The Army's Unarmed MEDEVAC Policy: Not Dumb, Just Crazy

“Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.”

From World War II, we’ve heard reports that the enemy shot at Red Crosses emblazoned on medical vehicles, tents, and helmets. The Japanese were said to specifically target Red Crosses. The Germans were reported to do it from time to time. American troops in Europe and the Pacific sometimes covered the Red Crosses to avoid being hit.

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World War II should have been enough to teach us a lesson. But the Army seemed dumb. There was a repeat in Korea. A retired military man forwarded a link to this Korean War video.

Notice at the 4 min 57 sec mark, our troops are hiding a Red Cross. How many of our people were shot to pieces in WWII and Korea before they started covering the symbols?

Then our people fought in Vietnam. Our Dustoff helicopters sported Red Crosses and were shot down.

Dumb learns from pain. Insane just keeps bashing its head against the wall and expecting different results.

Fast forward past Iraq wherein people kept shooting at our Red Crosses. Today the enemy is doing the same in Afghanistan.

The Marines, Air Force, and British did not and do not sport Red Crosses in Iraq or Afghanistan.

The Army needs intervention.

As we move into 2012, after a decade of war in Afghanistan, the Army continues an insane policy that been insane for about seventy years. The policy has existed long enough to retire and draw Social Security. Dumb policies don’t get smarter with time.

Meanwhile, the Army has redoubled efforts to send unarmed helicopters sporting Red Crosses into battle. In Afghanistan, crosses often are seen as evil symbols.

Today, when you question the Army about the policy, they first try deception. They say they are following Geneva Conventions. This is untrue. Curiously, when the Army says this, they imply that the Air Force, Marines and British are breaking the Geneva Conventions.

The US Army is allowing troops to die on Afghan battlefields. It’s not just Soldiers who suffer. Army helicopters also rescue Marines, Air Force and Navy personnel in Afghanistan. The unarmed helicopters cause serious delays in medical evacuations, while exposing crews to greatly increased dangers.

This policy is wrong.

Caring people are taking action:


The Honorable Chuck Grassley



Dear Senator Grassley:

Senator Kyle was recently contacted by a constituent regarding the Army “Dustoff” MEDEVAC helicopters situation in Afghanistan. This constituent request was in response to Michael Yon’s reporting of the need to take the Red Crosses off the Dustoffs and allow personnel on them to be armed in order to protect themselves and our wounded from insurgent attack. [Please see:]

On October 21, 2001 Senator Kyle responded to the constituent’s concerns by sending a letter to the Department of the Army. With all due respect to Senator Kyle now is not the time for polite letters from Senators or to try and follow SOPs from the Senate to Departments within our federal government. Now is the time for Senators to demand an immediate response and fix of the situation from the Department of the Army.

As your constituent and as the wife of a Marine who was at the Pentagon on 911 I implore you to support Senator Kyle and to bring together all your colleagues from the Senate in resolving this matter post haste.

Moreover, I encourage you not to listen to the Officer desk jockeys at the DOD who have no knowledge of the situation on the ground in Afghanistan; but instead to directly contact Senior Officers on the ground in Afghanistan, their NCOs and Michael Yon [a very well respected former member of the Army and international photo journalist] to clarify any questions that you may have.

America’s military does not leave its wounded or dead behind and we should not let our wounded die due to DOD bureaucracy and ego.

This is critical situation with a simple fix.


Jordan Schneider

CC: The Honorable Tom Harkin

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