Medal of Honor winner Dakota Meyer, from Kentucky,

Submitted by Oldroser on Sat, 09/17/2011 - 23:12.

Ambushed in a small village in Afghanistan, Cpl. Meyer watched as members of his unit were pinned down ahead of him. On the radio he heard their repeated pleas for artillery or an air strike that could save them. After about 45 minutes, when neither artillery rounds nor helicopters arrived, Meyer radioed his superiors for permission to try to rescue them in a gun-mounted armored vehicle. The answer was no.

After four requests were denied, Meyer and Staff Sgt. Rodriguez-Chavez, who was awarded the Navy Cross, defied orders and went in. "I didn't think I was going to die, I knew it," says Meyer. Asked why he would drive through such a wall of fire, he replies, "There was U.S. troops getting shot at and those are your brothers." For Meyer, the mission was clear. "You either get them out alive or you die trying. If you don't die trying, you didn't try hard enough."

During the first two trips, they evacuated two dozen Afghan soldiers, many of whom were wounded, Afghan soldiers were also brothers. His fire from the open gun turret provided cover for Afghan and U.S. troops to escape the ambush and certain death. Even with a shrapel wound in his arm, he made two more trips, accompanied by other Afghan vehicles, to recover wounded Afghans and search for missing U.S. Marines.

The fifth trip Meyer left the truck,  exposing himself to even more fire, with no cover whatsoever, and located and recovered the bodies of his  four missing friends, with the aid of others. He had previously rescued 36 people.

John 15:13
Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.

Thanks Oldroser

Of course this got very little play in the media, thanks for sharing.  God Bless Cpl. Meyer and the men he saved.

Mixed Message - Court Martial vs Medal of Honor

 Cpl. Meyer disobeyed orders when he went in with his buddy to challenge enemy fire and help his fellow soldiers and allies. 

If Cpl. Meyer had failed in this effort, wouldn't he have been court martialled?

Only because of success was Cpl. Meyer able to share a beer with the president.  

How is this mixed message reasonably untangled?

 

Not likely

Not likely that Cpl. wouldn't been court martialed.  Given the extreme risk they took with their own lives, had they failed, they'd likely have been killed.  I ppsted the CFR siting for the Medal of Honor.  Based on the criteria, Cpl. Meyer was completely qualified to receive our country's highest honor.

TITLE 32--NATIONAL DEFENSE

                    CHAPTER V--DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY

PART 578--DECORATIONS, MEDALS, RIBBONS, AND SIMILAR DEVICES--Table of Contents

Sec. 578.4  Medal of Honor.

 

(a) Criteria. The Medal of Honor, established by Joint Resolution of
Congress, 12 July 1862 (amended by Act of 9 July 1918 and Act of 25 July
1963) is awarded in the name of Congress to a person who, while a member
of the Army, distinguished himself conspicuously by gallantry and
intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty
while engaged in an action against an enemy of the United States
; while
engaged in military operations involving conflict with an opposing
foreign force; or while serving with friendly foreign forces engaged in
an armed conflict against an opposing armed force in which the United
States is not a belligerent party (figure 1). The deed performed must
have been one of personal bravery or self-sacrifice so conspicuous as to
clearly distinguish the individual above his comrades and must have
involved risk of life
. Incontestable proof of the performance of the
service will be exacted and each recommendation for the award of this
decoration will be considered on the standard of extraordinary merit.
Eligibility is limited to members of the Army of the United States in
active Federal military service.
 

 

 

"Ours is but to do and die" no longer applies, I believe

Sorry I don't have time to research it exactly, no doubt Laura or Deb can, but I believe that it has been established that soldiers do not have to obey certain orders, such as those that are unreasonable and invite certain death with no gain, as in the gallant Charge of the Light Brigade in the Crimean War, where men were ordered to ride into certain death; and they did so, to a man: they were just to "do (as told) and die." There are higher laws such as just plain common sense.

(BTW, Two Army officers were reprimanded for being "inadequate and ineffective" and for "contributing directly to the loss of life" following an investigation into the day's events where Dakota earned his medal, and two colleagues the Navy Cross.)

There is the moral imperative that overrides one's orders: it is more important to do the right thing.

Did the Nurenburg Trials establish that soldiers should not obey immoral orders offensive to human decency?

I once read that researchers talking to those who helped people escape the Nazi's, thereby putting their own necks on the block, found that they said exactly what those who did not help said. They felt that they had no choice in the matter. This was something they must/must not do.

This is an excellent example of that.

And also of John 15:13, which is what came to my mind immediately upon reading Dakota's sory.