Crime in Black Hearts by Jim Frederick

1938 Words8 Pages
The book Black Hearts begins by painting an awful picture of a crime scene that was reported to 1st platoon Bravo Company of the 1-502nd 101st Airborne Division. The soldiers that are sent to investigate find that an entire family has been murdered, the daughter had been raped, and someone attempted to set the house ablaze, the family had all been killed in a seemingly brutal execution, while investigating one of the NCOs found a shotgun shell which he thought was strange because most Iraqis do not use shotguns. He compiled the evidence to be sent up to higher and they chalked it up as another Iraqi on Iraqi sectarian execution. Then the book takes us to before any of that happened, the book focuses on a battalion in the 101st Airborne Division, leading the battalion was Ltc. Kunk, he ruled with an Iron fist and was very hard on his subordinates. Within the battalion the book focuses primarily on Bravo Company, who was headed by Cpt. Goodwin. Goodwin was a competent leader but Ltc. Kunk had a reputation for being very hard on his company commanders and having very little faith in their abilities. Pre-deployment while at JRTC (Joint Readiness Training Center) he would explode on his commanders, and tell them that they were doing everything wrong, criticizing and degrading them. This wore down on his commanders and especially Goodwin, Goodwin would begin to second guess his decisions, making him less effective as a leader and making him make more mistakes than before, this would make Kunk even more upset and he would berate him even more than he would in the first place. The battalion would be deploying into the “Triangle of Death” a patch of ground south of Baghdad. It ran along one of the major highways that led into Bag...

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... patrols and his men had very little trust in him because he would not do anything that he was asking them to do. He was however a good leader in that he did not give up on his men like SFC Gallagher did. He had a plan going into the situation and did not let his inexperience detour him. He knew the platoon he was going to was a problem platoon and he accepted the challenge and attacked it head on. He held the men to a higher standard than they had been in the past and tried to pick them up and dust them off. He aided 1LT Norton in reviving 1st platoon and building their morale back up, they were just getting back on their feet when the incident at JSB happened where two soldiers went missing and then the rape and murder was investigated effectively ending 1st platoons deployment, but nonetheless SFC Fenlason was there through it all and stuck with his platoon.
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