|1st Marine Division, Task Force Ripper, Kuwait, 1991|
|On February 18, 1991, the 1st Marine Division began offensive operations into Kuwait by launching Task Forces Grizzly and Taro to protect the flanks of the main assault force, Task Forces Papa Bear and Ripper.
After breaching several Iraqi minefields, at times on hands and knees with bayonets trying to detect mines and marking them with chemical light sticks, the Marine Task Forces drove deep into Kuwait. Most Marines marched into Kuwait carrying heavy loads of equipment. One Marine corporal said that he felt most sorry for the Dragon gunners (weighing in at 50 lbs each) and the machine gunners.
The Marines advanced well ahead of schedule despite delays of thousands of surrendering Iraqi soldiers. On February 26, the Marines reached the outskirts of Kuwait City and sealed off major roads trapping hundreds of fleeing Iraqis. Two days later Arab troops passed through the Marines' lines and entered Kuwait City.
This Marine is one of the lucky soldiers to be equipped with the M47 DRAGON anti-tank guided missle on his march into Kuwait. The Dragon is a medium range, wire-guided, line-of-sight anti-tank/assault missile weapon capable of defeating armored vehicles, fortified bunkers, concrete gun emplacements and other hard targets. The launcher is an expendable, fiberglass tube with tracker and support bipod, battery, sling and front and back shock absorbers. It is designed to be carried and fired by an individual gunner.
Not all American soldiers in the Gulf War wore the same pattern BDUs. Many soldiers mixed and matched between the woodland and the six color "chocolate chip" pattern BDUs and vests. On his helmet are camouflage strips to breakup the outline of its distinctive shape.