Travis Haley on Najaf, 10 Years Ago

On the 10th anniversary of the famous Najaf firefight in which he was a participant (and which was caught on video, watchable here), Travis Haley created a video recounting his experiences in that battle.

It’s better to just let him speak for himself, in my opinion, so here’s the video:

Nathaniel F

Nathaniel is a history enthusiast and firearms hobbyist whose primary interest lies in military small arms technological developments beginning with the smokeless powder era. In addition to contributing to The Firearm Blog, he runs 196,800 Revolutions Per Minute, a blog devoted to modern small arms design and theory. He is also the author of the original web serial Heartblood, which is being updated and edited regularly. He can be reached via email at


  • billy


  • Man pippy

    Well the military should really give every soldier a little ebook before battle titled “This is who you are fighting” a summarized version of their enemies history, motivation, weapon loadout and possible weaknesses.

    • “possible weaknesses” …Like bullets?

      • DiverEngrSL17K

        Nathaniel, I do hope you are being facetious. It is unwise to underestimate an enemy, or worse yet, hold him in contempt. It is only by understanding and respecting his capabilities, strengths, weaknesses and humanity that one may eventually defeat him.

        • Rusty Shackleford

          No, he is not being facetious, unfortunately. Some have a difficult time seeing anything other than black and white which leads one to underestimate an opponent, allowing them to become complacent in their actions or inactions.

          • Oh good lord; yes, I was joking.

            I’ll just leave you two “operators” alone, so you’re not tempted to compromise opsec…

          • Leroy Lee

            Oof. I’m sometimes amazed that you all keep posting at all.

          • Mea culpa; honestly, I probably should have added an emoticon to my original comment or something. I really didn’t expect to be taken seriously.

          • DiverEngrSL17K

            If you read my comments and the sequence of events that led up to it a little more carefully, you will realize, after all, that I was not criticizing Nathaniel directly, but simply interposing a question based on harsh reality, no more and no less.

          • n0truscotsman

            Here’s a word of advice I learned long ago,

            “if it bleeds, you can kill it”. 😀

          • DiverEngrSL17K

            No direct criticism intended, Nathaniel. It was simply an honest comment based on hard-won experience. While I can understand your impatience ( I am sure you have to deal with a lot of unnecessary rubbish on TFB form various trolls, etc. ), I do feel your sarcastic “operator” comment, along with the jibe about operations security, was, frankly unwarranted and unnecessary.

          • It was not addressing your comment.

          • DiverEngrSL17K

            If that is the case, sincerest apologies for MY misunderstanding.

    • DiverEngrSL17K

      A very good point — it always pays to fully understand your enemy’s strengths, weaknesses, capabilities and humanity. That is how one may realistically assess and, eventually, defeat him.

    • Risky

      They do. They’re called INTSUMs (intelligence summaries) and they receive them daily. Not really groundbreaking.

  • Dan-O

    Lulz at the end, “And to the chick yelling ‘What R U Shooting at, WAT RU U SHOOTING AT!?’ STFU!”

  • Bloedman

    I’m surprised those little helicopters could fly with those two massive, brass balls hanging out the side. Nothing but respect to these warriors.

  • nova3930

    I met one of the little bird gunners a couple years back. He said that was one of the most intense engagements he’d ever been a part of.

  • USMC03Vet


  • David_TheMan

    Mercs for hire and an invading army sent to destabilize the region encounter battle from the resisting local populace.

    Sorry but Haley and the US soldiers aren’t heroes at all.

    • uncle adolf

      Fearless warriors for international bankers, wall st and traitorous US pols.

      • uncle adolf

        Oh yeah-I forgot-doing Israel’s dirty work(cough- Saddam’s yellow cake based on mossad intel-cough)

        • Unsooper

          Why don’t you two super geniuses go for a walk in the new caliphate. They’ll just love you guys.

          • Burst

            Wouldn’t be a ‘caliphate’ but for a destabilized region. Just sayin’.

    • Yellow Devil

      Big talk from a keyboard commando. But the local populace and the Shiite militias under Mutada Al Sadr did a good job destabilizing the region on their own accord.

      • David_TheMan

        Yeah, speaking the truth suddenly makes one a internet commando. Nice to see the depths of your knowledge and intellect.

        Yeah Al Sadr and the Shiites destablized the region after the US propped up Saddam, removed him, funded ISIS in Syria while they haven ow run roughshod over Iraq, but thanks to the Shiites and Kurds Isis is being repelled while the US government’s puppet regime is powerless.

        Educate yourself.

        • Zachary marrs

          Why dont you educate yourself over what the little red box says

          Firearms not politics

          • David_theMan

            Yes firearms not politics in a post that is aligned with politics, not actual firearms.

          • Zachary marrs

            So instead of ignoring it, you instead decide to make it worse.

            I only stabbed him the first 12 times officer! I swear!

          • I am pretty sure firearms were involved. Haley even devotes a reasonable chunko f time talking about his rifle.

    • Aaron E

      Yeah you’re right … we should have continued to allow Saddam to threaten and invade neighboring countries, violate dozens of U.N. sanctions, murder and rape his own people, support and pay terrorists, and (when nobody is looking) build up any and all weapons systems that he can.

      • David_TheMan

        Yeah, who put Saddam in power in the first place? violating UN sanctions, Israel violates UN sanctions, Saudi murders and tortures its own people, supports and exports terrorism world wide, but those two nations are the US government’s best friends in the region.

        Time for you to educate yourself man, in this day and age there is no excuse for being ignorant and shouting such ridiculous platitudes.

        • dan

          Sorry but yes you are an internet commando the fact that you sit here and denounce the actions of U.S. soldiers and spew your rhetoric on a forum without actually doing anything to in the real world to further your “truth” shows me you are a internet commando. When a man or woman puts on a uniform and is willing to sacrifice their lives for what ever reason their country tells them too whether or not it is legitimate or not still makes them a hero in my eyes. Maybe there is some jealousy on your part that these men and women actually do something with their lives instead of taking to the internet to bitch and moan. Maybe just maybe you can quit the evil U.S. puppet crap turn your computer off go outside and make this country better. I am willing to bet you won’t, you’re content to sit safely behind your computer and tell the rest of the world what they are doing is wrong and that we are all ignorant of the facts because your CNN/ blogosphere research says so.
          You’re reply to this will just prove my point, so don’t bother as I will not be checking to see what worthless crap you spew next.

          • Gentlemen, this is not the place to discuss Middle Eastern geopolitics.

          • David_TheMan

            Why make a post that is purely political and then complain when people talk about the politics behind why it happened?

          • Purely political? I did not see it that way. In fact, Haley’s action in Najaf is a piece of evidence I have been using for years to dispel myths about 5.56’s capabilities at range, which is why I chose to cover the topic.

            If you choose to perceive it as political, that is up to you, but unproductive political bickering has no place on TFB.

          • David_TheMan

            It is purely political, Haley’s actions have nothing to do with 5.56 reliability, there are plenty of tests that you could post that have in depth documentation on the lethality of the round. Hell there are counter points to the effectiveness of the round in closed urban environments and those are studies from military think tanks and people on the ground.

            No this was a thread to post up a political operation, now you want to try to claim it is about a round, after being called out.

          • I thought the video was interesting. There is no conspiracy to cause a political storm.

            Please cut out the unproductive bickering if you’re going to continue commenting.

          • David_TheMan

            You can say sorry all you would like. There is nothing internet commando or tough guy about saying a war is unjust and the people who go out and execute it are akin to thugs.

            Yes I denounce and reject the actions of soldiers all over the world, including those in the country I reside. A US soldier doing wrong and fighting for the wrong side is just as evil as a german, british, french, afghani, iraqi, and any other soldier.

            You don’t know how to comment with regard to actual facts and you resort to a weak group appeal and name calling, that is expected from a great deal of neo-cons and that isn’t surprising.

            Why would I be jealous of US soldiers killing innocent women, children, and men to help US business interests? What kind of sick person would find that something to be jealous of? Speaks volumes about you dan.

            The country can’t get better by a person doing anything, it takes self reflection of the people in this country to create any long lasting change, and I’m happy to say the people I interact with on a daily basis on in community discussion usually start asking themselves questions and hopefully leads to them waking up and saying how disgusting the actions of the US government is.

            I’ll stop now because it is clear you really have nothing to discuss after my reply. Cling to you guns and your flag and promote the expansion of a unchecked government and then cry about evil democrats destroying your country and what now.

            Have a good one.