MARSOC had just come alive and were on their first deployment to Afghanistan. All eyes, including mine, were on these guys and the pressure to perform was intense.
One day they were on patrol and got hit with a complex ambush triggered by an IED. In true Marine Corps fashion they fought themselves out of it and carried the day. They covered themselves in glory and even skeptics like me were impressed.
What followed next was a travesty, conduct unbecoming of a Ranger, politically motivated injustice mixed with what I suspect was a bit of "protecting turf"...Check this out via Free Beacon.
“It is never good for a foot soldier when this guy is in charge,” Galvin told the Washington Free Beacon in a telephone interview from his Kansas home. “I don’t consider him a military leader. He’s a politician.”Then this.
In 2007 Galvin was in charge of the Marine Corps’ first special operations unit to be deployed to combat, a development that encountered resistance from within the Corps and the special operations community.
Galvin said he could deal with bureaucratic infighting in the lead up to the unit’s deployment to Afghanistan. What he did not expect was the betrayal that followed a March 4 ambush that year, which left more than a dozen Afghans dead, as reported by Military Times. A suicide attacker set off a car bomb targeting Galvin’s convoy before small arms fire erupted from both sides of the street. The Marines escaped with just one casualty after returning fire.
Within 24 hours the ambush had morphed into an alleged war crime, with villagers claiming that drunken Marines had sprayed gunfire into crowds of unarmed civilians. The military launched two investigations, but ordered Galvin’s unit out of Afghanistan before they were completed. The Marines denied any wrongdoing, saying they engaged only military targets.
“I stand before you today deeply, deeply ashamed and terribly sorry that Americans have killed and wounded innocent Afghan people,” Nicholson told reporters. “The death and wounding of innocent Afghans at the hand of Americans is a stain on our honor and on the memory of the many Americans who have died defending Afghanistan and the Afghan people. This was a terrible, terrible mistake …That is not what America stands for.”So what do we have? During this critical time (we always seem to have critical times in Afghanistan) instead of a warrior general, we have a warrior politician leading our troops. Worse? He's shown that throwing people under the bus to burnish his standing (sorry but I can't help but believe this stance was taken to curry favor with the Obama admin) with his bosses back in Washington.
Galvin said that Nicholson’s public statements undermined his right to a fair trial. The investigative reports were then presented to a three-member Court of Inquiry. After more than three weeks, the court cleared Marines of any wrongdoing, concluding that they were returning fire following a hostile ambush. The headlines on the court’s findings paled in comparison to the many stories written about Nicholson’s remarks. Galvin said that he and his Marines found their career prospects stifled after the incident and have had trouble coping in civilian life because of the “false allegations.”
My advice to guys heading down range? BE CAREFUL! The days of leadership standing up for their troops appears to be over with.