In Brief

HAPPY BIRTHDAY The National Guard is celebrating 382 years at the forefront of America’s defense. On Dec. 13, 1636, the Massachusetts Bay Colony organized the colonies’ first militia regiments on the continent. Descendants of those original regiments include the 101st Engineer Battalion, 101st Field Artillery Regiment, 181st Infantry Regiment and 182nd Infantry Regiment of the modern Massachusetts Army National Guard.
BORDER TROOPS Defense secretary James N. Mattis said the 2,100 National Guard troops currently serving at the southern border will remain there as active duty troops are sent home. Last week, Mattis approved extending the deployment of active duty troops through January 2019, but said many of those forces – at one time numbering more than 5,000 – would return home in the near future.
AIR FORCE UNIFORM Unit patches for the new Operational Camouflage Pattern uniform will be limited to four colors: spice brown, Bagby green, olive drab and black, Military.com reported last week. The change to the new OCP uniforms will restore the option for airmen to wear unit patches on their sleeves, which was phased out upon the introduction of the battle dress uniform in 2007.
VA TELEHEALTH Department of Veterans Affairs officials have announced a series of telehealth partnerships that could add online exam rooms to Walmarts, American Legion posts and other locations across rural American, according to a report in the Military Times.
INVESTIGATION Army National Guard officials are investigating the training and equipment of a North Carolina National Guard unit that lost a soldier to a roadside bomb in Afghanistan earlier this year, according to reports. Sgt. James A. Slape, who was posthumously promoted, was killed on Oct. 4 and served with the 430th Explosive Ordnance Company based in Washington, North Carolina.
BUDGET DEADLINE Lawmakers have a new deadline to reach a budget agreement and avoid a government shutdown. A two-week budget extension agreed to following the death of President George H.W. Bush gives Congress until Dec. 21 to come to an agreement to fund a large portion of the federal government. The Department of Defense and Department of Veterans Affairs, which had their appropriations finalized earlier this year, would not be directly impacted by a shutdown if an agreement is not made.