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Posted: 10/30/2004 2:19:15 PM EST
November 01, 2004

Army relieves leader of unit that refused to run convoy
Relatives claim ‘mutiny’ troops were unprotected, had unsafe equipment

By Jane McHugh
Times staff writer

The company commander of the Army Reserve unit that refused to run a convoy in Iraq was relieved of duty and is being reassigned as the Army wrestles with an incident that has grabbed worldwide attention.

On the home front, meanwhile, the soldiers’ family members have continued to speak out against what they view as unfair treatment for taking a stand against being saddled with dangerously unsafe equipment and inadequately protected against attack.

The decision to relieve the commander of the 343rd Quartermaster Company, who was not identified, came at her request and was effective immediately, said Lt. Col. Steve Boylan, an Army spokesman in Baghdad. He said that the commander, whom the Army would not identify, was not suspected of wrongdoing and the reassignment had nothing to do with anyone’s guilt or innocence.

Soldiers under investigation

Meanwhile, an unspecified number of the 18 soldiers of the 343rd Quartermaster Company, based in Rock Hill, S.C., are under investigation for refusing on Oct. 13 to drive a fuel convoy from Tallil air base near Nasiriyah to Taji, north of Baghdad.

The Army suspects that five of the 18 may have been the leaders behind the incident. Five soldiers, who were not identified, were reassigned within the command. Separately, Boylan said, a few are under criminal investigation to see if they violated the Uniform Code of Military Justice.

The convoy was carried out later that day by other soldiers from the unit, the Army said.

The soldiers have told their families that they balked at the mission because the vehicles were unarmored and in poor condition. They said complaints to their commander about concerns went unheeded.

Brig. Gen. Jim Chambers, commander of the 13th Corps Support Command, said at an Oct. 17 press conference in Baghdad that an investigation is underway, but he maintained that it is “too early” to determine whether any of the soldiers will undergo disciplinary action.

All 18 soldiers have returned to duty, Boylan said.

Chambers ordered the 343rd to hold a two-week safety maintenance stand-down, during which it will conduct no further missions as the unit’s vehicles are inspected. He noted that there are some 250 convoys on the road manned by 5,000 to 7,000 soldiers every day and said that danger come with the territory in those missions.

“These are very courageous soldiers, warriors, who along with our contractor partners climb into the cabs of their trucks every single day knowing it’s not a question of if but when they will be attacked,” he said.

Meanwhile, relatives of the 343rd soldiers fielded calls from reporters around the world. The family members relayed what their loved ones told them about unit leadership and unit missions.

The fuel tankers the 343rd was to drive on the convoy couldn’t go any faster than 40 mph and the soldiers were worried they were not getting proper armed escort, said Teresa Hill of Dothan, Ala., mother of Spc. Amber McClenny, 21.

The relatives’ accounts of the incident prompted at least one 343rd soldier to speak out to correct misinformation.

Spc. Major Coates told The Charlotte Observer that despite statements by his father, the soldiers were wearing body armor.

Coates, a water treatment specialist, also said he was properly trained to deploy to Iraq, but acknowledged that when he arrived, officials “did not tell us we were infantry now,” as his father had said.

“We are not cowards,” Coates said. “The way that things come out, it makes us look like that ... Our soldiers have run missions all over Iraq; we’re never scared to go on a mission.”

And Coates said his father was wrong when he said soldiers banded together in refusing the order.

“We did not form a group on the decision we made,” Coates said. “Everyone made their own individual decision to do what we thought best.”

Coates declined to comment about whether he was mistreated by military authorities, as some relatives have alleged.

“I’m serving my time to my country because I love America,” he said. “If the leaders do their part, I do my part.”

Lawyers interviewed by Navy Times said the most likely criminal charge the Army would file, if any, is failure to obey an order, which carries a maximum penalty of two years confinement, a dishonorable discharge and forfeiture of pay and allowances.

http://www.navytimes.com/story.php?f=0-NAVYPAPER-466597.php
Link Posted: 10/30/2004 2:25:45 PM EST

The decision to relieve the commander of the 343rd Quartermaster Company, who was not identified, came at her request and was effective immediately


Why did I suspect this?
Link Posted: 10/30/2004 2:27:34 PM EST

Originally Posted By Old_Painless:

The decision to relieve the commander of the 343rd Quartermaster Company, who was not identified, came at her request and was effective immediately


Why did I suspect this?



explains it all.
Link Posted: 10/30/2004 2:31:08 PM EST
Women in Combat are a 100% bad idea…

Andy
Link Posted: 10/30/2004 2:32:37 PM EST

Originally Posted By vito113:
Women in Combat are a 100% bad idea…

Andy




Amen
Link Posted: 10/30/2004 2:33:31 PM EST

Who would have thought war could be dangerous?



Link Posted: 10/30/2004 2:36:49 PM EST
+1 to those last three- I guess that would be +1X3
Link Posted: 10/30/2004 2:36:50 PM EST
This news is about 1 or 2 months old. We will never know the real reason for the transfer, but it sure looks kind of funny.
Link Posted: 10/30/2004 2:37:44 PM EST
Link Posted: 10/30/2004 2:38:03 PM EST

Originally Posted By dpmmn:

Originally Posted By vito113:
Women in Combat are a 100% bad idea…

Andy




Amen




+1
Link Posted: 10/30/2004 2:41:27 PM EST
[Last Edit: 10/30/2004 2:45:46 PM EST by vito113]

Originally Posted By KA3B:

“We did not form a group on the decision we made,” Coates said. “Everyone made their own individual decision to do what we thought best.



WHAT THE FUCK!!!!! Hey! pay attention Coates… 'Officers' are supposed to give the orders! not let everybody wonder off and decide what they each 'individually' want to do!

I'll rephrase my original post…

WOMAN ARE INCAPABLE OF EXERCISING PROPER COMMAND AND HAVE NO PLACE IN ANY MILITARY UNIT THAT REQUIRES THEM TO EXERCISE 'COMMAND'…

Jesus H fucking Christ! Command by individual choice…

Andy
Link Posted: 10/30/2004 2:43:23 PM EST
How can this news be 1 or 2 months old when THE REFUSAL HAPPENED ON OCTOBER 16th 2004??

What fucking planet are you on, the one were a day is measured in 12 arns?




Originally Posted By warlord:
This news is about 1 or 2 months old. We will never know the real reason for the transfer, but it sure looks kind of funny.

Link Posted: 10/30/2004 2:46:31 PM EST

Originally Posted By dpmmn:

Originally Posted By vito113:
Women in Combat are a 100% bad idea…

Andy



Amen




I agree, but there are also a lot of Chicken-Shit males in our world.

I wouldn't dare judge the soldiers that made that decision because I wasn't there. However, one must be cognizant that when you sign up for the military you are signing your death warrant, if you can't handle that you shouldn't join.
Link Posted: 10/30/2004 2:49:14 PM EST

Originally Posted By EternallyIndebted:

I wouldn't dare judge the soldiers that made that decision because I wasn't there.



Well you should.

Soldiers don't get to "vote" on whether they want to obey orders or not. War is dangerous.

It is more dangerous when troops "vote" on obeying orders.
Link Posted: 10/30/2004 2:49:44 PM EST

Originally Posted By vito113:

Originally Posted By KA3B:

“We did not form a group on the decision we made,” Coates said. “Everyone made their own individual decision to do what we thought best.



WHAT THE FUCK!!!!! Hey! pay attention Coates… 'Officers' are supposed to give the orders! not let everybody wonder off and decide what they each 'individually' want to do!

Andy



Oh that's screwed up. At least they didn't form a commitee to decide whether or not to disobey orders. It was a group of individual decisions.

I think this is cause for a group of individual courtmartials.
Link Posted: 10/30/2004 2:52:50 PM EST
I guess when the groundpounders decide" on their own " that they can't go to battle cause they might get shot at, the enemy will wait for others to do the job.

Cowardes in wartime should be shot. Those on the front may not be able to wait for the late crew to deliver fuel.
Link Posted: 10/30/2004 2:59:06 PM EST
Correct me if I'm wrong here, this is a failure of their BASIC TRAINING ! I have heard basic has been pussified & the changes made have led us here. Fucking ass wipes ! There was no toleration for shit like this at Harmony Church when I went through. The Army better wake up !
Link Posted: 10/30/2004 3:01:17 PM EST
[Last Edit: 10/30/2004 3:07:21 PM EST by rayra]
Excellent. It was a 'Failure of Command' at both the Officer and Senior NCO levels. Heads should roll.

EDIT - the gender issue is a non-starter. Known plenty of hard-assed military women. The folks whinging about women in the military can just stifle.
This was indeed a failure in training, and a failure in leadership. The individual enlisteds involved in this (in)action need some serious re-training and a reduction in rank to Private. The NCOs involved also need a reduction in rank. And the OIC needs to resign.
Absolutely unfucking sat in a combat zone, or ANYWHERE within the US Mil.
Link Posted: 10/30/2004 3:03:35 PM EST
[Last Edit: 10/30/2004 3:05:56 PM EST by EternallyIndebted]

Originally Posted By Old_Painless:

Originally Posted By EternallyIndebted:

I wouldn't dare judge the soldiers that made that decision because I wasn't there.



Well you should.

Soldiers don't get to "vote" on whether they want to obey orders or not. War is dangerous.

It is more dangerous when troops "vote" on obeying orders.



So, you are willing to dictate your actions in the same situation?

No one can make the call without being there. We all want to think that we would do the right thing, but no one can be 100% certain.

It's like saying, "I wouldn't be one of they guys that bought the bullet on Omaha"... it's preposterous

I'm calling some serious

However, they should be responsible for leaving their fellow soldiers SOL when they were derelict in their duties.
Link Posted: 10/30/2004 3:08:40 PM EST
EternallyIndebted, please clarify your point - you seem to be saying we cannot criticize the actions of the mutineers, because we were not there / in their boots. ?
Link Posted: 10/30/2004 3:08:55 PM EST
If the officer in charge suggested to the troops under his/her/it's command that they shouldn't follow the orders the officer received, that officer goes in front of the JAG corps, period.

If the individual troops did their own thing without the officer's knowledge...that officer should go in front of the JAG corps for not providing safe equipment...not to mention all the troops who disobeyed an order.

Responsibility ALWAYS lies on the person in charge, period.

However, if it's a full unit action and NOT the cause of the officer, the unit needs to get spanked as well.

Frankly if the equipment was in that bad a shape...not only would the officer get ganked, but so would the maintaince personel. My dad's in the reserves; he's seen quite a bit of shady stuff when it comes to maintaince. It usually all came to a head during AT when shit broke.

Money's tight these days...*shrug*
Link Posted: 10/30/2004 3:11:39 PM EST
You do what your told when your told, there are alot of other soldiers that are depending on the actions of others, just 'cause you don't know what your c.o. knows, you refuse ??????????????

Unacceptable, judge them ? Fuckin' A ! Refusing a direct order in a combat zone ? Lucky to be alive !
Link Posted: 10/30/2004 3:12:38 PM EST
The whole truth will never get out. This one will be shuffled away.
Link Posted: 10/30/2004 3:17:23 PM EST

Originally Posted By EternallyIndebted:

Originally Posted By Old_Painless:

Originally Posted By EternallyIndebted:

I wouldn't dare judge the soldiers that made that decision because I wasn't there.



Well you should.

Soldiers don't get to "vote" on whether they want to obey orders or not. War is dangerous.

It is more dangerous when troops "vote" on obeying orders.



So, you are willing to dictate your actions in the same situation?

No one can make the call without being there. We all want to think that we would do the right thing, but no one can be 100% certain.

It's like saying, "I wouldn't be one of they guys that bought the bullet on Omaha"... it's preposterous

I'm calling some serious

However, they should be responsible for leaving their fellow soldiers SOL when they were derelict in their duties.



When you join up you surrender your right to 'opt out' of the shitty stuff. Don't know about the US Mils 'Sign Up' papers, but at the bottom of mine for the British Mil, it has typed in big bold capitals letters on the line above where you signed… "I understand by signing this document that I may be called upon to lay down my life for my country. etc, etc,………"

Andy
Link Posted: 10/30/2004 3:19:52 PM EST
Link Posted: 10/30/2004 3:24:09 PM EST
[Last Edit: 10/30/2004 3:26:02 PM EST by EternallyIndebted]

Originally Posted By rayra:
EternallyIndebted, please clarify your point - you seem to be saying we cannot criticize the actions of the mutineers, because we were not there / in their boots. ?



No, they should be judged in accordance with the military code. However, I'm not going to Keyboard Kommando my way into saying that "I would have executed the mission come Hell or high water... now let's go take off our flak jackets and kill some Raggies with our knives.. YEEHAA". I'm not going to say, with perfect certainty, what I would've done.


About the "moneys tight" comment. I wouldn't say money is tight, but malapportioned.
Link Posted: 10/30/2004 3:35:47 PM EST
[ I'm not going to say, with perfect certainty, what I would've done.




I can & would have. 11BC2 4/17 Light Inf.
Link Posted: 10/30/2004 3:36:54 PM EST
Off to Omaha for you then
Link Posted: 10/30/2004 3:40:05 PM EST
Link Posted: 10/30/2004 6:39:42 PM EST
I didn't realize they were based at Tallil. That's south of Nasiriya and supposed to be the garden spot of Iraq. I hear they even have an officer's club on the base that serves beer. If they can't keep their trucks repaired there, they have some problems.

GunLvr
Link Posted: 10/30/2004 7:41:16 PM EST
[Last Edit: 10/30/2004 7:41:58 PM EST by Mr_Jimmy_Fly]



Responsibility ALWAYS lies on the person in charge, period.




Everyone should keep this in mind when they go to the polls on Tuesday.
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