This year we thought we’d ask Jack to give y’all a sampling of what he’s giving to his buds, and hoping to find under is tree. He came back with a great list of items, many of which he’s referenced in his articles here on SOFREP. Check it out, you may find some ideas for your friends and family. – Charlie
The Company Knife
A Christmas gift to myself this year, I put in an order to my buddy Newt Livesay for a Company Knife. Newt has been at it a long time and is one of the true OGs out there. I was introduced to Newt by another friend of mine, an American Vietnam vet who served in the Selous Scouts, so I know I’m in good company with these guys. You can check out Newt’s work on his website where he has a variety of knives for sale which he makes by hand. My advice is to get your order in soon, because after this batch, I think Newt is taking a long break before making anymore knives.
Deus Ex: Directors Cut
This is the game to own if you ask me. I’m a fan of the series going all the way back to the original and love the cyberpunk story line and multiple non-linear pathways in the game. The Director’s Cut is pretty much the definitive edition of the game which includes all downloadable content and fixes a lot of the issues that Human Revolution had upon release. My one complaint is the ending of the game, which still essentially boils down to pushing one of three buttons, but I’m very much looking forward to the sequel. The theme of trans-humanism is very relevant…
I’m probably only a third of the way through this game as school work keeps me busy, but so far it is just as much fun as Arkham City was. This game is more of a prequel that follows Batman around Gotham on Christmas Eve early on in his crime fighting career. I’m certainly interested to see what happens after you defeat Deathstroke…
Assassins Creed: Black Flag
This game is definitely on my wish list this year for one of the next generation consoles. I’ve played all the previous Assassin’s Creed games and (for the most part) enjoyed them. Thumbs up to the developers for making historical fiction this cool.
Dead Eye by Mark Greaney
Mark Greaney was cool enough to send me a signed copy of the latest edition in his Gray Man series called Dead Eye. I can’t wait to read it over Christmas vacation. I’ve read all three of the previous Gray Man novels and Court Gentry is definitely one of my favorite fictional assassins. Mark’s books are so good that I usually find myself jealous of his ideas!
ABD SERE Uniform
I was recently sent a ABD SERE uniform and combat shirt to test out for SOFREP. The uniform has a series of very unique features and is very comfortable to wear. I think I’m going to have to hold off doing a field test until summer because the camo pattern they developed doesn’t look like it is intended for the winter, but I highly recommend checking them out in the mean time!
When asking around about having some ball caps made for fans of the novels I’ve written, I had Viper Headwear recommended to me. Above you can see one of the prototypes that they made for me (the final version will be in PenCott’s Green Zone pattern) and as you can see they do some great work. These are fitted custom made “operator” ball caps. Take a look at what they have to offer on their site.
Crippled Eagle by Rod Lenahan
All I can say is that this book is a must-read for those interested in the early years of counter-terrorism and how we got where we are today. I’ve read Delta Force and Killer Elite and plenty of others, but Crippled Eagle is filled with details I have not read elsewhere. The author himself was a intel officer with JTF 1-79 which planned Operation Rice Bowl, commonly known as Desert One and was also involved in earlier counter-terrorism initiatives when America was struggling to come to grips with how to deal with terrorism. This book is an eye-opener and I’m only fifty pages into it.
Mike Force by Bucky Burruss
This is one of the finest Vietnam memoirs I’ve ever read. Although I’d read a lot of books about Special Forces in Vietnam, I was sadly ignorant about Mike Force and their role in the war. Their story is told in this amazing book, by an author who is brutally honest. This is another must read, written by a Special Forces soldier who went on to play a key role in the events unfolded in the above book, Crippled Eagle as an original member of Delta Force.
One Hundred Victories by Linda Robinson
I recently picked up Linda Robinson’s latest book about Special Operations after being impressed with some of her previous work. Another one I’m looking forward to reading over the holidays.
Zulu Zulu Golf by Arn Durand
Sent to me by a friend in South Africa who was present for some of the firefights mentioned in this book, this is another that I can’t wait to catch up on once I have a break from school work. Koevoet (meaning Crowbar) was the South African Defense Force’s combat trackers.
Cleared Hot Sauce
And if you are looking for something to spice up that Christmas dinner, give Cleared Hot Sauce a try.