Monday, March 16, 2009

Help This American Soldier Captain Roger Hill


I know this story has nothing to do with Schuylkill County soldiers but this story is a travesty to the American fighting man. This American soldier defending our way of life and protecting his men is once again caught up in this anti military liberal hatred of the U.S. Military and it makes me sick. Please read this story and act appropriately in contacting the Secretary of the Army or even this new President. Captain Roger Hill fully deserves an apology and his Honorable Discharge.
Capt. Hilll
Help Captain Roger Hill
by Lauren Hill

I am writing on behalf of my husband, Captain Roger Hill, and our entire family. Roger is now home (Fort Campbell, KY) awaiting the characterization of service from the Army. He expects to know something between four to six weeks from now.

You may have read about Roger's circumstances in either the Washington Post or World Magazine. They detail the challenges he and his men faced while in Wardak, Afghanistan this past year. Wardak is the province the Army has chosen to begin its spring 2009 troop surge into Afghanistan. Over 1,200 Soldiers from the Army's 10th Mountain Division are now surging into Wardak as a replacement to the 89 Soldiers of Roger's company. Wardak is the size of Connecticut.

Roger is facing an Other Than Honorable discharge from the Army as a result of the events outlined in those articles. All the people I have spoken to about this situation feel that Roger's actions were more than honorable as is his total time in service.

We hope to enlist your help in joining our letter writing campaign to the Secretary of the Army. The Human Resource Command (HRC) will review Roger's discharge packet and make a recommendation as to the characterization of his service to the Secretary of the Army Pete Geren.

Here are the facts.

1) Overview:

Captain Hill has served three overseas tours including his current tour as an Infantry Company Commander in support of Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF) in 2008.
Captain Hill also completed a twelve month combat tour as a part of Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF). For his duty and performance in Iraq, he was awarded the Bronze Star and the Combat Infantryman's Badge. While in Iraq, he served on multiple Transition Teams based out of Qayyarah of the Nineweh province and Ar Ramadi of the Al Anbar province. He mentored and fought alongside Iraqi infantry units from the platoon level up to brigade level staff.
In addition to the above awards, he is also Airborne, Air Assault and Ranger qualified. Captain Hill has been awarded the Expert Infantryman's Badge, three Army Commendation Medals, and three Overseas Ribbons as well as a number of other awards and medals during his over twelve plus years of collective Army Service.
He also served in the U.S. Army's prestigious Old Guard as a platoon leader and executive officer from 2002 to 2004. Captain Hill was hand selected to serve as the officer in charge (OIC) for the funerals of many dignitaries and fallen comrades. One such privilege included serving as the Guard of Honor OIC for former President Reagan's funeral (see pictures attached). Captain Hill's dress blues uniform coat, along with his commander's awards and decorations, was selected for permanent display at the Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California.
He also served as a platoon leader (mechanized and rifle), Assistant Battalion Operations Officer and as an Infantry Officer Basic Course Instructor where he trained and mentored dozens of Infantry Platoon Leaders that are currently fighting the Global War on Terror.
As reflected by all of his many officer evaluation reports (OERs), he was considered a top performer in every position that he held all with "promotion" designations.
He is a graduate of the United States Military Academy (West Point) with a Bachelor's of Science degree in Environmental Engineering.
2) Highlights of Current OEF Deployment (2008) with events that led to the Article 32 pre-trial hearing:

Captain Hill's company, the smallest infantry company in the brigade, was responsible for the entire province of Wardak. Wardak is equal to the state of Connecticut in total area with a population of 527,000.
Wardak is also one of the most kinetic operating areas for the brigade. His company suffered thirty wounded in action (WIA) and two killed in action (KIA) during their first six months in Wardak. This was approximately one third of Captain Hill's less than ninety man infantry company.
Despite the casualties, Dog Company's reenlistment retention rate was the highest in the Brigade.
In mid-August, Dog Company suffered the worst possible outcome in combat. First Lieutenant (1LT) Donnie Carwile and Specialist (SPC) Paul Conlon were killed in action (KIA) in an intricately planned and complex ambush along HWY 1. SPC Conlon and 1LT Carwile died from wounds suffered from an improvised explosive device (IED) just days before the events in question.
After verifying with several classified sources, Captain Hill along with a temporarily attached counter intelligence (CI) team, confirmed that there was an intelligence leak on forward operating base (FOB) Airborne. Through the use of classified technologies, Captain Hill and his CI team collected incontrovertible evidence against twelve Afghan spies who were providing intelligence to the enemy.
A feint operation to the same location SPC Conlon and 1LT Carwile were killed was conducted to verify that the infiltrators on the FOB were giving information about troop movements, locations and movement times. The enemy was waiting for the Soldiers on patrol that day just as they were the day SPC Conlon and 1LT Carwile were killed in action.
Repeated calls were made to Dog Company's battalion headquarters to coordinate for transfer of these twelve infiltrators to the battalion's custody in accordance with standard protocol. As evidenced in the Article 32 hearing, Dog Company's requests for assistance and/or guidance went unanswered. Soon those spies would be on the streets due to a theater wide time constraint on the custody of detainees.
* Captain Hill did not consider the consequences of his actions with respect to his career. Rather, his focus was on the possible consequences to his Soldiers if he took no action. None of the twelve detainees were hurt. This was confirmed by the base physician assistant's examinations, the battalion's Executive Officer who examined each detainee before transfer and in a personal written statement given by one of the twelve detainees.
After the Article 32 hearing was complete, the Article 32 officer stated that he found no indication that the actions taken by Captain Hill, First Sergeant Scott or their Soldiers were by nature unusually cruel, sadistic or that they were amused by what they did.
The Article 32 officer also stated that Dog Company was extended beyond its capabilities and that he believed that their actions were taken with a sincere desire to protect their Soldiers.
Captain Hill's actions resulted in obtaining valuable and potentially lifesaving intelligence.
The interrogations lasted less than thirty minutes.
3) Personal Considerations:

Like all military families, Captain Hill's wife and family have sacrificed much for the Army. He has spent almost three of his six years of marriage preparing for, and deployed overseas in combat. As Dog Company's Family Readiness Group (FRG) leader, his wife, Lauren, played an active role in the lives of every Dog Company family. Lauren's many duties included assisting with casualty notifications to the families of Soldiers of Dog Company who were either killed or wounded in combat. Dog Company suffered more casualties than any company in its battalion. Lauren volunteered to do all of this, in addition to her full time career as a public servant. She is a Masters degreed teacher of children with special needs at a public elementary school outside of Ft. Campbell. She has volunteered to bear a heavy burden for the Army and its families. The Army and infantry life style has also taken a heavy toll on Captain Hill's body over the past twelve years. Early in his career, he sustained a cervical spine injury in an Army combative course. His injury was misdiagnosed by the Army health care system at the time of the injury. By the time a proper diagnosis had been rendered, years had passed and irreversible damage had been done. Despite the injury and misdiagnosis, he completed every duty that the Army would ask of an infantry officer. An Other Than Honorable discharge would certainly limit if not eliminate the Army's responsibility for continued care.

An HONORABLE discharge is the only decent resolution to this case. Please write Secretary of the Army Pete Geren and express your opinion that this good soldier deserves an honorable discharge on behalf of his service to his country.

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