Wayne is a good friend of mine, and has a very accomplished track record in the SEAL community and now as an Executive in the Defense industry. We were both talking and swapping sea stories when Wayne said, “we should do a weekly series where guys can share there experiences with the SOFREP community”.
So I give you”No Shit There I Was”, our new weekly column on SOFREP. We’ll share our stories, but we also want to hear yours. If you are active, reserve or a veteran, then please share your war stories with us via the Comms Check Portal. Just don’t forget to change the names to protect the guilty…
No Shit There I Was: Navy SEAL FNG
By: Wayne Stansel
My first Team out of BUD/s was SEAL Team Four. When my BUD/s Class received our orders, I was ecstatic to learn that I would be joining Team Four, and I was also the envy of most of my classmates. The reason for their coveting of my orders was that Team Four’s Area of Operations was South America, and OPERATION JUST CAUSE had recently kicked off. This meant that I would likely be getting in the shit right off the bat, or so I thought. Little did I know the latter was not to be, for a couple reasons, not the least of which was the fact that the conflict was short lived. Noriega and his cronies wound up being no match for our U.S. Special Operations Forces. Our quick victory in Panama did not come without cost, as Team Four took a big hit during the Patilla Airfield raid and sustained 4 KIA and twice that many WIA during the ensuing firefight. It was a dark day for our community and for the team. It was also a somber and humbling experience for me. It made me realize very quickly that being a team guy was much more than just making it through BUD/s and showing up at the team. I had a long way to go, and a lot to learn before I would be ready to deploy, and even if the conflict had lasted longer, I was far from ready at that point to be any good to anybody in an operational situation. What I would come to realize pretty quickly is that BUD/s is hard, because being a Team Guy is hard. I would experience challenges at Team Four and other places in my career over the years that were harder than anything I experienced in BUD/s.