Michael's Dispatches

Powerful Statement from the Marines


16 December 2011

This powerful statement comes from the Commandant of the Marine Corps.  I like it.


Statement from the Commandant of the Marine Corps Gen. James F. Amos

The series of McClatchy news articles have cast doubt on the decision to award the Congressional Medal of Honor to Sergeant Dakota Meyer.  I stand firmly behind the process and the decision to award the Medal of Honor to Sgt Meyer.

The Medal of Honor is our nation's highest award for bravery.  Fittingly, it involves the most demanding of investigations and multiple levels of review.  This process, followed scrupulously in this and other cases, is designed to confirm with as much certainty as possible that the level of bravery and self sacrifice displayed is worthy of this singular honor.  Selflessness of this caliber cannot be measured under ordinary circumstances, because the ordinary does not evoke the extraordinary.  Rather, the Medal of Honor requires that a display of heroism take place under the most difficult circumstances our service members can face.  With life and death hanging in the balance, brave warriors, like Sgt Meyer and those who have gone before him, override their natural, instinctive impulses of self preservation and risk their lives to save others.  Our highest honors are reserved for those who perform such deeds in combat while facing the enemy and braving his fire.

The Marine Corps has reviewed the investigations, the many and varied statements submitted by those who observed the battle in the Ganjgal Valley, the statements of those who participated in pieces of it, and the multiple reviews and endorsements confirming that Sgt Meyer exhibited the rare courage and selflessness worthy of our nation's highest military honor.  The ambush and ensuing six hour firefight was without a doubt a "life defining event" for those present that fall morning.  As such, it was seen and subsequently recorded from many different perspectives, each with a personal view of how events unfolded.  This thorough review did not cause me to question the extraordinary heroism of, then, 21 year-old Corporal Meyer, nor the worthiness of the award; just the opposite occurred.  Sworn testimonies substantiated the events of that morning and the extreme heroism of Dakota Meyer.  The facts are that he saved many lives and recovered the bodies of his fallen comrades.  In this, he did not act alone; other brave warriors-soldiers and Marines and Afghans-were also in the fight for their lives.

In the final analysis, I did not find cause to question any single fact, nor minor discrepancy that may be buried in descriptions of a battle that lasted for hours and evoked such bravery in our troops.  My only question is - where do we find such men?

Gen. James F. Amos
35th Commandant of the United States Marine Corps

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  • This commment is unpublished.
    Mike Barnett · 9 years ago
    • This commment is unpublished.
      DC Rapé · 9 years ago
      The fog of war, over a drawn out fire fight, with views from across the various angles of the battle field further complicated by adrenaline and fear, will never make for a clear picture of what unfolded when. Gen Amos has done th right thing, the right way for the right reason. What was supposed to be the point in the McClatchey article? That the investigation was flawed? Clearly Myers deserved the MOH. Frankly, not enough of them are awarded.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    scotch7 · 9 years ago
    Amen sir.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    The Sanity Inspector · 9 years ago
    No matter what finally happens over there once we're out, no one can say we didn't send our best.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Katherine Zeiser · 9 years ago
    Thank you for Posting. I am so proud of Gen. James F. Amos, the
    5th Commandant of our great Marine Corps - with his words to silence the accusations! Our son who served two tours in Iraq as a leader of Marines summed it up... saying that our Medal of Honor winners are "some Bad Ass" men, brave and outstanding...
  • This commment is unpublished.
    in_awe · 9 years ago
    Semper Fi
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Mike Hughes · 9 years ago
    I'm a combat vet from who served in the Marine Corps in Viet Nam. I have had the opportunity to meet Sgt. Meyer at the Pro Am this past summer. I also spent over 5 years working for the so-called mainstream press. The McClatchy piece is typical of the crap that flows daily out of Washington, DC and should be taken for just what it is - crap.

    May God bless Commandant Amos for standing behind Sgt. Meyer
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Bill Ewing · 9 years ago
    Who the Hell is this McLatchey character?

    Tis idiot isn't even on my radar. Maybe he/she should be.

    MSgt USAF (Ret)
    • This commment is unpublished.
      Kip Gardner · 9 years ago
      McClatchy is a news service, like Associated Press. I don't know what reporter or reporters were assigned to do the story, so I can't 'pin' this story on any one individual. McClatchy generally tries to present an 'objective' view, although a lot of their reporting tends to lean to the right of the political spectrum. why they chose to release a "monday morning quarterback" story about an issue that should never have even been raised, I don't know. what purpose does it serve to second guess an obvious act of heroism from the comfort of a newsroom?
      • This commment is unpublished.
        George Parks · 9 years ago
        McClatchy is very much like AP, your typical MSM outlet. To describe them as leaning to right is utterly preposterous.
        Shame on them, typical anti-military clap-trap.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Heywood Jablomi · 9 years ago
    Apologies for my terminology, I realize that this page is PG-rated, but my gentlemanly facade will slip under sufficient provocation, and this case qualifies.

    Semper Fi.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Ronald Schultz · 9 years ago
    As a 1954-56 Marine I agree with my commandant. If he says award the metal then it should be awarded. Semper Fi. and God Bless America. When the shooting starts call me . I'm 77 but I can still fire a rifle .
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Ret7 · 9 years ago
    Don't let him do that! probably make 'em rot and fall off.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Graeme Dayton · 9 years ago
    Thank you Michael for a great post---one of many in support of the great men and women who fight for this country and in this case, another great Marine--this award should never have been questioned in any way--

    Thank you Sgt. Meyer--a true American hero
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Rudy · 9 years ago
    For posting - this nails it shut for me,Michael,
  • This commment is unpublished.
    wpapke · 9 years ago
    Who gives a damn what McScrewy says.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    CB · 9 years ago
    I read the McClatchy article in its entirety today. For the record, it does not insinuate Cpl Meyer does't deserve the award; on the contrary, it says he probably does based on the evidence not in dispute. The contention is that portions of the narrative were exaggerated or entirely unsubstantiated, and possibly for political reasons.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Jeff Callender · 9 years ago
    Semper Fi!
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Traci W. · 9 years ago
    Where do we find them indeed?! It is a question I have asked many times. Truly extraordinary men and women. We as a nation are truly blessed and should never tire of showing the honor and respect they deserve.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    stefan h · 9 years ago
    semper fi all marines all heroes if only to the corp and ones self we few we proud forever hoooo raaah
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Singadick · 9 years ago
    For those who haven't taken the time to check out the original article, here is McClatchy's summary on his home page:

    Crucial parts ... are untrue, unsubstantiated or exaggerated. The inflated citation was probably unnecessary, as by all accounts Meyer deserved the honor.

    Could it be that the award authors are well aware of the inability of Members of Congress to understand factual reports, and felt it necessary to resort to the same type of hyperbole used by politicians?

    To communicate effectively you have to speak the same language. So speaking to a politician requires exaggeration, appeal to emotion, spin, etc -- just so they can understand your message. :lol:
    • This commment is unpublished.
      catchesthewind · 9 years ago
      I seriously doubt that members of congress read the citations for the award. Given the levels of approving authorities that are involved by the time the Commandant of the Marine Corps signs off on it that is probably all Congress looks at. Personally I would like to see Congress left out of the approval process. By the time God, I mean the Commandant, approves who would dispute him.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    John-Capt in ANG · 9 years ago
    You'll find a class of them graduating every week at MCRD - San Diego and Perris Island. ;-)
  • This commment is unpublished.
    jhstuart · 9 years ago
    Suggested reading on this event is well documented by Bing West in The Wrong War who has spent considerable time with the Marines in Afghanistan. Frankly, the MOH citation is, if anything, understated.

    McClatchey is a zero in search of significance.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    NavyOne · 9 years ago
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Judy Buchan · 9 years ago
    Thanks for posting this MIchael. I can only add two comments: Amen, sir! and Semper Fi!
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Bernie Mahoney · 9 years ago
    Great job keeping other "journalists", with their biased reporting of less than all the facts, honest. And a sharp salute to Gen. Amos - the Brotherhood is only as tight as its leaders, and he has shown by his actions his unwavering loyalty to his men. Semper Fi and De Oppresso Liber !!
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Bob Kausen · 9 years ago
    Knowing Mc Clatchy news service (Sacramento Bee) I would take the word of Marine Corps Gen. James F. Amos over this reporter any time, any day, anywhere! There is no reason to embellish the facts presented by the people who were There. I believe the Mc Clatchy news service owes Dakota Meyer and the Marine Corp an apology.
    And speaking of the Medal of Honor I really would like someone to renew the case of Sergeant Rafael Peralta 1st Battalion, rd Marine Regiment, rd Marine Division, III Marine Expeditionary Force ...He
    Was denied the MOH by a report from a Neurologist to Then Secretary Gates which stated medically
    It was impossible to do what was reported. Everyone in the room said he reached out and pulled the
    Grenade under him and smothered the blast. It’s a wrong that needs to be righted..
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Timothy Roesch · 9 years ago
    At the end of General Amos' well written letter comes this question: My only question is - where do we find such men?

    Now, this might be rhetorical so I will answer it rhetorically as well:

    General, in answer to your question concerning where such men as Cpl Meyer are found allow me to answer in one word-America.
    Just as it is easy to forget that, when you are up to your ass in alligators that your job was to drain the swamp it is sometimes just as difficult to understand that what is wrong with America can be fixed by what is right with America. Instead of rhetorical questions maybe a more important question should be 'Why, after all this investigation, did someone question Cpl Meyer's actions?' Maybe the spotlight needs to be turned on those who seek to diminish and denigrate those things that make us all great and bring people like Cpl Meyer to the surface of this sea of greatness.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Rick · 9 years ago
    Let those who have been in the crucible of battle judge; otherwise sit back and have a nice tall glass of shut the hell up.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    John Fluker · 9 years ago
    "Why in hell can't the Army do it if the Marines can? They are the same kind of men; why can't they be like Marines?"

    -Gen. John J. Pershing, USA; 12 February 1918

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