Content With My Wages, A Sergeant’s Story: Book III-Afghanistan

By | July 2, 2019

Thirty six years after I left Vietnam as a young combat Infantry sergeant, I was eager to return to the battlefield to do my part in the War on Terror. After the attacks of 911 and the subsequent invasion of Afghanistan resulting in the dispersal of the Taliban and their allies, a coalition of fifty-nine countries entered Afghanistan. Bulgaria, Canada, France, Germany, Great Britain, Mongolia, New Zealand, Romania and the U.S. were among the nations that joined together to form Coalition Joint Task Force Phoenix for the common purpose of rebuilding a national army for Afghanistan. Joint Coalition Warfare is an intricate operational kabuki dance, with contention among the allies as intense as it is with their enemies. When the supposed masters of this chaotic environment, the U.S. Army Special Forces, were called away from this foreign internal defense task that is one of their core missions, the U.S. Department of Defense under Donald Rumsfeld decided to replace them with units of the Army National Guard. For purposes of cohesion and unit readiness, the Defense Department took units from Texas, Rhode Island, and various other states and territories and put them under the command of a unit from Oklahoma and they added units of the Marine Corps, and Navy to the mix. Our unit, TAG, composed of soldiers from Texas and Rhode Island, was responsible for assisting operations at the Kabul Military Training Center where the Afghan National Army was again rising from the ashes of the most recent conflagration that had consumed it. There I served as the Intelligence officer/NCO. Later I served as an assistant operations NCO with a team of combat advisors. What follows is a cautionary tale of how two of those units, the Afghan National Army-Training Assistance Group II, and the 1st Embedded Trainer Team deployed to Afghanistan in the winter of 2003 and took up the challenge of rebuilding the Afghan Army.

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