Former capt.: 'Devil Brigade' was hell under Petraeus


Freelance journo Duncan Larkin kicks his old commander David Petraeus while he’s down in a colorful account in Vice magazine of their time together in the “Devil Brigade.” At the time, Larkin was a lowly junior officer and Petraeus, by Larkin’s telling, was gunning for his first star. It was the mid-nineties.

David Petraeus (Cliff Owen/AP)

Petraeus (AKA “Devil Six”) micromanages, kisses ass and stage manages a ridiculous training exercise for the benefit of Sen. Strom Thurmond, then the aging chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee and the gatekeeper to Petraeus’ promotion–as the yarn goes.

“Appearances became even more important as the day of the performance approached. We had to press and starch our uniforms. We had to shave twice. Our cap bills were folded into perfect parabolas using water and a small drinking glass. Our Kevlar helmet liners were ironed. Dust and wayward hairs were lifted off our battle dress uniforms using Scotch tape. All of our equipment had to be black and shiny. The token casualties had to lie stillAny visible hands had to be knife-edge straight. The latrine’s seat looked like the polished treasure of the Sierra Madre. The walkway to the theater had to be free of all weeds and rocks larger than three-quarters of an inch in diameter. No living thing was allowed to crawl or grow in the path of that feeble Armed Services Chairman.”

Finally, he lectures Larkin about how to perform a proper push-up.

But that was then, and this is now. Petraeus has since resigned the CIA directorship in disgrace, admitting to an affair at the center of an increasingly tangled FBI investigation. He’s fallen low enough now for Larkin to rear up and stomp on him.

[via Vice]

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