Editor’s Note: We hope you enjoy this rare and candid interview with Night Stalker pilot Greg Coker conducted by Delta’s George Hand IV. — GDM

Greg, if you would please, can you describe your military progression up to and until such point that you decided to try out for and were accepted by the elite rotor-wing unit TF-160?

I came into the Army and served time with the 101st Air Assault. I applied for and was accepted to Flight School. I was able to return to the 101st this time in the capacity as a pilot. I eventually set my sights on the Night Stalkers. I was accepted and flew with them until my retirement.

Can you describe, please, your involvement with Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF)?

As the story goes, I was shot down south of Fallujah by a surface-to-air missile while supporting a Delta Force combat patrol. My engine cut out immediately and I had to autorotate my aircraft to the ground. We had a sweet touchdown but we slid forward catching the skids on some rough terrain. We flipped end-over-end three time while burning. My copilot and were both hurt pretty good, but we picked up and formed a defensive position some 50 meters east of our smoking helo.