Eighteen Air Force Special Operations Command special tactics airmen embarked on an 812-mile ruck march from JB San Antonio, Tex., to Hurlburt Field, Fla., in honor of their 17 comrades who have died in combat. Throughout the journey, which began on Oct. 16, each participant is carrying a 50-pound rucksack and a baton with a fallen airman’s name. The marchers are divided into six teams, each of which will cover portions of the entire distance. “The physical pain these men go through on this march doesn’t hold a candle to the emotional pain of the kids who lost their dads, of the families who continue to mourn for their loved one,” said Maj. Travis Woodworth, Special Tactics Training Squadron commander at Hurlburt’s Air Force Special Operations Training Center. He added, “This march will ensure new operators and young airmen don’t ever forget the cost of freedom.” The march originated at San Antonio’s Medina Annex where special tactics airmen begin their training and will conclude on Oct. 26 at Hurlburt where special tactics airmen complete their training. (Columbus, Tex., report by Maj. Kristi Beckman)
Gen. Mark A. Milley handed over his responsibilities as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff—the nation’s top military officer—to Gen. Charles Q. Brown Jr. on a gray Sept. 29 morning, marking a milestone in a turbulent era of U.S. defense policy.