This week in Army Times' print edition: Screwed by rules of engagement … Rough jumpers … List of new commanders


How rules of engagement destroy careers and cost lives

An Army captain gave a master sergeant the go-ahead to kill an insurgent in Afghanistan who was plotting an attack on a medical convoy on its way to treat local women and children.

But shortly after the NCO killed the insurgent, both he and the captain were charged with murder and violating rules of engagement.

The rules of engagement, or ROE, govern when it’s OK to shoot and when it’s not. After-action reviews of commanders’ decisions have led to courts-martial, career-killing bad evals and endless second guessing.

Hesitating to act can also get troops in trouble. The careers of two Army officers were all but ended for repeatedly denying air and artillery support to a Marine company pinned down by insurgents.

See more about the dilemma for soldiers in the war zone, and what they should know, in this week’s Army Times.

The rough jumpers get ‘er done

The rough-terrain jumpers of the 57th Sapper Company make up a unit like no other. As part of a global response force, the paratroopers can get a foothold on any terrain anywhere in the world with just hours’ notice. They can do long-range recon, employ demolitions, sniff out IEDs, build fortifications, clear airfields, fight as infantry and reinforce Special Forces.

They can pack rubber boats, concrete saws and Jaws of Life for rescues.

Find out what makes these engineers a team that no conventional unit can match — and what they can do for others. Read about them in this week’s Army Times, on newsstands now.

Command selections announced: Who’s taking over brigades, battalions

The Army has announced names of nearly 1,300 field-grade officers and senior noncommissioned officers of the active component who were picked for brigade and battalion command, command sergeant major and key billet positions.

They were chosen by selection boards that met in recent months to select commanders, command sergeants major and key billet officers from the Army Competitive Category, Army Medical Department and Army Acquisition Corps.

Now the names are out. See Army Times this week for who’s slated to take command.

Online: More officers, senior NCOs selected for command

In addition to the names of new unit commanders, see these selection lists online at

—  Colonel Army Medical Department

—  Lieutenant Colonel Army Medical Department

— Colonel Army Acquisition Corps

— Lieutenant Colonel Army Acquisition Corps

— Brigade and Battalion Command Sergeant Major Special Operations Forces


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  1. Politics and war do not mix.I served in Iraq from 2003 to 2004, and I am glad I did not have to deal with this crazy R.O.E.. Also, we had a chain of command that backed every move we made. They were committed to bringing all troops home alive.


  2. Lawyers should not get the blame for the ROE. ROE are always, always, always set by the commanders and are informed by the parameters of the treaties the US has willingly subjected itself to (I would say “international law”, but that’s pejorative)). Commanders have become risk adverse. If you lived under a “zero defect” environment you would be risk adverse, too.

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