane crashed was dedicated to him and the seven villagers who died.

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WWII Bombardier Gives Up Parachute, Life for Injured Comrade

Special Report: USS Fitzgerald Collision

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USS Fitzgerald (DDG 62) was involved in a collision with a merchant vessel at approximately 2:30 a.m. local time, June 17, while operating about 56 nautical miles southwest of Yokosuka, Japan.

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We honor our fallen shipmates.

Posted by U.S. Navy on Sunday, June 18, 2017

An information center is being set up at the Commander Fleet Activities Yokosuka Fleet and Family Support Center with…

Posted by U.S. Navy on Friday, June 16, 2017

“As more information is learned, we will be sure to share to it with the Fitzgerald families and when appropriate the public. Thank you for your well wishes and messages of
Statement by Chief of Naval Operations Adm. John Richardson
"Right now we are focused on two things: the safety of the ship and the well-being of the Sailors. We thank our Japanese partners for their assistance" said Adm. Scott Swift, commander of the U.S. Pacific Fleet.
Statement by Adm. Scott Swift, commander, U.S. Pacific Fleet

Statement by Vice Adm. Joseph Aucoin, commander of U.S. 7th Fleet (June 17)

USS Fitzgerald Involved in Collision

USS Fitzgerald (DDG 62) was involved in a collision with a merchant vessel at approximately 2:30 a.m. local time, June 17, while operating about 56 nautical miles southwest of Yokosuka, Japan.

Read more on Navy.mil.

U.S.-Japan SAR Efforts Continue for 7 Missing Fitzgerald Sailors

Search and rescue efforts continue by U.S. and Japanese aircraft and surface vessels in the hopes of recovering seven USS Fitzgerald (DDG 62) Sailors.

Read more on Navy.mil.

USS Fitzgerald Returns to Yokosuka

USS Fitzgerald (DDG 62), aided by tug boats, returned to Yokosuka at 6:15 p.m. June 17.

Approximately 16 hours earlier, it was involved in a collision with the Philippine-flagged merchant vessel ACX Crystal while operating about 56 nautical miles southwest of Yokosuka, Japan. Seven of Fitzgerald’s crew remain missing.

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Good Evening USS Dewey Families and Friends,Early this morning, USS Dewey (DDG 105) was called upon to render immediate…

Posted by USS Dewey (DDG 105) on Saturday, June 17, 2017

Number of USS Fitzgerald Sailors’ Remains Found

A number of Sailors’ remains that were missing from the collision between USS Fitzgerald (DDG 62) and a merchant ship have been found.

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Vice Adm. Aucoin Holds Press Conference about USS Fitzgerald Collision

The following are U.S. 7th Fleet Commander Vice Adm. Joseph Aucoin’s prepared remarks for a press conference held June 18 at Commander Fleet Activities Yokosuka, Japan, about the collision of USS Fitzgerald (DDG 62) with a merchant vessel June 17.

Thanks for coming today.

USS Fitzgerald experienced extensive damage and flooding after a collision with the Filipino container ship at 0220 local time, 17 June, approx. 56 nm off the coast of Honshu, Japan.

The damage included a significant impact under the ship’s pilothouse on the starboard side and a large puncture below the ship’s waterline, opening the hull to the sea.

The ship suffered severe damage rapidly flooding three large compartments that included one machinery room and two berthing areas for 116 crew. The commanding officer’s cabin was also directly hit, trapping the CO inside.

The crew’s response was swift and effective, and I want to point out – as we stand by the ship – how proud I am of them.

Heroic efforts prevented the flooding from catastrophically spreading which could have caused the ship to founder or sink. It could have been much worse.

The crew navigated the ship into one of the busiest ports in the world with a magnetic compass and backup navigation equipment. One of two shafts were locked.

Because of the tireless damage control efforts of a resolute and courageous team, the ship was able to make its way back to port safely on its own power last evening.

The Fitzgerald crew responded professionally as all Sailors are expected to fight the damage sustained to their ship. They are known as the “Fighting Fitz” and the crew lived up to that name.

We owe it to our families and the Navy to understand what happened. Under my authority, I am initiating a JAGMAN investigation into this collision, and I will appoint a flag officer to lead that investigation. There will also be a safety investigation.

The U.S. Coast Guard is to take the lead on the marine casualty investigation.

We recognize that there are other organizations who have equities in this incident, and we expect they will conduct their own separate investigations. More information on any further investigations will be forthcoming.

I will not speculate on how long these investigations will last.

As you are aware, we have found the remains of a number of our missing shipmates. Our deepest sympathies are with the families of these Sailors.

Out of concern for the families and the notification process, I will decline to state how many we have found at this time. We owe that to the families and friends of these shipmates and hope you can respect this process.

We will update you after all notifications have been made.

We have transferred remains to Naval Hospital Yokosuka. The families are being notified and will be provided the support they need at this difficult time. Please keep them in your thoughts are prayers.

Their loved ones are what makes this Navy great, so this loss is something we all do feel. The names of the deceased will be released soon.

Unfortunately we don’t have the details regarding the conditions during their final moments, but hope that the investigation may shed some light on that matter.

At the same time, I want to express my most heartfelt appreciation to our Japanese allies for their swift support and assistance.

Japanese Coast Guard ships and helicopters were the first on scene and our first medevac, the ship’s commanding officer, Cmdr. Bryce Benson, was accomplished thanks to a JMSDF helicopter.

A second medevac was performed for two Sailors with minor injuries. All three patients are alert and under observation at Naval Hospital Yokosuka.

We set up a USS Fitzgerald Emergency Family Assistance Center within hours, and disseminated the phone numbers to their hotlines through social media and Navy websites.

This support center remains open for chaplain and counselor care indefinitely, 24/7, on the Fleet and Family Support Center’s 4th floor.

But to be clear: my sole focus now has shifted to helping the grieving family, crew and friends of the Fitzgerald.

The Navy family comes together during a tragedy, and I want to thank the entire Yokosuka community rallying their support in these difficult days. Fellow Sailors, family members and civilian members of the Navy team were all out here last night to welcome Fitzgerald home and provide the crew and grieving families with food, blankets, clothes and emotional support. MWR, Port Operations, NEX, USO, the Chief Petty Officer Mess and many others pulled together to help out.

I ask all of you to keep the affected families in your thoughts and prayers, and respect their privacy as we work to get them the answers they deserve regarding their loved ones.

Editor’s note: These remarks are also posted on Commander, U.S. 7th Fleet’s website.

U.S. Navy Identifies 7 Deceased Fitzgerald Sailors
The remains of seven Sailors previously reported missing were located in flooded berthing compartments, after divers gained access to the spaces, June 18, that were damaged when USS Fitzgerald (DDG 62) was involved in a collision with the Philippine-flagged merchant vessel ACX Crystal.

Read more on Navy.mil.

Statement from Acting Secretary of the Navy Sean Stackley

We are all deeply saddened by the tragic loss of our fellow shipmates as a result of Friday’s collision between USS Fitzgerald and a commercial container ship, and our thoughts and prayers are with their families.

Read more on Navy.mil.


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Special Report: USS Fitzgerald Collision

Your Navy Operating Forward -Sri Lanka, Japan, Suez Canal

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Right now your Navy is 100 percent on watch around the globe helping to preserve the American way of life. Whether it be operating and training off the coast of Spain or forward deployed to the Arabian Gulf, the flexibility and presence provided by our U.S. naval forces provides national leaders with great options for protecting and maintaining our national security and interests around the world. The imagery below highlights the Navy’s ability to provide those options by operating forward.


EAST CHINA SEA: Airman Francis Mateodiaz, from Coamo, Puerto Rico, signals a CH-53E Super Stallion helicopter assigned to the “Dragons” of Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 265 (Reinforced) for landing aboard the amphibious assault ship USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD 6). (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Apprentice Gavin Shields/Released)

SUEZ CANAL: The aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77) prepares to sail under the International Peace Bridge as it transits the Suez Canal. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Christopher Gaines/Released)

MEDITERRANEAN SEA: An F/A-18F Super Hornet attached to the “Blacklions” of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 213 is fully loaded with 10 GBU-32 1,000 pound bombs aboard the aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77). (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Matt Matlage/Released)

PACIFIC OCEAN: An F/A-18E Super Hornet assigned to the “Golden Dragons” of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 192 conducts a high-speed flyby during an air-power demonstration in the western Pacific. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Matthew Granito/Released)

OKINAWA, Japan: Sailors prepare to launch Landing Craft Utility (LCU) 1651, assigned to Naval Beach Unit (NBU) 7, from the well deck of the amphibious dock landing ship USS Ashland (LSD 48). (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Jonathan Clay/Released)

SOUTH CHINA SEA: The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Sterett (DDG 104) conducts a replenishment-at-sea with the dry cargo and ammunition ship USNS Richard E. Byrd (T-AKE 4). (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Byron C. Linder/Released)

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka: The Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser USS Lake Erie (CG 70) arrives in Colombo, Sri Lanka to support humanitarian assistance operations in the wake of severe flooding and landslides that devastated many regions of the country. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Joshua Fulton/Released)

MEDITERRANEAN SEA: An EA-18G Growler assigned to the “Lancers” of Electronic Attack Squadron (VAQ) 131 prepares to launch from the aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77). (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Matt Matlage/Released)

PHILIPPINE SEA: The fleet replenishment oiler USNS John Ericsson (T-AO 194) transits alongside the aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76) during a replenishment-at-sea. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Kenneth Abbate/Released)

YOKOSUKA, Japan: Seaman Daniel Keaton, assigned to the U.S. 7th Fleet flagship USS Blue Ridge (LCC 19), paints the hull of the ship. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Patrick Semales/Released)

MEDITERRANEAN SEA: A rigid-hull inflatable boat approaches the San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock ship USS Mesa Verde (LPD 19) during small boat operations. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Brent Pyfrom/Released)

PACIFIC OCEAN: F/A-18 Hornets and Super Hornets assigned to Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 2 fly over the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70), front, the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyers USS Wayne E. Meyer (DDG 108), right, USS Michael Murphy (DDG 112), left, and the Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser USS Lake Champlain (CG 57) in the western Pacific. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Sean M. Castellano/Released)

Tell us which photo best shows YOUR Navy Operating Forward !


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The SITREP: Record Drug Busts at Sea, Vietnam Vet to Receive Medal of Honor & More

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HMAS Arunta personnel dispose of 260kg of illegal narcotics seized on June 8, 2017 while on patrol in the Middle East region. HMAS Arunta operates as part of the multi-national Combined Maritime Forces, predominately tasked to support Combined Task Force 150 for counter-terrorism and maritime security operations. Arunta is deployed on Operation MANITOU, supporting international efforts to promote maritime security, stability and prosperity in the Middle East region (MER). (Royal Australian Navy photo)

From the military services and around the DoD, here’s your SITREP for Thursday, June 15, 2017.

    • President Donald Trump will present the Medal of Honor to Army Spc. 5 James C. McCloughan. The Vietnam War veteran and retired coach will receive the medal on July 31.
    • In a four-month span, Combined Task Force (CTF) 150 of the Bahrain-based Combined Maritime Forces has proven itself a formidable force against narcotics trafficking, with 10 drug seizures totaling over 3,300 kilograms of heroin, cocaine, cannabis resin and hashish since March.
    • Marines test M320 grenade launcher module in this new video.
    • The 388th Fighter Wing, the Air Force’s first F-35 Lightning II operational wing, recently tested the F-35A bulk ammunition loader during an engineering validation and verification evaluation. The mobile loader lets weapon experts safely and efficiently load 25mm ammunition into the F-35A while simultaneously unloading spent shells.

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The SITREP: Record Drug Busts at Sea, Vietnam Vet to Receive Medal of Honor & More

The SITREP: Man’s Best Friend Serves, Men’s Health Tips & More

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Senior Airman Kaleb Sermeno, 60th Security Forces Squadron, Travis Air Force Base, Calif., carries his military working dog Ben, through a training area near Fort Bliss, Texas, simulating what he must do if his dog is injured on deployment, Nov. 10, 2016. (U.S. Army photo by Frederick Connelly)

From the military services and around the DoD, here’s your SITREP for Tuesday, June 13, 2017.

    • About 90 percent of military working dogs are adopted by their former handlers when they retire. The Army has more on the treasured connection between service members and working dogs.
    • USS Gabrielle Giffords (LCS 10), the Navy’s newest littoral combat ship, was brought to life by her crew before a crowd of nearly 2,500 guests at Pier 21 at the Port of Galveston, June 10.
    • This Men’s Health Month, the Military Health System reminds men to take charge of their personal health by getting health screenings, eating healthy, being physically active, maintaining a healthy weight, managing stress and being tobacco free.

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Disclaimer: The appearance of hyperlinks does not constitute endorsement by the Department of Defense of this website or the information, products or services contained therein. For other than authorized activities such as military exchanges and Morale, Welfare and Recreation sites, the Department of Defense does not exercise any editorial control over the information you may find at these locations. Such links are provided consistent with the stated purpose of this DOD website.

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The SITREP: Man’s Best Friend Serves, Men’s Health Tips & More

Army Private Gave His Life to Save Fellow Squad Members

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By Katie Lange
DoD News, Defense Media Activity

This blog is part of a weekly series called “Medal of Honor Monday,” in which we’ll highlight one of the nearly 3,500 Medal of Honor recipients who have earned the U.S. military’s highest medal for valor. 

Army Pfc. Ross McGinnis. Army photo

Army Private 1st Class Ross McGinnis had a desire to join the service most of his life, having drawn a picture of a soldier during kindergarten when asked what he wanted to be when he grew up. He took advantage of that as soon as he could.

McGinnis, who grew up in the small northwestern Pennsylvania town of Knox, joined the Army through its delayed entry program on Jun 14, 2004 – his 17th birthday.

After basic training, McGinnis was stationed at Schweinfurt, Germany. In August 2006, his unit was deployed to Iraq.

On Dec. 4, 2006, McGinnis was serving as a machine gunner in 1st Platoon, C Company, 1st Battalion, 26th Infantry Regiment, in the northeastern part of Baghdad. His platoon was working to control sectarian violence in the area, which was rampant at the time.

During that afternoon, while McGinnis was in position at the back of his vehicle, an insurgent threw a grenade from a roof, and it fell into McGinnis’ Humvee. The private first class reacted quickly, yelling “Grenade!” to warn his four fellow soldiers stuck in the vehicle with him.

Instead of saving his own life by escaping through the gunnery hatch, as he was trained to do, McGinnis – the youngest in his platoon at 19 – chose to give his own life to protect his crew, diving onto the live grenade to shield them from the blast. He died immediately.

From left: Retired Army Staff Sgt. Ian Newland, Sgt. Lyle Buehler, Sgt. 1st Class Cedric Thomas and Spc. Sean Lawson are all alive today because of Spc. Ross McGinnis’s selfless sacrifice. DoD photo by Carrie McLeroy

The others in the vehicle with him – Sgt. 1st Class Cedric Thomas, the platoon sergeant and truck commander; Staff Sgt. Ian Newland, the squad leader; Sgt. Lyle Buehler, the driver; and medic Spc. Sean Lawson all survived thanks to his bravery and selflessness.

Shortly after his death, McGinnis’ parents released a statement about him that said in part, “The lives of four men who were his Army brothers outweighed the value of his one life. … His straightforward answer to a simple but difficult choice should stand as a shining example for the rest of us. We all face simple choices, but how often do we choose to make a sacrifice to get the right answer? The right choice sometimes requires honor.”

President George W. Bush leads the applause to honor Pfc. Ross A. McGinnis after presenting the Medal of Honor posthumously to his parents, Tom and Romayne McGinnis, June 2, 2008, at the White House. Photo Credit: Chris Greenberg, White House

On June 2, 2008, President George W. Bush presented McGinnis’ parents with the Medal of Honor in his name. He was posthumously promoted to specialist and also received the Bronze Star and Purple Heart.

Read More Medal of Honor Monday Posts

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Disclaimer: The appearance of hyperlinks does not constitute endorsement by the Department of Defense of this website or the information, products or services contained therein. For other than authorized activities such as military exchanges and Morale, Welfare and Recreation sites, the Department of Defense does not exercise any editorial control over the information you may find at these locations. Such links are provided consistent with the stated purpose of this DOD website.

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Army Private Gave His Life to Save Fellow Squad Members