At the height of the Beauchamp affair, his First Sergeant, 1SG Hatley, did something that I thought was unbelievable- wrote an open letter discussing one of his soldiers. Here is a snippet of that widely distributed letter written by 1SG Hatley:
I’m not in the habit of answering these email’s. It would be far too many. I appreciate all the support from home and I can assure you that not a single word of this was true. We’ve been fighting this fight for quite some time. Numerous soldiers within my unit have served on several deployments and this is my third year as a First Sergeant in this unit. My soldiers conduct is consistently honorable. This soldier has other underlining issues which I’m sure will come out in the course of the investigation. No one at any of the post we live at or frequent, remotely fit the descriptions of any of the persons depicted in this young man’s fairy tale. I can’t and won’t divulge any information regarding this soldier, but I do sincerely appreciate all the support from the people back home. Again, this young man has a vivid imagination and I promise you that this by no means reflects the truth of what is happening here.
As an NCO at one time myself, I could not believe he openly would discuss one of his soldiers with someone outside the chain of command, let alone to disparage him. What kind of NCO does that?
A senior enlisted Army soldier was convicted on Wednesday of killing four handcuffed and blindfolded Iraqi men with pistol shots to the backs of their heads shortly after arresting them in Baghdad two years ago, The Associated Press reported.
A military jury in Germany, where his unit is deployed, found the soldier, Master Sgt. John E. Hatley, guilty of premeditated murder in the deaths of the men, whom he and several other members of his unit had detained after a firefight with insurgents in Baghdad in spring 2007, according to testimony in the case.
Meanwhile, Scott Beauchamp, the one with the “underlining issues” and the “vivid imagination,” is still serving his country honorably. 1SG Hatley will be serving life in jail.
But none of them would ever run over a dog. That isn’t SOP.
*** Update ****
This Stars and Stripes piece just reiterates what a horrible tragedy this is for everyone involved. The soldiers, their families, and the men they killed. Just awful.