Richard Marcinko, the founder and first commander of SEAL Team Six, died on Christmas Day.
Marushinko has a long and unique career and has attracted attention for his leadership and unconventional style.
Despite the scars on his record, Marcinko is remembered by many as a forerunner of special operations.
At the end of the turbulent year, the Navy SEAL community lost one of its most influential and controversial members.
Retired Cmdr. Richard “Dick” Marcinko, the founder and first commander of Elite SEAL Team Six, died on Christmas Day at the age of 81.
The famous Navy Seal military career got off to a rough start. When young Marcinko went to join the local Marine Corps recruitment office, he was shown the door for not having a high school diploma.
However, the Navy accepted the enthusiastic Marushinko as a radioman. Hungry for adventure and hardship, Marcinko volunteered for the Naval Special War, graduated from rigorous underwater demolition training, and was assigned to Underwater Demolition Team 21.
Seeing his natural leadership and promise, his boss recommended Marcinko to the Marine Executive Candidate School, and soon he became an officer. He later deployed to Vietnam with SEAL Team 2.
“Demo Dick”, when he became known, was highly decorated and ignited with courage and the third highest award, the Silver Star, the Four Bronze Stars, and two combat tours in Vietnam. Won the Vietnamese martial arts medal.
The North Vietnamese were so afraid of him They paid the prize On the head.
After the Vietnam War, Marcinko was the commander of SEAL Team 2 from 1974 to 1976.
In that role, he began developing counter-terrorism capabilities for the Naval Special War. Initially, it was only the cell known as “Mobility 6” in the SEAL Team Two.
but, Iran hostage crisis Emphasizing the need for a dedicated counterterrorism force, the Navy ordered Marcinko to develop an equivalent to the Army’s Delta Force.
Seal Team 6
There were only two SEAL teams at the time, but Marcinko, a natural bluff, chose to call a new unit, SEAL Team 6, to trick Soviet intelligence into thinking that there were multiple teams. ..
When creating SEAL Team 6 (later renamed the Naval Special Warfare Development Group (DEVGRU)), Marcinko carefully selected operators from the creams of the Naval Special Warfare crops and selected SEALs with combat experience.The owner of the plank of the unit contained the following Navy seal legends: Medal of Honor-winning Mike Thornton..
In the early days of the unit, Marcinko fired one of his junior officers. It’s not uncommon, but it wasn’t the last time I saw the officer’s seal, named William McRaven.
McRaven Bounced off what might have been a career-ending development He then directed the US Special Operations Command and its subcommand, the Joint Special Operations Command, both of which oversaw SEAL Team 6.McRaven also commanded the SEAL Team Six mission, Operation Neptune Spear. Killed Osama bin Laden In 2011 in Abbottabad, Pakistan.
Marcinko succeeded in establishing a Navy counter-terrorism operation unit, but his controversial method soon clashed with the Navy and SOCOM leaders. The SEAL Team 6 operators were effective, but looked more like pirates than professional troops.
“Marcinco was really the first famous seal. He worked hard and had a party hard. He did his unconventional way of doing everything he did, and you did it later. From the point of view, he was mostly successful, “he told the insider.
“Some might say that he” poisoned “the unit he created, but it was Dick. Whatever his vices, Dick Marcinko left his mark on Seal’s history and shaped it like most others, “said Seal.
In 1983, Marcinko abandoned his command and moved to “Red Blood Cells,” a small unit designed to test and discover vulnerabilities in some of the Pentagon’s most classified facilities.
Marushinko was a “thoroughly team man,” but his reputation was mixed, a former Navy Seal officer said. “On the other hand, he created a development group [SEAL Team Six]But on the other hand, he encouraged the wrong culture. Recently I saw the ugly side of the culture throughout the news. “
The controversy continued after Marushinko stopped service. In 1989 he Accused of receiving $ 100,000 From a weapons merchant to secure a contract with the Navy for grenades. Former Frogman denied the charges, but was sentenced to 15 months in federal prison for 15 months.
Despite the scars on his records, Marcinko left a mark on the US special operations community and is remembered by many as a visionary who knew how to play the system and how to handle red tape. increase.
“Whatever your opinion about him, the man is a leader and there is no doubt about it. He had a leadership aura that moved people to do things and act. It’s a natural leadership you can’t teach, “a former Navy Seal officer told insiders. “I’m fortunate to be able to make it stand out right away.”
Stavros Atlamazoglou is a defense journalist specializing in special operations, a veteran of the Greek Army (the 575th Marine Battalion and the National Service of the Army Council), and a graduate of Johns Hopkins University.
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