Monday, May 09, 2005

Ships of the Desert?

Today's NYT has a story about a U.S. military operation in Iraq and this sentence caught my eye:

The operation, in an area north of the Euphrates River, in Al Jazira Desert, involves marines, sailors and soldiers from Regimental Combat Team-2 of the Second Marine Division.

Why are we using sailors in the desert?


Anonymous said...

I would suspect that the term "sailors" is used to simply denote the presence of U.S. Naval personell; which is more than likely, U.S. Navy SEALS.

Anonymous said...

Marine Corps medical personnel are drawn from the Navy and retain their idenity as Naval personnel so the term sailor is correct.

Anonymous said...

Even still, it could have been Navy SeaBees

Anonymous said...

The Marines have neither chaplains nor medical personnel, but all Marine units are augmented by Navy medical corps personnel. Navy "Corpsmen" exist all the way down to the platoon level and accompany combat troops everywhere they go. Each Battalion/Squadron and larger sized Marine element also rates a Navy Chaplain and his "RP" or Religious Personnel, who act literally as the chaplain's bodyguard as chaplain's are prohibited by the Geneva Convention to carry personal weapons. Navy Construction Battalion "Seabee" units also support (and are often attached operationally) larger elements such as regiments and divisions doing engineering and such. SEALS could be accompanying the Marines but probably not, since the Marines's special operations troops would be organic Recon Battalion/Force Reconnaissance units or Army Green Berets. Accordingly, "Marines, sailors, and soldiers."