The Strategic Corporal: Leadership in the Three Block War
CENTER FOR ARMY LESSONS LEARNED FORT LEAVENWORTH KS VIRTUAL RESEARCH LIBRARY
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The African sun had just risen above the hills surrounding the sprawling city and sent its already dazzling rays streaming into the dusty alleyway. Corporal Hernandez felt the sun on his face and knew that today would, again, be sweltering. He was a squad leader in 2d Platoon, Lima Company and had, along with his men, spent a sleepless night on the perimeter. For the past week his platoon had provided security to the International Relief Organization IRO workers who manned one of three food distribution points in the American Sector of Tugala -- the war-tom capital of Orange -- a Central African nation wracked by civil unrest and famine. The situation in Orange had transfixed the world for nearly two years. Bloody tribal fighting had led first to the utter collapse of the government and economy, and ultimately, to widespread famine. International efforts to quell the violence and support the teetering government had failed, and the country had plunged into chaos. The United States had finally been compelled to intervene. A forward deployed Marine Expeditionary Unit Special Operations Capable was ordered to assist the efforts of the ineffective Regional Multi-National Force RMNF and the host of international humanitarian assistance organizations that struggled to alleviate the suffering. The MEUs arrival had stabilized the situation and allowed the precious relief supplies to finally reach the people who needed them most. The Food Distribution Point FDP manned by 2d Platoon serviced over 5,000 people daily. The Marines had, at first, been shocked at the extent of the suffering, by the constant stream of malnourished men and women, and by the distended bellies and drawn faces of the children. The flow of food and medical supplies had, however, had a dramatic impact. The grim daily death tolls had slowly begun to decrease and the city had begun to recover some sense of normalcy. Within a month the lives of the Marines had assumed a sort of dull routine.
- Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics