If any of our good readers in NYC care to join in, Mission: VALOR will be taking part in the NYC Veteran's Day Parade. Details are here and we will have limited edition t-shirts for the first 20 people to show up at 1300 on Tuesday. Hope to see you there!
No one here has weighed in on this yet, but others have elsewhere. Whether it was a night firefight and looked exactly like the last 30 minutes of Zero Dark Thirty, or whether it was over in 90 seconds on the third floor because they hit that building first is not really what is at issue. It isn’t if Navy SEALs defiled the corpse (I would have wrapped him in bacon and put him inside a pig purchased from a Jewish deli in NYC before firing what was left of him out of a cannon) or who fired the shot, or what happened on that day amongst the individuals who touched down in that compound behind enemy lines.
What is salient here is what happened the whole of that night, and that we don’t talk about Fight Club, especially when it involves operations that have Non-Disclosure Agreements and Q-Level clearances. Having been involved in a few things that have had these attached to them, I can tell you that these things are taken seriously. Being in DevGru, Detachment Delta or any other SMU is the Willy Wonka Golden Ticket to Life’s Badass List. If you are on it, the only ones that will know are also exclusive members of this club.
In the audio interview, O'Neill says he believes some details about the bin Laden mission, such as how he was killed, were no longer classified because they had been repeatedly leaked in the aftermath by high-level officials.
"Once anyone says anything at that level, it's not classified," he said.
"...I was told by people that I can't even say I'm a Navy SEAL, so I don't give a f*** what they think."
This is why leadership is important. The Occupant in Chief of the Office of the President got this ball rolling about 15 minutes after the SIPRnet message about the successful completion of the flight back and accordingly, others followed; except the two top people in the SEAL Community, and a bunch of other guys who understood that you don't talk about Fight Club. When the civilians and politicians who don't live by the same code spend their time talking about how "I got Bin Laden" when it blatantly isn't true (in the case of the OinC) it can be maddening and frightening and leads to the unintended consequences inherent in human nature.
This is why civilians don't get many invitations to join Fight Club.
The guy(s) that fired that shot, regardless of who he or they are, should have this story told to Fox News by their sons about 50 years from now. As someone who operates in the shadows of places where the intelligence world and direct action world intersect, the shooter should be able to reflect back on what he did, and in all the cool things that he can never talk about, except for with the other members on the above mentioned list.
Would I like to buy a beer and a cook a steak on my back deck for whoever pressed the Boom Switch and put an end to the number one guy on everyone's Islamist excrement list that certainly deserved it? Hell Yes, beers are on me and how do you like your steak? More than that though, I want that guy or guys to STFU about what went down in that OP.
Because the human nature I was talking about leads us to this:
They should just all smile knowingly and deflect it all back to the "team" and be glad the dude is rotting in hell.
So please, FFS, let's stop talking about Fight Club.
At about 0600 on the morning of 8 November C Company began a move northwest toward Hill 65, while B Company moved northeast toward Hill 78. Shortly before 0800, C Company was engaged by a sizable enemy force well dug in to the southern face of Hill 65. At 0845, B Company was directed to wheel in place and proceed toward Hill 65 with the intention of relieving C Company.
B Company reached the foot of Hill 65 at about 0930 and moved up the hill. It became obvious that there was a very large enemy force in place on the hill,C Company was getting hammered, and by chance, B Company was forcing the enemy's right flank.
Under pressure from B Company's flanking attack the enemy force—most of a Viet Cong regiment—moved to the northwest, whereupon the B Company commander called in air and artillery fires on the retreating troops. B Company halted in place in an effort to locate and consolidate with C Company's platoons, managing to establish a coherent defensive line running around the hilltop from southeast to northwest, but with little cover on the southern side.
Meanwhile, the VC commander realized that his best chance was to close with the US soldiers so that the 173rd's air and artillery fire could not be effectively employed. He attempted to out-flank the US position atop the hill from both the east and the southwest, moving his troops closer to the Americans. The result was shoulder-to-shoulder attacks up the hillside, hand-to-hand fighting, and isolation of parts of B and C Companies but the Americans held against two such attacks. Although the fighting continued after the second massed attack, it reduced in intensity as the VC commander again attempted to disengage and withdraw. By late afternoon it seemed that contact had been broken off, allowing the two companies to prepare a night defensive position while collecting their dead and wounded in the center of the position. Although a few of the most seriously wounded were extracted by USAF helicopters using Stokes litters, the triple-canopy jungle prevented the majority from being evacuated until the morning of 9 November.
The result of the battle was heavy losses on both sides—48 Paratroopers dead, many more wounded, and 403 dead VC troops.
Here is the link to the tribute video by Big and Rich:
If you get a chance, raise a glass to the Sky Soldiers of the 173rd tonight ("Airborne!"). Many of the Viet Nam vets that trained me and my generation of paratroopers wore the 173rd patch on their right shoulder.
Update:In the Company of Soldiers has more on Lawrence Joel who saved a lot of lives on the 8th of November in 1965 and was awarded the Medal of Honor.
A V-22A Osprey lands on the amphibious assault ship USS Peleliu during routine flight operations in the South China Sea, Oct. 31, 2014. The Peleliu is the lead ship in the Peleliu Amphibious Ready Group and is conducting joint forces exercises in the U.S. 7th Fleet area of responsibility. The Osprey is part of the Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 262. U.S. Navy photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Joshua Hammond
DOGS OF WAR spotlights combat veteran Jim Stanek, who returns home struggling with PTSD. He looks into getting a service dog to help him heal, only to discover how expensive they are, and how long the wait to be paired with one is. So he starts his own nonprofit to rescue dogs from kill shelters, train them as service dogs and partner them with struggling veterans at little or no cost.
The show premieres Tuesday, Nov. 11 at 10PM ET/PT and then moves to Sundays at 10PM ET/PT beginning Nov. 16.
In an era when most reality TV is hypersexualized, about cutthroat competition or designed solely to make us laugh at the culture of its “stars,” it is so refreshing to be associated with a series like this, which spotlights a man who uses the greatest pain in his life to offer the greatest comfort to the lives of others.
Dogs of War is really the culmination of the work that Jim and Lindsey Stanek have done with their charity - Paws and Stripes. Jim and Lindsey found the perfect intersection of veterans needing a companion to deal with feeling isolated and shelter dogs (most likely heading to an untimely death) needing a home. In turn, they rescue each other.
Catch "Dogs of War" on A&E this Veterans Day. Spread the word!
The following article is a special for BlackFive readers written by Elise Cooper (our favorite book reviewer).
On November 8th in San Diego, California, the USS Midway will provide a dramatic setting as best selling authors plan on honoring military veterans presented by the Us4Warriors veteran’s support foundation and American Legion. The authors are hoping this will become a yearly tradition because it falls out on the weekend before Veterans Day. Book enthusiasts are invited to attend this unique event, “Veteran Benefit Book Fair” (www.veteransbookfair.org) between 10 am and 5 pm.
Because proceeds go to veteran organizations people who want a book signed will have to buy books at the Midway/Fair bookstore. But the added benefit is that for every book sold a free book is sent to those on active duty. For the price of a Midway ticket, people can meet best-selling authors, purchase a book for signature, and take a tour of the Midway, a ship steeped in history. Readers can also have the opportunity to obtain a collector’s item, a personal written note from an author answering a question they always wanted to ask, or win one of many silent auctions of signed books by number one best selling authors including Nelson DeMille.
The organizers hope that people will not be fooled by the title since there will be over forty authors, all from various genres from women’s issues to science fiction. Panel discussions with many of the authors will include: Veteran Characters”; “Female Heroines”; “Hot and Cold Wars”; “Terrorists and Politics” and “Guns and Needles.” In addition there will be a Q/A with Hank Steinberg, the executive producer of the television shows “The Last Ship” and “Without A Trace.” Others in attendance include Catherine Coulter, Charles and Caroline Todd, James Rollins, Ted Bell, C. J. Lyons, T. Jefferson Parker, Jan Burke, D. P. Lyle, Iris and Roy Johansen, W.C. Reed, Amy Hatvany, Andrew Kaplan, and Dale Brown. Also attending is U.S. Navy SEAL CDR (Ret) Rorke Denver, star the movie Act of Valor and U.S. Navy SEAL sniper LTCDR (Ret) Shane Reilly, former XO of the Navy SEAL Training Command.
The authors want to emphasize that as Americans, we are living in perilous times and without those willing to sacrifice, sometimes making the ultimate sacrifice, to preserve our freedoms we would be in dire straights. They hope Americans will take the time to attend this patriotic event.
REPOST now that the election is over, and wasn't that fun. Can't wait to vote again for Scott Walker in 2016.
President Obama gave vastly different treatment to a couple of military folks who were in trouble. For SGT Bowe Bergdahl, he traded five Taliban terrorists and a pallet load of cash to our enemies. For SGT Andrew Tahmoressi (crickets chirping). I take a look at the two cases and a serious look at the horrendous deal he made to free Bergdahl in the Free Fire Zone.
U.S. Navy divers and divers from the Royal Naval Force of Jordan conduct a search dive while participating in International Mine Countermeasures Exercise in the Gulf of Aqaba, Jordan, Oct. 29, 2014. IMCMEX includes navies from 44 countries whose focus is to promote regional security through mine countermeasure operations in the U.S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility. The Navy divers are assigned to the Fleet Diving Unit 3, assigned to Task Group 523.3. U.S. Navy photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Daniel Rolston
U.S. Marines and U.S. Public Health Service members return during Operation United Assistance at Roberts International Airport in Monrovia, Liberia, Oct. 31, 2014. The operation is providing command and control, logistics, training and engineering support to the U.S. government’s efforts to contain the Ebola virus outbreak in West Africa. U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Gustavo Gonzalez
All of this should be elementary, but the increasing lack of combat experience in the highest echelons of our government suggests it’s not. At the most elementary level, a soldier has to find the moral courage to overcome primal fear. And when fighting jihadists, the Iraqi soldier or Syrian moderate faces a sudden, terrifying reality.
They are coming, and they will not stop.
That is the reality of fighting disciplined armies, but it is also the reality of fighting fanatics — of people who give the impression that they don’t care whether they live or die, that the normal rules of human preservation have been utterly discarded, and they exist only to kill or be killed. In the face of such ferocity, there is but one response:
We shall not be moved.
This is the response of the American fighting man...
This is so fundamental that it explains why storied units like the 3rd Infantry Division go to such trouble to maintain their unit history, and teach it to new members. The sense of belonging to a tradition like this, and having a heritage to uphold or to shame, is one of the things that motivates young men to stand their ground. They know their predecessors went through terrors just as bad, and somehow managed to find the way. They know it can be done. They just have to do it too.
When you are fighting an army that literally believes that God is on its side, you are going to need a tremendous amount of moral courage. A force must be found, or made, that has such courage if this enemy is to be defeated. It will not be the forces supporting a corrupt government that has deserved little loyalty.
Former Paratrooper and Army Officer, "Blackfive" started this blog upon learning of the valorous sacrifice of a friend that was not reported by the journalist whose life he saved. Email: blackfive AT gmail DOT com
Retired Special Operations Master Sergeant, Jim Hanson ("Uncle Jimbo") is now focused on writing about the military, politics, intelligence operations and foreign policy. Email: jimbo AT unclejimbo DOT com
Writer, photographer, and raconteur C. Blake Powers is the Laughing Wolf. He is independent in politics and covers topics including journalism, military, weapons, preparedness, space, science, cooking, food and wine, product and book reviews, and even spirituality. Email: wolf1 AT laughingwolf DOT net Laughing Wolf's Amazon Wish List
Bill Paisley, otherwise known as Pinch, is a 22 year (ongoing) active and
reserve naval aviator. He blogs over at www.instapinch.com on a veritable
cornucopia of various and sundry items and will bring a tactical naval
aviator's perspective to Blackfive. Readers be warned: any comments of or
about the F-14 Tomcat will be reverential and spoken in low, hushed tones.
Email: wpaisley AT comcast DOT net
Mr. Wolf has over 26 years in the Army, Army NG, and USAR. He’s Airborne with 5 years as an NCO, before becoming an officer. Mr. Wolf has had 4 company commands. Signal Corp is his basic branch, and Public Affairs is his functional area. He recently served 22 straight months in Kuwait and Iraq, in Intel, PA, and senior staff of MNF-I. Mr. Wolf is now an IT executive. He is currently working on a book on media and the Iraq war. Functional gearhead.
In Iraq, he received the moniker of Mr. Wolf after the Harvey Kietel character in Pulp Fiction, when "challenges" arose, they called on Mr. Wolf...
Email: TheDOTMrDOTWolfAT gmail DOT com
Deebow is a Staff Sergeant and a Military Police Squad Leader in the Army National Guard. In a previous life, he served in the US Navy. He has over 19 years of experience in both the Maritime and Land Warfare; including deployments to Southwest Asia, Thailand, the South Pacific, South America and Egypt. He has served as a Military Police Team Leader and Protective Services Team Leader and he has served on assignments with the US State Department, US Air Force Security Police, US Army Criminal Investigation Division, and the US Drug Enforcement Administration. He recently spent time in Afghanistan working with, training and fighting alongside Afghan Soldiers and is now focused on putting his 4 year Political Science degree to work by writing about foreign policy, military security policy and politics.
McQ has 28 years active and reserve service. Retired. Infantry officer. Airborne and Ranger. Consider my 3 years with the 82nd as the most fun I ever had with my clothes on. Interests include military issues and policy and veteran's affairs.
Email: mcq51 -at - bellsouth -dot- net
Tantor is a former USAF navigator/weapon system officer (WSO) in F-4E Phantoms who served in the US, Asia, and Europe. He is now a curmudgeonly computer geek in Washington, DC, picking the taxpayers pocket. His avocations are current events, aviation, history, and conservative politics.
Twenty-three years of Active and Reserve service in the US Army in SF (18B), Infantry and SOF Signal jobs with operational deployments to Bosnia and Africa. Since retiring he's worked as Senior Defense Analyst on SOF and Irregular Warfare projects and currently ensconced in the emerging world of Cyberspace.
Major Pain --
A Marine who began his blog in Iraq and reflects back on what he learned there and in Afghanistan. To the point opinions, ideas and thoughts on military, political and the media from One Marine’s View. Email: onemarinesview AT yahoo DOT com
Uber Pig was an Infantryman from late 1991 until early 1996, serving with Second Ranger Battalion, I Corps, and then 25th Infantry Division. At the time, the Army discriminated against enlisted soldiers who wanted use the "Green to Gold" program to become officers, so he left to attend Stanford University. There, he became expert in detecting, avoiding, and surviving L-shaped ambushes, before dropping out to be as entrepreneurial as he could be. He is now the founder of a software startup serving the insurance and construction industries, and splits time between Lake Tahoe, Boonville, and San Francisco, CA.
Uber Pig writes for Blackfive a) because he's the proud brother of an enlisted Civil Affairs Reservist who currently serves in Iraq, b) because he looks unkindly on people who make it harder for the military in general, and for his brother in particular, to succeed at their missions and come home in victory, and c) because the Blackfive readers and commenters help keep him sane.
COB6 spent 24 years in the active duty Army that included 5 combat tours with service in the 1st Ranger Battalion and 1st Special Forces Group . COB6 was enlisted (E-7) and took the OCS route to a commission. COB6 retired a few years back as a field grade Infantry officer.
Currently COB6 has a son in the 82nd Airborne that just returned from his third tour and has a newly commissioned daughter in the 4th Infantry Division.