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On Soldiers

The other day I was discussing the story of Master Chief Petty Officer (SEAL) Slabinski or Slab as many called him.

He had just been awarded the Medal of Honor and I ran the story by my younger brother who had served three tours in Iraq with the 3/5 Marines.

You can read about Slabinski here.

My brother replied with the email below. It made me stop and think about the professionals that protect our families and nation. Those who put everything on the line.


“There are good soldiers and bad soldiers

There are also really good soldiers or marines, but only a few really bad marines and soldiers

And then there are the special forces. The best, the most physically fit and intelligent. People that can run marathons or even super marathons

….and then there are of those an even small amount of super soldiers.

The kind of people that you have seen in movies like Rambo or Arnold.

Almost in the fantasy realm of a Hollywood action movie that you might of thought to be an exaggeration before… but it turns out they are actually real.

Super soldiers.

Only the very few… like true Spartan spirits reincarnated. Leaders, that win and loose wars just from the morale they seem to give to anyone around them.

The type of people that catch grenades and then throw them back into an enemy bunker.

Then light up a cigarette and start to talk about off the topic shit as if nothing happened, not even trying to act tough too, its just really who they are, they aren’t phased.”

The next level…”

True Competence is Demonstrated not Spoken

True Competence is Demonstrated not Spoken

This content is not mine, it was was created by Andrew Tuohy who served alongside my brother in Iraq. I asked permission to post it here as it is mentions my brother Nick. He writes a great blog on guns and stuff. Check it out.

False bravado is often confused with true competence. Somewhere in between is something which might be defined as unconscious incompetence, a state in which someone believes that they are competent when in fact they are not. I’ve learned to recognize the differences pretty quickly due to some of the experiences I’ve had and people I’ve encountered.

The platoon-sized unit of Marines I was assigned to put band-aids on was composed mostly of guys who had been in line (infantry) companies during Operation Phantom Fury – the second push through Fallujah in November of 2004 in which 54 Americans were killed and 425 wounded in a 9-day period. Total coalition casualties reached 107 killed and 613 wounded by the end of the operation. The guys in my platoon who had fought in that battle were short-timers with just enough time left on their contracts for part of one deployment, so the Marine Corps sent them back for a second or third trip. Almost all of them were from one battalion – 3rd Battalion, 5th Marines, or 3/5.

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