Joshua Waddell, a first lieutenant in the U.S. Marines, appeared on his way to a stellar career as an American military officer. The son of a retired Navy SEAL commander, Waddell was awarded a Bronze Star during his first tour of duty in Afghanistan and had returned for a second.
Then he made a decision in combat that military experts say has severely jeopardized his future in the corps.
Once again, we’re seeing the disconnect from the realities of conflict. The upper echelons of the military establishment, in response to political pressure (foreign and domestic) have made the job of the warrior on the front line virtually impossible.
My concern isn’t that a promising young officer has seen his career derailed. My concern is that next time, a young officer will recall this incident, fail to use his best judgment, and Soldiers or Marines will die.