Sunday, September 2, 2012

173rd ABCT Commander Takes the Stars and Stripes to Task

It's such a shame that the Commander of the 173rd ABCT had to write the following letter to the editor of Stars and Stripes but I give HUGE kudos to COL Andy Rohling for doing so.  His letter is absolutely on point.  Why is it so impossible for the staff and editors of the Stars and Stripes to celebrate the accomplishments of the majority of our men in women in uniform as opposed to writing headline grabbing stories of a handful.  Just beyond shameful, deplorable and despicable.

In his letter to the editor dated August 30, 2012 COL Rohling writes:

"I struggle to understand your continuing and overwhelmingly negative coverage of the 173rd Airborne Brigade despite our continued distinguished service.
Over the last year, Stars and Stripes has published 42 articles referencing the 173rd Airborne Brigade. Despite untold successes and accomplishments, only five of those stories were positive. The almost-exclusive focus on two former 173rd officers who failed to adhere to the Army’s standards hardly reflects the integrity and successes of our remaining 3,600 paratroopers.
While I recognize that salacious scandals make for gripping headlines, tabloid-like reading and the potential for profit, your coverage over the last year is misrepresentative, unfair and disturbing to the troops who are currently serving honorably in Afghanistan, our families and the exceptional communities we call home. The best newspapers of our time are known for fair and unbiased reporting, traits that are missing in Stars and Stripes as of late.
As a U.S. Army Europe brigade on its fifth combat deployment in nine years, Sky Soldiers today continue to make significant sacrifices to support Operation Enduring Freedom in the Logar and Wardak provinces of eastern Afghanistan. Daily our paratroopers risk their lives in support of Afghan National Security Forces and the coalition partners with whom they patrol.
The soldiers of the 173rd Airborne, like American servicemembers everywhere, epitomize selfless service through their professionalism, valor and service. Our paratroopers are men and women who instill the pride of our country on the battlefield and in our communities at home.
Our soldiers are proudly maintaining the 173rd Airborne Brigade’s lineage as one of the most decorated brigades in the U.S. Army despite the far-too-publicized actions of a few.
Sky Soldier families understand the daily threat faced by their paratroopers and display equal selflessness and courage in their support from home. Like many military families, they have had to endure the loss and injury of loved ones currently in Afghanistan.
As a news publication that serves American military servicemembers and Families overseas, it would be beneficial to see some positive stories during these trying times. We will do our part to enforce the standards that make our Army and nation strong. It’s time to do yours for the soldiers deployed and their families at home and give a little recognition for a job well done."
Col. Andrew Rohling, Commander, 173rd Airborne Brigade
Vicenza, Italy
THANK YOU COL Rohling.  What a shame that the Stars and Stripes caused you to have to take time away from your current mission and the safety of your Soldiers down range to write this.

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