military

Kevin Lavery / WKAR

It's Veterans Day, and we at WKAR would like to thank all service members, past and present, for their contributions to our country.

Of the more than 21 million U.S. military veterans, more than two million are women.

Despite their accomplishments, many women who've served feel marginalized and voiceless.  They say women in uniform have to work harder than men to gain respect.

Airmen of Note
Staff Sgt. Mike Fariss / U.S. Air Force

Did you know the U.S. Air Force has a jazz band? They’re called the Airmen of Note, and they’re spending a couple of days in Michigan this weekend. We speak with a Senior Master Sergeant from the band.


Female soldiers photo
U.S. Army John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School / flickr creative commons

This month, U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter announced that all combat positions in the armed forces would now be open to women, but the  groundwork for this historic announcement was actually laid nearly three years ago. Since then, the Michigan Army National Guard has been working to bring its female troops up to speed. Current State’s Kevin Lavery talks with two female soldiers to get their perspective.


No. 4 Spartans Ground Air Force in 35-21 Win

Sep 19, 2015
WKAR

The Spartans moved to 3-0 on the year, topping the Air Force Falcons 35-21 at Spartan Stadium on Saturday. It was the first time that MSU welcomed a service academy to East Lansing. 

Brigadier General Malcolm Frost photo
Kevin Lavery / WKAR

The U.S. Army plans to reduce its size by some 40,000 troops over the next two years. Current State’s Kevin Lavery talks with the Army’s Chief of Public Affairs, Brigadier General Malcolm Frost.


Fred Upton photo
Courtesy Cong. Fred Upton

The Pentagon is looking at Fort Custer near Battle Creek as a potential site to shield the eastern U.S. against an intercontinental ballistic missile attack. Current State’s Kevin Lavery talks with Michigan Republican Cong. Fred Upton about the proposal.


Blackhawk helicopter photo
Capt. Brian Anderson / Michigan National Guard

The Michigan National Guard has been training for conditions that might accompany a nuclear explosion this week.


If you were in Michigan in the 1960’s, your memories probably include the Palm Sunday tornadoes, Governor and Presidential candidate George Romney and the Vietnam War. A Lansing-born journalist with roots in that memorable decade has written a memoir that includes those three and more.

Kevin Lavery/WKAR

Earlier this month, President Obama issued an executive order banning the federal government from issuing certain types of military equipment to local police departments. The action is in response to an outcry over a militarized show of force during protests last summer in Ferguson, Missouri.

Courtesy, Michigan Department of Military and Veterans Affairs

The Michigan Air National Guard has sent troops to the Middle East to, in the words of military officials, “eliminate” ISIS, the terrorist group responsible for numerous acts of violence in Iraq and Syria. About 350 airmen based at Selfridge Air National Guard base near Detroit are now in the region, as well as twelve A-10 Thunderbolt aircraft. The A-10, nicknamed, the “Warthog,” is equipped with a high-powered rotary cannon capable of destroying a tank.

Kevin Lavery/WKAR

Last Friday, we brought you the story of William Milzarski, a retired Army officer who was awarded the Purple Heart. He was wounded in 2011 while serving as a platoon leader in Afghanistan. While he was there, Milzarski befriended two Afghan men who worked alongside him as interpreters. Milzarski is now helping those men become American citizens.

Courtesy - Michigan Women's Historical Center and Hall of Fame

In tandem with Women’s History Month, a new exhibit in Lansing celebrates a unique group of military veterans. Founded in 1947, Post 535 in Lansing is the last all-female American Legion post in the state of Michigan. It was founded by female World War Two veterans, but it also includes women who’ve served in more recent conflicts.

Retired U.S. Army First Lieutenant William Milzarski.
WKAR/Kevin Lavery

    The Purple Heart is the oldest military award the United States of America gives to its service members.  It’s sometimes called “the medal nobody wants,” because it’s given to those killed or wounded in combat.  Now, a mid-Michigan man has joined those ranks.  First Lieutenant William Milzarski is  retired from the U-S Army.  He first enlisted back on August 1, 1990 -- the day before Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait.  He spent just a few years in as a heavy construction operator.  He was injured, got out and eventually went to Cooley Law School.

Kevin Lavery / WKAR

Last week, President Obama ordered precision air strikes against members of Islamic State, the militant group that’s fighting U.S.-backed ethnic minorities in northern Iraq.  The president has thus far not committed ground forces to the region. Meanwhile, the United States continues air and ground attacks in Afghanistan.  

Wikimedia Commons

This month, the U-S House will begin debating, amending and re-writing President Obama’s proposed 2015 defense budget. Over the next five years, the administration proposes spending $115-billion above the cap Congress enacted as part of the budget sequestration process. The plan could set up a showdown between Congress and the White House, and that could affect funding for the Michigan National Guard.

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