KANDAHAR, Afghanistan — A post-mission After Action Review (AAR) has left Capt. Mitch Anderson, the commander of Alpha Company, 1-38 Infantry Regiment, struggling to come up with positive observations. The AAR followed a savage gunfight that sources say resulted in no less than four possible war-crime charges.
“Alright guys, listen up. We’ve got about nine pages of improves here, so let’s try and highlight what we did right,” Anderson told his soldiers during the third hour of the review, according to sources.
Anderson spoke first: “We … ummm. Well. Oh yeah, Sgt. Higgins wore his eye-pro when he blindly threw a frag [grenade] into the uncleared house filled with women and children,” Anderson suggested, but then 1st Sgt. Cunningham reminded him that Higgins was actually wearing them on his forehead and had to report to the aid station for fragmentation injuries.
Another suggestion involved Spc. Vic Montoya remembering to swap his smoke grenade for a HEDP round in his 40mm grenade launcher before firing into a herd of sheep outside the target building.
Anderson was writing that on the whiteboard when another soldier noted that Montoya hadn’t actually hit the animal he was aiming at, instead overshooting and impacting the back of a jingle truck filled with Afghan children that had been driving down the road.
Someone asked about Pvt. Lance Smith, who remembered to leave a drop-weapon after shooting a 67-year-old local woman. Unfortunately for Anderson that idea also had to be rejected when Smith admitted he had forgotten to wipe his fingerprints off the AK-47.
“Un-fucking-believable,” Anderson was heard exclaiming. “You guys are some of the most unprofessional soldiers I’ve had the displeasure of working with. At least none of you idiots shot yourselves on the objective.”
Cunningham awkwardly pointed out Pvt. Phil Jenkins in the back of the room, who was cradling a hand covered in a bloody bandage.
“Not so fast, sir.”