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UNSUNG HEROES: The Most Decorated Combat Cameraman Of The War On Terror
On April 6, 2008, Army Spc. Michael Carter, a combat cameraman, was nearing the end of a yearlong tour in Afghanistan.
According to Army Times, he’d completed his last combat mission, but his boss fell ill and instructed Carter to take his place with 100 Afghan special operations commandos and 40 U.S. special forces soldiers from C Company, 3rd Battalion, 3rd Special Forces Group as they entered Shok Valley — a well-known sanctuary of the Hezeb Islamic al Gulbadin terrorist group.
Chinooks dropped them in the valley, and they began a grueling two-mile trek alongside a fast-flowing river, moving toward higher ground. Everything was going according to plan until they were met by insurgent fire — a massive ambush.
As they were scaling the cliff, the unit’s interpreter was shot point blank. The original mission was to fight the group from above, but they began taking fire during the ascent, which turned into a fight that would last seven hours.
“We hit one terrace and started contact. My camera was in my bag, so I pulled my rifle and started shooting at movement,” Carter told Army Times. “Rounds starting popping around me and I climbed to the next level and ran for cover where the captain and the [joint tactical air controller] were at. It was a nook inside the mountain wall, like half a bubble.”
According to his citation, Carter “returned fire on insurgent locations, exposing himself to an intense volume of fire while killing multiple insurgent fighters and providing suppressive fire as the … Commander recovered the body of their dead interpreter.”
Bullets continued to fly, and two unit members were critically wounded.
With complete disregard for his safety, Carter left cover to provide suppressive fire and recover an injured detachment member, on whom he performed administered life-saving aid.
Moments later, Carter ran across open ground to recover a Satellite Communications Radio to call headquarters and request the aid of close air support strikes.
For his actions that day, Carter was awarded the Silver Star, which makes him the first soldier with the military occupational specialty of combat documentation and production specialist to be awarded the Army’s third-highest award for valor.
He is one of 10 soldiers who received an award for heroic actions in the Dec. 12, 2008, battle.
“That day Carter was not a combat cameraman, that day Carter was a Green Beret. He acted that way on the ground and that’s why I put him in for the award,” Capt. Kyle Walton, mission commander and commander of Operational Detachment Alpha 3336, told Army Times.
Benjamin Franklin nailed it when he said, "Fatigue is the best pillow." True story, Benny. There's nothing like pushing your body so far past exhaustion that you'd willingly, even longingly, take a nap on a concrete slab.
And no one knows that better than military service members and we have the pictures to prove it.
A special operations Marine is due in court on March 7 after being arrested last year for allegedly assaulting his girlfriend, Task & Purpose has learned.
Staff Sgt. Daniel Christopher Evans was arrested and charged with assault inflicting serious injury on July 29, 2018, according to Jennifer Dandron, a spokeswoman for police in Wilmington, North Carolina. Evans is currently assigned as a Critical Skills Operator with the 2nd Marine Raider Battalion at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, according to the Marine Corps Personnel Locator.
Following Trump's inauguration, some supporters of ground combat integration assumed he would quickly move to reinstate a ban on women in jobs like the infantry. When this did not happen, advocates breathed a collective sigh of relief, and hundreds of qualified women charted a course in history by entering the newly opened occupational fields.
So earlier this week when the Wall Street Journal published an editorial against women in ground combat by conservative political commentator Heather Mac Donald, the inclination of many ground combat integration supporters was to dismiss it outright. But given Trump's proclivity to make knee jerk policy decisions in response to falling approval ratings and the court's tradition of deference to the military when it comes to policies affecting good order and discipline, it would be unwise to assume the 2016 lifting of the ban on women in ground combat is a done deal.
R. Lee Ermey was laid to rest at Arlington National Cemetery on Friday.
Best known for his iconic role as the Marine Corps drill instructor Gunnery Sgt. Hartman in the war drama Full Metal Jacket, Ermey died April 15, 2018 at age 74 due to complications from pneumonia, Task & Purpose previously reported.
The U.S. Air Force has two of its most elite aircraft — the B-2 Spirit bomber and the F-22 Raptor — training together in the Pacific, reassuring America's allies and sending a warning to strategic competitors and adversaries about the sheer power the U.S. brings to the table.
These stunning photos show the powerful aircraft tearing across the Pacific, where the U.S. has increasingly found itself facing challenges from a rising China.