Letter from Lieutenant General James R. Helmly, US Army Chief, Army Reserve to Army Reserve Soldiers re: Abu Ghraib

Letter from Lieutenant General James R. Helmly, US Army Chief, Army Reserve to Army Reserve Soldiers re: Abu Ghraib. The letter addresses the allegations of detainee abuse and the need for Army reservists to uphold the Army Code of Conduct and ethos of a soldier when on duty and in accomplishing their assigned mission.

Monday, May 17, 2004
Sunday, January 30, 2005

WASHINGTON, DC 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

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, I 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: I will always place the mission first. I 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 conduct that laid the foundation for the law of land warfare and the Geneva Convention. Make no mistake — living the 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! "1:14040•64,took
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For all 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. I am proud of you, the magnificent men and women who volunteered to fill the ranks of the Army Reserve. God Bless you, your family, your employers, and the United States of America.
James R. Helmly , Lieutenant General, US Army Chief, Army Reserve
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