The March Up: Taking Baghdad with the 1st Marine Division


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They wanted Ray to reassure them. A different version had it that he had assaulted a North Vietnamese machine-gun position with an E-tool. But the campaign was to remove an entire regime, not just one man.

Col. Joe Dowdy's 'Tempo' Displeased Superiors; Balance of Mission, Men

The eighteen-year-old infantryman goes to work each day preparing to kill other men, not an ordinary job. Shane Ferkovich could have gone to a community or four-year college, as half his classmates from high school did.

IRAQ/ SHOCK AND AWE

Or he could have stayed in the logging camps, working outdoors in the land of the Big Sky, earning enough money for a good set of wheels and hanging out with two or three buddies. If he wanted to enlist, there were twenty or thirty military fields that would teach him a skill useful for later civilian employment, like satellite communications, the military police, or computer hardware. Instead he chose the infantry. Of the twelve Marines, one was an immigrant applying for U.

Two came from self-described upper-middle-class homes; the rest were from working-class families. Ferkovich was an orphan, raised in foster homes. As diverse as they were, they had several traits in common. All had graduated from high school. All were volunteers. They had worked together as a team for over a year and were anxious to perform.

We asked them why they had chosen to join the Marines.

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They said that they wanted to do what was tough. Most mentioned they needed more discipline, and everyone knew what happens in Marine recruit depots: the drill instructors either shape you up or throw you out. Lance Corporal Answitz, twenty-four, had served in the Spetnatz, the Russian special forces, before emigrating to the United States.

Spetnatz had pushed the recruits harder physically, he said, making them exercise in T-shirts in subzero weather, but the Corps was mentally tougher; those Marine drill instructors got inside your head.

The Marines’ Perfect War

A corporal mentioned a popular Super Bowl TV commercial, where a young guy climbs a mountain and fights a dragon with a sword. After slashing it in two, he turns into a Marine in dress blues. The others laughed, agreeing that was cool. I asked if the squad members bought that, saying I thought the commercial was over the top. Did they really like it? These macho young men hesitated to answer. Finally Ferkovich spoke up.

alexacmobil.com/components/kuworyk/mih-cellulare-simile-alliphone.php Why did you choose that? Only 15 percent of all Marines belonged to the infantry.


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Not many of their high school classmates had joined the military, and practically none were in the infantry. So being a Marine rifleman meant belonging to a small, exclusive club. There were two squads assigned to seize the oil pumping station and the other squad leader, Cpl. Alejandro Garcia, nineteen, joined his friend Ferkovich for the final review.

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Garcia, as tall as Ferkovich, had a looser approach to life. He was from L. John Boyd, U. Seizing the Snoozle. West , Ray L. He lives in North Carolina. He is a renowned expert in urban combat and infantry tactics. Bing West is the author of several books, including the Vietnam classic The Village and the best-selling novel The Pepperdogs. On one occasion Mattis offered some water to a tired Marine passing his vehicle. The fact that West and Smith praise Mattis is a tribute to his leadership.


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  • These are two men who are not easily impressed. West was a Marine infantry officer in Vietnam where he commanded both a platoon and a company. He was assistant secretary of defense for international security affairs in the Reagan administration and is the author of several books, including the recent, well-received novel, The Pepperdogs.

    He commanded a company during the fight for Hue City during the Tet Offensive of He began the battle with men. Thirty-four days later, only seven of his men had not been killed or wounded. He commanded a battalion during the Grenada operation and later a division. My daughter asked about his nickname. As well-trained and well-led as they were, things often went wrong. Leaders made mistakes, but they learned as they went.


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    • Rumors about Iraqi car bombers and deceptive surrenders spread quickly, adding to the anxieties of the young Marines who would pay the price for complacency or a lack or vigilance. As one might expect of two men who have led Marines in combat, West and Smith demonstrate a deep and abiding affection for the young Marines who fill the pages of this book. West and Smith understand the bond that develops among men at war.

      They experienced it. Those you lived with were those you fought with and who would keep you alive. The Marines faced some sharp fights on the road to Baghdad and more once they arrived. The jihadis asked no quarter and the Marines gave them none. The Marines. Consequently the Marines shot them in the ditches and in the field.

      They threw grenades into the bulrushes and shot the fighters when they ran out.

      The March Up: Taking Baghdad with the 1st Marine Division The March Up: Taking Baghdad with the 1st Marine Division
      The March Up: Taking Baghdad with the 1st Marine Division The March Up: Taking Baghdad with the 1st Marine Division
      The March Up: Taking Baghdad with the 1st Marine Division The March Up: Taking Baghdad with the 1st Marine Division
      The March Up: Taking Baghdad with the 1st Marine Division The March Up: Taking Baghdad with the 1st Marine Division
      The March Up: Taking Baghdad with the 1st Marine Division The March Up: Taking Baghdad with the 1st Marine Division
      The March Up: Taking Baghdad with the 1st Marine Division The March Up: Taking Baghdad with the 1st Marine Division
      The March Up: Taking Baghdad with the 1st Marine Division The March Up: Taking Baghdad with the 1st Marine Division
      The March Up: Taking Baghdad with the 1st Marine Division The March Up: Taking Baghdad with the 1st Marine Division

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