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5 Things to Start Your Week

Australian and U.S. Special Operations soldiers demonstrate small unit tactics during Exercise Flintlock 2017 in Diffa, Niger, March 3, 2017. (U.S. Army photo/Sgt. 1st Class Christopher C. Klutts)
Australian and U.S. Special Operations soldiers demonstrate small unit tactics during Exercise Flintlock 2017 in Diffa, Niger, March 3, 2017. (U.S. Army photo/Sgt. 1st Class Christopher C. Klutts)

Here are five news stories and events to start your week from the editors at Military.com:

Green Beret Killed in Niger May Have Been Executed

Via Fox News: "Two villagers who said they were among the first to find the body of Sgt. La David Johnson in Niger last month recalled discovering the body with a gaping head wound and the soldier's hands tied, a report said Friday. The Washington Post reported that the villagers' accounts raise the possibility that Johnson was first captured in the Oct. 4 ambush before being killed. 'His two arms were tied behind his back,' Adamou Boubacar, 23, a farmer, told the paper in a phone interview."

Three US Carriers Lead Naval Drill Aimed at North Korea

Via Agence France Presse: "Three U.S. aircraft carriers, accompanied by South Korean warships, launched a joint naval drill Saturday in a fresh show of force aimed at North Korea, whose nuclear ambitions have dominated U.S. President Donald Trump's ongoing tour of Asia. The four-day exercise in the western Pacific involves three U.S. Navy flattops -- the Ronald Reagan (CVN 76), Nimitz (CVN 68) and Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71) -- and seven South Korean warships. It is the first such triple-carrier drill in the region for a decade."

Pentagon Identifies Soldier Who Died in Noncombat Incident in Iraq

The Defense Department on Sunday identified the soldier who died in a non-combat incident on Saturday in Iraq. Chief Warrant Officer 2 Lee M. Smith, 35, of Arlington, Texas, died Nov. ‎11 at Camp Taji, Iraq, due to injuries sustained from a non-combat related incident while supporting Operation Inherent Resolve in the fight against the Islamic State. He was assigned to the 101st Combat Aviation Brigade, 101st Airborne Division, Fort Campbell, KY. The incident is under investigation.

DI Who Hazed Muslim Recruits Gets 10 Years, Dishonorable Discharge

Via Hope Hodge Seck at Military.com: "A former Marine Corps drill instructor convicted this week of hazing and assaulting recruits at Parris Island and singling out Muslim recruits for harassment will serve 10 years, a military jury decided Friday. Gunnery Sgt. Joseph Felix was also sentenced to a dishonorable discharge and reduction in rank to private in the hearing. The sentence is even more severe than the seven years prosecutors recommended in sentencing arguments. The maximum sentence he could have received is 21 years, 9 months."

What The 2018 National Defense Authorization Act Means For You

Via James Absher at Military.com: "Congress' annual defense authorization bill is chock full of measures that impact troops, their families and retirees. It's now one step closer to becoming reality after House and the Senate negotiators agreed on a compromise version that will soon head for a vote in each chamber before hitting the president's desk, possibly before the Thanksgiving holiday. So what's in the 2,400-plus page document for you? Here are some details."

-- Brendan McGarry can be reached at brendan.mcgarry@military.com. Follow him on Twitter at @Brendan_McGarry.

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