Get Jaeger: At War with Denmark’s Elite Special Forces today on Amazon today!

I do not look like an Afghan—never have, never will. My heavy build, broad jaw, and Scandinavian facial features are far removed from the typical Afghan’s narrow face and long, crooked nose. But I’d dyed my beard and eyebrows almost black, and covered my face and hands in brown skin cream. I wore a lungee, a traditional Afghan turban, on my head and the equally traditional salwar kameez set, which consisted of a khaki tunic and a baggy pair of trousers.

Under the tunic, I was kitted out with a bulletproof vest, a belt carrying a holstered 9mm H&K USP pistol, two extra magazines, a Gerber jack knife, and a radio connected to a discreet, skin-colored, molded ear piece. The Lowa desert boots I wore were the only thing visible that could reveal me as a soldier. But if something went wrong, I needed to be able to stand firmly.

After a few years away, I was back in Afghanistan. This country just wouldn’t loosen its grip on me. I was in one of the larger cities in the central part of the country with five other Jaegers, and had found myself in the most anonymous and self-effacing role of my career. The assignment was top secret. We were operating undercover amongst the local population.

No uniform. No visible weapons. No military vehicles.

With me in the car on this trip was Mikkel, my old friend from the reconnaissance operation in the remote Afghan mountains. We were in disguise and working, as always, at night—while the city slept. In daylight, we would be exposed immediately. But at night, driving an old Toyota with dirty windows in poor street lighting, our chances of evading detection increased dramatically. We adorned the car’s interior with local gadgets and left it unwashed for months, making it merge seamlessly with the environment.

The car’s ramshackle appearance belied its perfect mechanical state. Engine, gearbox, shock absorbers, brakes, and tires were all relatively new. We also pumped fluid into the tires, enabling the car to continue for up to 13 miles with a puncture.

Our undercover status meant we could only use weapons if we were under extreme duress. Still, should the worst possible scenario eventuate, we would certainly put up a decent fight despite our sparse setup.