UBL Shooter Should Maintain Some Professional Dignity
by A SOFREP Reader · February 14, 2013
The following was written by former UDT/SEAL Rick Woolard in response to the recent Esquire article on the DEVGRU UBL shooter. The Command has been quietly outspoken about former SEALs getting out and writing books about their experiences. However, ironically it’s the same Command that has had the biggest OPSEC violations of the past decade, with No Easy Day, video game consulting, and side businesses that tip toe around the FAR (Federal Acquisition Regulations). The SEAL community could learn a few lessons from Delta when it comes to setting clear guidelines on what’s appropriate and what’s not.
Here’s what Rick had to say. I really respect his point of view, and we (SEALs) could learn a few things from the old guard. -Brandon
Did not see the Today show yet but did read the Esquire article. Very disappointing that a SEAL sat for this story (if in fact he did). And Esquire/Bronstein wrote WAY too much info about the Shooter’s command in the story, even if most of it has been said or written before.
But before the usual retired SEALs rush in front of cameras to opine about The Shooter and further embarass the community, they should know that The Shooter’s command bent over backward and worked for months to keep him on active duty until he could retire. This included the Commander, Command Master Chief, and others who knew him well. The Shooter could have transferred to another less rigorous job at the command or to another SEAL organization and stayed on for another few years and then received retirement benefits. The command was saddened and disappointed when he got out.
I do feel for The Shooter, but no one made him leave the Navy before retirement age. To leave at 16 years was his call. He thought he had a plan that would make his retirement pension unnecessary and it did not work out.
The Esquire story did not mention that like every combat veteran of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, The Shooter is automatically eligible for five years of free healthcare through the Department of Veterans Affairs. He will also be eligible for vocational rehabilitation (which will pay for any educational program he wants), and other benefits like mortgage loan guarantees from the VA. Did he attended his transition briefings? If so, he would have been told of these programs; they are no secret. And eventually he will receive compensation for his physical disabilities as well as Combat Related Special Compensation from the VA, but he must apply. All this could take awhile with the current VA backlog, but it’s all available.
So yeah, even for warriors such as this man, a successful move to
civilian life is not easy. But how about a little more STFU in the
Maybe maintain some professional dignity, and stop helping to enrich people in the entertainment, book, and news businesses to the detriment of the honorable SEAL reputation many of us have bled to create.
-Rick Woolard BUD/S Class 38 East (1966)