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View Full Version : U.S.: Too Early to Tell Iraq Unit's Fate


Hel'n
10-18-2004, 10:59 AM
Oct 18, 12:50 PM (ET)

By TINI TRAN

BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) - The U.S. military said Monday no decision had been made on whether to discipline Army reservists who refused a supply mission last week, despite statements from their relatives that the soldiers would be discharged.

"It is too early in the process to tell if any disciplinary actions will be initiated," Maj. Richard Spiegel, spokesman for the 13th Corps Support Command in Taji, said in an e-mail to The Associated Press.

Families of some soldiers involved said Monday the commanders did not act on complaints that the convoy was hauling contaminated fuel or that their vehicles were in poor working order and were not sufficiently protected with armor.

Spiegel said no decision will be made on discipline until the investigation is completed and recommendations are made.

"I could not speculate as to why soldiers would be telling people that they are going to be discharged," he said.

The Army announced last week it was investigating up to 19 members of a platoon from the 343rd Quartermaster Company, based in Rock Hill, S.C., after they refused to transport supplies from Tallil air base near Nasiriyah to Taji north of Baghdad.

On Monday, Ricky Shealey of Quinton, Ala., father of one of the soldiers involved, told CBS'"The Early Show" that his son, Spc. Scott Shealey, "is being told he is going to be processed out of the Army with a general" discharge.

Shealey said his son "is very depressed about this."

A general discharge is consider a disciplinary action that would lead soldiers to risk losing most - if not all - of their veterans' benefits.

However, the commanding general of the 13th Corps Support Command, Brig. Gen. James Chambers, told reporters in Baghdad on Sunday that two investigations were under way and that 18 soldiers were involved. He also said none was under arrest and it was too early to tell whether the soldiers would be disciplined.

Shealey said his son refused to go on the mission because the fuel they were to haul was tainted and he feared it would be put in a helicopter that would later crash.

"The command just totally ignored them when they told them the fuel was contaminated and they was still going to send them out on this mission with contaminated fuel," Shealey told CBS. "The command was completely aware of the situation and I think it's a command issue and not a soldier issue."

Teresa Hill of Dothan, Ala., the mother of Spc. Amber McClenny, told NBC's "Today" show: "It was about the fuel. It was the broken-down trucks. Unarmored vehicles."

Chambers denied the fuel was contaminated.

He said the Army will study protective measures for supply vehicles and add steel plating if necessary. Some of the soldiers told family members they refused the assignment because they lacked proper equipment and protection.

Chambers said the command will "assess armor" on supply vehicles, which are often subject to insurgent attack, and add steel plating if necessary.

The mission was later carried out by other soldiers from the 343rd, which has at least 120 soldiers, the military said.

Chambers has since ordered the 343rd to undergo a "safety-maintenance stand down," during which it will conduct no further missions as its vehicles are inspected, the military said.

The platoon has troops from Alabama, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina and South Carolina.

The issue of lack of appropriate equipment has been a long-standing complaint by low-level soldiers and higher U.S. command.

Army Lt. Gen. Ricardo Sanchez, commander of U.S. forces in Iraq from mid-2003 until this summer, sent a letter to the Pentagon in December 2003 complaining that supplies were short and this was adversely affecting the ability of troops to fight, The Washington Post reported Monday.

Sanchez, who has returned to an assignment in Germany, told top Army officials in the Dec. 4 letter there was a severe lack of key parts for equipment vital to the mission, and the problem was so severe that "I cannot continue to support sustained combat operations with rates this low," the newspaper said.

http://apnews.myway.com//article/20041018/D85PV8EO1.html

redbrian
10-18-2004, 11:02 AM
Plain and simple, court marshal followed by discharge (unfavorable), with possible Leavenworth time.

Hel'n
10-18-2004, 11:10 AM
Plain and simple, court marshal followed by discharge (unfavorable), with possible Leavenworth time.

Perhaps. But will the brass pay attention to the message... If you put your people at risk, at least give them a fighting chance...

redbrian
10-18-2004, 11:15 AM
Perhaps. But will the brass pay attention to the message... If you put your people at risk, at least give them a fighting chance...

Totally immaterial, they disobeyed orders and put others at risk, two wrongs do not make a right but the UCMJ is pretty plain on the issue of disobedience of orders.

Case in point, while in my last week of text school in the Air Force, it was common practice not to give Airmen duty, however I had run afoul of my First shirt over the course of my schooling.
He placed me on the duty board, which I did not check, the net result I received an article 13 for being AWOL even though I was in my bunk.

Results two weeks labor and forfeiture of $50 pay.

Hel'n
10-18-2004, 11:17 AM
Totally immaterial, they disobeyed orders and put others at risk, two wrongs do not make a right but the UCMJ is pretty plain on the issue of disobedience of orders.

Case in point, while in my last week of text school in the Air Force, it was common practice not to give Airmen duty, however I had run afoul of my First shirt over the course of my schooling.
He placed me on the duty board, which I did not check, the net result I received an article 13 for being AWOL even though I was in my bunk.

Results two weeks labor and forfeiture of $50 pay.


I guess we disagree. If an order is immoral or if an order essentially is a suicide mission without due consideration of the facts by top brass then as the commanding officer of my unit it would be my duty to make this known and find some means, any means, of reticfying the deficiencies before I put my troops in harm's way.

Duck Dog
10-18-2004, 11:29 AM
I guess we disagree. If an order is immoral or if an order essentially is a suicide mission without due consideration of the facts by top brass then as the commanding officer of my unit it would be my duty to make this known and find some means, any means, of reticfying the deficiencies before I put my troops in harm's way.


DIP (Die in place) missions don't count. This particular order was not immoral.

Makes a guy wonder why it's alway's (seem to be anyway) the NG and Reservists that cause so much shit in the military.

redbrian
10-18-2004, 11:55 AM
I guess we disagree. If an order is immoral or if an order essentially is a suicide mission without due consideration of the facts by top brass then as the commanding officer of my unit it would be my duty to make this known and find some means, any means, of reticfying the deficiencies before I put my troops in harm's way.

"The mission was later carried out by other soldiers from the 343rd, which has at least 120 soldiers, the military said."

Does not appear to have been a suicide mission.

Radar Chief
10-18-2004, 12:02 PM
I guess we disagree. If an order is immoral or if an order essentially is a suicide mission without due consideration of the facts by top brass then as the commanding officer of my unit it would be my duty to make this known and find some means, any means, of reticfying the deficiencies before I put my troops in harm's way.

I’d hardly call this a “suicide mission”.

Brock
10-18-2004, 12:03 PM
Eh - The race card will get played here, they will do no time.

Radar Chief
10-18-2004, 12:03 PM
"The mission was later carried out by other soldiers from the 343rd, which has at least 120 soldiers, the military said."

Does not appear to have been a suicide mission.

:thumb:

WilliamTheIrish
10-18-2004, 12:05 PM
essentially is a suicide mission ...

It's times like these that we need the LITE Beer From Miller referee to come in :

[TWEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEET] !!!!!!

"Hel'n is guilty of gross exaggeration, hyperactive imagination along with having bad taste in poetry. 10 yard penalty."

Suicide mission?

Hel'n
10-18-2004, 12:35 PM
"The mission was later carried out by other soldiers from the 343rd, which has at least 120 soldiers, the military said."

Does not appear to have been a suicide mission.

You don't know the details. You don't know the equipment that was used when the mission was carried out by another group.

The fact is we don't know the facts...

WilliamTheIrish
10-18-2004, 12:37 PM
You don't know the details. You don't know the equipment that was used when the mission was carried out by another group.

The fact is we don't know the facts...

... especially the fact that it was a suicide mission...

Cochise
10-18-2004, 12:46 PM
You don't know the details. You don't know the equipment that was used when the mission was carried out by another group. The fact is we don't know the facts...

Didn't stop you from starting a thread about it and implying that there were "deficiencies" ignored that put the troops in harm's way.

slivo6
10-18-2004, 12:49 PM
You don't know the details. You don't know the equipment that was used when the mission was carried out by another group.

The fact is we don't know the facts...

-------------------------------------------------------------
The fact is this unit put two other groups of people at risk by not completing their assigned mission....
(1) the unit they were to resupply
(2) the other unit that had to pick up their slack and carryout the mission for the original unit

It's a sad day if we let soldiers pick and choose the missions they are assigned.

go bowe
10-18-2004, 12:51 PM
DIP (Die in place) missions don't count. This particular order was not immoral.

Makes a guy wonder why it's alway's (seem to be anyway) the NG and Reservists that cause so much shit in the military.what exactly is a "die in place" mission? :shrug:

it does seem like it has been reserve and guard soldiers that have been involved in these scandals/events, but it isn't really just the soldiers' fault...

it looked like there was some failures on the part of the active duty military in terms of ordering reserve/guard units to perform missions that they were ill-equipped and/or not trained for...

and, of course, in terms of providing the right kind of equipment for use in iraq (lack of armor, etc.)...

and in terms of active command oversight of such units... the chain of command failed to recognize deficiences in reserve/guard units and rectify them...

overall, the reason that reserve/guard soldiers have been involved in these high profile events is most likely the amount of training that an active duty person gets compared to a reserve/guard soldier before being thrown into combat (yes, convoy duty is combat)...

imo, that makes it more likely that there will be breakdowns in discipline among reserve/guard soldiers under the stressful realities of fighting in iraq...

Loki
10-18-2004, 12:59 PM
:deevee:

balls out and charlie mike it...

redbrian
10-18-2004, 01:00 PM
what exactly is a "die in place" mission? :shrug:

it does seem like it has been reserve and guard soldiers that have been involved in these scandals/events, but it isn't really just the soldiers' fault...

it looked like there was some failures on the part of the active duty military in terms of ordering reserve/guard units to perform missions that they were ill-equipped and/or not trained for...

and, of course, in terms of providing the right kind of equipment for use in iraq (lack of armor, etc.)...

and in terms of active command oversight of such units... the chain of command failed to recognize deficiences in reserve/guard units and rectify them...

overall, the reason that reserve/guard soldiers have been involved in these high profile events is most likely the amount of training that an active duty person gets compared to a reserve/guard soldier before being thrown into combat (yes, convoy duty is combat)...

imo, that makes it more likely that there will be breakdowns in discipline among reserve/guard soldiers under the stressful realities of fighting in iraq...


"19 members of a platoon from the 343rd Quartermaster Company"

These guys were not called upon to perform duties outside of their training, this was exactly the type of mission they are suppossed to be trained for. The mission was carried out by others.

go bowe
10-18-2004, 01:01 PM
Didn't stop you from starting a thread about it and implying that there were "deficiencies" ignored that put the troops in harm's way.actually, i think that there were deficiencies in training, equipping and supervising the reserve soldiers involved in this messl...

but soldiers, all soldiers are put in harm's way all the time - that's why we call them soldiers...

those reserve soldiers are in a lot of shit right now, and they should be for refusing orders...

no matter how dangerous the mission might have been, those soldiers should have gone when ordered...

"orders" frequently put troops in dangerous situations regardless of the soldiers' readiness, training, equipment, etc.

it's the nature of war...

Mr. Kotter
10-18-2004, 01:01 PM
Eh - The race card will get played here, they will do no time.

Sad, but probably true.

go bowe
10-18-2004, 01:05 PM
"19 members of a platoon from the 343rd Quartermaster Company"

These guys were not called upon to perform duties outside of their training, this was exactly the type of mission they are suppossed to be trained for. The mission was carried out by others.that's true...

i guess i was thinking about the soldiers involved at abu ghraib too...

those guys were definitely performing a mission that they had not been trained for...

btw, i agree that there does not appear to be any justification for the reserve soldiers' refusal to follow orders to go on that mission...

Hel'n
10-18-2004, 02:47 PM
Families on warpath for mutinous soldiers
October 19, 2004

What does it take for a man like Staff Sergeant Michael Butler, a 24-year veteran of the army and the reserves who was a soldier in the Gulf War and a reserve called up to fight in Iraq - to risk everything by disobeying a direct order in wartime?.

On October 13, Sergeant Butler and most of his platoon of 18 men and women refused to take a shipment of fuel from Tallil air base near Nasiriyah, to a base much farther north.

The army has launched an inquiry, and the soldiers face disciplinary measures, including possible courts martial.

But Jackie Butler, Sergeant Butler's wife, and her family in Jackson say he would not have jeopardised his career and his freedom for something impulsive or unimportant.

The soldiers, many of whom phoned home at the weekend, said their trucks were unsafe and lacked a proper armed escort, problems that have plagued them since they went to Iraq nine months ago, their relatives said.

"I'm proud that he said no," Ms Butler said. "They had complained and complained for months to the chain of command about the equipment and trucks. But nothing was done, so I think he felt he had to take a stand."

The army has cast the incident as isolated, but as the mutinous soldiers in Tallil and others begin to speak out, it is growing more apparent that the military has yet to solve the troubling lack of training, parts and equipment that has riddled the military operation in Iraq from the outset, especially among National Guard and reserve units.

Brigadier General James Chambers, commander of the 13th Corps Support Command, which the 343rd Quartermaster Company reports to, said at a news conference in Baghdad on Sunday that he had ordered two investigations into the incident.

General Chambers said preliminary findings showed that the unit's trucks were not yet armoured and were among the last in his command to get such protection, because they usually functioned in less dangerous parts of Iraq. The trucks in his command were not armoured when they arrived in Iraq.

He described the episode as "a single event that is confined to a small group of individuals".

The incident has sparked wide interest among military families, who have complained in months past about inadequate equipment.

Nancy Lessin, a leader of Military Families Speak Out, which opposes the war, said she had been flooded with calls and emails from families with a simple message: what had happened to the South Carolina reservists echoed the conditions their own soldiers had experienced in Iraq - a shortage of armoured vehicles, especially for part-time soldiers' units; convoy missions through dangerous stretches without adequate firepower; and constant breakdowns among old vehicles owned especially by National Guard and reservist units.

"This is absolutely striking a nerve," she said.

http://www.smh.com.au/articles/2004/10/18/1097951632960.html?oneclick=true

Duck Dog
10-18-2004, 04:41 PM
what exactly is a "die in place" mission? :shrug:



A mission where you know you have little chance of living through it.


The fact is this unit put two other groups of people at risk by not completing their assigned mission....
(1) the unit they were to resupply
(2) the other unit that had to pick up their slack and carryout the mission for the original unit

The above quote is the bottom line.

I agree they should have the best equipment available (you know, the same equipment skerry voted against), but lord god, you do not put your life ahead of the mission or other soldiers who are depending on you.

The leaders of the platoon should be returned to the US in handcuffs. Right after they are tar and feathered by the platoon that picked up their slack.

jjjayb
10-18-2004, 08:04 PM
I'm just glad these soldiers today weren't around in WW2. The troops then were constantly under-supplied and under-protected. They still fought. It's the military for crying out loud. You don't see our enemies crying about lack of protection or lack of equipment. They'll just as soon attack a convoy with a single molotov cocktail and give up their life to fight.

IF YOU DON'T WANT TO RISK YOUR LIFE THEN DON'T JOIN THE FREAKIN MILITARY STUPID!

slivo6
10-19-2004, 08:48 AM
I'm just glad these soldiers today weren't around in WW2. The troops then were constantly under-supplied and under-protected. They still fought. It's the military for crying out loud. You don't see our enemies crying about lack of protection or lack of equipment. They'll just as soon attack a convoy with a single molotov cocktail and give up their life to fight.

IF YOU DON'T WANT TO RISK YOUR LIFE THEN DON'T JOIN THE FREAKIN MILITARY STUPID!

Excellent!!!!!! :clap: :thumb:

Cochise
10-19-2004, 08:52 AM
I'm just glad these soldiers today weren't around in WW2. The troops then were constantly under-supplied and under-protected. They still fought. It's the military for crying out loud. You don't see our enemies crying about lack of protection or lack of equipment. They'll just as soon attack a convoy with a single molotov cocktail and give up their life to fight.

IF YOU DON'T WANT TO RISK YOUR LIFE THEN DON'T JOIN THE FREAKIN MILITARY STUPID!

rep

Once again, I'm glad we had the greatest generation back then and not the current one, because I dont know if today's America would be equal to the task