Embedded: A Marine Corps Adviser Inside the Iraqi Army

Wesley R. Gray, Author US Naval Institute Press $28.95 (257p) ISBN 978-1-59114-340-6
In this illuminating memoir, Marine Corps 2nd Lt. Gray recounts his eight-month tour as part of a Military Transition Team, working as an advisor to the Iraqi Army on location. Gray was fluent in Arabic prior to deployment, giving him enormous insight into the culture and worldview of Iraqis as citizens and soldiers and obvious advantages over colleagues (and competing memoirists) relying on translantors On many occasions, Gray encounters an Insh' Allah philosophy, a mantra of ""If God wills it"" or ""God willing"" can strike Americans as lazy or unmotivated. Among other startling lessons, Gray discovered that loyalty to tribe supersedes duty to the state; the Iraqi Army soldiers he was training were spending their monthly leave in the ranks of local tribal militias. Gray details the cultural nuances and interpersonal relationships of occupied Iraq with such care and clarity, it's a must-read for anyone interested in the the reconstruction, especially those set to deploy. 20 b&w photos.
Reviewed on: 03/30/2009
Release date: 04/01/2009
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