New Discharged

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WUERZBURG, GERMANY: Army medic Michael New was discharged for refusing to wear U.N. insignia on a peacekeeping mission in Macedonia. In a case that had captured the imagination of conservatives who opposed putting U.S. forces under U.N. command, New had argued that he had not taken any oath to serve under U.N. commanders. But the court said that New should be discharged because he refused to carry out a lawful order from his U.S. military commanders. "The bottom line for the military is that you can not pick and chose your orders," says Pentagon correspondent Mark Thompson. "It's a recipe for catastrophe to let soldiers pick and chose what they want to do. Some military people may agree with New's argument that U.S. soldiers should not serve under the U.N., but that's a political decision, and the military can not be a debating society. The only way it can function is as a hierarchy where orders are carried out." The debate may now find its way to Congress, where over 100 members have backed legislation making it illegal to order a U.S. soldier to wear U.N. insignia.