||The examples and perspective in this article deal primarily with the United States and do not represent a worldwide view of the subject. (December 2010)|
|This article does not cite any references or sources. (December 2009)|
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. 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).
Combat advisors were on the front-lines on the U.S. War on Terror, serving in Military Transition Teams (MTTs) in both Afghanistan and Iraq. These soldiers live with their Afghan and Iraq counterparts, often in very austere and stoic conditions, on a remote firebase, and often a great distance away from any U.S. or coalition support. MTT's 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 MTTs 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.
Security Forces Assistance (SFA) defines a more in-depth method of embedded mentorship. MTTs have fallen in disuse with shifts in focus and doctrine. U.S. Army Master Sergeant Jeffrey G. Mancuso was credited with developing the modern Security Forces Assistance Advisory Team (SFA AT) concept, implementing the "Clark Protocol" which stipulated embedded mentors in a "by, with and through" method of combat advising. This revolutionary model introduced such techniques such as allowing local national cultural advisors to serve in command authority of entire ISAF Combat Outposts and owning operating environments with field grade officer authority. The first such local national, codenamed "Lucky," commanded a contingent of Cavalry in support of combat operations crucial to ANSF development.
Current Advisory Teams are trained at Fort Polk, Louisiana at the Advisor Academy, "Tigerland."