“You are taking up a place of honor in this organization,” said Iraqi Maj. Gen. Abdu Ghani commander of the Counter-Terrorism Command and guest speaker of the graduation. “It’s up to you to carry out the missions that will provide our country with security. Terrorism will not be the future because of you.”
The ISOF brigade has soldiers based throughout the country to provide the government of Iraq a premiere counter-terrorism force that is ready to strike terrorists at a moment’s notice.
“You have been good students,” the CTC commander said. “There are a lot of missions waiting for you. You are the men of the hour and the other Soldiers will look at you with respect.”
Commando training took the students through blocks of individual and team-building instruction to include stress management, marksmanship, fast-roping, close-quarter battle, combat operations and continuous physical training.
“The training was very good,” said a major from Baghdad who will serve in the 7th Regional Commando Battalion in Mosul. “I started crying because we are done with our training and I can go to Mosul and carry out missions,” he said.
This was the fourth class of elite Soldiers taught exclusively by instructors from the Iraqi special warfare center and school. The Iraqi instructors constantly pushed the would-be commandos to the limit.
“I never thought of quitting. I treated it like a convoy … and they [convoys] never stop,” said a 21-year-old Baghdad native. “We all feel like we’re giving something back to this country.”
His father, who was on hand to watch his son walk in his footsteps, was proud that he completed the commando course so they can now both wear the commando patch.
“I’m very proud that he finished his training … I never had any doubts,” said the staff sergeant with the 3rd ISOF Regiment. “Like father, like son.”