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  1. #1
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    Injured troops prefer combat to recovery at Bragg

    FORT BRAGG, N.C. (AP) -- Soldiers in a recovery unit for wounded troops at Fort Bragg told the Secretary of the Army that they feel forgotten by the military and that combat duty would be better than the treatment they get now, according to a memo obtained by the Associated Press.
    The memo summarized the comments of soldiers who attended a closed-door meeting last week with Army Secretary Pete Geren. It was held after the service said it would look into complaints of overzealous discipline reported by The Associated Press.
    Some of the soldiers told Geren they have "feelings of worthlessness and abandonment," the memo states. They told Geren that low morale and suicides in the base's Warrior Transition battalion are "pushed by (a) negative command climate" that is enforced by the unit's squad leaders. "If I had been in the (unit) after I was wounded the first time, I would not have fought so hard to stay in," one soldier told Geren, according to the memo. "It is very demoralizing and a very different experience from my previous recuperation."
    The Army set up its 35 Warrior Transition units two years ago to help soldiers navigate the medical system and monitor their progress and treatment following the scandal over shoddy conditions at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington.
    But a recent Associated Press investigation found that discipline rates vary widely across the system. The comments to Geren mirror those of a dozen current and former soldiers interviewed by the AP about their time in Fort Bragg's unit. They accused the unit's officers of being indifferent to their medical needs and punishing them for actions that stem from their injuries.
    "Combat was preferable to the (unit) and the platoon level chain of command ... were poorly trained and not earning their special pay to pay close attention to each (soldier's) case and their progress to transition," the memo states.
    The soldiers at the meeting told Geren that troops with post-traumatic stress disorder are made fun of, those given electronic memory aides are held to a higher standard, and the unit has become a dumping ground for soldiers at Fort Bragg suffering from drug abuse problems.
    Other complaints included issues regarding pay, lost paperwork and the lack of opportunity for promotion.
    "We always are working to improve the support of our wounded, ill and injured soldiers and their families and there is no substitute for hearing directly from those we serve," Geren said in a statement provided to the AP. "The soldiers in the (unit) raised a variety of issues and made recommendations on how we could improve the Bragg (unit)."
    None of the soldiers that met with Geren were identified by name, but the memo said all had been assigned to the Warrior Transition system for at least 10 months.
    The memo was obtained from a person at Fort Bragg who requested anonymity because the unit's discipline record is being reviewed. Officials at Fort Bragg confirmed the memo was written and sent to the unit's commander, Lt. Col. Jay Thornton.
    "The notes received from the Warriors in Transition were written after the fact and based on memory and are not intended to serve as an official transcript," said Shannon Lynch, a spokeswoman at Fort Bragg's Womack Army Medical Center. "They are merely a collection of comments from various perspectives."
    Geren said he discussed the meeting with Thornton and Brig. Gen. Gary Cheek, the commander in charge of the Army's more than 9,000 wounded soldiers, and is awaiting their report. Cheek has asked the Army Surgeon General to look at discipline taken against soldiers in the unit to ensure each case was fair.
    At the end of his meeting with the soldiers, Geren asked three "survey" questions on a scale of one to three, with three being the best. The majority of soldiers present gave the unit's chain of command and platoon leadership a 2 or 1 and rated morale "overwhelmingly low." Only educational opportunities got a three rating.

  2. #2
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    Terrible to read our warriors are being treated like shit after making such huge sacrifices.

  3. #3
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    "They told Geren that low morale and suicides in the base's Warrior Transition battalion are "pushed by (a) negative command climate" that is enforced by the unit's squad leaders."

    Seems like the problem could be solved by removing the assholes mentioned above. They obviously aren't good enough to be in combat, so they stash them in these recovery units where they aren't fit to carry the shit of the soldiers they are there to help.
    I'm your huckleberry...

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  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by maclean View Post
    "They told Geren that low morale and suicides in the base's Warrior Transition battalion are "pushed by (a) negative command climate" that is enforced by the unit's squad leaders."

    Seems like the problem could be solved by removing the assholes mentioned above. They obviously aren't good enough to be in combat, so they stash them in these recovery units where they aren't fit to carry the shit of the soldiers they are there to help.
    That's how the military has always worked. I would be surprised if they put good officers in something like that, they need them elsewhere.

    That's why it was so hard for my generation to come back and have to serve some stateside duty before getting out.
    When I used to be somebody (I'm center top)

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    Your experience makes sense of my explanation.

    Shame we haven't figured that bit out - it would seem to be an easy repair.
    I'm your huckleberry...

    Quemadmoeum gladis nemeinum occidit, occidentus telum est!

    You can be the weapon, and the gun in your hand is a tool - or the gun is a weapon and you are the tool.


    I was looking for a saint who was a devil of a lover,
    but every girl I found was either one way or the other...



  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by maclean View Post

    Shame we haven't figured that bit out - it would seem to be an easy repair.
    This attitude probably goes back to the Roman Legions and beyond. The bottom line is the fallen soldier is of no value to the generals. They give lip service to it, but the generals are defined by their battle successes and/or readiness, not the care they give their non fighting troops. It's ingrained into the very culture of the military and always has been.

    If I were king, I'd take out all the officers and put in civilian veterans with the proper skills and credentials to run it. Now it's probably officers who are at a dead end in their careers for whatever reason. There was no one worse to work for than an Army captain with 15 years in. He knew he would never make major now and was just doing his time. And the Army is full of them (or was).
    When I used to be somebody (I'm center top)

    "A burning desire for social justice is never a substitute for knowing what you're talking about". -Thomas Sowell-

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Retdetsgt View Post
    If I were king, I'd take out all the officers and put in civilian veterans with the proper skills and credentials to run it. Now it's probably officers who are at a dead end in their careers for whatever reason. There was no one worse to work for than an Army captain with 15 years in. He knew he would never make major now and was just doing his time. And the Army is full of them (or was).
    Bingo!

 

 

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