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metahuman
Maniac (V) Inmate

From: meme-contagion
Insane since: Aug 2003

posted posted 10-16-2004 21:32

Army probes whether GIs broke military code

Some facts omitted or not emphasized in this article:

  • The reservist unit is mostly older people (25-50 vs. typical 18-22) who have career lives back home and a knowledge of when to say no.
  • The reserves are given the worst equipment (e.g., no kevlar) since they're at the bottom of the pecking order. Elite teams like SEAL6, Delta, Recon are at the top. Most units are fighting WWII-style due to the nonworking WAN intelligence system (e.g., mobile units have to stop moving to setup equipment to upload data at 700 bps (slower than dialup) and download data (such as maps) but each time a unit stops the Iraqi Resistance fighters see it as an opportunity to attack so most units have decided not to stop.) I read of one unit that was attacked by three Iraqi tank columns from different directions. Fortunately, the Iraqi tanks' ammo bounced off the American tanks and the American tanks' ammo resulted in an exploded Iraqi tank. That Iraqi force suffered major losses while the American team had 7-8 wounded, 0 killed, with tanks in working order.
  • The reservists who declined to follow orders were arrested following the incident but before they were arrested they called and e-mailed their families and the press. It was much easier in the past to keep a lid on the opinions of the soldiers when mutineers could be shot. Now the Internet, it's really difficult and the government wants to prevent "property of the U.S. government" from voicing their opinions yet allow high-tech communications.
  • The fuel the unit was delivering was contaminated with diesel fuel. They went to another base and the fuel was refused so they came back. Their Commanding Officer stupidly ordered them to go another base in a more dangerous area without effective equipment to deliver the same fuel which would be refused by the other base too. They said no. That's a suicide mission.



_____________
Disclaimer. All opinions by metahuman use objectively defined terms. Use Princeton University's WordNet if you are uncertain of the actual meaning. Have a nice day!

metahuman
Maniac (V) Inmate

From: meme-contagion
Insane since: Aug 2003

posted posted 10-17-2004 03:26

The unit was also denied helicopter cover and armored transport. All the supply caravans have little to no protection with the transport vehicles using leather canvas rather than kevlar canvas.

_____________
Disclaimer. All opinions by metahuman use objectively defined terms. Use Princeton University's WordNet if you are uncertain of the actual meaning. Have a nice day!

Amerasu
Paranoid (IV) Inmate

From: Canada
Insane since: Jun 2002

posted posted 10-17-2004 06:22

This is just so sad, it makes me feel terrible for these people.

There's also a good article about this in Salon (You can get a 24 hour pass)

http://www.salon.com/news/feature/2004/10/16/soldiers/index.html

Amerasu |

metahuman
Maniac (V) Inmate

From: meme-contagion
Insane since: Aug 2003

posted posted 10-17-2004 07:57

Things like this occurred continously during the Vietnam War; unfortunately, communications were limited and the government was more capable of censorship at the time. Today, due to battlespace "network-centric" communications 'what happened' is already publicly known before 'what happened' can be censored. Technology is a double-edged sword though.

You can get a one-click pass to read that article on salon or you can view it here.

_____________
Disclaimer. All opinions by metahuman use objectively defined terms. Use Princeton University's WordNet if you are uncertain of the actual meaning. Have a nice day!

(Edited by metahuman on 10-17-2004 08:03)

Wolfen
Paranoid (IV) Inmate

From: Minnesota
Insane since: Jan 2001

posted posted 10-17-2004 08:02

Well, even if they are reservists, they are still active military. Therefore they are subject to all the rules and regulations of full military members if you are called into active duty. They will probably be court martialed for disobeying direct orders.

(Edited by Wolfen on 10-17-2004 08:07)

metahuman
Maniac (V) Inmate

From: meme-contagion
Insane since: Aug 2003

posted posted 10-17-2004 08:07
quote:
Wolfen said:

They will probably court martialed for disobeying direct orders. That is the price you pay, no matter what your situation is.

In my opinion, that's better than being dead for all the wrong reasons.

_____________
Disclaimer. All opinions by metahuman use objectively defined terms. Use Princeton University's WordNet if you are uncertain of the actual meaning. Have a nice day!

Wolfen
Paranoid (IV) Inmate

From: Minnesota
Insane since: Jan 2001

posted posted 10-17-2004 08:18
quote:
metahuman said:
In my opinion, that's better than being dead for all the wrong reasons.



Well, they are not there to give opinions, they are there to do the jobs that they are assigned to do, and sending supplies is a part of it. That is why we train our men for combat, even in the worst situations. My father was drafted during Vietnam and they taught the guys that you do not disobey an order from your superiors, or there will be consequences, you do not have a choice if you are in active military. (quote me if I am wrong.)

If those guys do get court martialed, they will be held till the end of their contract term, and then given a dishonorable discharge, if they are found guilty. I am not saying what they did is right or wrong, I am just saying how the consequences are.

(Edited by Wolfen on 10-17-2004 08:20)

metahuman
Maniac (V) Inmate

From: meme-contagion
Insane since: Aug 2003

posted posted 10-17-2004 08:40

1. Having a job that requires opinion is unnecessary for a person to opine. For instance, if you're hired to perform some duty in Charlotte Russe's visual communications department, that doesn't mean you're unable to voice your opinion. That also doesn't mean that by voicing your opinion you're not doing your assigned duties.

2. Resending contaminated supplies across 200 miles of extremely volatile terrain to a base that will deem the delivered product unacceptable is not part of a soldier's job description. Performing suicide missions is a requirement of certain extremist groups, not of the U.S. military. An attribute of a good soldier is the ability to instantaneously judge whether a certain action will benefit the self and the team. Moreover, a soldier's combat training is no use to the military if the soldier is dead. The problem with your father's training is that people do have choices. The fear of the possible or definite consequences is what typically drives people to not act upon those choices. You always have a choice.

_____________
Disclaimer. All opinions by metahuman use objectively defined terms. Use Princeton University's WordNet if you are uncertain of the actual meaning. Have a nice day!

(Edited by metahuman on 10-17-2004 08:43)

UnknownComic
Paranoid (IV) Inmate

From: 2 steps away from a los angeles curb
Insane since: Nov 2003

posted posted 10-17-2004 08:47

I think [just my opinion] the Captain, and those on up the chain of command, should be given a toss into the UCMJ shredder. I am not saying they should be Jailed, but their Military Carreer Advancement should be severely curtailed if they think a junk tank of fuel is more important than the lives of our soldiers.

Callous disregard for the safety of enlisted soldiers should be a carreer stopper.

I hope that an officer ends up in trouble over this one, and NOT enlisted men and women.

______________
Is This Thing On?

Webbing; the stuff that sticks on your face when you stroll through Spider Forest

Allewyn
Maniac (V) Mad Scientist

From: Solitary confinement
Insane since: Feb 2001

posted posted 10-18-2004 19:12

"Well, even if they are reservists, they are still active military. Therefore they are subject to all the rules and regulations of full military members if you are called into active duty. They will probably be court martialed for disobeying direct orders."

metahuman doesn't get it. the reservists swoare an oath to which they can and should be held. i was military during vietnam and never considered (well almost never, disobeying a direct order.

thing is we don't know all the facts because the media will twist anything that happens right now into political propaganda. shame on you if you believe what the media says first. they've been proven wrong over and over. the guys actually fighting there are the only ones who know what's what.

(Edited by Allewyn on 10-18-2004 19:15)

Bugimus
Maniac (V) Mad Scientist

From: New California
Insane since: Mar 2000

posted posted 10-18-2004 19:33

Excellent point, Allewyn. The necessary details of a story like this take time to filter to us. We should wait until we get more details before we come to strong conclusions on this one.

: . . DHTML Slice Puzzle : . . .

WebShaman
Maniac (V) Mad Scientist

From: Happy Hunting Grounds...
Insane since: Mar 2001

posted posted 10-18-2004 19:47
quote:
metahuman doesn't get it. the reservists swoare an oath to which they can and should be held. i was military during vietnam and never considered (well almost never, disobeying a direct order.



That is the truth.

Did they disobey a Direct Order? Or just an Order? Because if they disobeyed a Direct Order, unless they can prove that the order was illegal, they are toasted.

Allewyn
Maniac (V) Mad Scientist

From: Solitary confinement
Insane since: Feb 2001

posted posted 10-18-2004 23:39

Yes that's an interesting question: direct or indirect. However, if a general tells a major and the major tells a lieutenant and the lieutenant tells a seargent who tells the troops, who gets the "direct" order? Well, the answer is that the seargent has the same authority as the general when acting as the general's representative, by proxy. Each time the order is passed on, it retains its directness. Only a rumour would be cause not to act and the rumour must be verified as all orders are in combat.

An example that's closer to home is being pulled over by the highway patrol for speeding. The patrolman has the same authority as the state's governor in carrying out the enforcement of the law. If he clocks someone at 110mph in a 35 and doesn't stop the person and issue a ticket (or remove the person's license) he is actually disobeying a direct order from the office of the governor. He might think, "Whoa going a little fast but I haven't heard from the governor" he'd be in dereliction of his duties. In this case, the patrolman heard "stop the bad guys" in the morning briefing and has a clear mandate to cite the speeder. When put in this perspective, all troops who willingly went to Iraq (all-volunteer "army") have the same mandate to stop the bad guys even if they haven't heard from the general.

metahuman
Maniac (V) Inmate

From: meme-contagion
Insane since: Aug 2003

posted posted 10-19-2004 02:14

Allewyn: I do understand the situation, not only from media reports but also from retired and active military officers. I do "get it." I don't agree with you or "it" though. "metahuman doesn't get it" is false.

Everyone has a responsibility to avoid being needlessly killed due to incompetence. To be dishonorably discharged for doing the right thing is better than being honorably killed in combat for doing something no rational person would do.

_____________
Disclaimer. All opinions by metahuman use objectively defined terms. Use Princeton University's WordNet if you are uncertain of the actual meaning. Have a nice day!

(Edited by metahuman on 10-19-2004 02:20)

metahuman
Maniac (V) Inmate

From: meme-contagion
Insane since: Aug 2003

posted posted 10-19-2004 06:34

Here's an update on the status of the situation:

  • The Army appears to be doing the traditional "let it blow over and do as little as possible" approach in order to avoid politics, which would hurt the Bush Administration considering the unit lacked appropriate equipment and vehicles. The so-called ringleaders of the mutiny, five to six sergeants, will be generally discharged while the rest of the unit ordered to separate units.

  • The reserves being at the bottom of the pecking order were and still are using civilian vehicles.

  • As usual incompetence is rarely punished if the offender is an officer so the C.O. in this case will likely skate away without a scratch on his record.


_____________
Disclaimer. All opinions by metahuman use objectively defined terms. Use Princeton University's WordNet if you are uncertain of the actual meaning. Have a nice day!

(Edited by metahuman on 10-19-2004 06:35)

UnknownComic
Paranoid (IV) Inmate

From: 2 steps away from a los angeles curb
Insane since: Nov 2003

posted posted 10-19-2004 07:18

I was reacting to the transcripts of the soldiers.

An order to take a hill at any cost, is vastly different than a CO being pissed and ordering a tanker, that broke down four times on the previous trip, to go into even more dangerous territory WITHOUT any support?

Military training also insists on a soldier being able to think, had the soldiers in Abu Ghuraib acted as these soldiers had, we probably would not have the photos, scandal, and shame of that incident to deal with.

Also they didnt need outside facts or the "big picture"... they were the ones with the facts.

* The fuel was refused because it was contaminated.
* The truck was breaking down.
* The truck had no armor.
* The truck had no support.

This sounds like an angry man sacrificing good men and women for personal reasons rather than mission objectives. The tanker should have been emptied, cleaned and the fuel disposed of. He was an ass to try and send them out again.
[edit] Aurgh! Stupid Typo! Now I have to go smoke and drink strong coffee to cleanse my shame... damn![/edit]
______________
Is This Thing On?

Webbing; the stuff that sticks on your face when you stroll through Spider Forest

(Edited by UnknownComic on 10-19-2004 07:22)

Allewyn
Maniac (V) Mad Scientist

From: Solitary confinement
Insane since: Feb 2001

posted posted 10-19-2004 23:17

"doing something no rational person would do"
metahuman-

It's a mistake to place rational values on a situation such as war! Rational thought implies normal conditions when no such conditions exist. You seem to think that people should do as you would in a situation you would never put yourself into and therefore, don't get. You have the luxury of sitting in your room where it's safe to second-guess what you know of what the media says. The problem is, you can't possibly think like a combat field officer doing a difficult job, in a far-away-from-home place, under circumstances you will never experience. If you had ever been to war, or even served...but that's a useless argument.

unknowncomic's comments are more meaningful because he hints at facts but I'll reserve comment until I know his source. what's your source unknown?

I am also dismayed that, everytime (twice) one of our brave men in Iraq allegedly makes a mistake, people like you have to dwell on it rather than bringing up things like:
1. commerce is thriving in Bhagdad. Vendors and storeowners are buying and selling, getting back to "normal"
2. women are free to move about without being executed for not wearing a veil
3. the oil fields are functioning and bringing the country badly needed revenues (don't start with that "we're only there" stuff)
4. people have conveniences they would have been killed for owning such as satellite dishes and HD TV
5. the people will participate in their first elections in about 50 years
6. 10s of 1000s of letters have been written to our state department by civilians and government officals, thanking the coalition for liberating them. A liberal should be shouting that!
7. people are eating better than they ever have
8. people can buy clothes and shoes on the free market
9. Iraq can not export terror only Iran and Syria can import it
9. etc etc etc
and all people can talk about is the negative. It turns my stomach.

However, I do get the anti-war slant to your rhetoric, which I've already heard on CNN, so I'll agree to disagree.

<I care enough to edit>

(Edited by Allewyn on 10-19-2004 23:34)

metahuman
Maniac (V) Inmate

From: meme-contagion
Insane since: Aug 2003

posted posted 10-19-2004 23:47
quote:
Allewyn said:

<<Insert ignorant, ethnocentric pro-Bush pro-war babble here>>

Attempting acquisition of something of relevant value from your post is like trying to squeeze orange juice from apples. Apparently your fingers not only did your typing, but did your thinking too. Have you considered suing your brain for lack of support? If I desired to talk to somebody with your intelligence, I would try to talk with my toad.

_____________
Disclaimer. All opinions by metahuman use objectively defined terms. Use Princeton University's WordNet if you are uncertain of the actual meaning. Have a nice day!

(Edited by metahuman on 10-19-2004 23:53)

UnknownComic
Paranoid (IV) Inmate

From: 2 steps away from a los angeles curb
Insane since: Nov 2003

posted posted 10-20-2004 00:40

I am neither war-bashing nor am I pulling facts out of the ether...

Google "Mutiny in Iraq" and you will quickly find the transcripts of the soldiers messages home. The media slant is NOT there. It is the own soldiers words.

If, as you rationalize, an officer is having difficulty with command decisions he has others to confer with. If he chooses to act on impulse and emotion rather than logic and reason, then why should his carreer advance?

All I am saying... Is this.

The officers need to be investigated as thoroughly as the soldiers. An officers duty is to protect his soldiers. If he isnt doing it, he doesnt need to be advancing in rank to be irresponsible with even more citizenry at stake. An officer who will wantonly place his soldiers at risk is hardly someone we should trust to protect us.

We citizens are the ones who ultimately control what are leaders do...

Ugh... that leads the way to so many more arguments about voter responsibility, military oversight, ad infinitum.

So let's actually focus on what is at hand in this situation...

My citizen brothers and sisters, the soldiers, ARE worth MORE than a contaminated fuel tanker. Any officer that doesnt understand that, should not be leading our troops.

[note]
My prior military service has no bearing on this statement. Saying it does is just a misdirection to where the attention should go... I dont have to be Swiss to know when Swiss Cheese has gone moldy... do I?
[/note]

______________
Is This Thing On?

Webbing; the stuff that sticks on your face when you stroll through Spider Forest

Tao
Paranoid (IV) Inmate

From: The Pool Of Life
Insane since: Nov 2003

posted posted 10-20-2004 01:09

metahuman's caustic reply to Allewyn was

quote:
Attempting acquisition of something of relevant value from your post is like trying to squeeze orange juice from apples. Apparently your fingers not only did your typing, but did your thinking too. Have you considered suing your brain for lack of support? If I desired to talk to somebody with your intelligence, I would try to talk with my toad.


...and you accuse me of "ad hominem" metahuman! Is this your idea of meme-contagion?
Big words, little understanding metahuman. I hope you eventually find peace of mind and not feel the need to put people down to feel better about yourself.

:::tao::: ::cell::

metahuman
Maniac (V) Inmate

From: meme-contagion
Insane since: Aug 2003

posted posted 10-20-2004 01:48
quote:
Tao said:

...and you accuse me of "ad hominem" metahuman! Is this your idea of meme-contagion? Big words, little understanding metahuman. I hope you eventually find peace of mind and not feel the need to put people down to feel better about yourself.

If you would remove your head from your ass and wipe the shit from your eyes sometime soon, that'd be excellent. Allewyn has consistenly assumed his opinion of my position on war, death, and this mutiny to be true regardless of proof to the contrary. He uses phrases like "you people" which clearly indicates his point of view. His arguments stem from the good boy attitude of being a sheep. I doubt a person of such low intellectual caliber was ever in the military.

It's interesting that whenever an asshole like you, Tao, confronts an asshole like me, they use the same tired and untrue claim that another is using negativity to feel better about themselves. You have absolutely no basis for that claim. Who are you to presume to know what I'm feeling? Nobody. Absolutely nobody. So if you have nothing to contribute to this thread, fuck off.

This thread was doing so well until Allewyn and you entered. Notice that there was no record of ad hominem comments until Allewyn first posts which I'll quote, "metahuman doesn't get it. . . . You [metahuman] seem to think that people should do as you would in a situation you would never put yourself into and therefore, don't get. You have the luxury of sitting in your room where it's safe to second-guess what you know of what the media says. The problem is, you can't possibly think like a combat field officer doing a difficult job, in a far-away-from-home place, under circumstances you will never experience." What an egotistical, self-righteous pro-war bigot. Oops! I meant apologist.

What's funny to me is that my opinion of the war and mutiny is founded on the opinons of the ILLEGITIMATE war in Iraq and the well-justified mutiny from highly decorated active and retired military officers; yet, Allewyn claims that I'm "second-guessing" the media. Clearly, he doesn't receive the latest news from the newswire.

Hackworth's Memo for the President-Elect

The reply to Hackworth from an army reservist sums up my view, "If we allow our officers to be incompetent and still continue to serve without consequence, how can we expect our troops to demonstrate competence and professionalism? The "rot" in the officers corps I see so often mentioned is directly affecting our troops at all levels. Either we begin to recruit and maintain good officers in the military as a whole, but especially in the Reserves and National Guard, or our military will rot away and become the paper tiger that the Soviet Army became."

By the way, Tao, I'm really sick of you following me around just to spout insults. Don't you have anything better to do? I know I do. You're just wasting my god damned time.

_____________
Disclaimer. All opinions by metahuman use objectively defined terms. Use Princeton University's WordNet if you are uncertain of the actual meaning. Have a nice day!

(Edited by metahuman on 10-20-2004 02:08)

Allewyn
Maniac (V) Mad Scientist

From: Solitary confinement
Insane since: Feb 2001

posted posted 10-20-2004 02:34

out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks
none of the numbered points I raised were addressed

"attitude of being a sheep. I doubt a person of such low intellectual caliber was ever in the military"

actually, being politically incorrect proves I am not a sheep. It's much more difficult to be sober minded and unemotional. when I read comments by a sewermouth, I know who I am dealing with. And yes, I was in Vietnam from 1967-1969 stationed at Phan Rhang. And as far as intellect is concerned, I read your last post. 'Nuff said, I've hit smarter ping-pong balls.

The really sad thing is, I defended your right to speak. I'd do it again if called. Nothing special. I'm an American and I believe in freedom. Lucky you. Now you can have the last word because, of course, you want it. Bye.

metahuman
Maniac (V) Inmate

From: meme-contagion
Insane since: Aug 2003

posted posted 10-20-2004 05:14

Now that we've been partially derailed by Allewyn... back to the topic. Here's some more articles on the mutiny.

quote:
Alleged Troop Mutiny Was 'Isolated Incident,' General Says
By Gerry J. Gilmore, American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Oct. 18, 2004 -- The commanding general of a group of soldiers that allegedly refused to take part in a recent convoy operation in Iraq told reporters the event was an "isolated incident."

Army Brig. Gen. Jim Chambers, commanding general of the 13th Corps Support Command, confirmed at an Oct. 17 press briefing in Baghdad that about 18 reserve soldiers with the 343rd Quartermaster Company didn't accompany a recent fuel supply convoy.

The Oct. 13 supply mission, Chambers noted, did move out a little while later with other soldiers. Chambers said the convoy in question was carrying good fuel and that all convoy protection measures were in place.

Some relatives of soldiers who didn't accompany the convoy were quoted in news reports saying the soldiers believed they were delivering contaminated helicopter fuel and that convoy protection measures were inadequate.

Chambers noted that the 343rd , based in Rock Hill, S.C., has successfully carried out its combat missions since being deployed to Iraq nine months ago.

The general said a full investigation of the incident is under way.
Disciplinary action would be meted out if warranted, he added. All 18 soldiers involved have returned to duty and are performing routine tasks, Chambers said.



quote:
October 19, 2004

Convoy incident report 'limited'
By Jeremy Hudson, The (Jackson, Miss.) Clarion-Ledger

Despite an Iraqi-based platoon's refusal last week to take part in a fuel convoy order, there are no plans to hold hearings (the Republicans, hence the White House, control Congress) on whether active and reserve forces lack equipment and support, an official said Monday.

Eighteen members of the Rock Hill, S.C.-based 343rd Army Reserve Quartermaster Company did not report Wednesday for a fuel convoy, citing contaminated fuel, ill-equipped vehicles and lack of armed escorts, some soldiers' relatives said.

Harald Stavenas, press secretary of the House Armed Services Committee, said there are no plans for hearings.

But Rep. Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., wants more detailed information on vehicle inspection reports and security procedures for support convoys in Iraq. Thompson filed a congressional inquiry last week after the wives of two of the soldiers contacted his office and received a report Monday. The report was "limited," Thompson said.

"This situation brings into question the larger policy issue as to whether our soldiers are in properly equipped vehicles," said Thompson, a Bolton Democrat. "It does not negate their refusal, but it is an issue that must be examined thoroughly."

The soldiers' action has brought international attention to procedures and the conditions of equipment being used in the more than year-old war in Iraq. Several soldiers' relatives appeared on national television on Monday.

Two investigations, one to check the conditions of the units vehicles and the other into whether the soldiers violated the Uniform Code of Military Justice, are ongoing. Five soldiers, including Sgt. Larry McCook and Sgt. Michael Butler, both of Jackson, have been reassigned to different units.

"This does not mean that these five individuals were reassigned as punishment," Army legal correspondent Lt. Col. John Miller said in the report The Clarion-Ledger obtained from Thompson. "(This) does not mean the 13 individuals (not reassigned) will not receive administrative action, does not mean that only 18 individuals were involved (could be more or less). Investigation is ongoing."

Ricky Shealey of Quinton, Ala., father of reassigned reservist Spc. Scott Shealey, said Monday that fueling procedures should be changed. He said his son told him Monday morning that a tanker truck that hauled jet fuel was loaded with diesel fuel without being purged. Their unit commander ordered them to take the fuel from their base in Tallil to another base in Taji, after it had been denied at another base, the elder Shealey said.

"Why can't the Army just admit their commanders are human and made a mistake," said Ricky Shealey, who appeared on CBS' The Early Show on Monday. "They should pat these soldiers on the back for bringing this problem to their attention."

Lt. Col. Steven Boylan, director of the Combined Press Information Center in Baghdad, said putting JP8 - the jet fuel - in the same container where DF2 - the diesel fuel - had been stored would not contaminate it. It would be like pouring regular-grade gasoline with high-octane gasoline, he said.

"Where they were going, there were no helicopters or aircraft based there," Boylan said.McCook was reassigned to the 2101 Transportation Company from Alabama and already has taken part in a safe convoy, said his wife, Patricia. Her husband is one of the 120 members of the 343rd who deployed in February.

"Things are better for him, and I can only hope they are getting better for the others," Patricia McCook said.

But Patricia McCook said her husband told her he's getting some unusual stares from some people.

"He's not letting that bother him," she said. "He's just trying to do his job."

Washington Bureau reporter Ana Radelat contributed to this report.



quote:
Local member of battered 1544th gets Purple Heart, Spc. Derrick Jeske
By Nathaniel West, Staff Writer

MATTOON -- A local soldier from the battered National Guard 1544th Transportation Company received a Purple Heart for injuries he sustained during an attack in May that killed another guardsman.

When explosives in a dump truck were detonated near a convoy headed for the volatile city of Fallujah, Iraq, shrapnel hit Spc. Derrick Jeske's hand, shoulder and wrist.

"I'm just thankful he wasn't hurt bad," said Jeske's mother, Cathy Morris of Lerna. "I've got a lot to be thankful for."

Spc. Jeremy Ridlen of Clinton, was killed in the May 23 explosion, which also wounded two other members of the 1544th.

Jeske, son of Patrick Jeske of Pacific, Mo., was given his Purple Heart during a ceremony Sept. 25, according to his mother.

The 1998 Mattoon High School graduate returned home for leave later that month but has since returned to his unit near Baghdad.

"He knows how lucky he is to still be with his unit," said Morris.

Jeske doesn't know when he'll be back for good. A student at Southern Illinois University in Edwardsville before the war, he plans to enroll in school again, said Morris.

During his trip home in September, Jeske attended the funerals for Spc.
Charles Lamb, of Casey and Sgt. Shawna Morrison, of Paris, two members of the 1544th who were killed Sept. 5.

In fact, that unit has suffered the most fatalities of any Illinois detachment in Iraq, according to National Guard officials.

The latest casualty from the 1544th was Spc. Jessica L. Cawvey of Mahomet, who died in an explosion earlier this month.

The commanding general of the 13th Corps Support Command, Brig. Gen. James Chambers, praised the 1544th during a press conference Sunday discussing the potential discipline for another group of Army reservists who refused a supply mission last week.

Contact Nathaniel West at nwest@jg-tc.com or 238-6860.



quote:
Tuesday, October 19, 2004

Expert: Army not likely to punish troops for refusing supply mission
By Sandra Jontz, Stars and Stripes
European edition, Tuesday, October 19, 2004

ARLINGTON, Va. - The soldiers of the 343rd Quartermaster Company who refused to drive reportedly unsafe trucks down a dangerous route in Iraq aren't likely to face severe punishment, one military legal expert said Monday.

Too many troops voiced the same concern, which led to a halt in missions while the unit's vehicles were inspected, and there is the risk that the incident could become a political football, said Eugene Fidell.

Fidell teaches military justice at Harvard Law School and serves as president of the National Institute of Military Justice.

With the political heat generated over the U.S. military involvement in Iraq, from prisoner abuse scandals to a lack of evidence on weapons of mass destruction, to reports troops were deployed ill-equipped, it's unlikely the involved soldiers will face harsh punishment or be made examples of, he said.

"Personally, I am quite skeptical if any serious disciplinary action ensues," Fidell said. "I think probably some people are going to get chewed out, and I also wouldn't be surprised if the command takes a hit over serious appearance of lack of mission readiness."

That said, the alleged failure of the reservists to obey a lawful order is "obviously impermissible," Fidell said. It puts lives at risk, cracks the foundations of military discipline, and can harm morale.

"It may have been an unwise order, but you can't have people refusing orders. It's hardwired in military life, particularly in combat elements, and that's not something [leadership] will tolerate."

Up to 19 soldiers allegedly refused orders to drive fuel trucks because they had not been serviced and the convoy did not have an escort of armed vehicles for the missions from Tallil air base in southern Iraq to Taji, about 15 miles north of Baghdad.

"Not all of their trucks are completely armored. In their case, they haven't had the chance to get armored," Brig. Gen. James E. Chambers, commanding general of 13th Corps Support Command, said during a weekend press conference in Baghdad, according to The Associated Press.

They since have returned to duty, and it was "too early" Sunday to determine if any will face disciplinary action, Chambers said.

Troops have measures in place to appropriately voice concerns, Fidell said.

"People in the field may have information that may not be available to those giving the orders, and you can speak up, provided you do it in an appropriate fashion. In the meantime, you do as you're told," Fidell said. "And you always can go up the chain of command, again, provided you do it in an appropriate fashion."

There is flexibility built into the system, but "disobey a lawful order and do so at your own peril."

Still, "right there and right now, I'd be quite surprised if we saw any court martial charges," Fidell said. "You can't rule anything out, but it's my intuition. To bring down the wrath of the UCMJ on those people, right before a presidential election in which conditions of this war is an issue, might not be the right politics.

"Whether that kind of politics plays a role and gets communicated to those over there, we'll probably never know. This is probably an issue those in position of responsibly would prefer not to deal with, and would not want to make it a bigger issue."

Though still a serious infraction, the fact that so many refused the order lends credability to their assertions, and points to another indicator that the soldiers likely will not face harsh punishment, Fidell said.

"It tends to suggests there was objective merit to their concerns," he said. "To have one person on a personal idiosyncratic mission is different from having a lot of careered reservists who are really concerned about being asked to something unnecessarily unsafe."



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Disclaimer. All opinions by metahuman use objectively defined terms. Use Princeton University's WordNet if you are uncertain of the actual meaning. Have a nice day!

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