Monday, August 17, 2009

Navy SEALS ~ ~ Real Deals vs. Ybw'bv's

So.... I promised I'd be making some comments on the Navy SEALs who rescued Capt. Richard Phillips from the pirates. First comment:


Okay, some of you are going to think I'm some sort of warmongering SEAL-chick fangirl. No. I'm a great supporter of law, whether it's at the civilian level or militarily enforced. Piracy is (gasp) illegal (hence the term piracy... eh?) Pirates have never been the romantic figures movies have turned them into, the Robin Hoods of the High Seas (think Capt. Jack Sparrow or Tyrone Powers in The Black Swan), but they've gotten worse with the advent of modern day weaponry. (it's amazing what's available via the ubiquitous Black Market) And these pirates have even less care for human life than Black Beard or Long John Silver or any of the others out of ancient history.

So, what do governments do? Bow to the demands of these pirates! Give them what they want! Do they get their kidnapped citizens back? Maybe. There's no guarantee.


We're going to cower before bullies.

Apparently WE are not! Navy SEALs (Sea Air Land for those who don't know) were given the authority to "remove the threat" to Capt. Phillips life if it began to appear his life was in imminent danger. And they did. On choppy seas, in less than ideal conditions (they had to correct for wind as well as the pitch and roll of both ships), with what sounded like one shot, the pirate threat was removed.


Oh, they've shaken their fists and hollered and threatened to treat other American hostages in
an even less friendly manner, but I believe they're too worried about our Special Forces to try anything on Americans any time too soon.

They should be.

I haven't read as much about our other Special Forces as I have the Navy SEALs, but I can say that it takes RIGOROUS training to become a Special Forces member. If you're curious about the Navy SEALs, a good book is "Brave Men, Dark Waters" by Orr Kelly. He takes you to their history as Frog Men, or the UDTs (Underwater Demolition Teams) during WWII, through their initial inception as SEALs to what was the present day at the time the book was written. It's very well written and very interesting and teaches you a lot about these brave, interesting men.

I've been privileged to meet two in my life. One was James "Hoot" Andrews and he was what's known as a Plank Owner of SEAL Team Two (i.e., he was one of the first every SEALs). He was a quiet, non-braggadocious man who was quietly pleased when someone thanked him for his service to his country (which I did... several times.... he deserved it!)

The second man, well, I'm getting old and I don't remember his name. So, how do I know he's a Real Deal and not a ybw'bv? (that's yellow-bellied-wanna-be-vulture... i.e. a fake!) Well, first, you CAN check to find out with the Navy if someone actually graduated BUD/S (that's the preliminary training they MUST go through before becoming a SEAL). Second, Real Deals just have this manner about them... they don't brag... they're very low-key about being a SEAL... and there's this smile they get when you ask questions that says "You can ask, but you'll never get the answer you expect."

Still, there ARE plenty of ybw'bv's out there. Fakes who live like leeches off the character and work of these incredibly brave men. How do you tell the fakes from the Real Deals? There ARE some clues:

1) I mentioned earlier that Real Deals don't brag. They don't brag about the missions they've been on. They don't brag about lives they've rescued. And they certainly don't brag about the lives they've had to take.

2) Ybw'bv's frequently run around in camouflage. I mean, really, how many of you get off of work and run around in your work clothes? Anyone?

3) Ask him his class number. (I know they're currently over 230-something, but I don't have the exact number). But a ybw'bv either won't be able to remember his class number or he'll tell you it's "classified". While it's true a lot of things are classified, the class number isn't one of them. Or, worse, he'll tell you he has so much experience he didn't have to go through BUD/S (horse feathers! no matter what level of "experience" you may have, you don't get to be a SEAL without going through BUD/S first. Period!)

4) Doesn't know the name of his swim buddy from BUD/S or his Drill Instructor (again, horse feathers! nor is it classified!)

5) He brags about his medals or wears them all the time. He may even state he's been awarded the Medal of Honor. I believe I've already mentioned once or twice that a Real Deal doesn't brag. You're more likely to find his medals in a drawer than on his chest unless it's an occasion that demands he wear them.... which is NOT walking down the street.

6) When asked for pointed details about places, names, dates, etc, he will always tell you that such information is top secret and cannot be given out. This is quite true but there is quite a bit a he still will be able to tell you about his tour of duty. They're really big on dodging pointed questions with the ol' "Classified" line.

7) One of the biggest give aways of a Yellow-Bellied-Wanna-Be-Vulture is that he'll tell you he's on Team Six. They ALL want to be on Team Six. Problem. There's not really a Team Six anymore. Team Six was put together by Richard Marchinko in 1981. After some history (read the "Brave Men, Dark Waters" book that I've already mentioned) they were re-formed and renamed 'Naval Special Warfare Development Group' or DEVGRU for short and happens to be a cross-section of all the Special Forces groups, not just the SEALs alone. Ybw'bvs won't usually know this, they're just enamoured with Team Six and it's great reputation and want to impress others.

Lastly, sorry ladies, but there never has been (and likely never will be) a female Navy SEAL. Demi Moore and that STUPID! HORRID! FALSITY! of a waste of celluloid called "G.I. Jane" aside (which, btw, is an ARMY nick name, they don't call Navy men or women G.I. anything - idiots!), if a woman tells you she's a Navy SEAL.... laugh her out of the room! Maybe she can beat you up, but that just means she either has a belt in marital arts or several older brothers. It does NOT mean she's a SEAL. Maybe she can shoot, but most women are actually very good shots if they have to be (especially if it comes to defending kith and kin... do NOT threaten our families or you find out why the female of any species has always been considered the most dangerous.)

So... lesson for today? Navy SEALs (and any Special Forces group) are some seriously tough hombres. Do not mess with our U.S. Special Forces.

But, don't try to fake out civilians by pretending to be what you're not. We'll call you on it, laugh in your face and inform the Real Deals where you are. They like to have a .... word .... with a Yellow-Bellied-Wanna-Be-Vulture.

In fact, they enjoy it!

Just a heads up... if you have a name you want to check out, call the Coronado Naval Amphibious Base at (619) 437-1011.  If they can't answer your question, they can direct you to someone who can!

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