When I finally arrived at 5th Special Forces Group at Fort Campbell, Kentucky, I was nervous as hell. These grizzled war-fighters had been hard-charging the war on terror the whole time I was attempting greatness in the Special Forces Qualification—or “Q”—course. I couldn’t wait to get on an Operational Detachment Alpha or “A-Team” and prove my worth.
I remember my very first senior medic being a quiet yet towering beast of a guy. He was kind in his words and savage in the eyes. I remember wanting that persona about me. I also remember his first words of advice: “Keep your mouth shut and listen.” Words to live by. And I did just that. I listened to my warrior elders and I paid respect to their accomplishments and heroism. I also learned their hard lessons of failures and loss. These hard lessons proved invaluable as my war-fighting career charged forward and became my memoirs.
This “Inside the Team Room” series on the U.S. Army Special Forces Green Berets offers a special glimpse into the keyhole of the U.S. Army’s best team houses—a glance at the things I experienced in my own team room. Regardless of their generational gap, Green Berets Jim West, Terry Schappert, and SOFREP’s own Jack Murphy share fine spirits and beers, and find parallels and commonalities in their stories of service.
Hosted by none other than SiriusXM Patriot Radio’s Andrew Wilkow, these coming-of-age tales offer up what it was like growing up in the Green Berets, these men’s service in and out of war, and the ups and downs of transitioning back into civilian life. Where else can you hear Jim West, a living legend of the Fayetteville, North Carolina street-fighting scene and martial-arts expert, discuss a very different force back in the 1970s—one where segregation within the ranks baffled most Green Berets? Or hear him tell the tale of having a poor sad sap actually pay him not to “pound the hell out of him?”
Discovery Channel host of Dude, You’re Screwed, Terry Schappert, stops by and talks candidly about his break in service, his transition into acting school in New York City, and witnessing the 9/11 attacks that made his mind up and signed an Army contract to serve the next day and take the fight to the enemy. I highly recommend this unique series to anyone thinking about joining The Green Berets or wants to know more about these Quiet Professionals.
As a former Green Beret, it was kind of a trip down memory lane watching this series. One thing that struck my pride bone the most was Mr. West proclaiming in a raised pint glass salute. “We are all family.” The Green Berets are a brotherhood, a warrior class that will do almost anything for a team mate. And this series exposes you to that.
De Oppresso Liber.