Saturday, June 11, 2011

Navy Crosses Awarded

Day by day, the legend of the Battle of Ganjgal grows.

The Sept. 8, 2009, clash between at least 50 heavily armed insurgents and the Marine trainers and Afghan forces they surprised in Kunar province, Afghanistan, already has led to three Marines and a Navy corpsman posthumously receiving the Bronze Star with V.

Two Marines were awarded the Navy Cross and another awaits a Medal of Honor investigation for this action.

Despite being under fire from a well entrenched enemy the patrol did not receive fire support or reinforcements and had to extract themselves. An investigation conducted by Army Col. Richard Hooker and Marine Col. James Werth, it determined that “negligent” leadership by three officers at nearby Forward Operating Base Joyce contributed “directly to the loss of life which ensued.” They refused direct calls for help from U.S. forces on the ground and failed to notify higher commands that they had troops in contact with enemy, the investigation found.

The officers were members of Task Force Chosin, a unit comprising soldiers from 1st Battalion, 32nd Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division, out of Fort Drum, N.Y. In February, Rep. Walter Jones, R-N.C., a member of the House Armed Services Committee, said Army officials told him that two of the three officers ultimately received reprimands, a likely career killer.

This is the second large case of negligent leadership shown by Army officers as the troops in Wanat were also not supported or supplied properly which also led to a large loss of life. Risk averse officers who are to worried about not making waves are letting our soldiers and Marines die. This is what happens when you try to make warfighters into policemen.

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