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CPT Jim Schwebach. If you are receiving hostile fire, whether in an offensive posture moving to contact or a defensive posture NDP or firebase stopping to care for a wounded Soldier takes you out of the fight and endangers other Soldiers in your unit. Mission first in this case means call for a medic and carry on. If you are disengaging or being extracted from a hot situation then bringing back your fallen comrades is part and parcel of your mission.

Vote down. I appreciate your response. Sgt Join to see 2 y. I agree. When disengaging or being extracted, your comrades are always part of the mission. CMSgt Mark Schubert. Posted 2 y ago. Without proper context, you do both at the same time - PART of your mission is to care for the "fallen" - which means to protect them from further injury, do triage, etc - the situation will dictate which you do first and obviously, you can't help them if you're dead.

SGT James Frazier. At the point it is mission first. Much like on D Day the troops were told not to stop and help wounded on the beaches but let the follow up medics care for them as the mission was to secure the LZs. I read the ethos I will not leave a body without ever effort to recover the remains. But, that is my take. Show More Comments. They were not sure he was dead. The illumination rounds revealed the location of the marines to all enemy for miles around. I would have expected they would immediately be extracted by choppers because their stealth mission had been completely compromised.


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On the contrary, they were required to spend many more days on forced marches on new missions that were added to the original missions. They were on half rations for the first several days then no rations at all for the rest. Requests for resupply were deliberately ignored because the colonel was pissed about how slow they were moving. Or weather conditions prevented re supply by chopper.

So where is the dead marine while all this is going on? Hanging in a poncho from two poles suspended on the shoulders of four marines. Those marines also had to carry their own packs and most of the pack and weapon of the dead marine were distributed among the other marines increasing their loads. The marine was in pieces when they found him. The pieces had to be wired together to keep them from falling out of the poncho.

In the jungle heat, the body quickly deteriorated giving off a near intolerable stench and attracting swarms of flies that tormented the body bearers. Repeated requests for a chopper to extract the body were not approved. The company finally sweet talked a chopper from another unit into taking it out. In other words, the concrete details of leave no one behind are a lot less fun than the bar stool abstract bragging about that self-righteous policy.

My impression was that transporting the dead marine for days increased the danger to the company by slowing them down, increased radio traffic that can be monitored by the enemy, increased chopper contact, when they finally got it. A chopper visiting your patrol in the bush, and leaving you there, advertises our location to the enemy for miles around.

Choppers are extremely noisy and easy to see when they fly much above tree-top level. If there is, it should be ended immediately. If there is not such a policy, the leaders of the military need to communicate that immediately to all members of the military units that purport to have such a policy, as well as to the public. During Vietnam, Army soldiers had one-year tours. Marines had month tours.

I know of no reason for this other than interservice one-upsmanship. When I wondered aloud how many Marines died during that one-up thirteenth month, a Marine I was talking to said something to the effect of no one because they were all sent to a rear area during that month. In that case, I again ask, what was the point, if not mere one-upsmanship?

Important life-and-death, military doctrine and policy should not be set by adolescent privates and corporals seeking bragging rights in local taverns. Neither should it be set by Hollywood scriptwriters seeking phony drama. I never heard of this until around , yet it is depicted as a year old U.

I spent 47 months at West Point, which is the heart of the heart of the U. There is no longer course for becoming anything in any branch of the military. Not even close. We were indoctrinated in the U. In the barracks, in formations, in the mess hall, in class, in summer training. That stuff was carved into the walls all over West Point. We had to memorize it. On our first day at West Point, we all got a small hardcover book titled Bugle Notes that has all that sort of stuff in it.

But it damned well has everything else of such nature indicating that if there had been such a policy back then——it would be in Bugle Notes. NEVER, in all that time, or in my year of additional training after graduation, did I hear one word about how we were to conduct ourselves with regard to dead comrades. Not one word. As far as POWs, it went without saying, and is part of the Geneva Convention, that prisoners are to be returned to each side at the end of a war.

Hundreds of Americans became prisoners of the other side on a weekly basis in all our wars. Nobody went looking for them except in isolated cases where it would not interfere with accomplishment of normal missions. But it was a special case, not any ancient policy of the U. S military policy of never leaving a soldier behind. I do not have access to NEXUS, a paid service, and Google is not adequate for finding when such historical things began.

This so-called long-term policy is now in some official U. It is a colossally stupid policy that has already, and will continue to, get good men killed for no good purpose. And it is about a five-year old policy apparently invented by some drunken Marines in their never-ending quest for one-upsmanship against the Army—then later adopted, along with the lie that it has always been our policy, by officers who should have had more character. I first heard that it was only a marine policy. Then it suddenly became the entire U. Total BS. So much so that Rangers actually dug up the decomposing bodies of the remainder of POW Lynch's comrades who had been killed or died in captivity.

Robert Matson. It may have its place in certain elite units or assault troops to maintain esprit de corps, but I concur that in line units its a ridiculous policy. This policy was first implemented in late , and is incorporated into "The Soldier's Creed": I am an American Soldier. I am a Warrior and a member of a team. I serve the people of the United States, and live the Army Values. I will always place the mission first. I will never accept defeat.

I will never quit. I will never leave a fallen comrade. I am disciplined, physically and mentally tough, trained and proficient in my warrior tasks and battle drills. I always maintain my arms, my equipment and myself. I am an expert and I am a professional. I stand ready to deploy, engage, and destroy, the enemies of the United States of America in close combat. I am a guardian of freedom and the American way of life.

I am an American Soldier. And yet it seems to me that I can remember "never leave a man behind" as a "classic phrase" that seems to have been born in the 80s or thereabouts John T. Reed I have a question for my fellow vets from decades ago. These ceremonies they do now in the combat zone for guys who are killed in combat—boots, rifle stuck in the ground with a helmet on top, calling roll—did we do that stuff in Vietnam, Korea, World W ar II? Only two guy guys were killed in the units I was in during Vietnam.

My recollection is they were gathered up into a body bag and shipped to some unit that took care of that. Maybe a moment of silence among their squad or platoon mates at the next supper meal. But no large formation elaborate ceremony. I only found one of the rd Airborne Hill in a Google Search, plus a burial at sea. I do not recall ever all the Hollywood melodrama with the exception of the traditional Naval burials at sea which I do remember being observed in WW II Navy newsreels and movies.

I am not so much against these ceremonies, but it seems to me we got along without them for two centuries.

Podcast: The Spear – Never Leave a Fallen Comrade

I have a general sense that the U. Too much victim; not enough victor. As if the U. Oh, it was embroidered by my grandmother for my grandfather. During the Korean War. Seems like West Point left something out. Reed Apparently. The Code of Conduct, which I believe was created in the aftermath of the Korean War, has no mention of leaving comrades behind.

There are scenes in the Longest Day about the paratroopers leaving fallen comrades hanging from trees all over St. Mer Iglise. Also frozen American were found lying all over in the Bastogne area in months after they died. The live soldiers were busy fighting the Germans and would have though you were nuts to tell them to collect dead bodies. The dead were something to deal with after the battle was over.

Never leave a fallen comrade

Derek, that's from The Code of Conduct. But, as Mr. Reed points out, there is no mention of not leaving the fallen behind in the Code of Conduct. I am an American fighting man.

Warrior Ethos

I serve in the forces which guard my country and our way of life. I am prepared to give my life in their defense. I will never surrender of my own free will. If in command, I will never surrender my men while they still have the means to resist.

Ft. Hood Relived: "Never Leave a Fallen Comrade" - CBS News

If I am captured, I will continue to resist by all means available. I will make every effort to escape and aid others to escape. I will accept neither parole nor special favors from the enemy. If I become a prisoner of war, I will keep faith with my fellow prisoners. I will give no information, or take part in any action which might be harmful to my comrades. If I am senior, I will take command. If not, I will obey the lawful orders of those appointed over me and will back them up in every way.

When questioned, should I become a prisoner of war, I am bound to give only name, rank, service number and date of birth. I will evade answering further questions to the utmost of my ability. I will make no oral or written statements disloyal to my country and its allies or harmful to their cause. I will never forget that I am an American fighting man, responsible for my actions, and dedicated to the principles which made my country free.

I will trust in my God and in the United States of America. Note: Prior to the Vietnam Conflict, violation of any of the above code elements could result in trial by Courts Martial. After learning of the atrocities inflicted on our personnel held prisoner in that action, it was determined that requiring strict compliance to such a demanding code was not always possible. It should stand as a guide to personal conduct but enforcement as a point of law is questionable. Brian Kurtz.

I will be the voice opposition here.

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I will say that in Marine Corps boot camp in the year it was very clear that no Marine is ever left behind. This was actually positioned as a distinction about our branch. As in, "WE don't leave our own behind, but those dime-a-dozen Army pukes will leave each other to bleed out needlessly on the battlefield as they do what they do best But let's just say that the idea WAS out there. I will say though that it wasn't clearly outlined what "No Marine Left Behind" really meant. I was never under the impression that we were going to pack out dead bodies.

Seemed to me to mean that if your fellow Marine was injured and was not able to fall back to the rally point for extraction in the event that our forces were being temporarily pushed back, then even if bullets are flying we were NOT going to leave that guy to bleed out on the battle field. I think that this packing-out-our-dead thing has come about because of what happened in Mogadishu. Video has changed the world and it has changed military policy.

Both American servicemen and Americans in general are really averse to the idea of the naked bodies of our fallen being dragged around by savages. The Nazis killed, British killed, the Mexicans killed. But they don't drag people's naked bodies around. And when the Native Americans scaled people, they didn't put it on YouTube for the whole world to see. The particular breed of savages we are dealing with now are body desecrators AND but they're "intelligent" savages.

Intelligent enough to run cell phone cameras, upload to YouTube, and post the link on Twitter. I think that what has happened is that we have developed a new priority. Winning isn't enough. Winning AND making sure that our fallen are not dishonored is a requirement. Apparently, we're willing to spend whatever tax dollars necessary to ensure that this happens. The second one at least. Christian R.


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  • I saw the thread and figured I could shed some light. The "Soldier's Creed" and the "Army Values" it references are relatively recent constructs intended to simultaneously raise morale after the lows of the Clinton administration and pav See More. There were more Brits and other Allies. Stephen Fitton. And I think Guy Gormley might correct me but the rifle stuck in the ground by the bayonet with the helmet on it dates to WWI if not earlier.

    Larlee h. Yes, the planted rifle began as a simple way to mark bodies for graves registration details that would follow later. Grahm Donovan As Mr. Larlee noted, " I will never leave a fallen comrade" was enshrined in the Ranger Creed, created back in , so it's not exactly a new sentiment. Ranger Creed. The 75th Ranger Regiment is more than just a unit. Being a ranger is a lifestyle unlike any other with a creed like no