Tiger Woods, Navy SEAL?

While he made friends with some of the SEALs, many of their fellow operators didn’t know why Tiger wanted to play soldier. It rubbed them the wrong way. Guys saw him doing the fun stuff, shooting guns and jumping out of airplanes, but never the brutal, awful parts of being a SEAL, soaking for hours in hypothermic waters, so covered in sand and grit that the skin simply grinds away. One year during hell week, a BUD/S candidate collapsed, his body temperature below 90 degrees; the man, a former wrestler, would rather have frozen to death than quit.

Was Tiger willing to do that?

“Tiger Woods never got wet and sandy,” says former SEAL and current Montana congressman Ryan Zinke, who ran the training facility during the years Tiger came around. The BUD/S instructors didn’t like the way Tiger talked about how he’d have been a SEAL if he didn’t choose golf. “I just reached out to the guys I know who jumped with him and interacted with him,” says a retired SEAL. “Not a single one wants to have any involvement, or have their name mentioned in the press anywhere near his. His interactions with the guys were not always the most stellar, and most were very underwhelmed with him as a man.”

Then there’s the story of the lunch, which spread throughout the Naval Special Warfare community. Guys still tell it, almost a decade later. Tiger and a group of five or six went to a diner in La Posta. The waitress brought the check and the table went silent, according to two people there that day. Nobody said anything and neither did Tiger, and the other guys sort of looked at one another.

Finally one of the SEALs said, “Separate checks, please.”

The waitress walked away.

“We are all baffled,” says one SEAL, a veteran of numerous combat deployments. “We are sitting there with Tiger f—ing Woods, who probably makes more than all of us combined in a day. He’s shooting our ammo, taking our time. He’s a weird f—ing guy. That’s weird s—. Something’s wrong with you.”

A fantastic story coming out of ESPN this week. Get over there and read the whole thing. It’s a fascinating look at how Tiger Woods, one of the most famous and successful people in the world, slowly started crashing to Earth after the death of his father, former Green Beret Earl Woods. Earl, a Vietnam veteran who served two tours, passed away in 2006, starting what many believe to be the downfall of Tiger’s career.

Everyone knew Tiger was a huge supporter of the military, but ESPN writer Wright Thompson really takes the reader inside just how large Tiger’s fascination with the SEALs really was. He was allowed up-close access accorded to very few civilians, including getting to do CQB house runs in the Navy’s “kill houses.” It became an obsession. Odd, then, that there aren’t too many guys who would go on the record supporting his curiosity. He had to have acted really weird. Normally, a guy who spent that much time with an SOF unit as a civilian, especially a world-famous one, would clearly have made a few friends. Apparently not in this case.

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The check story I excerpted is pretty bad. For all of the time and ammo he took up at the Navy facilities, yeah, ya prick, pick up the check. But SOMEONE kept inviting him back, so I’m not sure what exactly was going on here. There has to be more to the story. Maybe the fellas just don’t want to totally trash the guy publicly, which I can certainly respect. So let’s do some speculating!

It has to be difficult, I imagine, for these elite professional athletes in the twilight of their careers. Suddenly, you aren’t the big man anymore. Your skills and physical abilities begin to desert you. And if there is one group that, collectively, is more egotistical than members of elite military units, it would have to be professional athletes. Tom Wolfe put it perfectly, speaking about pilots in “The Right Stuff”:

The boys wouldn’t have minded the following. They wouldn’t have minded appearing once a year on a balcony over a huge square in which half the world is assembled. They wave. The world roars it’s approval, it’s applause and breaks into a sustained thirty-minute storm of cheers and tears (moved by my righteous stuff!) And then it’s over… a little adulation on the order of the pope; that’s all the True Brothers at the top of they pyramid really wanted.”

This seems… accurate.

Of course, Tiger had gotten all the acclaim and the cheers, enough for a hundred lifetimes. And Tiger Woods wasn’t just a golfer. He was a wunderkind and a racial trailblazer. He was bigger than the sport, bigger than life. Until he wasn’t anymore. Now, there is no more cheering, and he’s known more for having to hold a press conference to explain his infidelity, a public act of contrition that I still can’t believe he agreed to put himself through. So the guy starts looking for another avenue, looking for another way to prove that he’s the man. It appears that the military was what he fancied.

This isn’t unheard of, even in the military. Guys who have accomplished incredible things can never rest on their laurels; they’re always out looking for the next challenge. A good friend of mine was a highly decorated enlisted PJ. He then became a combat rescue officer. Then, having satisfied that itch, he goes to BUDs and becomes a SEAL officer in his 30s—the crazy bastard. He couldn’t sit still. Another guy I worked with in the contracting world was almost everything you could be. At various times, he was a Force Recon Marine, an Army SF guy, and then a SEAL. They’re never satisfied.

To some degree, former military guys, like professional athletes, upon retirement, struggle when leaving the service. They get lost because they have no idea what else to do, or how to adjust. Particularly, men who have been heavily involved in combat. All of a sudden, you’re out, and you have to adjust to civilian life. Many have difficulty, getting into trouble with depression, drugs, violence, and suicide. I’ve seen it personally, numerous times. You have guys who get awarded combat decorations, or have been former high-ranking officers who commanded fear and respect, and the kid at the 7/11 is talking to them like they’re some jerkoff. It’s infuriating. You HAVE to have something else besides your sports/SOF career. Even if it’s collecting stamps. I can’t stress how important this is. Because one day, it’s over.

Woods is merely the manifestation of a personal theory of mine. I think, especially in this day and age of SOF heroics and social media, that there are millions of men out there, both young and old, who stifle gnawing feelings of inadequacy. I mean, think about the old frontier days, right? Men were goddamn MEN, man. These guys had to go into the American wilderness with everything they owned on their backs. Then they had to fight off the ‘injuns’, kill a goddamn BEAR, then build a freaking house from trees they cut down. They’d have a wife who would probably die of diphtheria. They’d have 17 children because 12 would die of smallpox. Then you have to fight the damn injuns AGAIN, kill more bears, etc. This went on all freaking day. There was no question of one’s masculinity; it was proved with blood on the REG.

Now? I don’t even need to MAKE FOOD anymore. The knowledge of the world is in the palm of my hand in an iPhone. I cruise distances in climate-controlled comfort that used to take wagon trains three months to traverse. There are apps for prostitutes. It’s absurd how soft our lives are in comparison. I think we have become crippled by comfort. And young men, bodies awash in testosterone, have no outlet for it anymore. There are no more grizzlies to slay. There’s no England now. And so they fantasize about putting it all on the line, being put to the test, even as they live this cubicle life. One of the few ways you can do that in the modern era is to go through a U.S. military SOF selection. Because even if you never really do anything that cool ever again, you at least did THAT. And maybe Tiger, lounging in his yacht, was thinking about this. He’s neither the first, nor the last, to have such feelings. Bro, you are a cultural icon. Maybe take some comfort in that, because that’s not too goddamned bad.

I did get a kick out of this:

Soon, the training at La Posta didn’t cut it. He found something more intense with Duane Dieter, a man allowed by the Navy to train SEALs in a specialized form of martial arts that he invented. Dieter is a divisive figure in the special operations world, working out of his own training compound on the Maryland shore. His method is called Close Quarters Defense, or CQD, and some students look at him as an almost spiritual guide, like a modern samurai.

Um…NO. Jesus, talk about a racket. Please show me these students who look at Duane Dieter as a modern samurai. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve laughed with guys recalling experiences with Dieter’s system. I could do a whole article on that steaming pile of abortions right there. But he made a shitload of money off the taxpayers. God bless America.

Cooooooooool:

National Guardsmen takes best Ranger:

Army National Guard Capt. Robert Killian, a South Carolina native and 2004 Citadel graduate, was part of a two-man team that took first place last weekend in the famously grueling Best Ranger Competition.

Killian, 34, and teammate Staff Sgt. Erich Friedlein of Pennsylvania earned the highest combined score in the three-day series of events at Fort Benning, Ga., that included obstacle courses, extended slogs through the mud, marksmanship challenges and a middle-of-the-night marathon run over rough terrain. Of the 50 teams that entered the competition, only 23 made it to the final day.

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“I definitely have some blisters, some sore muscles, but overall I’m feeling much better today than I did yesterday,” Killian said when reached by phone Tuesday. Killian grew up in the Charleston area and Sumter before attending The Citadel.

Even within the world of obstacle and endurance racing, it doesn’t get much tougher than the annual Ranger contest, now in its 33rd year. Competitors are only allowed to eat five Meal Ready-to-Eat rations during the contest, and this year saw the addition of a concrete ball-carrying event and a Spartan Race competition at the start of Day Two.

Follow me on Twitter as I diagnose public heath crises:

As SOFREP’s pop culture prognosticator, I get a kick out of this shit. Seriously, it appears like everyone is losing their goddamned minds at the same time, all of a sudden. First, you have the privilege police up there. Now, while I am DELICIOUSLY amused by white, liberal, African-American studies professors being found insufficiently pure for current dogma, the accelerating pace of these mental patients is curious. One needn’t look further for proof of the meltdown than the new frontier in civil rights, the goddamn BATHROOM.

Now, this didn’t exist as an issue like 10 minutes ago. But now, the sissified white liberals like the ones at my favorite punching bag, Gawker, have decided if you object to a man’s dong in the bathroom alongside your little girl’s swim team, you are basically Hitler. So freaking weird. I mean, I can’t wait for the first shyster lawyer to use the “but he identifies as female!” defense for the homeless guy staring at the high school softball team while they change. You know it’s coming.

This shouldn’t be that complicated. We’ve worked it out over roughly the last 10,000 years or so: If you have a MAN PENIS, you go to the bathroom with the rest of the MAN PENISES. After all, you are a MAN with a PENIS, fella. I don’t care if you have a dress on or not. You’ll live, despite this apparent wretched indignity. Nobody is beating you, or depriving you of your liberty or civil rights. If you’ve had the MAN PENIS removed, you go to the bathroom with no MAN PENIS. After all, you’ve shown a certain commitment to the lifestyle at that point, no? This isn’t the Gordian Knot the Marxists have turned it into. And yet, this week, during yet another goddamn bathroom case, a federal court actually wrote the following: “G.G.’s birth-assigned sex, or so-called ‘biological sex,’ is female, but G.G.’s gender identity is male.”

DA FUCK? Wait, so “biological sex” is described as “so-called,” and has scare quotes around it, implying it’s some wacky theoretical concept, while “gender identity” is left alone, implying that this is FAR more sound scientifically than “biological sex?” And this, from a judge, presumably with a college education! Keep in mind that the school in question even had a separate bathroom built just for this snowflake, but THAT WASN’T GOOD ENOUGH.

How did it get to this? (For more thoughts on transgenderism and penis-y stuff, check out my long discussion on it from last year.) Why does everything have to be a federal case these days? What happened to people just working it out amongst themselves? Everything now is like Birmingham circa 1963. Just go shit in the dude’s shitter, guy. Fuck me. Why can’t people listen to each side? Why can’t the religious nuts realize that these trans sorts live very difficult lives? And why can’t the LGBT fanatics accept that the guy who has to explain to his seven-year-old daughter why there’s a bearded man in a dress washing his balls in the sink may actually have a valid point without calling him Hitler?

Serious question: Why is it OK for companies and bands, because of their deeply held political beliefs, to refuse service to an entire STATE, but a florist or baker with deeply held religious beliefs cannot refuse service to an individual without ending up jail? Someone explain that one to me. God, I am sick of activists and has-been celebrities writing poorly written editorial pieces lecturing everyone.

This is what happens when people have too much time on their hands. (See above, re: grizzlies, injuns.) One side demands that their special way of life be catered to at all times, and the other side makes shitty laws to make an example out of them. Die, all of you. Please, Lord, if you exist…send your cleansing meteor of death to strike the earth.

And so it begins:

Marine leaders have proposed a new physical fitness test that would still allow women to do the flexed-arm hang — but they’re not likely to earn a first-class score without pullups.

A new plan for the PFT would require most women to do between eight and 10 pullups to net a max score on that portion of the test.

The potential change is in response to a fitness review ordered by Commandant Gen. Robert Neller. Marine leaders found that “some current [fitness] standards are either not relevant, not challenging or not attainable,” according to a briefing obtained by Marine Corps Times. The plan was presented to Marine leaders last week.

The plan would officially reverse a requirement announced by then-Commandant Gen. James Amos in late 2012 that women would soon be required to do at least three pullups to pass the PFT. Eight would needed for a max score, while men have to belt out 20. This was to end the era of the flexed-arm hang.

The plan never made it off the ground, though. Data collected in 2013 found that 55 percent of female recruits couldn’t meet the minimum requirement. A study of 318 female Marines found that the women could complete 1.63 pullups on average. Roughly 20 percent of those Marines could only hit three pullups if they used their lower bodies in a “kipping” motion.

The end of a dumb uniform?

After six years in the fleet and some controversy, the blue-and-gray cammies could be headed for Davy Jones’ seabag.

The digital blue Navy Working Uniforms were a fleet mainstay until 2013 after they were found to be unsafe to wear while fighting a fire. One plan is ditching these blue Navy working uniforms in favor of their green cousin. The service could potentially save millions by switching to the woodland cammies already worn by Seabees and master-at-arms. The green-and-tans are also not flame-resistant but would be the standard for ashore wear; flame-resistant coveralls and flight suits are mainstays for at-sea wear.

 

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Dumping the digital blues, also known as the NWU Type I, is a move that’s been quietly discussed by leadership in recent years.

“I think that there are a lot of folks who wouldn’t be sad, I guess, if Navy working uniform Type I went away,” Chief of Naval Operations Adm. John Richardson said in an interview.

Female USAF officer kicks ass, looks good doing it:

First Lt. Elizabeth Guidara, a 12th Missile Squadron missile combat crew commander at Malmstrom Air Force Base, is training to become the first Air Force female officer to go through the Marine Corps Martial Arts Center of Excellence.

“Once I finish the course, I will be a certified combative instructor and be able to teach combatives anywhere in the world and at any base,” Guidara said.

While in college, Guidara’s best friend introduced her to a boxing club. “I fell in love with it,” she said.

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Guidara has trained in the District of Columbia, South Korea, New Zealand, Thailand, California and now Montana. She has been training for a year and a half.

The Marine Corps training course is 10 hours a day, five days a week, and includes physical training and test-taking. The Marines also have their own belt system, and participants must have a gray belt to enter.

Guidara said her biggest weakness deals with her training and technique.

“It is hard when I am the only female out there sparing with guys, who weigh like 80 pounds more than me,” she said. “It’s hard because I want them to spar with me as their equals, but at the same time I know they are more experienced than me.”

Guidara’s ultimate goals are to achieve a black belt in Brazilian jujitsu and a belt in mixed martial arts.

Hero Marine wins another accolade:

The Marines’ top general selected Chief Warrant Officer 3 Anthony Viggiani as the next Hulbert Trophy recipient a decade after the gunner’s leadership on the battlefield earned him the nation’s second-highest valor award.

Viggiani will be receive the Gunner Henry Lewis Hulbert Trophy for Outstanding Leadership for his contributions at Advanced Infantry Training Battalion, School of Infantry – West, where he trains Marines responsible for creating the next generation of infantrymen. The annual accolade is presented to the infantry weapons officer who “most exemplifies outstanding leadership, courage and technical, tactical and doctrinal expertise within the Marine gunner community,” according to the award criteria.

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The Hulbert Trophy is named for Capt. Henry Lewis Hulbert, a prior-enlisted Medal of Honor recipient who served in Samoa and World War I and is considered the Marine Corps’ first gunner. He was killed in action during the famed battle of Blanc Mont Ridge, France, on Oct. 4, 1918. Hulbert was 51 when he died, and was posthumously awarded the Navy Cross for actions in Chateau-Thierry, France, on June 6, 1918, when he “constantly” braved enemy fire “without regard for personal danger, thereby assuring the delivery of supplies.”

Viggiani earned the Navy Cross charging an enemy force well entrenched inside a cave in Afghanistan’s Zabol province in 2004. A sergeant at the time, Viggiani moved across exposed ground under a hail of machine gun fire to attack a team that had pinned down his squad and wounded two of his Marines. He took out three fighters, which allowed his company to continue their advance up to the rugged ridgeline.

I thought I made it clear last week about jumping the gun:

The first Colorado woman recruited by the U.S. Army into a potential combat role took an oath of enlistment Friday.

Kayleigh Schlag, of Denver, enlisted as an “11X Infantryman as part of the Department of Defense’s initiative to lift all gender-based restrictions on military service,” according to a Denver Recruiting Battalion Public Affairs media release.

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Lt. Col. Eric Winterrowd gave the oath to Private Schlag and other enlistees.

Schlag, who attended Heritage High School in Littleton, was sworn into service along with fellow recruits into various military branches at the Denver Military Entrance downtown.

ICE is basically just a human-trafficking organization at this point:

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The vast majority of immigrant children who arrive alone at the U.S. border are placed by the government with adults who are in the country illegally, federal data reviewed by The Associated Press show.

The government has long said that it places the children with family and friends regardless of immigration status. But since more children began arriving on the border in 2014, officials have not revealed how often those sponsors lack legal papers.

In response to a Freedom of Information Act request, the Department of Health and Human Services provided data showing that 80 percent of the 71,000 mostly Central American children placed between February 2014 and September 2015 were sent to sponsors who were not here legally.

Six percent were placed with adults who had temporary protected status, which has let some Central American citizens stay and work in the country legally for more than a decade. Four percent were sponsored by American citizens and 1 percent by immigrants facing deportation proceedings.

Many of the others were placed with sponsors who had other forms of legal status or who have filed immigration applications.

U.S. Navy in hate-mailer flap:

The U.S. Navy said it has scrapped a national recruiting mailer that promised women they can enlist without compromising their feminine side and pursue careers that “most girls aren’t even aware of.”

Navy officials said they made the decision amid criticism that the wording was condescending and perpetuated stereotypes. Lt. Commander Nate Christensen, a Navy spokesman, said officials also have launched a review of all their mailer templates after The Associated Press inquired about the brochure, which has been sent to nearly 203,000 people in numerous states in the last few years.

The mailer invites women to take on “the kind of exciting, hands-on work that most girls aren’t even aware of. Making your mark in career areas that certainly aren’t just for the guys. And what’s more, you can do all this while staying in touch with your feminine side — and while bettering your world along the way.”

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Eleanor Smeal, president of the Feminist Majority Foundation, a national group that works for women’s equality, said the wording undersells a woman’s potential.

“You wouldn’t recruit a boy by saying that,” said Eleanor Smeal, president of the Feminist Majority Foundation, a national group that works for women’s equality. “What does it say about the Navy? It’s relying on old stereotypes instead of a picture of modern women who can really make a contribution to the Navy and how needed they are.”

12 year old becomes honorary Marine:

Nathan Aldaco suffers from a rare congenital heart defect, but his health condition hasn’t prevented him from fulfilling his wish to become a U.S. Marine.

Nathan Aldaco, a 12 year-old boy with hypoplastic left heart syndrome, stands at attention as Col. Jaime O. Collazo pins on the Master EOD badge during a Make-A-Wish event supported by 7th Engineer Support Battalion, 1st Marine Logistics Group, aboard Camp Pendleton, Calif., March 24, 2016. Collazo is the 1st MLG chief of staff. Marines with 7th ESB and Explosive Ordnance Disposal helped to make Nathan’s wish of becoming a Marine come true by demonstrating the capabilities of their EOD robots and detonating TNT, C4, dynamite and blasting caps, while the heavy equipment operators gave him the opportunity to ride the D7 dozer and the excavator, in which he dug a pit, built a berm, and broke several large tree trunks. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Sgt. Laura Gauna/released)

The Marines of the 7th Engineer Support Battalion at Camp Pendleton, Calif., recently gave the 12-year-old his own combat uniform for the trip, which Make-a-Wish Foundation made possible. They also gave him and his family a tour of an explosive ordinance disposal compound to show the boy the explosives they disarmed, Sgt. Laura Guana wrote on Facebook. Next, he traveled through a demolition range in a Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) vehicle, and the team showed him their EOD robots, detonated TNT, C4, dynamite and blasting caps.

“The bombs were cool,” Aldaco said in an interview with the Marines’ official website. “I like working with robots. It was fun controlling them and picking stuff up with them.”

I have a feeling there is going to be a lot of paperwork on this one:

Man screams about damaged genitalia while nude:

CANTON: A naked man holding his genitals and screaming that he’d been bitten was arrested after a trooper conducting a nearby traffic stop used a Taser to subdue and arrest him, Stark County Jail records said.

William D. Dozier, 53, of 1465 Allen St., had been released from prison March 28 after serving three years for felony domestic violence, according to Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction records.

Troopers with the Ohio Highway Patrol’s Canton post had pulled over a vehicle about 8:23 p.m Tuesday at Second Street and Fulton Road NW. While gathering information from those involved, a passenger inside the vehicle pointed out a naked man walking nearby on the sidewalk, the jail records said.

Trooper Carlos Castellanos said in the jail records that he told the man several times to leave the area, but “he did not follow the orders,” the jail records said. “(Dozier) continued to approach me, holding his penis and screaming that something had bitten him.”

“(Dozier) lowered his head and leaned in a charging manner. I activated my Taser, effectively striking (him). After the Taser cycle was complete, I again ordered (him) to show me his hands. (He) continued to hold his penis and not follow commands,” the trooper said.

Dozier was jailed on a parole violation and on charges of resisting arrest, public indecency, disorderly conduct and drug possession.

This sounds like a bad pickup routine: “Hey baby…I’ve been bitten…look how swollen this is! Eh? EH? THIS DOING IT FOR YA OR WHAT?”

Apologies for a lighter Roundup. Final exams are killing me. @BKactual.