5 Things to Start Your Week

MV-22 Ospreys assigned to the U.S. Presidential Helicopter Squadron land on the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS Gerald R. Ford during the ship's commissioning ceremony at Naval Station Norfolk, July 22, 2017. (U.S. Navy photo/Andrew J. Sneeringer)
MV-22 Ospreys assigned to the U.S. Presidential Helicopter Squadron land on the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS Gerald R. Ford during the ship's commissioning ceremony at Naval Station Norfolk, July 22, 2017. (U.S. Navy photo/Andrew J. Sneeringer)

Here are five news stories and events to start your week:

Trump Helps Commission Navy's $13 Billion Supercarrier USS Ford

Via Jim Watson of Agence France Presse: "President Donald Trump on Saturday presided over the commissioning of the U.S. Navy's newest next-generation aircraft carrier ... Trump appeared to revel in the pomp and pageantry of the ceremony on board the warship at the sprawling Norfolk naval base in Virginia, which included a 21-gun salute, and the hoisting of the Stars and Stripes on the ship's mast. 'American steel and American hands have constructed a 100,000-ton message to the world: American might is second to none, and we're getting bigger and better and stronger every day of my administration.'"

Upcoming Tricare Change Could Hurt Families

Via Amy Bushatz of Military.com: "A short sentence buried in a series of major Tricare reforms passed by Congress in 2016, set to roll out late this year, is causing alarm among military family advocates. They worry that the measure will block Tricare beneficiaries from accessing the healthcare they need. Currently, military families can at any time switch members of their household from Tricare Prime (the system's default, military clinic-based plan) to the plan currently known as Tricare Standard. That plan allows civilian-based care and self-referrals. Once users make the swap, they often are locked into the new plan for a year."

Army Chief of Staff Speaking at National Press Club

U.S. Army Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Milley, the service's top officer, is scheduled to speak 12:30 p.m. Thursday at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. Military.com will join other journalists at Milley's table to hear from the general about the many issues facing the U.S. military's largest branch of service. Watch for Milley to talk about the Army's push to add thousands of soldiers to its ranks; the difficulties associated with training, equipping and deploying a force amid the threat of budget caps known as sequestration; and operational challenges from the Middle East to Asia.

The Navy's Railgun Will Get Faster, More Powerful This Summer

Via Hope Hodge Seck of Military.com: "The Navy's futuristic electromagnetic railgun is set to take a major developmental step forward this summer as developers work to increase the number of shots it can fire per minute and the power behind the system. The railgun has been a pet project for the Navy for more than a decade since early testing of a prototype for a shipboard system began in 2006. The gun uses electromagnetic force to launch projectiles at high speeds, allowing the system to function without the powder mechanism conventional shipboard guns."

Navy Has First Female Applicants for SEAL Officer, Special Boat Units

In case you missed this exclusive from Hope Hodge Seck of Military.com: "More than a year after a mandate for the Pentagon opened previously closed ground combat and special operations jobs to women, officials say the Navy has its first female candidates for its most elite special warfare roles. Two women were in boot camp as candidates for the Navy's all-enlisted Special Warfare Combatant-Craft Crewman program, Naval Special Warfare Center Deputy Commander Capt. Christian Dunbar told members of the Defense Advisory Committee on Women in the Service in June."

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

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