U.S. Army

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The Pentagon's decision to open up all combat jobs in the military to women next year could have an impact on the elite Army Rangers unit based at Joint Base Lewis McChord.

AP Photo/Darren Abate

The hearing officer overseeing the Army’s desertion case against Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl has submitted his recommendation.

Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl is facing charges of desertion and misbehavior before the enemy.

The Army is deploying 200 soldiers to help fight wildfires that are burning through about 1.1 million acres across the Western United States. That's according to a press release from the National Interagency Fire Center in Boise, Idaho.

"It's been nine years since wildfire was so widespread all at once that active military troops joined firefighters battling blazes," NPR's Howard Berkes reports. "Four military C-130 cargo planes are also in use as air tankers."

Amidst further downsizing confirmed by the U.S. Army Thursday, the Washington National Guard got good news. The Guard’s 81st Armored Brigade announced it will shed its heavy tanks and armor to convert into a more nimble Stryker configuration.

Hal McCune, URS

The Umatilla Chemical Depot is nearing final cleanup. It letting go of 60 more workers Thursday. The northeast Oregon military site is where tons of deadly chemical weapons were stored for decades. 

U.S. Army / Wikimedia Commons

A Seattle soldier received the nation’s highest military honor Tuesday from President Obama. Army Captain William D. Swenson was awarded the Medal of Honor for repeatedly running into the line of fire during a 2009 battle in Afghanistan to rescue fellow soldiers.

Just as international talks ramp up about chemical weapons in Syria, the last remaining signs of similar deadly munitions in the Northwest are going away.

For more than a decade, Washington’s Joint Base Lewis-McChord has been sending soldiers off to war and welcoming them back home. Now this cycle of deployments and homecomings is winding down.

Over the next month, more than 1,000 soldiers from the 4th Stryker Brigade will return home. More than 200 were welcomed back Wednesday. And this time they don’t expect to go back to Afghanistan.

Bowe Bergdahl's Parents Confirm New Correspondence

Jun 7, 2013

Parents of captured Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl recently had some good news. The family says they received a handwritten letter from their son, who's been held as a prisoner of war by the Taliban for almost four years.

A case that featured harrowing testimony of combat-related mental illness ended Monday with a guilty verdict. Army Sergeant John Russell was convicted for murdering five fellow servicemen at a military mental health clinic in Baghdad in 2009.

A military judge found the 48-year-old Texas native guilty of premeditated murder. A public affairs spokesman at Joint Base Lewis-McChord near Tacoma says Sergeant Russell showed no visible reaction.

KETCHUM, Idaho - A winter's worth of racing and training for the best disabled skiers and shooters culminates later this month at the Paralympic Nordic World Championships in Sweden. For the first time, the U.S. team headed to the competition is made up entirely of disabled veterans. It's a good example of how some wounded soldiers are finding a new mission and purpose.

Sun Valley, Idaho has become a hub for healing veterans through sports and one ex-soldier went from infantryman to badly wounded warrior to pro athlete.

Two themes emerged from a roundtable of mostly female soldiers at the U.S. Army's biggest West Coast post. Joint Base Lewis-McChord organized the panel Thursday to speak on the Pentagon's decision to allow women into combat roles.

U.S. Army

A new Army report confirms it was a mid-air crash that brought down two Army helicopters at Washington’s Joint Base Lewis-McChord a year ago. It happened during a night vision training exercise.

Photo Credit: Austin Jenkins

In eight days of hearings, Army prosecutors outlined in grisly detail the case against Staff Sgt. Robert Bales. He’s the Washington soldier charged with killing and wounding 23 Afghan civilians in a rampage this past March. Bales’ pretrial hearing concluded Tuesday at Joint Base Lewis-McChord. Now the Army will decide whether the evidence supports a full court martial and, if so, whether the death penalty is appropriate in this case.

Austin Jenkins

A pretrial hearing for Army Staff Sgt. Robert Bales has concluded at Joint Base Lewis-McChord. Bales is the soldier accused of killing 16 Afghan civilians earlier this year – most of them young children. The defense is focused on Bales’ state of mind.

Afghan Survivors And Witnesses Testify At Army Hearing

Nov 12, 2012
Photo Credit: Maj. Brent Clemmer

Witnesses and survivors recounted a horrific scene following a massacre at two villages in Kandahar Province that killed 16 civilians and wounded 6. They testified via live video from Afghanistan during a pretrial hearing for Army Staff Sergeant Robert Bales at Joint Base Lewis McChord.

Prosecutors have made opening arguments in a hearing for the Washington soldier accused of massacring 16 Afghan villagers earlier this year. The pretrial hearing for Staff Sgt. Robert Bales is expected to last several days.

Army prosecutors have outlined their case against Staff Sgt. Robert Bales. He’s the Washington soldier accused of murdering 16 Afghan civilians in two villages. At a pretrial hearing Monday the prosecution played nighttime surveillance video.

Maj. Brent Clemmer

Army prosecutors say Staff Sgt. Robert Bales murdered 16 Afghan civilians in two villages this past March in an act of “sheer brutality.” That was the opening argument at a pretrial hearing Monday to determine if Bales will face a full court martial and possibly the death penalty.

Three JBLM Soldiers Killed In Sunday Attack

Sep 19, 2012

The Defense Department says three of four soldiers killed Sunday in Afghanistan were from Joint Base Lewis-McChord. A NATO spokesman said that Afghan police turned on the soldiers during an attack at a remote checkpoint. All three men were members of the 3rd Stryker Brigade stationed at Joint Base Lewis-McChord.

Madigan Army Medical Center press office

This week the Army announced that it will no longer use a special psychiatry unit to evaluate soldiers with PTSD at Madigan Army Medical Center in Lakewood. Thursday, Army leadership from Madigan met with reporters.

Andrea Velasquez Kessler / Northwest News Network

The cemetery at Joint Base Lewis-McChord will be the site of a Memorial Day ceremony to honor fallen service members. A University of Washington graduate is the latest Washington-based soldier to die in Afghanistan.

Army records indicate 25 year old Lt. Travis Morgado is the sixth soldier from the Army post near Tacoma killed in action so far this year.

Just before he deployed in March, Lt. Morgado spoke with NPR’s Martin Kaste outside Joint Base Lewis-McChord. He was reacting to news that a fellow soldier, Sgt. Robert Bales, had been accused of murdering 17 Afghan civilians.

Photo Courtesy: Silvia Buoniconti / Northwest News Network

“Heartbreaking” and “Preventable.” That’s how the mother of an Army helicopter pilot describes the midair crash that killed her son and three others last December. It happened during a nighttime training exercise at Washington’s Joint Base Lewis-McChord. A report released this week finds that commanders knew about radar and radio limitations in the training area where the crash happened. But apparently those communication gaps went unresolved – despite other near misses.

US Senate

A scandal over PTSD diagnoses at Madigan Army Hospital has triggered an Army-wide Inspector General investigation. That’s according to the Secretary of the Army, John McHugh.

Photo credit: U.S. Army Chemical Materials Agency / U.S. Army Chemical Materials Agency

RICHLAND, Wash. – There’s one less chemical weapons cache in the world today. The U.S. Army has certified to the international panel in The Hague that the Umatilla Chemical Weapons Depot is free of all chemical agents in compliance with international treaties. An end-of-operations celebration is planned for March 15. Correspondent Anna King reports.