Military commanders warned to get troops in line

Discussion in 'Modern Conflict' started by JohnnyBoyUSMC, May 4, 2012.

  1. JohnnyBoyUSMC

    JohnnyBoyUSMC Click, click, boom. Verified Military

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    http://news.yahoo.com/military-commanders-warned-troops-line-202734788.html


    WASHINGTON (AP) — From tasteless photos to urinating on dead insurgents, bad behavior by U.S. troops in Afghanistan has hampered America's war effort over the past year, triggering a broad new campaign by defense leaders to improve discipline in the ranks.
    Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, in his first personal appeal to troops on the issue, is expected Friday to remind U.S. forces that they are representing the American people and they must behave up to military standards.
    Panetta will speak to soldiers at Fort Benning, Georgia, and he is expected to urge them to act as leaders and look after their comrades. His remarks are expected to reflect recent talks by the Army and Marine Corps chiefs telling their commanders to get their troops in line.
    The service leaders have zeroed in on discipline in meetings with mid-level commanders around the country. They say they recognize that part of the problem may be leadership stumbles by the young officers who have shouldered much of the burden of wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
    "Maybe we've gotten overconfident and maybe we've gotten a little bit comfortable in our young leaders," Gen. Ray Odierno, the Army chief of staff, told The Associated Press in an interview Thursday. "Realizing that they are young, they don't have a lot of experiences. We have to continue to assist them so they understand what is expected of them."
    Marine Corps Commandant James Amos was blunter.
    "We are allowing our standards to erode," he wrote his commanders. "A number of recent widely publicized incidents have brought discredit on the Marine Corps and reverberated at the strategic level. The undisciplined conduct represented in these incidents threatens to overshadow all our good work and sacrifice."
    Senior leaders have warned for several years about a deterioration of discipline that may have contributed to increased substance abuse, suicides, domestic abuse and other problems.
    In January, Marines were found to have made a video showing them urinating on Afghan insurgents' corpses. In February, troops mistakenly burned copies of the Quran, which led to violent protests and revenge killings of six Americans. In March, a U.S. soldier left his base and allegedly killed 17 civilians, mainly women and children. Last month, newly revealed photographs showed U.S. soldiers posing in 2010 with Afghan police holding the severed legs of a suicide bomber.
    Marine Gen. John Allen, the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan, has expressed concern about the impact that those incidents have had on the war, according to a senior defense official. Allen believes that a number of major setbacks in the past six months have resulted from moral, not operational, failures, said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss internal assessments.
    Insurgents have used the incidents to incite violence and undermine U.S. efforts to win over the Afghan people, considered critical to counterterrorism operations. The incidents have reinforced the perception of Americans as unfriendly or occupying forces who do not understand the culture or the religion of the people they are supposed to protect.
    Such ethical lapses have occurred in war through the centuries. But military officials and outside experts generally agree that America's longest war has put unprecedented strain on the country's all-volunteer military, an overwhelmingly young force that needs supervision and strong leadership.
    In earlier conflicts such as those in Vietnam or Korea, such incidents were not as readily visible. Today, they end up on YouTube in seconds, viewed by an audience that does not always attribute such behavior to the stress of war.
    After writing his letter to Marine commanders, Amos began taking his message to bases and stations in talks with officers. And Odierno included the topic during meetings with his two- and three-star commanders, as well as in talks with younger officers he sees during base visits.
    Odierno said that overall the force has behaved admirably over the past 11 years of war and that troops understand the importance of standards and discipline.
    "We're putting a lot more responsibility on very young leaders, lieutenants and sergeants," Odierno said. "We just have to remind everybody that we have to put the checks and balances in place, and we have to remind everybody about the importance of culture and the profession."
     
  2. IMTT

    IMTT Civil Affairs Verified SOF

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    Sergeant Major we need some more uniform regulations around here and a hair cut. Whoopee, go to war and garrison breaks out... Just shaking my brain housing group and slamming my forehead on my desk.
     
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  3. SOWT

    SOWT SOWT Verified SOF

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    Make SecDef and all the other limp dicks ride an MRAP around ass-crackistan for the next 6 months.
     
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  4. Poccington

    Poccington Where the fuck is Zordon? Verified Military

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    "Realizing that they are young, they don't have a lot of experiences. We have to continue to assist them so they understand what is expected of them"

    Stuff like the above and other statements, really annoy me.

    Sorry but 6 months or whatever tour length, in what is the harshest fighting this world has seen in years, is a more harrowing experience than most people across the globe will ever have to deal with. The incidents need to be taken for what they are, isolated incidents of stupidity(for the most part) by a tiny number of troops, after more than 10 years of war and are in no way a reflection on the vast majority of US troops and the time they spent in A'Stan.

    To come out in public and speak of their troops like they're a bunch of children, who need to have their hand held, is ridiculous.
     
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  5. IMTT

    IMTT Civil Affairs Verified SOF

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    Amen brother!
     
  6. pardus

    pardus Moderating Staff

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    I just read... "We need to micro manage from a higher level more than we currently are"

    I blame a lot of this on the Military's push to make Officers the be all and end all of decision making.
    It's not something I grew up with in the Military and It's something I disagree with.

    NCOs are the backbone of the Military, they are the ones with the experience, they are the ones who should be turned to for answers on the battlefield at a lower level.

    I keep seeing junior officers being deferred to by NCOs who now much better whats going on "Well they are an Officer so it's their call" and so we run off doing something in a retarded manner. It's also a reason why decisions take so bloody long to make, it "has" to be run up the line to an Officer who is asked to make a decision over a radio when there is an NCO on the ground assessing the situation.

    It "should" work like this (IMO).

    Officer "This is my mission plan. I want to achieve this and this while moving to this point. We need to be aware of this during the mission and exploit this if at all possible".

    Officer controls the mission and the plan.
    The NCOs direct and detail the men to achieve that mission plan.

    During the course of ops if the plan needs changing the Officers who are overviewing the mission can change it, something difficult to do when you are mired in the details of a firefight.

    What im trying to get at is at (for example) a platoon level, the NCO is responsible for tactical decisions and the Officer for strategic decisions.

    That all said I see a pathetic standard of training for junior NCOs, that needs to change and could easily change NOW.

    One negative side effect of the American Revolution was the USA turning away from the British Military model. A mistake IMHO.
     
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  7. JohnnyBoyUSMC

    JohnnyBoyUSMC Click, click, boom. Verified Military

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    The road to hell is paved with the bones and good intentions of 2nd Lt's and the Marines who followed them. Enough said.
     
  8. TH15

    TH15 Member

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  9. IMTT

    IMTT Civil Affairs Verified SOF

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    Well said Pardus!
     
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  10. SOWT

    SOWT SOWT Verified SOF

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    More Green to Gold. Yes, I am serious.
     
  11. Freefalling

    Freefalling Signal Administrator

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    I firmly believe that the bulk of the Army's problems today...and really any service because I see it in at least one other branch, is due to the erosion of the NCO corps. NCOs aren't allowed to be NCOs and you have too many SNCO's trying to be officers with chevrons. Capable NCOs are dying off like the middle-class in America. Honestly, I think the Army's NCO corps is so weak that it should go back to Spec 5- Spec 8 rank because you have E-5's through E-8's who suck at leadership yet because they are NCO's they don't spend as much time with their technical field...so now you have a soldier who isn't allowed to be a leader and yet because of his "leadership" responsibilities he isn't technically and tactically proficient so you have guys that are essentially dead weight.

    The root of most evil in the military today is due to the death of the NCO corps.
     
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  12. IMTT

    IMTT Civil Affairs Verified SOF

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    Amen!
     

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