May 31, 2006 -- Members of the U.S. military in Iraq will receive core values training beginning Thursday, as a result of the incident in Haditha in which American troops allegedly murdered 24 Iraqi civilians.
The commander of U.S. forces in Iraq, Lt. Gen. Peter Chiarelli, will announce the new directive Thursday, assigning the training to all 130,000 U.S. troops over the next 30 days.
All service members will view a slide presentation with vignettes that highlight the importance of adhering to legal, moral and ethical standards on the battlefield.
The directive emphasizes professional military values, the importance of disciplined professional conduct in combat and an explanation of what to expect of Iraqi culture.
Soldiers will also be reminded of the outcome if they act contrary to professional military values.
The directive comes on the heels of the first comments from President Bush regarding the November 2005 incident in which Marines are accused of raiding a home in the Iraqi town of Haditha.
"I am troubled by the initial news stories," Bush said. "I am mindful that there is a thorough investigation going on. If, in fact, the laws were broken, there will be punishment."
Officials familiar with the investigation say Sgt. Frank Wuterich was the top-ranked Marine who entered the houses where the civilians were killed, and is a focus of the investigation.
In an interview with "Good Morning America," the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff said there are now two investigations into the killings.
"One is to find out what happened. The other is to find out why did it take us so long to find out what happened?" said Gen. Peter Pace.
"Something broke down here in the sense that no investigation was conducted immediately," said Gen. Jack Keane. "Therefore, people most likely in the chain of command who had knowledge and should have taken action appropriately did no, and they will be under investigation for the failure to do that."