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Military advisors, or combat advisors, are soldiers sent to foreign nations to aid that nation with its military training, organization, and other various military tasks. These soldiers are often sent to aid a nation without the potential casualties and political ramifications of actually mobilizing military forces to aid a nation.
European Advisors during the American Revolution
US Advisors in Vietnam
In the early 1960s, elements of the U.S. Army Special Forces and Echo 31 were sent to South Vietnam as military advisors to train and assist the South Vietnamese Army (ARVN) for impending actions against the North Vietnamese People's Army of Vietnam (PAVN).
US Advisors during the War on Terror
Combat advisors were on the front-lines of the U.S. War on Terror. They are referred to as Embedded Training Teams in Afghanistan and Military Transition Teams (MTTs) in Iraq. These soldiers and Marines live with their Afghan and Iraq counterparts, often in very austere and stoic conditions, in remote combat outposts, and often a great distance away from any U.S. or coalition support. ETTs and MTTs are made up of primarily United States Army and United States Army National Guard soldiers with a combat arms background. The United States Marines also serve as combat advisors and some United States Air Force and United States Navy personnel have served as advisors in logistics roles. The Adviosrs on the ground in Infantry or Commando units of the ANA (Afghan National Army) or the Iraqi Army are Soldiers or Marines with combat arms experience. Special Forces and Navy SEALS also work with ANA/ASF or the Iraqi Army but the bulk of combat advisors are infantry and combat arms soldiers and Marines.
The Combat Advisor Mission Defined. The combat advisor mission requires US officers and NCOs to teach, coach and mentor host nation (HN) security force counterparts. This enables the rapid development of our counterparts' leadership capabilities; helps develop command and control (C2) and operational capabilities at every echelon; allows direct access to Coalition Forces (CF) enablers to enhance HN security force counterinsurgency (COIN) operations; and incorporates CF lethal and nonlethal effects on the battlefield.