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Each year, Americans spend over 50 billion dollars on cigarettes, essentially smoking their money away, April 26, 2010. Roughly 30% of military active duty smoke and $930 million dollars are spent by the Department of Defense health care system on smoking related illnesses. This photo won honorable mention, illustrative in the 2011 Military Photographer of the Year competition. (Jodi Martinez/US Air Force/MCT)

Military's push to discourage tobacco use stumbles amid cheap cigarettes

Soldiers, sailors or airmen looking for the cheapest smokes need go no further than the retail exchanges on their own bases.

A pack of...

More tax tips as April 15 deadline approaches

Hello Military Community,

I have received queries for more information and details about filing taxes since writing about it in January...

Survey stakes mark the Japanese soccer field where buried drums containing herbicide and dioxin residue were found while children play outside of nearby Amelia Earhart Intermediate School on Kadena Air Base, Okinawa. (Travis J. Tritten/Stars and Stripes)

New soil tests at Kadena Air Base schools find no herbicide, dioxin

CAMP FOSTER, Okinawa — New tests on soil from schools at Kadena Air Base in Okinawa have found no danger of herbicides or dioxin despite fears...

Sailors from the USS John S. McCain pose at Zushi Beach in 2011. (Stars and Stripes)

'Scary' tattoo ban passed at popular beach for servicemembers in Japan

YOKOSUKA NAVAL BASE, Japan — The party is about to slow down for patrons of one of Japan’s most popular beaches, and it may be over altogether for...

Sgt. 1st Class Curtis Toomer, of the 409th Contracting Support Brigade, based at Panzer Kaserne in Kaiserslautern, Germany.  Matt Millham/Stars and Stripes

Proposed budget cuts irk overseas servicemembers

Cuts announced by Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel this week aren’t going down well with military personnel serving overseas.

Caps on pay...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=r87uO0u2VZg

In meeting with servicemembers, Hagel defends troop and compensation cuts

JOINT BASE LANGLEY-EUSTIS, Va. — A day after unveiling a preview of next year’s defense budget, which calls for reductions in compensation and...

Capt. Natasha Fitzsimmons, a special victims' counsel based at Joint Base Maguire-Dix-Lakehurst, N.J., is one of 24 Air Force lawyers tasked with helping victims of sexual assault. (U.S. Air Force)

Air Force program a rare bright spot in military’s sex assault fight

After she was raped, she had to describe the attack time after humiliating time in interviews — with investigators, prosecutors, victim advocates...

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., shown here at a Senate committee hearing on sexual assault February 26, 2014, says the number of soldiers disqualified for sensitive jobs indicates the need for radical reform of the military's approach to sexual assault prosecution. (Joe Gromelski/Stars and Stripes)

Army disqualifies 588 soldiers from sensitive positions after reviews

WASHINGTON — The Army has disqualified 588 soldiers as sexual assault counselors, recruiters and drill sergeants for infractions ranging from...

Facebook group to servicemembers: Don’t be an idiot on social media

WASHINGTON — A new Facebook group created Tuesday is slamming servicemembers who post controversial photos and comments on social media.
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U.S. soldiers with the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), climb to the top of a mountain during a patrol in Paktya province, Afghanistan, on Feb. 13, 2013. This week, the Army started handing out more than $11 million in new mountain-climbing gear to U.S. troops to use in places like Afghanistan. (Alex Kirk Amen/U.S. Army)

Soldiers getting new mountain climbing gear from Army

YOKOTA AIR BASE, Japan — The Army this week started handing out more than $11 million in new mountain-climbing gear to U.S. troops, who count on...

Photo courtesy of Tsugaru Kokeshi Museum

All dolled up

Kokeshi dolls have neither big eyes nor blond hair like Barbie. As a matter of fact, they don’t even have arms and legs. Yet recently this 200-...

Scholar captures African-American officers' unique challenges

WASHINGTON, Feb. 24, 2014 – The journey of African-Americans serving in the U.S. military stretches back to the Revolutionary War, when black men...

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