By David J. Danelo
A occasionally harrowing, usually funny, and sometimes tragic examine the Marine Corps from the interior out in its fight with the insurgency in Iraq. Drawing from own event within the complicated, lethal clash presently being fought within the streets and again alleys of Iraqi cities and villages, Danelo specializes in the younger Marine leaders--corporals and sergeants--whose task it truly is to take even more youthful Marines into conflict, shut with and smash an elusive enemy, and produce their boys again domestic back. unfortunately, there are losses, yet actual to the Marine Corps spirit, they soldier on, incomes their blood stripes the single method they recognize how--the challenging way.
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Extra resources for Blood Stripes: The Grunt's View of the War in Iraq
Regiment is too far removed, but the battalion is close enough to become an extension of oneself. The clan goes to war together. Marines who combated the Iraqi insurgency in 2004 trained, deployed, and returned to the comforts of home as battalions. This was not always the case. During the Vietnam War, men rotated back and forth from ’Nam to the World as individuals rather than units. ” The response is Two Numbers. Marines wage war in small units as squads, platoons, and companies. Nonetheless, when queried for his unit's title, a grunt invariably replies with the Two Numbers—One Five, Two Four, Three Seven, Three Four—that serve to designate his particular tribe.
Some find the Spartan Way because they want to protect, lead, and serve. Some want to prove to themselves and the rest of the world that they have earned their citizenship and voice in their republic. Some want to use military service as an honorable rite of passage; they define their maturity simply by wearing the uniform. And some young men, like Dusty Soudan, want a validation of their masculinity like no other: passing the test of mortal combat. Dusty Soudan has sandy hair, intense blue eyes, and a pugnacious face.
By title and job description, the platoon commander and platoon sergeant wield the most power among the forty Marines that comprise a standard platoon. Each platoon has three squads of about a dozen, normally led by corporals or sergeants. Each squad has three fire teams. A fire team has four men: the rifleman (a boot), the assistant SAW-gunner (a junior lance corporal), the SAW-gunner (a senior lance corporal), and the team leader. The fire team is built around the SAW, which stands for squad automatic weapon.