Passing of a Hero

Monday 27 Dec 2021

A couple of days ago, retired U.S. Navy Commander Richard Marcinko passed away at the ripe old age of 81.

I won't provide any online obituaries etc because you can seek that out on your own if so inclined, but I do find it interesting that the Navy's main page has (at the time I write this) absolutely nothing about this man's death, or his accomplishments. Anyhow, here are my thoughts.

In the early 1990s, I happened to come across Marcinko's autobiography Rogue Warrior, which was a best-seller and rightfully so. Not only was it entertaining, not only did it detail a life well lived, but it told the story of how the guy saw problems and did his damndest to make things better. Yeah, he pissed a lot of people off along the way, but as he and many others have basically said, sometimes you have to break a few eggs to make an omelet. The kind of elite soldiers who can do things like liberate Captain Phillips from Somali pirates, successfully kill the world's worst terrorist, and succeed in many other such missions that we'll never know about...those soldiers aren't made with conventional training and tactics. Marcinko led the way for the Navy's special warfare units and thinking outside the box, first as a "regular" Navy SEAL in Vietnam, then as the founder and first commanding officer of SEAL Team Six, and later as the same thing for an even more elite unit, Red Cell. His enemies saw to it that he was retired, at which point he wrote a bunch of books and started a company to do the things he knew how to do best, while getting paid a whole lot more than the Navy rate.

There's no reason to bore you with details you can easily get anywhere, but if the above interests you, I'd highly encourage you to acquire and read Rogue Warrior. I did so twenty years ago and since then, it's been re-read at least a half-dozen times. I actually have two copies in my home library - one in the military section and another in the biography section.

Rest in peace, Demo Dick.