View Full Version : 25 Nov 2001 Qala-i-Jangi

11-25-2009, 17:34
Your sacrifice has not been forgotten Mike. Rest in Peace.

(Here's the TIME (http://www.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,186592,00.html) article about the uprising at Qala-i-Jangi fortress.)

Action. Responsibility. Leadership. (https://www.cia.gov/news-information/featured-story-archive/johnny-micheal-spann.html)

These are words Johnny Micheal “Mike” Spann used to describe himself in his application to the CIA. He took these traits with him when he deployed in the fall of 2001 to Afghanistan as part of the government’s response to the terrorist attacks of September 11th. Mike was conducting initial interviews of extremists held in Qali-Jangi fortress at Mazar-e Sharif when hundreds of prisoners revolted and he was attacked. His last act, just before he was killed by those who had supposedly surrendered, was to warn an Agency colleague of the imminent danger. Mike was the first American killed in combat in Afghanistan. His life was taken on November 25, eight years ago today. His actions in the six weeks he was in the country made a major contribution to the battle against the Taliban and al-Qaeda forces in north-central Afghanistan.

CPT Spann was an artillery officer in the Marine Corps. Below (http://www.honormikespann.org/pdfs/mike_bio.pdf) is from his application to the Agency:

Mike considered a number of options but settled on the CIA, which had a paramilitary unit within its Directorate of Operations. The CIA application asked each applicant to describe themselves. Mike wrote the following:

I describe myself as an ordinary person, with a few God-given talents and ample self-confidence that has endeavored to accomplish extraordinary things. I am a dreamer with lofty goals, taking an optimistic outlook on any situation. I have a steady and focused demeanor, not overly emotional but very aggressive as I am always thinking and staying sharp. I have an insatiable drive to do the best I can, looking for a challenge in everything, and working to meet that challenge. I am always determined and positive in my approach to anything in life. I believe in God and have hope in all things, even when it is as bad as it gets. I believe in my country and am very patriotic in my views and think it is important for my family to feel the same. I believe in the meaning of honor and integrity, constantly pursuing them personally and professionally. Although I sometimes fall short, I guide myself by asking,” Is it the right thing to do?”

Even though I am demanding and impatient at times, I think I am a genuinely good person with a good heart that cares about people. Fun loving and adventurous, I love to travel and read. I was raised in a great family environment and instilled with a strong sense of what is right and wrong. My family is extremely important to me and I work to be a good father that looks out for my children’s well being and future, developing in them strong Christian values, positive self-image, and perseverance that they might be good people and citizens. The type of work I pursue is also very important, as my work must be part of me and something I can believe in.
I am an action person that feels personally responsible for making any changes in this world that are in my power because if I don’t know one else will.

Having a strong sense of responsibility, I do not hesitate when the time comes to step out front. I am a leader that loves working with people to accomplish team-oriented goals. I believe in leadership from the front and by example, delegating authority but not responsibility. I fully accept accountability for my actions and I hold others accountable for theirs. I feel that I am a good leader from learning first to be a good follower. I am easily approached by subordinates and give them a voice in the decision-making process, realizing that I can learn something from anyone. I am not easily angered and have a very thick skin coupled with an outstanding sense of humor. I know that I make mistakes and can admit it, accepting criticism and using it to correct the fault and drive on. This is all enhanced by the fact that I have unrelenting perseverance in all things.

I am a well-rounded military officer having acquired professional experience in areas such as combined arms operations, logistics, and communications through several assignments throughout the world. As a combat arms officer, I have maintained knowledge and proficiency of several types of weapon systems through hand of training and formal schools. As an instructor, I can express myself very well during formal periods of instruction or public speaking. Possessing above average proficiency as a writer, I have served as a public affairs officer and have written numerous education as a professional officer, I have completed several nonresident courses in military science.
In conclusion, I am a person with a strong set of values that works at living my life according to a strong moral code. I know myself completely and have every confidence in my abilities to successfully accomplish anything I pursue in life.

11-26-2009, 01:39
Rest in Peace Mr. Spann. Thank you for your service.

Semper Fi.

12-05-2009, 19:11
His last action was actually to empty the handgun he was carrying as the prisoners, including one John Walker Lindh (may he burn in hell), attacked.

Like a true Marine, Mr. Spann went down fighting to the last, and bought time for his fellow SAD agent and several Afghan doctors to escape to safety.

RIP, sir.

11-25-2011, 09:17
You're not forgotten.


11-25-2011, 11:54
Belated,but not forgotten.

God Bless,Rest in Peace Warrior..........:(

He was just a simple soldier and his ranks are growing thin
But his presence should remind us; we may need his like again,
For when countries are in conflict, then we find the soldier's part
Is to clean up all the troubles that the politicians start.
If we cannot do him honor while he's here to hear the praise,
Then at least let's give him homage at the ending of his days....:(

Perhaps just a simple headline in the paper that might say:

The passing of our soldiers often go unnoticed and unsung by most of the world, remembered only by family and friends. Wish it were not so. May he RIP, his family will be in my thoughts and prayers...........:(

I realize it's a Canadian song,however I believe most appropriate for this occasion...:(


Big Teddy

11-25-2011, 13:17
Rest in Peace, we shall not forget you.

11-26-2011, 19:52
Captain Spann it is because of people like you that people in the civilian world get to live their lives peacefully at many times forgetting what a few men like you are going through to ensure that this peaceful continues for them.

Rest in Peace Sir

Semper Fi.

11-27-2011, 12:01
Rest in Peace and Thank You.

11-27-2011, 20:32
I said a prayer for him several years ago at his memorial inside of Qala-i-Jangi.

RIP, CPT Spann.

Red Flag 1
11-27-2011, 20:55
Rest In God's Peace Marine.

02-25-2012, 20:57
I had an interesting interaction with an Afghan Commando last year. One of the more senior Afghan Commando Officers came over to talk to me. He wanted to offer his condolences for my teammate who was Killed In Action last Summer. During our discussion he mentioned his American friend, "Mike" and talked about what a good man he was. I assumed he was talking about one of the many Special Forces soldiers that have been working with, training, and fighting alongside those Commandos for the last decade, but as this seasoned Commando Officer kept reminiscing I realized he was talking about Mike Spann.

I finally asked him, "Do you mean Mike from Qala-i-Jangi?" He replied, "Of course! Mike was the first American I ever met, and I knew the future of Afghanistan was bright if America was going to send more people like him."

I thought I would share this because I think it really says something about a persons character when he is remembered and his memory cherished not only by those who share the same background, values, and sense of patriotism, but also by those folks his life (and death) touched and inspired who live half a world away and only knew him as "Mike the American."