In the 18th and early
19th centuries, three "huzzahs"
were given by British infantry before a charge, as a way of building
morale and intimidating the enemy. The book
Holmes indicates that this was given as two short 'huzzahs' followed
by a third sustained one as the charge was carried out.
Defend Our Marines headline, June 4, 2008: “Verdict in the
Lt Grayson trial---NOT GUILTY ON ALL COUNTS!”
one of the striking impressions of the Haditha case is the lack of
leadership demonstrated by the Marine General Officers. One of the
principles of leadership is to know your Marines and it is apparent
that the generals didn’t know Lt Grayson.
Haditha generals to not know their Marines is an unforgivable sin and
for this reason I believe they deserve their current embarrassment.
When six out of eight legal proceedings end with charges dismissed and
a not-guilty verdict, that is a pretty good indicator that the charges
were brought for political reasons. Frankly, the generals should know
better then to use “smoke and mirrors”.
descriptions of Lt Grayson speak of his abilities as an exceptional
Marine Officer. I never met or served with the lieutenant but I
honestly felt I understood him as a Marine because I have seen many
opinion, Lt Grayson is not exceptional but he is typical of the
majority of Marines. For young Marines, and especially lieutenants,
exceptional is expected and delivered as a matter of routine. In other
words, exceptional Marine Lieutenants are SOP (standard operating
procedure). Lt Grayson saw his legal issues as a matter of honor and I
would argue that is typical of most Marines. What is not typical, is
for the Marine Corps senior leadership to forget these values that are
instilled in our Marines.
selection of Marines is never an easy process. For example, if you
could poll of a typical high school senior class of maybe 200 to 300
seniors with the question, Do you want to be a United States
Marine? Most Marine recruiters will tell you not to expect more
than one or maybe two positive answers. Generally speaking, in order
to get one of these seniors to make the huge step of getting on the
boot camp bus, six to ten other committed seniors will most likely be
disqualified for an abundance of reasons. Standard Marine boot camp
attrition is 12 to 15%. OCS (Officer Candidate School) attrition can
be as high as 50% per class. In the slogan “The Few, the Proud, the
Marines”, I think all citizens, Marines and their relatives understand
the “Few” part.
everyone wants to be a Marine, but the few that do, demonstrate that
they possess that kernel of courage, honor and pride that Marine
training grows and forges so effectively. Lt Grayson is typical but
only from a Marine perspective. A few years back, my wife and I went
to see the movie, “A Few Good Men”. In that movie, Demi Moore spoke a
warning to Tom Cruise’s character that, “The Marines at Gitmo are
fanatical”. My wife giggled when she heard that line and when I asked
why she thought it was funny she stated: “The Marines at Gitmo are not
fanatical; you’re all fanatical. You can’t be a Marine and do the
things you do, unless your are a fanatic.” As a Marine, I understood
what my wife was saying. Yes, Marines are fanatics; we are fanatics
about pride, courage, honor and we believe with our souls that these
traits are not only essential in combat but also make us the best
warriors this country has to offer. (I can’t help but think that those
same thoughts motivated LtCol Chessani when he made his famous “My
Marines are not murders” statement.) Lt Grayson’s courage was
instilled by his parents, forge by his Marine training and honed in
combat on the Haditha battle field. For these reasons, the associated
Haditha generals should have know that Lieutenant Grayson would
demonstrate the courage to defeat the legal wranglings and “smoke” of
lawyers and political maneuvering and “mirrors” of the HQMC
Administrative Command Authority.
Grayson’s honor and courage, because he
did the right thing, in the right way, for the
Lt Grayson, his defense team and his supporters just shouted the
are now faced with the final two cases: LtCol Jeffrey Chessani and
SSgt Frank Wuterich. As hard as the six preceding cases have been, I
believe these final two are the main event for the Haditha matter and
will be the hardest for the defense to crack. If the Haditha incident
is going to be put to rest, these two cases have to be won by the
defense. Let us all remember there are two more cases to go and these
two Marines and especially their families will need all the support we
By the way, after
giving the order to fix bayonets, I also believe that the Chessani and
Wuterich defense teams have the prosecution and the Marine General
Officers ears ringing with the third shout of …
LtCol USMC Ret
Former Commander Kilo Company 3/1
6 June 2008
Read more by Bob Weimann:
The Sins of Generals: An open letter to
General Michael Hagee,
Commandant of the Marines Corps
(2003-2006), October 11, 2008.
The Case for a Squad Leader: SSgt Frank Wuterich in Haditha, July 25, 2008.
Open Letter to the Commandant of the United States Marine Corps concerning
the 3/1 Haditha Marines,
February 8, 2008.
Strategic Legalism, December 31, 2011.