DOD Memo: Report of Alleged Law of War Violation

Memo details a complaint made by a Private First Class (PFC), alleging that his unit members engaged in unlawful behavior.
The PFC first alleged that while on patrol his platoon sergeant, a Sergeant First Class, ordered soldiers to fire upon unarmed and non-hostile civilians, including women and children. He stated that at least one person appeared injured-their arm was severed. The PFC also alleged that unit members placed enemy prisoners of war (EPWs) on the top of their utility vehicles (HMMWV), in between the brush guard and hood, and drove the vehicles with the EPWs in that position. He also stated that unit members beat the EPWs. He stated that he heard a section lost control on an Iraqi and beat him half to death, so badly that the hood of the HMMWV was covered in blood.
Finally, the PFC alleged that on numerous occasions, members of his unit stole property ('bricks' of money, Iraqi service medals, and other items) from the homes of Iraqi citizens.

Doc_type: 
Non-legal Memo
Doc_date: 
Wednesday, August 20, 2003
Doc_rel_date: 
Tuesday, December 20, 2005
Doc_text: 

DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY
HEADQUARTERS, Ili CORPS AND FORT HOOD
1001 76 1ST TANK BATTALION! AVENUF
FORT HOOD, TEXAS 76544-5000

REPLY TO
ATTENTION OF •
20 August 2003
MEMORANDUM THRU G3, Ill Corps & Fort Hood, Fort Hood, Texas 76544-5001
FOR Commanding General, HI Corps & Fort Hood, Fort Hood, Texas 76544-5001
SUBJECT: Report of Alleged Law of War Violation
-
1. Purpose. To report an alleged Law of War violation IAV/ Department of Defense
Directive (DoDD) 5100.77.
Synopsis of Allegation. A 4th Infantry Division (41D) soldier alleges during Operation
2.
Iraqi Freedom he witnessed the unlawful use of force against non-combatants, theft of
private property from Iraqi civilians, and the wrongful dispossession of private and/or
enemy property.

3. Complainant Data.
a Complainant. Private First Class
Brigade Reconnaissance Troop (Rear) (Provisional),
b. Current Unit of Assignment.
2d Brigade (Rear) (Provisional), 4th Infantry Division (Mechanized) (Rear) (Provisional).
PFCIllestates, and a unit representative confirms, that PFC
c. Current Status.
11111 was sent back from Iraq based on a diagnosis of "personality disorder." PFC///, and the unit representative advise, however, that when DACH personnel evaluated him, they determined that he did not suffer from a personality disorder, Coordination
PFC/lef
between this office and the attending psychologist confirmed that assertion.
is not pending any UCMJ action or administrative separation, although command plans
to initiate separation under the provisions of AR 535-200, paragraph 5-13 (personality

disorder).
d. Source of Complaint. In July 2003, PFC/Iareported to mental health personnel
at Fort Hood that he had witnessed rules of engagement violations while he was in Iraq.
the Chief, Criminal Law

in turn, the mental health personnel telephonically notified
Division, Ill Corps.

c„.37
_r,..77T
DOD-044860

AF7F-JA-MJ
SUBJECT: Repoi-tof,Alleged Law of War Violation
4. General -Nature,of the Allegations. On 31 July 2003, Major Chief, Criminal Law Division, III Corps, personally net with PFC to discuss the allegations. ••
The follio-wing represents a brief synopsis of that interview. A more detailed report of
allegatio-rvone, taken from PFC allhandwritten statement (enclosure 1) and his interview with the Chief, Criminal Law Division, is set forth at enclosure 2. Although use
of the term "alleged" is omitted from the following sub-paragraphs, all of the information
reported below is based on statements made by PFCIIII and has not been otherwise
substantiated or corroborated.
a. Allegation 1 - Unlawful use of force. PFC MN states that while on patrol he witnessed his platoon sergeant, Sergeant First Class/WM, order soldiers to fire an MK-19 on unarmed civilians (men, women, and children). In turn, soldiers directed grenades (from an MK-19) and M-16 fire at the civilians. All of the civilians were
unarmed and had not engaged in a hostile act or demonstrated a hostile intent,
although a single shot was heard from an area approximately 90 0 from the soldiers and 45° from the house. PFC comments indicate that several of the civilians were injured, to include one civilian who appeared to have had his arm severed.
b.
Allegation 2- Maltreatment of enemy prisoners of war. PFK NIstates that on at least one occasion, unit members placed EPWs on the top of a HMMWV and between the brUsh guard and hood. The vehicles would be driven with the EPWs in these positions. PFC alstates he was also told of soldiers in A Section who severely beat an EPW.

c.
Allegation 3- Theft of private property. PFC." relates that on numerous occasions-, members of his unit stole property from the home of Iraqi citizens and the property.of EPWs. PFC Illfrelates that soldiers stole items such as "bricks" of money, I raqi service medals, pibtures of Saddam Hussein, cigarette lighters, and t-shirts. Some soldiers would employ subterfuge to search the homes of Iraqi civilians, by following a car to a "nice" house and then claim that a search was necessary because the vehicle had fled from them.

4. Applicable Law Pertaining to Reporting Alleged Law of War Violations.
a. DoDD 5100.77 1 [enclosure 3], paragraph 4.3., provides that it "is DoD policy to ensure that . . . [all( reportable incidents committed by or against U.S. or enemy persons are promptly reported, thoroughly investigated, and, where appropriate, remedied by corrective action."
_Electronic version.
DOD-044861

AFZF-JA-MJ
SUBJECT:, Report of Alleged Law of War Violation

b.
DoDD 5100.77, paragraph 6.1., provides that "[a]l} military and civilian personnel assigned to or accompanying a DoD Component shall report . reportable incidents through their chain of command. Such reports may also be made through other channels such as the military police, a judge advocate, or an Inspector General. Reports that are made to officials other those specified in this subsection shall, nonetheless, be accepted and immediately forwarded through the recipient's chain of command."

c.
III Corps & Fort Hood Regulation 27-2 [enclosure 4], paragraph 6a, provides that "[a]ll suspected incidents will be investigated."

5. Recommendation.
-a. Promptly forward this information through command and operational channels so that a prompt investigation can be conducted and recorded, and appropriate remedial action taken, as necessary, in accordance with the DoD directive.
b. I Will forward the allegations to SJAs at CENTCOM, V Corps, and 4ID for informatiOn purposes.
6. POC is, LTCANNIIIIW at (254) 28711/1a Me) 2-
-
Ends
1.
Copy - PFC MI statement COL, JA

2.
Overview of allegation 1 Staff Judge Advocate

3.
DoDD 51'00.77

4. III Corps & FH Regulation 27-2
C.34..59
DOD-044862

Doc_nid: 
4145
Doc_type_num: 
63