February 8, 2012

US SOCOM Commander McRaven’s Response & Our Perspective

I had a chance to visit with my old CO (Commanding Officer) during a recent event in DC this Tuesday.  The usual media suspects were there, clamoring for a quote that is surely going to end up written out of context.

Admiral McRaven

When I went up to shake his hand after his talk, I let him know that it was me, “Webb”, from SEAL TEAM 3. He shook my hand the way men do (with a firm grip and a straight look in the eye) and said, “of course I remember you Brandon, how have you been?”  Then he grabbed my face and rubbed the scruff of my beard and proceeded to give me a hard time for my non reg beard!  I wouldn’t expect anything less from one of the finest SEAL officers the community has produced; He is SOF after all, and we love giving each other a hard time.

The old General (Vaught) who lambasted McRaven recently is right to speak up. It’s what SOF operators do – we intelligently challenge one another and share ideas and sometimes disagree violently.  From my perspective, both men are right. However, McRaven seems more of a realist in the age of Twitter, Facebook and Digg (to name a few) and the General seems less connected in that way. We are living in the age of lightning fast communication and it’s in the open for all to see.  I can’t help but agree that there’s been an abundance of hype about Navy SEALs lately, but what can you do? It’s the same Internet age that fueled “wiki leaks” and the Arab Spring.

For those of us that know better, we realize that the dark ops that happen are still very much under the wraps.  The US Special Operations community (and let’s not forget AFSOC and TF-160 among others) has never been more effective and more deadly.  The future of Warfare is Special Operations, and it makes sense that SOF would draw attention. I just hope they make another Green Beret movie soon.  Or what about AFSOC? I wouldn’t be alive today were it not for a Combat Controller or two.  After all, we are all cut from the same SOF cloth.

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About the Author

is a former U.S. Navy SEAL with combat deployments to Afghanistan, and Iraq. During his last tour he served as the west coast sniper Course Manager at the Naval Special Warfare Center. He is Editor-in-Chief of SOFREP.com, and a New York Times best selling author (The Red Circle & Benghazi: The Definitive Report). His writing has been featured in print, and digital media worldwide. You can follow him on twitter here.

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  • tim

    Dude, it was sarcasm. If the General would of left it at "Get out of the media"...then cool, but to REMIND Admiral McRaven that "his" operators did it right. I found it funny. my bad. Maybe Delta can be subject of the Act of Valor Prequel. I'm with both the General and the Admiral.

  • LCpl X

    @RyanGraham I think the Hammer Vaught was more pissed about all the "Act of Valor" commercials he saw during Superbowl. I think he had a right to be pissed, JSOC was his after all and to see commercials on TV during Superbowl, I'm sure he was pissed!!! You guys want to see a great movie that embodies sacrifices, watch "Taking Chance", no guns, explosions, no BS, just a good story everybody can appreciate.

  • RyanGraham

    Has is occurred to you that Admiral McRaven is probably with General Vaught too? It wasn't DoD that released any operational information. It was the White House. But Admiral McRaven isn't going to pull a McChrystal in front of a bunch of reporters. He has to support the decisions of his Commander in Chief.

  • MasterChief Eric

    "Great thing to say in front of the world media. Now he said a damn thing about it. Thanks for making sure the world knows Delta got Saddam." Dude, there's a couple of books written about this. This ain't news. I'm with General Vaught.

  • Old PH2

    I have to remark though, most gun shops and ranges do have a large contingent of Douche Bags. Most of the true professionals are quite unassuming. Lead by example types. A couple of the shops in my area are staffed by these young "Tactical" guru types. Makes it kind of tough if you don't see through the BS.