Tuesday, May 1, 2007

The Warrior Prince: Harry Goes to Iraq

The war in Iraq involves thousands of soldiers from America and its Coalition partners. During my own tour in 2004, I was in charge of the personal security detachment for then-Brigadier General Sandy Davidson of the 350th Civil Affairs Command. My team and I also escorted officers from several Coalition countries including Great Britain.

The British officers with whom we interacted were professional and dedicated soldiers. We were also impressed with their courage. One colonel volunteered to stand in the turret of our Humvee during a convoy on the infamous airport road, Route Irish. He was lightly armed, but he knew we were short-handed that day and he didn’t hesitate to step forward.

Prince Harry is a second lieutenant in the Household Cavalry (Blues and Royals). The younger son of Prince Charles and Princess Diana is third in line to the British throne and a graduate of Sandhurst. Once the prince’s unit was notified it would go to Iraq, the big question was whether or not Harry would go with them.

Britain’s Chief of the General Staff, General Sir Richard Dannatt, recently made the decision to deploy Prince Harry to Iraq with his soldiers. This is in the face of threats by insurgents to kill or capture the prince, but Harry’s leaders made the right decision.

As far as Prince Harry was concerned, there were no questions. He was determined to serve his country and he has steadfastly refused any special privileges. He insisted that he be treated like any other soldier and he wanted to accompany his men in combat. As a troop commander, he will lead twelve soldiers in four Scimitar armored reconnaissance vehicles. He will participate in combat operations and he will routinely serve in harm’s way.

This young British officer and member of the royal family wants to serve his country in time of war and such determination is admirable. He has enjoyed a reputation as the “rebel” of his family, but he is a real man – a warrior prince who will surely serve in battle with dignity and distinction.

The people of Great Britain should be proud of their brave prince and all of us should pray for his safety. We will also continue to offer our prayers for the protection of all the Coalition warriors who are fighting terrorism throughout the world.

SFC Chuck Grist


  1. Trackbacked by The Thunder Run - Web Reconnaissance for 05/02/2007
    A short recon of what’s out there that might draw your attention.

  2. After the reaction of the Brits on their naval sailors taken by the Iranians, I question the wisdom of this decision.
    On the other hand, the prince may be the best of the lot.

  3. I have really mixed emotions about this, as I'm sure his command has had.

    Yes, he deserves the opportunity to serve with his unit, and I do respect his willingness to go.

    The negatives are on the enemy we are fighting and what his presence will do to increase targeting of the forces around him.

    I have a pen pal in the Riflemen who is there on his second back-to-back tour (which he volunteered for) and they are concerned about his presence affecting their ability to do their job and drawing more attacks in an area that they saw major improvements in.

    They are concerned about what the terrorists would be willing to do to capture the Prince.

    I don't think any of the answers were easy on this one.

  4. Exactly. He's going to be bait, no matter what they do. I hope they're planning on that and can turn it into a plus.

  5. Regardless of whether he will become a 'bullet magnet' for the other troops, the mere fact of his presence will encourage other troops to do more than the usual. His presence will encourage troops to go beyond and push harder. The simple fact that he could so easily have opted for a softer option but didn't will have a far greater positive effect than a negative one.

    LOL, I've just had the thought of how great it would be to go into combat with Rambo or Arnie on my team.... maybe Prince Harry will have the same effect on those out there too.