5 Things to Start Your Week

Army football players sing their alma mater after beating Navy for the first time in 15 years. (Military.com/Michael Hoffman)
Army football players sing their alma mater after beating Navy for the first time in 15 years. (Military.com/Michael Hoffman)

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

1. Army Beats Navy, Snapping 14-Game Losing Streak

Army football snapped its 14-game losing streak to Navy on Saturday, winning 21-17 and beating its service academy rival for the first time since 2001. The game took place at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore in front of a sold-out crowd that included President-elect Donald Trump. Army quarterback Ahmad Bradshaw scored the winning touchdown with six minutes left in the fourth quarter on a 9-yard run, to score Army's only points of the second half as part of a 12-play, 80-yard drive. Navy staged a comeback in the second half after Army sprinted out to a 14-0 lead in the first half. Navy quarterback Zach Abey led the Midshipmen to score 17 unanswered points in the second half to take the lead, capping the comeback on a 41-yard run by Abey. But it was Army's year. The Black Knights dedicated their season to cornerback Brandon Jackson, who died in September in a car accident, and wore Nike uniforms designed to honor the World War II-era 82nd Airborne Division.

2. Marines to Wear Woodland Green Cammies All Year, Starting Now

Marines will wear woodland green year-round, effective immediately, according to a new directive from the commandant of the Marine Corps. The change was quietly announced Dec. 8 through an all-Marine Corps bulletin, signed by Commandant Gen. Robert Neller. Previously, Marines would alternate between tan-and-brown desert camouflage in the summer and green woodland camouflage utilities in the winter on dates roughly coinciding with Daylight Savings Time changes. Now, all sailors and Marines serving with Marine Corps units will use the woodland pattern throughout the year. In the summer, Marines will roll the sleeves on their woodland camouflage uniforms the way they now do on their desert cammies; in the winter, sleeves will be rolled down, according to the message.

3. Obama May Decide on Defense Bill, Including a 2.1% Troop Pay Raise

Congress last week approved the 2017 National Defense Authorization Act, including a 2.1 percent military pay raise, sending the bill to President Barack Obama's desk for his signature. It's not clear when Obama will decide on the bill, though a veto is unlikely. Both chambers of Congress passed the legislation by a veto-proof majority -- the House of Representatives approved the measure 375-34 and the Senate 92-7 -- and the president signaled a willingness to go along with the pay hike on Thursday when he directed agencies to give civilian employees the same raise lawmakers gave to troops. The military pay raise applies to basic pay for troops; it's separate from the cost-of-living adjustment for veterans, military retirees and recipients of VA disability compensation. That figure, based on the Consumer Price Index, is set for a 0.3 percent increase in 2017. The bill also leaves housing allowances unchanged, drops a proposal requiring women to register for the draft and forgives the debt of Guardsmen ordered to pay back bonuses.

4. Will Trump Keep McDonald at the VA?

Will President-elect Donald Trump keep VA Secretary Bob McDonald on the job? The biggest vets groups hope so, according to an article by Leo Shane, a reporter for Military Times. He reported the idea surfaced during a Friday meeting between officials from the Trump transition team and the "big six" veterans service organizations, including the American Legion, Veterans of Foreign Wars, Vietnam Veterans of America, Disabled American Veterans, Paralyzed Veterans of America, and American Veterans. McDonald is a Republican, a West Point graduate and the former chief executive officer of the consumer goods giant Procter & Gamble. Watch for the topic to come up when McDonald speaks at noon Tuesday at the Center for a New American Security. Trump is also reportedly considering for the post Rep. Jeff Miller, the retiring congressman from Florida and chairman of the House Veterans Affairs Committee; former Sen. Scott Brown of Massachusetts; and Pete Hegseth, the former president of Concerned Veterans for America, which wants to open up veteran health care to the private market.

5. National Guard Birthday

The National Guard on Tuesday will celebrate its birthday and 380 years of existence -- in one form or another, at least. The organization traces its roots to a declaration made on Dec. 13, 1636, when the Massachusetts General Court in Salem -- for the first time on the North American continent -- established that all able-bodied men between the ages of 16 and 60 were required to join the military, according to the National Guard Bureau, the federal entity that oversees the Army National Guard and the Air National Guard on behalf of those services. The bureau is headed by Air Force Gen. Joseph L. Lengyel, a four-star general who is expected to make the rounds this week in media appearances and in meetings with lawmakers in Washington, D.C., to celebrate the milestone and discuss other matters of importance to the Guard.

-- Michael Hoffman and Hope Hodge Seck contributed to this report.

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

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