He himself then followed, the camera attached to his helmet recording the descent through the pre-dawn darkness.
His louche take on style calls to mind the aftermath of a night spent clubbing or a pre-dawn, hung-over, walk of shame.
On Wednesday, wire services reported that 18 civilians were killed in a pre-dawn airstrike in eastern Afghanistan.
But the president's pensive image of heroes streaming out in the "pre-dawn darkness" was deeply affecting.
The previous day, in the pre-dawn dark, another group of men had occupied the regional parliament building.
They woke him in the pre-dawn twilight and another group of Agvars took over.
But the cold cramped him and he was glad to see the graying sky of pre-dawn.
The beast probably would lay up shortly after its pre-dawn feeding and he'd overhaul it in an hour or two.
In the gray of pre-dawn on the fourth day Ashe wakened Ross.
I barely remember the welcome chill that the pre-dawn hours brought to the room.