Don't Mind ME - I'm Just An Advisor

Posted by Michael J. PENNEY on

What do advisors DO, actually. We assess, train, advise, and assist local national forces in maintaining a police presence. 

How we do this is by embedding with local national forces through proper military assets. We look and effectively operate like any other Marine Infantry team, with one big difference... there are usually 12 members to a team embedded with 50+ local units; we worked with a group of 83. 

Out manned and out gunned it's easy to see how this may be a tenuous situation to find oneself in, let alone volunteer for. 

So what makes this group of Marines and Sailors special?  TRAINING

To your average person this picture looks like a couple of military people with some local kids. But look at the next photo...

I've highlighted a few key areas of interest. Let's start with the "BOMB COMPONENTS" that the children are standing on or around. Note the "AFGHAN MALE". That guy was ancient. He's the baby sitter; his wife helps too but she's inside whenever strangers come around. Burkah Burkah muhamad jihad

Why are these components out in the open?  

When we approached from from the left, around the corner, the group of Afghan males [to the right - out of frame] were working where the kids are now. They abandoned their project when we appeared. 

Seeing the components, my assistant patrol leader and I stopped and talked with the locals and had one of the police officers snap a few photos.

Note my left hand and shoulder pointed toward the group I've turned my back toward and lowered my shooting hand to shake the child's, while the other Marine maintains positive control of his rifle and awareness of the males over my shoulder. It's all smoothly coordinated. We trained hard to do it instinctively.

We also had our interpreter asking questions while we actively listened.  

Peh Pashto Jaba Pohege?   Oh you don't speak Pashtu?  We were trained in it.

That's why advisors are special. We work with the locals to develop their professional skills so they can do the same work effectively without us present. We posses a unique set of skills. We are highly trained and, extremely effective.  We are at the tip of the spear. We are among you.

If you enjoyed this little slice of life in the Corps and want to read more of my work, consider subscribing for updates and a chance to win $1000 T-Shirt.

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Hey folks, I am Michael J. PENNEY....

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