Canada’s special forces commander faces court martial charges for firearm accident in Iraq

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Canada’s special forces commander faces court martial charges for firearm accident in Iraq

Post by bruce72 on Thu 25 Aug 2016, 19:09

http://www.nationalpost.com/m/wp/news/canada/blog.html?b=news.nationalpost.com/news/canada/canadas-special-forces-commander-faces-court-martial-charges-for-firearm-accident-in-iraq

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Re: Canada’s special forces commander faces court martial charges for firearm accident in Iraq

Post by pinger on Thu 25 Aug 2016, 20:30

Scary. Kinda reminds of what can happen when the butt of an FN hits the ground.
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Re: Canada’s special forces commander faces court martial charges for firearm accident in Iraq

Post by Guest on Thu 25 Aug 2016, 20:47

ahh the FN was nothin remember the SMG ???

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Re: Canada’s special forces commander faces court martial charges for firearm accident in Iraq

Post by pinger on Thu 25 Aug 2016, 21:10

I just remember passing the oil buds...
Oh ya that smg. Nice and.. light.

Curious how that Maj.-Gen in article will pan out.
A golden handshake for the upfront humble pie?

Shyte happens.
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Re: Canada’s special forces commander faces court martial charges for firearm accident in Iraq

Post by Guest on Thu 25 Aug 2016, 21:23

he will get a slap on the wrist but ya crap happens not a big deal .

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Re: Canada’s special forces commander faces court martial charges for firearm accident in Iraq

Post by bruce72 on Thu 25 Aug 2016, 21:41

I was thinking the same thing, shyte happens. Apparently, nobody was in the line of fire.

I knew a Sergeant, who I'll never identify online, who fell asleep while outside the wire in the Stan. Needless to say he shouldn't have been sleeping. It destroyed his career.

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Re: Canada’s special forces commander faces court martial charges for firearm accident in Iraq

Post by Trooper on Fri 26 Aug 2016, 12:05

It will be interesting to see what comes out of he's Court Martial.
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Military negligent in displaying Kurdish flags

Post by Trooper on Sun 28 Aug 2016, 17:13

ON TARGET: Military negligent in displaying Kurdish flags.

But leaders dealt correctly with negligent firearms issue.

August 28, 2016

Last week it was reported that Maj.-Gen Mike Rouleau is facing a court martial on the charge of having committed a “negligent discharge” from his firearm while on duty in northern Iraq.

As the commander of Canadian special operations, Rouleau is Canada’s top commando, reporting directly to Gen. Jonathan Vance, the chief of defence staff. The incident occurred last December while Rouleau was visiting members of the Canadian Special Operations Regiment deployed as trainers to assist the Kurdish militia in the city of Erbil.

In a statement, Rouleau explained the incident: “While preparing to go to a forward trench position as I was arranging my equipment, I negligently discharged one bullet into a safe area while loading my assault rifle,” he stated, adding the mea culpa, “As a soldier and as a special operations assaulter, the only acceptable standard of care with a weapon is error-free.”

Weapon handling is something the Canadian military strictly enforces, as the consequences of any lapse can be fatal. On average, more than 100 soldiers are charged with negligent discharges every year and they are routinely dealt with at a summary trial by the perpetrator’s commanding officer. In most cases, a guilty verdict results in a severe fine.


In this instance, however, owing to his senior rank, Rouleau will have to be brought before a much more formal court martial. Rouleau has admitted his guilt both publicly, through the media, and to his own soldiers through an internal memo. As Rouleau reported the incident immediately to Vance, his direct superior, who in turn immediately ordered the requisite investigation, one can argue that, in this instance, military justice is being even-handedly administered.

While it is embarrassing for such an experienced commando and veteran as Rouleau to have mistakenly popped off a round like a raw recruit, soldiers will easily accept a mistake made by their commander. They would never forgive such an injustice should Rouleau have instead been spared the standard disciplinary measures enforced on lower-ranking soldiers. In this instance, I must give kudos to both Rouleau and Vance for showing good judgment.

However, I am convinced that on another issue pertaining to the same mission in northern Iraq, both these officers are guilty of a far greater negligence.

This is the policy of having Canadian soldiers wear the flag of Kurdistan on their uniforms while training and supporting Kurdish militia. This issue was first raised in May by CTV and the Toronto Star, following a media tour of the region. In photos and video footage subsequently published, it was revealed that Canadian soldiers were wearing the bright red, green and white stripes with a central yellow sunburst flag of Kurdistan on their right arms.

Middle East experts were quick to denounce this practice as unnecessarily provocative in a volatile region. Canada’s foreign policy remains committed to a unified Iraq in a post-Daesh scenario. The Kurds our soldiers are training are committed to the establishment of an independent Kurdistan, i.e., a completely contradictory objective from Canadian policy.

Kurdistan is not a recognized state, and within this contested Iraqi region reside numerous non-Kurdish minorities who have their own disputes with Kurdish authorities. For instance, the Arabs, Turkmen, Yazidis, Chaldeans, Assyrians and Armenians in northern Iraq must be incredibly perplexed as to why the Canadian soldiers they see on the streets are openly displaying support for a separatist movement many of them do not support.

When the same issue was raised regarding U.S. special forces wearing the Kurdish flag, the Pentagon was quick to order their soldiers to stop. The Canadian military, however, chose to ignore all logic and our soldiers continue wearing the contentious flags. The dubious claim by the brass is that wearing the Kurdish flag somehow enhances our interoperability with the Kurds.

I believe a Canadian uniform should remain a Canadian uniform and should not be adorned with foreign crests that symbolize something counter to our nation’s stated regional policy.

Vance and Rouleau get a thumbs-up on handling the negligent discharge incident and a fail on the flag issue. Get those flags off our soldiers’ uniforms!

Scott Taylor is editor of Esprit de Corps magazine.

http://thechronicleherald.ca/opinion/1392225-on-target-military-negligent-in-displaying-kurdish-flags
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Re: Canada’s special forces commander faces court martial charges for firearm accident in Iraq

Post by nemo on Mon 29 Aug 2016, 13:09

Hard to say what the General will get for punishment. His punishment will likely have to fall in line with what any other soldier's punishment is for the same offense, regardless of rank. I have to go back to 93 in Croatia. There were at least two soldiers that had accidental discharges. Both charged with court martial. Both given severe reprimand and a fine of around $2000 to $2500 which would be considerably more today. And a severe reprimand stops your career for the most part. On the other hand, I knew someone court martialled years ago for stealing explosives, using them to blow up stuff on empty land - sent to Edmonton SDB and then ended his career as a Chief. But typically, a severe reprimand is a killer for one's career. You can stay in but you dont usually get promoted again nor hold prestigious positions of command.

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Canadian special forces commander receives $2,000 fine after accidently firing his rifle in Iraq

Post by Trooper on Tue 11 Oct 2016, 17:53


Canadian special forces commander receives $2,000 fine after accidently firing his rifle in Iraq


October 11, 2016

Canada’s top special forces soldier was fined $2,000 after being found guilty for accidently discharging his rifle as he prepared for a visit to the frontlines in northern Iraq.

Maj. Gen. Mike Rouleau received the fine during a court martial held in Gatineau, Que., on Tuesday.

Rouleau, a special forces combat veteran and head of the Canadian Special Operations Forces Command in Ottawa, was court martialled for a “negligent discharge” from his firearm. He was charged under Section 129 of the National Defence Act; neglect to the prejudice of good order and discipline.

He pleaded guilty to the charge.

Rouleau immediately reported the Dec. 21, 2015 incident to Chief of the Defence Staff Gen. Jon Vance and he was put under investigation.


Rouleau issued a statement to the Ottawa Citizen earlier this year about the incident:

“While preparing to go to a forward trench position as I was arranging my equipment, I negligently discharged one bullet into a safe area while loading my assault rifle,” he explained. “As a soldier and as a special operations assaulter, the only acceptable standard of care with a weapon is error-free.”

While most negligent discharges are dealt with through a summary trial process, because of Rouleau’s senior rank the charge was sent to a court martial.

Rouleau recently sent a message to the 2,000 members of his command explaining the incident. “As a qualified Special Operations Assaulter – and as a soldier – I am expected to safely handle weapons,” he stated. “ I made a mistake, I reported the mistake and I own my mistake 100%. Accountability is the bedrock of our discipline as a military Special Forces organization.”

“As the Commanding General, I am every bit as accountable as the youngest Private in the Force,” he added.

Rouleau in his message to his troops noted he would accept full responsibility at the court martial. “Accountability underpins our actions as soldiers and especially as leaders,” he added.

The Canadian Forces laid 213 charges related to negligent discharges in 2013-2014 and 107 in 2015-2016.

Rouleau also noted that he regrets the mistake because he worried it would divert attention from the work being done by members of his command.

Rouleau has made multiple trips to northern Iraq where Canadian special forces are training Kurdish troops in the war against the Islamic State.

Rouleau is a former commanding officer of the Ottawa-based Joint Task Force 2. He joined that counter-terrorism force in 1994, eventually commanding tactical-level assault forces and larger groups of special forces. In 2006-2007 Rouleau commanded Canada’s special operations task force in Afghanistan.

http://ottawacitizen.com/news/national/defence-watch/canadian-special-forces-commander-receives-2000-fine-after-accidently-firing-his-rifle-in-iraq
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Special forces commander pleads guilty to mistakenly firing gun on Iraq front line

Post by bruce72 on Wed 12 Oct 2016, 03:53

Maximum penalty for offence is dismissal from Forces with judge set to pass sentence Tuesday afternoon.


The commander of the country's elite special forces has pleaded guilty to accidentally firing his weapon during a visit to the front lines of northern Iraq late last year.

Maj.-Gen. Mike Rouleau was tried by court martial on Tuesday over an incident that took place last December as he visited troops involved in training Kurdish fighters, west of Erbil.

He faced a single charge of prejudice to good order and discipline related to the "negligent discharge" of a firearm last year following a lengthy investigation by military police.

The incident took place on Dec. 20, 2015.

The maximum penalty for the offence is dismissal from service, but the military judge fined Rouleau $2,000, citing his clear service record, his history with JTF-2 — the country's highly trained counterterrorism force — and the fact he pleaded guilty.

"Clearly you accept full responsibility," said Lt.-Col. Louis-Vincent d'Auteuil, who presided over the court martial.

It was, the judge said, "an isolated incident" and out of character for Rouleau, who is a combat veteran of special forces missions.

The court martial was told Rouleau was at a combat outpost, preparing to go forward to the front line, after presenting medals to a handful of his troops. He accidentally fired once while loading his C-8 assault rifle and the bullet struck less than a metre from the soldier who accompanied him. No one was injured.

After the shot was fired, Rouleau said: "I can't believe that happened."

He returned to base and told his soldiers what happened, promising to report the incident to the chief of the defence staff, Gen. Jonathan Vance.

'I accept fully the decision'

Following the court martial, Rouleau said Tuesday he was happy to put the incident behind him.

"I accept fully the decision of the judge today at the court martial," he said. "I accepted responsibility for this from the day it happened and so I'm very pleased with the result."

The accountability rules for generals are the same as those for the privates and the corporals, said Rouleau.  

Most negligent discharge accusations are dealt with through a summary trial process, but Rouleau's senior rank means his options become limited, said Maj. Chabi Walsh, the prosecutor who tried the case.

"Due to the rank of the offender, we have regulations that [require] flag officers to have a full court martial," he said. "It has to do with the limited amount of people who can try them."

Weapons-handling mistakes are a matter of grave importance in the army and in some cases have helped end careers. But Vance, the country's top military commander, put out a statement late Tuesday giving Rouleau his full backing.

"The ruling today not only reaffirms the value in having a strong justice system, but also the requirement to hold everyone in the Canadian Armed Forces accountable for their actions," Vance said. 

"I am impressed with the professionalism Maj.-Gen Rouleau demonstrated throughout the process and continue to have complete confidence in his ability to serve as commander of our special forces."

Rouleau is not the only senior officer to face trial for weapons mishandling.

Just over six years ago, former brigadier-general Dan Menard, who commanded Canadian troops in Kandahar, faced a similar charge in May 2010. He was fined $3,500.

Menard was later accused of having an inappropriate relationship with a junior female officer, was relieved of his command and later resigned from the army.

Another officer, Lt.-Col. Gilles Fortin, was charged with a "negligent discharge" in relation to an incident in Kabul in 2012.

Listing a number of other incidents during Tuesday's sentencing, Walsh said he felt the fine levied on Rouleau was appropriate given the circumstances.

http://www.cbc.ca/beta/news/politics/rouleau-pleads-guilty-firearm-1.3800203

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