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AAOP Stand Strong

A "Bad Kill"


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"It isn't the initial actions that were taken that made this a dishonorable thing. It was the choices made by the platoon after an unfortunate incident that made it that way. This could have been handled so much better."

- CPT Joe Herrington, Intel Chief, 3/4/2 MiTT

Deployed as part of the 3/4/2 MiTT, CPT Herrington was living on Combat Out-Post (COP) Resolve in Mosul, Iraq. After being there for four months, he had seen quite a bit of combat and had begun to bond with the men that he was training in support of MAJ McConnell, the MiTT leader. They were responsible for an Iraqi infantry battalion that was within a U.S. unit's area of operations. CPT Herrington described the relationship between the MiTT teams in the area and the U.S. unit as "challenged" at best. During a period of unusually high enemy activity in the area, CPT Herrington was standing with one of his trainees at the front gate of COP Resolve when a U.S. Army Bradley Fighting Vehicle raced up and stopped in a cloud of dust just in front of the entrance gate. The ramp to the Bradley swung down, and several U.S. soldiers heaved a corpse out onto the street. The ramp went back up, and the Bradley drove away, leaving dust to cover the body. CPT Herrington looked at the situation and implied first that the soldiers had committed a "bad kill" on an Iraqi civilian, and second that they now wanted the Iraqi Army (IA) to clean up their mistakes.

Questions to Ponder?

  • What are the dilemmas CPT Herrington faces?
  • What should CPT Herrington have done?
  • What could have caused this response by the Bradley crew?
  • What do these actions imply about the leadership of the unit?
  • How can you guard against a reduction in respect for the care of enemy and/or noncombatants that can occur over time in prolonged combat?
  • What of your core values would be keyed in this situation? Why?

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