Metro-East News

Roger That: Pentagon kicks University of Phoenix off military bases

Mike Fitzgerald
Mike Fitzgerald

The for-profit chain University of Phoenix is at odds with the Defense Department after the agency on Thursday suspended the college from recruiting on military bases and accessing federal education funding for service members, according to the Washington Post.

The decision arrives amid allegations that the university sponsored recruiting events in violation of an executive order preventing for-profit colleges from gaining preferential access to the military.

Defense Department chief of voluntary education Dawn Bilodeau said she was not at liberty to discuss the specifics of the case, but said the department will take action “when we are in receipt of reports on non-compliance” with a memorandum.

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In response to a recent New York Times article that criticized boxing as a requirement at West Point, James McDonough and John Lucas, writing for Foreign Policy’s Best Defense column, argue that boxing is about more than sport. The NY Times report, which was published on Sept. 29, questioned whether the risk of boxing outweighs the reward, noting 97 concussions in the last three academic years — all directs results of boxing.

McDonough and Lucas, both 1969 West Point graduates who served in Vietnam as infantry platoon leaders, contend that boxing teaches cadets invaluable leadership skills they’ll likely need in combat.

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According to a Raytheon press release, the defense company successfully tested the Pike 40 mm precision-guided munition at a firing range in Texas. The Pike, according to the release, is a 40mm laser semi-guided missile that can be fired from your average 40mm grenade launcher. During the test, two Pike missiles hit their target areas more than 2,000 yards away from where they were fired, according to the Washington Post.

For comparison, the standard issue M203 40mm grenade launcher has a range of around 150 yards.

The Pike weighs under two pounds and is a little over a foot long. According to Raytheon, the missile is mostly smokeless during its flight, making enemy detection difficult. As testing continues, Raytheon hopes to launch Pikes from different platforms, including drones.

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Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Welsh is reviewing the case of three instructor pilots at Laughlin Air Force Base, Texas, who were issued career-ending letters of reprimand and stripped of their wings for sending text messages the Air Force deemed unprofessional, according to Air Force Times.

In fact, the text messages included song lyrics, movie lines and other cultural references that were “painfully misunderstood by investigators,” wrote Rep. Duncan Hunter, R-Calif., and Rep. Adam Kinzinger, R-Ill.

During an unrelated investigation into whether a pilot was having an inappropriate relationship with a student, investigators found text messages that led them to suspect four other pilots had used drugs. One pilot was exonerated at an Article 15 hearing. The others were punished for failing to maintain professional standards — not for using drugs.

Mike Fitzgerald: 618-239-2533, @MikeFitz3000

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