Combat troops tend to get the majority of the attention in the coverage of our overseas wars. But there is an often-overlooked cadre of troops that perform a key role in our overseas campaigns and can affect both the duration and outcome of a conflict.
The United States has a long history with military advisors. Soldiers in the Continental Army were on the receiving end when the Marquis de Lafayette and Baron von Steuben worked with them to increase their effectiveness on the battlefield. American forces have been advising foreign militaries since the early twentieth century in places such as the Philippines, the Caribbean, Korea, Vietnam, and more recently in Iraq and still in Afghanistan. In spite of the frequency of these missions, the services have only recently taken steps to create permanent advisor institutions.
Marine Corps Captain Maurice “Chipp” Naylon spent seven months in Afghanistan as an advisor with the Georgian Army and wrote a book, The New Ministry of Truth, about his deployment. His experiences, both good and bad, provide insight to the role military advisors play.