Think you’re a badass? I’ve got news for you, there’s always someone badder, meaner, and not afraid to punch you in the face to remind you of it. “Demo Dick” Marcinko is that kind of guy.

As a SEAL, Dick would deploy in Vietnam. He would then go on to founding SEAL Team 6, the same unit that years later would kill Osama bin Laden, the most wanted terrorist in the world. Dick’s childhood is equally impressive. If you haven’t read his book, Rogue Warrior, go read it.

Dick is a living legend, period. And I’m grateful to have spent a week with him in New York for a private SOFREP book signing a few years back. I’ll share a quick story about my time with him.

FYI, we filmed a long interview series with him for SOFREP TV, you should check it out. It’s a piece of history for sure. Ok, back to my story.

We had just finished the book signing at Strand Books’ rare book room. A few of us talked about going for drinks and a superfan in the city, a guy I’ll call Dan, wanted to tag along. “Why not?” I regretfully thought to myself. After all, this is what makes the SOFREP events special, we get to engage with the membership. But Dan was, as you’ll see, a rare case, the broken egg in the carton.

To set the stage further, I am single. So when I’m out in the city I like to talk to single gals. Ok, stage set, curtain’s up.

So out we headed with a small group comprised of Dick, Eric (who used to teach snipers with me), a few other SOFREP loyalists, and Dan.

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It became “hot to the touch” clear to all of us sharing an Uber with Dan that, firstly he’d had too much to drink at the SOFREP signing, and secondly he had a HUGE man-crush on “Demo Dick.” He was WAY too friendly and barely stringing his sentences together. “Shit, we haven’t even got to the bar, and this guy is fucking lit up,” I said with my inside voice. Buckle up, here we go.

We get to this little dive bar in the East Village. It’s a great place that serves great drinks but the manager is a total coke head. And that night he was scorched. Eyes wide open, veins in his neck bulging, talking 110 mph high. This would not go well for me later, but on to Dan.

After a while, Dick stopped drinking but this didn’t phase Dan at all: he’d just drink both drinks. What happened next is why I love Marcinko and what makes him a class act.

Marcinko pulled me aside and said something like this: “Brandon, this guy is a fucking liability to us all right now, plus you’re not going to get laid with him hanging around like a halo of chick repellent. So let’s do this. Give him a purpose for the night, tell him I’ve had too much to drink, and ask him if he could get me back to the hotel safely. I’ve had enough anyway and want to hit the rack. Trust me, mission-focused is the way to get this guy to extract with no problems.” Pure genius.

No sooner than I had uttered those words Dan was on a mission from God. I think he actually sobered up for a bit. Something must have fired in the cerebral cortex for him because he was now a man on a mission. The Uber was ordered and he and Dick were off. I remember Dick giving me a sly smile and a quick wink of the eye as he climbed in for the ride home. I’ll never forget that moment and what a great guy Dick truly is, clearly a leader of men.

I’ll tell you what happened to me and the coke head bartender another time but suffice it to say I’m not allowed back in the place!

Toast one to Dick, and go watch that series on SOFREP TV.

Also, live online events are coming these holidays to SOFREP, so stay tuned.