Armchair commandos

What John Cole said:

After Operation Desert Shield and Storm, I was stationed at Camp Blackhorse in Doha Kuwait with the 11th ACR. We were an Armored Cavalry Regiment (ACR), which basically means we were a self contained unit. For each squdron, we had 3 Cav troops- Alpha, Bravo, and Charlie, which had two platoons of cav scouts in Bradley Fighting Vehicles, and two platoons of M1A1 tanks, and a mortar section for each troop. We also had Delta Company, which was nothing but armor (tanks), then a howitzer battery, our own medics, etc. Basically, a Regiment has three Squadrons with the makeup I described, and an Air Cav squadron with attack helicopters.

Basically, our mission for decades had been in the Fulda Gap in Germany to act as speed bumps when the Commies rolled through the valley. Our job was just to slow them the fuck down before the Armor deeper in country could mobilize and counterpunch. We were the guys who spent decades running border control between the West and East Germany. We were there when the wall fell, and we were there for reunification day in Germany.

Back to the story. When we were in Camp Doha in Kuwait, we would have rotations. Alpha troop (my unit), would go run border missions in Iraq while Bravo troop would do maintenance on their vehicles (the sand just killed tanks and wore down our equipment), while Charlie troop be in what we called Z-phase, which was running the security for our base. We had towers and gates and 12 foot walls, and armed troopers at every gate with mirrors to look underneath cars and plenty of folks to investigate people coming in as civilians to run base operations (cook, give haircuts, etc.).

So why am I telling you this? Because in the middle of one of the most dangerous regions in the world, even with clear Rules of Engagement, every time I went on gate duty, there was a piece of tape over my ammo clip on my M-16 and M1911 .45. Why? Because the most heavily armed military in the world did not want accidental shootings. If a situation arose, I would have to eject my ammo clip, remove the tape, and reinsert and work the action before I could fire.

This was in a combat zone. Yet I have spent the last two fucking days dealing with armchair commandos telling me they need unlimited firepower to be safe in… Connecticut.

3 Responses to Armchair commandos

  1. Bud Fields December 16, 2012 at 2:57 pm #


    I have just read your article on C&L, and wanted to know more about you. I came to your site, and have just read this article as well.

    In the midst of the trauma being experienced by a nation, I’m not certain that I should be addressing the problems you describe in your C&J article. But, I do concur with your conclusion entirely. The first thing I thought when the reports came in–especially regarding Nancy Lanza was that she surely must have been fighting a war she could not win alone. I hold that to be the case now, regardless of the evidence they have found or will find that will help explain the actions of her son. She was undoubtedly one of the first, if not the first victim. I have no children, but I raised three step-children whose mother was very ill, mentally. I know that particular fight.

    As a retired military Chaplain, whose last active duty was GWI, I am grateful for your service to our country. Thank you so very much. I am a Christ-follower, but I find most organized religion to be antithetical to the teachings of my Master. I am now disabled, and have a terminal diagnosis (third time!) . I understand inner struggle at least from that perspective, and what that means to others outside my situation. People do not grasp or understand it, and they generally do not know how to help, much less address it.

    I will pray for you and your son, and your situation. There is so much I cannot do, but I can do that. I will keep reading. As a writer, I know that sometimes getting the words down is the only hold to sanity, so I hope you will keep writing. Your words matter, and I hear them. I just wanted to let you know, and to thank you for writing them.

    Be strong. Be safe. Be well. Be in touch, okay?

    Blessings, Suzie, even in this very moment.

    Bud Fields

  2. susie December 16, 2012 at 3:40 pm #

    Bud, I didn’t write the article. A woman named Liza Long did.

  3. jawbone December 16, 2012 at 5:39 pm #

    Susie, thank you for posting this Cole piece. It helps those of us never in the military to understand better those words of the 2nd Amendment: “a well regulated militia.”

    John Roberts and the ConservaJustices did not seem to pay much mind to those words. Originalists? Ha.

Site Meter