The first time I was made aware that one of my Special Operations Task Group (SOTG) rotation videos had been obtained by the media and was being reported on was early last year. The Sydney Morning Herald published an article on 16 March 2014 titled “DVD exposes Australian commandos at play in Afghanistan.” The accusatory tone in which this article was penned displayed all the hallmarks of parasitic journalism at its best. The article appeared as though the author was trying its darnedest to evoke public feelings of contempt toward us with evocative phrases like “reckless and drunken behavior,” and “escapades while they were patrolling in enemy areas,” and “drunken nights inside the Australian base at Tarin Kowt,” not to mention, “commandos undertaking risky behavior,” and “skylarking in enemy areas without their protective body armour.”

At the time the article was published, I was in my first week of Long Service Leave prior to discharging in August. Even though I would not be going back to the Regiment, I was still technically employed by the Australian Defence Force and still a part of Special Operations Command (SOCOMD). This meant that I was still prohibited from speaking to the media in any capacity whatsoever, even to correct the obvious and blatant lies that this article presented.

In one of my first published articles for SOFREP – Social Media and Countering Terrorism – I wrote: