August 3, 2007:
So far, over
20,000 U.S. Navy sailors have served in, or with, the U.S. Army in Iraq and
Afghanistan. There are about 5,000 sailors in Iraq right now. The sailors call
it being in the "Narmy." These "augmentees" usually serve under navy command,
in support of army operations. The sailors get some additional training to
prepare them for life in a combat zone on land. They carry infantry weapons and
dress like army troops. You have to look closely to see the navy insignia.
Most of the navy personnel do
logistic and support jobs, but some do very dangerous work. Several hundred EOD
(explosive ordnance disposal) sailors have served with distinction, clearing
IEDs and other explosives from roads and bases. In addition there have been
several thousand SEALs (and the sailors that provide them with direct support).
Finally, are the new Riverine Squadrons, who patrol rivers and coastal areas,
but are trained to go ashore if that's where the fight leads. The Riverine, or
"brown water" sailors serve with army and marine units, depending on who needs
some waterborne help. Most of those in the narmy, volunteered for it. As the
old saying goes, it's the only war we've got.