How keenly embarrassing for Maj.-Gen Mike Rouleau, media darling supremo of the Daesh-busting Canadian Special Operations Forces Command (CANSOFCOM), to find himself facing a court martial for negligent discharge of a weapon, a cardinal fuck-up in the profession of arms.
“While preparing to go to a forward trench position as I was arranging my equipment, I negligently discharged one bullet into a safe area while loading my assault rifle,” quoth Gen. Rouleau in a contrite statement on the Dec. 21 incident. “As a soldier and as a special operations assaulter, the only acceptable standard of care with a weapon is error-free.”
Our ‘special operations assaulters’ are traditionally viewed as the quiet professionals, silent-but-deadly shadow warriors who get in, get ‘er done, and get out before the evil-doers notice they’re suddenly surrounded by virgins.
But Rouleau’s proven inordinately fond of the cameras, always keen for a chit-chat with admiring media stenographers, most notably the Toronto Star‘s Bruce Campion-Smith and CTV’s Lisa LaFlameout, both of whom got a PR tour of the sooper-secret mission in northern Iraq last spring.
But our talkative top ninja also knows the value of the odd stealth media op, like last year’s Peter Manbingo “exclusive” on the friendly fire incident that killed Sgt. Andrew Doiron in Iraq.
“A senior official with access to the most sensitive intelligence on the incident,” speaking on condition of anonymity, was able to reveal to the Corpse’s senior newshound that our boys had done a helluva job, followed their orders perfectly and displayed the utmost professionalism in not returning fire after getting mistaken for the enemy and shot by their Kurdish allies.
“I was so proud of them,” quoth Anonymous Senior Official. “They were highly disciplined.”
Was it possible their highly disciplined decision not to shoot back may have been made easier by the fact that they were at the time lying in the dirt with bullet wounds? Peter was too busy taking dictation from Highly Placed Source to ask.
All in all, what would just another load of official talking points if delivered at a press briefing became, with the application of the anonymous source niqab, a scoop.
Mansbingo’s secret sauce? Step forward, Maj.-Gen. Mike Rouleau! Exclusive: Mission commander feels mission’s going just tits.
Former JTF2 commando Rouleau’s weapon whoopsie puts him in uncomfortably exclusive company. The only other general in modern times to face a court martial for forgetting how a rifle worked was that ol’ swaggerstickman, Brig-General Daniel Menard (Franks passim), disgraced onetime commander of our boys in Afghanistan.
Menard managed to compound his March 2010 firearms faux pas by accidentally putting two errant shots across Kandahar Airfield, in full view of his men – and visiting CDS Walt Natyncyk. The soldiers acknowledged the general’s performance with a remarkably insubordinate round of slow clapping, for which nobody was ever disciplined.
Menard was fined $3500 in a court martial that May, by which time he’d already been sent home for other, er, negligent discharges, this time involving his subordinate-with-benefits, Master Corporal Bianka Langlois.
It all came unstuck in April 2010 when Menard entertained freshly-divorced visiting cabmin Rona Ambrose late into the night in his quarters with a bottle of scotch borrowed from the lockup.
Bianka went ballistic, and rushed to the base chaplain to confess her sins re: her commanding officer. The chaplain confronted Menard, who dug himself in deeper by attempting to stonewall the ensuing military police investigation. The rest is sordid history.
All together now: This is my rifle, this is my gun…