Tuesday, March 27, 2018

DOD to Commemorate 1st Anniversary of National Vietnam War Veterans Day

WASHINGTON – The Department of Defense today announced it will conduct a wreath laying ceremony with the Department of Veterans Affairs at The Vietnam War Memorial March 29, 2018. President Trump recently signed into law The Vietnam War Veterans Recognition Act of 2017, establishing The National Vietnam War Veterans Day that will, henceforth, be celebrated each year on March 29.

This is the first anniversary of that special day. DOD will also support hundreds of events in many states across the nation to recognize, honor and thank U.S. Vietnam veterans and their families for their service and sacrifices.

Deputy Secretary of Defense, Patrick M. Shanahan, will host the ceremony at the “The Wall” to continue the department’s contribution to the commemoration. He will be joined by Veteran’s Affairs Secretary, Dr. David Shulkin.

“We are proud to partner with the Department of Veterans Affairs in this endeavor,” said Shanahan. “Today is an opportunity to honor all Vietnam veterans who served, and to recognize the families that stood alongside them.”

The DOD, along with more than 11,000 organizations across the country, is joined by the Department of Veterans Affairs, one of its key Commemorative Partners, to help Americans honor our nation’s Vietnam veterans.

Authorized by Congress, established under the Secretary of Defense, and launched by the President in May 2012, the Vietnam War Commemoration recognizes all men and women who served on active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces from November 1, 1955 to May 15, 1975. Nine million Americans, approximately 7 million living today, served during that period, and the commemoration makes no distinction between veterans who served in-county, in-theater, or were stationed elsewhere during those 20 years. All answered the call of duty.

President Trump, in his presidential proclamation, stated: “During this Commemoration of the 50th Anniversary of the Vietnam War, we embrace our responsibility to help our Vietnam veterans and their families heal from the heavy toll of war. We remember the more than 58,000 whose names are memorialized on a black granite wall in our Nation’s capital for having borne the heaviest cost of war.”

By presidential proclamation issued on May 25, 2012, the commemoration extends from its inaugural event on Memorial Day 2012 through Veterans Day 2025.

Commemorative partners – local, state and national organizations, businesses, corporations and governmental agencies – have committed to publicly thank and honor Vietnam veterans and their families on behalf of the nation and have pledged to host a minimum of two events annually.

Mattis: Budget Predictability Shows Alignment of Congress, Executive Branch

By Marine Corps Sgt. David Staten DoD News, Defense Media Activity

WASHINGTON, March 27, 2018 — The Defense Department’s best budget predictability in more than a decade shows that Congress and the executive branch are aligned in terms of the threats to the nation and current and future military readiness, Defense Secretary James N. Mattis said today.

“We are aligning that money on current readiness, but also with future readiness,” the secretary told reporters at the Pentagon. “You will see more money going into research and engineering about future protection and future readiness.”

The National Defense Strategy says America faces an ever more lethal and disruptive battlefield -- combined across domains and conducted at increasing speed and reach, from close combat, throughout overseas theaters and reaching to the homeland.

“It’s not the Pentagon’s National Defense Strategy, its America’s National Defense Strategy,” the secretary said, adding that it’s contingent on him and his team talking to people and making certain they have their ears open to criticism and the ideas of the people.

Expulsion of Russian Diplomats

Mattis also talked about governments in Europe, the United States and beyond expelling Russian diplomats in response to an attack on a former Russian spy and his daughter in Britain.

“NATO’s expulsion of Russian diplomats showed the alliance was still relevant,” Mattis told reporters. Russia has the potential to be a partner with Europe, but Russia has chosen to seek a different relationship with the NATO nations, he said.

Russia’s actions have been a threat to democracy, seeking to break the Western alliance, Mattis said, not only with its recent attack on the Russian spy and his daughter, but also with its 2014 annexation of Crimea, military intervention in eastern Ukraine, and its interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.