10. An Ambush
Play • 34 min

On this final episode of Season 1 of What We Brought Home, a former Infantry soldier describes his experience walking into an ambush with his platoon in Iraq. 

Thank you so much for listening! Season 2 is in production, we'll be back as soon as we can. 

This episode contains some common military terms that might not be familiar to everyone. Here is a quick explanation to provide context:

Platoon - An Infantry platoon has about 40 members. It is made up of 4 squads of 8-12 members. Each squad consists of 2 teams. 

Column - When moving through an enemy area, platoons typically spread out as they walk in formation, often with 20-30 feet between each member to make it more difficult for one weapon, like a grenade, to harm multiple soldiers at one time. On roads, platoons often walk in a column with soldiers staggered on either side but similarly spaced. This gives the platoon the most flexibility in case one part of the column gets into contact with an enemy, the remaining portion can maneuver and react.  

OP - Observation post. Usually a small temporary position used to observe activity. 

203 - M203 Grenade launcher. Mounted underneath the barrel of a m4, this weapon shoots 40mm grenade rounds one at a time. Intended for targets at longer distances (300-400 meters), these rounds have a minimum distance that they must travel before the round will explode. 

FM7-8 - Field Manual 7-8. This is the Army's Infantry tactics manual for platoons and squads. Most unit training is focused on mastering the tactics and techniques outlined in it.

VS17 panel - A brightly colored piece of cloth used for signaling in a field environment. 

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