(Cover) Model Hero?

Who is this man? A Men’s Health beefcake cover boy? A recruiting poster icon? Rambo?

No. actually, this photo ran on the Army’s Web site (www.army.mil) Nov. 1 with the following quote:

“The execution of this mission shows how far Iraqi security forces have come. … They planned and then organized their forces, and executed a tough and precise mission with support from the coalition. They are well on their way to being the preeminent security force for the people of Iraq,” Army Brig. Gen. John F. Campbell, deputy commander for maneuver, Multinational Division, Baghdad, said, referring to the rescue of seven kidnapped sheiks in northern Baghdad.

So, who is he?

The quote implies he’s a member of the Iraqi security forces. From all the press they’ve received, one would think U.S. forces would have trained this man.

We showed the photo and quote to our panel of “experts.” One remarked, “I mean the guy looks like John Wayne in the Sands of Iwo Jima!” They were intrigued and noted he was probably the most robust member of the security forces they’ve seen to date. They were impressed by the perfect uniform — not a wrinkle. Helmet — flawless. They did note he was in need of a shave, but the look added to the man’s image. They were all checking out that watch the unknown man is sporting: That timepiece makes this the envy of ad agencies for Rolex and TAG Heuer.

Now what about the Rambo thing with the links draped across his heaving chest in a manner that would make any rogue super hero envious? And that massive, Soviet-era (we think it’s a) 30-cal or maybe a PKM? Pumping up those enviable biceps? Wow. Hip, but tactically questionable. Chances are U.S. forces did not train him to sling ammo like this. If nothing else, those bullet tips are pointed inward — a big no-no, according to our panel.

Our guess is U.S. forces did not train this guy at all, and he’s probably not a member of the security forces. Is the photo accurate? Probably not. An ideal one might want to achieve? Probably.

Regardless, nice photo.

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