Carter’s ‘Force of the Future’ Tallies Only Modest Changes

November 19, 2015 | Tom Philpott

By Tom Philpott Defense Secretary Ash Carter unveiled the “first tranche” of his Force of the Future initiatives Wednesday. They included none of the costly or controversial ideas that his … [Read more...]

Lawmaker is ‘Ground Zero’ for 2016 Commissary Reforms

November 05, 2015 | Tom Philpott

By Tom Philpott Rep. Joe Heck (R-Nev.) is a brigadier general in the Army Reserve, a soldier-physician thrice deployed and also a discerning commissary shopper. Heck bristles at seeing half … [Read more...]

DoD Replaces Plan It Concedes Put Commissaries At Risk

October 29, 2015 | Tom Philpott

By Tom Philpott The Pentagon’s last two budget plans to “reform” the commissary benefit for military families and retirees were driven by a goal to save money, without due regard for … [Read more...]

Bum Comparison: No Retiree COLA Vs. Military Pay Caps

October 22, 2015 | Tom Philpott

By Tom Philpott Come January, some military retirees are sure to ask why they haven’t seen an annual cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) in first-of-year paychecks. About the same time, some … [Read more...]

Conferees Shape Leaner Budget for Military Pay, Benefits

October 01, 2015 | Tom Philpott

By Tom Philpott Military members and families have little to cheer from compromises House and Senate conferees reached as they finalized details of key personnel provisions in the fiscal 2016 … [Read more...]

New Commissary Reform Plan to Protect Shopper Savings

September 17, 2015 | Tom Philpott

By Tom Philpott The Department of Defense is modifying its approach to reform the commissary benefit with new guarantees to preserve overall shopper savings and also to avoid pay cuts for current … [Read more...]

Combat Medicine Advances When Experts Collaborate

September 10, 2015 | Tom Philpott

By Tom Philpott Perhaps the most significant life-saving advancement in combat medicine in Afghanistan and Iraq was refinement of tourniquets and training to keep wounded warriors with shattered or … [Read more...]

Digital Innovation Team to Help Shape ‘Force of the Future’

September 03, 2015 | Tom Philpott

By Tom Philpott Defense Secretary Ash Carter’s “Force of the Future” initiative is expected to include a unique Defense Digital Services office that, within a year, would hire up to 100 top … [Read more...]

Attractions of Service Obscured by Hard Costs of War

August 27, 2015 | Tom Philpott

by Tom Philpott Perhaps to a degree not seen before, news outlets, politicians of every stripe and wounded warrior charities have turned an intense spotlight on problems service members and … [Read more...]

The Arguments Behind New Tech-Track Career Paths

August 20, 2015 | Tom Philpott

By Tom Philpott Every year, hundreds of technically or tactically skilled officers and non-commissioned officers, trained at great expense, leave the military for the private sector, not because … [Read more...]

Commissary Reformers Eye Repeal of ‘Cost-Plus-5%’ Pricing

August 06, 2015 | Tom Philpott

By Tom Philpott Defense officials appear ready to ask Congress to repeal a law that commissaries must sell products at cost plus five percent, a formula that for decades has ensured commissary … [Read more...]

Compound Drugs Fleece TRICARE, Create Deep Budget Hole

July 30, 2015 | Tom Philpott

By Tom Philpott Dodgy companies peddling pricey compound pharmaceuticals have fleeced the TRICARE program so severely this year, before tougher screening procedures took effect May 1, that they are … [Read more...]