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.
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.
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.
4 of 7: Today, Lt. Leon Matthias, the 24-year-old platoon leader, wanted desperately to sleep. He'd returned two days prior from leave in DC with his fiancé Donette and was still wrecked by jet lag.

"Sir, stay awake today" his platoon sergeant told him.
5 of 7: The platoon sergeant was right. Leon needed to get back on the local sleep cycle. He hadn't been on patrol since before he left for leave. Tomorrow night would be his first ride out of the wire in almost 3 weeks.
6 of 7: Leon leaned on his Platoon Sergeant. They all did. All 42 members of the platoon knew what they had in a leader. Smart. Caring. Thoughtful. Knew his business. Would bring them home.
FINAL: That afternoon, that platoon sergeant did PT. He called his three children. He attended a company leadership meeting.

He did these things never knowing that his destiny lay before him.

Tell the world his name.

• • •

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More from @18airbornecorps

17 Oct
1 of 40:

October 17, 2005 – FOB MacKenzie: 1915 local time, 12:15 pm EST

The 3 Bradley convoy is set to leave the wire. Image
2 of 40:

Leon Matthias, leading the patrol, heads to the fire pit to test fire his weapon. Alwyn’s Bradley (#2 in the order of march) drives around Leon’s. After a brief exchange, Alwyn convinces Leon that he, the PSG, will lead out on Leon’s first night back out of the gate. Image
3 of 40:

1920: SP (the platoon ALWAYS met SP)

SP = Start Point [the time for the convoy to depart] Image
Read 39 tweets
15 Oct
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.
Read 11 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

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