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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In the Army you don’t get a job, you get an MOS – a military occupational specialty.

Sergeant Madeline Warrington was a 35M human intelligence collector. That meant that while she was in Iraq and Afghanistan, she gathered information on possible enemy threats.

Women in the Army during the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan were more likely to attempt suicide than male soldiers, a new study has found. 

Lance Cpl. Anna Albrecht/U.S. Army

Only four Iraq veterans have received the Medal of Honor, and some service members say the Pentagon has become stingy in recognizing valor.

The discipline of military service, as it does for many young men, changed John Blackjack’s life.

"He was a wild child with us," said Roseanne Wray, whose family adopted and raised Staff Sgt. Blackjack.  "The Army did something wonderful for him. They turned him into a soldier."

A Building Boom for Veterans Cemeteries

Jun 24, 2015
Jay Price/WUNC

The Veterans Administration and state governments have embarked on the largest expansion of veterans cemeteries since the Civil War.

A massive data breach at the federal Office of Personnel Management has exposed the Social Security numbers and personnel records of nearly every federal worker. The implications for federal employees, military service members and the intelligence community could be extraordinary.  

But at a very basic level U.S. service members have been at high risk for identity theft for decades.

War widows can be seen as a living symbol of patriotism. A reminder of the ultimate sacrifice of service.

But practically speaking, life for military widows and widowers is awash in grief, uncertainty and paperwork.

A group run by widows in Washington state has created a supportive social network to ease that burden. 

John Ismay

After being chained and padlocked for decades, the gate to the West Los Angeles VA Campus's Grand Lawn has re-opened.


Spc. Nikayla Shodeen/U.S. Army

At Georgia's Fort Benning, female soldiers are fighting a two-month battle. Their enemies? Hunger, fatigue, even hallucination. They're fighting their way through the Army's notoriously hard Ranger School, trying to make history by becoming the first women to graduate from it.

NPR — along with seven public radio stations around the country — is chronicling the lives of America's troops where they live. We're calling the project "Back at Base."

Caring for the nation's veterans at the end of their lives can be a complex task. Service members — especially combat veterans — can struggle with guilt, abandonment and regret.

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