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Marked for Destruction


2011-09-24-110438cc1000Combat Medic in 4-4 Cav: Not Wearing Red Cross

The Red Cross specifically means that the wearer is unarmed.  Only non-combatants are to display the symbol.  There is no security violation in saying that our helicopters sporting Red Crosses all are unarmed.  That is exactly what we are trying to advertise.

The enemies in Afghanistan will shoot down any helicopter.  And so, if the Army insists on using unarmed helicopters for MEDEVAC missions, it makes doubly no sense to advertise that the helicopter is defenseless, all while literally helping the enemy to aim.

2011-09-24-105447cc10004-4 Cav Soldiers firing mortar during minor firefight

It must border on criminal negligence to order our people to advertise that they are unarmed while knowing that the enemy will fire upon them.  At minimum, the US Army is displaying incompetence and a lack of sense.  The Marines, Air Force, and British do not so encumber their helicopters.  After ten years of war we know that the enemy shoots at all helicopters.  We know that forcing our warriors to advertise themselves as unarmed welcomes attack.  We know that the Red Cross literally makes an easier target for aiming.  After ten years of war, the Army has not adapted to this obvious reality.  

If the Army insists on pushing unarmed Soldiers into combat, it should at minimum remove the advertisement that notifies the enemy of an easy target.  With the Red Cross, our people cannot even bluff that they might have weapons.  Pushing unarmed Soldiers into combat while forcing them to advertise they are defenseless is wrong. 

Michael Yon

Michael Yon is America's most experienced combat correspondent. He has traveled or worked in 82 countries, including various wars and conflicts.

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