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Posted: 5/14/2003 12:59:13 PM EDT
Got this from a Navy co-worker of mine.  This is an email floating around by a 1st Sgt Berry of the Warlords (not sure of the exact unit) to his boss on how things went in the sandbox.  Very interesting opinions of what worked and how, and I thought you guys might enjoy it.


-------Original Message-------

Subject: Fw: Taking care of Marines/People

A note from one of my former First Sergeants with a Battalion that just pulled out of Iraq and is sailing home after 10 months at Sea and Iraq as part of 24 MEU. Should be mandatory reading for every NCO, SNCO, and Officer in the Army and Marine Corps. I had earlier asked the First Sergeant to makeme a list of what he thought were the most critical AAR items immediately upon his returrn to the ship. Dammed fine piece of work. Definitely an infantrymans perspective written less than 48 hours after leaving Iraq.

-----Original Message-----

Sir, without making a big formal list at this time.

Start a sleep plan before you go ashore and ensure your Marines sleep.  No
vehicle accidents because we made Marines sleep.

SAPIE Plates in the flacks  {high power rifle round protective plates in flack jackets - now called body armor}.  Yes they are heavy but worked.

Forced hydration works.

"Stand to" morning and evening no matter what.  Plan around these events if
you can.

MOLLIE LBV is crap  {type of load bearing vest}.  We put all of our gear on the flak jacket.

Know how  to read and do everything off a 1:100,000 map or even LAT Long.

GPS does work.  Use check points.  We made maps of towns and routes by hand.

Several NAMs going to LCpl's who drew copies of maps and routes at all
hours.  Great work!

Field Hygiene.  Marines got sick.  Some pretty bad.  Look at your Marines
daily if you can.  Ask questions.  Marines will not tell you they are sick
until they go down hard.  They are a proud bunch.

Know first aid.  Make it a top training event.  Get medical supplies and put

them in each vehicle.  We used a ammo can with pressure dressings and IV's.
Teach your Marines how to give IV's.

Logsistics drove operations.  Ask the 4 before you do any event  {4 is short for G-4 the beans and bullets guys} .  We made some long moves, as long as 15 hours on the road at a time.  Plan your
supplies.  Fuel was the key more than water.  There is always room for some

NVG's work.  Use them.  All night devices worked great.  Battieries can be
an issue.  Plan!

A combat load is heavy on the Marines and the vehicles.  Take only what you

Always plan fire support.  We held a major road intersection in the middle
of no were.  We used Mortars as security and out of the blue we needed
Mortar fire.  Plan for it.  Lay guns in all four directions for 360
coverage.  Plan on call targets.  Plan for and use illum. Training in combat?  You bet.  Talk throught it, walk throught it.  Use
sticks and rocks.  Get the Cpl up there to brief what is going on.  He knows
more than most.  Immediate action drills for everything.

MOPP gear is hot.  Plan for it.  Marines wore nothing under the MOPP gear to
stay cool.  Do NBC drills.  Do NBC drills while driving.

Study Convoy operations.  If you have CAAT, JAV, or LAR put them in charge
and have them run the convoy.  You may be senior but they know how to do
this and this lets commanders worry about the bigger picture.  Brief your
convoys.  Never "just drive away".  Give each vehicle a number, from 1 to
the very end.  Some convoys were big.  We went from 1 to 75.  Know the
senior man in each vehicle.  Know what is in you convoy.  An avvenger has
FLIR.  Use everything to your advantage.  Forget call signs.  Use the
vehicle numbers.  It worked!

Plan to have no air on station.  We had none.  Plan for 81's hip shoots.  

Plan for a react force for any major event.  Have that reserve ready.  We
used it several times.  CAAT, LAR, JAV, even 5 trucks of HQ type guys with
SAWS is better than nothing.

Plan for vehicle recovery and brief it.  Get more tow bars.  Use tow straps.

Spread you MT Mechs all over the BLT.  These guys saved us everyday.

Know how to re-trans VHF comm and plan for it.  We talked 65k with it.  Know  
HF and use it.   {VHF and HF are 2 different types of radio in common use-pat}

PM everything as time permits.  {PM is preventive maintenance)  Our vehicles never ran better because the
Marines did not want to get stuck on the side of the road.  If a vehicel
goes down in a convy give them 5 minutes and after that tow it.  If several
go down plan for mutiple tows.  If the situtation is bad plan to grab
mission type gear and radios and blow the vehicle.  You can get another
vehicle if it prevents a fire fight.

Use panel markers, IR Chemlites  {the "brake and shake" lights in infrared}  and STROBES to ID you vehciels and
positions.  Saves lives.

Know how to enter and exit friendly lines on foot and in vehcile.  With and
without comm.  3X2 with NVG's works.   (3x2 is a view finder size in the night vision goggles}

Use the LEATHENECK to let friendly units know when fire is outgoing.  This
really applies to mortars.  Marines get really jumpy when mortars start
going off.  

EOD is your friend.  Don't blow enemy weapons on your own unless you have
to.  Mark it and get a grid and call EOD.  {EOD= Explosive Ordnance Disposal}

Plan for medivac.  On foot, vehicles and air.  Don't count on the air.  Look
for LZ's  {landing zones} at all times.

Get you Marines mail to them even if it means shooting your way to them with

LAV's  {light armored vehicles} .  They get mail and they will do anything for you.

Use the SAT Phone.  Forget the cost.  Grab a few young Marines when you can
and let them call home.  That Marine could lead the entire Bn {abbriviarion for Battalion} after he talks
to his wife after a fire fight.

Never baby your Marines.  Expect the world from them.  Never back off.  They
want to show you they can do the job.  When you think you need a SSgt to do
the job grab a Cpl or Sgt and he will do it better and faster.

NCO's run the fight no matter how much you get on the radio.  Sit back and
listen to them.  You might just learn something from them.

LAV's rule the desert.  Use them if you have them.

Big convoy on the hardball? {hardball = paved road} At night?  Turn the lights on and go fast as
the slowest vehcile.  Point a few dozen machineguns outboard and drive like
hell.  LAV's and 7 tons can do 65 at night on the hardball.  Tell you
Marines to stay off the roads at night.  Convoys will go by on short notice.

It's better to be going fast and being able to see than trying to have 75
vehciles going 20 MPH on NVG's.

Driving or walking ensure you are looking up, down, left and right at all times.
View Quote

Link Posted: 5/14/2003 1:01:47 PM EDT
Kids were everywhere.  Don't throw anything out of the vehicles.  Bring OC  {it's like MACE or pepper spray}
spray, yes even to combat.  Works great on dogs, kids and POWS.

Know how to do a real vehcile checkpoint.  Stand off distance.  Wire,
obstacles, sandbags, dig holes.  We used everything we could get our hands
on.  We used old cars for cover and used a forklift to move them.  Cover you
checkpoints with heavy fire.  Know what to do if you suspect a IED {improvised explosive device} on a
vehcile or person.  Marines are now experts at checking vehciles.  

Know how to search a vehicle and people day and night.  

Get the chaplin to your pos even if you have to fight your way to him.  We
did Easter service after stand to at 0300Z.

Ensure you brief any attachments on everything that is going on.  Nothing is
to small to forget.  Assign them holes.

No one has to much rank to dig.

Plan for where you put your heads.  It's a big deal with over 200 Marines in
a matter of hours.

Talk to any units in the area.  Ask questions.  You will learn so much from
them.  Talk to the Army.  They do good things also.

A can of dip, cigar, pack of smokes and a hand shake go along way.  A cup of

coffee helps.  Make a cup if you can and give half to a young Marine at
stand to and he will remember it.

Watch your Marines eyes.  They tell you everything.  Look at your NCO's eyes
and you know what is going on.

Buy a short waive radio and get the news.  Write it down under a poncho at
0200.  Get the baseball scores out to the Marines and you are a hero.

Have all the e-mail addresses of your Marines wives.  Get to any HHQ and
send a blanket e-mail to all of them.

It's OK to allow the Marines to take their blouse off if it is hot.  Their
skins gets tough really fast.  If it's really hot the can go around without
blousing their boots.  Don't worry SgtMaj, they won't do it in the rear.

Promote your Marines on time if you can.  We promoted a Marine in 81's to
Merit SSgt in the field a few hours after a fire fight.  Can't begin to put
a price on that.

If nothing is going on make the junior Marines sleep and you watch the
radios for a few hours.

Every Marine is a driver and should have a license.  In Weapons Company that
needs to be every Marine from the CO down.

Know what a "short count" is and demand you use them. {radio communications checks}

Ensure your Marines write letters on anything they can get their hands on.
MRE boxes work great.  I put a ammo can on my vehcile for outgoing mail.
Get the mail out.  There is always a way.  Pass if off to other units if you
have to.  Find a helo and give him your mail.  Give him a can of dip to do
it for you.

Know how to do a range card  {ranges to targets for air or motor support} on a piece of MRE box.  Use the GVS-5.  {Military verrsion of the GPS}

We got a distance to everything.  Get the word out.  If you stop to fix a vehicle
close to a town get a distance to a few points and get the word out.  You
will here Marines making adjustments on their sights.  Only hits count.
Know how to esitmate range day and night.

Sir, sorry for going on and on but there is so much more.  As a 1stSgt I
only paid attention to the little things.

-----Original Message-----
From: LD  
Sent: Saturday, April 26, 2003 11:56 AM
To: Berry 1stSgt XXXX X.

1st Sergeant, Welcome back. I tracked the Warlords closely during your stay
in country, dammed proud of each and everyone of you. Would very much enjoy
hearing your thoughts and after action assessments as you sail home. You
guys are probably busy as hell right now cleaning and packing up, and I know
a First Segeants work is never done. Please pass on my congrats to the team
for a job well done. I look forward to hearing from you soon. LDN

-----Original Message-----
From: Berry 1stSgt  XXXX  X.
Sent: Saturday, April 26, 2003 9:17 AM
To: 'LD.


Sir, the WARLORDS are back loading.  We are brining every Marine and Sailor
home.  I can't even begin to say what an honor it was to serve beside those
young Marines.  They did everything asked of them and asked for more.  True
professionals.  No stupid mistakes.  No stupid safety issues.  Just good
hard execution at the NCO level.  I am not worthy to stand in the same
formation with these men.  They all grew several years older in a matter of
weeks.  As we sort this out I will send some pictures of the WARLORDS in
action.  Someone was looking out for us on this one.  Weapons Company's new
motto is "no one works harder".  

Semper Fi, 1stSgt Berry
View Quote

[edited for size]

Link Posted: 5/14/2003 1:12:41 PM EDT
Link Posted: 5/14/2003 2:15:31 PM EDT
7-Ton trucks? what is this?

are they replacing 5-tons or is this a typo?
Link Posted: 5/14/2003 2:34:02 PM EDT
7-Ton trucks? what is this?

are they replacing 5-tons or is this a typo?
View Quote

The Medium Tactical Vehicle Replacement (MTVR) is a 7 ton flatbed truck made by Oshkosh.

Link Posted: 5/14/2003 3:51:19 PM EDT
OK, i looked it up.  

The 7-Ton MTVRs are replacing the old 5-tons in the Marine Corps.

While, the FMTVs have and are replacing the old 2.5-Tons and 5-Tons in the Army.
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