Post-9/11 veterans are holding their own when it comes to unemployment figures, according to Military Times.
The jobless rate for post-9/11 veterans in June held steady at the near-record low of the previous month — 5.4 percent — government data shows. Meanwhile, the nation added 223,000 jobs last month, with the overall unemployment rate dipping to 5.3 percent, down from the 5.5 percent recorded in May, the Bureau for Labor Statistics reported.
June marks only the third month in history with an unemployment rate for the latest generation of vets below 5.5 percent. May 2015, also with a 5.4 percent rate, was the second, and May 2014, with a record 5.3 percent rate, was the first, according to the Military Times story.
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The chief of the new Pentagon agency in charge of recovering and identifying remains of U.S. war dead said he will push for more partnering with private groups that have resources and interest to help reinvigorate a troubled POW-MIA accounting mission, according to the Associated Press.
Michael Linnington, a recently retired three-star Army general and veteran of combat in Iraq and Afghanistan, took over the Defense POW-MIA Accounting Agency in late June. Linnington said he intends to complete its organizational overhaul by the end of the year. His agency was created by merging the two offices that had previously been in charge.
He has little experience in the MIA mission, but told The Associated Press last week that he knows its history is riddled with controversy as well as criticism from Congress and groups that advocate for families of the missing.
“I am aware of some of the reports on the dysfunction,” he said, referring to 2013 reports of deep conflict among multiple agencies previously assigned to the accounting mission.
The Army has quietly killed a program that put social scientists on battlefields to help troops avoid unnecessary bloodshed and improve civilians’ lives, according to USA Today.
The initiative, known as the Human Terrain System, had been plagued by fraud and racial and sexual harassment, a USA TODAY investigation found.
HTS, which spent at least $726 million from 2007 to 2014 in Iraq and Afghanistan, was killed last fall, Gregory Mueller, an Army spokesman, said in an email. Commanders in Afghanistan, where the U.S. combat mission ended last year, no longer had a need for the advice of civilian anthropologists.
“The HTS program ended on September 30, 2014, as there was no longer a requirement for HTS teams in theater,”
Mueller said in a statement. However, several months before, Army Secretary John McHugh had praised the program, saying the information the teams provided was “actionable and useful for decision-making.”
Contact reporter Mike Fitzgerald at firstname.lastname@example.org or 618-239-2533.