December 20, 2014

Band Of Brothers - A French Perspective

We may take for granted the prowess of the American soldier, but our allies don't.
What follows is an account from a French ISAF soldier that was stationed with American Warfighters in Afghanistan sometime in the past 4 years. This was copied and translated from an editorial French newspaper.


"We have shared our daily life with two US units for quite a while - they are the first and fourth companies of a prestigious infantry battalion whose name I will withhold for the sake of military secrecy. To the common man it is a unit just like any other. But we live with them and got to know them, and we henceforth know that we have the honor to live with one of the most renowned units of the US Army - one that the movies brought to the public as series showing "ordinary soldiers thrust into extraordinary events". Who are they, those soldiers from abroad, how is their daily life, and what support do they bring to the men of our OMLT every day? Few of them belong to the Easy Company, the one the TV series focuses on. This one nowadays is named Echo Company, and it has become the support company.

[...] Heavily built, fed at the earliest age with Gatorade, proteins and creatine - they are all heads and shoulders taller than us and their muscles remind us of Rambo. Our frames are amusingly skinny to them - we are wimps, even the strongest of us - and because of that they often mistake us for Afghans

[...]And they are impressive warriors! We have not come across bad ones, as strange at it may seem to you when you know how critical French people can be. Even if some of them are a bit on the heavy side, all of them provide us everyday with lessons in infantry know-how. Beyond the wearing of a combat kit that never seem to discomfort them (helmet strap, helmet, combat goggles, rifles etc.) the long hours of watch at the outpost never seem to annoy them in the slightest. On the one square meter wooden tower above the perimeter wall they stand the five consecutive hours in full battle rattle and night vision goggles on top, their sight unmoving in the directions of likely danger. No distractions, no pauses, they are like statues nights and days...

[...]And combat? If you have seen Rambo you have seen it all - always coming to the rescue when one of our teams gets in trouble, and always in the shortest delay. That is one of their tricks: they switch from T-shirt and sandals to combat ready in three minutes. Arriving in contact with the enemy, the way they fight is simple and disconcerting: they just charge! They disembark and assault in stride, they bomb first and ask questions later - which cuts any pussyfooting short.

The full editorial here.

H/T the Jawa Report


LL said...

The Norwegians had the same sorts of reactions. I spent some time with senior warfighter from there this summer who spent time in the Afghan theater next to US troops. They had nothing but praise.

Doom said...

This has been true since WW I. While it does create respect, it also creates a vast pool of fear. Americans are different. The world knows it.

LL said...

Doom, I thought that Obama said that we are not exceptional.

Doom said...


He isn't either. So, for him, that makes perfect sense. Probably the one true thing he has spoken, though he still lied by trying to claim one in order to disclaim the other. He is a foreigner, and knows and fears actual Americans.

Woodsterman (Odie) said...

Have a heart, but take no crap.