One of the great things about having is that the editors and I have a chance to archive and share some amazing stories about SOF Operators that would otherwise go untold. We have also created a great community in itself that includes intelligent, hardworking people from all different racial, religious, and political backgrounds. If there is one common bond we all share, it’s that we care about this country and the men and women who serve. Occasionally, we also get to help out a family, cause, or brother in need. Now is one of those times.

I want to introduce Gary Welt. As a 30-year Master Chief, he spent the better part of his life serving his country at the tip of the spear. Gary is a renowned SEAL operator – as well-known and well-respected amongst his peers as any man who has ever served in the SEAL Teams. Everybody knows “Doc” Welt.

Gary recently developed Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), also referred to as motor neuron disease and commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s disease in the United States. It is a debilitating disease with varied etiology characterized by rapidly progressive weakness, muscle atrophy and fasciculations, muscle spasticity, difficulty speaking (dysarthria), difficulty swallowing (dysphagia), and difficulty breathing (dyspnea). ALS is the most common of the five motor neuron diseases.

Gary’s not the type of guy to brag, but I feel it is important to share just a snapshot of his qualifications with you from over his thirty years of service:

NEC’s/MOS’s (These acronyms are military speak for job qualifications):

  • 5326 – Combatant Swimmer/SEAL (26 years)
  • 8491 – Special Operations Independent Duty Corpsman (16 years)
  • SF18D – Special Forces Medical Sergeant (16 years)
  • 9502 – Navy Instructor/Master Training Specialist (20 Years)

Operational Qualifications:

  • Combatant Swimmer/SEAL
  • SOIDC & Advanced Tactical Practitioner
  • Advanced Explosive Applications
  • Target Analysis
  • Military Static Line/Free Fall Parachutist
  • Demolition/Explosives Handler
  • Current National Registry & former VA State EMT-Paramedic

Special Qualifications:

  • Land Warfare Tactics, Demolition & Weapons Master Trainer
  • Reconnaissance & Surveillance Instructor
  • Range Safety Officer/ Range Officer-in-Charge for:
    • Static Small Arms
    • Dynamic Fire & Maneuver
    • Close Quarter Combat
    • Basic & Advanced Demolitions
    • Heavy Weapons & Indirect Fires
    • Explosive & Mechanical Breeching
  • Military Free Fall, HALO, HAHO & Static Line Jump Master
  • HRST/VBSS Instructor
  • Navy Diving Supervisor, Open & Closed Circuit
  • Navy Master Training Specialist
  • Innovative realistic reactive target designer

Awards: Legion of Merit Meritorious Service Medal Joint Service Commendation Medal (2) Navy Commendation Medal (2) Army Commendation Medal (3) Navy Achievement Medal (3) Army Achievement Medal (2) Combat Action Ribbon (2) Joint Meritorious Unit Award (2) Navy Meritorious Unit Commendation Navy Battle “E” Award Good Conduct Medal (7) National Defense Service Medal Afghanistan Campaign Medal Global War on Terror Expeditionary Medal Global War on Terror Service Medal Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal Armed Forces Service Medal Sea Service Deployment Ribbon (7) Navy Arctic Service Ribbon Navy & Marine Corps Overseas Deployment Ribbon (4) NATO Medal Expert Rifle Medal Expert Pistol Medal