March 23rd, 2013
11:06 PM ET

Victims ID'd from Marine base shooting

Military officials have released the names of the gunman and two victims killed at a Marine base in Quantico.

Lance Cpl. Sara Castromata, Corporal Jacob Wooley and Sgt. Eusebio Lopez were killed in the shooting.

Authorities have identified Sgt. Lopez as the alleged shooter.


Filed under: Crime • Marines • Military • U.S.
March 22nd, 2013
08:16 AM ET

3 dead after shooting at Marine base

[Updated at 8:16 a.m. ET] A Marine shot and killed two of his fellow service members at a Virginia base on Thursday night and then apparently killed himself, base officials said.

The incident took place at Marine Corps Base Quantico. The shooter gunned down a man and a woman, the spokesmen said. All are Marines - permanent personnel assigned to the officer candidate school.

Authorities did not disclose a motive and were investigating the incident. The identities of the victims were not immediately disclosed as authorities work to notify next of kin.

Post by: ,
Filed under: Crime • Gun violence • Marines • Military • Virginia
March 21st, 2013
03:29 AM ET

Marines killed in Nevada were all under 26

They came from all across America - from Connecticut to Florida to Illinois, and many points in between.

One had been in the Marines for nearly four and a half years, another for just a few months. Many served in Afghanistan, earning numerous honors before making it safely back home to the United States.

On Wednesday, the military released the names of the seven Marines killed Monday night during a training exercise at Hawthorne Army Depot in western Nevada.


Filed under: Marines • Military • Nevada
March 20th, 2013
10:16 PM ET

Military names 7 Marines killed in accident

The U.S. Marine Corps has released the identities of the seven Marines killed in Monday's explosion at the Hawthorne Army Depot in Nevada. They are:

• Pfc. Joshua M. Martino, 19, Clearfield, Pennsylvania;

• Lance Cpl. David P. Fenn II, 20, Polk City, Florida;

• Lance Cpl. Roger W. Muchnick Jr., 23, Fairfield, Connecticut;

• Lance Cpl. Joshua C. Taylor, 21, Marietta, Ohio;

• Lance Cpl. Mason J. Vanderwork, 21, Hickory, North Carolina;

• Lance Cpl. William T. Wild IV, 21, Anne Arundel, Maryland;

• Cpl. Aaron J. Ripperda, 26, Madison, Illinois.

The cause of the Monday night blast was a 60 mm round that detonated inside a mortar tube, Brig. Gen. James W. Lukeman, commanding general of the 2nd Marine Division, told reporters.

The Marines said in a statement Tuesday evening that all 60 mm mortar rounds and tubes used to fire them are being pulled pending an investigation.

Post by:
Filed under: Marines • Military • Nevada • U.S.
Officials: 7 Marines killed in training exercise
March 19th, 2013
12:29 PM ET

Officials: 7 Marines killed in training exercise

[Updated at 12:29 p.m. ET] The blast that killed seven U.S. Marines and injured eight others Monday night during a training exercise at Nevada's Hawthorne Army Depot was caused by a 60 mm round that detonated in a mortar tube, according to a military official.

[Posted at 9:22 a.m. ET] Seven U.S. Marines were killed and several others were injured during a training exercise Monday night at the Hawthorne Army Depot in Nevada, the Marine Corps said Tuesday.

The cause of the incident is under investigation, the Marines said.

Post by: ,
Filed under: Marines • Military • Nevada
Gen. Allen retires, passes on NATO nomination
February 19th, 2013
03:10 PM ET

Gen. Allen retires, passes on NATO nomination

The Marines general who was in line to become NATO's supreme allied commander is retiring instead.

President Barack Obama announced the retirement of U.S. Marine Corps Gen. John Allen, the former leader of coalition forces in Afghanistan, on Tuesday.

"I met with General John Allen and accepted his request to retire from the military so that he can address health issues within his family," Obama said in a statement.

Allen was caught up in a scandal over embarrassing e-mails with Tampa socialite Jill Kelley that came to the public's attention during the same investigation into an extra-marital affair that brought down former CIA Director David Petraeus. Allen was cleared of wrongdoing, and the White House initially indicated that Obama would proceed with the nomination for the supreme commander spot.


Filed under: Marines • Military • NATO
January 10th, 2013
09:37 AM ET

Marine Corps to spouse clubs: Allow same-sex members or you don't operate on base

It apparently takes more than a few good men, according to the U.S. Marine Corps. It takes all kinds of people to support military families, including same-sex spouses of service members.

CNN published a story this week about a woman married to a female lieutenant colonel at Fort Bragg who believes she was rejected from an officers' spouse club because she's gay.  Less than a day later, Maj. Gen. Vaughn Ary advised Marine Corps legal staff such clubs conducting business on its bases must admit same-same spouses. If they do not, the clubs will be barred from meeting on any Marine Corps installation.


Post by:
Filed under: Marines
Family of Marine imprisoned in Iran plead for his release
August 30th, 2012
07:43 PM ET

Family of Marine imprisoned in Iran plead for his release

Relatives of a former U.S. Marine jailed in Iran for allegedly spying for the CIA say they are pleading with the leaders of the Islamic Republic to show mercy and set Amir Mirzaei Hekmati free.

"I just want to ask President (Mahmoud) Ahmadinejad and the Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei, these two are our only hope. These two can bring Amir home," pleaded Behnaz Hekmati, Amir's mother.

"We just want (him) to come home, I think one year is enough. If you want to punish us, if you want to punish Amir, for whatever reason he is there, just one year is enough. Please let him come home," his mother added.

With reluctance and much apprehension, the Hekmati family opened their home to CNN and sat down for an exclusive interview, their first since Hekmati was arrested on August 29, 2011.


Post by:
Filed under: Iran • Marines
August 24th, 2012
02:05 PM ET

3 U.S. Marines shot in Mexico

Three U.S. Marines were injured in a shooting south of Mexico City on Friday morning, a Mexican military official told CNN Mexico.

The motive behind the attack on the American servicemen, who were on a diplomatic mission, was not immediately known.

Unknown gunmen inside what was described as a Mexican federal police vehicle fired upon a U.S. Embassy vehicle that carried the U.S. servicemen, said the official, who declined to be named for security reasons.

The injured Marines were transported to a hospital in Cuernavaca, Mexico.

Post by:
Filed under: Marines • Mexico
Air Force officer’s database shows U.S. bombs since WWI
THOR data plotted on Google Earth show British (red) and U.S. (blue) bombings in Germany from 1941 to 1945.
July 31st, 2012
06:30 PM ET

Air Force officer’s database shows U.S. bombs since WWI

A U.S. Air Force officer hopes to soon release a database of bombs dropped from American military aircraft since World War I - a tool he says can be used to shed new light on old conflicts and perhaps even help locate unexploded ordnance.

Lt. Col. Jenns Robertson says he began working on THOR, or Theater History of Operations Reports, in his spare time in 2006. It combines information from numerous sources - thousands of paper reports, punch cards and magnetic tape records for older conflicts, and digital databases for others - across nearly 100 years.

The database, already being used by the Defense Department and other government agencies, for the first time allows users to search and find on a map nine decades of U.S. bombings. THOR was first reported on this week by The Boston Globe.

Robertson started the database when he was part of a briefing team for the Air Force’s chief of staff at the Pentagon.

“What drove the development of THOR was ... the data may have been out there, but it was a pain in the rear end to find it and make it useful,” Robertson said by phone Tuesday.


Post by:
Filed under: Marines • Military • U.S. Air Force • U.S. Army • U.S. Navy • War
Gotta Watch: Military homecomings
A father and son hug after dad returns home in 2011.
May 27th, 2012
09:46 AM ET

Gotta Watch: Military homecomings

On Memorial Day this Monday, the United States will remember troops who died serving their country. The holiday originally started in Waterloo in 1866 to honor those who died in the Civil War.

The last U.S. troops withdrew from Iraq in December. Just days ago, NATO agreed on a withdrawal of U.S.-led international military forces from Afghanistan by 2014. In honor of the contributions that U.S. troops have made to the country, watch some of our favorite military homecomings.


Welcome home

Military homecomings bring out lots of feelings among family members. This compilation of reunions will tug at your heartstrings. Which one is your favorite?


School surprise

When a soldier returns after being in Iraq, he shows up at his children’s elementary school to surprise them. See the son’s emotional reaction at :25 and the daughter’s response at 1:20.


Walking to dad

A boy with cerebral palsy was told that he wouldn’t walk, but he surprises his Marine dad by walking to him at his homecoming. The son had been working on it for months, but the family kept the new ability a secret from his dad.


Canine love

Humans aren’t the only ones who miss military members while they’re away. Watch how macho soldiers are reduced to baby talk with their dogs.

Post by:
Filed under: Gotta Watch • Iraq War • Marines • Military
April 26th, 2012
10:33 PM ET

U.S. to move 9,000 Marines from Okinawa

Some 9,000 U.S. Marines will be transferred off the Japanese island of Okinawa under an agreement reached by U.S. and Japanese officials, a U.S. Defense Department official said.

Post by:
Filed under: Guam • Japan • Marines • Military
April 25th, 2012
07:13 PM ET

Overheard on Soldiers can't say whatever they want, or can they?

Editor's note: This post is part of the Overheard on series, a regular feature that examines interesting comments and thought-provoking conversations posted by the community.

Sgt. Gary Stein was given an "other-than-honorable" discharge for using his Facebook page to criticize President Barack Obama, said Capt. Brian Block, a spokesman for the Marines. We received thousands of comments from our readers, with many of them saying that a soldier cannot criticize the president any more than an employee should publicly critique their boss or CEO.

Marine discharged over online Obama comments

This was the most-liked comment:

rshanks66: "This is not a freedom of speech issue. It’s a military code of conduct issue. The president is the Commander in Chief. As a member of the service, you do not have the right to say you’re 'not going to follow orders.' It doesn’t matter if you like the officer or not. Everyone knows that."

But could there be unintended consequences?

Scott Giddens: "I don't care who you are or who you voted for. I would not make fun or joke about when the government aggressively silences dissident views even if it was justified. It simply smells bad. More than likely, the soldier was made an example to prevent more dissidence. If more soldiers did this, say 25-50, I wonder what the government would do then. This could backfire on us, with soldiers defending their fellow soldiers first and their country second."

In the business world, some readers argued, one must choose their words. FULL POST

Post by:
Filed under: Barack Obama • Marines • Military • Overheard on • Politics
April 25th, 2012
03:24 PM ET

Marine discharged over online Obama comments

A Marine who used his Facebook page to criticize President Barack Obama has been discharged, a Marine spokesman said Wednesday.

Sgt. Gary Stein (pictured) was given an "other-than-honorable" discharge, said Capt. Brian Block, a spokesman for the Marines.

A military board recommended earlier this month that Stein be given the discharge on grounds that he violated "good order and discipline" by calling Obama a liar and suggesting he would not follow some orders issued by the president, among other comments posted to his Armed Forces Tea Party Facebook page.

The board found he also violated rules limiting political conduct by service members.

Post by:
Filed under: Barack Obama • Marines • Military
Women to attend Marines' infantry school
The U.S. Marine Corps logo is seen at the Marines' base in Quantico, Virginia.
April 19th, 2012
10:34 AM ET

Women to attend Marines' infantry school

[Updated at 1:04 p.m. ET] The U.S. Marine Corps plans to allow a yet-undetermined number of female volunteers to enroll in the school that trains its infantry combat officers, the Marine Corps Times has reported.

The plan to open the Infantry Officers Course to women is part of the service's effort to determine which additional jobs may be open to women in the future, Gen. Joseph Dunford, the Marines' assistant commandant, told the Marine Corps Times.

"We are in the process right now of soliciting volunteers," Dunford told the Times for a story published Wednesday.

Enlisted women also eventually will have a chance to take infantry training, Dunford told the Times, which reported that it wasn't yet clear what path the women who complete the training would follow.

The decision to open the school to female volunteers is part of a research plan implemented after Congress directed the Marines to review their policies on assigning women to ground combat elements, Capt. Kevin Schultz, a Marines spokesman, told CNN on Thursday.

“The Marine Corps has initiated a measured, deliberate and responsible research effort in order to provide the commandant with meaningful data so that he can make a fact-based recommendation to the senior leadership of (the Defense Department) and Congress,” Schultz said.

Under a 1994 U.S. military policy, women are restricted from formally serving in small ground units directly involved in combat. The reality of the last 10 years of war, however, has been that many women serve in support positions - such as military police or medics - that place them in harm's way. They are not formally assigned to combat units, but rather informally "attached," which means they do not get the crucial credit for combat duty that is needed for promotions to higher grades.

Over the last several years, advocates as well as some senior U.S. military commanders have increasingly called for more ground combat jobs to be open to women, Starr reported.

Earlier this year, CNN's Barbara Starr reported that the Pentagon was planning to open up nearly 14,000 jobs to military women - jobs that would place them closer to the front lines of combat.

Some of the newly opened jobs were to include specialties such as tank or artillery mechanic, missile launcher crew members and field surgeons in forward deployed brigade combat teams. However, women still would not be permitted in frontline jobs directly involved in combat such as infantry units or counterterrorism sniper teams.

The Marine Corps Times also reported that the Marines are developing "gender-neutral" physical fitness tests for combat tasks. Such requirements would not differ for men and women, and would suggest that women who wanted to perform such tasks must prove that they could do so at the level of their male counterparts, the Times reported.

Wanted: Women in top military roles

Post by: ,
Filed under: Marines • Military
Marine says he faces discharge over Obama comments
Stein is facing discharge from the Marines due to comments he made about President Obama.
March 22nd, 2012
10:44 AM ET

Marine says he faces discharge over Obama comments

A politically active Marine who has questioned President Barack Obama's authority said Thursday he is facing administrative discharge proceedings over his comments.

Sgt. Gary Stein, who founded the Armed Forces Tea Party, said his commanding officer at Camp Pendleton near San Diego has accused him of violating a catch-all military justice provision against conduct endangering "good order and discipline."

He is also accused of violating a Department of Defense policy limiting the political activities of service members.

Stein came under scrutiny from Marine officials after posting that he would not obey Obama's orders.

Post by:
Filed under: Barack Obama • Marines • Military • Politics • U.S.
February 23rd, 2012
08:55 AM ET

Seven Marines dead after Arizona helicopters collide

[Updated at 10:12 a.m. ET] Seven U.S. Marines have been killed in the midair collision of two U.S. military helicopters in southern Arizona, officials said Thursday.

The crash occurred during routine training operations late Wednesday at the Marine Corps Air Station Yuma, Maj. Carl B. Redding, Jr. of the Marine Corps said in a statement.

The collision involved an AH-1W "Super Cobra" attack helicopter and a UH-1Y "Huey" utility chopper, which the military has long used for a variety of tasks. They were part of the 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing.

Authorities were investigating the collision, which occurred in a remote area of a training range complex.

Why aircraft carriers may be good for parking cars but not landing new jets
Sailors' cars fill the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan during transit up the U.S. West Coast.
January 16th, 2012
11:33 AM ET

Why aircraft carriers may be good for parking cars but not landing new jets

As this third week in January starts, we're learning three things about the U.S. military aircraft carrier program:

- The Pentagon may be looking at reducing the number of carriers in the U.S. fleet from 11 to 10 to save money.

- The military's new F-35C Joint Strike Fighter may not be suitable for carrier use.

- Aircraft carriers make fine automobile transports.

On the first point, The Washington Times reports, citing unnamed sources, that the U.S. Navy may be trying to cut one of its 11 carriers to save money.

Congress has mandated by law that the Navy maintain 11 carriers. But the Pentagon is also under orders from the Obama administration to cut $488 billion from its budget within the next 10 years, Rowan Scarborough reports in the Times.

Cutting a carrier, along with the other forces that make up and support a carrier battle group, could save the Navy billions of dollars, according to the Times report.


Post by:
Filed under: Marines • Military • Pentagon • U.S. Navy • United Kingdom
January 13th, 2012
09:21 AM ET

Two Marines in urination video interviewed

Military officials have interviewed two of four Marines in a video that shows them urinating on dead bodies sprawled out on the ground, a Marine Corps official told CNN Friday.

The Marines were not detained after the interview, the official said.

The names are not being made public, said the official, who did not want to be identified because the investigation is ongoing.

The identities were determined as officials in the United States and Afghanistan expressed shock and outrage regarding the video, which was posted Wednesday on a number of websites.

Post by:
Filed under: Afghanistan • Marines • Military • War
Overheard on Marine urination video draws thousands of story comments
A video purporting to show U.S. Marines urinating on dead bodies has sparked a huge conversation on
January 12th, 2012
03:43 PM ET

Overheard on Marine urination video draws thousands of story comments

Editor's note: This post is part of the Overheard on series, a regular feature that examines interesting comments and thought-provoking conversations posted by the community. Due to the provocative nature of this story, comments on this post will be disabled at the end of the day.

The story of a video purporting to show U.S. Marines urinating on dead bodies has generated thousands of fiery comments. Our readers were split between those who were outraged by this action on the deceased, and those who felt we should not be too quick to condemn the soldiers. One one hand, the commenters suggested we could be arming oppositional groups with fodder for anti-U.S. rhetoric. But there were many who said the video is a coarse reflection of the brutality of war and didn't want people to feel negatively about the military.

Shock, outrage over Marine urination video

We've seen a pretty even split of comments, with outrage and frustration expressed on all sides. Here's some of them. For example, this reader says this video, if real, shows an isolated event.

Dhamre: "A handful of young Marines did something really stupid and decided to film it. This isn't the defining moment of our history, or a reflection of all men and women in uniform."

Below is a sampling of some of the discussion we saw about whether the stresses of war help explain the Marines' actions.

Wilburchitow: "To all those who want to try and morally equivocate please stop. Yes we know the enemy has done far worse, but it is no excuse to partake in these types of actions. Our military is better than this and I know when found they will face justice!"

Allfight: "Maybe. But I hope they go very easy on them because they are doing a job that few can do let alone will do. They probably lost friends along the way. Like it or not. It's natural to hate someone that is trying to kill you. Anyone who says otherwise probably was never in that situation."

The following reader said she had lost a loved one in war, and felt the urination incident was an insult to the sacrifices the military makes. FULL POST

Post by:
Filed under: Marines • Military • Overheard on
« older posts