in the US, this is memorial day weekend | World Defense

in the US, this is memorial day weekend

mtime7

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REMEMBERING NATHAN CHAPMAN, GREEN BERET/CIA KIA AFGHANISTAN 2002

Remembering Nathan Chapman, Green Beret/CIA KIA Afghanistan 2002

If it seems like the war in Afghanistan has gone on forever, perhaps it is because it has dragged on for an entire generation. The United States has been involved there for over 17 years and there seems to be no end game in sight. And the cost has been very high. More than 4000 Americans (military and civilian contractors) have been killed in Afghanistan. Today, we’ll remember the first fatality from enemy action, Nathan Ross Chapman from the 1st Special Forces Group, who was detailed to the CIA Team Hotel. Chapman was killed on January 4, 2002, in Khost, Afghanistan.
Born into a military family, Chapman was born at Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland where his father was stationed. He graduated high school from Centerville High School in Ohio and was active with the wrestling team. He immediately joined the Army and went to Ft. Benning for Basic, Advanced Infantry Training and Ranger training before being assigned to the 2nd Ranger Bn at Ft. Lewis, Washington.
In December of 1989, Chapman participated in the invasion of Panama during Operation Just Cause and parachuted into the airfield at Rio Hato, where the Rangers seized the airfield and took down Manuel Noriega’s beach house which had a headquarters in the upper floors.

In 1991, Chapman would once again go into combat during Desert Storm in January 1991. Later that year, he volunteered for Special Forces training and attended SFAS, and the Special Forces Qualification Course at Ft. Bragg, NC. He graduated in December 1992 as an 18E (Communications Sergeant) and then attended the Defense Language Institute’s Tagalog course, finishing in June of 1993.




Chapman was assigned to the 3rd Bn, 1st SFG(A) in July of 1993 and served on ODAs A-185 and A-195. During 1995, he went with his unit to Haiti during Operation Uphold Democracy. In 1998, Chapman was assigned to 1st Bn, 1st SFG(A) on Okinawa and served there for three years. He returned to Ft. Lewis and the 3/1 SFG in 2001.

After 9/11 he volunteered for a special mission in Afghanistan during Operation Enduring Freedom. Before he left, he told his wife that his chances of returning were 50/50. They took a family photo and he gave her a heart pendant that they broke so that each could take half.

But after arriving in the country, his odds of surviving got better. The Americans with Northern Alliance allies and massive U.S. air support battered the Taliban and bottled them and al-Qaeda up in Tora Bora including Osama bin Laden.

On the fateful day of January 4, Chapman was with a group of 25 Special Operators, CIA men and their Afghan allies commanded by Zakim Khan Zadran. Team Hotel consisted of three Green Berets, two CIA Paramilitary Officers, and one CIA Contractor. When they arrived in Khost, they were met by Afghans loyal to Padsha Khan Zadran, who, although are unrelated belong to the same clan of Pashtuns who dominate the surrounding area.

In a story that goes back hundreds if not a thousand years, the two warlords were locked in a jealous struggle for power and prestige. With the Taliban on the run, the power vacuum opened the door for old rivalries to take center stage.
Padsha Khan Zadran ordered his men to fire on the Americans at their checkpoint in order to convince American commanders to ditch Zakim Khan Zadran and force their alliance to him. To Chapman and the other Americans, they were searching for information that both bin Laden and Taliban commander Jalaluddin Haqqani were holed up in the mountains outside of town.
After the Americans had met with both warlords they set out to inspect two sites where American airstrikes had hit Taliban targets about 3 miles away. One target, a bombed-out mosque, Chapman conducted bomb assessment damage and then drove to a fort where Taliban tanks had taken a beating from U.S. airstrikes.
As they approached a checkpoint manned by Padsha Khan Zadran’s men, Chapman was standing in the rear of the truck with a camera around his neck. Shots rang out, Chapman slumped in the back of the truck, severely wounded. Before he collapsed, he emptied his M-4 in the direction of the enemy. By the time they got back to where they’d left from just a short time before, he was dead. A CIA Paramilitary Officer from the Special Activities Division was wounded.
The fighters loyal to Zakim Khan Zadran stated the fire came directly from the checkpoint but the other warlord disagreed. He claimed that the firing came from 50 yards away behind a half-finished mosque. He said his men had arrested a 14-year-old boy who claimed that he had fired the shots to avenge the removal of the Taliban and the bombing of the mosque. Conveniently, the boy escaped from confinement two days later and fled to Pakistan.
However, witnesses identified three men who fired the shots as fighters of Padsha Khan Zadran who then also, conveniently, fled to Pakistan.
Chapman’s body was returned to Washington state and he was buried about a week later in Tahoma National Cemetery in Kent, Washington. He was posthumously awarded the Bronze Star and the Purple Heart. His awards and decorations include the Bronze Star with “V” device, the Purple Heart, the Meritorious Service Medal, the Army Commendation Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster, the Army Achievement Medal with three Oak Leaf Clusters, the Humanitarian Service Medal, the United Nations Medal, the Kuwait Liberation Medal, the Southwest Asia Service Medal with Bronze Service Star, the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal with arrowhead, the Army Good Conduct Medal (3rd Award), the Armed Forces Service Medal, the Joint Meritorious Service Unit Award, the Army Superior Unit Award, the Combat Infantryman Badge second award, the Master Parachutist Badge, the Parachutist Combat Badge with bronze service star, the Special Forces Combat Divers Badge, the Special Forces Tab, the Ranger Tab, and the Royal Thai Army Parachutist Badge.
He left behind his wife Renae and two children a daughter Amanda (2) and a son Brandon (1) who were too young to remember their father.
The CIA honored Chapman in 2015 by unveiling a star on their Memorial Wall in his honor.
Photos: DOD


 

Falcon29

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Tribal society can be very confusing and foriegn to those of us born in the West. Where there is no such thing as tribes. I feel we should try to strike peace between Afghani govt and Taliban. If that doesn't work than I agree with Trump we should reduce our presence and maybe pull out completely. I don't see what interests we have there anymore tbh.

Happy memorial day to everyone.
 

mtime7

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Personally, I don't think there is any benefit to a US presence in Afghanistan, just leave.
 

Falcon29

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Personally, I don't think there is any benefit to a US presence in Afghanistan, just leave.
Yeah, that country has deep rooted tribal issues and semi functioning government, I'm not sure what the future will look like for it. We should focus more on deployments around China, considering their activities in the South China sea and now they want to end autonomy for Hong Kong. Eventually they will do something with Taiwan and they are getting more aggressive in that region. We should also keep an eye on the ME just to make sure Russia isn't exploiting the chaos there.
 

mtime7

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absolutely, let the middle east handle themselves, we have done nothing but cause death and destruction
 

mtime7

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One Of The Marine Corps' Most Elite Units Has The Most Solemn Of Missions
It takes great mental fortitude and physical strength to execute one of the USMC's most challenging missions and it has nothing to do with combat.
BY TYLER ROGOWAYMAY 25, 2020


As we remember and thank the men and women who made the greatest sacrifice of all for their country on this Memorial Day, there are a few jobs within the U.S. military in which most days are their own mini-Memorial Days. One of them is the Marine Corps Body Bearer. They act as a rock of stoic stability in a sea of emotion and grief for families and friends who have lost a loved one. It seems like a nearly impossible job. Seeing so much tragedy on a regular basis. But for the elite team of Body Bearers, it is an absolute honor and one that requires focus and strength—both mentally and physically.

The excellent videos below explain just what goes into this solemn position and how hand-selected Marines prepare to execute what is basically a no-fail mission. With just six men instead of usual eight carrying a coffin, they are unable to flinch or show any sign of fatigue or emotion.



The USMC describes just how important and elite the role of the Body Bearer is, stating:

Company B is home to the Marine Corps’ Body Bearer Section. This elite unit, though small in number, is comprised of hand-selected candidates, who through the crucible of Body Bearer Ceremonial Drill School, honed their minds and bodies to recreate themselves into members of the most elite funeral detail in the United States’ Armed Forces.

The primary mission of the Body Bearer section is to perform flawless funerals for Marines and Marine family members at Arlington National Cemetery and abroad. Additionally, the Body Bearer section is responsible for flawlessly executing a myriad of other ceremonial commitments that include: participating in Presidential, state and joint service funerals, manning the saluting battery of Marine Barracks Washington to render honors to dignitaries, and performing wreath-laying ceremonies across the National Capital Region.

The family is the most cherished and important entity for the Body Bearer Section; flawless funerals are the standard the Section maintains for itself to show to the family the love and respect we have for our fallen Marines and the honor we take in being “the last to let you down”. For this reason, the road to becoming a Body Bearer is one of the most arduous paths one can take in the Marine Corps.

Earning the right to perform the most solemn duty in the Marine Corps is an experience that will humble even the most prepared Marine. Marines in Ceremonial Drill School will be required to demonstrate the character and resolve to progress through the strict training regimen, the bearing to keep one’s composure no matter the circumstances, and progress from a physical strength and conditioning perspective to bear the weight of Marines’ caskets for our fallen heroes and their loved ones. Ceremonial Drill School is a self-paced program, meaning students will progress as quickly or slowly as their mental and physical faculties will allow. The average time it takes to create a Body Bearer typically ranges between six and twelve months.

Earning the title of a Marine Corps Body Bearer is not the light at the end of the tunnel for students, however. Once earning Black and Gold, Body Bearers fight complacency by continuing to improve their strength, perfect their craft in the ceremonial drill they perform, and must continue to perform flawless funerals on a daily basis.

This billet is not for everyone. Marine Corps Body Bearers serve as a tangible, physical manifestation of the institution that our fallen brothers and sisters have poured their hearts and souls into fortifying. As such, the mental, emotional, and physical toll this responsibility exacts from the Body Bearers as well as Ceremonial Drill School students is immense. That being said, the honor and pride the Body Bearer Section takes in caring for Marines the way they do is one of the most gratifying experiences of their lives."

t really is amazing the dedication and fortitude of the Marines that do this job. Being faced with such sorrow so regularly and being able to compartmentalize it is something that seems superhuman. With that in mind, I am certainly greatful for the USMC Body Bearers and especially for all our fallen heroes that require their services.

Contact the author: [email protected]
 
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