The Top 16 Military Stories of 2014

It was an eventful year for the U.S. military in 2014, with everything from a transition to a new Secretary of Defense, to controversies over veteran healthcare to sexual assault, to new global dynamics and regional conflicts.

The editorial staff at has selected what it believes are the top 16 stories of 2014 - for more details on each story, see the accompanying video and follow the links below.

Ashton Carter Takes over From Hagel as SecDef
Chuck Hagel's run as the U.S. Secretary of Defense came to an unexpected end after the nation's mid-term elections.

Army Introduces New Camouflage Pattern
New camouflage, or the emperor's new clothes? The new patterns debuted by the Army this year certainly sparked a reaction.

The US Joins the Battle against ISIS
As the radical Islamic ISIS movement threatens Iraq and Syria, the U.S. is slowly getting involved in the action - but how far will it get involved?

Russia Annexes Crimea and Threatens Rest of Ukraine
Eastern Europe once again became a hotbed of unrest as pro-Russian separatists seized control of part of the Ukraine.

Bowe Bergdahl's Release Triggers Controversy amongst Troops
The Army sergeant came home after being held for five years by the Taliban, but troubling questions about whether he deserted remain.

Services and Special Forces Open Combat Roles to Women
Military leaders are ready to begin tearing down the remaining walls that have prevented women from holding thousands of combat and special operations jobs near the front lines.

Missile Officers Caught in Cheating Scandal
Ninety-two Air Force officers were suspended in a cheating scandal at Malmstrom Air Force Base which eventually led to the firing of nine officers.

Sexual Assault Cases Rock the Military
Sexual assault in the military was a major issue throughout the year, with multiple high-ranking officials facing sexual assault cases, including Brig. Gen. Jeffrey A. Sinclair.

VA Scandal Over Wait Times Costs Shinseki His Job
VA Secretary Eric Shinseki resigned in May after it was discovered that multiple VA administrators had deliberately manipulated patient appointment schedules, leaving veterans without proper medical care.

The Battle to Save the A-10 Thunderbolt
Is the A-10 old and outdated? Not according to Congress, who has argued that the aircraft is still relevant, although the Air Force is trying to phase it out of its inventory.

Navy Makes History with First F-35C Carrier Landing
In a milestone for the Joint Strike Fighter program, F-35C performed the first arrested landing on an aircraft carrier this year.

US, NATO End Afghan Combat Command, but Troops Remain
The U.S. and NATO combat mission in Afghanistan will end on January 1, with President Obama planning to keep about 9,800 U.S. troops in Afghanistan for train-and-assist missions.

Obama Awards Medal of Honor to 24 Vets Passed Over Due to Discrimination
President Obama awarded the nation’s highest award for valor, the Medal of Honor, to 24 veterans who had previously been passed over because of their race, according to a government investigation.

Navy SEAL Who Killed Bin Laden Goes Public
Robert O’Neill announced that he was the U.S. Navy Seal who killed Osama bin Laden -- but should he have made that information public?

Army Drawdown Continues
The Army is continuing to shrink its force in light of the budget cuts forced upon the service as part of sequestration.

Battle over Benefits
In the tug-of-war between the Pentagon, the President and Congress, are the troops losing out when it comes to pay raises?