By Walter M. Herd

This attention-grabbing examine the lifetime of a modern day specialist soldier supplies the reader an inside of view of the lethal international struggle on terror. Herd argues that conflicting political pursuits have muddied the future of the on-the-ground commanders and hence threaten the chance of any genuine victory in Afghanistan. He makes use of daily tales to make his issues: "One of the neighborhood leaders pointed to his wrist and acknowledged to my interpreter, 'the americans have the entire watches yet we now have the entire time.' That made an enduring impact on me." Colonel Herd used to be one of many maximum score officials at the flooring with a command of a few 4,000 elite squaddies from all branches of the U.S. army and 5 different coalition international locations. It used to be a undertaking he had informed for all of his lifestyles. A sixth-generation soldier, Herd turned a grasp parachutist, a wrestle scuba diver, a eco-friendly Beret and a military Ranger. He performed wrestle missions opposed to the Taliban by utilizing the exact Forces mandate to paintings by way of, with and during the neighborhood inhabitants.

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Extra resources for Unconventional Warrior: Memoir of a Special Operations Commander in Afghanistan

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At those altitudes we have an oxygen mask on our faces and a small bottle of oxygen that we’re going to need to use until we get down to denser air. You can freefall for two or three minutes and open your chute at a low altitude called High Altitude Low Opening, or HALO, or jump and open it pretty quickly at a high altitude and drift down in near silence from HAHO, or High Altitude High Opening. A very small number, just a couple of hundred special operators, 46 12. Special Forces Training become MFF qualified every year.

But if you put yours on the table and I don’t have mine, then I have to buy you a beer. Much kinder and gentler that it used to be! I’ve had a coin on my body almost 24/7 since I was a lieutenant. I carry my SF coin in my wallet and my Ranger coin on my keychain. I just realized at one point that I have over a hundred coins. S. government and throughout the world militaries. When I commanded 3rd Battalion of 10th Special Forces Group, we designed and minted our own coin with crossed skis, superimposed over a snowflake with a large military rucksack in the center.

Absolute precision, no doubt about it. Back to the unilateral versus unconventional perspective: the 160th is a unilateral force. They move special ops troopers from point A to point B for precise, surgically violent raids. They flew the SEALs into bin Laden’s backyard. The 160th specializes in night operations because that’s when you can surprise the enemy. And when you’re doing a unilateral American raid, you want to do it when America has the advantage, which is at night, because we can see at night and the enemy usually can’t.

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