Keeping Options Open: From The Surge In Iraq To Operation Inherent Resolve

A. Brett Lea


Brett Lea grew up in the Carolinas and attended Marshall University, where he majored in Sports Management and Marketing. After graduating from college, he worked in the golf industry. Early in 2001, he decided to join the Army, and eventually commissioned through Officer Candidate School. After the Air Defense Basic Course, he was assigned to 3-4 Air Defense Artillery at Fort Bragg. He then attended the Armor Advance Course at Fort Knox before deploying to Iraq in 2007 on a Military Transition Team (MiTT), serving with the National Police in Baghdad. After his deployment to Iraq, he attended graduate school and taught history at West Point. Following his teaching assignment, he was stationed at Fort Campbell, and deployed to Iraq as the executive officer of 2-44 Air Defense in 2016. During this deployment, his battalion commander was in Afghanistan with a portion of the battalion while Brett served in Iraq with the remainder of the unit. In this interview, he describes his path to military service, and his deployments to Iraq. He reflects on his time as a platoon leader, and the lessons he learned. He explores his experiences on the MiTT, conducting operations with the Iraqis. He talks about his recent deployment to Iraq under Operation Inherent Resolve, and analyzes the changes he’s seen in the Iraqi Army. Finally, he discusses his family, detailing the process one of his children is going through in transitioning from female to male.


conflicts Iraq War
topics GWOT Global War on Terror Returning from War War on Terror West Point History Military Families Military Family Sexuality
interviewer David Siry
date 08 February 2017


name A. Brett Lea
institution Marshall University; University of South Carolina
graduation year 1998, 2012
service Air Defense Artillery
specialty 3-4 Air Defense; 1-62 Iraqi National Police MiTT; 2-44 Air Defense
service dates 2001