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Posted: 1/4/2012 1:48:27 PM EDT
Black Hearts

I finished it in two days.  Holy fuck is that book messed up.  Follows a unit that had members who raped a 14 year old girl and then killed her and her family in Iraq.  Its a fascinating study on leadership, and the failures at every level that led to the event.
Link Posted: 1/4/2012 3:06:10 PM EDT
[#1]
Amazing book.  I was startled to see my old CSM reading it.  I think that book should be standard reading material for all NCO/Officers.
Link Posted: 1/4/2012 4:28:38 PM EDT
[#2]
Quoted:
Amazing book.  I was startled to see my old CSM reading it.  I think that book should be standard reading material for all NCO/Officers.


I agree 100%.  It was required reading for my friend who is an Army Captain prior to deploying, he's the one who recommended it to me.
Link Posted: 1/4/2012 6:49:44 PM EDT
[#3]
Read, learned a lot. Very powerful book
Link Posted: 1/4/2012 7:07:01 PM EDT
[#4]



Quoted:


Read, learned a lot. Very powerful book


Agreed.

 
Link Posted: 1/4/2012 7:22:00 PM EDT
[#5]
That was disturbing, to say the least.  
Link Posted: 1/4/2012 11:57:58 PM EDT
[#6]
Quoted:
That was disturbing, to say the least.  


????? What about it?
Link Posted: 1/5/2012 12:03:27 AM EDT
[#7]
Typical history of the 101st and the officers and NCO's of the division.  Deny your history, relive your history. The division should have been disbanded after Vietnam.
Link Posted: 1/5/2012 12:40:05 AM EDT
[#8]
That book was about the 101st but it also wasn't.  There was a far larger lesson in it.
Link Posted: 1/5/2012 5:13:57 AM EDT
[#9]
Other than the child-rape and premeditated murder of the family?   Well, the book made the BC seem pretty far out of touch with his men and their day to day struggles.  Did anyone know that guy?  

Quoted:
Quoted:
That was disturbing, to say the least.  


????? What about it?


Link Posted: 1/5/2012 5:56:08 AM EDT
[#10]
It wasn't just the BC that was out of touch.  That book was a study in the abandonment (physical and mental), lack of reality, lack of empathy, and outright apathy by an entire chain of command all the way down to the PLT level.  It showed what extreme marginalization can do to a group of Soldiers who believe that no one cares what happens to them.  They felt (and IMO, were) physically and psychologically abandoned.  They were stuck out on the edge of the battlefield and harassed, badgered, and ignored into not giving a fuck about anything.  The rape/murder was an unfortunate by product of that experience.  What those four scumbags did is unforgivable.  I do have a better understanding of what led to that crime though.

Those guys were physically and psychologically isolated from the "FOB Army."  Having all of your personal belongings burned at the COP, living in the same clothes for weeks/months....and then when you finally get back to a big FOB, being fucked with for your uniform by people that don't leave the wire?  It would make me angry.  Having your friends, peers, leaders die and then the CoC personally blames you and the guys that bought it?  It would make me angry.  Constantly being shot at, mortared, IED'ed by the same people you see in your checkpoint everyday......the same people you give water, food, etc to.  It would make me angry.  Imagine sucking at a checkpoint or on a patrol and your higher leadership drives by on their way back to the big FOB (you know, the one with AC, internet, PX, DFAC, etc) and all they do for you is throw out uniform violations and how fucked up you are.

That platoon (and Company) needed acknowledgment, support, and leadership.  Their CoC failed them.  Miserably.  Of course, nothing happened past Company level.  Kinda funny how leadership and accountability are preached but when the rubber hits the road, senior leaders always play the blame game to the lowest level.

I think the book is far more than just the rape/murder of a family.  It's just my opinion though......and I didn't even stay at a Holiday Inn last night
Link Posted: 1/5/2012 10:10:15 AM EDT
[#11]
Quoted:
It wasn't just the BC that was out of touch.  That book was a study in the abandonment (physical and mental), lack of reality, lack of empathy, and outright apathy by an entire chain of command all the way down to the PLT level.  It showed what extreme marginalization can do to a group of Soldiers who believe that no one cares what happens to them.  They felt (and IMO, were) physically and psychologically abandoned.  They were stuck out on the edge of the battlefield and harassed, badgered, and ignored into not giving a fuck about anything.  The rape/murder was an unfortunate by product of that experience.  What those four scumbags did is unforgivable.  I do have a better understanding of what led to that crime though.

Those guys were physically and psychologically isolated from the "FOB Army."  Having all of your personal belongings burned at the COP, living in the same clothes for weeks/months....and then when you finally get back to a big FOB, being fucked with for your uniform by people that don't leave the wire?  It would make me angry.  Having your friends, peers, leaders die and then the CoC personally blames you and the guys that bought it?  It would make me angry.  Constantly being shot at, mortared, IED'ed by the same people you see in your checkpoint everyday......the same people you give water, food, etc to.  It would make me angry.  Imagine sucking at a checkpoint or on a patrol and your higher leadership drives by on their way back to the big FOB (you know, the one with AC, internet, PX, DFAC, etc) and all they do for you is throw out uniform violations and how fucked up you are.

That platoon (and Company) needed acknowledgment, support, and leadership.  Their CoC failed them.  Miserably.  Of course, nothing happened past Company level.  Kinda funny how leadership and accountability are preached but when the rubber hits the road, senior leaders always play the blame game to the lowest level.

I think the book is far more than just the rape/murder of a family.  It's just my opinion though......and I didn't even stay at a Holiday Inn last night


I had a SgtMaj chew out a Corpsman in Iraq for having a uniform that was "fucked up."  He had just gotten inside the wire and was covered in blood from an IED strike.  I thought the Corpsman was going to shoot the bastard right there.

Our 1st Sgt on my last deployment was just as bad.  I've never seen anyone destroy the moral of a group like he did.  We had some good kids, with almost no issues, spectacular performance, but he had them all convinced that they were shitbags.  

Its easy to see how these things can happen, not justifying it in anyway... but if you get enough shitty things happening something bad will go down.
Link Posted: 1/5/2012 12:11:31 PM EDT
[#12]
I had the same thing happen on my tours, particularly this last one.  Just to reiterate, I do not condone what those 4 did.  They should be shot.  Regarding platoon actions, morale, and the command climate, I understand a lot of the frustrations and feelings.  I don't blindly look down on that platoon, company, 502nd or the 101st.  I do hold the particular senior leadership in contempt though.


ETA:  These are all just my thoughts.  The book makes you think.  IMO, it's larger than the slaughter of that one family.  I can't exactly put into words my entire thoughts/feelings.  I can't recommend enough, that you read this book.
Link Posted: 1/5/2012 7:13:43 PM EDT
[#13]
another one to add to my reading list.
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