Lewis and Stokes

What Lawrence of Arabia and His Sergeants Teach Us about the Modern Combat Advisor


Lt. Col. Garrett M. Searle, U.S. Army


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Soldiers from the United Arab Emirates 11th Mountain Battalion and advisors from the U.S. 3rd Security Force Assistance Brigade prepare to conduct a night tactical movement 26 February 2023 during Joint Readiness Training Center Rotation 23-04 on Fort Johnson, Louisiana

To make sure of the arrested train required guns and machine guns. Accordingly, Egypt chose two forceful sergeant-instructors from the Army School at Zeitum … Their names may have been Yells and Brooke, but became Lewis and Stokes after their jealously-loved tools.

—T. E. Lawrence


T. E. Lawrence’s autobiographical account, Seven Pillars of Wisdom, stands at the pinnacle of great wartime writing, not only for the ageless quality of its narrative but also because of the author’s singular genius as a military advisor and tactician. Winston Churchill, who knew Lawrence personally and greatly admired both the man and his writing, wrote that Seven Pillars could reveal “all that is most vital in war.”1 While Lawrence is undoubtedly the protagonist of his own story, the narrative also incorporates the experiences of hundreds of other men engaged in the Great War and its Middle Eastern theater. These minor characters make up a key component of the book’s vitality. In my reading, I was drawn to the story of two men I found particularly compelling, probably because they seemed the closest thing to dropping two regular fellows into Lawrence’s otherworldly orbit. Lawrence introduces Sergeants Lewis and Stokes in the quote above as he prepares for a raid on the Hejaz Railway.2

The nom de guerre given to each by Lawrence reflected their respective expertise with the Lewis machine gun, a revolutionary .30 caliber light machine gun, and the Stokes mortar, the first modern 81 mm mortar system. Both weapon types are now ubiquitous on the modern battlefield, but in 1917, they represented a revolutionary change in the tools available to the infantry to support its fire and maneuver.3 Lawrence clearly recognized their utility in his campaign. He brought in these experts to work alongside him in his advisory mission because he knew their knowledge and abilities would be vital to his partners’ success and their supporting role in the larger campaign.4

Over one hundred years after their adventure in the desert, Lawrence and his two sergeants can still tell us a great deal about the role of an advisor in large-scale combat operations and the specific effect possible with the right combination of personality, knowledge, willpower, and external support. Their ability to bring new technology to bear in support of their partner and link his actions in time and space with the broader war effort exponentially increased the impact of the Arab Revolt within the theater. Today, the U.S. Army’s modern advisor corps, found mostly in the Security Force Assistance Command and 1st Special Forces Command, are working to modernize their formations and improve their understanding of their role in supporting this kind of large-scale warfare.

Through an analysis of the experiences and impact of Lawrence and his two companions, Lewis and Stokes, this article explores the crucial role of military advisors in large-scale combat operations. By drawing parallels between historical insights and the challenges faced by modern U.S. Army advisor units, the study identifies essential components for successful advising, recommends structural improvements to enhance performance in contemporary warfare, and highlights the unique benefits of service as a combat advisor for both the soldier and the Army.

Strategic Context

I wanted contact with the British; to act as the right wing of the Allies in the conquest of Palestine and Syria … In my view, if the revolt did not reach the main battlefield against Turkey it would have to confess failure, and remain a sideshow of a sideshow.

—T. E. Lawrence5


The Middle Eastern theater of the First World War was an economy of force effort for both the Triple Entente (Great Britain, France, and Russia) and the Central Powers (Germany and Austria-Hungary). After the Ottoman Empire (Turkey) joined the war on the side of the Central Powers, its participation immediately threatened the Suez Canal, which served as a vital link between the United Kingdom and its far-flung empire to the south and east.

After beating back two Ottoman attacks on the canal zone in 1915 and 1916, British strategy shifted to an offensive mindset in the theater, motivated in large part by postwar aspirations for the Middle East driven by an ultimately disastrous combination of imperialism, Zionism, and greed.6 Support for a fledgling revolt among Arab tribes in the western region of the Arabian Peninsula, known as the Hejaz, was seen as a way to bleed the Turks, and the British and French began investing resources to support it.

Photo courtesy of the Imperial War Museums

By a combination of fate and his own dogged maneuvering, Lawrence, then a twenty-eight-year-old captain without a day of real military training, became the principal liaison officer and advisor to the Arab Revolt. Prior to the raid described in this article, Lawrence won respect by engineering and leading a daring overland surprise attack by Arab tribesman to seize the strategically important port of Aqaba.7 From that point, the Arab forces represented the right flank of the British-led push into Palestine. It is in that setting that we find Lawrence, Lewis, and Stokes training Arab irregular forces at their base at Aqaba and preparing for a raid on Turkish outposts and railroad infrastructure in eastern Syria.8

Lewis and Stokes: Who They Were

Lewis, the Australian, at such an ambitious moment, said that he and Stokes would like to be of my party. A new, attractive idea. With them we should feel sure of our technical detachments, whilst attacking a garrisoned place.

—T. E. Lawrence9


It is impossible to say what drew Sgts. Stokes and Lewis to volunteer for the dangerous and uncertain duty of accompanying Lawrence into the desert. However, their trajectory is certainly no great departure from that of many young men who have chased the opportunity for adventure, glory, and danger found only in close combat. We know very little about the men outside of their inclusion in Lawrence’s story. Their real names were Sgt. Charles Reginald Yells of the 9th Australian Light Horse Regiment and Lance-Cpl. Walter Herbert Brook of the 25th Battalion, Royal Welsh Fusiliers. The official record includes their award citation for actions while accompanying Lawrence, memorable for its brevity and forthrightness. It ends with a description of the “great destruction wrought” during the raid, proving that these two men achieved their objective of finding real combat.10 In the only other contemporary account of the attachment, journalist Lowell Thomas describes Yells (Lewis) as “a glutton for excitement and a tiger in a fight.”11 In my observation of the men and women who make up the ranks of the U.S. Army’s modern advisor units, a longing for adventure and the draw of the foreign still play a major role in filling these all-volunteer forces, and a desire for these experiences is probably a requirement for success in the field. Our two protagonists were likely bored of their garrison work and volunteered for the raid to break free of the monotony that characterizes the vast majority of wartime experience.

From Lawrence’s description of the men, we know that their personalities were quite different from one another. Lewis, the machine gunner, was the driving force behind their volunteerism and took more easily to their new positions embedded with the foreign forces. He was open and generous with his new allies, taking quickly to their ways, although probably not to the extremes exhibited by his commander. On the other hand, Stokes seemed to be driven inward by their new position abroad, becoming more resolutely British. Lawrence described him as a “John Bull,” a kind of British Uncle Sam.12 Both of these approaches engendered the respect of their partners in different ways, and their combination in various forms is critical to success as an advisor or trainer embedded with foreign partners.

A bomb explodes on the Hejaz railway line circa 1917 near Daraa, Syria, during one of the numerous sabotage raids carried out by T. E. Lawrence

To be successful, a military advisor must be simultaneously sure of their own foundations and willing to bend from predispositions when necessary to fit into the environment and demonstrate unity of purpose. Tipping too severely in either direction toward these poles will result in failure. An individual who “goes native” will lose sight of the mission they were sent to accomplish. On the other hand, a soldier who cannot empathize with his partner or looks down their nose at the culture, food, methods, etc., will find it impossible to build trust and will struggle as a foreign liaison and advisor. It should be noted that Lawrence himself was unique in his ability to bridge this dichotomy to the extreme. He was comfortable in Gen. Edmund Allenby’s headquarters in Cairo with its polished floors and wicker furniture, and he was equally content in the Bedouin tents of the Howeitat with the red sand of Wadi Rum invading every orifice. Such capability is rare and should not be taken for granted.13 Rather, advisor units should try to identify soldiers with a balance of these attributes who can remain focused on the objectives of their sending nation while simultaneously remaining pliable to the cultural requirements and behaviors that will help build trust and lubricate the gears of partnership.

This requirement is among several factors driving the modern Army advisor units to maintain a robust assessment and selection process. The Army’s special operations forces (ARSOF) have a long history of reliance on deliberate selection processes to bring the right people into their units. These assessment and selection programs include a combination of physical, cognitive, and interpersonal challenges, combined with conditions that induce stress and fatigue, to assess fitness for the specific role the candidate is seeking.14 Since the security force assistance brigades’ (SFAB) founding in 2017, the Army has maintained the need to make these units an all-volunteer force and implemented a tiered selection process. Although these units are not considered special operations forces, their advisors are embedded with foreign partners and must possess the right combination of attributes to be successful. Therefore, an assessment and selection process remains important for both the short- and long-term viability of these units. Recently the Security Force Assistance Command has begun an effort to expand its assessment program to include senior noncommissioned officers (NCOs) and officers, starting with team leaders, team sergeants, company commanders, and first sergeants. Previously, these advisors were hired based on completion of a key developmental position in their current grade and a panel interview. In-person assessment and selection will provide the opportunity to gain a more holistic understanding of their core competencies and emotional intelligence, ultimately leading to better and more effective advisor teams.

What They Brought to the Fight and What They Wrought

The enemy in the crescent of the curving line were secure from the machine-guns; but Stokes slipped in his first shell, and after a few seconds there came a crash as it burst beyond the train in the desert. He touched the elevating screw, and his second shot fell just by the trucks in the deep hollow where the Turks were taking refuge. It made a shambles of the place.

—T. E. Lawrence15


Lawrence was willing to risk bringing the two freshmen along because he knew their expertise would be critical to the success of his raiding effort and would build capability in his partners that would have lasting impact. Certainly, these new tools could make the difference between success and failure for his partners, but the only way to convince the Arab forces to employ the novel weapons was to demonstrate their effectiveness in life-or-death struggle.16 To do that, he needed experts with him in the close fight that could integrate the technology at the decisive moment for critical effect.

That expertise is clearly demonstrated in the quote above, with both Stokes and Lewis having the ability (and the support of their commander) to move fluidly among the roles of trainer, advisor, and when needed, as machine gunner or mortarman. Throughout this article, I refer to Stokes, Lewis, and Lawrence as advisors, but that term seems to describe someone on the sidelines, offering a word of advice over the shoulder. The reality for these men, as it has been for military advisors in many other contexts, was a blurring of the lines between the roles of liaison, advisor, trainer, and combatant.17 Prior to the mission described in the quotations, the two sergeants were working as trainers for the Arab forces in development. During the raid, they transitioned to a more direct role as combatants and leaders, as did Lawrence, who often served as a de facto commander during these expeditions.

The U.S. Army’s modern advisor units, particularly the new SFAB advisor teams, include a diverse range of specialists who can apply their skills in support of a partner in conflict. The capability these teams offer is specifically oriented toward the tactical level of war, incorporated at the brigade level and below within a partner nation’s military. At this level, they serve as advisors as well as fires, intelligence, and sustainment integrators. They provide functional expertise on weapons, communications equipment, small unmanned aircraft systems (UAS), mortars, artillery, and critical sustainment and maintenance equipment. More importantly, however, the diversity of the team structure allows them to move beyond the technical use of equipment and focus on integrating these systems into an operational concept—providing advice on how to fight with them in a combined arms approach.

Army advisors assigned to 1st Security Force Assistance Brigade employ an RQ-11B Raven small unmanned aircraft during tactical training at Fort Irwin, California, 17 August 2023. The advisors trained alongside role players and actual partners to prepare for large-scale combat operations

Although the modern-day SFABs have a wide array of military occupational specialties and broad general capability to assist foreign military forces, they lack the means to quickly integrate specific and targeted expertise. The same is true in the ARSOF formations, where they have difficulty deviating from their organizational tables, exhibiting a preference for the sanctity of each “unit of action.”18 The organizational structure and doctrinal authority to quickly integrate expertise and rapidly adjust task-organization is absent for both. In a large-scale combat scenario, the foreign partner that they support will almost certainly need or ask for a specific capability that the generalist-focused SFABs will not be able to provide en masse. On the modern battlefield, this is most likely to be expertise in the employment of guided antitank missile systems, small UAS, loitering munitions, electronic warfare capability, long-range precision fires (like the High Mobility Artillery Rocket System, or HIMARS), and the combination of these systems into effective operational concepts.19 One way to address this shortfall would be to draw a more formal linkage between advisor forces and the Army’s Security Assistance Training Management Organization. That organization tasks and deploys specialized security assistance teams to train foreign partners on equipment or capability provided through a security assistance program. It can rapidly adjust its organizational table to hire the right expertise for a specific security assistance case. Combining that specialization with the operational advisor units would help create the kind of flexibility that will be required in conflict.

Certainly, the advisor force must have the ability to rapidly close knowledge gaps to meet partners’ needs. However, recent training of military advisor teams at the Army’s combat training centers (CTC) has shown that in a large-scale combat operations scenario, the advisors will spend more time in a liaison capacity, supporting their partners by providing access to or information from U.S. or allied military resources. During a recent CTC rotation, an advisor task force served as the connective tissue between a U.S. Army division and a friendly partner nation military defending against an enemy attack. The connection was necessary to overcome a fires overmatch the enemy force had over the friendly partner. Division assets aided the partner with common operating picture development, protection against enemy rotary-wing threats, and fires delivery in support of the friendly close and deep fights. Advisor teams collocated with partner force command posts facilitated the integration of U.S. attack aviation, destroying over eighty enemy combat vehicles and artillery systems in a three-day period. This support ultimately enabled the partner to defend effectively and buy time for U.S. forces to build combat power.

Left Quote

Lawrence maintained close coordination and liaison with the commander of the British Egyptian Expeditionary Force, Allenby, and was able to align the Arab operations more or less with British objectives, maximizing the overall effectiveness of the combined war effort against the Ottomans.

Right Quote

Despite this success, the emphasis on liaison and support functions means that the workload on an advisor team will be concentrated in a small number of leaders. Large-scale combat would test the Army’s ability to maintain this kind of liaison with partners at the operational level on a broad scale. The tactical impacts seen in the story of Lewis and Stokes are interesting and visceral—a smoking train full of holes in the desert—but the real gravity of Lawrence’s impact was evident at the operational level. His ability to coalesce the Arab resistance into a competent fighting force and apply that force on the theater’s right flank contributed substantively to the ultimate success of the British forces against the Ottoman Empire in Palestine. This was possible due to a variety of factors, but Lawrence maintained close coordination and liaison with the commander of the British Egyptian Expeditionary Force, Allenby, and was able to align the Arab operations more or less with British objectives, maximizing the overall effectiveness of the combined war effort against the Ottomans.20

The Army’s current military advisor forces have limited capacity for this kind of strategic advising. The ARSOF formations tend to focus heavily on the training and employment of their lowest-level units of action, led by captains: operational detachment alphas, psychological operations detachments, and civil affairs teams. During collective training events, actions by higher levels of command (company, battalion, and group levels) are weighted toward command-and-control functions rather than direct advising or support to partners. On the other hand, the SFABs employ a doctrinal model where each echelon of command, from the team to the brigade level, is principally an advisor team led by the commander at that echelon, with the ability to shift to more focus on command-and-control functions if required by the mission profile.21 This structure (or emphasis) enhances the capability to engage in operational-level advising as described above. However, it is still considerably limited; each brigade has only a small number of officers and senior NCOs with the requisite experience and seniority to establish credibility as an advisor or liaison above the brigade level in a partner-nation military.

To prepare for this requirement, the Army should make several structural changes. First, with small changes to the Security Force Assistance Command headquarters, this formation could provide a standing strategic-level advisory capability. Second, the Army should develop a kind of advisor reserve (within both the Active and National Guard/Army Reserve Components) made up of senior officers and NCOs with previous relevant training and expertise that could be brought to bear when the need arose. Integrating this reserve would also mandate the authority to rapidly adjust the task organization of advisor teams to concentrate the expertise needed to advise and liaise with a partner at the division level or higher. Lastly, the ARSOF enterprise should look to expand the use of its O-4 and O-5-led formations across all three of its core branches more directly as advisors and liaisons with foreign partners. This would capitalize on the experience and maturity of those leaders and improve performance in support of mission objectives that rely on these partners.

What They Took Away

From Akaba the two sergeants took a hurried ship to Egypt. Cairo had remembered them and gone peevish because of their non-return. However, they could pay the penalty of this cheerfully. They had won a battle single-handed; had had dysentery; lived on camel-milk; and learned to ride a camel fifty miles a day without pain. Also Allenby gave them a medal each.

—T. E. Lawrence22


In addition to the benefit to the mission or the objective, the work done by advisors like Lewis and Stokes has inherent benefits for the individual participant. It can be an incredibly gratifying experience for those that are brave enough to seek the opportunity and willing to accept its difficulties. Lawrence viewed those challenges as part of the reward, taking the Christian view that connects tribulations with strength and salvation.23 This explains why he chose to highlight the difficulties of the experience as some of its most important benefit for the two NCOs. He understood that they would come away with both tangible and intangible rewards. The same is true for modern military advisors: their service with foreign partners makes them better leaders and humans because it demands development in empathy, competence, and perseverance. Perhaps its most important contribution, however, is experience—filling a young leader’s basket with challenges overcome and new knowledge found.

Although Lawrence’s description of the benefit focuses on the individual NCOs, we can also speculate about the diffusion of this benefit to the units to which they were assigned afterward. Their improved tactical competency and increased knowledge of the operating environment surely had tangible benefits in their next assignment. This diffusion of benefits is still a component of the value proposition for advisor assignments within the U.S. Army. When they were created in 2017, the SFABs were given a different force generation and manning model than the older and more established special operations units. Unlike ARSOF formations, which are composed of officers and NCOs that change their military occupational specialty upon entry and serve most of their careers within Special Forces, civil affairs, and psychological operations units, SFABs are filled with officers and NCOs that maintain their present military occupational specialty and serve for a finite period, typically two to three years. After SFAB service they rotate back to another conventional Army unit for the next position in their professional development progression. This means that other Army formations benefit directly from the growth and development that occurred during a soldier’s service as an advisor.


As the U.S. Army modernizes to meet current and anticipated challenges, foreign partnerships and alliances will continue to play a critical role in any future landpower fight. The more the Army collectively supports its advisor units with manpower and resources, the better prepared it will be to build and maintain these critical linkages. Our partners will rely on us, and we will rely on them to overcome antiaccess/area-denial systems, build interior lines, and defend lines of communication in the initial stages of any conflict.24 The example of Lawrence and his Arab forces demonstrates this symbiotic effect in the decisive stages of war and the role that partners can play in secondary operational theaters to reduce resources available to adversaries. Recent training by the Army’s SFA enterprise is identifying gaps to be addressed to field the most effective advisor force in future conflicts. This training at the CTCs and in the Army’s Warfighter exercises must be maintained and expanded to help close these gaps and build interoperability among advisor teams, the joint force, and our allies and partners.

At the individual level, the story of Stokes and Lewis reminds us of the important role our advisors will play and the requisite need to invest in their expertise and expand the availability of subject-matter experts in support of the advising mission. We must continue to select the best people to serve in this capacity and understand the importance of the right mixture of competence, empathy, and perseverance necessary for success. Most importantly, their story reminds us of the value that advising experience has for individual officers and NCOs and the collective benefit to the force of their service in this unique capacity. Continued investment in this capability can only serve to improve our Army from the inside, and we must not lose sight of this important and lasting benefit to the service.

In 1917, it was Lewis and Stokes, but what would we name our sergeants in 2024? The prospect is made more difficult by the use of acronyms and so many meaningless combinations of letters and numbers for modern weapons. Perhaps we would want to have Sgt. Gustaf along for his expertise with antitank recoilless rifles and guided missiles. Certainly, Sgt. Switchblade’s proficiency with small UAS and loitering munitions would come in handy.25 Whatever we name them, the story of these advisors in large-scale combat is yet to be written, so we must do everything we can now to ensure our Nation’s combat advisory capability is fully prepared for the next big fight.


  • Epigraph. T. E. Lawrence, Seven Pillars of Wisdom: A Triumph (1926; repr., New York: Anchor Books, 1991), 344.
  1. Winston Churchill, “An English Classic,” The Daily Mail, 29 July 1935, reprinted in “Churchill and Lawrence—Seven Pillars—Three Appreciations,” International Churchill Society, accessed 4 January 2024, https://winstonchurchill.org/publications/finest-hour/finest-hour-119/churchjll-and-lawrence-seven-pillars-three-appreciations/.
  2. The Hejaz Railway was the vital north-south running line of communication linking Palestine with the key population centers of the Arabian Peninsula. It represented a critical component of Ottoman control of the region.
  3. Neil Faulkner, Lawrence of Arabia’s War: The Arabs, The British and the Remaking of the Middle East in WWI (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2016), 328–30.
  4. The description of the raid that involved Stokes and Lewis, and the quotes that begin each section of this article can be found in chapters 61–68 of Seven Pillars. All told, it represents only about thirty pages of the book, so a small fraction of the overall work. In addition to the suspenseful raid, those thirty pages also include one of the most enigmatic sections of the story, where Lawrence’s bath in a spring is interrupted by a mumbling geriatric, who he views as a prophet and whose unintelligible moaning results in a meandering tangent on the origins of Christianity. As such, the passage is a representative sample of the breadth of content found in Lawrence’s story.
  5. Lawrence, Seven Pillars, 274.
  6. Scott Anderson, Lawrence in Arabia: War, Deceit, Imperial Folly and the Making of the Modern Middle East (New York: Doubleday, 2013), 152.
  7. Ibid., 338.
  8. See Nicholas J. Saunders, Desert Insurgency: Archaeology, T. E. Lawrence, and the Arab Revolt (Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press, 2020), 207–11; Faulkner, Lawrence of Arabia’s War, 302–5. The raid described in quotes is known as the Hallat Ammar raid due to its proximity to the Hallat Ammar railroad station, located on what is now the border between Jordan and Saudia Arabia. Archeological work by the Great Arab Revolt Project in 2013 confirmed the location and geometry of the action.
  9. Lawrence, Seven Pillars, 345.
  10. A copy of the award citation for the two NCOs can be found in the Australian War Memorial archives: “Honours and Awards (Recommendation): Charles Reginald Yells,” Australian War Memorial, accessed 3 January 2024, https://www.awm.gov.au/collection/R1560412.
  11. Lowell Thomas, With Lawrence in Arabia (1924; repr., New York: Skyhorse, 2017), 145.
  12. Lawrence, Seven Pillars, 345.
  13. In fact, the polarity of these two ideas likely contributed to his depression later in life. He had difficulty accepting the strategic objectives of his nation vis-à-vis an independent Arab state.
  14. Patrick Roberson, Stuart Gallagher, and Kurtis Gruters, “Demystifying the Art of Assessment and Selection,” Small Wars Journal, 17 August 2022, https://smallwarsjournal.com/jrnl/art/demystifying-art-assessment-selection.
  15. Lawrence, Seven Pillars, 368.
  16. The raid described in this section of the book also had a real tangible benefit to the participating Arab forces since it resulted in a considerable amount of household property plundered from the destroyed train.
  17. See Robert K. Sawyer, Military Advisors in Korea: KMAG in Peace and War (Washington, DC: U.S. Army Center of Military History, 1962), 140. The example of U.S. advisors of the Military Advisory Group to the Republic of Korea (KMAG) at the onset of the Korean War offers a good example of this blurring of roles.
  18. “Who We Are,” United States Army Special Operations Command, accessed 3 January 2024, https://www.soc.mil/USASFC/HQ.html. The U.S. Army’s 1st Special Forces Command uses the term “unit of action” to describe its operational detachments and teams. See also R. D. Hooker Jr., “America’s Special Operations Problem,” Joint Force Quarterly 108 (January 2023), https://ndupress.ndu.edu/JFQ/Joint-Force-Quarterly-108/Article/Article/3264605/americas-special-operations-problem/.
  19. Donald Wilkins, “The 2022 Russo-Ukrainian War: Current and Future Employment of Unmanned Platforms Supporting Infantry Operations,” Infantry 112, no. 2 (2023): 46–48, https://www.moore.army.mil/Infantry/Magazine/issues/2023/Summer/PDF/Summer23_INFMag.pdf; see also Josef Danczuk, “Bayraktars and Grenade-Dropping Quadcopters: How Ukraine and Nagorno-Karabakh Highlight Present Air and Missile Defense Shortcomings and the Necessity of Unmanned Aircraft Systems,” Military Review 103, no. 4 (July-August 2023): 21–33, https://www.armyupress.army.mil/Journals/Military-Review/English-Edition-Archives/July-August-2023/Grenade-Dropping-Quadcopters/.
  20. Gen. Edmund Allenby believed fervently in the utility of Lawrence’s efforts with the Arabs, stating that their cooperation was “of such importance that no effort should be spared to reap full benefit therefrom.” Quoted in Sean McMeekan, The Ottoman Endgame: War, Revolution, and the Making of the Modern Middle East, 1908–1923 (New York: Penguin Books, 2015), 360.
  21. Army Techniques Publication 3-96.1, Security Force Assistance Brigade (Washington, DC: U.S. Government Publishing Office, 2 September 2020), para. 1-10.
  22. Lawrence, Seven Pillars, 376.
  23. Like the sentiment found in Romans 5:3: “We rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance.”
  24. Charles Flynn and Sarah Starr, “Interior Lines Will Make Land Power the Asymmetric Advantage in the Indo-Pacific,” Defense One, 15 March 2023, https://www.defenseone.com/ideas/2023/03/interior-lines-will-make-land-power-asymmetric-advantage-indo-pacific/384002/.
  25. Thanks to Maj. Paul Dunn for help with these noms de guerre. David Hambling, “Failure or Savior? Busting Myths About Switchblade Loitering Munitions in Ukraine,” Forbes (website), 8 June 2022, https://www.forbes.com/sites/davidhambling/2022/06/08/failure-or-savior-busting-myths-about-switchblade-loitering-munitions-in-ukraine/. The Switchblade is a loitering munition made by AeroVironment that launches out of a tube and can then be flown by its operator into a designated target.


Lt. Col. Garrett Searle, U.S. Army, is a civil affairs officer serving on the staff at the U.S. Army Security Force Assistance Command. He previously served in company command and staff positions in both the 95th Civil Affairs Brigade and the 2nd Security Force Assistance Brigade. He holds an MS from the Naval Postgraduate School.


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