U.S. considers its response
to alleged Syrian chemical use
American Forces Press Service
Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel joined a video teleconference Friday with President Barack Obama’s senior national security advisors that focused on the deadly situation in Syria.
In the latest tragedy in the stricken nation, more than 1,000 men, women and children died in what may have been a chemical weapons attack on its own citizens by the government of President Bashar Assad. The United Nations and others are investigating the attacks.
Hagel spoke with reporters who are traveling with him to Malaysia, Indonesia, Brunei and the Philippines.
Referring to an interview that Obama gave Chris Cuomo on CNN about Syria, Hagel said the president framed the situation there “exactly right” when he said the United States must be part of the international community in its response to the actions in Syria.
As the president noted, the United States must consider its long-term objectives, its long-term interests, and its objectives for influence and outcomes in deciding upon any response.
Hagel said he thinks the international community is moving quickly to get the facts and the intelligence right about what happened in Syria so a decision can be made swiftly about how to respond.
“If, in fact, this was a deliberate use and attack by the Syrian government on its own people using chemical weapons, there may be another attack coming,” he said. “A very quick assessment of what happened and whatever appropriate response should be made.”
DoD releases July suicide data
Department of Defense
The Army released suicide data Friday for the month of July. During July, among active duty Soldiers, there were 19 potential suicides: One has been confirmed as a suicide and 18 remain under investigation. For June the Army reported 14 potential suicides among active duty Soldiers: six have been confirmed as suicides and eight are under investigation.
For CY 2013, there have been 94 potential active duty suicides. Updated active duty suicide numbers for CY 2012: 185 (169 have been confirmed as suicides and 16 remain under investigation).
During July, among reserve component Soldiers who were not on active duty, there were eight potential suicides (six Army National Guard and two Army Reserve): None have been confirmed as suicides and eight remain under investigation. For June, among that same group, the Army reported 10 (six Army National Guard and four Army Reserve): Four have been confirmed as suicides and six cases remain under investigation. For CY 2013, there have been 90 potential not on active duty suicides (58 Army National Guard and 32 Army Reserve): 57 have been confirmed as suicides and 33 remain under investigation. Updated not on active duty suicide numbers for CY 2012: 140.
Soldiers and Families in need of crisis assistance can contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. Trained consultants are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year and can be contacted by dialing 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or by visiting their website at www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org.
Staff Sgt. Ty Carter
inducted into Hall of Heroes
American Forces Press Service
Defense Department leaders turned out Tuesday to honor Army Staff Sgt. Ty Carter, who received the nation’s highest award for valor, the Medal of Honor, from President Barack Obama in a White House ceremony Monday.
Deputy Defense Secretary Ash Carter led the induction ceremony, which formally added the staff sergeant’s name to the list of Medal of Honor recipients featured at the Pentagon’s Hall of Heroes. Army Undersecretary Joseph Westphal and Army Vice Chief of Staff Gen. John Campbell also spoke at the ceremony.
On Oct. 3, 2009, the 53 defenders of Combat Outpost Keating woke to some 300 enemy attackers raining down incoming rifle, rocket-propelled grenade, machine-gun and mortar fire from the high ground surrounding the outpost.
Sgt. Carter, assigned that day to support the camp’s guard posts, repeatedly braved withering fire, sprinting again and again over open ground to keep defenders supplied with ammunition, and to aid and evacuate a badly wounded friend and fellow Soldier.
Deputy Secretary Carter said regardless of whether or how they have served, Americans see their own highest aspirations reflected in actions like these.
The nation will preserve the hard-earned lessons it has learned over a decade of war, he said, and adapt them for a future in which global threats grow less predictable and more dangerous.
The deputy secretary noted that the staff sergeant, who has spoken publicly about his own struggles with post-traumatic stress, now has another chance to serve the nation—out of combat. The nation counted on Sgt. Carter at COP Keating, said, “and now we count on you to remind Americans of the best that we all can be. ... I have no doubt that your courageous acts in Afghanistan are only the beginning of your service to this country.”