Extreme SEAL Experience Blog
Where the Hell Have you BEEN?Sunday March 30th 2008 - 11:58 AM EST
I was putting a class of young SEALs through STT or SEAL Tactical Training at Fort AP. Hill one summer. The training was land warfare and included demolitions, marksmanship, tactics and a host of other skills and we were using an isolated camp we called SEAL Camp and many SEALs had spent many a training phase in the run down camp.
We lived in tents without running water but had an outhouse that could seat 10 SEALs sitting side by side doing their morning business together and it seemed like every day, at just the right time to inflict maximum damage on the most guys using the shitter, someone in the class would silently drop a grenade simulator inside while we held our breath and swatted at flies.
Boom... Not the way to start the day.
The guys had been kicking ass and I decided to cut them some slack on Friday after a couple weeks of being blown up in the outhouse and hard Land Warfare Training. I told them to go home for the weekend and be back here loaded and ready to hit the range hard on Monday at 0800.
DON’T BE LATE...
0800 on Monday the bus is loaded ready to depart for the range but we were missing Rodriguez and I was immediately pissed. By 0830 I was twisted, by 0900 I went insane and by 1000 Rodriguez pulls up and I flipped.
I don’t get worked up much but I had trusted the guys. We were behind schedule and two hours late was inexcusable. In front of all the guys, I started at Rodriguez’s feet and chewed all the way to the top of his head and back down again on a cussing tirade that rivaled ANY ass chewing the Military had ever seen.
Knowing I had made my point I finally calmed down a little and asked "Where the F–K were you."
He replied “A car rolled over in front of me getting here and I held a woman’s hand until the Fire Department could cut her from the car."
Looking back at my career after that incident I can honestly say that I never pulled anything like that again. No matter how bad the reports, no matter what was said, no matter how guilty someone appeared, I always waited to hear it from them before I jumped to conclusions and I saved many a guy’s ass by calming down others and saying "Let’s see what he has to say first."
Issac Rodriguez was killed during the Invasion of Panama a few weeks later...
We took showers at another camp nearby. After a day of training a couple guys got me and said they had gone to the camp and a couple Army guards removed them from the vehicle at gun point and had them on the ground f–kin with them for a while finally releasing them and telling them there was an exercise and not to return.
Tell everyone to get a full load out, their shower gear, and get on the bus, I replied.
When loaded, I explained to the thirty or so guys what had happened and that we were taking over the showers. One platoon would shower while the other platoon holds them at bay and then switch out and this would need to be done as quickly as possible.
A score needed settled and our reputation as SEALs needed upheld. Their training was almost over and what better way to solidify that training than to hit a pile of Army clowns hard.
There was a roadblock manned by two Army guys a short distance from the showers. The camp that had been vacant for weeks had in a single day been transformed into a bustling tent city filled with Army guys and concertina wire.
At the road block the guards informed me I could go no further, the camp was off limits for an exercise and to leave and not return. I turned back and told the guys to lite these pieces of shit up and every weapon on the bus went out the windows with a hail of blank fire and a pile of grenade simulators and I crashed the roadblock speeding toward the showers.
BOOM-BOOM-BOOM-TAT-TAT-TAT-TAT-TAT-TAT... The camp went nuts...
Loud speakers blared and Solders were running out of the way. I backed the bus to the main shower doors quickly as the guys blew out the back and entered carrying machine guns and shower kits and we secured the building. Half the guys took up defensive positions while the others quickly stripped and hit the showers while one man called out "Time on Target" every minute letting us know how long we were taking.
Two Army guys were using the toilets when we got there and became prisoners. One, a senior enlisted guy seemed to be enjoying what was happening and gave no resistance, the other was a Major and he flipped. He tried pulling rank and threatening me with assaulting an Officer and to release him immediately.
Gagged and with his hands and feet tied we heard no more from him.
The guys switched out as the 5 minute time on target was called. The Army was regrouping and maneuvering on us. The guns never stopped firing, the compound was heavy with smoke from the smoke grenades the guys were throwing, and the explosions constant for what seemed like an endless supply of grenade simulators the guys had brought.
The Army was out gunned big time.
We quickly finished the showers, loaded the bus and hauled ass with guns from every window and grenades exploding as the Army returned fire and watched us cheering and yelling as we blew out of the camp and headed back to ours.
Back at camp the fire was lit and beers flowed as we laughed and regaled each other with our raid.
I awoke the next morning to a pissed camp supervisor who asked "What the F–K did you do last night?" I explained, and he replied you can tell it to the General, he wants to see you.
I took a truck and headed to the scene of the crime. The guards sneered at me and allowed me to pass. As I drove through the compound all eyes were on me and the damage was visible.
Piles of spent blank rounds covered the place and were mixed with burnt smoke grenades that scorched the maintained road in a rainbow of colors and cardboard from the grenade simulators was scattered everywhere.
I drove to the headquarters tent and entered.
The Major I accosted was there and sporting a grin on his face that seemed to say I was about to spend some time in the brig and behind him, leaning over a map on a table, was the General.
His back was turned to me and I quickly noticed he was a monster of a man and seemed out of place in the Army and should have been on the line of a pro football team.
The Major announced "He’s here" and the General turned and studied me for a moment saying nothing as I stood at attention.
After that very uncomfortable moment, the General approached me with an extended hand and introduced himself saying it seemed like we had some fun last night. He made small talk and I watched the smirk disappear from the Majors face in disappointment.
The General explained that he was in Special Forces before and in the reserves now and running the exercise. He took me to the maps and asked "Where do you SEALs send enemy you capture during a conflict?"
I’m not sure Sir, I replied.
He said, "You send them to me," and explained that the exercise was training his troops to do just that. He told me that we were a little out of his guy’s league and we disrupted his exercise. He finished by saying that he had ignored his wife, kids and dog for over a year setting the exercise up and asked if I would not F–k up all his hard work and steer clear of the camp until the exercise ended in a couple days and was there anything I needed.
Very polite guy, I relied “No Sir, Sorry."
With a powerful slap on my back he said "Dismissed."
I delivered a crisp salute and turned for the door of the tent. As I was leaving I looked at the Major a final time. His mouth was wide opened in disbelief as if he was trying to catch flies with it.