Local woman Polices the Suni Triangle- Dispatches from America's War on Terror

She's pretty, and petite. It seems both improbable and impossible that she commands troops in a combat zone; but that is exactly what 1LT Kimberly Hadley does. She is a platoon commander of 26 Military Police officers, (only two are female), in Ariramudi, Iraq, 15 miles west of Fallujah, in the Suni Triangle, Iraq's most dangerous area.

“When we, (coalition troops) went into Fallujah to clean out the insurgents, they, at least a lot of them fled to Ariramudi,” Hadley explained.

Ariramudi is about 60 miles from Baghdad and as a MP platoon, Hadley and her troops routinely provide security. They had 90 such missions between the months of September to December of 2004.

She has yet to lose a soldier, (She has had two injured but they've returned to duty.), to hostile fire or to an I.E. D, (Improvised Explosive Device), and she has therories as to why.

The infantry gets hit more often; they move more slowly than we do.”

“Also, I know people here are praying for me and my soldiers by name.”

Asked about her small stature and her ability to command in a combat zone, Hadley smiles.

“The Army sees to it I stay in shape. I always feel confident, and it's because I pray for each of my soldiers and our missions.'

“I am very confident in my troops and that if it comes that time, they'll know when to squeeze the trigger.”

“They, (the troops in her command), grew up in Korea, and that maturity has transitioned into the combat zone in Iraq. Our boots on the ground has been on-the-job training.”

We have faith in each other, and we are all optimistic in the way we want to approach each mission.”

Asked if the U.S. was doing good in Iraq, Hadley didn't hesitate, “We are doing good. Our soldiers have had to learn a lot with that O.J.T., but we've learned and adapted, and we've proved our salt, and changed the people's perspective.

Hadley, the former Kimberly Ogles of Boise City, and a West Point graduate, has two years left of her military obligation, as does her husband Kevin, a 1LT with the 2nd Inf. Division (Indian Head).

Hadley and her husband are both stationed in Ariramudi, but are separated by the city.

“We've been married three years, and have lived together nine months. We wrote the book on long-distance relationships,” she laughed.

Both Hadley's platoon and the 2nd ID to which it is attached, are supposed to rotate to Ft. Carson, Colo. in late summer or early fall...unless they are extended.

“We are looking to stabilize our marriage,” she said.

Hadley, on a leave home to visit family, left last Friday on a 30-hour return flight to Kuwait.

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