The system didn’t work for Clint Lorance. It didn’t protect him or his paratroopers. The system, the chain of command, and the Army committed a grave injustice and put a man in prison for killing enemy combatants who were getting ready to attack his soldiers.

Lorance’s own chain of command, due to political fallout, sold him out in a clear case of covering their own asses and branded him “a bad apple” and “off the rails” just three days after selecting him to replace a wounded platoon leader in a very contested area of Afghanistan.

NEWSREP has reached out to soldiers who knew him and to his civilian attorney John Maher, a former Army JAG officer. Their comments and the evidence they’ve uncovered presents a very different picture of the man who was railroaded into Leavenworth for 19 years for murdering “unarmed civilians” and changing the rules of engagement (ROE).

A former Army 1st lieutenant, Lorance was a platoon leader in the 4th Squadron, 73rd Cavalry Regiment, 82nd Airborne Division in Afghanistan. He was stationed at Strong Point Payenzai, outside of the village of Sarenzai in the Zharay district of Kandahar Province.

The platoon had lost four men to wounds, including the previous platoon leader, 1st Lt. Dominic Latino who was wounded in the legs, abdomen, and face by IED fragments just three days prior.

Lorance was chosen by his battalion commander, Colonel Mannes, to take over once Lieutenant Latino was wounded. On his second and final combat control, on July 2, 2012, an incident transpired that led to Lorance being charged with murder.

The platoon had to move single file, due to minefields outside the base, and up and down a series of rowed grape berms that were so tall that paratroopers in the lee of the berms couldn’t see over them. Afghan soldiers  in the Afghan National Army were in the lead.

Sergeant First Class Ayres, the platoon sergeant (senior enlisted leader) testified: “Every time we’d go in there [village] we got shot at.”