Essay on Bad Soldiers in Black Hearts by Jim Frederick

Essay on Bad Soldiers in Black Hearts by Jim Frederick

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Black Hearts tells the story of a few bad soldiers from 1st platoon, Bravo company of the 1-502nd Infantry Battalion of the 101st Airborne Division, that was plagued with toxic leadership and lack of control over soldiers. The book documents the events that led to the ultimate demise of the soldiers involved in the horrific incident that occurred on March 12, 2006. Four soldiers were arrested in the brutal murder of an Iraqi family, which was a result of the lack of leadership and structure these soldiers received. Black Hearts takes a deep look into what happened to this troubled platoon and what unfortunate events occurred during their deployment.
This whole battalion was at a disadvantage before they left the states, given the mission of replacing the 48th Infantry brigade in south Baghdad. Unlike the usual five to six months that a unit would typically get to conduct recons and gather intel on the AO that they would be occupying, 1st battalion was to gather all they could in 6 weeks. LTC Kunk was chosen by Col Ebel to head the fight in the population centers for the reason that he thought he would be engaging and capable of communicating others. This proved to be the first major problem in the chain of command that would hinder the efficiency of operations. While at JRTC preparing for the deployment 1st platoon, Bravo company made a tactical error resulting in the capture of 9 soldiers. Even with this information Kunk had developed a plan with no input from any of his company commanders, and he wouldn't accept any kind of input or use the assets that he had at his disposal. LTC had little to no bearing communicating with his subordinates, destroying the confidence in his commanders and ruining his communication lines. If th...


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...ront because he wouldn't ask his soldiers to do something that he himself would not be willing to do. He showed great personal courage by living this lifestyle, realizing that his chances of surviving the deployment was very slim and still volunteered to put his own life at risk as often as he could afford. He also was very loyal to the people to his left and right. He would take extra guard shift in order to allow his platoon members to get more sleep, taking the stress of constant action off of his subordinates. Although he was only in leadership for a short time he was still credited with allowing his platoon to maintain the relaxed standards that they initially struggled with and the cause for much of the abuse that they received from LTC Kunk. He was not upholding the standards and therefore not fulfilling his duty to maintain his platoon to the Army standard.

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