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U.S. Department of Defense

Carter pushing retirement, other changes for future force

The U.S. military must harness the best talent and keep up its technological edge in order to meet evolving security challenges, Defense Secretary Ash Carter said Wednesday as he rolled out a series of initiatives aimed at attracting the next generation of service members and dragging the often-antiquated Pentagon bureaucracy into the 21st century.

The nearly two dozen proposals largely target the Defense Department's effort to recruit and retain quality service members, and ranged from small steps to increase internships to broader reforms of the military's retirement system.

America's fighting force, he said, must work to stay competitive as other countries like Russia and...