MARCHing into the Latest Military News in the ‘Burgh

Soldiers of 4th Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division march into Soldiers Field House at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash., July 28, during a welcome home ceremony. The 4th SBCT Soldiers returned from a nine-month deployment to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. (U.S. Army photo by Pfc. Reese Von Rogatsz, 4th SBCT, 2nd Inf. Div. Public Affairs Office)

We have now entered into the third month of 2020, and it is a perfect time to “MARCH” you through the latest military news in Pittsburgh

CLICK HERE to read the entire article.

The 75th Anniversary of the Battle of the Bulge 

This is undoubtedly the greatest American battle of the warand will,  

I believe, be regarded as an ever-famous American victory.” 

 Winston Churchill 

British Prime Minister Winston Churchill knew the Allied Forces had their backs against the wall when he uttered these famous words during World War II. The Allied Powers were led by Great Britain, the United States, France and the Soviet Union. They were battling against the three principal partners in the Axis alliance – Germany, Italy and Japan. 

         After the Allies successful D-Day invasion in Normandy, France, it seemed that World War II was nearing an end. However, the Nazi leader, Adolph Hitler had other plans since he wasn’t ready to surrender. On December 16, 1944, the Germany army launched a counteroffensive. It was Hitler’s desperate attempt to salvage victory on the deteriorating western front. The Allies were unprepared for the attack, the German offensive made considerable progress, creating a large bulge in the allied line.  

        The battle is sometimes referred to as the “Ardennes Counteroffensive” because it was held in the 75-mile stretch of the Ardennes Forest in Belgium. Winter was fast-approaching, so the soldiers endured hazardous weather conditions of freezing rain, thick fog and snowThe record-breaking low temperatures brutalized the American troops. More than 15,000 cold injuries – trench foot, pneumonia and frostbite were reported. It wasn’t until Christmas day that the weather conditions finally cleared, allowing Allied air forces to strike. 

       The Allies continued to rage their battle against the 30 divisions of Germans, which encompassed nearly 250,000 troops. Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower, the supreme Allied commander, and Lt. Gen. George S. Patton Jr. led the American defense to restore the front. Through January, American troops waded through deep snowdrifts and attacked both sides of the shrinking bulge. They fought a bloody battle until they had restored the front and set the stage for the final victory drive. 

       In all, according to the U.S. Department of Defense, 1 million-plus Allied troops, including some 500,000 Americans, fought in the Battle of the Bulge. There were approximately 19,000 soldiers killed in action, 47,500 wounded and 23,000 plus MIA (missing in action). About 100,000 Germans were killed, wounded or captured. 

       Claiming victory over the battle on January 25, 1945, the Allies headed for Berlin. The courage and the fortitude of the American soldiers were tested against great adversity. Their valor brought the victory of freedom over tyranny.  Seventy-five years we honor them for bravery. 

By Paula Green 

 

 

Sources: https://wwiibattleofthebulgewwii.weebly.com/summary.htmlhttps://www.army.mil/botb/, 

https://www.britannica.com/event/Battle-of-the-Bulge, history.com/topics/world-warII/battle-of-the-bulge, www.reference.com/history-did-battle-bulge-happen. 

Sister Melanie Kambic, CDP

Sister of Divine Providence to receive military honor 

By Paula Green 

         According to the National World War II Museum, nearly 350,000 American women served in uniform, both at home and abroad, during World War II.  For these women, it was a significant opportunity to help the war effort and make a difference.  A local woman took part in this chapter of U.S. history.  Sister Melanie Kambic, CDP, 98, served in the Army Nurse Corps during WWII.  In recognition of her military service, she will be honored during a special ceremony held on Veterans Day.   [Read more…]

Military Friendly Educational Institutions 

By Paula Green 

         It is back to school time!  There are thousands of military servicemen and women who return home from active duty and decide to further their education. Fortunately, there are over 11,000 higher educational institutions that are recognized as being military-friendly. These facilities support active-duty members, veterans, spouses, dependents of deceased veterans in any of the five branches of the U.S. Armed Forces. When pursuing higher education, here’s what service person should look for  

         ACE (American Council on Education)– institutions that participate in ACE are experienced at translating prior military learning experiences into college credit. Additionally, ACE will provide recommendations for formal courses and occupations based on an individual’s military training and experience.  

       Change of Order Withdrawal– Active duty members may be called to serve. Before enrolling in a school, check into their change of order withdrawal policies. Distance Learning and Online Degree Programs are also a possibility. 

        College Level Examination Program (CLEP) is a group of standardized tests administered by the College Board. Military members and eligible spouses are eligible to take CLEP tests. They may also have them paid for either by GI Bill benefits or through the DANTES program. 

        DANTES External (Defense Activity for Non-Traditional Education Support)– DANTES provides education alternatives to service members who cannot attend classes or schoolsdue to work schedules or active duty. 

        Military Discounts– if it genuinely is a military-friendly university/college, then service members should receive a discount on their education.  Discounts can vary; some go up to 50% off.  

        Military Tuition Assistance – is a program available to active duty, National Guard and Reserve Component service members. The Department of Veterans Affairs provides it.  TA can lessen a service person’s financial concerns considerably. 

        Military Scholarships  similar to Military Discounts this varies greatly by each school. Some schools also offer free textbooks and supplies for varying military affiliations. State Veterans Education Benefits – many states provide additional veterans with education benefits. Check to see if any benefits are provided within your state. 

        Montgomery GI Bill (MGIB) helps service members and veterans meet their education and training costs with monthly benefit payments. It provides over $71,000 in cash and numerous support programs. 

         MyCAA (Military Spouse Career Advancement Accounts) Member– this program is for military spouses and provides up to $4,000 (over two years) of financial assistance for military spouses who are pursuing a license, certification or Associates degree in a portable career field and occupation. 

        Yellow Ribbon Program – to receive benefits, service members must be eligible for the maximum benefit rate under the Post-9/11 GI Bill. This includes: those who served 36 months on active duty. It also includes Purple Heart recipients with an honorable discharge and any amount of service. 

       Veterans Retraining Assistance Program (VRAP)– unemployed Veterans who are 35 to 60 years old may be eligible to receive up to 12 months of free retraining assistance at community colleges, technical schools and colleges offering only AA degrees may.  

          For more information on military-friendly educational institutions, visit https://militarybenefits.info/military-friendly-colleges-guide 

 

 
 

Commemorating the 75th Anniversary of the Invasion of Normandy 

By Paula Green 

       The Western Allied troops of America, Britain and Canada banded together as they landed in Normandy, France, on June 6, 1944.  The Normandy Invasion, also called Operation Overlord or D-Day, ranks as the boldest and most successful large-scale invasion in military history.  With Hitler’s armies in control of most of mainland Europe, the Allied forces knew that a successful infiltration of the continent was central to winning the war.   [Read more…]