We have now been at Camp Leatherneck for two weeks. My platoon wants to start doing their job but the outgoing unit is still here. When you deploy you are normally replacing a unit that has reached the end of their tour. There are usually a couple of weeks when you change over with that unit and they brief you up on what they have been doing during their time and what you can expect. This is normally a painful process. As the new unit arriving, you just want to take over and start performing your duties immediately. Unfortunately you are unable to and must endure the time with little to do other than watch the outgoing unit and take some notes on things you would like to continue doing their way as well as things you plan to change once they are gone.

In addition to this, we were required to sit through a Welcome Aboard/Country Brief along with an important brief describing our Rules Of Engagement (ROE). The ROE is a set of guidelines which determine when a Marine may fire and may not fire there weapon at alleged enemy assets. The intent is to allow the Marine to accomplish his mission while also minimizing any collateral damage or loss of innocent lives. I will say this much. No country goes out of their way to protect innocent civilian lives in a combat zone more than the United States. I should probably leave it at that, lest I say anything which could be deemed derogatory about our ROE. I believe in the old adage, ‘It is better to be judged by twelve than carried by six.’

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