Browsing: Iraq

If you follow sports on the Internet, you’ve likely heard of Matt Ufford. The Marine veteran has turned his quick wit into a writing career on sites like Kissing Suzy Kolber, With Leather and SB Nation, churning out both analysis and off-color humor from his lair in Brooklyn, N.Y. Ufford has touched on his military service on occasion in the past. Still, his new piece on GQ.com will probably resonate with the many readers here who were involved in the initial invasion of Iraq 10 years ago this week. Ufford was a platoon commander with 1st Tank Battalion, out of…

Like no other officer in a generation, Gen. James Mattis has inspired those around him with his wisdom, candor and appreciation for rank-and-file U.S. service members. Now, he’s planning to retire, wrapping up a 41-year career in which he led Task Force 58 during the 2001 invasion of Afghanistan and 1st Marine Division during the 2003 invasion of Iraq. I examine Mattis’ place in history in Marine Corps Times’ cover story this week. The story is currently available online on Marine Corps Times Prime. Since 2010, the general known by the call sign “Chaos” has run U.S. Central Command, overseeing…

Marine veterans from the first major battle of Operation Iraqi Freedom will meet up later this month to mark its tenth anniversary. Up to 1,000 of the original 7,100 Marines and sailors who fought in the battle of  Nasiriyah are expected to meet up in Quantico, Va. March 23 to reminisce and remember fallen brothers-in-arms. Nasiriyah, fought from March 23-29, 2003, was a costly engagement between Ba’athist Iraqi forces and Marines as U.S. forces forged northward to depose the dictator Saddam Hussein in Baghdad. Casualties included 17 Marines and 11 U.S. soldiers, but American forces, led by the 2nd Marine…

Ten years ago, more than 100,000 U.S. forces sat poised in the Kuwait desert, waiting for a breakneck push over the Iraqi border to Baghdad. The U.S. invasion began March 20, 2003. Given the sheer scope and costs of the subsequent war in Iraq, it only seemed appropriate that the Military Times newspaper chain would mark the anniversary of the invasion. To that end, we’ve launched “10 Years After the Invasion,” a four-part series. The series, published online here, includes interviews with many of the planners who designed the initial takedown of Baghdad. Consider these comments in Part 2 of…

When in doubt, expect a child to steal the show. That eternal truth was on display again Monday at the White House, as the son of former Army Staff Sgt. Clinton Romesha wandered on stage before his father’s Medal of Honor ceremony. The Associated Press video here captures it best: You’ve got to love the Marine captain ushering little Colin off the stage without incident. For more coverage of today’s ceremony, check out Army Times’ story.

While sitting in a squad bay listening to a core values discussion aboard Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island, S.C., Anthony Cuchens Jr. thought the ambush his senior drill instructor was describing sounded familiar. Sgt. Nicholas Lanier was telling his recruits about the day he lost his friend and former roommate to sniper fire in Haditha, Iraq in 2006. As details emerged, Cuchens said he felt chills run through his body — he knew this story. That’s when the new recruit, still in phase one of boot camp, stood up and asked his DI if the name Lance. Cpl.…

Navy Secretary Ray Mabus reinforced the Navy Department’s longstanding support for fallen Sgt. Rafael Peralta receiving the Medal of Honor on Monday, creating a wave of news coverage as defense officials review new evidence in the case. The decision to give Peralta the nation’s top valor award rests with Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, Mabus told reporters after a ceremony at Camp Pendleton, Calif., where three Marines and a sailor were honored for heroism in Afghanistan in 2010. Mabus’ support for Peralta receiving the Medal of Honor has been consistent, he said. The comments come more than eight years after Peralta,…

MARINE CORPS BASE QUANTICO, Va. – Officer candidates will now be training and running on trails named for some of the hardest battles fought by Marines during the recent conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan. Col. Kris Stillings, commanding officer at Officer Candidates School, led a ceremony today here at Marine Corps Base Quantico, Va. He stood with officer candidates lined up in formation at the newly named intersection of Fallujah and Kunar trails. Sangin Trail, the third to be named, runs slightly to the north. “These trails, just like the other trails we have here … these names mean something,”…

It has been more than a year since President Obama draped the Medal of Honor, the nation’s highest valor award, around the neck of Dakota Meyer. Today, the Marine’s own account of the Sept. 8, 2009, ambush in Ganjgal, Afghanistan, that led to the award hits shelves in bookstores. “Into the Fire,” written with the help of author Bing West, recounts the botched mission in which he and several other U.S. service members risked life and limb in an attempt to recover the bodies of four fellow members of an embedded training team that had gone missing in a maelstrom…

Lt. Gen. John Kelly will soon become the new four-star commander at U.S. Southern Command, a post that will require him to oversee the fight against drug trafficking, natural disasters, humanitarian crises and cyber warfare in central and South America. As the Long War Journal points out, Kelly delivered a powerful 30-minute speech on Tuesday to the American Legion National Convention in Indianapolis. He addresses the extremist nature of the threat the U.S. faces from terrorists and how difficult it is for a family to deal with the loss of a loved one in a war zone — something he…

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