Monday, December 17, 2007

Mister Christian! Mister Christiaaaaaan!!! 
A platoon in Iraq lost some friends. Their First Sergeant killed himself. And worried that they would lose control of their anger and kill innocent people (they say), they refused to go out on a scheduled patrol.

I wish I had more time to write about this now.

Is it mutiny? I'd go slow with that charge. For one, you have to charge individuals with it, not entire units. And if a pfc's entire platoon refuses to go except him, can you really say he's guilty of mutiny? He's not going out by himself!

Second, yes, it's true that units might need a legitimate breather after losing so many beloved comrades. The command may have erred in not taking a look at the scheduled battle rhythm, under the circumstances. But then again, that's command business, and it's their call to make. That call does not belong to the platoon.

Here's what caused my jaw to drop:

But, he said, he didn’t know the whole platoon, except for Ybay, had taken sleeping medications prescribed by mental health that day, according to Ybay.

Strickland didn’t know mental health leaders had talked to 2nd Platoon about “doing the right thing.”

He didn’t know 2nd Platoon had gathered for a meeting and determined they could no longer function professionally in Adhamiya — that several platoon members were afraid their anger could set loose a massacre.

“We said, ‘No.’ If you make us go there, we’re going to light up everything,” DeNardi said. “There’s a thousand platoons. Not us. We’re not going.”

They decided as a platoon that they were done, DeNardi and Cardenas said, as did several other members of 2nd Platoon. At mental health, guys had told the therapist, “I’m going to murder someone.” And the therapist said, “There comes a time when you have to stand up,” 2nd Platoon members remembered. For the sake of not going to jail, the platoon decided they had to be “unplugged.”

These twits in mental health need to be taken down a peg. I'd sooner try them for sedition than try these warriors for mutiny.

First of all, to put an entire platoon on sleeping meds at the same time???? That's just idiotic. That's a fireable offense right there, as far as I'm concerned. These morons in mental health, with their Mickey Mouse degrees in social sciences, forgot that there's a war on, and that the platoon needed to be able to defend itself and shoot, move and communicate, 24 hours a day.

If there were a medical issue, mental health should have coordinated that with the command. Commanders make the call whether to take a platoon out of the line. Not mental health.

Second, mental health is supposed to support commanders and the mission. It is not in their job description to assist soldiers in rationalizing violations of the UCMJ. If the story is accurate, it was mental health that arrogated to itself the role of the commander, and undercut the authority of the command.

In my book, that's sedition.

Obviously, the unit needs to be broken up. They're done. But mental health was supposed to help preserve its combat effectiveness. Not work to destroy it.

Splash, out


Labels: , ,

Don't have the time at the moment to read the source story at Army Times, but here's Uncle Jimbo's take on this story.
A. I don't read the Army Times anymore because I don't trust them. It seems that under current ownership Army Times is more interested in sedition of their own. Virtually every story seems designed to undermine servicemembers' confidence in their own chain of command. I won't buy their papers and I won't give their website hits. If I find one of their papers on the floor of the latrine I might read pay tables, promotion lists or Beetle Baily because they can't editorialize in those.

B. As to THIS story... I agree with what you've said given the "facts" as presented by the excerpt you've given us from the Army Times whom I don't trust.

C. On the other hand, I'd like to defend the mental health professionals I've dealt with - or at least the Combat Stress Management Team my unit benefited from. They were very helpful in getting my unit back on an even keel litterally overnight when we suffered our first casualty, who was a very popular medic. They also helped one NCO who went through a very difficult period. In both cases they preserved combat power. Kudos to them.

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