Exclusive interview: Odierno on force-outs, women in combat and less frequent PCS’s

As many as 16,000 soldiers and 5,000 officers face involuntary separation, but more jobs will open to female soldiers. Pre-deployment training will intensify, and time between permanent change-of-station moves may extend.

Army Chief of Staff Gen. Ray Odierno covered these and other hot topics in an exclusive, wide-ranging interview with Army Times. From tighter promotions and his plans for the new fitness test to a redesign of brigade combat teams and possible changes to the Army Service Uniform, nothing was off limits as the chief outlined his goals for 2013 and beyond.

Get all the details in the Dec. 3 issue of Army Times.

Military’s highest court debates the legality of private sex tapes

Does making a private sex tape amount to a crime under military law?

The military’s highest court considered that question Nov. 13 as its judges heard an appeal from a soldier who was convicted of making a video of himself having sex with a German woman in 2006.

The case cast a spotlight on how Article 134 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice might apply to sexual activity that is legal for civilians but for service members might “bring discredit upon the armed forces.”

Read the full story in this week’s Army Times, on sale now.

New units deploy at half the strength of BCTs, focus on Afghan support

Up to eight newly designed units — dubbed security force assistance brigades — will replace an equal number of Army brigade combat teams across the east and south of Afghanistan by next spring, bringing a new focus to the training and advising mission while pushing Afghans to take the lead in security operations.

Not only will the SFABs focus more on training and mentoring Afghan National Security Forces than leading combat and counterinsurgency missions, but they will also deploy at about half of the strength of the BCTs they’re replacing. Each SFAB is 1,400 to 2,000 soldiers, as opposed to the 3,500 to 4,000 soldiers in a fully manned brigade.

Find out more in the latest Army Times.

Combined Federal Campaign Givers Guide

If you’re looking to donate to a charity this holiday season but not sure how to pick one, Gannett Government Media’s CFC Givers Guide can help with the search. Just select a category and narrow it down for information on each hundreds of organizations, including Fisher House, which provides housing so families can be near their wounded service members during recovery. Find the directory online at http://cfc.gannettgovernmentmedia.com/directory.

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