But that leads us to the question of why did he not understand he was wrong. Firstly, because the decision he had to make was above his pay grade. That is why he was trained not to do what he did. That is why we have a chain of command. He acted with indiscipline! However, there are many mitigating factors. It seems overly harsh to punish him when ogres like George Felos have widespread public support! So maybe we should make this a teaching moment.
Acting out of some combination of fear and/or anger, Captain Maynulet did wrong. We need to strengthen our training to prevent a recurrence here and in other situations. For example, there is much to suggest that a similar fear and anger based lack of fire discipline, in those early days of the occupation of Fallujah, inflamed the insurgency. The old Vietnam era Army ethos of "Kill them all and let God sort it out" is not yet dead. Many good soldiers have died in Iraq because of this failing of leadership. Let us resolve to improve the training of our soldiers so that they remember their mission is to preserve "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness", not blast everything in sight."