Martin P. Schweitzer
Retired Brigadier General, United States Army
10th MTN Troops deploying again …why do we announce it?

10th MTN Troops deploying again …why do we announce it?

After almost 30 years in the uniform, I have never understood why DoD and the White House feel compelled to announce deployments of soldiers into combat zones.  These announcements are not limited to either political party; both Democrat and Republican leadership from the WH and DoD have announced deployments to specific theaters since 2003.  However, over time, we have not only announced which theaters, but we now have started to announced specific geographic areas within those theaters.  Here is my guidance to DoD and the WH.  SHUT UP!!!!

By making these announcements we create two problems for our troops.  Fist, we alert the threat we are coming with a specific sized force.  The enemy actually studies us and understands what the force can do and will start preparing to counter those capabilities.  Second and more of a concern is when our leadership announces “where “ the Troops are going within a theater like they have done with the 10th MTN Troops.  The enemy will start to prepare that specific part of the battlefield with more challenges for our soon to be arriving forces.  Those preparations could be setting negative conditions with the community in which we are deploying into as well as planning for the future emplacement of IEDs (types, size, etc).  We owe our soldiers better OPSEC and protection; we owe the Moms and Dads of those soldiers, along with their family’s better protection as well.

The decision to release this information is 100% politically driven.  Having been on the end of those deployments and watched the manifestation of the decision cycle to announce deployments …it is clear to me that nobody is benefited by that sharing of information – except the enemy.  Knock it off – the leaders who make the decision to share that information with the public are helping the enemy and hurting our troops.

12 Comments

  1. Anonymous
    February 11, 2016 at 10:23 pm · Reply

    Truer words never spoken. So sad the strategic is so detached from the Soldier and the Soldier will pay for it in blood.

  2. Jim Gast
    February 11, 2016 at 10:23 pm · Reply

    Great perspective- agree 100%. But logic seldom leads the decision-making process in Washington, as you are well aware.

  3. Anonymous
    February 12, 2016 at 1:49 am · Reply

    Love you!

  4. Scott
    February 12, 2016 at 1:57 am · Reply

    Sir, I fully agree!

  5. Todd
    February 12, 2016 at 2:08 am · Reply

    You write this as though those in the highest levels of leadership care about those concerns. Announcing troop deployments is a way to score political points for those who could care less about the impact it makes on service members lives. They understand the risks but feel as though gaining a level of political capital is worth the risk of losing lives. Those lost have zero impact on them as they greet caskets draped with the Anerican flag at the airport. They make their speech honoring those lost for their sacrifice yet knowing these lives could’ve been saved if only to sacrifice some political capital. It’s a “win win” for them as they regale themselves in the appearing tough on terrorism and when service members come home in a coughin, it’s an opportunity to esthetics of genuinely caring for others. It’s all bullshit….they know it, we know it, and it smells so bad everyone knows it. They don’t care and that’s the bottom line.

  6. Anonymous
    February 12, 2016 at 2:25 am · Reply

    Great advice to all Governments.. They need to understand they are not informing their electorates they are talking to their threats. Their actions not only endanger the soldiers they send into harms way but raise the emotional stress of the families left behind.

  7. Bernie Bernholz
    February 12, 2016 at 10:37 am · Reply

    You got it right sir, why do we as a nation feel the need to announce the deployment down to the grid square. In fact, as many of us remember Opsec training and the G-2 posters through out the unit area warned us to be ever vigilant against just such information getting into the wrong hands and was punishable under UCMJ, I still remember the AFRTS commercials reminding family members that they are held to that same standard.

  8. LTC(R) Matthew Leach
    February 12, 2016 at 2:55 pm · Reply

    Amen!

  9. Beau Baer
    February 12, 2016 at 3:12 pm · Reply

    So true! I’ve never understood the reasoning behind their decisions to release that information. It definitely does more harm and absolutely no good to our troops!

  10. Anonymous
    February 12, 2016 at 3:21 pm · Reply

    I couldn’t agree more. I’ve always wondered why they felt it necessary to announce deployments to the world. It can only do harm. Even the families don’t necessarily need to know the exact province.

  11. Tom Baltazar
    February 13, 2016 at 12:30 am · Reply

    The biggest challenge with your recommendation is the ever-growing divide between our political leaders… most of whom have not served nor have children who serve…and the troops. Unfortunatey our enemies will continue to exploit this gap and the politicians continue to be the smartest people they know…

  12. Mark Bateman
    February 14, 2016 at 3:26 am · Reply

    Spot on Sir!

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