via Daily Kos.
This is extremely disturbing. This speaks volumes of what’s going on with our troops over there in Iraq. This should never happen. From the Army Times:
“They called it an act of mutiny,” Cardenas said, still enraged that the men he considered heroes were, in his mind, slandered. “The sergeant major and the battalion commander said we were unprofessional. They said they were disappointed in us and would never forget our actions for the rest of their lives.”
But no judicial action ever came of it.
“Captain Strickland read us our rights,” DeNardi said. “We had 15 yes-or-no questions, and no matter how you answered them, it looked like you disobeyed an order. No one asked what happened. And there’s no record — no article 15. Nothing to show it happened.”
After the members of 2nd Platoon had spent a year fighting for each other and watching their buddies die, battalion leaders began breaking up the platoon. Seven noncommissioned officers were told they were being relieved for cause and moved out of the unit. Three noncommissioned officers stayed at Old Mod. Two, including Sgt. Derrick Jorcke, would remain in Iraq for one month after 2nd Platoon went home in October because they had been moved to different battalions in different areas of Iraq.
“In a way, they were put someplace where they wouldn’t have to go out again,” Johnson said. “But as an NCO, they took these guys’ leaders away and put them with people they didn’t know and trust. You knew 2nd Platoon would die for you without a second’s hesitation. That’s what made them so great. These guys need each other.”
Then, they were all flagged: No promotions. No awards. No favorable actions.
“We had PFCs miss [promotion to] specialist for two months,” DeNardi said. “Bronze Stars and [Army Commendation Medals] were put on hold. You’re talking about heroes like Cardenas. These are guys who save lives and they can’t get awards.”
“I didn’t want to punish them,” Strickland said. “I understood what was going on. But they had to understand you couldn’t do something like that and have nothing happen.”
And things could not continue as they had. Strickland could not operate for three more months with a platoon that refused to go out.
“Within the company, we made some adjustments,” Strickland said. “They needed a fresh start. After looking into it, I didn’t feel the need to punish anybody.” However, he left the flags in place.
“If anything was going to be punishment, that was it,” he said. For at least one soldier, that meant going through a promotion board again. Jorcke lost his promotion table status, but Strickland signed a memo re-establishing it. “I’ve tried to fix those issues. Almost everybody else has been promoted except one guy.” Jorcke made his E-6 on Nov. 1.
Even after the “mutiny,” Strickland said, he had a great deal of admiration for his soldiers.
“I understood why they did what they did,” he said. “Some of the NCOs, I was disappointed in them because they failed to lead their soldiers through difficult times. They let their soldiers influence their decisions. But on a personal level, I applauded their decision because they stood behind their soldiers. I was disappointed, but I thought they had great courage. It was truly a Jekyll/Hyde moment for me.”
And though they were horrified at being torn away from each other, the soldiers themselves were conflicted about the outcome.
“For us being disbanded, now we definitely had unfinished business,” Jorcke said. “If we’d cleared Adhamiya, we could have said, ‘I left Iraq and my buddies didn’t die in vain.
“But in a way, the disbanding was good,” he said. “We — what was left of the platoon — got to come back home alive.”
While the Republicans and Democrats like Senator Amy Klobuchar vote to continue to fund this war and to extend their tours of duty – more of these stories will be leaking out.
What’s it going to take to end this war?!
Why are we still living in a country where our government refuses to listen to us?!