Commandant of the Marine Corps, Gen. James Amos, fired two of his generals on Monday.
The two-star generals, Maj. Gen. Charles M. Gurganus and Maj. Gen. Gregg A. Sturdevant were “forcibly retired”.
This action comes more than a year after the attack that killed two Marines at Camp Bastion in Afghanistan. The attackers also wounded eight and destroyed six Harrier jets during the assault in September.
Gurganus was commander of Regional Command-Southwest and Sturdevant was Marine aviation commander in the area. In the attack, 15 Taliban fighters dressed in U.S. Army uniforms cut through perimeter wires and penetrated the base.
The Commander of a Harrier squadron, Lt. Col. Christopher Raible, was killed as he led a counterattack on the Taliban infiltrators. Sgt. Bradley Atwell, 27, reportedly died from an exploding RPG round.
General Amos wrote that the two generals had a “sacred responsibility” to effectively protect their troops, but Gurganus made errors in assessing the Taliban’s strength. He also stated that Sturdevant failed to take adequate protection measures at the camp.
“Marines can never place complete reliance for their own safety in the hands of another force,” he wrote.
Amos said he recognized the difficulties Gurganus and Sturdevant faced and praised their execution of other aspects of the U.S. mission.
“While I am mindful of the degree of difficulty the Marines in Afghanistan faced in accomplishing a demanding combat mission with a rapidly declining force, my duty requires me to remain true to the timeless axioms relating to command responsibility and accountability,” Amos said.
The Associated Press reported that Gurganus issued a statement on his 37 years of Marine Corps service. “I will treasure that forever. I have complete trust and confidence in the leadership of our Corps and fully respect the decision of our Commandant. Sturdevant has yet to comment publicly.
Amos added “In the final analysis, every Marine is a rifleman and every Marine commander must properly position his command and his Marines to both successfully accomplish the mission and defend itself in any clime and place… We owe this duty to the courageous Marines like Lt. Col. Raible and Sgt. Atwell, who so faithfully served our Corps.”
Do you think that these Marine Generals were fired for not being up to the job, or was the Military establishment seeking scapegoats? You can sound off in the comment feed below.