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Ten Post correspondents were assigned to U.S. military units during the confrontation with Iraq in what the Pentagon calls "embedding." The Post presents portraits of life with the troops in this regular feature, In the Field.
Letter From Kuwait
 The Hilton's Strange Embed Fellows (The Washington Post, 3/7/03)
 Video:Post's Richard Leiby in Kuwait
What Is 'Embedding'?

The embedding program follows media complaints that reporters were kept too far from the warfront in recent military actions. Pentagon officials, in their guidance paper, said the effort is being made because "we need to tell the factual story -- good or bad -- before others seed the media with disinformation and distortions, as they most certainly will continue to do."

Under the rules set by military officials, reporters will have access to soldiers, sailors and marines and will be allowed to file uncensored reports -- as long as specific details that relate to strategy or the welfare of the troops is not compromised. Journalists' use of some electronic equipment may also be limited on the battlefield. The reporters will not carry firearms, but are responsible for transporting their own gear and bringing their own safety equipment, such as flak jackets, helmets and suits to protect them against chemical and gas attacks. (See the Pentagon's February "public affairs guidance" paper for embedded journalists.)

Reporters may remain with a unit for weeks or months, the Pentagon cautioned, and they are taking the same risks from the "extreme and unpredictable hazards of war" as the members of the military. The reporters are required to be in overall good health -- no pregnant women or people with heart or lung problems or some other chronic diseases are allowed. The government also made voluntary vaccinations for anthrax and smallpox available to all people who were embedding. (See the legal release that embedded reporters had to sign before deploying with troops.)

With the Marines Entering Baghdad
Marines Sweep Through Eastern Half of Baghdad
BAGHDAD, April 9 -- By the time night fell, thousands of Marines had swept through the eastern half of Baghdad, occupying a vast swath of territory that included Baghdad University, several foreign embassies, a presidential palace and a home of Deputy Prime Minister Tariq Aziz.

IN THE FIELD: With the Marines
Troops Pause After Battle in 'Hell on Earth'
OUTSKIRTS OF BAGHDAD, Iraq, April 7 -- After a day advancing on the Iraqi capital inch by inch, Marines hunkered down tonight for a nerve-wracking pause in a downtrodden neighborhood one Marine described as "hell on earth."

IN THE FIELD: In Southern Iraq
In Pursuit of Answers, and Loot, in Basra
BASRA, Iraq, April 7 -- They came early to the abandoned Office of Public Safety today, an imposing high-rise in the Mazlaq neighborhood that was Basra's most notorious political prison. Some came looking for clues to the fate of the missing. Others came looking for revenge.
 Inside University Gates, the Burning and the Bodies

IN THE FIELD: With the 101st Airborne Division
For Infantrymen, Hardships Are Many And Nothing Is Easy
KARBALA, Iraq, April 6 -- In a war dominated by armored juggernauts and precision munitions dropped from 20,000 feet, infantrymen are the proverbial boots-on-the-ground.

On a Busy Night, Beds Fill Up With U.S. Soldiers, Iraqi POWs and Civilians
U.S. MOBILE ARMY SURGICAL HOSPITAL 212, Central Iraq, April 5 -- In its busiest day since the war began, MASH 212 treated dozens of casualties Sunday, "seeing the whole span of suffering in war," according to one doctor.

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