Debating Where a Soldier’s Duty Lies
Re “In Defense of Their Soldiers,” Oct. 19: It’s time for a remake of Stanley Kubrick’s 1957 epic film “Paths of Glory.” World War I soldiers refuse to continue with an impossible attack and face the punishment deserved by their callous commanders. When one of the scapegoated soldiers panics in the shadows of the firing squad, a sergeant reminds him that reporters will witness the execution, and what will his family think of him if they learn that he died a coward?
Today it’s the soldiers’ families who publicly challenge the commanders on the conduct of their trumped-up, stupid war in Iraq. Good for them.
I am a veteran. I was regular Army. I didn’t have a lawyer and I wouldn’t have called Mom if I got into trouble. I would have been too embarrassed. I finally made sergeant -- by following orders. I wasn’t an army of one. There is a Rule No. 1: Officers give orders, troops obey them. If you question an order, question it after you have obeyed it, or so we were taught. There are consequences for not following Rule No. 1 that go all the way back to the American Revolution.