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Michael New: American Hero


Advisers to Barack Obama are recommending that he order more U.S. troops to serve the United Nations, in violation of the U.S. Constitution, the law, and their oaths. This is a policy that has to be stopped.

In violation of a Bush campaign promise, the Bush administration had also assigned U.S. troops to perform on U.N. missions under foreign command. Bush had promised when he ran for office that he would “never” place U.S. troops under U.N. command. He made that declaration during a November 19, 1999, speech at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California. The promise was prompted, in part, by the controversy over President Clinton’s secret Presidential Decision Directive (PDD) 25, forcing U.S. soldiers to wear U.N. uniforms and report to foreign U.N. commanders. This policy resulted in the court-martial and discharge of Army soldier Michael New (above), who refused to follow this illegal and unconstitutional order.

Michael New said he had signed up for the green team, not the blue team. His “crime” was patriotism. The 2000 Republican Party platform had declared, “The United Nations was not designed to summon or lead armies in the field and, as a matter of U.S. sovereignty, American troops must never serve under United Nations command.” But the Clinton PDD remains in effect and has never been repealed. In addition, U.S. troops have remained under U.N. command and control every year of the Bush administration.

(For more information and updates on this important case, please go to Read the book, Michael New: Mercenary or American Soldier, at


The Story of Michael New
By Clifford Paul Kincaid

What is a hero? What acts do they do? They do many things: championing a good cause, going beyond the call of duty, and acting wisely under pressure to name just a few of the good things that heroes do. My paper is on Michael New; a soldier who refused to comply with unconstitutional orders from a higher command and then was discharged from the army because of it.

Read this book at
In July of 1995, Army Specialist Mike New was informed that his infantry would be going to Macedonia as part of a “peacekeeping” operation. In August, he was told that his unit would be required to wear a U.N. blue beret and patch. He was told the order to wear the U.N. uniform was lawful because “the president said so therefore it is.” But nobody ever provided a legal rational for this. Eventually, a battalion briefing offered the justification that “We wear the U.N. uniform because it looks fabulous.” He refused to wear the uniform in his oath; he said he would fight for the U.S., not the U.N. or some other foreign power. But President Bill Clinton had ordered this without even Congress’ approval and he knew it was unlawful. This, he knew, violated his oath as a soldier. He didn’t wear the uniform like everybody else was doing. Instead Michael New did what was right and what was just, and by now wearing that uniform, risked everything. 

In terms of going beyond the call of duty, I believe Michael New went far beyond the call of duty. Now only was he willing to fight, he was also willing to put everything on the line to do what was right. And if he had to do it all over again, he would. 

Michael New definitely risked his life, future, and reputation by saying no to this illegal order. He knew that he would be court martialed for doing what was right. He was discharged from the army for “Bad Conduct.” He knew that he could have gone to jail and that he’d have that mark on his record. But those were sacrifices he was willing to make for the good of the country. Michael New faced scrutiny from military officers. Yet he still stands strong in his belief that when you sign up for the U.S. military, you aren’t fighting for the U.N. of for some foreign dictatorship; you’re fighting for America.

He serves as a calling to my higher self because he acts wisely under pressure. He also does the right thing even though he knows the consequences. Michael New is willing to stand up for what is right. I admire these traits a lot and how he, with a promising military career ahead of him, decided he’d do the right thing and end up having to give it up. 

In conclusion, I believe that Michael New is a great person. He shows leadership, champions a good cause, and fights for what is right. He acts wisely under pressure and risked his future for the country.


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