1 of 11:

15 years ago today from FOB McKenzie, near Samarra, he was looking ahead. The end of a 12-month deployment to Iraq – his second of OIF – was 3 months away.

His Name Is #AlwynCashe. Over the coming days we'll tell his story.
2 of 11:

Alwyn’s platoon had a short route clearance mission scheduled for the October 15, 2005. Then a day off. Or, rather, maintenance of the vehicles and clean weapons. But nothing outside the wire on the 16th.
3 of 11:

Then, another mission on October 17th. This one was longer. A circuitous route that led through Diyala.
4 of 11:

Alwyn was among a number of Soldiers in 1-15 Infantry, part of 3rd Infantry Division’s 3rd Brigade, to have left @FortBenning to invade Iraq with the unit in 2003.
5 of 11:

During that 2003 deployment, the battalion was always moving, always shooting, covering more than 500 kilometers of terrain in a month in the advance.
6 of 11:

This deployment, OIF III, was different. Slower. This time it was mostly long patrols with no contact. There was work wtih local security forces. This time they rarely saw the enemy.

[pic: Specialist Ryan Mazur, 1-15, this time 15 yrs ago]
7 of 11:

Over the phone and in letters, Alwyn’s sister Kasinal told him to “duck” in firefights. Disturbed by news reports about an out-of-control insurgency, she wanted him to avoid trouble.
8 of 11:

Trouble hadn’t found the 35-year-old in Samara. Nonetheless, Alwyn, explained, he “was going to take care of his boys.”

Sorry, Kasinal, Alwyn doesn’t duck. Never had.
9 of 11:

This time, this deployment, Alwyn was a platoon sergeant. The men looked to him. He would lead them back home. He would deliver them back to the parade field on Fort Benning.

They just had this last little bit of the deployment left.
10 of 11:

Then he would make a trip back home to Oviedo, Florida in early 2006. The trip had been in the works for month. He loved Florida and enjoyed talking about the planned trip.
FINAL: Alwyn Cashe was coming home.

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More from @18airbornecorps

16 Oct
The Story Continues

1 of 7: It was a Sunday. There also happened to be no mission today.

15 years ago today, 1st Platoon, A Company, 1-15 Infantry, 3rd Brigade, 3rd Infantry Division cleaned weapons and checked fluids on the 4 Bradleys and 4 up-armored HMMWVs. Image
2 of 7: Today was a rare day in which all vehicles would stay inside the wire. No patrols.

The patrols were exhausting. And constant. Most were hours long. Many were tedious.

1-15 Infantry's focus was to always have a presence in sector: give the insurgency no quarter. Image
3 of 7: Tomorrow a a route recon the next day. This was a clearance mission: clear the route ahead of a resupply convoy. The patrol would take the platoon to Diyala province. Image
Read 7 tweets
9 Oct
1 of 11: Operation Market Garden lesson 20 of 20: Character matters, particularly at the senior level.  Let’s take a look the two main actors in Market Garden -- Eisenhower and Montgomery – and how their individual characters manifest in this tragedy
2 of 11: Ike missed WWI. After the Great War, he spent operational time in the Philippines as MacArthur's chief of staff & assistant adviser to the Philippine govt on military matters. This was an unstable period wherein the dangers of guerilla warfare loomed large in his memory.
3 of 11: Partly as a result of this experience, Ike favored a coordinated offensive along a broad front, where Allied mass, logistical expertise, & unrelenting pressure would not only push back the Germans but leave few pockets of resistance to disrupt the Allied comms zone.
Read 11 tweets
9 Oct
1 of 5: We're on the final day of our Tragic Ambition series. Before we close out, we'll unveil the final 5 lessons for @USArmy leaders from Operation Market Garden.
2 of 5: Lesson 1⃣6⃣ [this one is not going to be popular with everyone] Don't be afraid to fire subordinates who either can't meet your intent or willfully refuse to.
3 of 5: Montgomery [who always thought he was the smartest guy in the room] openly disregarded and disrespected his senior British and American commander's since North Africa.
Read 5 tweets
8 Oct
Lesson 9

1 of 5:

Op Market Garden Lesson 9⃣of 20: Airborne & @usairforce must be SINGULARLY controlled by a joint commander and staff.
2 of 5:

By way of example, one of the best Airborne operations ever conducted in history was Operation Just Cause in 1989. XVIII Corps and supporting Air Force units under Lieutenant General Carl Stiner, corps commander, as the Joint Task Force Headquarters Commander.
3 of 5:

Stiner understood the limitations of the airborne forces was inserted. He also thought through the impact of resupply from the air on the operation.
Read 5 tweets
8 Oct
1 of 12:

Since tomorrow is our final day of Tragic Ambition, our commemoration of Operation #MarketGarden, we figured we'd give a bibliography of sorts. Let's go through some of the books we used throughout the series in the hopes that you'll let us know what you think of them.
2 of 12: Let's start here. This one was published 2 years ago to great reviews in the US. It's thorough (perhaps too detailed in its account of tactics) & makes a layered case of blame against Monty. The book has many critics & we'll let them voice their concerns in the replies.
3 of 12: This focuses on the US airborne units, giving life to the men of the @82ndABNDiv and the @101stAASLTDIV. In the US, A Bridge Too Far ( book & the movie) dominates the OMG landscape, but McManus offers new voices [& extends the story out through November].
Read 8 tweets
4 Oct
1 of 7

As part of our Tragic Ambition series, b/w now & end of Friday we're giving you 2⃣0⃣ lessons for @USArmy leaders from Op Market Garden.

Here's Lesson 2⃣: An understanding of the op environment must drive any plan. The plan must NOT come first.
2 of 7

Montgomery believed that his dramatic maneuver, a swift penetration deep into the heart of Germany, would win despite all the risks associated. Thus, he developed his plan without an understanding of environment [the environment serving as the context for that approach.]
3 of 7

Here are 5 elements a clear-eyed study of the operational environment would have revealed:
Read 7 tweets

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