Thursday, July 22, 2004

Why We Fight

Our new Company Commander is a hard core guy. He was originally an NCO, and reached all the way to E-6 before becoming an officer. The unit he was in before was the 75th Ranger Regiment. Which is an elite infantry unit. It's a regiment that are infantryman, except they train more and alittle harder than regular army units and are alittle tougher on their soldiers, discipline wise. They have to be, because their are like being shock troopers. Though many regular army units such as mine believes they are alittle just infantryman that go to the field alittle more and given a hugh budget, so they get all the best equipment. Anyway, he has been really on our ass about training. All we have been doing is train train  train and train. We have been done a TON of CQB (Close Quarter Battle), which is good, because I love training for and doing CQB. He has also been really gung-ho about physical fitness. If we don't get at least a 70% on our Physical fitness test, we will have to do a couple hours extra physical fitness with the CO. Usually when we run as a company, we don't run that fast in case some people fall out, but this guy makes us run FAST and if we aren't sounding off as loud as we can, then he makes us stop and starts making us do a ton of pushups and sit ups and other exercises to punish us while he is cursing at us. It's a big change of pace for us, because we just got back from Iraq and expected to be taking it easy for awhile, but that went out the window when our Brigade got sent to Iraq and we are slated to go back sometime around the new year. So, now we are training pretty hard and will start to go to ranges all the time and going to the field and doing all kinds of missions. It's true like they say though, the more you sweat and bleed in peace time, the less you bleed in war. So, I think we may hate all this right now, we'll be thankful for it once we get back into the sandbox.

You don't realize how much you really depend on the guy to your left and your right until you start to train and really go off to war. In a urban battle, you totally have to depend on the guy to cover any area while you cover a different one totally ignoring it knowing he has it covered. Like when entering and clearing a room, the first guy covers one corner and the other guys covers the other corner and you don't even look at the other corner hoping the other guy has it covered. You cannot survive in a war without being a team player, it is essential to survival. You have to cover your buddy and he has to cover you. We soldiers go to war and fight for one another. We are really a family. The way we look at each other is that we are all a family, and very close knit family. Alot of people call us brainwashed and war mongers. They don't understand it's not about that, it's about the men next to you, and that's all it is.

The Marines killed 25 insurgents and captured 20 plus others. It was a good example of the Marines professionalism and skill in fighting.  I wish the news could cover more stories like this, but they are happening fewer and fewer, because the US military is now mostly letting the Iraqis do the tough grunt work. In the past I think the military tried to avoid bragging about it's victories over enemy combatants because of what happened in Vietnam when people claimed we kicked the Vietcong's ass and yet it was percieved that we lost the war militarily.