A longtime SOFREP reader, Major Rod finally breaks his silence! -Jack

Here’s a never before reported story about the great Army Navy rivalry and mascot snatching prank that included Delta Force and SEALs.

I was a Tac at West Point in the mid 90’s. The Friday before Labor Day weekend ’95 the commandant called an unannounced and unprecedented all hands meeting at 0900. At the meeting he shared with the 36 TACs that ESPN had reported that the Navy goat had been snatched and we were to scour our companies for any leads.

The Academies superintendents had signed an MOA stating mascots were off limits and a standing order was in place prohibiting the practice. This stemmed from a notorious Army mule snatch in ’91. It was reported the cadet guards were overpowered, the mule snatched and driven a back way to the Naval Academy while state police searched the highway for the mule (what wasn’t reported was that the guards were actually Army MPs and one had his arm broken and that SEALs were involved).

The concern was the escalation in pranking was going to get someone killed. The Commandant stated that Labor Day passes were going to be cancelled effective at 1200 and the Corps would be locked down if the goatnappers didn’t turn themselves in and risked UCMJ if they forced that decision.

Little did I know this escapade was to involve me personally honchoing an “adventure” that would include a 1200 mile trip, $5000 cash, avoiding national/local media and Delta.

I returned to my company and informed the cadet company commander about the situation. I was pretty nonchalant about the matter. I had a reputation as one of the stricter TACs and frankly didn’t expect anything to come of it (SUCKER). Around 1100, my cadet CO returned asking if I thought the Commandant was serious about locking down 4000 cadets and what might happen to any alleged culprits.

“Crap,” I thought to myself, “something’s giving”. I reiterated the Commandants message. The cadet left and I reported to higher. Shortly thereafter surprisingly one of my best cadets came in to negotiate. Long story short, while I personally thought the prank hilarious, the generals did not and they weren’t going to “negotiate”. Immunity was off the table but so was UCMJ if the crew fessed up.