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9/22/2017 12:11:25 AM
Posted: 8/1/2005 6:38:51 AM EDT
news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/ap/20050731/ap_on_re_mi_ea/iraq_sheik_soldier

Another example of "outside of the box" thinking getting the job done.


QAYYARAH, Iraq - Sheik Horn floats around the room in white robe and headdress, exchanging pleasantries with dozens of village leaders. But he's the only sheik with blonde streaks in his mustache — and the only one who attended country music star Toby Keith's recent concert in Baghdad with fellow U.S. soldiers.

Officially, he's Army Staff Sgt. Dale L. Horn, but to residents of the 37 villages and towns that he patrols he's known as the American sheik.

Sheiks, or village elders, are known as the real power in rural
Iraq. And the 5-foot-6-inch Floridian's ascension to the esteemed position came through dry humor and the military's need to clamp down on rocket attacks.

Late last year a full-blown battle between insurgents and U.S. and Iraqi forces had erupted, and U.S. commanders assigned a unit to stop rocket and mortar attacks that regularly hit their base. Horn, who had been trained to operate radars for a field artillery unit, was now thrust into a job that largely hinged on coaxing locals into divulging information about insurgents.

Horn, 25, a native of Fort Walton Beach, Fla., acknowledges he had little interest in the region before coming here. But a local sheik friendly to U.S. forces, Dr. Mohammed Ismail Ahmed, explained the inner workings of rural Iraqi society on one of Horn's first Humvee patrols.

Horn says he was intrigued, and started making a point of stopping by all the villages, all but one dominated by Sunni Arabs, to talk to people about their life and security problems.

Moreover, he pressed for development projects in the area: he now boasts that he helped funnel $136,000 worth of aid into the area. Part of that paid for delivery of clean water to 30 villages during the broiling summer months.

"They saw that we were interested in them, instead of just taking care of the bases," Horn said.

Mohammed, Horn's mentor and known for his dry sense of humor, eventually suggested during a meeting of village leaders that Horn be named a sheik. The sheiks approved by voice vote, Horn said.

Some sheiks later gave him five sheep and a postage stamp of land, fulfilling some of the requirements for sheikdom. Others encouraged him to start looking for a second wife, which Horn's spouse back in Florida immediately vetoed.

But what may have originally started as a joke among crusty village elders has sprouted into something serious enough for 100 to 200 village leaders to meet with Horn each month to discuss security issues.

And Horn doesn't take his responsibilities lightly. He lately has been prodding the Iraqi Education Ministry to pay local teachers, and he closely follows a water pipeline project that he hopes will ensure the steady flow of clean water to his villages.

"Ninety percent of the people in my area are shepherds or simple townspeople," said Horn. "They simply want to find a decent job to make enough money to provide food and a stable place for their people to live."

To Horn's commanders, his success justifies his unorthodox approach: no rockets have hit their base in the last half year.

"He has developed a great relationship with local leaders," said Lt. Col. Bradley Becker, who commands the 2nd Battalion, 8th Field Artillery Regiment. "They love him. They're not going to let anyone shoot at Sheik Horn."

He has even won occasional exemption from the military dress code — villagers provide a changing room where he can change from desert camouflage to robes upon arrival.

There are downsides. In his small trailer on base, Horn keeps antibiotics to take after unhygienic village meals.

"I still refuse to kiss him," joked Becker, referring to the cheek-kissing greetings exchanged among sheiks. "He doesn't have any sheep — he can't be a sheik," said Becker, apparently unaware of the recent donation of the small flock.

Some may say he's doing a tongue-in-cheek Lawrence of Arabia, but Horn says he doesn't know much about the legendary British officer who led the Arab revolt against the Ottoman Empire in World War I.

He acknowledges some villagers are offended at seeing a foreign soldier in clothing usually reserved for elders, but he says this has diminished over time.

The sheiks told Horn they will give him an official document deeming him a sheik before he goes home in about two months. He plans to frame it.

And the robe? "Maybe I'll put it in the closet and wear it on occasion," Horn said.

Link Posted: 8/1/2005 6:43:48 AM EDT
Yeah, I just saw this on CNN





­



LOL, Just playin, they are still cheering on the insurgency and ignoring any progress...
Link Posted: 8/1/2005 6:50:09 AM EDT
Wow! This is clearly thinking out of the box!
Good stuff Horn
Link Posted: 8/1/2005 6:51:55 AM EDT
Ha! That is too friggin' cool.
Link Posted: 8/1/2005 6:52:32 AM EDT
Link Posted: 8/1/2005 6:54:24 AM EDT
Excellent!
Link Posted: 8/1/2005 6:59:13 AM EDT
I'm only about an hour from his home, and I know we've got a few other members there. I'll have to look him up when he comes home and
Link Posted: 8/1/2005 7:06:19 AM EDT
Outstanding stuff...

~Dg84
Link Posted: 8/1/2005 7:10:10 AM EDT
Cool
Link Posted: 8/1/2005 9:09:13 AM EDT
He can go to toga parties later with the robe.
Link Posted: 8/1/2005 9:14:31 AM EDT
Talk about an additional duty! I thought being the Safety NCO was a big deal!
Link Posted: 8/1/2005 9:16:04 AM EDT
Great story!
Link Posted: 8/1/2005 9:19:26 AM EDT


That's too awsome!
Link Posted: 8/1/2005 9:27:55 AM EDT
Now that is truly winning the hearts and minds of the people. Great job!!
Link Posted: 8/1/2005 9:29:04 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Spade:


Some sheiks later gave him five sheep and a postage stamp of land, fulfilling some of the requirements for sheikdom. Others encouraged him to start looking for a second wife, which Horn's spouse back in Florida immediately vetoed.




Leave it up to the 1st wife to oppress the sheik. Personally I'd like to have a six pac of wives
but Im sure my 1st would oppress me too
Link Posted: 8/1/2005 1:14:37 PM EDT

Originally Posted By V-Rod:
[
Leave it up to the 1st wife to oppress the sheik. Personally I'd like to have a six pac of wives
but Im sure my 1st would oppress me too



While I was going to St Ives,
I met a man with seven wives.

I know this sounds absurd and looney,
But this poor guy was Mickey Rooney.
Link Posted: 8/1/2005 4:45:24 PM EDT
Guy named Lawrence did that years ago...about time someone started winning their hearts
Link Posted: 8/1/2005 4:47:33 PM EDT
boy is some career officer pissed he didn't get this for his next MSM.
Way to go Sergeant.
Link Posted: 8/1/2005 5:00:46 PM EDT
another thing I have failed to accomplish
Link Posted: 8/1/2005 5:04:36 PM EDT

Originally Posted By BlairHous:
Wow! This is clearly thinking out of the box!
Good stuff Horn



+1, hearts and minds, people. This man should be made a honorary Green Beret, too.
Link Posted: 8/1/2005 6:00:09 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Spade:
news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/ap/20050731/ap_on_re_mi_ea/iraq_sheik_soldier

Another example of "outside of the box" thinking getting the job done.


"Ninety percent of the people in my area are shepherds or simple townspeople," said Horn. "They simply want to find a decent job to make enough money to provide food and a stable place for their people to live."



The basics of life. Food water shelter and a decent education for the kids. If the CO were smart...he'd beg the SGT on bended knee to extend!
Link Posted: 8/2/2005 3:58:04 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Bob1984:

Originally Posted By BlairHous:
Wow! This is clearly thinking out of the box!
Good stuff Horn



+1, hearts and minds, people. This man should be made a honorary Green Beret, too.





Damned good point. This is EXACTLY the kind of stuff the Berets are supposed to do!
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