by Andy Weddington
Sunday, 02 August 2015
"The opposite of bravery is not cowardice but conformity." Robert Anthony
Well, the enemy forewarned they were coming to America to kill Americans, specifically military personnel and their families, and they are doing it.
What force protection?
Especially at easily accessed soft targets like military recruiting stations and reserve centers?
Today four Marines and a Sailor, on duty at a reserve center, are still dead. And still dazed families grieve.
Anger is appropriate.
Facts about the terrorist attack continue to come out.
Among the more noteworthy is Lieutenant Commander Timothy White, U. S. Navy, commanding officer of the Navy Operational Support Center (NOSC), Chattanooga, TN returned fire with a personal sidearm.
And there are indicators one of the dead Marines assigned to the co-located Marine Corps Reserve Center may have also fired a personal sidearm.
Yesterday it made news that Lieutenant Commander White is going to be charged with possessing that personal sidearm - as he was not supposed to have it on government property.
What has not been reported is whether the Navy officer or Marine hit their attacker - injuring or killing him. Autopsy and ballistics will sort that out.
So, let's get this straight.
Our military personnel on the front lines (in our own country, mind you) manning easily accessed posts (soft targets) and well knowing of enemy threats against them, in the name of common sense and self defense, arm themselves (because senior leadership did not so authorize), have to use their weapons, and now face charges?
DoD Directive 5210.56 dated 01 April 2011 addresses arming DoD personnel. The bottom line is they should have been armed.
What should happen...
Decorate Lieutenant Commander White with the Combat Action Ribbon and Navy Marine Corps Medal for attention to duty; exceptional judgment; presence of mind; bravery; courage under fire; leadership; and life-saving. That will be an easy Summary of Action and Citation to write.
Purple Hearts to all military personnel killed or wounded in the attack.
Combat Action Ribbon and personal decoration to the (dead) armed Marine.
Courts-martial - Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff; Chief of Naval Operations; Commandant of the Marine Corps for dereliction of duty and not cowardice but conformity - specifically failed force protection in a known enemy threat environment.
Reliefs - Secretary of Defense and Secretary of the Navy for lack of; vision (foresight), courage, leadership, and not cowardice but conformity in a known enemy threat environment.
That ought to shake things up a bit.
Problems at the top of the chain of command (not on the front lines) are behind those five senseless combat deaths.
Due process, justice, and real force protection, immediately, the right outcomes.
In closing, still silence (apparently with hopes it just goes away) about the inane order, immediately after the attack, to Marines on recruiting duty to not wear their uniform. A week later the issuing command, Marine Corps Recruiting Command, officially released comment that the order (though, as reported, approved by the Secretary of the Defense) was a "miscommunication." Believe that if you will.
All of it.
Contact your representative and senator on behalf of Lieutenant Commander Timothy White. He, and all in uniform, needs overwhelming citizenry support. Make that public outcry!