Military Personnel Fighting In Mosul Are Switching To Black Uniforms


U.S. military personnel supporting Iraqi security forces are reportedly shedding their standard-issue camouflage for jet-black uniforms in their ongoing campaign to recapture the northern city of Mosul, Military Times reports.

While the all-black gear is standard for most special operators, photos on social media appear to show regular military advisers donning obsidian uniforms resembling those often worn by elite members of the Iraqi military, the Counter Terrorism Service’s “Golden Division,” according to Newsweek.


The decision — likely made by individual unit commanders to better suit the conditions downrange in Syria and Iraq — allows U.S. military personnel to better blend in with local forces and complicates the targeting of American troops by ISIS fighters.



But that doesn’t mean we’ll see nameless, faceless American troops melting into crowded markets in their block-by-block campaign against the terror group, per Military Times:

Coalition forces, the officials said, abide by longstanding law-of-war regulations that stipulate military personnel must distinguish themselves from civilians.  

Typically, that's done using uniform insignia, identifiable from a distance as outlined by the 1949 Geneva Conventions, said Jeffrey Addicott, who heads the Center for Terrorism Law at St. Mary's University in San Antonio, Texas. Before retiring from the Army, he was the senior legal adviser for all of its special forces units. But over the last 15 years, he noted, the lines have blurred. Many of America's adversaries — ISIS especially — don't ascribe to the same standards for war fighting, and the U.S. has adapted accordingly.

"In modern warfare," Addicott said, "our uniforms have subdued identification so as to protect our soldiers from enemy attack. They can cover and conceal better."

Iraqi security forces have been locked in a bloody six-month campaign to dislodge ISIS from its last major stronghold in the war-torn country. Several hundred members of the 82nd Airborne’s 2nd Brigade Combat Team are reportedly headed to Mosul “on a non-enduring temporary mission to provide additional ‘advise and assist’ support” local forces.

Photo by DoD via U.S. Army Flickr

On Nov, 10, 2004, Army Staff Sgt. David Bellavia knew that he stood a good chance of dying as he tried to save his squad.

Bellavia survived the intense enemy fire and went on to single-handedly kill five insurgents as he cleared a three-story house in Fallujah during the iconic battle for the city. For his bravery that day, President Trump will present Bellavia with the Medal of Honor on Tuesday, making him the first living Iraq war veteran to receive the award.

In an interview with Task & Purpose, Bellavia recalled that the house where he fought insurgents was dark and filled with putrid water that flowed from broken pipes. The battle itself was an assault on his senses: The stench from the water, the darkness inside the home, and the sounds of footsteps that seemed to envelope him.

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(U.S. Army/Pvt. Stephen Peters)

With the Imperial Japanese Army hot on his heels, Oscar Leonard says he barely slipped away from getting caught in the grueling Bataan Death March in 1942 by jumping into a choppy bay in the dark of the night, clinging to a log and paddling to the Allied-fortified island of Corregidor.

After many weeks of fighting there and at Mindanao, he was finally captured by the Japanese and spent the next several years languishing under brutal conditions in Filipino and Japanese World War II POW camps.

Now, having just turned 100 years old, the Antioch resident has been recognized for his 42-month ordeal as a prisoner of war, thanks to the efforts of his friends at the Brentwood VFW Post #10789 and Congressman Jerry McNerney.

McNerney, Brentwood VFW Commander Steve Todd and Junior Vice Commander John Bradley helped obtain a POW award after doing research and requesting records to surprise Leonard during a birthday party last month.

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(U.S. Marine Corps/Staff Sgt. Andrew Ochoa)

Editor's Note: This article by Gina Harkins originally appeared on, a leading source of news for the military and veteran community.

Hundreds of Marines will join their British counterparts at a massive urban training center this summer that will test the leathernecks' ability to fight a tech-savvy enemy in a crowded city filled with innocent civilians.

The North Carolina-based Kilo Company, 3rd Battalion, 8th Marines, will test drones, robots and other high-tech equipment at Muscatatuck Urban Training Center near Butlerville, Indiana, in August.

They'll spend weeks weaving through underground tunnels and simulating fires in a mock packed downtown city center. They'll also face off against their peers, who will be equipped with off-the-shelf drones and other gadgets the enemy is now easily able to bring to the fight.

It's the start of a four-year effort, known as Project Metropolis, that leaders say will transform the way Marines train for urban battles. The effort is being led by the Marine Corps Warfighting Laboratory, based in Quantico, Virginia. It comes after service leaders identified a troubling problem following nearly two decades of war in the Middle East: adversaries have been studying their tactics and weaknesses, and now they know how to exploit them.

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(Reuters/Carlos Barria)

WASHINGTON/RIYADH (Reuters) - President Donald Trump imposed new U.S. sanctions onIran on Monday following Tehran's downing of an unmanned American drone and said the measures would target Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

Trump told reporters he was signing an executive order for the sanctions amid tensions between the United States and Iran that have grown since May, when Washington ordered all countries to halt imports of Iranian oil.

Trump also said the sanctions would have been imposed regardless of the incident over the drone. He said the supreme leaders was ultimately responsible for what Trump called "the hostile conduct of the regime."

"Sanctions imposed through the executive order ... will deny the Supreme Leader and the Supreme Leader's office, and those closely affiliated with him and the office, access to key financial resources and support," Trump said.

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