Marine Corps Times:

Editor's note: This is the first in a five-part series examining the 2006-2008 travails of Marine Special Operations Company Foxtrot.

On March 4, 2007, less than a month after arriving in country, 30 men with Fox Company's direct-action platoon were riding in a six-vehicle convoy that was ambushed while patrolling in the Bati Kot district of Afghanistan's Nangarhar province, a nefarious transfer point for suicide bombers and other extremists entering the country from Pakistan. Media reports about the incident seemed to surface before the smoke had cleared and the shell casings were collected. And it seemed to leave little doubt that the Marines went on a wild rampage, inflicting mass civilian casualties.

Within days, Fox Company was ordered out of the war zone under a cloud of shame. Galvin was stripped of command. Yet investigations into what happened in Bati Kot had only just begun.

Ten months later, in January 2008, the Marine Corps convened a rare court of inquiry at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, to determine whether there was sufficient credible evidence to warrant criminal charges, including negligent homicide, as recommended by an investigating officer. The proceedings lasted three weeks and took a heavy toll both physically and emotionally on the seven Marines most directly involved.