5 Things to Start Your Week

Sgt. Maj. of the Army Daniel A. Dailey speaks with the students and instructors of Fort Bragg Noncommissioned Officer Academy, March 10, 2015. (U.S. Army photo/Staff Sgt. Charles Crail)
Sgt. Maj. of the Army Daniel A. Dailey speaks with the students and instructors of Fort Bragg Noncommissioned Officer Academy, March 10, 2015. (U.S. Army photo/Staff Sgt. Charles Crail)

Army Mulls Creating New Pay Grades for Senior NCOs

Via Matthew Cox at Military.com: "The U.S. Army's top enlisted leader is trying to build momentum for an effort to create two new pay grades -- E-10 and E-11 -- to compensate senior noncommissioned officers as they take on more command responsibility. Currently, enlisted pay grades stop at E-9, but command sergeants major typically advance from battalion level to higher command positions such as brigade-, division- and corps-level CSM without additional compensation. Commissioned officers receive a pay increase each time they are promoted, all the way up to four-star general."

US Delays Rollout of New Strategy for Afghanistan

Via Oriana Pawlyk at Military.com: "The Pentagon's top leader says officials are still mulling the proper strategy in Afghanistan to avoid rash decisions that could hurt the United States and its allies in the long run. 'Welcome to strategy,' Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said Friday to Pentagon reporters before a meeting with Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to further discuss options in Syria. Mattis said he's listening to all options. 'This is hard,' he said, 'and there's a reason we got into some wars in our nation's history and didn't know how to end them.' ... A formal strategy was expected in mid-July. Mattis didn't specify a new date."

Mattis Close to Recommending New Choice for Army Secretary

Via Richard Sisk at Military.com: "Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said Friday he's close to making his third try at getting a new Army secretary nominated by the White House and confirmed by the Senate. In a session with Pentagon reporters, Mattis said he has more than one person in mind and will soon be making a recommendation to President Donald Trump. 'I don't like to get out in front of the president. That's up to the president,' Mattis said, but 'we do have, let me say, plural candidates, and I'd rather let that one be announced by the president and the clerk of the Senate, rather than getting out in front of them.' He gave no other details."

Boot Camp Commander Heads to Trial in Parris Island Hazing Case

Via Hope Hodge Seck at Military.com: "A Marine recruit training battalion commander who was fired last year amid a massive hazing scandal at Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island, South Carolina, will face court-martial, accused of failing to remove a senior drill instructor who was implicated in recruit abuse. Lt. Col. Joshua Kissoon will face charges of failure to obey a lawful general order, false official statement, and conduct unbecoming an officer, officials with Marine Corps Training and Education Command said Thursday night in a news release. His arraignment date has yet to be set."

House Passes Defense Policy Bill for 2018

Via Richard Lardner at The Associated Press: "The Republican-led House decisively approved a defense policy bill Friday that declares climate change a national security threat, demands rigorous oversight of the Pentagon's cyber operations and rejects the Trump administration's bid to close military bases. Lawmakers voted 344-81 on Friday to pass the sweeping legislation. The bill authorizes $696 billion in defense spending for the 2018 fiscal year, including nearly $30 billion more for core Pentagon operations than President Donald Trump requested. Yet defense hawks pushing the hardest for the big boost in spending still face an uphill battle."

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

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