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sg1987
12-18-2006, 14:26
I recently read the article on page 16 of this issue (Two SEALS win Navy Cross) and was left with a question that I would like to put before you all. I did some searching first but cant find where or if the topic has been covered before. The question is this: When is it okay to leave a wounded teammate behind?
I firmly believe that all of the men on this team are heroes. The man that E and Ed has accomplished far more than I will ever come close to and I would never denigrate his service. That being said, as a former 11B the thought of leaving a wounded teammate behind is not an option. Having never been SF or even SOF, Is there is doctrine that Im ignorant of that would require such a difficult decision? Any thoughts?

Jack Moroney (RIP)
12-18-2006, 14:35
Is there is doctrine that Im ignorant of that would require such a difficult decision? Any thoughts?

While I am sure that many can come up with all kinds of scenarios I can only answer that in no case would I, nor would any of those for whom I ever was responsible ever think that I would, leave anyone behind. If it is nothing else, it is a matter of honor, trust, and sacred responsibility to those you are charged to lead.

Team Sergeant
12-18-2006, 16:37
That being said, as a former 11B the thought of leaving a wounded teammate behind is not an option.

You think it any different with us? Leaving a wounded soldier behind is not an option with us either.

TS

incommin
12-18-2006, 18:42
Leave a wounded team mate behind? Never. It has been my experience that other soldiers and airmen have died trying to get wounded soldiers out! Friends and strangers volunteer to make the effort.

And by the same token, I would never think of leaving a wounded cop in harms way!

Jim

Basenshukai
12-19-2006, 17:28
I am nearly convinced that there is a lot of information not being included about the action of these men. At least, I'd like to think so. On the face of what I have seen - limited to what PAO has cleared regarding the awards to these sailors - it left me scratching my head. I viewed the film of these men being discovered by their foes and their equipment being exploited. At the time, I did not think much of the "why" of the situation. But, with further thought into it, it does not add up: One team mate seems to have been killed either upon the first portion of the engagement, or certainly before the others. That leaves three very lonely warriors trying to push back the proverbial "Mongolian Horde" until the QRF arrives. Originally, I believed that the reason one SEAL lived was that while the last three were fighting for their lives, the other two were killed by enemy fire. This left one man who, I believed, subsequently evaded out of the area successfully. But, reading the PAO release regarding these awards, the survivor left as the other two continued fighting. This does not make sense to me. There is definitely information missing here - or, something went seriously wrong. I can't see myself, or any of my own, leaving the others to fight to the death like that.

Again, I have to default to the faith I have in our fellow SOF warriors and I am compelled to believe that there is information missing here. At least, I sincerely hope so.

Another lesson for that particular event is never, ever, take a hard drive loaded with "classified" information with you unless you definately can't memorize what's on it and what's on it is mission essential. Heck, the school house teaches to memorize everything and burn all the planning "scrap", save for the mission folder which is left back with the AST, or a team mate. But, that's another discussion for those that have seen the footage I'm referring to.

Monsoon65
12-20-2006, 15:06
But, reading the PAO release regarding these awards, the survivor left as the other two continued fighting.

I was wondering about all that, too. The only thing I could think of is that they realized they were going to get overrun and they decided, "Hey, not all of us need to die. You lost the toss, buddy. Haul ass and E&E out of here. We'll hold them off for you."

Basenshukai
12-20-2006, 17:43
I was wondering about all that, too. The only thing I could think of is that they realized they were going to get overrun and they decided, "Hey, not all of us need to die. You lost the toss, buddy. Haul ass and E&E out of here. We'll hold them off for you."

Certainly a plausible scenario.

NousDefionsDoc
12-20-2006, 22:01
No one should ever attempt to critique an op beased on an unclassified PAO release.

No one should ever attempt to critique an op without having been there unless there is a compelling reason for doing so and unless you can get as close to the bottom of it as humanly possible.

No one should ever attempt to critique an op on the open internet.

I agree with Base:
Again, I have to default to the faith I have in our fellow SOF warriors and I am compelled to believe that there is information missing here.
Well said.

chance
12-21-2006, 07:34
I agree with the other gentlemen, wounded or dead you never leave family behind. I know for a fact having a few friends in or out of SF that if there was an SOP on that subject they would never follow it. And GOD bless them for that.

Team Sergeant
12-21-2006, 09:07
I agree with the other gentlemen, wounded or dead

I do not believe we were discussing the dead. That's a whole nuther can of worms.

While large conventional units usually have the ability to immediately recover the dead after a battle that is not always the situation with Special Forces operations.

TS

The Reaper
12-21-2006, 09:34
I do not believe we were discussing the dead. That's a whole nuther can of worms.

While large conventional units usually have the ability to immediately recover the dead after a battle that is not always the situation with Special Forces operations.

TS

Agree 100%.

I don't want a brother paying with his life to come get my body after I am done with it.

Leave it, or pick it up next time you are in the neighborhood.

I also do not want to be writing several more letters to families because I sent people out to recover an obviously dead soldier while under fire. We'll pick him up after we win the fight.

TR

JLF
12-22-2006, 03:04
I was apart of the recovery effort, I inserted a team to recover the bodies of the QRF and I also saw to the recovery of Marcus (the sole survivor). Another part of my job besides recovery is the reintegration of isolated personnel so I was also privileged to conduct his debrief and subsequent investigation (not a criminal probe but an initial tactical debrief with a dual role of looking after his medical and mental health). As some of you have correctly guessed there is a whole lot of information not being released.

Here's the picture I want you to understand. You are being engaged by an enemy who has the high ground, he has fire superiority and is maneuvering on you. There is no CAS available. So, imagine breaking contact with four teammates running downhill in terrain so steep that you all essentially have to throw yourselves off small cliffs and outcroppings. As you can see this situation makes it hard to do a lot of things. Can you imagine how hard if not ridiculous it would be for me to attempt to rescale a small cliff I just threw myself off of when I'm already running downhill with a persistent enemy who is engaging me effectively and still outmaneuvering me and now I have less suppressive covering fire because I'm down a teammate or two by now. The one teammate that is close to me I saw get shot and the only thing I could do was throw him off the cliff with me until his body goes into a tumble into ground that I dare not follow him into.

I'm the first to admit that I know I don't know $hit about much but none of us would want to leave a wounded man behind, but could I ever be in a position that will force me too... Yes, maybe... But I sure hope I'll never see that day... We all do.

I hope this helps with perspective,

JLF

NousDefionsDoc
12-22-2006, 08:57
Thank you JLF, for the perspective.

There is no CAS available.

CoLawman
12-22-2006, 12:55
Thank you JLF, for the perspective.

And thanks JLF for doing what you do, where you do it, and when you have to do it.

zuluzerosix
12-23-2006, 16:18
I don't do much posting here, I mainly just read. I showed this thread to another vet I know. He's an old crusty Sergeant Major that comes into my place of business alot. He said, and I quote:

"You weren't there son, so don't worry about it. Only one person knows what happened-unless you know something [he] don't fugetaboutit!"

I thank you all for what you do.

Merry Christmas to you all where ever you are.

Mace
04-17-2007, 18:05
Never leave a fallen comrade,
to fall into the hands of the enemy!!!!

I think Leaving a wounded soldier behind is not an option. How many of us it abandoned one of our brothers in the hand of our enemies????

Team Sergeant
04-17-2007, 18:08
Never leave a fallen comrade,
to fall into the hands of the enemy!!!!

I think Leaving a wounded soldier behind is not an option. How many of us it abandoned one of our brothers in the hand of our enemies????

Mace, you might want to read the rules again...especially before you post again.

Team Sergeant

Mace
04-17-2007, 18:28
I think that about a unit as of the special operations the this is not an option, all forms one team, in set leaves and comes back together, never to leave one of our brothers stops backwards.

This is my perspective

Ambush Master
04-17-2007, 18:31
Mace, you might want to read the rules again...especially before you post again.

Team Sergeant

MACE!!!!

Pull you head out of your 4th point of contact and do as Team Sergeant advised!!!

#1 Fill out your Profile!!!

#2 Make your next Post AFTER FILLING OUT PROFILE in the Introduction Thread!!

YOU WERE TOLD ALL OF THIS WHEN YOU REGISTERED!!!

Comply or BE-GONE!!

Have a Very SF DAY!!!

Team Sergeant
04-17-2007, 18:34
MACE!!!!

Pull you head out of your 4th point of contact and do as Team Sergeant advised!!!

#1 Fill out your Profile!!!

#2 Make your next Post AFTER FILLING OUT PROFILE in the Introduction Thread!!

YOU WERE TOLD ALL OF THIS WHEN YOU REGISTERED!!!

Comply or BE-GONE!!

Have a Very SF DAY!!!


LOL, I don't know Ambush Master you think he/she understood that?:D

RTK
04-17-2007, 18:37
Was that even English? Maybe Esperanto, or some language twins teach each other....

Mace
04-17-2007, 18:39
It forgives had not read the message of the sergeant, will not come back to happen again itself

RTK
04-17-2007, 18:43
It forgives had not read the message of the sergeant, will not come back to happen again itself


WTF? :confused: :confused: :confused:

HOLLiS
04-17-2007, 18:45
Option seems to imply one has a choice.

Cases that I know of.

July 3rd, A 1/9 was clearing a road out of Chu Lai. They started to be hit by random fire. Thinking it was snipers, they swept for snipers. What turned out was 2 battalion of NVA reinforced with heavy artillery.

The critical wounded who could not be moved was propped up to return fire and the rest of the company pulled back to re-group.

What followed the rest of the day was about 150 Marines KIA, 2nd and 3rd Battalion reacted. At the end of the engagement 1/9 was pulled from the field and 1/3 was used to reinforce 2/9 and 3/9.

Early August 1969, Echo 2/3 was overrunned and lost their position though being reinforced with the rest of 2/3.

My battalion 3/3 replaced 2/3 in the field. L 3/3 assualted the old position of E 2/3 to recover bodies of 5 Marines. L 3/3 lost 9 Marines KIA in the assualt.

Could we be accused of leaving a fellow Marine behind? It was out goal to never do so. Some goals are not achieved all the times.

Generally critically wounded was priority 1 Med-Evac, then the KIA, then others. If we had to, we would hump our dead to a better LZ. I think we did everything possible to "never leave behind", but that sometimes under heavy fire, a very difficult task to accomplish or maybe impossible at the time.

Team Sergeant
04-17-2007, 18:48
WTF? :confused: :confused: :confused:


From Mace's IP address he's is from a European country.........

Mace you get a second chance.

TS

Jack Moroney (RIP)
04-17-2007, 20:22
Mace, you might want to read the rules again...especially before you post again.

Team Sergeant

And when you have complied with that, fill out your profile.

Ambush Master
04-17-2007, 20:41
And when you have complied with that, fill out your profile.

Hark!!!

I hear an echo!!!:D

jatx
04-17-2007, 21:32
From Mace's IP address he's is from a European country.........

Mace you get a second chance.

TS

TS, I think you're about to be in the next Borat movie...:eek:

blue02hd
04-17-2007, 22:58
To answer the original question, "When is it ok to leave a wounded man behind?" I would have to say Never. I simply can't imagine turning my back to any of the teammates I have spent time TDY with. If I ever get in that situation, I'll be sure to post and let you know what happens. But I can give you a great example from yesterday:

There were kids in VT that had the chance to jump from a window to save their own asses after the killer left their classmates bleeding and in mortal danger. The killer moved onto another classroom. While many students ran, some did not. They stayed in the kill zone. They blocked doors, slapped bandages, and comforted their friends. They didn't run though. As a direct result they saved the lives of their wounded classmates by denying the shooter a second chance at the wounded. All this without the benefit of basic training too.

I for one have been inspired by some of the stories coming from VT.

Basenshukai
04-18-2007, 08:16
Two weeks ago I was involved in joint services training with other members of SOF to include MARSOC and NSW. I met two SEALs that personally know the surviving operator in the incident that sparked this thread. One of the men I spoke to was in the very same platoon with that man. The explanation I received was that the surviving SEAL was blown off and away down a hill by an RPG during the ambush. The fact that he survived that is a miracle. He did not leave his comrades behind; after all, he's a US SOF member and we don't do that.

EOM
BAS SENDS

sg1987
04-18-2007, 08:50
Thanks BAS. As Paul Harvey would say, now we know the rest of the story. Good day.

Mace
04-18-2007, 18:40
Thank you for your patience!!

Thanks for second chance, I'm glad to be here!

Thank you, sincerelly!!!

ironstoNe
05-14-2007, 14:04
I found the link below on SOCNET, but it's an article posted on Newsday.com. The article goes into detail about the Navy SEAL Lt. who lead a team of SEALs on Operation Red Wing where only one SEAL survived. JLF's account of what happened is reflected in this article and I thought anyone who was interested in hearing about their mission would like to read this.


http://www.newsday.com/news/local/longisland/ny-murphy-seal-sg,0,2990955.storygallery

Take it easy gentlemen, back to more PT.

NaRx
05-15-2007, 21:36
As I can obviously tell, this topic has been covered ad nauseam, but I thought I would put my two cents in regardless. Though I have never been in the field myself and have never been in a situation where it would call for my decision, I would like to think that my team mates would bring me back regardless. At least for my family's sake.

I once heard about a Delta force guy who carried his dead partner on his back along with his and some of his partner's gear over 5 miles out of the war zone with 3 bullet wounds, a knife wound, and third degree burns over half his body.

It may not be true, but regardless. I believe no man should be left behind.

-Will

The Reaper
05-15-2007, 21:42
As I can obviously tell, this topic has been covered ad nauseam, but I thought I would put my two cents in regardless. Though I have never been in the field myself and have never been in a situation where it would call for my decision, I would like to think that my team mates would bring me back regardless. At least for my family's sake.

I once heard about a Delta force guy who carried his dead partner on his back along with his and some of his partner's gear over 5 miles out of the war zone with 3 bullet wounds, a knife wound, and third degree burns over half his body.

It may not be true, but regardless. I believe no man should be left behind.

-Will

You should have followed your own advice in your intro, and kept your mouth shut.

Read my comments following your Intro post and stay out of these grown-up discussions. Your input is not needed on this sort of subject. You have no war stories, nor any facts to share. Once you have risked you life, and the lives of others, you MIGHT have some input. Till then, you live in a protected fantasy world, where talk is cheap.

When we get to Pop Culture, you can jump right in. Till then, stay in your lane.

TR

KSC
06-18-2007, 02:52
I once heard about a Delta force guy who carried his dead partner on his back along with his and some of his partner's gear over 5 miles out of the war zone with 3 bullet wounds, a knife wound, and third degree burns over half his body.
Was that the one staring Chuck Norris and Lee Marvin???
Admin Edit: You bumped a month old thread with this? Be part of the solution and not the problem. NDD

x-factor
06-18-2007, 12:14
Washington Post frontpage feature on the surviving SEAL from Operation Redwing. I heard its excerpted from a future book.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/06/10/AR2007061001492.html

Gypsy
06-18-2007, 18:45
Washington Post frontpage feature on the surviving SEAL from Operation Redwing. I heard its excerpted from a future book.



The book, The Lone Survivor, was released just about a week ago. I'm half way through it.

/hijack

JGarcia
06-19-2007, 10:06
Wow.
What an utterly miserable situation to be in.

MFFI115
06-19-2007, 14:09
Quote "No one should ever attempt to critique an op without having been there unless there is a compelling reason for doing so and unless you can get as close to the bottom of it as humanly possible." end quote.

DITTO! Wow, can't believe I'm entering this kill zone.

For some more perspective, read Plaster's books. Many had to leave bodies and/or split team members, and many died going back to get them. I did several "Bright Lights" in SOG. In fact, I was on the bird that was shot out when we tried to get Fat Albert's body - it's in John's last book were he ID'd me as the chase medic. BTW, I wasn't a medic - I was on another RT waiting for infil and volunteered as an extra gun for the Bright Light Team.

Been there - done that!!!

I agree with the crusty old SGM in one of the other posts - No one has room to criticize unless they were there.

Signed,
A crusty old SF CSM(R)

Max_Tab
06-23-2007, 12:20
I just recently talked to one of the SF guy's that was there, and actually found him, and it is truly an amazing story. I'm curious how SF is portrayed in the book if at all.

Max_Tab
07-01-2007, 11:51
Just looked at the book at barnes and nobles, and the SF and ranger guys that found him are briefly mentioned. He is respectable when he talks about them and very grateful, but that portion of his book takes about 3-4 pages.

I told the guy's that got him, that they need to write a book about their experiences. It would be a good addition to his story.

MSF204
07-01-2007, 12:30
I experienced the no man left behind thing in Vietnam. I was a member of the 4th Bn, 2 Corps Mike Force during the siege at Dak Pek in 1970. We tried to take a hill and were pushed back by a large NVA force. My partner was hit in the legs and was brought back to my position. Just then the NVA counter attacked. I could see the NVA coming down the hill. My partner looked at me and said "don't let them get me" my instinct was to run, but i knew i would never be able to live with myself. I had him moved down the hill and i and another American stayed back to hold off the enemy. We almost didn't get out ourselves. The story is much longer and detailed, but i am glad i stayed allowing him to be saved. I think of that incident often and i know i acted well.

JGarcia
07-13-2007, 07:11
MSF
I'd love to hear your story sometime.

mark46th
09-30-2007, 17:00
As mentioned, SOG had Brightlight missions to recover bodies. I, also, wouldn't have wanted anyone to get hurt trying to get my body, if they can safely extract. Like the man said, next time you are in the area...

TooTall
10-03-2007, 18:51
All I can say is that I pray I am never put in that situation. I think this soldier will be in my prayers for some time. It is definitely a sobering thought that I might loose all my friends in one day and then have to live with the what-ifs for the rest of my life. May this man be in all our prayers.

Basenshukai
10-03-2007, 20:07
All I can say is that I pray I am never put in that situation. I think this soldier will be in my prayers for some time. It is definitely a sobering thought that I might loose all my friends in one day and then have to live with the what-ifs for the rest of my life. May this man be in all our prayers.

One just has to get past it... somehow.

About a year and seven months ago, I was part of a patrol where we were going to get another SFODA out of harm's way after they came up on an difficult situation during a multi-day patrol. Our combat patrol had three GMVs. The patrol leader had placed the command and control vehicle at the front of the convoy on the task organization. When he briefed the mission, I felt odd about that. I felt that if the command and control vehicle made first contact, it would be doing very little command and controlling. So, I adviced him to either task the middle, or rear vehicle with command and control as a follow and assume mission, or to re-shuffle the order of movement to put his command and control vehicle where it wouldn't the first to make direct fire contact and be able to command and control and control CAS in the fight. He followed my advice. The next morning, we all had breakfast together prior to going on patrol. These men were guys that I had worked with for the last three years. These were my best friends and team mates. I was assigned to the command and control vehicle that morning as a rear gunner (although an officer, on patrol, we are all shooters first). As I was in the command and control vehicle, I was now in the middle, as opposed to the front vehicle. Forty-five minutes after breakfast, we had just passed a place we called "IED Alley". The front vehicle got hit by a very powerful IED. The occupants of the IEDed GMV were my friends. All four occupants were killed instantly. What followed was a seven and a half hour fire fight that ended-up involving both SFODAs that were outside the wire. Two more team mates were injured; but continued to fight. Our most conservative estimates are 70 enemy combatants dead.

There is not a day that goes by that I don't think about those fallen team mates and there is not a day that I don't understand that a tactical analysis by me resulted in them being in the "x" that day. I have asked myself, "Why them and not me?" It hurts sometimes. But, I have realized that this is war and we don't always get to choose who lives and who dies. But, I'll always remember my team mates. And, every time I get a chance at the enemy they will pay dearly. It's just war.

sg1987
10-04-2007, 06:30
God bless you Sir. Im so very sorry that such difficult decisions and sacrifices are asked of great men such as you and your teammates. Thank you for your service and for being there to stand in the gap for us all. I pray that our heavenly Father will lift this from your heart and give you peace. If it helps, please know that there are many of us who view you men as nothing less than heroes!