military

In secret chemical weapons experiments conducted during World War II, the U.S. military exposed thousands of American troops to mustard gas.

When those experiments were formally declassified in the 1990s, the Department of Veterans Affairs made two promises: to locate about 4,000 men who were used in the most extreme tests, and to compensate those who had permanent injuries.

But the VA didn't uphold those promises, an NPR investigation has found.

Lucy Nalpathanchil / WNPR

Vietnam-era veterans who have dealt with the consequences of getting a less than honorable discharge could now receive certain benefits.

The change comes after recent decisions by military boards under the Pentagon. 

JOC Peter D. Sundberg / Public Domain

The Navy's top officer is expected to visit Connecticut this week for a ceremony to introduce a new exhibit at the Submarine Force Museum in Groton.

Admiral Jonathan Greenert will be the guest speaker at Wednesday's ribbon-cutting for the outdoor exhibit dedicated to submarine NR-1. 

As a young U.S. Army soldier during World War II, Rollins Edwards knew better than to refuse an assignment.

When officers led him and a dozen others into a wooden gas chamber and locked the door, he didn't complain. None of them did. Then, a mixture of mustard gas and a similar agent called lewisite was piped inside.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

The U.S. needs more than just a military response to the violence of the self-proclaimed Islamic State. That’s the message from Connecticut Senator Chris Murphy, who’s issued a call for new principles in U.S. foreign policy. 

Sherman Geronimo-Tan / Creative Commons

Is scientific progress suffering from a lack of creativity?

This hour, we talk to the author of The Creativity Crisis: Reinventing Science to Unleash Possibility to find out how increasingly cautious funding decisions are impacting scientific innovation and discovery. 

Connecticut Senate Democrats

One of the bills already signed into law by Governor Dannel Malloy targets women who've served in the Armed Forces. The state Department of Veterans Affairs has been tasked with creating a program that reaches more than 16,000 women veterans living in Connecticut.

Nearly 100 years after their heroic deeds, two World War I U.S. Army soldiers were awarded the Medal of Honor, America's highest military honor, on Tuesday. Historians say Sgts. William Shemin and Henry Johnson hadn't been properly recognized for their bravery under fire.

Joint Interagency Task Force West / Creative Commons

A new superintendent has taken the helm at the Coast Guard Academy in New London, Connecticut.

Rear Adm. James Rendon became the academy's new leader at a ceremony Monday on the riverfront campus.

The Department of Defense says an attempt to ship inactive anthrax samples resulted in live samples being sent to labs in nine U.S. states and to a U.S. Air Force base in South Korea.

Fears of exposure to the potentially deadly disease prompted officials to advise four civilian workers to get preventive care; more than 20 military personnel are also being monitored. The samples were sent via commercial shipping companies, but the Pentagon says there is "no known risk to the general public."

ctinworldwar1.org / Connecticut State Library

State residents are being asked to participate in a digital archive project to mark the the 100th anniversary of the U.S. entering into World War I. The Connecticut state library has launched the project in partnership with the Connecticut Digital Archive and the national World War I Centennial Commission. 

Republican Chris Christie says the U.S. needs to boost military spending and not back off on intelligence and surveillance programs. 

Speaking in Portsmouth’s Prescott Park, Chris Christie said the army needs more soldiers, the navy more ships, the air force more planes --and the government more intelligence.

Christie called for an extension to the Patriot act, and said concerns over data collection and privacy are overblown.

Carlos Mora

A gala in Danbury this weekend honors immigrants or children of immigrants in the state who’ve overcome tough challenges in life. One honoree – Carlos Mora, Jr. – grew up undocumented and is now a Corporal in the U.S. Marine Corps.

North Korea said on Saturday that it successfully launched an anti-ship cruise missile from a submarine — a development, if verified, that would mark a new technological achievement for Pyongyang.

KCNA, the official North Korean news agency, reports that leader Kim Jong Un oversaw the test form a surface vessel as "a ballistic missile surfaced from the sea and soared into the air, leaving a fiery trail of blaze."

Peter Patau / Flickr Creative Commons

For over a decade now, when we've heard about military drones, we've likely been hearing about the Predator-- that peculiar, pilotless aircraft, patrolling the deserts and preying on its targets below. Indeed the iconic image of this modern day killer and tales of its near-autonomous deeds have been featured in the news, magazines and even Hollywood movies.

(Updated at 12:09 p.m. ET.)

President Obama has nominated Marine Gen. Joseph Dunford Jr. as the country's next chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

Speaking at the White House, Obama praised Dunford as one of the most admired officers in the military.

Dunford, 59, is currently the commandant of the U.S. Marine Corps. Previously, he served as the commander of the allied forces in Afghanistan and he commanded the 5th Marine Regiment during Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Official U.S. Navy Page / Creative Commons

Military recruitment has long been a controversial issue in America's high schools and colleges. Dating all the way back to the days of the draft, there's been a tension between the nation's need to keep a military, and the desire - and fitness - of young people to serve.

Robert D. Ward / Public Domain

Former general and CIA director David Petraeus will not go to jail for leaking classified information to his biographer and mistress. Last week, he was sentenced to two years probation and a fine. Meanwhile, other leakers without the stars or stature are spending years behind bars. There are other discrepancies in military justice too. This hour, we talk to journalist Peter Maass from The Intercept.

Also we check in on local Nepalese residents who are grappling with this weekend's earthquake in their home country.

Updated at 5:20 p.m. ET

President Obama offered his "grief and condolences" to the families of the American and Italian aid workers killed in a U.S. counterterrorism operation in January. Both men were held hostage by al-Qaida.

"I take full responsibility for a U.S. government counterterrorism operation that killed two innocent hostages held by al-Qaida," Obama said.

Office of Richard Blumenthal

A Vietnam veteran from New Haven has filed a lawsuit that seeks to force the government to quickly decide veterans' appeals for disability compensation. 

UTC

United Technologies Corp. has announced a change in leadership at Sikorsky Aircraft, less than a month after announcing it may spin off the helicopter-making subsidiary.

UTC on Thursday appointed Robert Leduc as president of Sikorsky, moving predecessor Mick Maurer to the newly created role of UTC senior vice president of strategic projects. 

New York National Guard

The Governor's proposal to cut state funding for honor guard details at veterans' funerals has drawn criticism. Now some legislative leaders have quickly stepped in to address the controversy. 

Connecticut National Guard Adjutant General Thaddeus J. Martin / Twitter

Two units of the Connecticut National Guard have been deployed for missions that will take them to Afghanistan and Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

James McCauley / Creative Commons

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote a newspaper column about the Brian Williams debacle, except it really wasn't about that. It's about the way a relatively small story about a lie told by a news anchor seems to be the only national conversation we can have about our role in Iraq.

Updated at 1:05 p.m. ET.

The head of Veterans Affairs has apologized for misrepresenting his military record, after telling a man that he had served in the U.S. Special Forces. Secretary Robert McDonald says he made a mistake.

The story drew attention late Monday, weeks after McDonald, an Army veteran and West Point graduate, made the claim during a conversation with a homeless man he met during a community outreach effort.

NPR's Quil Lawrence reports:

British fighter jets scrambled from their base on Wednesday after two Russian long-range bombers skirted the coast of Cornwall, in the southwest of England. The incident comes one day after British Foreign Secretary Michael Fallon warned about Russia's intentions in Europe.

John Narewski / U.S. Navy

The retired Navy admiral who served until last year as the top officer at the Groton base has been hired as an executive at submarine builder Electric Boat.

The company says Kenneth Perry will begin work next week as its Washington-based vice president of program integration and concept development.

Outgoing Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel, speaking to NPR's Morning Edition, says he's concerned about retaining qualified U.S. military service members amid the "stress and strain" of more than 13 years of continuous warfare in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Val Kerry / Creative Commons

The U.S. Senate Intelligence Committee’s torture report released last December revealed that the CIA lied about the effectiveness of torture in gaining important information from terrorism suspects. But that didn't change America's opinion of using such tactics. 

Val Kerry / Creative Commons

Last month, the Senate Intelligence Committee Report released their report examining the CIA’s use of enhanced interrogation after 9/11.

They found that the CIA was using harsher forms of torture that yielded less useful information than we were led to believe.

California Senator Dianne Feinstein, Chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee said, "Detainees were subjected to the most aggressive techniques immediately. They were stripped naked, diapered, physically struck, and put in various painful stress positions for long periods of time."  

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