Get Task & Purpose in your inbox
Green Beret Singled Out For Blame In Niger Ambush Probe Recommended For Silver Star
The U.S. Army Special Forces team leader upon whom the Pentagon has heaped much of the blame for a deadly ambush in Niger last October may also be awarded a Silver Star for his heroic actions that day, the New York Times reported on Aug. 23.
- Army commanders have recommended that Capt. Michael Perozeni receive the military’s third-highest valor award for the gallantry he displayed when his 11-man team came under attack by dozens of Islamist militants on Oct. 4, 2017, according to an internal Special Operations Command report attained by the Times.
- The ambush occurred outside the village of Tongo Tongo, where Operational Detachment Alpha Team 3212 had stopped for water following a kill-or-capture mission that turned up nothing. The team was accompanied by 30 Nigerian soldiers.
- Four members of ODA 3212 were killed in the ensuing firefight, which lasted hours and was captured in helmet camera footage that later appeared in an ISIS propaganda video. Perozeni was shot in the attack but survived
- Two of the soldiers killed in the battle are being considered for the Distinguished Service Cross and the other two have been recommended for the Silver Star, according to the Times.
- Perozeni’s Silver Star nomination sharply contrasts with the summary of a U.S. Africa Command report released to the public in May that implied Perozeni and another junior officer had imperiled ODA 3212 by mischaracterizing its mission that day in a planning document. The summary stated that the officers described the mission as a trip to meet tribal elders rather than a counterterrorism mission, which would have required higher approval and a much larger contingent of troops.
- The planning document “contributed to a general lack of situational awareness and command oversight at every echelon," according to the AFRICOM investigation. However, as the Times noted, the summary did not mention the fact that “Perozeni had pushed back against the part of the mission that would eventually turn deadly,” nor did it “directly [attribute] any blame to senior leadership.”
- A Defense Department official told the Times that “it was doubtful that Captain Perozeni could be considered for the honor if his misleading mission plan had been a significant error, or had led to the deadly attack.”
'It just happened' — the Iraq War’s first living Medal of Honor recipient recalls his harrowing fight against 5 insurgents
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.
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.
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.
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.
While it can be difficult to peg down just how star-spangled a state is, one indicator is the rate at which citizens enlist in the military, especially during the United States' longest period of sustained conflict. At least, that's the thinking behind WalletHub's new study, 2019's Most Patriotic States in America.