May 25, 2013

Battlefield America: Literary Reflux in 500 Words or Less, #3

Part 3 – The Marine Corps offers up sacrificial lambs to appease the gods

INFIL Rant: I know this is SOFREP and we try our best to keep things SOF related. But as you can see, my stream of articles under the banner of “Battlefield America” have been all over the place. I wonder how long they will let me continue this before they tell me to take my rambles elsewhere, but until that happens, we carry on.

pissA top ranking Marine Corps legal advisor and the commandant, Gen. Amos, are named in an  official complaint to the Inspector General’s office in Washington. If for some reason you are unfamiliar with the incident that happened last January – Marine Snipers pissed on dead Taliban bodies and a subsequent shit-storm followed.

Here is the abbreviated version: A Marine Sniper team in Afghanistan urinates on dead Taliban; it was recorded on digital camera and uploaded to YouTube; world gets angry, 6 Marines get disciplined, 2 others are getting appropriate punishment; Amos doesn’t like that, wants to make example to please constituents in Washington; court-martial trial moved to Quantico with 3 star buddy; IG is called in to investigate.

I am not the least bit surprised that this event has its own Wikipedia page

FACTS: The Marines being court-martialed are Capt. James Clement, the former executive officer of Kilo Company, 3rd Battalion, 2nd Marines, and Sgt. Robert Richards, Scout Sniper Team Leader. At least six other Marines have been disciplined through Non-Judicial Punishment (NJP) for their roles in the July 2011 urination incident.

animal-houseOne of the strongest reactions came from General Amos himself. He launched a tour around the Corps to deliver his “Heritage Brief.” Here he condemned the acts in the video, stressed the importance of ethical behavior and accountability, and pressed for aggressive responses to misbehavior.

The legal complaint to the Inspector General (IG) contends that once Amos learned that Lt. Gen. Thomas Waldhauser intended to impose only modest punishments, the commandant automatically reassigned the case to the Marine Corps Combat Development Command and Lt. Gen. Richard Mills.

Waldhauser, who at the time was commanding Marine Corps Forces Central Command, initially had control of the case. This was logical as MARCENT oversees operations in Afghanistan and routinely serves as the convening authority in judicial matters tied to the war zone. This was reported by Andrew deGrandpre and Dan Lamothe of the Marine Corps Times.

EXFIL Rant: Okay, pissing on dead Taliban and recording it, not the greatest idea these guys ever had, but please keep it in context. When most kids their age are Juniors in college, getting laid, sporting Dave Mathews Band t-shirts and doing keg stands, these young men chose to face America’s enemy eye-to-eye. It’s not Gen. Amos’ fault that he can’t understand what it’s like to patrol in hell. I mean, with all of his campaign medals, he has not one Combat Action Ribbon to show. I truly hope Lt. Gen. Mills doesn’t hang these Marines out to dry in the wretched Washington breeze. Unfortunately, he may have to… if he ever wants to see that fourth star.

Keep Calm and Get Some, Ski (word count 500)


Level Zero Heroes | The Story of U.S. Marine SOF in Bala Murghab, Afghanistan

LEVELZEROHEROES.com

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Dedicated to the loving memory and sacrifice of GySgt. Robert L. Gilbert & SSgt. Patrick R. Dolphin

About the Author

is poised to publish the first book detailing experiences of Marine special operators in Afghanistan. And unlike career writers who drop into an outpost for a quick embed, Golembesky was there, as a member of Marine Special Operations Team 8222 during one of its hardest deployments. He plans to tell the team’s story through the words of the operators on the ground. The working title is “Level Zero Heroes.”

When Commenting BE RELEVANT, RESPECTFUL and HONEST

63 comments
Michael Golembesky
Michael Golembesky

Thanks gang! I am so happy to have found a receptive home for my rambling. I could not ask for a better audience.

HugeFan
HugeFan

Two things: Your "rambles" are a highlight. Like me some Devil Dog piss and vinegar. Ski your shit is tight and well balanced. I'm a lifer here but should you feel the need to move on and I'm sure many of us would no doubt following you wherever you end up. After all, ReflexiveFire.com, weapons evolution are other places with SOFREP degrees of separation.

Secondly, good perspective is good perspective. I can't see a well-thought out OPED being derided here just because the words "SOF" or "Navy SEAL" weren't used. I really like it when you guys go for the "Macro"

mtnman1819
mtnman1819

Great rant. Politics is politics...all bullshit anyway. Some things just don't change. Keep on firing those rants. Love 'em.

jgm666us
jgm666us

The Elite DNA Wisdom Cult (includes PC Military Leadership) believe Western Culture is the Driving Metric for Radical Sharia Islam's Militancy. Any Culture Not Islamic is the Enemy, there exist Enough open sourced thought and ideological treatise to validate this. Denying this basis is in itself THE MOST DANGEROUS path any leader can assume. Fix the enemy and vaporize it.

dbeavers2
dbeavers2

More and more senior flag officers with little or no combat experience are chosen to lead the forces! Politics rule! No one should have a senior command without combat experience even on the support side!

shagstar
shagstar

a good healthy C-Rat...oop's,,i mean, MRE dump on those bodies would have been alot more respectable with the PC impaired!

wipe yer bum with their beard and carry on

GoodCopy
GoodCopy

Anybody taking video/pics like that outside of an SSE team is poor OpSec and holding a one way ticket to a bad place. Even though they're brother Marines they did it to themselves and I have little sympathy. God save the idiot that try's to take a compromising pic of me. You don't get this far in life with your shit out on camera. GoodCopy, out...

BrendanDoran
BrendanDoran

I'm afraid I had a snap reaction.   I couldn't improve on your words much, so I stole them.  Since the only email they put out is their Eagle Scout one, I addressed it there..

====================================================================================

"From:  Brendan Doran

To: [email protected]

subject: 

Eager Sycophant award

Congratulate GEN Amos on his wretched and distinguished Cowardice.

'It’s not Gen. Amos’ fault that he can’t understand what it’s like to patrol in hell. I mean, with all of his campaign medals, he has not one Combat Action Ribbon to show.'


Piss on him."

=====================================================================================

Notice the Neo-Con artist ChickenHawks disappear when warriors are caught being naughty.    

Marines apparently don't do the wrong thing halfway either.   

This entire "war" has been waged with the primary goal of not offending Progressives.  As if that's even possible.  Their livelihood is being offended and gaining status by Peacocking Signalling of their great offense and how it makes them Holier than Thou.  THAT'S THEIR LIVELIHOOD.   They've got departments in every organization in the West whose existence is justified based on being offended and grieved.    It's a College Major.  It's how we got Obama.   It's the mission statement of MSNBC.  It's the bread and butter for millions.  It's Obama's electorate and more important to him than welfare.  

Now our problem is that the Amos and Andy's of the world are more afraid of the professionally grieved than..US.   

When the Professionally Grieved in the UK for instance are less fearsome to the unfortunate and castrated British Bobby than the English proper - I'm reliably informed the British Bobby these days takes for instance beatings in far better humor than his American counterparts - when and only when the English proper are feared more than the English Left then this bizarre minstrel show in White-face ends.  

The Left are the worms in our guts, we shit them out or die.  

Now Dear Sir you clearly wanted a reaction.  There's one.   Good Morning.


ratt1niner
ratt1niner

The outrage over this incident is just the continued liberalization of the millitary.  I experienced it under Clinton maybe you could say it took a break under Bush and now its back under Obama.  Im not some righty here to stir the pot but  many liberals just flat out hate the Military.  This incident is far from the My Lai Massacre from Vietnam but if the Commandant was pressured to go stumping over this ordeal that's pretty lame.  Stiff NJP's should of been enough punishment IMO. 


Just a little article I found on how some of the "educated elite" feel about the armed forces. 

http://www.keeprotcout.org/ourposition.html    

shooten
shooten

May Gen Mills forego the 4th star. Great rant Ski. Not a great idea to film it but not worth these young men's careers either.

Minou_Demimonde
Minou_Demimonde

As usual, Michael, excellent. My personal, and hence useless, opinion, is that the people so upset about this ave idiots, who have no clue what these kids--and yes, they are kids--are experiencing. Filming it was incredibly stupid. Posting it to Youtube was even more stupid. But do I understand exactly why they did it? Yes. And they should be disciplined.  But it should be a slap on the wrist and a "let's not do that ever again," because frankly, this is nothing like the things that these boys have seen. This is nothing like they could be doing, though for their own hearts and souls, I hope they aren't. When they have another 15 years on them, they will see things differently. But in the meantime, they're trying to deal with things that nobody could have prepared them for. And as a nation, we need to remember that.

I just wish that people would get as upset over what our Government is doing.

ColonelProp
ColonelProp

Damn Ski - these just keep getting better. Excellent use of Senator Blutarski to make your point.

The whole deal stinks.

linwood
linwood

(mental note:  keep it short)

First of all, I'd be gutted if they asked you to "take your rants elsewhere".  They're excellent, and as history shows, good fodder for comradely discussion...even if, as posters, our mental compasses go awry.

Secondly, it would seem that folks up in echelons above oxygen forget that we're asking our young people to fight a war...not put on a parade.  It would be good to sit 'em down and, in a Marine context, remind them of Guadalcanal, Saipan, Pelelieu, Iwo and Hue.  This isn't a cotillion, and our guys -- especially our snipers -- have nearly inhuman stresses placed upon them...and face it with inhuman valor.

...and, they're young...I remember being a young soldier, growing up on war movies...these kids have much more graphic video games, etc.  No excuse, but they're also fighting a war where anything they do might be filmed and then judged by folks whose world begins and ends on a TV screen...not out in the mud with the blood.  They're also fighting in a war that began with an outrage that "outranks" pissing on corpses by factors beyond counting...and which began when some of 'em were in elementary school.

Was it a failure of leadership?  Yes.  Does it lend itself to overreaction?  Yes.  Should mature leaders, in charge of supporting and mentoring and leading this and the next generation of Marines over react?  Absolutely not. 

Wingman
Wingman

Once again, I am with the Exfildels. If you want to send people to foreign lands to get their balls blown off, they still have to urinate. Just because there's some dead bodies in the vicinity, there were probably open sewers close to them too. Be careful who you risk your life for. When I grew up the mantra was "question authority". I don't ask when I can pee or who I can pee on, I just make that decision when the spirit moves me.

Jake75
Jake75

Bad idea to film it.

MR151
MR151

@HugeFan Agreed. And thanks again for your service to our country Ski.

Recon6
Recon6

@jgm666us  As we use to say, "find em, fix em, and fuck em"...6

Michael Golembesky
Michael Golembesky

@dbeavers2 Gone are the days of citizen soldiers serving in Washington. It was not that long ago when both houses would clear out during times of war because many of them serving as Representatives were also officers in the military. Talk about have skin in the game. Miss those days.

Recon6
Recon6

@dbeavers2   Copy that db, most senior leaders (oxymoron) in the Army either do not have a C.I.B. or

they have a C.A.B.  Saw a General with an E.I.B., really enthused me, not..Leaders should be Required

to have Combat experience, imo....6

dickftr
dickftr

@shagstar C-rats, my favorite was ham and eggs. THANKS Ski, good rant.

Recon6
Recon6

@shagstar   "C-Rat", lmao, Shag you sure date yourself with that comment!!  I agree with you, though I don't

care what they dumped on the bodies, don't mean nothin...6

Old PH2
Old PH2

@GoodCopy Hate to say it but it was that kind of knee jerk reaction that made my job exquisitely difficult during my enlistment.  DoD Photographers are welcomed and reviled all in the same breath.  Our mission, document for posterity, the battle space, the men, gather image intel, lastly PAO for our branch.  Warts and all.  Death investigations, multitudes of UCMJ violations, the occasional fender bender, it's all part and parcel to the mission.  Problem is, most DoD photographers are mature enough to capture that image and if it was deemed necessary by higher command turn it over for an JAG investigation.  That or their conscience would have told them not to take it in the first place.  It's these amateurs that caused us the most problems.   

Wingman
Wingman

@ratt1niner  Really? Because during the Bush admin they convicted a low level pregnant woman for Abu Ghraib. It was chicken shit, they should have given her CO a slap on the wrist and nothing for her. She was doing what she was told. Who gives a shit about prisoners who have blown our people to bits. What happened to war being war? I have never heard of a Japanese getting spanked for eviscerating women and children or POW's.

BrendanDoran
BrendanDoran

@ratt1niner - because it's a good idea to hand transsexuals a machine gun.   Hot Tranny mess is NOT a Christian redneck phrase.  If your a pyschological mess we don't want to arm you and place you under enormous pressure.

We don't need you or want you Brown.  We already have crazy people with guns who hate us, they're called the enemy. 

Minou_Demimonde
Minou_Demimonde

@ratt1niner The only thing I can agree with is the sexual assault/rape statements. Which is sad. But Brown has serious issues. And I agree. They don't need an ROTC. Because we don't need them.

Michael Golembesky
Michael Golembesky

@Minou_Demimonde Slap on the wrist and let them get back to patrolling and ass-stumping. It oblivious to me that they are pretty damn good at it.

MR151
MR151

@Jake75 True. Not everything needs to be recorded as photo or video. Not their brightest moment for sure, but I think we can be confident they've learned from this, and shit-storm that it was, maybe others in the future will learn from it.

But then again, they should've learned that lesson already from the Abu-Ghraib storm years earlier.

1. Don't do shit like that!

2. Don't friggin record the moment(s) with camera!

Compared to the offenses by the enemy, it's not nearly as bad. Still, to do that and then post it?!

That's even worse than going to a Dave Matthews Band concert.

Jaycel Adkins
Jaycel Adkins

@Jake75 Yeah, considering Jihadis like to blow themselves up, not going to loss sleep on some getting peed on. But to film it AND then somehow let it out into the world.....not prudent, at best. 

Just tell the story, don't always need the visual aid. 

GoodCopy
GoodCopy

I totally agree. Posterity pics, trophy shots, etc are going to happen, I even have a few of my own. I should have been more specific and said outside of esprit de corps photos, don't be the next Abu Ghraib photog like these guys. I also have to throw a little blame on the command for not warning/educating Devil Dogs on what happens if you get caught with these photos. The "bigger picture" of how actions can have unintended consequences. Believe me when I say I get why they took the photos but it was a shithead deluxe move to post or share. Unfortunately these Marines and their mistake are memorialized in cyberspace forever.

Minou_Demimonde
Minou_Demimonde

@Jaycel Adkins @Jake75 Yes, but we still live in a world where social media rules and nobody seems to understand that if you put it on the internet, and it's not something you really wanted the world to see, the world will see it. We have a generation raised without any idea of personal privacy or discretion is. And now they're going to pay a high price for easing some of their fear and pain and anger, because they were stupid enough to film it and post it. Which, yeah, that's never done anybody in before. Like the idiot girl at Arlington...Or half the people who are stupid enough to post pictures of themselves on Facebook...

Minou_Demimonde
Minou_Demimonde

@Michael Golembesky @Minou_Demimonde Meh. Just stating reality. Red Green would be proud. Besides, you are a Marine, and a SOFREP contributor and that means a lot to most of us. We have faith in you to know what you're talking about.

Recon6
Recon6

Wow bro, thanks for the link, that is when America was America!!

"War is fighting and fighting is killing", great stuff AW....6

Wingman
Wingman

I wouldn't characterize it as childish. These are men who have been killing people and people trying to kill them and their brothers while living under extreme duress. I don't think urinating on the enemy is a big deal. After all, they just killed them and no doubt have been inundated with all kinds of violence over a period of time. It is part and parcel of the warrior experience. If you want guys to do the govt's bidding, i.e. killing the enemy, they have to carry out some extreme activities.  If you want soldiers to kill, sometimes they have to cut loose and get their freak on.


  • Recon6

    Wingman ratt1niner   Copy That Wingman...6

  • Recon6

    Wingman ratt1niner   Copy That Wingman...6

  • Wingman

    I wouldn't characterize it as childish. These are men who have been killing people and people trying to kill them and their brothers while living under extreme duress. I don't think urinating on the enemy is a big deal. After all, they just killed them and no doubt have been inundated with all kinds of violence over a period of time. It is part and parcel of the warrior experience. If you want guys to do the govt's bidding, i.e. killing the enemy, they have to carry out some extreme activities.  If you want soldiers to kill, sometimes they have to cut loose and get their freak on.

  • Wingman

    ratt1niner  Really? Because during the Bush admin they convicted a low level pregnant woman for Abu Ghraib. It was chicken shit, they should have given her CO a slap on the wrist and nothing for her. She was doing what she was told. Who gives a shit about prisoners who have blown our people to bits. What happened to war being war? I have never heard of a Japanese getting spanked for eviscerating women and children or POW's.

  • Minou_Demimonde

    Michael Golembesky Minou_Demimonde Meh. Just stating reality. Red Green would be proud.