In 2012, Sean Marquis was an infantry platoon leader—deployed to Dehqobad, Afghanistan—in a Stryker brigade. The area was largely desolate, with village clusters along the Arghandab River. While not a focus of effort for the Taliban, the area around Sean’s company’s patrol base was a suspected transit route due—specifically, a space US forces called “the seam,” where his unit’s area of responsibility met that of an adjacent battalion. After losing Specialist Vilmar Galarza Hernandez, Marquis devised a plan to patrol the seam and extend coalition presence into the area.
The villages were becoming increasingly restive, and Sean was specifically looking to capture a recoilless rifle known to be in the area. After reviewing the available information, Sean narrowed in on a nearby orchard as the weapon’s likely hiding place. The patrol was a culmination of weeks of planning. Reinforced with sappers, Sean and his soldiers stepped off to patrol the seam. For Sean, it was also a developmental moment in his growth as an infantry officer.
You can listen to the full story below, and don’t forget to subscribe to The Spear on Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Spotify, TuneIn, or wherever you get your podcasts. While you’re there, please take a moment to give the podcast a rating or leave a review.
Image credit: Maj. Sean Marquis