Tag: Special Ops

Nobel– on Netflix. Norwegian Special Forces, oil, Afghanistan, a bitter dose of reality.

Nobel is the best, most recent, portrayal of Special Forces I have seen. Also, it exposes the reality of  war where economic and political interests often trump not just operational security but the very lives of the soldiers on the front lines.

Our 10th Special Forces Group (Airborne) is the one that focuses on cold weather and high altitude areas of operations because it is oriented toward Europe. Every year we’d send teams to train jointly with the various Special Forces of those countries. My team worked with the Danish Fromandkorpset, their elite counter-terror unit, who were the equivalent of our Seal Team-6. Other teams would go to Germany, Norway and other countries to do joint operations and training.

A new show on Netflix, Nobel, is about a Norwegian Special Forces team. It starts from their time in Afghanistan, then back to Norway, then it jumps back and forth in locale and time. It maintains a coherent story line as it unwraps a conspiracy regarding a deal for oil in Afghanistan (something in the backstory of Bodyguard of Lies, it just occurred to me, my version– more on the other in a bit.)

Eight episodes and I ended up binging it. The title comes from the Nobel Peace Prize, which is deliberate irony.

Much of the tactics and techniques used were, unlike most movies and shows, realistic. More importantly, the larger scenario is even more realistic. Games within games. Except the are deadly games. The first thing we did after getting a mission packet in isolation, after everyone outside of the team had left, was ask: “What if the mission we’re being assigned isn’t the real mission? What if we’re some pawn in a larger game, where the ultimate outcome is well beyond the scope of our mission?” Implicit in those questions was the understanding we could be sacrificed as part of a larger plan.

The first thing my Battalion Commander did when I arrived fresh out of Special Forces training to 10th Group, was give me a copy of Bodyguard of Lies. Not the one I’ve written since, but the original, based on Winston Churchill’s statement: “In wartime, truth is so precious, she should always be attended by a bodyguard of lies.” The book, by Anthony Cave Brown, details covert operations during World War II. The deception, the double and triple crosses, the sacrifices made.

This show, Nobel, touches on all that.

It also shows the home life of a Special Operator. The personal stories of the men, and women, behind those night vision goggles and those who they come home to, often arriving not completely intact. Whether it be physically not intact or mentally. One of the most gripping scenes of the movie is when Erling is in the car with his wife and he finally tells her what he really has done. I found it most intriguing when he tells her how he feels nothing for all those who he has killed, but asks how can he reconcile that with the grief he feels for dead and wounded comrades?

Special Operators are not in the bell curve; we all accept that. However, there are severe prices to be paid for not being “normal”.

Highly recommended!

A Survival Guide Does You No Good If . . .

. . . you don’t have it with you. A Survival Guide is something you MUST have with you for reference, not on your shelf in your home.

I just received print copies of my newly published Survive Now-Thrive Later manual and am very happy with the way it turned out. We’re paying extra for the small size, but there’s no point publishing it in print if it isn’t handy. You can see it next to my Ranger handbook, which survived many, many days, weeks, months and years deployed. It went through all sorts of weather, safely inside a Zip-lock bag inside my cargo pocket in my pants or shirt. I’ve used it under a poncho in freezing rain at night with a red lens flashlight. In eight feet of snow. In mud and blood and beer. Okay, one too far there.

Measuring Survive Now with a ruler it comes in at four inches wide by slightly under six inches tall. It easily fits into the cargo pocket of my pants. It’s only a little bit bigger than my wallet. I am stashing a copy in all my Grab-n-Go bags (home, car, ERP). Also a handy copy in the glove compartment of both our cars.

And the way I designed it, the most important information comes first. I plan on using small post its to tab contents for easy reference (don’t have that printing option– yet).

Note that on page one, we go right to the first priority of First Aid Triage:  Breathing.

Did you know can do a self-Heimlich? If you need to do one, can you make it to your book shelf? Do you have time to check the table of contents?

The first rule of three: 3 minutes without breathing.

I’m gifting copies of this book to my family and friends because it’s really, really important. I wrote it after my grandsons moved to San Diego and I realized there wasn’t a set of practical guides out there for preparing for and a small, to the point, survival guide– designed for the average person.

Prepare Now-Survive Later is the companion book and is focused on how to gradually, step-by-step prepare yourself, your home, your car, your work/school, etc.

Give the gift of life!


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