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Lolita C. Baldor/Associated Press

  • The U.S. Marines say men and women are now fully integrated in boot camp. But from watching the training at Parris Island in South Carolina for several days, it's not that clear-cut. While male and female recruits are now in the same companies, the smaller platoons remain segregated by gender.
  • Last August, Daysia Holiday decided to try one more time to join the Army. She'd taken the academic test and failed three times. So, when she was offered a slot in a new Army prep course to improve her scores and qualify for basic training, she jumped at it. She is now a graduate of Army basic training and just finished her advanced instruction at Fort Lee, Virginia. She's one of about 5,400 soldiers who have graduated from the Army course, which gives lower-performing recruits a chance to meet military standards. The Army is using the course to fill the ranks after falling short of its recruitment goals last year.
  • Authorities in South Carolina say a former soldier shot and killed three children as they slept in their home while their mother frantically sought help. The ex-soldier then killed himself. Sumter Police Chief Russell Roark says Charles Slacks Jr. also killed an Army solider who worked with the children's mother and happened to be at the home. Slacks and the woman were divorced, but he still had a key and let himself in around 10 p.m. Tuesday.
  • U.S. officials say the military has finished efforts to recover the remnants of the large balloon that was shot down off the coast of South Carolina, and analysis of the debris so far reinforces conclusions that it was a Chinese spy balloon. Officials say the U.S. believes that Navy, Coast Guard and FBI personnel collected all of the balloon debris off the ocean floor. This includes key equipment from the payload that could reveal what information it was able to monitor and collect. U.S. Northern Command says the recovery operations ended Thursday and that final pieces are on their way to the FBI lab in Virginia for analysis.
  • There's a new Army program that gives lower-performing recruits up to 90 days of academic or fitness instruction to help them meet military standards. The program is one way the Army is hoping to fill the ranks as it struggles with recruiting efforts that are expected to fall dramatically short of the goals this year. According to estimates, just 23% of young people age 17 to 24 are physically, mentally and morally qualified to serve without receiving some type of waiver. Moral behavior issues include drug use, gang ties or a criminal record. It's the military's academic and physical fitness requirements that the prep course will address.