The US Army: an institution corrupted to its very core

army values

It is really a shame.

Under the regime of Barack Obama, the US Army has become a festering pustule of moral corruption and ethical blindness.

For a lot of budgetary and political reasons, the Army — my Army — has never been big on moral courage at the senior leadership levels. It doesn’t have bombers, fighters, submarines, or aircraft carriers so it is always vulnerable to the big ticket services. Heaven knows, there is no Army component vaguely comparable the awesome and voracious public relations machine the US Marine Corps unleashes at the slightest hint of danger.

Let’s start out with this story, via The Washington Post: The Army denied a Medal of Honor to this Green Beret war hero. What happened?

In the waning days of summer 2013, Taliban insurgents launched a spectacular attack on a coalition military base in Afghanistan. A 400-pound car bomb rocked the eastern side of the installation, and about 10 enemy attackers armed with suicide vests, rifles, hand grenades and grenade launchers poured through a shattered wall.

Among those to respond was Staff Sgt. Earl D. Plumlee, a former reconnaissance Marine and Green Beret with the Army’s 1st Special Forces Group. He and some of the other troops who fought to protect Forward Operating Base Ghazni engaged in a fierce firefight with insurgents. Enemy attackers were no more than 20 feet away during portions of the Aug. 28 fight, according to military documents describing the event.

The battle yielded numerous awards for those who fought off the attack. But it is the award that was denied to Plumlee — the Medal of Honor — that has drawn attention on Capitol Hill and from the Defense Department Inspector General’s office.

But Plumlee ultimately received the Silver Star — considered two levels below the Medal of Honor — in a May 1 ceremony at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash. As he was being considered for the nation’s highest military award for valor, the Army’s Criminal Investigation Command (CID) launched an investigation into whether Plumlee illegally tried to sell a rifle scope online. The investigation yielded no charges, but the Army’s denial has prompted allegations that service leaders only want squeaky-clean soldiers to receive the Medal of Honor.

Mind you, Plumlee was cleared of charges. And his award recommendation wasn’t the result of a routine downgrade, that would have resulted in the award of the Distinguished Service Cross, not the Silver Star. Right now we really have no information on the source of the allegation, whether the allegation was even plausible, and the role the Army CID (motto: we’re not as dumb and incompetent as NCIS, but we don’t have television series) in scuttling Plumlee’s award.

Were this a one-off it might me excusable but it is part of a pattern of conduct of the Army leadership, civilian and military, that seems like little short of a jihad against heroes.

Captain William Swenson. Won the Medal of Honor for actions in an Afghanistan firefight but was forced off active duty after he complained that his unit did not receive air and artillery fire support .

Lieutenant Colonel Jason Amerine. Amerine, a decorated Special Forces officer complained to Congressman Duncan Hunter about the #FAIL-on-rollerskates that is our program for recovering hostages held by the Taliban and other terrorist groups. A CID investigation was launched against him despite the fact that it is illegal to take action against anyone for communicating with a member of Congress.

Major Matthew Golsteyn. A decorated Special Forces officer, Golsteyn had an award of the Silver Star revoked and was subjected to a CID investigation based on an answer Golsteyn gave under a polygraph exam. He was cleared of wrong-doing but the Army has decided to proceed with an administrative discharge against him.

This is just a sampling. I know what you’re thinking. Fine, this stuff looks bad but you said the Army is corrupted to its core. This may be stupid but how is it corrupt?

Let’s go back to August 2012.

Army reserve officer Tammy Smith calls her recent promotion to brigadier general exciting and humbling, saying it gives her a chance to be a leader in advancing Army values and excellence.

What she glosses over is that along with the promotion she is also publicly acknowledging her sexuality for the first time, making her the first general officer to come out as gay while still serving. It comes less than a year after the end of the controversial “don’t ask, don’t tell” law.

“All of those facts are irrelevant,” she said. “I don’t think I need to be focused on that. What is relevant is upholding Army values and the responsibility this carries.”

Or earlier this week:

A married Army general on Tuesday introduced his spouse at a Pentagon event that featured lots of top brass, including Defense Secretary Ashton Carter as the keynote speaker.

What made this seemingly routine introduction noteworthy is that Brig. Gen. Randy S. Taylor introduced his husband, Lucas.

“My husband Lucas is sitting up front here,” Gen. Taylor said of the man in the same row as Mr. Carter, Army Secretary John McHugh and other senior officials. He said Lucas has subjugated his own career to support the general’s frequent moves over an 18-year relationship.

“We bet everything on my Army career,” said Gen. Taylor, whose 27 years of service spanned an outright ban on gays, then “don’t ask, don’t tell” and finally, the ban’s lifting in 2011.

The issue in both these cases is not the sexual preference of the officers but the fact that they entered on active duty at a time when it was against Army regulations — and illegal under the Uniform Code of Military Justice — to engage in homosexual activity. This is what is known as a fraudulent appointment. It is actually a federal crime. They accepted a salary under false pretenses. Any punishments they awarded are illegal because they held their commissions illegally. The Army is now honoring them as some sort of hero — General Smith says her promotion is about “upholding Army values” which, at some point after I left, were expanded to include lying and deceit. At a minimum, neither of these officers should have been promoted because they are self-confessed and unrepentant liars.

While at the same time, soldiers who do their duty are penalized, investigated, and hounded out of the Army.

If a Republican is elected President in 2016, one of his first acts should be to appoint a Secretary of Defense and service secretaries who will convene “truth commissions” to purge the people responsible for this from the military.