10th Mountain Division Leader Responds to Dangerous Army Shoot House Video: 'I Will Fix It'

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10th Mountain soldiers seen training in a shoot house with live ammo, pointing weapons at each other. (Screengrab via Instagram)
10th Mountain soldiers seen training in a shoot house with live ammo, pointing weapons at each other. (Screengrab via Instagram)

The top enlisted leader for the 10th Mountain Division is apologizing for the poor and dangerous performance of soldiers seen conducting room-clearing operations in a video that went viral online this month.

"We ran it down to the ground, it is our folks and it really hurts to say that. It is not the standard, it is not how we do business, it is not acceptable," Command Sgt. Maj. Mario O. Terenas said in a video posted to Twitter Monday evening.

Last week, a video circulated on Instagram and other social media platforms of soldiers training to clear buildings, a tactical maneuver used by troops to enter potentially occupied structures as safely as possible and eliminate threats.

However, the video showed soldiers blatantly "flagging" each other with their weapons on multiple occasions, meaning the barrels of their rifles were pointed at each other -- one of the greatest sins of military operations. Typically, when troops have to pass each other, weapons are pointed to the ground to avoid fratricide.

 

Soldiers were training with live ammunition and shooting targets in the building.

"We will investigate it, we will take action and we will retrain," Terenas added. "That is a guarantee. Make no mistake that is not the 10th Mountain Division standard. I will fix it."

The video also shows troops watching from above on a "cat walk," a small network of raised walkways. This vantage point allows leaders to observe training and immediately end a scenario if they see any unsafe action. The video did not show any leaders terminating the training, despite multiple unsafe acts and the apparent failure to clear corners and enter rooms correctly.

It is unclear when the training event took place or what specific unit within the 10th Mountain was involved. Terenas said it occurred a few months ago and suggested the dangerous maneuvers were only brought to his attention after the video went viral.

-- Steve Beynon can be reached at Steve.Beynon@military.com. Follow him on Twitter @StevenBeynon.

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