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"No commander has finished when he has taken his decision and embodied it in an order. He remains to the last responsible for its execution in the way he intended and for the manifestation of his will in every stage of its accomplishment."

--Hans von Seeckt, Thoughts of a Soldier

The techniques and procedures identified or referred to in this newsletter are only a selection of what has been experienced or learned through operations and training. Appendix F provides other resources for finding techniques and procedures. The general techniques and procedures will be true wherever you are stationed or deployed, but the specifics will vary.

While you do not forget what you have learned in CONUS, you must view OCONUS in a different way when you implement the specifics of Military Environmental Protection. You must become familiar with terms such as host nation (HN) and documents such as the Overseas Environmental Baseline Guidance (OEBGD) and the Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA). If you are deployed to a contingency where these documents are not used, the challenge multiplies. It is critical that standards are quickly established in a contingency operation. If they are absent, you must apply common sense and use your SOP as a guide until specific rules are established. Remember the environmental ethic that the leadership has clearly articulated, and you will be on your way to establishing a local program that will serve the safety and welfare of your soldiers as well as the environment.

Remember and apply the principles of Military Environmental Protection.

  • Avoid unnecessary damage and limit collateral damage.
  • Analyze environmental considerations/impacts in concert with mission requirements and force protection.
  • Incorporate environmental protection considerations into planning procedures.

These principles will always apply. The specifics that go with these principles will vary with the mission, the phase of an operation, and the location during an operation. The risk assessment you perform, in conjunction with the directions you receive from higher headquarters, will then be applied in the same fashion as rules of engagement in the application of combat power.

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