A Civilian View of Provincial Reconstruction in Afghanistan

Capturing a moment in time in Western Afghanistan.

Last week, Air Force Lt. Mark Graff – aka “Backcountry” – introduced us to his new life as part of a Provincial Reconstruction Team in western Afghanistan. His nickname came from a civilian who was helping the new PRT group adapt prior to the old team’s departure.

One of the comments I received – after posting that story – felt my description of “Lt. Slick” and others was lacking. I couldn’t agree more.

But, I waited for permission from the civilian, “Dakota,” to link to his blog. That permission came this morning. So here is a nibble of Dakota’s humorous and insightful writing. It serves as a tribute for the civilians working side-by-side with the military.

A sampling of the nicknames Dakota developed during a second PRT tour from November 2010 to July 2011:

  • The Godfather — also known affectionately as Commander Killjoy; the new PRT Commander.
  • Commander Quixote — AKA Doc Quixote, the infectiously enthusiastic but somewhat ADHD head of PRT Medical. Hobbies include stargazing, playing the electric cello and tilting at windmills.
  • Captain Adventure — the tall and self-assured head of SecFor; the only person thus far allowed to pick his own nickname.
  • Engineer Lovesalot — a Navy lieutenant whose geographic separation from the female species appears to be causing him physical pain; Captain Adventure’s roommate.
  • Captain Harmony — the musically talented, multi-lingual Air Force officer from Public Affairs.
  • Captain Tomcat — the laid-back officer from Operations whom I wanted to name “Captain Peachy” for his habit of responding requests with “that’s peachy.”
  • Lieutenant Slick — a rakish and brash Navy officer from Texas, with tattooed biceps (“INTEGRITY” and “LOYALTY”), bizarrely excellent posture and a penchant for undersized t-shirts; Slick has taken up the mantle of PRT Ladies’ Man.

Want more? You here is the link to Dakota’s blog: The Afghan Plan.

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