Ohio sailor among 7 killed aboard USS Fitzgerald, US Navy says

Published: Sunday, June 18, 2017 @ 7:53 PM

Bodies of sailors killed in crash off coast of Japan found

An Ohioan was among the seven casualties found in flooded berthing compartments of the USS Fitzgerald following the collision with a Japanese merchant vessel.

The U.S. Navy Sunday identified the sailors killed as:

  • Fire Controlman 1st Class Gary Leo Rehm Jr., 37, of Elyria, Ohio

RELATED: Ohio sailor killed in crash near Japan was to retire soon

  • Gunner’s Mate Seaman Dakota Kyle Rigsby, 19, of Palmyra, Virginia
  • Yeoman 3rd Class Shingo Alexander Douglass, 25, of San Diego, California
  • Sonar Technician 3rd Class Ngoc T. Truong Huynh, 25, of Oakville, Connecticut
  • Gunner’s Mate 2nd Class Noe Hernandez, 26, of Weslaco, Texas
  • Fire Controlman 2nd Class Carlosvictor Ganzon Sibayan, 23, of Chula Vista, California
  • Personnel Specialist 1st Class Xavier Alec Martin, 24, of Halethorpe, Maryland

Damaged part of USS Fitzgerald is seen at the U.S. Naval base in Yokosuka, southwest of Tokyo Sunday, June 18, 2017. Navy divers found seven sailors' bodies Sunday aboard the stricken USS Fitzgerald that collided with a container ship in the busy sea off Japan (AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko)(AP)

The sailors’ remains were found when divers gained access to the compartments on Sunday that were damaged when the destroyer and Phillippine-flagged merchant vessel ACX Crystal collided, the U.S. Navy stated in a release issued Sunday evening.

The incident remains under investigation.

Iranians: U.S. Navy ship fired warning flares in Persian Gulf

Published: Saturday, July 29, 2017 @ 7:00 AM

USS Nimitz
Universal History Archive/UIG via Getty Images
USS Nimitz(Universal History Archive/UIG via Getty Images)

A U.S. Navy aircraft carrier fired warning flares at Iranian vessels in the Persian Gulf on Friday, according to Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps.

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In a statement Saturday, the IRGC navy said the American ship was “unprofessional and provocative,” CNN reported.

The USS Nimitz and a second American ship approached the Iranian ships, the IRGC navy said. The Iranian vessels ignored the flares, and the U.S. ships later left the area, CNN reported.

Pentagon spokesman U.S. Navy Capt. Jeff Davis previously told reporters that there had been 35 incidents of unsafe or unprofessional behavior by Iranian vessels in 2016, CNN reported.

69 years ago today, Truman ordered 'right and just' desegregation of US armed forces

Published: Wednesday, July 26, 2017 @ 4:13 PM

American President Harry S. Truman (1884 - 1972) smiles as he makes a national radio address on labor and wage controls, Washington DC, January 3, 1946. (Photo by PhotoQuest/Getty Images)
PhotoQuest/Getty Images
American President Harry S. Truman (1884 - 1972) smiles as he makes a national radio address on labor and wage controls, Washington DC, January 3, 1946. (Photo by PhotoQuest/Getty Images)(PhotoQuest/Getty Images)

Sixty-nine years ago on July 26, 1948, President Harry Truman issued an executive order abolishing racial discrimination in the United States armed forces.

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“It is hereby declared to be the policy of the President that there shall be equality of treatment and opportunity for all persons in the armed services without regard to race, color, religion, or national origin,” executive order 9981 stated.

While the issued order established the President’s Committee on Equality of Treatment and Opportunity in the Armed Services, or the Fahy Committee, segregation in the military wouldn’t officially end for months.

>> Related: Trump: Transgender people won't be allowed in the military

The number of black Marines grew quickly, from 1,525 to 17,000 in May 1949.

Full integration, according to the Truman Library, didn’t happen until the Korean War in 1953, “when heavy casualties forced segregated units to merge for survival.”

>> Related: These 18 countries allow transgender people in their militaries

Before executive order 9981, blacks and other minorities serving in the military were segregated into separate units, often performing menial tasks.

Segregation within the armed services came to an official end in November 1954 with the deactivation of the 94th Engineer Battalion, the country’s last black military unit.

Read executive order 9981 below:

EXECUTIVE ORDER 9981

Establishing the President's Committee on Equality of Treatment and Opportunity In the Armed Forces.

WHEREAS it is essential that there be maintained in the armed services of the United States the highest standards of democracy, with equality of treatment and opportunity for all those who serve in our country's defense:

NOW THEREFORE, by virtue of the authority vested in me as President of the United States, by the Constitution and the statutes of the United States, and as Commander in Chief of the armed services, it is hereby ordered as follows:

  1. It is hereby declared to be the policy of the President that there shall be equality of treatment and opportunity for all persons in the armed services without regard to race, color, religion or national origin. This policy shall be put into effect as rapidly as possible, having due regard to the time required to effectuate any necessary changes without impairing efficiency or morale.
  2. There shall be created in the National Military Establishment an advisory committee to be known as the President's Committee on Equality of Treatment and Opportunity in the Armed Services, which shall be composed of seven members to be designated by the President.
  3. The Committee is authorized on behalf of the President to examine into the rules, procedures and practices of the Armed Services in order to determine in what respect such rules, procedures and practices may be altered or improved with a view to carrying out the policy of this order. The Committee shall confer and advise the Secretary of Defense, the Secretary of the Army, the Secretary of the Navy, and the Secretary of the Air Force, and shall make such recommendations to the President and to said Secretaries as in the judgment of the Committee will effectuate the policy hereof.
  4. All executive departments and agencies of the Federal Government are authorized and directed to cooperate with the Committee in its work, and to furnish the Committee such information or the services of such persons as the Committee may require in the performance of its duties.
  5. When requested by the Committee to do so, persons in the armed services or in any of the executive departments and agencies of the Federal Government shall testify before the Committee and shall make available for use of the Committee such documents and other information as the Committee may require.
  6. The Committee shall continue to exist until such time as the President shall terminate its existence by Executive order.

Harry Truman

The White House
July 26, 1948

 

Report: Transgender health care would cost fraction of what military spends on Viagra, similar drugs

Published: Wednesday, July 26, 2017 @ 3:59 PM

Trump: Transgender People Won't Be Allowed In The Military

President Donald Trump said Wednesday that “tremendous medical costs” were partially behind his decision to bar transgender Americans from serving in the military. However, a report from The Washington Post showed that estimates for the cost of caring for transgender service members amount to just a fraction of what the military currently spends on erectile dysfunction drugs.

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The president did not provide any numbers to support his claim. However, the Post reported, a study commissioned by the Department of Defense and published last year by the Rand Corp. estimated that it would cost a maximum of $8.4 million per year to pay for transition-related care.

According to the report, the funds amount to “a 0.04 to 0.13 percent increase” in health care costs.

The American Medical Association said in a statement that there is “no medically valid reason to exclude transgender individuals from military service.”

“AMA policy also supports public and private health insurance coverage for treatment of gender dysphoria as recommended by the patient's physician,” According to the Rand study on the impact of transgender individuals in the military, the financial cost is a rounding error in the defense budget and should not be used as an excuse to deny patriotic Americans an opportunity to serve their country. We should be honoring their service - not trying to end it.”

>> Related: Trump: Transgender people won't be allowed in the military

The Rand Corp. estimate amounts to about one-tenth of the amount the military spends each year on erectile dysfunction prescriptions, the Post reported.

A 2015 analysis of Defense Health Agency data by the Military Times showed the Department of Defense spent $84.24 million in 2014 on prescriptions for erectile dysfunction drugs.

In the period between 2011 and 2014, the newspaper reported, the military spent $294 million on erectile dysfunction prescriptions, “the equivalent of nearly four U.S. Air Force F-35 Join Strike Fighters.”

>> Related: What is the difference between transgender and transsexual?

A separate study on the costs of transgender health care, published in 2015 in the New England Journal of Medicine, estimated that about 12,800 transgender troops were serving in the military and eligible for health care. The cost to provide transition-related care would amount to about $5.6 million annually, or 22 cents per member per month, according to the study.

Aaron Belkin, the study’s author and director of the Palm Center research institute, wrote that, “Though my utilization and cost estimates are quite close to actual data provided by an allied military force, it seems clear that under any plausible estimation method, the cost amounts to little more than a rounding error in the military's $47.8 billion annual health care budget.”

>> Related: These 18 countries allow transgender people in their militaries

White House deputy press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Wednesday afternoon that the decision to bar transgender people from service was a “military decision” made in the face of what the president saw as policy that “erodes military readiness and military cohesion.”

It was not immediately clear whether the ban would include people who are currently transgender and serving in the military. Sanders said the White House and Defense Department would work together to determine how to implement Trump’s plan.

Navy sailor found hiding on ship after week-long disappearance could face discharge

Published: Tuesday, July 18, 2017 @ 4:45 PM

Navy Sailor Presumed Overboard Found Hiding On Ship

A sailor whose disappearance from a U.S. Navy vessel last month launched a days-long search amid fears he had fallen overboard could face discharge after he was found hiding in the ship’s engine room, according to multiple reports.

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Gas Turbine Systems Technician (Mechanical) 3rd Class Peter Mims, 23, appeared to have vanished June 8 from the USS Shiloh as the vessel was 180 miles east of Okinawa, Japan.

He was found one week later, hiding in one of the ship’s engine rooms, Navy Times reported.

Mims admitted last week during an admiral’s mast that his disappearance was “intentional, and that he took steps to try to avoid being found by the other Shiloh sailors who were actively trying to locate him,” during an admiral’s mast, Lt. Paul Newell, spokesman for the U.S. 7th Fleet, told Navy Times.

He was charged with violations of the Uniform Code of Military Justice, including abandoning watch and dereliction of duty, Stars and Stripes reported.

Navy officials declined to discuss Mims’ possible punishment for the violations, although Navy Times reported that he could face discharge.

>> Related: Navy sailor presumed overboard found hiding on ship: report

“We are not disclosing any of the punitive actions taken against him,” Newell told Navy Times. "However, I can say that Mims is facing possible further administrative action."

Citing the Manual for Courts-Martial, Stars and Stripes reported that Mims could face a maximum of a “bad-conduct discharge, forfeiture of all pay and allowances and confinement for six months.”

Mims’ disappearance triggered a multinational search.

The U.S. Navy, Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force and the Japanese Coast Guard spent more than 50 hours combing 5,500 square miles of the Philippine Sea in search of Mims. The search was suspended on June 11, although crewmembers on the Shiloh continued to look for the missing sailor.

Mims is from Putnam County, Florida, and was assigned to the Shiloh in 2014