For now, U.S. Army suspends discharges of immigrant recruits
The U.S. Army has stopped discharging immigrant recruits who enlisted seeking a path to citizenship — at least temporarily.
A memo shared with The Associated Press Aug. 8 and dated July 20 spells out orders to high-ranking Army officials to stop processing discharges of men and women who enlisted in the special immigrant program, effective immediately.
It was not clear how many recruits were impacted by the action, and the Pentagon did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Early last month, the Pentagon said there had been no specific policy change and that background checks were ongoing.
Margaret Stock, an Alaska-based immigration attorney, says the memo proves there was a policy.
Recruits and reservists reached Aug. 8 said their discharges were still in place as far as they knew. AP
NATO’s top general visits candidate member Macedonia
NATO’s top military officer visited Macedonia, which hopes to join the alliance once a landmark deal with neighboring Greece to rename itself North Macedonia has been fully implemented.
U.S. Army Gen. Curtis Scaparrotti, NATO’s supreme commander in Europe, congratulated Macedonia’s leaders Aug. 9 in the capital of Skopje for the country’s “significant progress” in military reforms. He also offered “practical support” to the Macedonian army in the NATO accession process.
NATO leaders formally invited Macedonia last month to begin accession talks, following the preliminary agreement with Greece over the former Yugoslav republic’s name.
Macedonians will vote on the name deal in a Sept. 30 referendum. The country’s parliament then has to amend the constitution to change the name, after which the deal must be ratified by Greece. AP
Pence outlines plan for new Space Force by 2020
U.S. Vice President Mike Pence has announced plans for a new, separate U.S. Space Force as sixth military service by 2020
Pence says it’s needed to ensure America’s dominance in space amid heightened competition and threats from China and Russia. He says that while space was once peaceful and uncontested, it is now crowded and adversarial.
President Donald Trump has called for a “separate but equal” space force. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis has endorsed plans to reorganize the military’s space warfighting forces and create a new command, but has previously opposed launching an expensive new service.
Any proposal to create a new service would require congressional action. AP