Airman 1st Class Jack Pepper (with goggles) attempts a maneuver on a simulator while Lt. Col. Paul Vicars looks on. Pepper is among the first participants in Pilot Training Next, which uses off-the-shelf virtual reality technology.
Carson Frame / American Homefront

These Air Force Trainees Spend Less Time In the Cockpit, More Time In Flight Simulators

Facing a shortage of pilots, the Air Force is experimenting with ways to make training programs faster and less expensive.

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Cadets at St. Mary's University Army ROTC participate in a morning workout.
Carson Frame / American Homefront

Since last year, the Army has required a fitness test before recruits start basic training.

With a camera attached to his helmet, Navy Specialist 1st Class Benjamin Lewis participates in a training exercise. Combat Camera photographers are trained to shoot both cameras and weapons to photograph military operations.
Tyler S. Dietrich / U.S. Marine Corps

The Navy blames cost-cutting for the elimination of its two Combat Camera units, which take photos and videos of naval operations.

Rhode Island resident Tom Peters regularly vacations at the MacDill Air Force Base RV park.
Capt. Jessica Brown / U.S. Air Force

Military retirees can camp, golf, and fish at hundreds of military bases. It costs less than civilian resorts, making the bases popular vacation spots for thousands of former service members.

In this 1971 Army photo, a service member is vaccinated with a jet injection gun. The Army at the time called the gun "a fast, safe method for giving mass inoculations to troops."
U.S. Army Medical Department

Some veterans say they contracted hepatitis from the "jet gun" that was used to immunize them in the Vietnam era, but researchers haven't proven that link.

Marine Corps Master Sgt. David Lopez is a car enthusiast with 23 years in the military. He's learning to work on BMW engines as part of the inaugural class of the Military Service Technician Education Program at Camp Pendleton.
Libby Denkmann / American Homefront

BMW, Microsoft, and CVS are among the companies that conduct on-base job training for service members who will soon leave the military.

Bob Krafty was just out of his teens when he was offered temporary duty at Edgewood Arsenal in 1965.
Bob Krafty

Top secret Army experiments exposed thousands of veterans to potential chemical and biological weapons. Some are still waiting for follow up medical care.

Natural light floods the hallways and community spaces at the new Bay Pines VA Mental Health Center in Florida. The center houses a special inpatient unit for sexual trauma survivors.
Bobbie O'Brien / American Homefront

Sexual trauma can be especially damaging for members of the military, where the perpetrator may be a commander and have access to weapons.

Army Maj. Jason Moncuse sat at a table in a makeshift headquarters with an Afghan actor playing the role of a commander from that nation's army. Through a Dari-speaking interpreter they traded small talk.

"Oh, and if you could, also submit this tourist visa to the U.S.," the commander said.

"Oh, so you want a tourist visa?" said Moncuse.

The chatting wasn't aimless, though. The Army is essentially weaponizing chitchat.

The Tomahawk Ground Launched Nuclear Cruise Missile -- now displayed at the Pima Air and Space Museum in Arizona - was an important part of the U.S. arsenal during the Cold War.
Kelly Michals / Flikr

As part of a recently released plan, the Trump Administration is proposing an increase in the U.S. nuclear arsenal. 

A charity called 'Homes for Our Troops' is building an accessible home for veteran Ryan Wilcox in upstate New York.
Sarah Harris / American Homefront

When veterans with war injuries need accessible housing, they often have few options.

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