More on the 3-25 Marines

Iraq attacks hit Ohio military families hard

Here’s a AP/MSNBC story on the families of the Marine unit that’s been in the thick of things for months and has suffered greatly for it.

Here’s another that points out that though Marines make up only 17% of the force in Iraq, they’ve suffered 29% of the deaths.

This story has a pic of the destroyed AAV:

U.S. officials have long complained that American forces seize Sunni areas only to have Iraqi authorities lose them again to the insurgents once American troops leave. Despite those complaints, the Bush administration is talking about handing more security responsibility to the Iraqis and drawing down forces next year.

At the Pentagon, Brig. Gen. Carter Ham said similar operations were under way in several communities at once, to prevent insurgents from skipping to towns without a strong U.S. presence.

He suggested the attacks on the Marines were the insurgents’ response to their stepped-up operations.

I fully support the idea of handing over security to Iraqis, but only if they can handle it. The theory that increased insurgent attacks is in response to stepped-up operations on our part is believable, but I’ve got to think I’m not the only one tiring of that line of reasoning.

And one last note about the article on the families of the 3-25 Marines: You may not agree with everything they say or how they say it. That’s fine. They can say whatever they want. They’re the ones who have lost a husband or a brother or a son.


  1. Not a nice question to ask right now but: Are the officers in charge of 3/23 idiots? I ask because I have seen idiotic Marine Reserve Officers in action before. There are two types of Marine Reserve Officers: The ones who have been told to leave the active Fleet because they are not fit to command, and those who are talented enough to engage in a successful civilian career and still want to be part of the Marine Corps. In the field, enlisted Marines can identify which is which in about 10 seconds. I was with 1/25 in the first Gulf War. Our Battalion Commander was mediocre and rarely spoke with enlisted men. The XO was a complete idiot and proved it every time he spoke. The Operations Officer was also an idiot – he actually got our convoy lost in Kuwait shortly after crossing the mine breach into Kuwait even though he had PLARS and GPS in his Humvee. We were looking at tanks silhouetted against the burning oil fields unable to tell if they were M-60A3’s or T-62’s. His Lance Corporal driver finally lost patience and took over navigating the battalion. Sheer luck and the even greater incompetence of the Iraqi Army prevented these idiots from getting a lot of Marines killed. We also had some terrific officers. My first company commander was an English professor at Harvard. Our Air Officers were fantastic, one winning a Bronze Star. Scout Snipers driving around in daylight in Humvees – without a reaction team ready and no pre-registered fire support on call, large numbers of Marines in an AAV driving down a road which has not been swept for mines. These events sound like the work of idiot officers to me (not having been there at the time of course I am making assumptions). I hope I’m wrong.

  2. Thank you for allowing us to express our feelings without criticism. You are correct, we are the ones who have to deal with the loss of so many of our beloved Marines and two Corpsmen. No one can really fully understand unless one walks in those shoes. Yet, we remain steadfast because our sons, husbands would want us to. As for the pretty negative comments about Reservists and the MFR leadership made by Bram, I wonder who 3/23 is and where they serve! As for 3/25, an overwhelming number are bright, intelligent college students and I’d say we have a damn good NCO staff! Can’t do much about multi-stacked, hidden mines. Thank You. Proud mom of a very smart Marine serving with 3/25 Lima Co.

  3. Bram, I am the CO of Co L, 3/25 and the road into Barwana was swept otherwise I would not have taken it. It is not always easy to find IED’s. My men do an extraordinary job trying to find these devices. If you have some new ideas on finding IED’s I would love to hear them. Better yet, why don’t you come over here, and show us how it is done. Major Steve Lawson PS I’ll be home soon if you would like to call me an idiot to my face, though I doubt you will like my response

  4. It’s been my experience that Marines that publicly call officers that they don’t know idiots, for acts that they know nothing about are usually the ones that get stuck cleaning the heads more often than anyone else because that is their best skill set. When we get home, I’d like to hire someone to clean my toilets for me. If you have some experience, I’d be glad to look over your resume.

  5. The problem with citing statistics is that there are often multiple reasons for them. In this case, the percentage of Marine casualties is compared to the percentage of Marines in theater with the implication that there is something wrong with the Marines for having a high percentage of casualties. But a quick thought process will illuminate the issue more clearly: The Air Force experiences almost no casualties. The Navy, excluding those serving with the Marines, have almost no casualties. The army has a huge logistics tail that the Marines don’t have, and much of this part of the army is in very well protected areas. Now the Marines have a logistics tail, but it is smaller than the armies, we use a lot of their services. So, a much higher percent of Marines is in harms way than the other services. And if you were to try to isolate and define the types of missions, the level of enemy activity, you quickly realize that simplistic percentages like this are meaningless.

  6. Some Marines leave active duty to pursue other ambitions in life. They remain in the reserves because they know they can serve their country well. Some of them are extremely successful in their civilian careers, yet still have the desire to serve their country. This means great personal sacrifice on behalf of the Marine and his family. Please tell four young children that their father is a failure for choosing to serve their country….I don’t think so!!!

  7. Bram, As one of the supposed ‘idiot’ reserve officers recalled to active duty, leaving my newborn child every day with a sitter makes my volunteer service that much more importent and difficult. I am serving my family and yours, and am extremely proud to do so. My Marines are attached to 3/25 and we mourn with them. We wait, eagerly, for them to step off the plane here at home, so proud….you couldn’t understand. Major Beth Ashe

  8. I’m proud to say my son-in-law is the commanding officer of Lima Company and he’s a intelligent man and knows what he’s doing. The Marines have been his life since high school either actively or the reserves. He sacrificed watching his babies grow to serve his country and everyone should thank him and his unit for the job they did. They are ONE TOUGH UNIT. He’s proud to be a Marine and I’m extremely proud of him and all the other men of Lima Company.

  9. To Bram- Please when refering to the death of the 6 3/25 snipers, please get your facts straight. No they were not in a humvee. They were on a standard mission and were ambushed with no time to call in for support or a QRF. So no the COs of the 3/25 are not idiots, when in fact, that these men coordinated and helped 900 Marines perform more missions than the previous battallion (1/23) could have ever imagined doing. The 3/25 was placed in the heart of the Sunni insurgency and in a place that was called the next Fallujah, and because of the 3/25 and RCT-2, Haditha and Hit did not become that. So I am proud of the 3/25 and its COs, and you should be too. Semper Fi, Pam Montgomery Proud Wife of LCpl. Brian Montgomery 3/25 USMC KIA 8/1/2005 Scout Sniper Platoon OOHRAH ‘The unwanted doing the unforgiveable for the ungrateful’- 3/25 Scout Sniper Platoon Motto ‘Never Left, Never Forgotten’-LCpl. Brian Montgomery

  10. I am a Marine with 3/25 weapons co. but while I was in Iraq in the city of Hit with India co 3/25 I think we did a damn fine job as of securing the city and it now belongs to the army and in order for us to give it to the army we had to do a damn fine job of securing it. I would like to thank all of the nco’s and the officers for one hell of a good job that they did and for bringing us all home. My prayers are with all of the Marines and that did not come back and for those who did. I was the youngest Marine out there in Iraq at 1 mon over the age of 18. and agian thank the Co,s from every company that was out there with 3/25 Semper Fi lcpl Chris Mcdaniel

  11. I am a Gold Star mother, whose son died in the AAV on August 3, 2005. He was very proud to be part of the 3/25. My pain is intense yet my pride is immense. They were a very well trained group of men, which is why they were always placed in the most difficult areas and situations. So much for the theory of idiots. Semper Fi. Carolyn Cifuentes Proud Mother of LCPL Michael J. Cifuentes KIA 8/3/05 in Barwana

  12. My husband is a former Marine Reservist and damn proud of it. I too served, but with the Army Reserve, and got much support from the Marines, so thanks for that as well. I just watched the A&E documentary about the deployment of the Marines of Lima Co. I was pretty much in tears over and over. Pretty amazing and very nicely done. Brought me right back to Iraq. My heart goes out to the men and families for those who did not make it back and those who did as well. Still gotta say Hooah :) God Bless

  13. Semper Fi, 3/25. Those of us that were there will always remember; those that were not should never forget. Maj Lawson, if Bram ever gets the guts to call you, let me know. – Doc Z

  14. To all of Lima 3/25, I have just shown the Marines of 3rd Plt. A Co. 1st BN 24th Marines your doc from A&E. I have to say that I believe they were all in a different emotional state when they left the room. The reason I decided to show your documentary in that type of forum, is to make them realize that they will soon be embarking on a mission that could very well take them into the same areas and dangers that you all faced. I believe that we are all brothers in arms, and I regret that there are people out there like Bram who would like to use this forum to express their ignorance. To those that have fallen in your Company and Batallion, you know they did not go in vain, and you know that they are in a higher place watching over us as we speak. God Bless you Lima, and all that you have done. You went before 1/24, and we will pick up the guidon, and try to carry on our mission as successfully as you did. Thanks for the forum. Semper Fi, Sgt Jeremiah A. Howe A Co. 1st BN 24th Mar 3rd Plt Sgt

  15. I am a member of Kilo Co 3/25, so I feel the need to say some things on this topic. Are there idiot officers? Yes. Are there idiot NCO’s? Yes. It is the 10% rule, 10% of Pizza Hut employees are morons. That aside, I served with some excellent NCO’S and officers while in Al Anbar Province with 3/25, and those I felt were not so bright, well I am and was not privy to all the information, so how can I really judge? A recent news story really cpatured the truth of the matter. The story said there is a running joke in the Corps. Every Marine’s squad is the best, every Marine’s platoon is damn good, every Marine’s company is okay, and every Marine’s battalion is actively trying to get them killed. Why does the Marine think this? Because we don’t get the big picture due to our immersion in the mission. For example, our CO, Major Douglas, had my squad out during our rest plan to rearrange the barrier plan around the firm base. Did we bitch under our breath. Heck yes. After the fact you see that actions as such save lives. They are boring and tiring, but save lives, and we were not hit with another carbomb because of the fluid nature of our barriers. It became too difficult for the mujh to plan an attack on us. How can anyone who wasn’t there judge our actions? Calling Marines morons after the fact doesn’t help. Furthermore, I have yet to hear one bad thing about Major Lawson from any in Lima. But that isn’t really what I wanted to say here. I wanted to say that those in 3/25 that sacraficed it all will never be forgotten. Their families will never be forgotten, and I want to say thanks for giving me the opportunity to know and serve with them, despite the fact I have not and probably never will meet you all. God bless 3/25, that includes the families as well. Simply put, the families are just as much a part of 3/25 as any Marine. We sacraficed and served together. Without your support, our mission would certainly been much, much harder. The past two months have been hard for us all, but know that we did our best and our missions were accomplished. For that reason, the families of the fallen can be proud, and no one can tell them what to say, do, or think. Please accept my deepest condolences, and thanks. V/R CPL James Finnerty

  16. Bram, Whats was the name of the 1/25 Battalion Commander? Do ytou remember? I do. And yes, I am testing you…

  17. As a driver in a vehicle in that convoy on Aug. 3, I would like to reiterate that Bram try to know what he is talking about before he goes posting about an event he was not at. Maj. Lawson did a hell of a job, serving with the utmost professionalism in an extremely dangerous area. Sgt. John McNeill 5th CAG – attached to 3/25 Lima