Embedded

Embedded

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by Wesley Gray
     
 

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In his November 19, 2005 presidential address, President George W. Bush summarized U.S. military policy as, "Our situation can be summed up this way: as the Iraqis stand up, we will stand down." Embedded offers a firsthand account by a young Marine military advisor serving on the frontlines with the Iraqi Army of the effectiveness of America's efforts

Overview


In his November 19, 2005 presidential address, President George W. Bush summarized U.S. military policy as, "Our situation can be summed up this way: as the Iraqis stand up, we will stand down." Embedded offers a firsthand account by a young Marine military advisor serving on the frontlines with the Iraqi Army of the effectiveness of America's efforts to help the Iraqis stand on their own. As a Division I track athlete and a magna cum laude graduate of the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School, Wes Gray was given a full scholarship to the Ph.D. program in finance at the University of Chicago, the top ranked program in the world. However, after passing his comprehensive exams and while weighing offers from Wall Street, he had an epiphany: the right thing to do before taking on the challenges of the business world was to serve his nation and fulfill a lifelong dream of becoming a United States Marine. In 2006, 1st. Lt. Gray was deployed as a Marine Corps military advisor to live and fight with an Iraqi Army battalion for two hundred and ten days in the Haditha Triad, a small population center in the dangerous and austere al-Anbar Province of western Iraq.What he encountered was an insurgent fire pit recently traumatized by the infamous “Haditha Massacre,” in which 24 Iraqi civilians – men, women and children – were shot at close range by U.S. Marines at close range in retaliation for the death of a Marine lance corporal in a roadside bombing. Despite the tensions triggered by the shootings, Gray was able to form a bond with the Iraqi soldiers because he had an edge that very few U.S. service members possess ¾ the ability to communicate because of his proficiency in Iraqi Arabic. His language skills and deep understanding of Iraqi culture were quickly recognized by the Iraqi soldiers who considered him an Arab brother and fondly named him “Jamal.” By the end of his advisor tour, he was a legend within the Iraqi Army. During his time in Iraq, Wes kept a detailed record of his observations, experiences, and interviews with Iraqi citizens and soldiers in vivid and brutally honest detail. Ranging from tension filled skirmishes against the insurgents to insights into the dichotomy between American and Iraqi cultures, he offers a comprehensive portrait of Iraq and the struggles of its people and soldiers to stand up and make their country a nation once again. His book is a Marine intelligence officer’s compelling report about the status and prospects of America's strategy for success in Iraq.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Starred Review.

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.
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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781591143406
Publisher:
Naval Institute Press
Publication date:
04/28/2009
Pages:
272
Product dimensions:
6.20(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.10(d)

Meet the Author


After a four-year stint as an active-duty U.S. Marine officer, assigned to the Iraqi Army, Wes Gray returned to the University of Chicago’s Graduate School of Business to finish his Ph.D. dissertation. He also serves as a portfolio manager and managing member of Empirical Finance, LLC. He currently lives in Chicago.

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Embedded 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was a gripping book that I couldn't put down from the second I bought it. Written by a Soldier who was interrupted from his Ph.D. program to go to Iraq and assist in training the Iraqi Army, it is a brutally honest account of what his deployment was like. Complete with absolutely hilarious snippets and true to military form with the swearing, it was highly entertaining. The honesty regarding the mission he was trying to accomplish and the continued frustrations that often came from differences in cultural understanding and lifestyle was truly enlightening. I highly recommend it and find it to be one of the best contemporary accounts of personal military service in Iraq.