military

(via Flickr/KurtClark)

About 5,100 civilian workers at Scott Air Force Base in Illinois are being forced to take-off 11 unpaid days, as are civilian employees at military installations throughout the Department of Defense.  The furloughs begin July 8 and are a result of the automatic federal spending cuts known as sequestration.

Senator McCaskill's Flickr

The Pentagon estimates that as many as 26,000 service members were sexually assaulted in the military last year. Senator Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) introduced new legislation Thursday in response.

There have also been several high profile cases of a member of the military being convicted of sexual assault by a jury, only to have it overturned by a superior officer. McCaskill’s hopes her bill would change that.

Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill has halted the nomination of an Air Force lieutenant general who's been tapped to be the vice chairman of U.S. Space Command.

McCaskill said in a statement on Thursday that she wants more information about Lt. Gen. Susan Helms' decision last year to overturn a jury conviction in a sexual assault trial. 

(via Flickr/j.o.h.n. walker)

Members of the military enrolled at two St. Louis-area universities will continue to get a break on their tuition, despite the automatic budget cuts known as the sequester.

Four of the five branches of the military suspended future grants earlier this month to meet the sequester requirements - but Lindenwood and Webster universities say they'll use their own resources to replace the federal tuition assistance program. 

Here are a few fast facts about what's involved:

(Senator McCaskill's Flickr Account)

As many as 19,000 service members are sexually assaulted each year. A small fraction of those cases -- around 2,500 a year --  are actually reported, and a much smaller fraction are prosecuted.

The Senate Armed Services held a hearing on sexual assaults in the military, following a high profile case in which Lt. Col. James Wilkerson was convicted by a military jury of "abusive sexual contact." After the trial and conviction, a Lieutenant General dismissed the charges, without having to provide an explanation.

Wikimedia Commons

Nearly two centuries after its founding, Jefferson Barracks in St. Louis County is taking on a new mission as a military intelligence operation.

KSDK-TV reports the military post founded in 1832 has been picked by the Defense Department for a detachment that will gather intelligence on adversaries.

Lt. Col William Banwell of the Missouri National Guard says planners were seeking a Midwestern location because similar operations already exist on both coasts.

(via Flickr/Senator Roy Blunt)

Missouri Senator Roy Blunt is one of the Republicans blaming President Obama for gas prices that have reached close to $4 per gallon, saying his rejection of the Keystone pipeline hurt the economy.

Obama is defending his energy policies in Oklahoma today, pointing to plans to fast-track an oil pipeline from Oklahoma to Texas that emerged after he delayed the larger Keystone XL pipeline earlier this year.

Even so, Blunt says the president continues to obstruct progress.

(via Flickr/An Honorable German/by (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Chris Fahey/Released)

Illinois officials hope to return nearly 200 forgotten war medals and other military artifacts to their rightful owners.

Illinois Treasurer Dan Rutherford announced the project - called Operation Reunite - on Friday, Veterans Day.

Former Illinois State Rep. Ron Stephens, a Highland Republican and a Bronze Star and Purple Heart recipient, is the project's honorary chairman.

UPI/Bill Greenblatt

Cardinals win Game 2 of NLCS

Albert Pujols had one of the biggest postseason nights of his career in Game 2 of the NL championship series, going 4 for 5 with a home run, three doubles and five RBIs as the St. Louis Cardinals beat the Milwaukee Brewers 12-3 last night.

(Missouri State Treasurer's Office)

Missouri Treasurer Clint Zweifel unveiled two World War I military medals today at the Missouri State Museum.

The medals, a Distinguished Service Cross and Croix de Guerre, were handed over to Zweifel as unclaimed property when they were found in a bank safe deposit box.

The medals belonged to Major Ernest W. Slusher. Margaret Means, a member of Slusher’s family, is in the process of seeing if she is the lawful owner of the medals.  

So, who was  Maj. Ernest W. Slusher? And how did he earn these medals? Zweifel explains in a release:

Marshall Griffin, St. Louis Public Radio

The Missouri House has passed legislation to limit where and when funeral protesters can demonstrate.

The action comes despite this week’s U.S. Supreme Court ruling that threw out a lawsuit against a fundamentalist church that holds protests at military funerals.

In 1964, when Mr. Akin and I were 17, the movie "Seven Days in May" was released. Starring Burt Lancaster and Kirk Douglas, it is the story of an attempted military coup in the United States following the president signing a treaty with the then Soviet Union. While the movie is not considered a classic, it may have had as profound an effect on the thinking of presidents and members of Congress as any film over the past 60 years.

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