May 08, 2006

1st Iraqi Ranger

1st Iraqi to Graduate Army's Ranger School

FORT BENNING, Ga. - A former lieutenant in Saddam Hussein's army on Friday will become the first Iraqi to graduate from the Army's Ranger School, a 61-day training ordeal that pushes soldiers to their physical and mental limits in forests, swamps and mountains.

"I have a big, huge faith in the future of Iraq and that's why I'm here," said Capt. Arkan, who was identified only by his first name to protect him and his family back home.

Arkan, 25, a lieutenant in the Iraqi army in Baghdad at the time of the U.S.-led invasion, said he felt no animosity toward the United States when bombs began falling on the city in March 2003.

"It was a situation you expect from war," he said. "They were fighting Saddam Hussein, not the people. They came for the people. You have to take these matters professionally."

[...] Arkan said he's uncertain of his assignment upon his return.

"As for the terrorist groups, their days are numbered," he said. "God willing, everything is going to be good."

Posted by Kyer at May 8, 2006 12:02 PM | TrackBack

Great story. This is Sgt. Gehlen from the U.S. Central Command public affairs office. For more information about what’s happening in Iraq and other countries in the CENTCOM area of operations, visit our website at

Posted by: Sgt. Gehlen at May 8, 2006 12:30 PM