Letter from General Helmly to Army Reserve Soldiers re: Abuses at Abu Ghraib Prison

General Helmly addresses the detainee abuse scandal involving Reserve soldiers. He commends the Reserve soldiers for their service while reminding them of their moral and ethical responsibilities as soldiers and their obligation to uphold the reputation of the Army Reserve.

Monday, May 17, 2004
Tuesday, April 5, 2005

WASHINGTON, OC 20310-2400
May 17, 2004

Chief, Army Reserve Staff Group
Fellow Army Reserve Soldiers:
By now, you have probably heard various accounts of detainee abuse at the Abu Ghraib detention facility in Iraq. Army Reserve Soldiers are named in most of these reports.
These offensive acts undermine and conflict with the emphasis on strong values and
respect for law and ethics to which-this institution adheres. The individuals who allegedly committed these crimes against detainees in Iraq will be dealt with in accordance with the due process of law and the Uniform Code of Military Justice. Though the media reports may make it appear this matter was just uncovered, the public revelations are actually the result of a thorough, deliberate effort to ensure the detention facilities were being operated correctly, an effort instituted after a courageous Soldier stepped forward.
As Commander of the US Army Reserve Command, 1 accept my responsibility to lead this organization in a manner fully consistent with law and Army values. The Army Reserve's mission is to provide trained and ready units and Soldiers to the Army. To ensure we can accomplish this mission, my job is to set and enforce the policies and standards that our organization and its members will follow. It is also my responsibility to ensure our organization remains sensitive and responsive to the needs of our Soldiers, their families and employers.
As Soldiers in this organization, we all accept responsibilities, and at all times are responsible and accountable for our personal actions and conduct. When we take the oath of service, we agree to support and defend the Constitution of the United States. The oath is a promise and a commitment. It is enduring and inescapable.
Wearing the uniform means taking responsibility for our actions by living the Army values and the Warrior Ethos. integrity means we do what is right, legally and morally. Personal courage means we face fear, danger and adversity. Selfless service means we put the welfare of our Nation, the Army, and our subordinates ahead of our own. The Warrior Ethos makes a difference on the battlefield: 1 will always place the mission first. l will never accept defeat. I will never quit. I will never leave a fallen comrade. Throughout history, Soldiers have lived the American values and upheld the standards of ethical coRduct that laid the foundation for the law of land warfare and the Geneva Convention. Make no mistake — livinnhe Army values and the Warrior Ethos is not easy to do, but it is the right thing to do.
Finally, as a member of the Army Reserve, we assume a leadership role both within the organization and elsewhere. Family, friends, neighbors, co-workers, business and community professionals in our hometowns admire and respect our service and sacrifice. Our daily actions should reflect that trust and confidence. Leaders at all levels must do the right thing for the right reason — always!
002036 7 5

DOD 000995


For ail these reasons, duty in the Army Reserve represents a serious commitment of purpose. As members of the Army Reserve, we accept a shared responsibility to ensure the integrity of the institution that has been an integral part of the Army for nearly 100 years. We have suffered many casualties in this war. We cannot and will not allow our reputation as selfless servants upholding the highest values to become one of those casualties.
As we continue our mission, we must honor the sacrifice of our fallen, wounded, and captured comrades by conducting ourselves, at all times and in all situations, in a respectful and law-abiding manner. 1 am proud of you, the magnificent men and women who volunteered to fill the ranks ofihe Army Reserve. God Bless you, your family, your employers, and the United States of America.
James R. elmly Lieutenant General, US Army Chief, Army Reserve

DOD 000996