Army cadets participate in a water course at Fort Knox, Ky., Oct. 28, 2021.

Army cadets participate in a water course at Fort Knox, Ky., Oct. 28, 2021. U.S. Army / Kyle Crawford

The Army Brief: Soldiers honored for valor; Vaccine deadline; Liberal defense priorities; and more...

Welcome to The Army Brief, a weekly look at the news and ideas shaping the service’s future. 

Medals of Honor. Three soldiers received the Medal of Honor on Thursday, two of them posthumously, for heroic actions in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, Defense One reports. The family of Sgt. 1st Class Alwyn Cashe has waited more than a decade for his actions to be honored with the nation’s highest military award for valor.

Vaccine deadline passes. The Army had 96 percent of its active-duty force fully vaccinated by Wednesday’s deadline, Defense One reports. Six leaders, including two battalion commanders, were relieved for refusing to be vaccinated.

Unvaccinated holiday break. Soldiers still in training are being allowed to travel home for the holidays, including those who remain unvaccinated, Defense One reports. Less than 1 percent of the 45,000 student soldiers expected to travel this year are unvaccinated and will be required to test before and after they travel.

Sign up to get The Army Brief every Friday morning from Caitlin M. Kenney, Defense One’s military services reporter. On Dec 18, 2011, the last American soldiers drove across the Iraqi border into Kuwait, ending the Iraq war. However, U.S. troops returned in 2014 to fight ISIS after the terrorist group took over several cities.

From Defense One

Army Bring-Your-Own-Device Experiments Test New Security Concepts // Patrick Tucker: The service is “setting the stage” to try new communications ideas in the Pacific.

State Guards’ Vaccine Refusal Sets Up Fight with Feds // Tara Copp: Six governors are rejecting the Pentagon’s order to inoculate their troops against COVID. Is a lawsuit next?

Liberals ‘Need to Get On the Defense Committees,’ If They Want Change // Jacqueline Feldscher: “At this point, I think defense is just not that important to progressives one way or the other,” said one expert after Democrats came away from negotiations empty handed.