Role Player Injured During a Training Exercise, Soldier Charged

| February 27, 2020

Ahmed Altameemi, a civilian role player, sustained injuries during a training exercise. (Jeremy Finley)

A soldier is facing charges for an assault on a civilian role player. During the exercise, Ahmed Altameemi was brought in to play a terrorist. This individual knew where the hostage, that the soldiers were looking for, was at.

Altameemi was badly injured during the course of the investigation to get information on the hostage’s location. The soldiers were apparently told not to worry about the comfort of the role players. As to what was said during the incident, there are conflicting accounts.

From WSMV News 4:

“They were supposed to train as you fight,” Desiree Hasenbein said.

The investigation reads when the soldiers found Altameemi, he resisted, breaking free of flex cuffs, and was then taken down to the floor.

While some of the soldiers said they could not hear Altameemi speak, Greg Ciniello, identified as special mission support, said while videotaping the training heard Altameemi said, “That’s too much brother.”

The investigation then reads that Hasenbein delivered multiple knee strikes to Altameemi’s head and multiple closed-fist strikes to his body.”

The investigation also reads that it was unclear whether the proper safe word was said to stop the incident.

The Soldier’s wife does not think that this is fair. The interviewer asked about the scenario, where it became evident that actual injuries were taking place, if it was going too far. The wife responded in the negative, arguing that this was a case of special forces saving a hostage.

WSMV News 4 has the article and video at this link.

Category: Army

Comments (14)

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  1. Comm Center Rat says:

    “All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players: they have their exits and their entrances; and one man in his time plays many parts, his acts being seven ages.” ~ Shakespeare

  2. Ret_25X says:

    Ruh Roh shaggy…..

    SGM got in trouble as a private for calling an OPFOR NCO a “m*********er”, and tackling him during a counter recon mission at JRTC (back at Fort Chaffee)…just a little to much adrenaline pushing the mission that night…thankfully no one was hurt and the NCO wasn’t butt hurt so some push ups fixed everything right up.

    I know how this can happen 😉

  3. Commissar says:

    Train as you fight but don’t display idiotic judgement. Soldiers train against OPFOR and roll players continuously but nobody fixes a bayonet and charges them, nobody butt strikes the role players.

    This guy acted like an idiot,

    • Ret_25X says:

      controlling aggression is one of the most important skills soldiers must master.

      It comes faster for some than others and never in units with dipshit officers who over esteem it.

      Had he done this in combat he may well have been praised for it, so this may be an idiot leader, not an idiot trooper.

      On the other hand, he may be a real ding-a-ling and the Army may be better off without him. We just don’t know–and neither does his Commander, I’ll bet.

      But, that is why we have NJP. To find out what the malfunction is.

      • FuzeVT says:

        “controlling aggression is one of the most important skills soldiers must master”

        100% correct. Otherwise, you’re an armed mob. That leads to very bad things happening. We’ve all seen what can happen when emotions rule the day in our military history. We don’t need any of those black marks any more.

        And getting too amped up in training with a role player? I will grant that possibility that the role player may have been over playing his role, but to the original point, just consider that another opportunity to maintain your cool. Turn to the evaluators and say, “Can you tell hot shot here to chill da fug out?”

    • CA_SGT says:

      Its a training exercise, with civilians. The roleplayers aren’t going through SERE school. Dude should have never assaulted him. Even if he was ordered to do so, we’re better than that as soldiers and we have a duty to ignore unlawful commands. He deserves a court-martial.

      • 11B-Mailclerk says:

        Need more info on this one.

        For example, did the role player contractually agree to realistic play, up to and including actual hand-to-hand under “full contact” rules? Since there was discussion of a “safe word”, I infer that there were permitted forms of fighting, pain-compliance, and/or outright duress.

        I have been in a training roleplay where such rules were in force. One schmuck ignored the repeated safety-briefed “tap out” while “holding me hostage” with an excessive-zeal chokehold. His response to each tapout was to bear down harder. OK tiger. This old dog can play hardball too.

        And that baseball sized pointy rock was just sitting there, a foot from his knee, and that big tendon in front of it. Oh, so -now- you acknowledge the tap-out, eh?

        So I do “get” how this stuff happens. Been on both sides. Leaning towards “excessive zeal in heat of moment”, but need more info on this one.

  4. The Other Whitey says:

    I get “train as you fight/practice like you play,” and there’s good reasons for it. I’m also aware that little is gained by treating the bad guys with kid gloves, and I won’t clutch pearls over ISIS rapist getting their shit stomped.

    I’ve also been a roleplayer in numerous Fire/LE training scenarios over the years. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t occasionally troll the participants for my own amusement via outlandish behavior, exaggerated belligerence, liberal use of profanity and offensive language in Spanish, and at one point doing a 20-minute Dave Chapelle impression.

    However, I’m sure we can all agree to draw a common sense line at “Don’t beat the shit out of the roleplayers facilitating your goddamn training evolution, dumbass!”

  5. 5th/77th FA says:

    Looks like plenty of teh stoopid to go around all three parties, the Training Company, A Co, and the MSG. Don’t think the MSG should be the only one on the hook for all of this tho. If it is proven that he was not given the “safe word” or the role player didn’t use it, then he should walk. But like TOW pointed out, don’t think it’s a good idea to beat down too hard on the guy that may be grading the papers. Flip side of that is the guy doing the grading may take off points for them not being rough enough on the role player.

  6. Mason says:

    If this guy’s been downrange I fully expect a PTSD defense. He very well have had a bit of a break with reality when confronted with a real feeling exercise. It happens.

    I can’t envision any training scenario when you’re kneeing someone in the head. That’s deadly force. You don’t get much intel out of a brain dead terrorist.

    Where was the cadre, the team leaders, the platoon leaders? Even the guy filming it could have stepped in (though I can’t really fault him for not jumping between a Green Beret all battle rattled up and the dude he’s curb stomping). We’ve all gotten the safety brief that everyone is a safety officer on exercises like this.

  7. Dan says:

    The wife aint helping the defense lawyer much…..

  8. Prior Service says:

    Stationed at Fort Lewis after OIF1, we used to mobilize Guard units. One time, we mob’d a unit going to Gitmo. None of us really knew the Gitmo mission requirements, but we did train the tactical task: “bust up a prison riot” pretty hard. We would hire locals who would show up to role play detainees. Not many came back for a second day.

  9. timactual says:

    My year at Ft. Benning was largely spent in role playing for the various schools there. Never had any of the trainees go that far, but I was tempted a couple of times to use a little physical counseling on some particularly stupid and offensive trainees.

    “The soldiers were apparently told not to worry about the comfort of the role players.”

    Evidently some of our soldiers are too dumb to differentiate between comfort and serious injury.I wonder if the court martial board will believe the defense that “multiple knee strikes to the head” can be called “uncomfortable”.