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