Outline Of A Leader For Charlie Company

2721 Words May 6th, 2015 11 Pages
Tom Vogel
Major Jeff Ulmer
English 411 – Capstone Essay
6 April 2015
Just Following Orders
On 16 March 1968 between three hundred and five hundred Vietnamese children, women, and elderly citizens in the village of My Lai were raped, killed, and had their homes and livelihoods destroyed by Charlie Company because of the orders given by one man. Lieutenant William Laws Calley Junior. Calley grew up in a very conservative town where he eventually enlisted in the Army after several unsuccessful endeavors. Later he went through OCS and became a Platoon Leader for Charlie Company. His military career leading up to My Lai was relatively lackluster; he did not have the respect of his troops or his commander, Captain Ernest Medina. In Vietnam, Charlie Company was responsible for the Quang Ngai Province, one of the “hottest” areas in Vietnam, giving them a high casualty rate. After a few particularly rough weeks, he was given orders to attack the village of My Lai, in which he instructed his troops to shoot and kill everyone in this village knowing full well that they were non-combatants. Calley killed several people himself in addition to other atrocities committed that day. Calley acted on his own accord interpreting orders how he pleased and violating just war theory. Whether Lieutenant Calley was trying to gain the respect of his subordinates, get revenge for the troops they had lost weeks before, or trying to impress his commander, under Just War Theory, military law, and…
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