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[S]EXTORTION.    Service members have been duped into sending money to male prisoners posing as women on dating apps.

Agents from the Naval Criminal Investigative Service have served warrants for a ring victimizing hundreds of service members since 2015.

“Operation Surprise Party” uncovered a prisoner-led extortion, money laundering and wire fraud scheme that “cost 442 service members from the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps from across the United States more than $560,000 in financial loss,” an  NCIS release said.

Army officials and South Carolina law enforcement revealed in October that prison inmates – posing on dating applications as women in the same age bracket as the targeted soldier – were conning service members into wiring cash following nude photo exchanges.

After swapping photos, the unsuspecting soldier would receive a text from another phone number, where another prisoner would pose as the fictional girl’s father or law enforcement official.

CONNECTICUT AND THE VA.  For +/- 500,000 veterans, leaving the military with an other than honorable discharge typically ends benefits and VA health care.   This is often true even when their problems involved in PTSD.  But last month, Connecticut opened state VA resources to such vets, according to press reports.

Comment:  We are unclear how Connecticut achieved this laudable goal‘s eligibility should turn on Federal – not state – standards.


USAF BEARD WAIVER….   The Air Force has granted a religious accommodation beard waiver to a Muslim airman, making him the first airman so treated.  SSgt.  Abdul Rahman Gaitan, Travis AFB, California, received the exemption.  Raised as a Catholic, he developed an interest in the Muslim faith while stationed in Turkey.

… ARMY’S NEW POLICY ON ACCOMMODATION.  Meanwhile, a new Army policy OK’s soldiers wearing hijabs, turbans and religious beards.   Observant Sikhs and conservative Muslims may wear religious head coverings and beards, thanks to a directive that updates Army grooming and appearance regulations.

… WHILE  MARINES SEEK GENDER NEUTRALITY.  In a push to be more gender-neutral, the Marine Corps is removing the term PREG from fitness reports for pregnant Marines.
GRADE CREEP?   The Navy’s admiral-to-ship ratio, then and now?  According to the publication Task & Purpose, in 1944 there were 256 flag officers for 6,084 ships; today there are 359 flags for 280 ships.

PINKS AND GREENS.  Formerly known as the “pinks and greens,” the World War II-era officers uniform could go Army-wide as soon as 2020, according to a release that was posted  to the Army’s website.

“The current Army Blues Uniform will return to being a formal dress uniform, while the Army Greens will become the everyday business-wear uniform for all soldiers,” the release said.

LAWYER’S CORNER.  Suppose that explorers come across a small group of living Neanderthals.  They remain “primitive,” echoing what archaeologists surmise about their culture.  Under a United Nations mandate, these Neanderthals are protected.   However, there appears to be a clear case of murder in their small colony.

The prosecutor asks for the death penalty.

The defense counters that Neanderthals are a distinct species and should not be measured by Homo sapiens standards.

What result?

PURELY PERSONAL.  A favorite uncle comments that you were old when…

…..  Your sweetie says, “Let’s go upstairs and make love,” and your answer is “Honey, I can’t do both!”

…..  Friends compliment you on your new alligator shoes and you’re barefoot.

….A sexy woman catches your fancy and your pacemaker opens the garage door.

…..  You don’t care where your spouse goes, just as long as you don’t have to go along.

….  You are cautioned to slow down by the doctor instead of

by the police.

….. An “all-nighter” means not getting up to go to the bathroom.



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