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2011 “MAJOR REVISION” IN ARMY REGULATIONS MADE TO “STRENGTHEN TIES AMONG ALLIED NATIONS”
by Sharon Rondeau
(Aug. 6, 2014) — On Thursday, the Army Times reported that a German military commander will serve as chief of staff for U.S. Army Europe stationed in Wiesbaden, Germany, described as “the first time a non-American officer has held that position.”
A similar announcement was made by U.S. Army Europe Public Affairs on the same day.
Upon learning of the installation of a non-American officer “for the first time” in command of U.S. soldiers, The Post & Email sent an inquiry to its media contact in Washington, DC, LCDR Nathan Christensen:
GERMAN OFFICER TO COMMAND U.S. SOLDIERS?
Good morning, CDR Christensen, are you able to explain how U.S. Army soldiers are expected to take orders from a German officer?
A German officer does not swear an oath to the U.S. Constitution. How is this happening?
Thank you very much.
Sharon Rondeau, Editor
The Post & Email
We received the following response:
We then asked:
OK, do you have contact information for the media officers there?
but received no response, which is highly unusual for a military media contact.
From: Sharon Rondeau
Sent: Monday, August 04, 2014 8:37 AM
To: Conway, Alayne P LTC USARMY HQDA OCPA (US)
Subject: MEDIA INQUIRY
Good morning, I refer you to the following story from the Army Times with several questions:
1. Since a German commander does not take an oath to uphold and defend the U.S. Constitution, how can he be placed in charge of U.S. soldiers?
2. Who made this decision and ordered it?
3. Is the Army Times reporter correct in stating that a foreign commander has never assumed the position of U.S. Army Europe’s Chief of Staff?
4. Constitutionally, are U.S. soldiers obligated to follow the orders of a foreigner?
I contacted the press desk in Washington, but he referred me to the Army or Army Europe, for whose contact information I am still looking.
Thank you very much.
Sharon Rondeau, Editor
The Post & Email
P.O. Box 195
Stafford Springs, CT 06076
Lt. Col. Conway forwarded our inquiry to Matthew Bourke, Office of the Chief of Public Affairs, who then responded:
Hi, Sharon —
The Military Personnel Exchange Program (MPEP) promotes security cooperation, fosters trust and strengthens ties among allied nations. This personnel exchange was implemented according to guidelines detailed in Army Regulation 614-10 (link below). And, the exchange is consistent with how other military services have leveraged the MPEP for years.
This is the first time a non-American soldier has held the position as chief of staff for U.S. Army Europe (USAREUR), although German soldiers have been previously assigned to USAREUR through the MPEP.
Office of the Chief of Public Affairs
U.S. Army Media Relations Division
Army Regulation (AR) 614-10, while 26 pages long, states on the page following the cover page a change in policy dated 14 July 2011 and reads:
SUMMARY of CHANGE
Army Military Personnel Exchange Program with Military Services of Other Nations
This major revision, dated 14 July 2011–
o Adds Secretary of the Army responsibility (para 1-4a).
o Adds the requirement to conduct a periodic stakeholder’s conference (para 1-4b(7)).
o Gives the Commanding General, Army service component command, administrative control and supervision of the military personnel exchange program in the area of responsibility countries to which exchange personnel have been assigned (para 1-4g).
o Prohibits separation or retirement from exchange positions and establishes an active duty Service obligation of at least 2 years following an exchange position (paras 1-4h(3) and 3-2b).
o Provides guidance for a nonreciprocal position (para 1-6a note).
o Adds policy and guidance pertaining to partner nation military personnel exchange program participants not included in the previous version (chap 5).
o Provides detailed guidance for establishing new programs and changing existing programs, personnel administration, and financial responsibility. Changes the support structure and rating schemes for U.S. participants (throughout).
o Updates U.S. Army security cooperation terminology and guidance (throughout).
o Makes administrative changes (throughout).
On July 25, 2014, an essay written by Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Martin Dempsey titled “The Bend of Power” stated, in part:
The emerging security environment also demands that we update our approach to building partner capacity. Armored divisions and bomber wings can blunt our enemies, but they cannot single-handedly preserve the peace. To do that, we need to construct stronger security partnerships with like-minded nations, so that all can contribute to the collective defense.
Building partner capacity has long been a hallmark of America’s defense policy. It begins with small-scale efforts: student exchanges, technical training, and conferences. With more established partners, capacity building includes attendance at U.S. service academies and war colleges, multilateral exercises, and foreign military sales. All of these things make our partners more effective and improve our collective ability to respond to real-world crises. They also help build professional military forces that respect civilian control and the rule of law. They yield the benefits of security while sharing the burdens of providing it.
Dempsey assumed his role on October 1, 2011, having served as Army Chief of Staff from April of that year until his new appointment. Dempsey was accused of treason by CDR Walter Francis Fitzpatrick, III (Ret.) for allowing Army soldiers to deploy into Samson, AL on March 10, 2009 to perform police functions after a man shot and killed several family members.
The Army Inspector General found after completing an investigation that the Posse Comitatus Act, which prohibits the use of the U.S. military on U.S. soil, had been violated.