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Anonymous
Anonymous asked in Politics & GovernmentMilitary · 2 months ago

Can a Major override permissions from a Colonel?

I saw the movie Jarhead and in the scene where the main character and his partner were going to kill the Iraqi officer, a Major comes in and orders them not to do it in favor of calling an airstrike. Right before the Major came in, the Colonel gave the snipers permission on the radio to shoot.

I don't know much about the military but I later learned a Colonel in the USMC outranks a Major.

If someone higher up tells you you can do something or even tells you to do something, can someone who outranks you but was also lower than the officer who instructed you, tell you to do the opposite?

9 Answers

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  • 2 months ago
    Favorite Answer

    In the scenario you present, the Colonel DID NOT order anything.

    The Major did.

    Also note: Calling in an air strike would fulfill an order to kill the target.

    Authorization to do something IS NOT an order to do something.

  • Anonymous
    2 months ago

    You're all mixed up.  Understanding words would be a good start.  Authorizing has nothing to do with ordering.  But your answer is yes.  A major, and even a 2nd.Lt., can and has issued an order counter to the order of a Colonel.   The most recent order is the one followed.  Those receiving the new order just assume things have changed and do what they are told.  And no, it would not happen if the major was standing by the Colonel.

  • RICK
    Lv 7
    2 months ago

    Rule of thumb 

    "FOLLOW YOUR LAST ORDER FIRST"

  • 2 months ago

    The answer is not that simple. The Colonel has the higher rank and his orders take precedence.   But saying they have permission to shoot, and ordering them to shot are two different things.

    The Major now has the permission to order the shot.  But as the ranking officer on the scene, he has the ability to decide if the SHOULD take the shot.  

    The fact that they have permission use use deadly force does not mean they HAVE to use deadly force.  If the local situation can be remedied without deadly force, the local commanding officer can make that decision.

    If, however, the Colonel had ORDERED them to shoot the enemy, that would be a different matter.  (But again the local officer would have some decision in WHEN and HOW they took that shot.)

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  • Anonymous
    2 months ago

    Look at Patton he believed he was God and Disobeyed orders constantly from his Superior Monty Even Eisenhower knew his place when he was only a 4 star and Monty was a 5 Star Psatton tried to Mussel in on the Falasi Pass and Bradley said Go away we don't want you Patton was TOLD how far to go towards the Russians Disobeyed Orders from his Superior Monty and Ran out of Fuel he was Lucky the Germans never Found out No more Patton

  • Squid
    Lv 7
    2 months ago

    Yes.  The soldiers are required to follow the latest order received, after informing the officer that there is a conflicting order.

  • Anonymous
    2 months ago

    In that scene, it's to be understood that the Major received from higher headquarters orders or instructions that he said which overrode the original orders that the Colonel gave.

  • ?
    Lv 5
    2 months ago

    Many US military movies are BS. Just look at the movie U-571 where the USA captured a German enigma machine. Total BS. The Americans weren't even in the war when the British captured the machine. Americans like to make up their own history. Read the story about the singer James Blunt, who served as a captain in the British army. He served in Kosovo and was ordered by American general Wesley Clark to attack Russians holding an airport. He refused and was backed up by British general Mike Jackson. The Russians surrendered without starting WW3.

  • ?
    Lv 7
    2 months ago

    They don't give permission,, they give orders, and when a Colonel gives an order the Major damn sure better follow it.

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