From the Soldier side: So, I guess I'll get back to my adventures in Baghdad. Now, keep in mind, at the time I was in Iraq, I'd been a civilian cop for over 25 years.
Let-me-tell-you-something! There was nothing in my police experience and training that would have prepared me for this...but, I still think I was 10 times better prepared than the average soldier. I could shoot very well, drive well, talk to people and I had a good sense when something was going to be bad. (To survive in police work on the streets, you have to have that 6th sense.)
As you might recall, I was supposed to be in the management office for a few weeks on light duty. I liked it there so much, that I didn't want to go back out....so the senior sergeant asked if I wanted to trade jobs because he had not had a chance to go outside the wire. (for those of you who were in Bosnia with me, the senior sergeant was "Sgt A" who had been in charge of our vehicles and did nothing in Bosnia.)
So, since I liked having air conditioning and being able to go to a decent mess hall 3 times a day...i was eager to trade jobs.
However, I can't just sit on my ass and do nothing. So I figured out what my teams needed to:
1.) Be safer (1 KIA, 3 WIA so far)
2.) Be more productive (very little useful product so far)
3.) Have fun (nobody wanted to go out anymore- it was not fun)
In that order.
One of the team leaders ( he was only and E-4 until I got him promoted) told me of the main problem he was having when they went out. The E-4 was in charge of the "mess kit repair" team, but there was an E-6 (Staff Sergeant) in charge of the security team they traveled with. The E-4 felt that they needed to stop at some areas in Baghdad to talk to people (about mess kit repair), but the Staff Sergeant didn't think it was safe....so they didn't stop.
I sat down with the E-4 and helped him come up with a tactical plan to be able to stop. This was going to be interesting.