SHave you ever done a job so well that your boss is punished you for it?
That’s what former Navy SEAL team 6 Commander Richard Marcinko said happened to him.
Marcinko joined the Navy in the late 1950s, and became a part of the underwater demolitions unit. After a tour in Vietnam, Marcinko became a Navy SEAL.
After the 1979 hostage rescued attempt, Marcinko was chosen to form, and be the first commander of, the elite SEAL team. Team Six.
After three years in that role, Marcinko was given a new assignment: form a unit to test the Navy’s vulnerability to terrorism.
That new project, called Red Cell, is what got Marcinko in hot water, he says, because he exposed vulnerabilities the Navy didn’t want to acknowledge.
He was actually sentenced to prison in 1990. More on that in a moment. But in 1992 Marcinko wrote a memoir called Rogue Warrior. And that’s when I first met him.
This would be the first of many interviews I would have with Marcinko over the next few years, as he told many of his military stories in the form of novels loosely based on his experiences.
So here now, from 1992, Richard Marcinko.
Richard Marcinko died on Christmas Day 2021. He was 81.
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Adm. Elmo Zumwalt Jr.
Memorial Day is an occasion to pause and honor those who have given their lives in military service.
But we can also remember those who went to war to save lives.
In 1963, a 21-year old student nurse named winning Smith joined the Army, and in 1966 was sent to Vietnam, where the war was escalating. She was there until 1967,
But it wasn’t until years later that she realized that she, like many of the servicemen she treated, or suffering from PTSD.
I met her in 1992, to talk about her book called “American Daughter Gone to War.”
So here now, from 1992, Winnie Smith.
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On this Memorial Day 2020, a very moving story of a father and son caught up in an unpopular war, with an unexpected and poignant outcome.
In the 1960s, U.S. forces in Vietnam used the defoliant known as Agent Orange in an effort to make it harder for enemy forces to hide in thr jungle.
Agent Orange was very effective — but it also proved very deadly for hundreds of U.S. troops who were exposed to it.
In the late ’60s the Commander of Naval Forces in Vietnam was Admiral Elmo Zumwalt Jr.
His son, Elmo Zumwalt III, was in the Navy — and was among those exposed to the Agent Orange his father ordered.
Perhaps as a result of that exposuyre, the younger Zumwalt developed cancer.
Father and son jointly wrote a book in 1986. That’s when I met them.
Hollywood did make a TV movie based on the Zumwalts’ book, with Karl Malden as Admiral Zumwalt and Keith Carradine as Elmo III.
But less than two years after our interview, Elmo Zumwalt III died at the age of 42.
Admiral Zumwalt passed away in 2000, at the age of 79.
The U.S. Navy named a guided missile destroyer program the “Zumwalt class” in his honor.