Left to right: Capt Roger Hill, Officer in Charge of the Honor Guard at Ronald Reagan's funeral, and in Afghanistan.
Remember Capt. Roger Hill? Almost exactly one year ago to the day, I wrote:
After four years at West Point, nine years of honorable service, including two wars (Iraq and Afghanistan) and a Bronze Star for valor, Captain Roger Hill now faces a "less than honorable discharge" in a massive miscarriage of military "justice."
As three retired senior officers--Army Col. Andy O'Meara, Air Force Lt. Gen. Thomas McInerny and Army Maj. Gen. Paul Vallely--explained his case in an op-ed posted at the time, Capt. Hill was commanding a lonely outpost in 2008 in Wardak Province, Afghanistan, "an area the size of Connecticut with many Taliban lurking amid its half a million people."
And also, as it turned out, inside Capt. Hill's outpost. Some of the Afghan interpreters were passing information to Taliban forces leading to ambushes that had left as many as 30 Americans wounded and two killed. Capt. Hill detained about a dozen suspects and called for them to be evacuated to headquarters for interrogation. His request was denied.
Since detainees can only be held for 96 hours without charges, Capt. Hill and his men interrogated the detainees. The retired officers write:
Worred about the safety of his men, Capt. Hill reportedly made verbal threats, allowed his first sergeant to sit on the prisoners' chests demanding answers and is even said to have fired his pistol near the blindfolded heads of prisoners to trick them into thinking one of their comrades had been killed. The prisoners were not physically hurt ...
But Capt. Hill's military career was over. Incredibly, our Pentagon, our White House (Bush and Obama) seem to believe our country is better served by officers who are content to allow their men to remain subject to ambush and death due to Taliban infiltration. Remember what they did the LTC Allen West (now running for Congress).
Long story short, Capt. Hill ended up leaving the military with a General ("under honorable conditions") Discharge -- which was not only a rank injustice but, injury to insult, also a block on the VA medical coverage he needed for the assorted injuries he had sustained over years of combat.
But, happily, the story resumes. You can pick up with Capt. Hill's story at his new website MoreThanBrothers.com, where he writes that he is appealing his discharge. Today, he told me that his VA medical coverage issue has finally been resolved satisfactorily (but only as of last month!).
Tonight, the Afghanistan experiences of his and his company (Dog Company 1-506th Infantry) will be airing on CNN's AC 360 tonight at 10pm. He continues:
Here is the background and the details on what I can tell you:
This past fall, I was approached by CNN about doing a piece on my experiences in Afghanistan. ... We expect a fairly in depth look at the circumstances surrounding my case, totaling around 30-35 minutes of total story line, interview, commentary, etc. and all focusing on the need for more effective ROE and detention policies to better match up to the asymmetric enemies we face today, especially in NATO-led Afghanistan.
Don't miss it. If CNN gives Capt. Hill even a barely fair shake, it will make it clear to Americans that the US military is greatly the worse without him.