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You couldn’t ask for anything better,” Lopez said. “Anything I need, if they don’t know how to do it, they bring someone in who does. In the military, the medical field has an important purpose, and, to me, they’re the best in the world.”

In  our news roundup for Friday, August 10:

Last week Defense Secretary Leon Panetta visited countries in Northern Africa and the Middle East to discuss regional security issues including the Syrian conflict and the Iranian nuclear program.

Japanese Defense Minister Satoshi Morimoto visited the Pentagon to discuss safety concerns following the deployment of several Marine Corps MV-22 Osprey aircraft to Okinawa.

The flight restrictions placed on the F-22 Raptor following apparent hypoxia-like symptoms in some pilots will be lifted. The restrictions will be phased out following a successful investigation by the U.S. Air Force.

This year marks the 59th anniversary of the end of the Korean War. The Defense Secretary and South Korean Ambassador Choi-Young Jin honored Korean War veterans at a ceremony in Arlington National Cemetery, Va.

Download the audio podcast here.

You may notice this week’s podcast looks different! We’ve updated our podcast to a bi-weekly release, giving you one that’s easier to access and easier to share (please do!). We’ve also created a video version of the podcast, for those of you who are more visually inclined. Leave us a comment, let us know what you think!

In “This Week in the DoD” for July 27:

The U.S. Navy’s Great Green Fleet is demonstrating its biofuel capability at this year’s Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) exercise.

The Military Spouse Employment Partnership and Hiring Our Heroes initiative are working to help military spouses find and keep good jobs.

Marine Explosive Tandem Team shows how sometimes demolition can be the best defense.

NASA’s Desert RATS program helps prepare people and equipment for extreme environments.

The 2012 Olympic Games are taking place in London. Among Team USA’s Olympic and Paralympic athletes are nearly 30 service members and veterans.

Download the audio podcast here.

A message from Leon Panetta, Secretary of Defense:

For many Americans, Memorial Day is a welcome break from work, a time for outdoor barbeques or a day at the beach.  But today is above all an opportunity for Americans to come together and pay tribute to all those who have fought and died in defense of our freedom.  It is a day to reflect on the service and sacrifice of these heroes, and to honor those American families for whom Memorial Day is another day of longing for their loved ones.

This Memorial Day, the American people pay particular tribute to the generation who stepped forward after the attacks of September 11th, and volunteered to put their lives on the line in far-off lands to protect our nation.  Today, we remember the more than 6,400 Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines and Coast Guardsmen who have paid the ultimate price for us to live in safety over the last ten years of war.  They and their families have paid a heavy price so that we could be more secure, but because of their sacrifice the torch of freedom burns bright.

Since taking this position, I have written hundreds of letters of condolence to the families of the fallen.  It is the hardest part of my job.  There are no words that can heal, no sentences that can lessen that loss.  I keep the fallen and their families in my heart and in my prayers, and I tell those families that their loved one died to give their fellow Americans a better life.  That is the price they paid for us.  Let us never forget them and what they have done for this country.

As we emerge from a decade of war, we must renew our pledge on this Memorial Day to do all we can to ensure that the sacrifices of our service members and their families are honored, and that those who fell in battle are remembered.  They fought for us.  Our duty is to fight to make sure they are never forgotten.  As Americans, that must be our charge and our sacred mission not just on Memorial Day, but every day.

Maintaining a career and or even just finding meaningful employment when you’re a military spouse is not easy, especially if you’re moving every two, three, or four years. The eMentor program creates a virtual job search network for military spouses faced with moving every few years. Check out this video for more info about the program.

Military installations around the world are getting the latest technology designed to measure body fat percentage and lean muscle tissue. The Bod Pod scan is now offered to active duty, dependents, reserves and retirees by your local installation’s health and wellness center to help you get on track with that New Year’s resolution to be a healthier you. (Not available on all military installations yet, check with your local clinic to see if it’s available near you.)

Army Pfc. Douglas K. Phillips shows the damage to his face and his eye protection from a small-arms attack. Phillips credits eye protection with saving his eye. The DoD and Department of Veterans Affairs Vision Center of Excellence is exploring other ways to prevent battlefield eye injuries and to better treat those who suffer them.
(U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Natalie Loucks)

Army Pfc. Douglas K. Phillips shows the damage to his face and his eye protection from a small-arms attack. Phillips credits eye protection with saving his eye. The DoD and Department of Veterans Affairs Vision Center of Excellence is exploring other ways to prevent battlefield eye injuries and to better treat those who suffer them.

(U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Natalie Loucks)

“As leaders of this department, we are committed to doing everything we can to ensure the safety, dignity and well-being of our people,” Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said. “These women and these men who are willing to fight and die to protect and serve our country – they deserve better protection. Their families and dependents also sacrifice and serve. And so for this reason, we must spare no effort to protect them against this heinous crime.  One sexual assault is one too many.”

The U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command/Army Forces Strategic Command conducts the first flight of the Advanced Hypersonic Weapon concept Nov. 18. 
The AHW is a first-of-its-kind glide vehicle, designed to fly within the earth’s atmosphere at hypersonic speed and long range. It was launched from the Pacific Missile Range Facility, Kauai, Hawaii, to the Reagan Test Site, U.S. Army Kwajalein Atoll, Marshall Islands. 
Courtesy photo (Army.mil)

The U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command/Army Forces Strategic Command conducts the first flight of the Advanced Hypersonic Weapon concept Nov. 18.

The AHW is a first-of-its-kind glide vehicle, designed to fly within the earth’s atmosphere at hypersonic speed and long range. It was launched from the Pacific Missile Range Facility, Kauai, Hawaii, to the Reagan Test Site, U.S. Army Kwajalein Atoll, Marshall Islands.

Courtesy photo (Army.mil)

Defense Department Observes World AIDS Day

By Donna Miles
American Forces Press Service 

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Defense Department is commemorating World AIDS Day today with a broad range of activities aimed at helping more than 70 partner militaries with their prevention, care and treatment programs.

“Leading with Science, Uniting for Action,” the theme of this year’s worldwide commemoration, describes how U.S. military members work hand in hand with militaries around the world to address the disease, said Matthew Brown, deputy director of the Defense Department’s HIV/AIDS Prevention Program.

The Naval Health Research Center in San Diego serves as DOD’s executive agent providing technical assistance, management and administrative support for the program.

DOD has provided partner militaries support, technical assistance and resources for their own programs since 2001. That effort expanded in 2003, Brown said, with the launch of the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, or PEPFAR.

The five-year governmentwide program, managed by the State Department, proved so successful that it was extended in 2008 for another five years, through 2013, Brown reported. Meanwhile, its funding more than doubled, from $15 billion — the largest commitment any country had ever made to combat a single disease — to $38 billion for the second five-year period.

DOD’s role in the broader U.S. government program, conducted in cooperation with geographic combatant commanders and embassy defense attaches, enhances what Brown calls “health security cooperation.”

Read more here.