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Officer of Engineers
25 Feb 04,, 08:49
Pacifist GI seeks refugee status
Peace groups predict Iraq war will spawn more desertions

Joanne Laucius, with files from Jennifer Chen
The Ottawa Citizen


Tuesday, February 24, 2004

Jeremy Hinzman served with the U.S. army in Afghanistan, even as he pushed to be recognized as a conscientious objector. He balked at being sent to Iraq, fleeing to Canada just days before shipping out.
CREDIT: Phill Snel, The Ottawa Citizen

Some U.S. groups predict Canada will see a new Vietnam generation after a U.S. soldier refusing to fight in Iraq claimed refugee status in Canada.

Jeremy Hinzman, a private in the 504th Parachute Infantry Regiment, fled Fort Bragg in North Carolina Jan. 2, bringing his wife and 18-month-old son, Liam, to Toronto only days before his regiment was scheduled to leave for Iraq.

Last Thursday, he filed papers with the refugee board.

While Mr. Hinzman is believed to be the only U.S. soldier seeking refugee status, organizations in the U.S. say the number of conscientious objectors in the ranks of the U.S. military are growing -- and some are looking to Canada.

More than 30,000 American draft dodgers sought refuge in Canada during the Vietnam War. Now, some believe the war in Iraq has sparked a new generation -- except these Americans have already volunteered to fight, then reconsidered that decision.

"Canada was attractive during the Vietnam War. Americans are seeing it again as a reasonable community of people willing to provide sanctuary," said Marti Hiken, chairwoman of the Military Law Task Force of the National Lawyers Guild.

"More and more Americans will be coming into Canada," she predicted. "Our hope is that Canada will offer refugee status."

The North Carolina chapter of the Society of Friends, a group commonly known as the Quakers, helps run the nationally operated G.I. Rights Hotline.

In 2001, before the Iraq war, the hotline received 17,267 calls. In 2003, it logged 28,822 calls, an increase of about 65 per cent, said Chuck Fager, director of the Fayetteville Friends.

Last year, the Fayetteville Friends dealt with 256 inquiries about conscientious objector status. "This is obviously because of the Iraq war," he said.

Some believe objections to the war in Iraq have been compounded by resentment over the U.S. army's "stop-loss" orders, which have cancelled retirement for about 40,000 troops.

A group called Military Families Speak Out has gained more than 1,000 members since being established in 2002, said co-founder Nancy Lessin. Ms. Lessin said the group includes military families that have not spoken out against any other war or conflict until Iraq.

"We felt this war was about empire-building and oil. We did not want out loved ones used as cannon fodder."

The Central Committee for Conscientious Objectors got only about one application a month before the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. That has since increased to about one a day.

"Recruiters have recruited young men and women, making the army sound like job training or going away to camp," said lawyer J.E. McNeil, the group's executive director. "People joined the military without thinking it through."

Mr. Hinzman joined the U.S. army in January 2001, shortly after he married Nga Nguyen. He wanted a job and a shot at earning money for an education. But during his first days of basic training, he was shocked at the chant: "trained to kill, kill we will." It was like training a dog, he later reflected.

"I actually like some aspects of (military training). The people you work with become your family," he said yesterday. "When I started thinking about the big picture, that's when I started having some doubts."

Mr. Hinzman studied Buddhist meditation and in January 2002 he and Ms. Nguyen began to attend meetings of the Quakers.

In April 2002, Mr. Hinzman concluded that he would never be able to pull the trigger.

He turned in his conscientious objector application in Aug. 2002. But on Oct. 31, he learned that the application had been lost. He served in Afghanistan, mostly on kitchen duty.

While he was there, a hearing turned down his application after he said he would be willing to defend the airfield if it were attacked, but not play an active combat role.

Jeffrey House, Mr. Hinzman's lawyer, says the army is "forcing him to participate in a war that is unlawful according to international law."

If refugee status is denied, there are other options, he said, including a request that he remain in Canada on humanitarian grounds.

But Ms. McNeil says the option of coming to Canada is an "urban legend" these days.

"This isn't Vietnam. It isn't loosey-goosey. You can't just get landed-immigrant status," said Ms. McNeil. "It's not as easy to get a job. You could fake it before, but you can't do it now."

She points out that desertion is a felony -- and there are easier ways to get out of the army.

"For some of these guys, going AWOL is a better option. It will get you a bad discharge, but at least it's not a felony."

- - -

On the web for seven-day subscribers: Pierre Trudeau's cabinet decided in 1969 to welcome American military deserters into Canada during the Vietnam War over the objections of the immigration minister. Read an archival story.

www.ottawacitizen.com

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Ray
25 Feb 04,, 10:16
Can someone explain this to me in the ambit of the US ethos? I am curious about the psychology behind this and the social environment that permits it to happen.

If he didn't like what he is to do, he should ahve resigned. Why become a deserter?

Officer of Engineers
25 Feb 04,, 10:57
It would have been a dishonourable discharge (Ie Discharge with Disgrace) and it would not be done in time before he leaves for Iraq, which he doesn't want to do.

Personally, the man does not have a legal leg to stand on. What did he think he was doing when joined a jump unit? The fact that he went to Afghanistan and was ready to fight already disqualified him as a conceinous objector.

And I don't know how any lawyer can claim the Iraq War was an illegal War under International Law. At best, it is not supported by International Law but it is also not disallowed by International Law.

tomas
25 Feb 04,, 11:46
you have to think that the only reason you had so many deserters during the veitnam war was because they were drafted. but this guy if he didn't want to fight why join in the first place?

Ray
25 Feb 04,, 15:02
Thanks.

Blademaster
25 Feb 04,, 17:25
This guy is a traitor in every sense of the word. He joined the Army and TOOK THE OATH *under* NO DURESS. HE BROKE HIS OATH WILLINGLY AND KNOWINGLY. Moreover, this was during wartime. He can be TRIED AND SENT TO THE GALLOWS.

As far as I am concerned, I don't give a shit about him. I just don't wanna be in the same room as him. To be fair, I did not serve in the military so that does not grant me the right to judge or hold him in contempt by military standards. But I do hold him by civilian standards. He does not deserve to get off easily.

ChrisF202
26 Feb 04,, 01:56
What a traitor, why d0 we waste our tax money on such people?

Officer of Engineers
26 Feb 04,, 07:11
Just so that you guys understand.

The Law is the Law, even in Canada. The man is due to his due process, as much time as it takes, which would be a hell of a long time, given how lawyers love to play their games.

tomas
26 Feb 04,, 10:54
i hate lawyers as much as traitors :flamemad

Jay
26 Feb 04,, 16:24
may be he's scared of death, scared to leave his wife and new born son!!

If he's such a coward, he shudnt have joined the army. This is the reason why only selected epople enlist and thrive in defence forces. its not for all tom, dick and harry!

Trooth
27 Feb 04,, 14:13
I have no problem with consciencuous objectors, but agree with comments already made - you don't become a conscientuous objector overnight so why join the army, or once your start having doubts, why stay in?

Obviously you can be assigned active duty overnight .....

With regards to conscripted soldiers, it is of course a little different, but even then desertion is a coward's way out. The honourable approach would be (assuming this is possible in the US) to refuse service as a conscientious objector when called up. That way you don't waste the Army's time and money, nor jeopardise your assigned unit in the field when you finally decide not to take part.

Of course, its easy for me to say all this, not being in the army and living in a peaceful country with no national service, nor likelyhood of conscription into the army.

Officer of Engineers
27 Feb 04,, 16:35
The political climate also has changed here. Americans have the wrong idea about Canada. While we may not agree with the Iraq War, we hold no compassion for those refusing duty now that we have lost people to hostile actions.

To allow this ass wipe to stay would be an insult to our own people we have lost.

Bill
28 Feb 04,, 06:41
"Can someone explain this to me in the ambit of the US ethos? I am curious about the psychology behind this and the social environment that permits it to happen.

If he didn't like what he is to do, he should ahve resigned. Why become a deserter?"

It's so hard to say without knowing the guy, his situation, his experiences in afghanistan.

Could be he's a pussy....could be he's seen too much bloodshed, could have something to do with the pretty wife and 18 month old child, i dunno.

Whatever the case, he is not doing his duty, obviously.

If he were to request a discharge, it would likely be a chapter 13, under any number of guises. It would be either general under honorable conditions, or general under less than honorable conditions. At worst he might get a less than honorable(different than a Gen. under less than honorable).

To get a no-shit honest to goodness "Dishonorable" discharge you pretty much have to be convicted of murder or rape while in uniform.

Officer of Engineers
28 Feb 04,, 08:23
You mean to tell me that this guy risks no jail time and no criminal prosecution?

*** SMACK MY FOREHEAD ***

We need to overhaul Refugee Status - why the hell are we even wasting time and money on this idiot?

Ray
28 Feb 04,, 08:53
Sniper,

If it was me or the laws here deciding, he would be up a gum tree.

But then we have a volunteer army and so I would not be the best person to comment.

All the same, he is a disgraceful idiot, if you don't mind my saying so.

I sure would be ashamed of him.

There was a guy, when I was commanding an unit, who was afraid of high altitude and pulmonary oedema. He didn't want to go to the post [his defendend locality]. He was otherwise a brave chap.

Still he went home.

Maybe I was harsh. Maybe I was wrong.

Honestly, I cannot live comfortably with this moral dilemma.

I sure would be happy to learn from you all. Maybe I could then make peace with myself or stew in hell.

Blademaster
28 Feb 04,, 17:45
Was he court martialed or just given the papers and cashiered out of the army?

Ray
28 Feb 04,, 20:51
Originally posted by Blademaster
Was he court martialed or just given the papers and cashiered out of the army?

He was discharged from the Army.

Officer of Engineers
28 Feb 04,, 21:01
Originally posted by Ray
There was a guy, when I was commanding an unit, who was afraid of high altitude and pulmonary oedema. He didn't want to go to the post [his defendend locality]. He was otherwise a brave chap.

Still he went home.

Maybe I was harsh. Maybe I was wrong.

Honestly, I cannot live comfortably with this moral dilemma.

I sure would be happy to learn from you all. Maybe I could then make peace with myself or stew in hell.

Master Warrant Officer Mathew Stopford, 2nd Battalion, Princess Patricia Canadian Light Infantry. During the biggest battle the Canadians had fought since the end of the Korean War at Medac, his platoon tried to poison him by putting lighter fluid and fuel in his coffee.

No one in a position of authority, including this officer, noticed the signs. His pltn was getting way too scare of MWO Stopford's gung ho attitude and threw his pltn into harm's way once too often. His pltn devised a plan to get him sick. The irony was that MWO Stopford's pltn performed beyond praise in that battle.

MWO Stopford was not directly under my command but the signs were there and I did not see them. Not did his immediate superior, Major Dan Drew, nor Colonel Jim Calvin, the Battle Group CO.

It was years later that we learned of the poisonning and our first reaction was complete denial, even from MWO Stopford, who was and is dying of kidney failure, pissing blood, and became blind in one eye. We could not and would not believe that Canadian soldiers would do such a thing, especially in a pltn that distinquished itself in the very battle the poisonning occurred.

The facts came out and we were shocked but more so when JAG ordered us not to say anything in a Court of Law that would get MWO Stopford the compensation and the help that he deserves and needs.

Sir, the military profession is one where we are going to lose people no matter what we do. Most of the time, it is not our fault. It is not your fault that your soldier got a phoebia and it is not my fault that MWO Stopford got poisoned. However, it is our responsibility to fix things.

I do not know your situation, Sir, and therefore, I would not comment. All I can say is that your soldier is alive and that's got to account for something. You fixed the situation as far as I can see.

Jay
29 Feb 04,, 05:51
Colonel,
So did the JAG enquired and court marshalled his sub-ordinates for doing this??

Officer of Engineers
29 Feb 04,, 06:01
The RCMP (Royal Canadian Mounted Police - ie Canadian version of the FBI) was involved but JAG retained authority. There was insufficent evidence to prosecute. I suspect a few people who have since left the CF.

MWO Stopford has since left the CF and is now sueing the CF for several million dollars. The issue has been classified Class B. Therefore, unless directly ordered by the Crown in a closed court, no one in the Battle Group is authorized to discuss what he knew of the event at that time.

The fact that the RCMP didn't take over as a criminal prosecution states the woeful lack of evidence on this matter.

Jay
29 Feb 04,, 06:14
whoa, prolly CO's shud need to send the coffee to lab before they drink it :lol

Blademaster
29 Feb 04,, 06:15
Do you think he has a good chance of getting the money he required to pay for his bills and hardship?

What about his subordinates? Have you heard what happened to them after they got out? Did they get off scot free?

Officer of Engineers
29 Feb 04,, 06:59
MWO Stopford is currently getting disability and a pension from the CF. I do not know the status of his lawsuit. Hopefully, this government which seemed somewhat friendly to the military will do the right thing.

I do not want to know what happenned to those cow puckies.

Ray
29 Feb 04,, 19:23
Colonel,

I could have kept him at a lower altitude since we had posts (Forward Defended Localities) down to 10,000 feet. His post was at 18,000 feet and in direct contact; and we had daily firing including artillery and rockets.

My problem was if I did that, then many would have followed suit and made excuses to be in an area which was 'safer'. Actually nothing was safe. Even, where I was in the Battalion HQ, the artillery shells as also enemy Air Defence guns in direct role made thing quite uncomfortable.

What should I have done?

I sure would like to know from all since it will help me organise myself from this moral dilemma, which I can share with my juniors who are now commanding battalions and brigades.

Officer of Engineers
29 Feb 04,, 20:06
Originally posted by Ray
Colonel,

I could have kept him at a lower altitude since we had post down to 10,000 feet. His company was at 18,000 feet and in direct contact and we had daily firing including artillery and rockets.

My problem was if I did that, then many would have followed suit and made excuses to be in an area which was 'safer'. Actually nothing was safe. Even, where I was in the Battalion HQ, the shells as also enemy Air Defence guns in direct role made thing wuite uncomfortable.

What should I have done?

I sure would like to know from all since it will help me organise myself from this moral dilemma, which I can share with my juniors who are commanding battalions and brigades.

Sir,

I cannot and will not comment on your command decision. I was not there. I am not qualified to judge your actions. All I can do is to passed onto you my views on command authority and responsibility.

Current SecState General Collin Powell had a saying. The Mission First. The People Always. Our duty, Sir, is to the Mission. Our Responsibility is to the our people under our command.

My responsibility is to bring my people home and the fastest and safest way that I know how in a combat situation is to complete the Mission. That means that I have to maximize my chances in everyway shape or form, including getting rid of people who cannot perform in the Mission.

It is my job to make sure that everyone going on the Mission is qualified to do their part. It is also my job to get everyone qualified for the Mission. And that also includes getting rid of people, through no fault of their own, who will never be qualified.

It may cruel and may be unfair. However, so is asking everybody else to take up the non-performer's slack. And it is extremely unfair to suffer casualties because the non-performer is taking up a slot that is better filled by a performer.

Jay
01 Mar 04,, 04:42
Ray sahab,
Even though I'm not fit to judge your actions, from a lay man's perspective I would say you did good, actually excellent.

If I want to outline my reasons, it would be pretty much what Colonel said here, so I will abstain from answering that.

I think he would be endangering his sub-ordinates, his collegues and most of all his mission, if he's posted at 18,000 feet.

If you give him an alternative post in the base camp, still it would create in-equalities in your command. Getting rid of him is the best decision and you made it right.

Blademaster
01 Mar 04,, 04:57
Doesn't that raise an interesting question. During Vietnam, people with jungle rot could not go to Vietnam but they had the option of going to Germany, thus having to serve the nation but avoiding the combat area.

It is unreasonable to expect everyone to be capable of doing everything. Not everyone can do everything. In fact, I would be surprised if you showed me one person that was able to do everything.

The way I look at it, people are resources. You have to find the optimal use of resources. yeah I know the guy refused during battle, but why was it not detected before? If it was, he could have transferred to the desert corps or the jungle corps thus avoiding the situation where he would have been sent to high altitude that he was unsuitable.

Sir Ray, is there a program where they screen all the soldiers who are fit for high altitude warfare and have the mental capacity to do it?

Keep in mind, that I am in no way judging your actions. I do not have the right nor will I judge your actions. I am just rainsing questions, another point of view.

Jay
01 Mar 04,, 05:02
BM,
Though I can see where you are getting at, there are litreally no choices in military. They expect you to be good where ever you are.

We dont run a conscript army, they chose their destiny, if you have a problem, be a civilian and raise some money for the corps family, dont optm for active service in the first place.

Officer of Engineers
01 Mar 04,, 05:09
Originally posted by Blademaster
It is unreasonable to expect everyone to be capable of doing everything. Not everyone can do everything. In fact, I would be surprised if you showed me one person that was able to do everything.

No, but everyone is expected to do his job to the best of his ability.


Originally posted by Blademaster
The way I look at it, people are resources. You have to find the optimal use of resources. yeah I know the guy refused during battle, but why was it not detected before? If it was, he could have transferred to the desert corps or the jungle corps thus avoiding the situation where he would have been sent to high altitude that he was unsuitable.

Once in theatre, you do not choose the situation. The situation chooses you. The best you can do is to husband the resources that you think that can cover the contingencies you think you may face (as dictated by your training and TacSits) and make do when you faced unforeseen circumstances.


Originally posted by Blademaster
Sir Ray, is there a program where they screen all the soldiers who are fit for high altitude warfare and have the mental capacity to do it?

Every army has Physch Evals but it's not foolproof.

There is something else that has to be respected here. Whatever the reason for the soldier not doing his duty, there was a decision to be made and the Brigadier made it. He did not shirked the decision just because it was an ugly decision. A command quality.

Blademaster
01 Mar 04,, 05:12
Colonel,

I understand fully regarding the General's actions and respect him for it. I will not question his actions.

Is it okay if I give possible solutions that would have avoided the moral dilemma that the General found himself in?

Ray
01 Mar 04,, 05:20
BM,

There is no system to check the aptitude as such.

You are assigned a unit on joining and you remain in it till the end of your service.

One must realise, we are a team and we have to do all our assignment as a team or unit. If my unit goes to the counter insurgency, so will all go. If the unit is assigned Siachen, then we all go. This builds the team spirit and camaraderie that is so essential to win wars.

Officers can be posted out to fill vacancies in other units of the Regiment, but that too is rare and mostly when it is time to become a Commanding Officer and there are two selected to command by the Selection Board are from the same unit.

Even so, officers prefer to wait till the command slot of his unit falls vacant. I waited for 12 months and when it did not still fall vacant, the Army HQ 'in service interest' posted me to command another unit of my Regiment.

Blademaster
01 Mar 04,, 05:31
Could you tell me the unit that you commanded?

Furthermore, could you tell me the breakdown of the chain of command?

I was surprised to find Major commanding a company and Captain commanding platoon or such.

Squad -> Nawab Sahib?

4 squads = 1 platoon commanded by 1st Lt or Captain

4 platoon = company commanded by Captain or Major

4 company = Battalion commanded by Lt. Colonel or Colonel

4 Battalion = 1 regiment or brigade commanded by Colonel or Brigadier

3-4 regiments or brigades = division commanded by Major General

3-4 divisions = corps commanded by Lt. General

3-4 corps = Command commanded by full rank General

Army commanded by Chief Staff General?

Ray
01 Mar 04,, 18:56
BM,

E mail me and I will let you know.

sparten
16 Nov 05,, 06:47
If the unit is assigned Siachen, then we all go. This builds the team spirit and camaraderie that is so essential to win wars.
I am reviving this very old thread for a reason, Brig you guys are ordered to Siachin? In our army from what I have been able to find out, besides NLI only volunteers are sent to Siachin, except obvioulsy during a general 2002 typr mobilization.

Bill
16 Nov 05,, 22:45
Personally i'd have just put the guy into a REMF position and been done with him, but you were certainly legally entitled to do what you did.

ak-dave
21 Nov 05,, 06:06
Johnny Ė come-lately to this one too.

Ray,
You need to stop beating yourself up over your decision. You made a command decision based on the situation on hand. If you made it using good sound judgment with the information available, you made a valid choice.

Iíll start with the disclaimer about Armchair Generaling; I wasnít there and Iím going off available information..

Iím with OoE 110% on this. Based on the information given and my experiences as a SNCO it was the best decision for the moral, welfare and health of the unit.


There was a guy, when I was commanding an unit, who was afraid of high altitude and pulmonary edema. He didn't want to go to the post [his defended locality]. He was otherwise a brave chap.
He was afraid and didnít want to go. This would be different if there was a medical issue or prior altitude sickness experiences to support it. A good troop would have Ďsucked it upí, over came his fear and gone to his post because it was his duty to himself, his buddies and to his unit.


I could have kept him at a lower altitudeÖ.
My problem was if I did that, then many would have followed suit and made excuses to be in an area which was 'safer'.

My responsibility is to bring my people home and the fastest and safest way that I know how in a combat situation is to complete the Mission. That means that I have to maximize my chances in everyway shape or form, including getting rid of people who cannot perform in the Mission.

It may cruel and may be unfair. However, so is asking everybody else to take up the non-performer's slack. And it is extremely unfair to suffer casualties because the non-performer is taking up a slot that is better filled by a performer.
It wasnít like it was a REFORGER, ARTEP or TEAMSRIRIT type exercise (shows my age? :biggrin: ) it was a combat situation. Hard times require hard decisions.

Iím familiar with high altitude also, was deployed to 15,000 ft in Bolivia for the summer of '90. The joy of trying to suck in air that isnít there. At least we had the 3-day train up the mountains to acclimate a bit. We only had one case of altitude sickness and that was a guy who was flown up by the Bolivian Air Force plane we had for mail runs. Popped him the hyperbaric bag to stabilize and sent him back down in the morning. :cool:
Here is a little AMS, HAPE and HACE education, Altitude 101 (http://www.outdoorplaces.com/Features/Mountain/altitude/page1.htm).


Well Sir,
The bottom line is if you feel you made to best decision for the situation. We canít live in the past, but we must at least learn from it. And donít forget hindsight too.

ďThe good of the one outweighs the good of the manyĒ Ė Mr. Spock.

Ray
21 Nov 05,, 20:28
[QUOTE=Blademaster]
I was surprised to find Major commanding a company and Captain commanding platoon or such.

Squad -> Nawab Sahib?

What is Nawab Sahib.

We don't have squads. We have sections.

Sections (secs) are commanded by Havildars (Sgt).

3 Secs and the Platoon (Pl) HQ = Platoon commanded by Capt.

3 Pls + Coy HQ - Company commanded by a Major.

4 Rifle Coys, One Support Company (Heavy Weapons), One Administrative Company + Bn HQ = One Battalion. Comd by a Colonel.

3 Bns + Bde HQ + One Bde

Likewise 3 Bdes + HQ = Div

3 Divs + HQ = Corps

3 or more Corps = One Army

Ray
21 Nov 05,, 20:33
I am reviving this very old thread for a reason, Brig you guys are ordered to Siachin? In our army from what I have been able to find out, besides NLI only volunteers are sent to Siachin, except obvioulsy during a general 2002 typr mobilization.


In our Army the whole unit is "posted" to Siachen as a part of the overall Indian Army rotation plan of the year.

The question thus of having "volunteers" only does not arise.

Our heights are higher than Pakistan's and the Line of Communication is longer.

THL
24 Nov 05,, 00:02
I am kinda torn on this whole thing.

On one hand, I can understand someone having a religious experience and converting to another faith and if that faith does not fit their current lifestyle, they have to make lifestyle changes to accomodate it. One of those lifestyle changes may be getting discharged from the military. Do I think that they should get benefits after this (use of VA hospitals, etc)...No.

On the other hand, I see this as I buy a car. The bank agrees to loan me the money as long as I pay it back in 5 years. 3 years later I decide that I want a new car, but I owe more than I can get for the car. I made an agreement with the loan company that said I would pay for that loan - Should I be able to get out of that agreement and have them just write off what I do not get for that car? No. I signed a contract, they lived up to their end (they gave me the money) I should live up to mine.

Officer of Engineers
24 Nov 05,, 01:31
The man is a moral coward. If he was so convinced of his convictions, then goto jail for his beliefs.

dave angel
24 Nov 05,, 09:21
why go to jail if a more attractive option exists?

if he doesn't want to be in then get rid of him, him being around damages unit morale, someone has to watch him, someone has has to be around to take up the slack should he decide not to play. he is a drain on the pressed resourses of the army.

one assumes that his NCO's and officers weren't so incompetant as to not notice the change in his beliefs, one assumes that this was no Damascan conversion and that it took some time and had pretty obvious indicators, so why wasn't he quietly sent on his merry way with all sides happy, no publicity - good or bad - and no vast lawyers bill?

Bluesman
24 Nov 05,, 14:30
I am sympathetic to what Ray described. Good leaders wish to do all that is possible for the benefit of their people, as long as it does not hinder mission accomplishment, hurt the unit, or disadvantage any other individual.

And that was the dilemma. There really was no satisfactory way to reconcile all of that, and if there is any 'give' at all...it has to be at this individual's career's expense.

Tough call that Ray made, and the reason leaders get more pay and privileges is because we must do what is hard. I honor those that come forward and say, 'I'll lead', because THAT is what it means: being wise, smart and tough enough to do the Right Thing. Every single time.

Sometimes, the private soldiers don't know how easy they've got it, with their manual labor and low pay...and being responsible for themselves ONLY. :frown:

Officer of Engineers
24 Nov 05,, 14:56
why go to jail if a more attractive option exists?

1) He filled the TOE.
2) He wanted a REMF job but none were available
3) It was wartime and letting him have his way is the wrong message to send to the rest of the fighting men.
4) He was told to suck it up and do the job he agreed to.

dave angel
24 Nov 05,, 18:49
Colonel, you are far too wise to ever go somewhere unpleasant with someone who really didn't want to be there.

natural justice, honour, duty, service yah yah yah. you wouldn't have him in your shellscrape, its unfair to ask that of some other soldier.

my last unit was 25 - 30% understrength, but we had an open door policy, if you wanted out we'd get you out, but few did. its a cliche, but five volunteers (or in this case five who still want to be there) are better than ten pressed men.

would any of you really want to be sat in a shellscrape with someone whose only motivation for being there was fear of jail? if soldiers are really held to their word by coersive measures then every soldier will look at his oppo at 4am in the p1ssing rain and be thinking 'does he really want to be here, or is he just treading water till he can get out with his college fund intact?', and that gentlemen is far worse for morale and fighting effectiveness than being ten or twenty or even thirty percent understrength. every soldier should know that everyone around him is absolutely dedicated to the job he's doing, that everyone of them has had the chance to walk away and made a positive decision not to take that chance.

Officer of Engineers
25 Nov 05,, 05:23
Captain, there maybe a few items you may not be aware of. This man was a para veteran. This would be his 2nd tour into a combat zone. He was not unwilling to go. He was unwilling to enter combat which does not make any sense to me. You want out. You leave the paras.

Instead, he proscratinating, trying to stay in the paras without going into combat when his most obvious choice was to leave altogether. It got to a point where any other option of not going into combat could not be exercised until after he got deployed.

In which case, the only option legal option left was jail. He feld to Canada instead.

Blademaster
28 Nov 05,, 02:29
[QUOTE]

What is Nawab Sahib.

We don't have squads. We have sections.

Sections (secs) are commanded by Havildars (Sgt).

3 Secs and the Platoon (Pl) HQ = Platoon commanded by Capt.

3 Pls + Coy HQ - Company commanded by a Major.

4 Rifle Coys, One Support Company (Heavy Weapons), One Administrative Company + Bn HQ = One Battalion. Comd by a Colonel.

3 Bns + Bde HQ + One Bde

Likewise 3 Bdes + HQ = Div

3 Divs + HQ = Corps

3 or more Corps = One Army




Where does the Lieutenant fit in? How about Lt. Colonel? Is he adjutant to a Colonel or the second ranking commanding officer of an unit?

THL
28 Nov 05,, 11:51
why go to jail if a more attractive option exists?
Just for him or for all criminals? There is always going to be a more attractive option. That does not mean you take it. It means you fulfill your current duty and then see what happens. Maybe next time around you get the better end of the sword. I think that things need to happen in a certain order - be it the order that they were signed up for. If you agreed to #1, 2, 3 and 4, then #5 came along which happens to be more pleasant, you cannot skip over #4.

Let's just say, they let the guy out. They tell him to go off and have his religious experience and in 60 days, 120 days, whatever, someone goes back and checks on him and finds that his religious experience was a hoax to get out of going back into war? Should he be forced back in? Jailed at that time? Who is going to have the time to do these checks? Most likely no one. If it were a true religious conviction that caused him to have to leave, maybe....maybe I could see it, but there is no way to know that until it is too late.


if he doesn't want to be in then get rid of him, him being around damages unit morale, someone has to watch him, someone has has to be around to take up the slack should he decide not to play. he is a drain on the pressed resourses of the army.
How many people would be left if everyone who had a bad day and decided that they wanted out were allowed to get out simply to "save morale"? There would be about 6 people in our military. Who in the military has not come home at least once and said "I have had it, this freaking sux".


you are far too wise to ever go somewhere unpleasant with someone who really didn't want to be there.
Ethics, morals and devotion should be enough to force anyone to follow through with what they start. If it is not, they give up and accept the penalty, even if that is jail. I don't think quitting should always be an option...it's too easy...if it were, almost everyone would be doing it. It would become way too contagious in the military.

dave angel
28 Nov 05,, 16:44
I don't think quitting should always be an option...it's too easy...if it were, almost everyone would be doing it. It would become way too contagious in the military.

it might be in your armed forces love, but not mine.

we have a very flexible policy discharge policy, we can allways find an excuse to honourably discharge someone who doesn't want to be there and we can do it quickly - four days is one that springs to mind for a lad who spoke to his troop commander and said he wanted to go to university and had found a place on a course. this was on monday, he moved into his student halls on friday.

result, one happy camper, one troop commander with a note in his OJAR that he inspires his men and goes out of his way to help them achieve their potential and twenty-nine other blokes who a) now have an excellent excuse to go out on razz in student bars, b) never have to worry about taking up the slack for someone who doesn't want to play, and c) have enormous faith that their officers and NCO's will try very hard indeed to help them.

we are one soldier down and sky-high good morale, you are one soldier down, are keeping eveping every lawyer in the US in business for the next ten years, have the makings of an international incident with your closest trading and cultural partner and inspire your fighting men with images of 'Big Bubba' playing 'hide the loofa' in the prison showers.

brilliant, what genius thought that up?

THL
28 Nov 05,, 19:54
I see your side and agree that it is far better to have a higher morale with one less soldier than a lower morale, one soldier up.

I just think that they should be held to the agreement that they signed.

Officer of Engineers
28 Nov 05,, 20:05
it might be in your armed forces love, but not mine.

Sorry, Captain,

Your army has the exact same thing. It's called Good Order and Discipline. Yes, your army has criteria to release those who don't want to go. So do the Americans. The point here is that this individual did not exercise those options, instead chosed to stay within a combat unit while not wanting to do combat. That just does not happen.

dave angel
28 Nov 05,, 22:03
are you sure Colonel? do you really want to take an article as a verbatum report of a situation that took a year to come to a head?

did no one have a little chat with the guy, did the guys nco's and troop commander never have the kind of informal chinwag that lets them know what a man is thinking? did not one person in his platoon and company notice that he got married, had a family, changed religion and philosophical outlook on life and say to the OC 'jonny doesn't want to be here, shall we sort him out a discharge before this gets out of hand'?

my argument is not that this guy should get asylum because he faces persecution in the US for his political beliefs, but that either his company/battalion officers and NCO's are so incompetant at looking after the welfare and fighting effectiveness of those under their command that they shouldn't be in charge of a bag of chips, or that they did notice, took steps to address it and were prevented from discharging him for political reasons.

neither is attractive, neither does anything for the effectiveness of the unit involved and both give yet more ammunition to the critics of the administration. there is serious incompetance in allowing this situation to get this far, regardless of the rights and wrongs, and if this guy wouldn't take offensive action rather than be re-deployed or re-roled to another unit voluntarily why the feck wasn't he discharged anyway?

Officer of Engineers
29 Nov 05,, 07:17
are you sure Colonel? do you really want to take an article as a verbatum report of a situation that took a year to come to a head?

Been following this for a while. Canada has decided that the man has no legal standing.


my argument is not that this guy should get asylum because he faces persecution in the US for his political beliefs, but that either his company/battalion officers and NCO's are so incompetant at looking after the welfare and fighting effectiveness of those under their command that they shouldn't be in charge of a bag of chips, or that they did notice, took steps to address it and were prevented from discharging him for political reasons.

neither is attractive, neither does anything for the effectiveness of the unit involved and both give yet more ammunition to the critics of the administration. there is serious incompetance in allowing this situation to get this far, regardless of the rights and wrongs, and if this guy wouldn't take offensive action rather than be re-deployed or re-roled to another unit voluntarily why the feck wasn't he discharged anyway?

The Americans have long since forgotten battle fatique or the new name PTDS. Your army and mine didn't have a chance to. The Americans are knowledgeable but inexperienced in these matters. His cmdrs were determined for the man to keep his honour.

That being said. The Americans do have the proper channels to answer these situations. They were not exercised.