Code Over Country by Matthew Cole

AWP

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Cole is the guy who wrote the article for the Intercept about DEVGRU and various war crimes. I'm halfway through the book right now and it is...wow. I've seen the guy in some interviews and he doesn't come across as a military-hating whatever, but who knows.

50% through, a few quick hits:
- SEALs in general and DEVGRU in particular have a history of covering up anything that will affect "the brand"
- DEVGRU's problems are due to a few bad apples in the NCO ranks and a weak, politically motivated officer corps who are aware of the problems but will do nothing to address them.
- Duane Dieter and DEVGRU had a falling out in part because he wouldn't commercialize his program (the book has his contract with DEVGRU threated on numerous occasions). He allegedly also called out the command for some of their ethical problems and his contract was either terminated or not renewed.
- The book has a few "pages" (I'm on Kindle) about ST3, DEVGRU, and Ramadi. Allegedly, ST3, Chris Kyle in particular, committed a number of war crimes by shooting unarmed civilians. His "confirmed kills" are inflated and include women and children. This is was the Task Group commanded by Jocko Willink.
- The Captain Phillips rescue did not go according to plan. Apparently McRaven was hot that he didn't give the order to fire. He wanted the situation to play out and the guys on scene elected to take the shot without express authorization.
DEVGRU's role in the Lone Survivor story. I don't know how to unpack that in a few sentences. I'll just say members of DEVGRU have called out Luttrell for making up a lot of the story.
- DEVGRU tried to coverup the Norgrove fragging during her rescue. None of the officers involved were reprimanded.
- A lot of the unit's problems really started with Marcinko. The tone he set at its founding, and subsequent books, never left the unit and no one has really ried to fix the problem.

There's a lot more, but you get the idea. I think I'm coming up on the Chapman/ Slabinski/ MOH saga.

I know this is a touchy subject and we all have our own ideas, but damn...there is no way all of this is made up or taken out of context. There is just too much going on in the book.
 
Not only SEALs have their problems, but SF Groups also have problems kept quiet. DEVGRU and Delta take in the best but also the hard corps. A number of them are kept out of country because of their actions.
 
Not only SEALs have their problems, but SF Groups also have problems kept quiet. DEVGRU and Delta take in the best but also the hard corps. A number of them are kept out of country because of their actions.
The author stated that CAG had its problems, but they quietly addressed them and removed those from the unit whereas DEVGRU not only retained their bad apples, they promoted and rewarded them.
 
Cole is the guy who wrote the article for the Intercept about DEVGRU and various war crimes. I'm halfway through the book right now and it is...wow. I've seen the guy in some interviews and he doesn't come across as a military-hating whatever, but who knows.

50% through, a few quick hits:
- SEALs in general and DEVGRU in particular have a history of covering up anything that will affect "the brand"
- DEVGRU's problems are due to a few bad apples in the NCO ranks and a weak, politically motivated officer corps who are aware of the problems but will do nothing to address them.
- Duane Dieter and DEVGRU had a falling out in part because he wouldn't commercialize his program (the book has his contract with DEVGRU threated on numerous occasions). He allegedly also called out the command for some of their ethical problems and his contract was either terminated or not renewed.
- The book has a few "pages" (I'm on Kindle) about ST3, DEVGRU, and Ramadi. Allegedly, ST3, Chris Kyle in particular, committed a number of war crimes by shooting unarmed civilians. His "confirmed kills" are inflated and include women and children. This is was the Task Group commanded by Jocko Willink.
- The Captain Phillips rescue did not go according to plan. Apparently McRaven was hot that he didn't give the order to fire. He wanted the situation to play out and the guys on scene elected to take the shot without express authorization.
DEVGRU's role in the Lone Survivor story. I don't know how to unpack that in a few sentences. I'll just say members of DEVGRU have called out Luttrell for making up a lot of the story.
- DEVGRU tried to coverup the Norgrove fragging during her rescue. None of the officers involved were reprimanded.
- A lot of the unit's problems really started with Marcinko. The tone he set at its founding, and subsequent books, never left the unit and no one has really ried to fix the problem.

There's a lot more, but you get the idea. I think I'm coming up on the Chapman/ Slabinski/ MOH saga.

I know this is a touchy subject and we all have our own ideas, but damn...there is no way all of this is made up or taken out of context. There is just too much going on in the book.

My college roommate wants me to get this on audible and listen to it. But DEVGRU needing to be disbanded and their colors permanently cased would not make me mad at all. Everything I've read about them makes them out to be a unit that is definitely elite at a few things...and one of those is acting like the mafia.
 
- A lot of the unit's problems really started with Marcinko. The tone he set at its founding, and subsequent books, never left the unit and no one has really ried to fix the problem.
We (the collective Forum “we”) have been beating this drum on the site for years.

I’ve read many of the SOF/ SEAL “I was there” books, currently pushing through one of Brandon Webb’s.

One of the most impactful things this forum has done for me over the last decade, was cure me of my SEAL/SOF hero worship.

Whether professional athlete or professional soldier, you tell someone enough times how special they are, they are going to begin to believe it.

I’ll read this one next, @AWP , thanks for the writeup.
 
Like anything, the clowns make it unbearable for all the good guys. It's up to the good guys to "police" their clowns or simply deal with the aftermath they leave in their wake. There is no unit or occupational field that is exempt from their clownery.

As to hero-worship desired by "any" unit - nah...I consider them clowns and idiots or both....
 
My college roommate wants me to get this on audible and listen to it. But DEVGRU needing to be disbanded and their colors permanently cased would not make me mad at all. Everything I've read about them makes them out to be a unit that is definitely elite at a few things...and one of those is acting like the mafia.

"Mafia"...that word is used in the book on numerous occasions to describe DEVGRU, starting with Marcinko himself.
 
The author stated that CAG had its problems, but they quietly addressed them and removed those from the unit whereas DEVGRU not only retained their bad apples, they promoted and rewarded them.

What I am curious about is whether this creates the self perpetuating cycle of those who make the decisions on who gets selected also in turn look for future candidates who have those same qualities. Hopefully this can be addressed.
 
We (the collective Forum “we”) have been beating this drum on the site for years.

I’ve read many of the SOF/ SEAL “I was there” books, currently pushing through one of Brandon Webb’s.

One of the most impactful things this forum has done for me over the last decade, was cure me of my SEAL/SOF hero worship.

Whether professional athlete or professional soldier, you tell someone enough times how special they are, they are going to begin to believe it.

I’ll read this one next, @AWP , thanks for the writeup.

Chris Kyle's book has the distinction of being one of very few that I've ever actively thrown away. I know he died tragically but he was an unlikable arsehole.
 
Chris Kyle's book has the distinction of being one of very few that I've ever actively thrown away. I know he died tragically but he was an unlikable arsehole.
Interesting that you say that. You may remember that Jesse Ventura sued Kyle (and was VILIFIED for it) because Kyle described in a section of his book where Jesse (referred to as Scruff Face) was beaten up by Kyle in a bar fight for allegedly saying disparaging things about the SEAL’s. During that time I was still in my “SEAL’s are Gods” phase and being from MN was pretty down on Jesse and his antics. Jesse prevailed in the lawsuit, was still cast as the villian, and pretty much run out of MN; I think he now resides in Mexico. That was about the time Jesse was doing his 9/11 Truther bit, so he was an easy foil to Kyle’s accusations.

As much as I can’t stand Ventura, he lost any remaining public support he had here; sad that I now believe he was probably telling the truth.
 
One of the most impactful things this forum has done for me over the last decade, was cure me of my SEAL/SOF hero worship.
Never a "fanboy" but had a lot of respect for Special Ops. Primarily because a few of my soldiers went on to become Green Berets and I can definitely say these were a special kind of soldier before going to SFAS. What always intrigued me was the " Quiet Professional" mantra. I still appreciate what they bring to the table and I realize a few ruin it for the whole, but hope they can restore that mystique someday.
 
A friend of mine, a good friend in fact, was a corpsman in 'The Teams', and assessed for and got into DEVGRU. He went from being a really nice guy to being a Douchebag First Class with oak leaf clusters in Va Beach. One day over beers, about 10 years ago or so, I called him out over it. He broke down, I mean bawled, said that others in his family and other friends kind of said the same things. Being an asshole is not, was not, his MO, but he said that was the personality they cultivated, and if you didn't have that edge, you were ostracized, it was very much a go-along-to-get-along group. He did a couple years in that unit and changed units and billets and now he is the same loveable teddy bear he was. He said when he left he was pretty much PNG'd just for leaving.

The things he has to say about them is very, um, unkind.
 
Cole is the guy who wrote the article for the Intercept about DEVGRU and various war crimes. I'm halfway through the book right now and it is...wow. I've seen the guy in some interviews and he doesn't come across as a military-hating whatever, but who knows.

50% through, a few quick hits:
- SEALs in general and DEVGRU in particular have a history of covering up anything that will affect "the brand"
- DEVGRU's problems are due to a few bad apples in the NCO ranks and a weak, politically motivated officer corps who are aware of the problems but will do nothing to address them.
- Duane Dieter and DEVGRU had a falling out in part because he wouldn't commercialize his program (the book has his contract with DEVGRU threated on numerous occasions). He allegedly also called out the command for some of their ethical problems and his contract was either terminated or not renewed.
- The book has a few "pages" (I'm on Kindle) about ST3, DEVGRU, and Ramadi. Allegedly, ST3, Chris Kyle in particular, committed a number of war crimes by shooting unarmed civilians. His "confirmed kills" are inflated and include women and children. This is was the Task Group commanded by Jocko Willink.
- The Captain Phillips rescue did not go according to plan. Apparently McRaven was hot that he didn't give the order to fire. He wanted the situation to play out and the guys on scene elected to take the shot without express authorization.
DEVGRU's role in the Lone Survivor story. I don't know how to unpack that in a few sentences. I'll just say members of DEVGRU have called out Luttrell for making up a lot of the story.
- DEVGRU tried to coverup the Norgrove fragging during her rescue. None of the officers involved were reprimanded.
- A lot of the unit's problems really started with Marcinko. The tone he set at its founding, and subsequent books, never left the unit and no one has really ried to fix the problem.

There's a lot more, but you get the idea. I think I'm coming up on the Chapman/ Slabinski/ MOH saga.

I know this is a touchy subject and we all have our own ideas, but damn...there is no way all of this is made up or taken out of context. There is just too much going on in the book.

I guess if you want to know what it’s like there, either earn it through selection or get hired to work there.
 
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