Report: Silver Star recipient among officers reprimanded for mistakes at Wanat
Three Army officers who were members of the 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team have received letters of reprimand for decisions made before the deadly Battle of Wanat, including one officer who received a Silver Star for his actions that day, according to a report by CBS News.
CBS News identifies Silver Star recipient Capt. Matthew Myer, a company commander — and the senior officer on site for most of the battle — as one of the officers to be reprimanded. ABC News identified the other two officers as Col. Bill Ostlund, a former battalion commander, and Col. “Chip” Preysler, the former brigade commander.
The men were reportedly reprimanded for failing to prepare adequate defenses in the days before the assault. ABC News quoted an unnamed military official as saying the reprimands are “essentially career-enders.”
Nine brigade soldiers were killed in the battle, which took place on July 13, 2008.
Fewer than 50 U.S. soldiers, most of them members of Company C, 2nd Battalion, 503rd Infantry Regiment, were attacked while they were establishing a new base. The enemy force, which held the higher ground, was estimated to outnumber the Americans 4 to 1.
The American force − aided by a contingent of Afghan soldiers, American air support and additional troops from the battalion who rushed to the battle scene − eventually fought off their attackers and inflicted heavy casualties.
Myer was one of more than a dozen soldiers awarded a Silver Star for his actions that day. Even more soldiers received Bronze Stars with Valor.
Ostlund, who was a lieutenant colonel at the time of the attack, is now deputy commander of the 75th Ranger Regiment. Preysler is currently based at the Pentagon.