Action Corps Weekly

January 19, 2017

This week’s issue is being sent today in observance of Inauguration Day.

In This Issue:

1. President Upends Military Justice System

2. SASC Clears Defense Nominee

3. Medal of Honor Reception

4. VA to Host Summit for Women Veterans

5. MIA Update

1. President Upends Military Justice System: President Obama this week upended the entire military justice system by commuting the sentences of two military prisoners and pardoning a retired general officer. Being released from prison is former Army Pvt. Bradley Manning, who was sentenced to serve 35 years for releasing three-quarters of a million classified and sensitive military and diplomatic communiques. Former Army Pfc. Dwight Loving, a double murderer, had his death sentence commuted to life in prison without the possibility of parole, and retired Marine Corps Gen. James Cartwright, the former Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, was pardoned for lying to the FBI and releasing sensitive intelligence information to reporters. VFW National Commander Brian Duffy called Manning’s release offensive, Loving’s commutation a reflection of more concern for a convicted murderer than the families of the two dead taxicab drivers he killed, and Cartwright’s pardon proof that rank does have its privileges. Read more at: http://www.vfw.org/news-and-publications/press-room/archives/2017/1/vfw-critical-of-presidents-military-commutations-pardon.

2. SASC Clears Defense Nominee: Confirmation of retired Marine Corps Gen. James Mattis as defense secretary could occur this week following a vote in favor of his nomination Wednesday by the Senate Armed Services Committee. The committee voted 26-1 to send Mattis’ nomination to the full Senate, which has the final say on approving cabinet appointments. That vote could come immediately after President-elect Trump is sworn into office on Friday and officially nominates the general, who received the VFW Dwight D. Eisenhower Award at the 116th VFW National Convention in Pittsburgh. Read more at: https://www.stripes.com/news/us/senate-armed-services-committee-approves-mattis-1.449520?utm_source=Stars+and+Stripes+Emails&utm_campaign=Daily+Headlines&utm_medium=email.

3. Medal of Honor Reception: VFW National Commander Brian Duffy hosted a reception Wednesday evening for nearly three dozen Medal of Honor recipients who are in town for the inauguration. Also in attendance was the nominee to become the next Secretary of Veterans Affairs, Dr. David Shulkin, as well as Army Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Milley, Sergeant Major of the Army Dan Dailey, Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy Steven Girodano, the Senior Enlisted Advisor to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, Command Sgt. Maj. John Troxell, among many others.

4. VA to Host Summit for Women Veterans: The Department of Veterans Affairs Center for Women Veterans is slated to host the Summit for Women Veterans in Dallas from March 17-18. The summit will be the first national-level event for women veterans since 2011. Topics will include training, information and guidance particular to female veterans, regardless of VA enrollment. There will be lectures, panel discussions, exhibits and open forums promoting forward-thinking dialogue, collaboration with industry best practices and research. The target audience includes women veterans, public sector partners, academics and community partners. “Attendees will have an opportunity to hear from VA leadership, and participate in breakout sessions focused on employment, mental health, entrepreneurship, military sexual trauma, reproductive health, culture change and more. Additionally, plenary sessions will focus on VA care and benefits, partner organizations, and a special “Voice of the Veteran” panel,” said Kayla Williams, the director of VA’s Center for Women Veterans. To learn more about the summit and how to register, visit: http://www.blogs.va.gov/VAntage/34336/.

5. MIA Update: The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency announced the identification of remains of one American who had been missing in action from World War II. Returning home for burial with full military honors is:

  -- Army Air Forces 2nd Lt. John D. Mumford was a P-51C “Mustang” pilot assigned to the 318th Fighter Squadron, 325th Fighter Group, 15th Air Force. On June 6, 1944, Mumford flew escort for B-17 “Flying Fortress” bombers on their mission to bomb and destroy a German occupied airfield at Galati, Romania. Following the bombing, the formation was attacked by German fighters. Mumford pursued two German fighters before crashing near present day Novi Troyany, Ukraine. Interment services are pending. Read more at: http://www.dpaa.mil/News-Stories/Recent-News-Stories/Article/1052053/airman-missing-from-world-war-ii-identified-mumford/.

To sign up new veterans’ advocates, click here: http://capwiz.com/vfw/mlm/signup.htm.

As always, we want to hear your advocacy stories. To share your stories or photos with us, simply email them directly to vfwac@vfw.org.