10 November 2011

Should I say: "Happy Birthday Marines?"

How about “Thank you Marines?”

From the Soldier side:  For my friends who know me, they know one of the things about my Iraq deployment that really bothered the sh—out of me was- The US Army “forgot” to get a bunch of us ammo before we rolled from Kuwait to Iraq in late 2004.  Most of us were under the impression that we were going into a fu----g war zone. 

How did it happen?  Well, the California Army National Guard battalion I left the states with, gave a bunch of us to a Regular Army battalion when we got to Kuwait.  So, they both blamed each other for not getting us ammo. 

We got to Baghdad via a C-130 and took a bus over to one of the puzzle palaces, where we called home for about a year.  A few days after we got to Baghdad, my company commander came up to me after dinner and said: “CI Roller, you and your team are going to Fallujah in the morning, so get your gear ready tonight.”

I said: “Yes sir.  Are we going to get the rest of our ammo load?  We only have a few rounds of 5.56 (M16 ammo) and a few rounds of 9 Mil (pistol ammo) each.”

Commander dumbass said: “Don’t worry, we’ll take care of that.”
Come morning, we ate breakfast and the unit we were replacing was going to drive us up to Fallujah.  Just before boarding the M1114 Humvees, the convoy commander did a PCI (Pre Combat Inspection) on all soldiers.  I held up my one M16 magazine and my 5 rounds of M9 ammo.  He looked at me and my team and just shook his head. 

So off to war we went.  I was really in a bad mood…all those years of weapons training and teaching others to shoot and the friggen company clerk who wasn’t going anywhere had more ammo than my whole team. 
We got to Camp Fallujah without incident.  We were going to work with the First Marine Division
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I was introduced to the Gunny we’d work with.  He asked what I did back home and I told him: “I’m a cop.”  He was to.  We sat down and did the cop handshake, drank coffee and ate donuts.  Then he asked me: “Is there anything your team needs?” 
I said: “Yes.  AMMO!  Look at what the fu—s gave us in Kuwait.”
He had his Staff Sergeant take me over to their ammo room and told me to “Help yourself.”
Dang, we had to carry a lot of crap!

I did.  I’m an ammo hog…I feel warm and fuzzy with lots of ammo.  Not that in the whole year I ever go to return fire and the bastards who shot at us….but I felt if I had to, I’d return a shitstorm of lead.



Coffeypot said...

You may not have shot at a sheet head, but that is okay. They expect to die. If you really want to hurt them, shoot their lovers...the donkeys. It would break their hearts.

el chupacabra said...

I was under 2 Mar Div and 2 MEF (who were under Army XVIII Airborne).

We were to fly to Iraq with as I recall one mag. each and the guys who convoyed had a few more, but no where near a combat load- until we bumped into Marines coming out of Iraq who oddly still had TONS of ammo and loaded us down 'til our backs hurt.

I have personally spoken to multiple guys who've informed me they were expected to convoy up with one M4 mag. In a war where I have again spoken personally with guys who had expended 14 mags in a single fight.

To be so smart- we can be incredibly retarded.

What I did and what I would tell every other guy is carry double the combat load- since the jack wagons who determined CL in the first place are the same ones who would with a straight face tell you to convoy up with a single mag.

CI-Roller Dude said...

CP, I won't say what some of the men there said...
El C, Our REMFs were given full combat loads...and they never left the camp. I had more than a double combat load. When I road in a vehicle, I had a bandoleer full of mags next to me pluse what I carried on my vest. Figured I'd shoot the external load up first, then use up my vest. Sounded like a good plan...never had to use it.
When our replacements showed up and we had a day before leaving, I offered to give them my ammo... but they said: "we have to sign a hand reciept."

I explained they needed to change that mindset...and found a hand reciept for them to sign...then I threw it away.

NavyOne said...

Going to war with no ammo is like blogging with no internet connection.

Or, going to war with 5 rounds is like blogging with a dial-up connection. . .

Anonymous said...

1. What was your BDA for rifles?
2. Ours was 7 Mags and 2 bandoliers (420 rds. total).
3. Later, was same 3 bandoliers stuffed into 30 rd. Mags and whatever.
4. That was triple the load for the M14.
5. With all the other crap included in the basic load, can't imagine carrying much more ammo.
6. Have been told that some spec ops types waddle around with 14 or more Mags strapped to them. Can't verify that -and have to assume those guys know what they're doing.
7. Was in a couple of fights where we had to redistribute ammo. For the most part, if we got into anything, sat tight and waited for fire support and reinforcements.
8. The USMC responds more aggressively to that sort of thing, God Bless us.
9. Glad I never was ordered to get up and move into machine gun fire.
10. A lot of the casualties in the hill fights in VN (881, etc.) came from doing just that.
11. Several of my NCO's were veterans of those battles. Their stories would definitely curl your hair.
12. Judging from accounts of the fights in Ramadi province and more lately in Afghanistan, the boys are still moving energetically toward the sound of battle.
13. Say a prayer on their behalf daily, I do.
V/R JWest

solfine said...

You point out how important for the survival of a Battalion is if 4 Company clerks don't have enough Ammo. I guess we will never know.
Of course , such a thing could never happen...