The US military is allegedly investigating the cause of racial disparities in the US military

During a Congressional hearing on June 16, 2020, top legal officers from the US Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marine Corps acknowledged the results of a 2019 study from the Government Accountability Office, which noted that Black and Hispanic servicemembers of any gender were significantly more likely to be sent to court-martial for formal punishment after an act of misconduct than their white counterparts. The judge advocates of each of these wings of Armed Forces recognized that this is, indeed, a problem, and swiftly assured the Congressional panel that actions were already underway to uncover what could possibly have caused this striking racial disparity.

As the Army Times reports:

The Army is in the “very early stages of figuring out what could cause this,” Lt. Gen. Charles Pede, the service’s ranking attorney, told lawmakers.

Pede said he has already directed a “comprehensive assessment” in conjunction with the Army’s provost marshal general “to examine why the justice system is more likely to investigate certain soldiers and what our investigations and command decisions tell us about this issue.”

"[The GAO] report raises difficult questions — questions that demand answers. Sitting here today, we do not have those answers. So our task is to ask the right questions and find the answers," he added in his testimony.

Major General Daniel Lecce, the Staff Judge Advocate to the Commandant of the Marine Corps, also said, "We have to get after this. We’re at the beginning, but there is a lot of work to be done. Read the rest

Baby Yoda has finally jumped the s̶h̶a̶r̶k̶ tank, thanks to the U.S. Army

Baby Yoda brought the internet together, its adorableness somehow overpowering the divisive animosity that has otherwise ruled over this pre-post-apocalyptic era.

And now the Army's branded the Child onto the cannon of an M1 Abrams tank.

https://twitter.com/USArmy/status/1230357926289846272/photo/1

You can re-appropriate the Punisher all you'd like, but please leave our sweet Baby Yoda out of it. In the famous words of Baby Yoda's older counterpart, "Wars not make one great."

We salute the Army crew that named their tank 'Baby Yoda' [Jared Keller / Task and Purpose]

Image: U.S. Army by PFC. Daniel Alkana Read the rest

Forcing a bread and water diet on Navy personnel is now illegal

Good news everybody! If you're in the Navy or Marines, it's now illegal to throw you in the brig and feed you nothing but bread and water as a punishment.

Yes, The American military is still into this sort of bullshit.

From Task & Purpose:

As Navy Times’ Geoff Ziezulewicz reports, the Obama-era Military Justice Act of 2016 and subsequent Trump administration amendment in March 2018 will outlaw the archaic punishment after Jan. 1, 2019.

The military’s Uniform Code of Military Justice previously allowed Navy commanders to confine personnel in the grade of E-3 and below who were attached or embarked upon a vessel to receive only bread and water for up to three consecutive days.

“Rations furnished a person undergoing such confinement shall consist solely of bread and water. The rations will be served three times daily at the normal time of meals, and the amount of bread and water shall not be restricted,” the order reads.

In order to offset the lack of nutrients, personnel that were subjected to the all-you-can-eat penal buffet (get your minds out of the gutter) were, as part of the Uniform Code of Military Justice's deal, to be excluded from any sort of duties or physical exercise. So that's nice.

From what I understand, the punishment was a rare one--but not that rare. According to The Navy Times, the Commanding Officer of the USS Shiloh submitted the cruiser's sailors to it so often that the Shiloh's crew, the base it sailed out of, and even taxi drivers plying their trade in and around the base knew the ship as the "USS Bread & Water." Read the rest

Report: U.S. military weapon systems and computers are ridiculously easy to hack

Well this is fun: The United States Government Accountability Office released a report today that explains, in no uncertain terms, that the majority of the nation's new-fangled, high-tech weapons systems are hilariously vulnerable to cyber attacks.

From the Washington Post:

The report by the Government Accountability Office concluded that many of the weapons, or the systems that control them, could be neutralized within hours. In many cases, the military teams developing or testing the systems were oblivious to the hacking.

A public version of the study, published on Tuesday, deleted all names and descriptions of which systems were attacked so the report could be published without tipping off American adversaries about the vulnerabilities. Congress is receiving the classified version of the report, which specifies which among the $1.6 trillion in weapons systems that the Pentagon is acquiring from defense contractors were affected.

The Government Accountability Office used a team of hackers to see what sort of shenanigans could be caused with a little bit of access and a whole lot of digital kung-fu. The results aren't a good look for America's military. In one instance, the red team that the GOA used was pitted against Pentagon personnel tasked with holding the line against cyberintrusions. The security checks that the Pentagon were easily bypassed, thanks to the use of easy-to-crack passwords and "insiders" who were familiar with the program acting as meatspace backdoors to what would normally be secure systems. It gets worse: hackers working for the GAO reported being able to watch, in real time, a system operator's every move. Read the rest