- Associated Press - Thursday, April 24, 2014
Piece of ‘Band of Brothers’ gets new commander

FORT CAMPBELL, Ky. (AP) - The original “Band of Brothers” has a new commander and will be getting a new home.

The 1st Battalion, 506th Infantry Regiment executed a change of command ceremony at Fort Campbell on Wednesday. At the end of the week, the regiment will move from the 4th Brigade Combat Team to the 3rd Brigade Combat Team. The move is being made as the Army shrinks its overall size as wars in Iraq and Afghanistan wrap up.

The 4th Brigade, which is part of the 101st Airborne Division, became famous in a book by historian Stephen Ambrose and a subsequent HBO miniseries produced by Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks. It will be made inactivate Friday.

“It’s a family,” said the outgoing commander, Lt. Col. Gregory Beaudoin. “You just feel like a piece of you has been taken.”

The 1st Battalion has fought in every major U.S. conflict since being created in 1942 in Georgia and was recognized for its role at the Battle of Hamburger Hill during the Vietnam War in May 1969.

Lt. Col. David Waters will take command of the unit as it shifts to its new home, which is part of a reorganization that will see the Army inactivate 10 brigades and reduce the fighting force from a high of about 570,000 at the peak of the Iraq war to 490,000 - a reflection of budget cuts and of the country’s current military needs as wars in Iraq and Afghanistan end.

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First lady announces one-stop job site for vets

FORT CAMPBELL, Ky. (AP) - To help veterans leaving the military as it downsizes, the government on Wednesday started a one-stop job-shopping website for them to create resumes, connect with employers and become part of a database for companies to mine.

First lady Michelle Obama announced the new Veterans Employment Center at Fort Campbell, Ky., during a special veterans’ jobs summit, which comes as the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan wind down. Unemployment among veterans who have served since September 2001 stood at 9 percent in 2013, about 1.6 percentage points higher than the overall civilian population.

The website, ebenefits.va.gov, will help veterans and military spouses build resumes, translate military skills into private-sector skills and provide career and training data with the click of a mouse.

“It is our obligation to you,” Obama told hundreds of soldiers in a hangar on the sprawling military post on the Kentucky-Tennessee state line. “Your job is to take full advantage of these opportunities.”

The Army plans to reduce its fighting force from a high of about 570,000 at the peak of the Iraq war to 490,000 - a reflection of budget cuts and of the country’s current military needs as wars in Iraq and Afghanistan end.

Col. David “Buck” Dellinger, the garrison commander of Fort Campbell, said about 5,000 of the 30,157 soldiers stationed at the post were in the midst of transitioning out of the Army and another 5,000 were within a year of being discharged.

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