::sigh:: Yet another thread started on some craaaazy media idea that doesn’t make any sense to anyone that’s been there. First of all, the ROE are NOT heavily guarded secrets- at all. They just aren’t. I had little cards in my wallet that had them written on them, they’re on the open internet, etc. It’s not kept secret at all.
Second, these Marines aren’t even charged with anything. It’s a preliminary hearing. It happens pretty frequently, and is usually said and done before anyone has blinked. They won’t go to trial, and even if they did, there’d be no conviction. No one actually goes to jail over this stuff.
Third, those ROE examples they gave are ridiculous. At the beginning of every JAG briefing we get on the ROE and Geneva conventions, they always say first and foremost (in big, bold powerpoint text) that a servicemember ALWAYS has the right to self-defense. We all know that, we’ve all been taught that. Hell, we even have a saying to convey that right…“Better to be judged by 12 than carried by 6.”
Fourth, Positive ID (PID) isn’t that hard to get. It’s not a bureacratic process, it’s a split-second mental decision. If you decide you have PID, then you can shoot. It’s that simple. You may get questioned on it, but if you’re right, you’re right. If you’re wrong, it’s usually OK anyhow.
Lastly, two things not mentioned in the article directly: 1) you don’t need to shout-show-shove-shoot. You can skip straight to shoot if circumstances permit, like if you only have a second to react. A car speeds at your convoy, and you’re the gunner. You can’t shout, so skip it. You can show your weapon, but it’s more common to signal w/ the hands or a flare. You can’t shove from another vehicle, so you shoot at the engine block to disable it. If that doesn’t work, you kill the driver. I can’t tell you how many times soldiers didn’t have the time for this, and just shot the guy, or the engine shot ricochetted and killed the driver. No one gets in trouble. We pay the guy/family and the mission goes on.
2) Pilots were mentioned earlier. Please note that even pilots have to get clearance to drop something. In our area, it took an O6 to clear it. The planes don’t have immediate threats to deal with, so it’s no problem to take those 2 minutes to clear it. They’re accountable too.