As a soldier, what was the biggest mistake you made in combat?

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Mudassir Ali
Jan 24, 2020 01:15 PM 0 Answers
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Mudassir Ali
- Jan 24, 2020 01:15 PM

Not exactly while in contact, but once I was out on an air assault and we were passing through a village. I was getting video of the troops walking into and around the village, and some shots of kids and such watching us and playing.

I got about 20 seconds of these kids running around and looked up to realize I couldn’t see any more US troops. I moved it and went the direction everyone went, quickly, as I was beginning to panic. They were moving quick so I had to run for probably a good 30 secs, though it felt like a lot longer.

I had two senior NCOs who that also happened to. We all agreed it was a bit scarier than being shot at. Marines are trained to be shot at. In contact my mind kind of became a blank slate that only said “oh shit” while the training moved my body and weapon naturally. I was focused and somewhat exhilarated, though of course there is fear it is subdued. When I realized I was alone I began to panic. I did not want something to happen and nobody know.

I know, I know, battle buddy, etc. As combat correspondents we often operate independently and don’t always have a guy assigned to watch our back, as there’s a mission beyond watching out for the camera guy. When shooting video or photo it’s easy to get tunnel vision because you want your shots for a good story.

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