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Leadership Failures in Black Hearts by Jim Frederick Essay

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The book Black Hearts by Jim Frederick is an in-depth narrative about the 1st platoon, Bravo Company 1-502nd Infantry 101st Airborne Division deployed to Iraq in 2005. The leadership failures documented in this book range all the way from the general officer level down to the lowest private. LT general Ricardo Sanchez failed to understand the climate his command group was entering as they were deployed into Iraq. From then on the entire leadership failures continued to compound upon each other with improper time to plan. It is customary to have a six month lead time to have a proper battle hand off when preparing to take over an AO from another unit. To compound this problem, the entire time the 502nd was in pre-deployment training, they…show more content…
Among these leaders was Bravo Company’s 1st platoon’s SFC Robert Gallagher. The platoon endured terrible living conditions including no running water and filthy living space. These inadequate living conditions must be met with some relaxation on the standards they were expected to follow. Company leadership viewed this as a bribe to keep the soldiers in high spirits. In reality, they set the stage for the erosion of the morals the enlisted soldiers are supposed to possess. While the morals were being chipped away, so was the original plan the battalion had hoped to follow. Fragmentation orders became a pseudo-standard for the boys of Bravo Company. What had originally started as short-term overnight patrol bases turned into fortified traffic control points with the exception of any form of fortification other than in notion only. Despite the fact that platoon-level leadership requested for supplies they were repeatedly turned down. A major breakdown in the communication between the leadership created a loss in faith in the higher leadership for the lower-enlisted soldiers on the ground. Very soon into deployment, Bravo Company began to experience contact with unseen enemy forces. The enemy was able to engage and plant IED’s and cause casualties while remaining elusive. After the first few casualties within the company, the mission to start set up traffic control points was to begin. While conducting patrols down the road time and time
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