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one_shift_eight
05-16-2009, 22:22
I am currently reading the book Mobile guerrilla force: With The Special Forces In War Zone D by James C. Donahue and I was wondering if the leader, James Gritz, is the same man that got involved in the Laos POW affair and the ruby ridge fiasco?

If so did any of you serve with this man? What are your opinions of him?

http://www.amazon.com/Mobile-Guerrilla-Force-Special-Forces/dp/0312961642

f50lrrp
05-17-2009, 11:31
I served with him in RVN for the beginning of my time with B-36. He was fanatically loyal to his troops as any one man could be. He was transferred out and replaced by Bob Lunday.

General Westmoreland called him "The finest small unit commander that he had ever met".

That was before Gritz resigned his commmission to take on the MIA issues. Since then he has been many things to many people.

I still stand by him (as he was in RVN) and won't say anything negative about him. He was a true warrior.

wet dog
11-20-2010, 00:02
Talk about an old thread.

I've met LTC Gritz on several occasions. Starting in 1986, 1988 and then again 1989.

Some will say he is full of himselve.

I heard he had a tough time after his wife left him, attempted suicide, business failings, etc.

But a Letuli and Hillar he is not.

Dusty
11-20-2010, 07:59
His kid worked at Pre-Phase in '83, and he brought Bo out there to give a little hot wash about the POW/MIA trip he took. Bo got a case of the jaws at me when I asked him whether he had any photos of actual POW/MIA's. Something seemed a little fishy about him to me on first impression.

Then, I found out he spent money slated for Commo gear on a katoey as a joke in Bangkok. That didn't seem like a cool thing to do, to me, at the time.

Finally, when I got stationed at C/3/7 and saw the photo of him when he was the Battalion Commander all dressed up in a karate gi (breaking a board, if I remember correctly) I definitely considered him a tad self-aggrandizing.

These impressions in concert led me to think him egocentric, but in my mind it would be impossible to hold, for long, a negative opinion about a soldier who accomplished what he did.

Besides, I've done things a lot stupider than he ever could.

Green Light
11-20-2010, 09:04
I remember that picture. I thought it was kinda inappropriate for a "former commander picture." But I think that it captured him. He was very complex. All of us have our "eccentric" side and I guess that was his.

I've seen few commanders who were the complete package. Col Trumble was a heck of a guy - he was nearly worshiped as a company commander but admitted he made some major mistakes as a Bn Cdr leading up to Just Cause. Col McCracken was a phenomenal peacetime administrator/commander but fell VERY short as a combat commander.

Bo's time was in Southeast Asia. He was the right man for the job and was by all accounts one of the best. I think that he was a bit lost in the peacetime army. I hope that folks remember the great things he did.

Dusty
11-20-2010, 09:23
I remember that picture. I thought it was kinda inappropriate for a "former commander picture." But I think that it captured him. He was very complex. All of us have our "eccentric" side and I guess that was his.

I've seen few commanders who were the complete package. Col Trumble was a heck of a guy - he was nearly worshiped as a company commander but admitted he made some major mistakes as a Bn Cdr leading up to Just Cause. Col McCracken was a phenomenal peacetime administrator/commander but fell VERY short as a combat commander.

Bo's time was in Southeast Asia. He was the right man for the job and was by all accounts one of the best. I think that he was a bit lost in the peacetime army. I hope that folks remember the great things he did.

I'm with you on that.

Richard
11-20-2010, 09:23
I only met him once in passing at Fort Bragg but knew guys with him in the MGF who swore by him and guys with him in 3-7th who didn't.

For my part, I have never been able to get by his POW/MIA shenanigans and this picture he had taken of himself - hard to imagine a soldier doing this.

MOO and YMMV...and so it goes...

Richard :munchin

longrange1947
11-20-2010, 09:41
'Bo' Gritz was my Bn CO in 3/7 in the mid 70s. He was all about the troops and he was not a peace time CO. He antagonized the 193d GO and taunted the "legs".

For us, he let us do what we felt was needed for training and protected the teams from a a lot of BS. He was big into the martial arts and every week there was a Bn formation for PT that included beat the crap out of your buddy. :D

After he retired, I believe, and this is opinion only, that he became lost without the military and tried to bring back that little bit of life. In doing so he went over the edge.

Richard, on that photo, I seem to remember that he got his butt chewed out for not wearing his awards to some function, he proceeded to hunt down the actual medal for as many awards as he could find to wear to the next function. As I stated, he liked to antagonize.

He definitely is not a poser, however, he has lost almost all his "combat luster" due to his antics after retirement. As a Bn CO I respected him, now, not so much so. :(

SF_BHT
11-20-2010, 09:56
Rick you beat me to the punch. My best recollection about that photo was he was trying to piss off someone so he put all that clutter on........... It is a shame that that photo is how many think of him.

From what I have been told he was a great leader in and out of combat but after he retired he did get lost. I had the pleasure of meeting him a few times after retirement and he had changed and was not the warrior of the past.

longrange1947
11-20-2010, 10:04
I have met him twice since the 70s and he is not the same. I wonder sometimes if he had a minor stroke or something. The change is that significant. On Ruby Ridge he was almost unidentifiable in talk and action. :munchin

x SF med
11-20-2010, 11:32
I met Col Gritz once, similar circumstances to Dusty - Pre-Phase and baby-Bo brought Dad in to give a hoo-ah,hoo-ah speech... the actions of the son do not color my respect for the father, but he was a bit over the top. The son got less than he deserved but that's a story for those of us who remember it.

Dusty
11-20-2010, 13:06
I met Col Gritz once, similar circumstances to Dusty - Pre-Phase and baby-Bo brought Dad in to give a hoo-ah,hoo-ah speech... the actions of the son do not color my respect for the father, but he was a bit over the top. The son got less than he deserved but that's a story for those of us who remember it.


Roger. Junior's SF career sorta went up in smoke.

SF_BHT
11-20-2010, 14:21
Roger. Junior's SF career sorta went up in smoke.

What ever happened to Jr after McKall? Did he get out or just move to some obscure job?

wet dog
11-20-2010, 14:35
What ever happened to Jr after McKall? Did he get out or just move to some obscure job?

Somethings we will never know....

Who shot JFK?
What is really in area 51?
Where is Thor Sadler?

longrange1947
11-20-2010, 14:54
Jr worked at range control on Bragg for a while and then slipped quietly into obscurity.

Dusty
11-20-2010, 14:57
What ever happened to Jr after McKall? Did he get out or just move to some obscure job?

According to the grapevine, he evidently didn't study hard enough for a piss test. That was circa '84/'85. He was working CCT on Bragg when I met him.

Eagle5US
11-20-2010, 23:10
I can tell you from 2002-2005, while working in that arena, we were still SUFFERING the consequences of his actions in that theater.

He did not do the US POW MIA effort any favors, and his actions were considered incredibly self serving.

Eagle

PRB
11-21-2010, 15:41
Jr got in trouble for doing something stupid off duty in his personal life. Got caught. Nuf said.
I don't know Bo but I agree with the guys in not being over judgemental...he was a hell of a fine warrior and solid commander.
Regardless, he left a mark in a field full of outstanding guys.