Do they Know?
Emails coming in by the bucket, soldiers stopping me on the road, all asking if the leadership in Baghdad really knows what is going on with soldiers in combat. I cannot answer whether the top generals know what is going on; I did not ask. I can say, however, with complete confidence, that CSM Jeffrey Mellinger, who is the top non-commissioned officer in the theatre, knows more about the situation in Iraq than anyone I have met. CSM Mellinger sees it from top to bottom. From the dusty outposts, to the hospitals, from the supply channels and mailrooms, to the Marines, the Navy, Coast Guard, Army, Air Force and more. From Special Forces, Rangers and SEALs, to truck drivers and widget-fixers. CSM Mellinger is likely to show up at your door or lonely outpost without warning. You won't hear his helicopter; he'll probably drive nearby and park. He knows what's going on, and he expects that all the troops better know, too.