The Cradle of Civilization
Written by Ed Burns, Evan Wright
Directed by Susanna White
Along with the rest of the First Marine Division, Bravo busts north towards Nasiriyah, where their sister company Alpha gets its first taste of combat in a skirmish with Iraqi forces at a bridge outside the city. Prompted by an anxious Major General Mattis, Ferrando orders Bravo to cross the Euphrates the next night, but they end up entering Nasiriyah by day, driving through the city with minimal gunfire, save for an AK-47 assault by Platoon 3 leader "Captain America" McGraw on an empty car. Heading north to Mesopotamia -the "Cradle of Civilization"- "Bravo continues to lag behind other companies, partly because of a wrong turn ordered by its commander, Cpt. "Encino Man" Schwetje, who blames it on Colbert. Chomping at the bit while others are carrying the fight, the platoon finally gets "lit up" in a violent but successful skirmish in Al Gharraf, during which Trombley scores his first kill. Elated and relatively unscathed, the platoon celebrates its triumph, despite Sgt. Maj. Sixta's refrain to "maintain the grooming standard" and shave off all mustaches. Reflecting on the day's successes, Ferrando admits his biggest fear isn't fighting the Iraqis, but doing something his general won't like. For one night, he'll have no such fear.