Tricare, the civilian healthcare system for military personnel, retirees and their families, will begin covering the cost of breast pumps and lactation counseling services for new moms starting July 1, according to a story in the Military Times.
The military health program will expand lactation benefits for new mothers to include manual or electric breast pumps, some supplies and outpatient counseling services, under an update to the Tricare policy manual released Friday, the publication reported.
The change is retroactive to Dec. 19, 2014, so Tricare beneficiaries who obtained these supplies or services on or after that date may be eligible for reimbursement if they meet the requirements.
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The Air Force has selected 23.55 percent of eligible airmen for promotion to technical sergeant this year — the highest in four years, and the latest sign that the promotion drought is ending, according to a story in the Air Force Times.
The Air Force Times reported that 8,446 out of 35,863 eligible staff sergeants were selected for promotion to E-6. That selection rate is far higher than the 15.03 percent rate in 2013 — when 6,684 airmen were selected for promotion — and the 17.43 percent rate last year.
Female military veterans commit suicide at nearly six times the rate of other women, a disturbing finding that experts say poses tough questions about the backgrounds and experiences of women who serve in the armed forces, according to government research that was the subject of a story in the Los Angeles Times.
“It's staggering,” said Dr. Matthew Miller, an epidemiologist and suicide expert at Northeastern University who was not involved in the research. "We have to come to grips with why the rates are so obscenely high."
Though suicide has become a major issue for the military over the last decade, most research by the Pentagon and the Veterans Affairs Department has focused on men, who account for more than 90 percent of the nation's 22 million former troops.
The rates are highest among young veterans, the VA found in new research compiling 11 years of data. For women ages 18 to 29, veterans kill themselves at nearly 12 times the rate of nonveterans.
About half of aerospace and defense companies are actively investing in research and development, according to a survey of industry executives released Monday.
The 14th annual survey conducted jointly by IT firm CSC and the Aerospace Industries Association also found that two-thirds of the 98 respondents from the commercial and aerospace and defense sectors have increased spending on cybersecurity during the last year. Of those, almost half (29 percent) have increased their spending on cybersecurity by 25 percent or more, while fewer than 5 percent said they had decreased their cybersecurity budgets.
Almost half — 48.6 percent — said their vulnerability to cyber threats has increased significantly or somewhat during the past 12 months.
Respondents were split almost down the middle on whether their firms are investing in R&D. For those who said they were, the most popular areas for investment were cyber, drones and electronic warfare. Directed energy, alternative energy and hypersonics were mentioned by between 15 and 40 percent of respondents.
A former U.S. Army doctor who trains soldiers in battlefield care has been accused of giving those soldiers drugs and alcohol, and then asking them to experiment on each other, according to a story in The Washington Post newspaper.
The students were asked to insert catheters into each other’s genitals and inject them with the hypnotic drug ketamine. He is also accused of removing so much blood from trainees that they went into shock, and then transfusing the blood back into their bodies.
Retired from the Army in 2000, John Henry Hagmann has helped train thousands of soldiers and medical personnel in how to treat battlefield wounds. His company, Deployment Medicine International, has received more than $10.5 million in business from the federal government.
During instructional sessions in 2012 and 2013 for military personnel, Hagmann gave trainees drugs and liquor and directed them to perform macabre medical procedures on one another, according to a report issued by the Virginia Board of Medicine, the state agency that oversees the conduct of doctors.
Roger That is a regular feature by BND military beat reporter Mike Fitzgerald. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org or 618-239-2533.