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Military discipline and effectiveness is built on the foundation of obedience to orders. Recruits are taught to obey, immediately and without question, orders from their superiors, right from day-one of boot camp.

Military members who fail to obey the lawful orders of their superiors risk serious consequences.

Comments
June 26, 2007 at 9:19 am
(1) Roy Schickedanz says:

In finding a qualified discipline that makes our citizen soldier is the moral high ground that needs to be taken. Care should equally taken not to create another My Lai.

The idea of immediate should be disregarded when it offers a criminal act.

June 26, 2007 at 10:20 am
(2) RONALD VAUGHN says:

IN WAR, THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS MORALITY WHEN IN HEAT OF BATTLE, KILL OR BE KILLED, THOUGH MORAL JUDGEMENT IS ANOTHER THING, ONLY DO WHAT YOU CAN LIVE WITH.

IN BATTLE, IMMEDIATE IS WITHOUT QUESTION,IT CAN SAVE YOUR LIFE AND MANY OTHERS, AGAIN, ONLY DO WHAT YOU CAN LIVE WITH.

IMMEDIATE MEANS NOW, IF YOU STOP TO THINK, YOU COULD BE DEAD. AS FAR A MYLAI, IT WASN’T IMMEDIATE, EVERYONE HAD TIME TO THINK ABOUT WHAT THEY WERE DOING, BUT WOMEN AND CHILDREN WERE ALSO FIGHTING IN THAT WAR, IF THEY WERE BEING USED AS A SHIELD, IT WOULD HAVE BEEN EVIDENT, AND THEY COULD HAVE WITHDRAWN ENOUGH TO BE OUT OF DANGER, TILL A PLAN COULD HAVE BEEN DEVISED.

June 26, 2007 at 10:40 am
(3) John Scanlan, SSG, USA (Ret) says:

This one poses a tough dilemma…when an 18 year old enters the world of the Military, he/she is a clean slate, certainly clear of Military maturity, and, more-than-likely, running low on developmental maturity as well; this is not a shot at youth, simply a fact of reality. So, of course, trusting that the Officers and NCOs, in his/her immediate world, know the play book, the recruit is taught to follow orders. As the Soldier gains in maturity, Militarily and personaly, and assimilates NCO responsibilities, that dilemma, all-too-often, comes into focus. My personal experience, with new Officers, the Butter Bars and Wobley Ones, contrary to the image of the boneheaded stumbling Lt, has been one of wanting to learn, both from their superiors and from the NCOs. Many an-Lt has approached me with a “wadaya think, Sarge” regarding an impending decision. Right, wrong, or indifferent, I have always respected this type of leader. Unfortunately, and, thankfully, not very often, we NCOs have had to deal with Officers whose vision was exceeded by a level of arrogance borne of the false notion that more silver-plated metal equated to more smarts. These Officers, contrary to their stated trust in their NCOs, tend to micro-manage every facet of their world. Consequently, the NCO is often obliged to be a statesman and a magician, all in the interest of taking care of Soldiers, and achieving the primary organizational objective, rather than some inconsequential activity.

A break from the time-honored tradition of unquestioning obedience, most-certainly; dangerous ground for the young Soldier who, while somewhat seasoned, hasen’t quite gotten there yet…absolutely. This is, nonetheless, a challenge of small unit leadership.

June 26, 2007 at 11:40 am
(4) Robert J. Marchand says:

When our superior(LCDR) was heading into a hooch north of Danang (69) we hollered to him not to go in there.Ther’s a live RPG in there. He turned red and hollard back,KILL EM, KILL EM KILL EM. I WANTED TO DO JUST THAT, BUT LET THE LCDR LIVE FOR THE NEXT TIME.

June 27, 2007 at 6:29 pm
(5) Marshall Vernon, SFC USA (Ret.) says:

If it’s a lawfull order…you obey. If not, you don’t! Now, some orders may be a grey area, although I can’t cite an example here. That is something that the soldier is going to have to deal with. The more obvious would be an order to shoot prisoners, shoot unarmed civilians, torture, etc., etc., etc.. However,the bottom line is: the soldier, salior, airman marine or coast guardsman, will have to depend on the leadership; have faith in the organization,and respect those whom have the authority to issue orders. Several such misrable examples of obying unlawfull orders would be: Abu Ghraib,and Mi Lai.

June 27, 2007 at 11:11 pm
(6) Lonnie J. Potter says:

The UCMJ, Manual for Courts Martial (MCM) and Rules of Engagement aren’t perfect, but in all honesty, they work a great deal of the time and in this day and age of media being embedded with the troops, it is closely scrutinized by everyone.

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