Friday, August 05, 2005

Who is Francis Marion?

Francis Marion is not my given name but the name of the United State’s first unconventional warrior. He is most remembered from a comment made by British Lieut. Col. Tarleton who said, “…as for this damned `Swamp Fox', the devil himself could not catch him." Francis Marion, or the Swamp Fox, successfully fought the British in South Carolina and was a significant contributor in their eventual defeat at Yorktown.

As a boy I read biographies. Eisenhower, Lee, Grant, Roosevelt, and Washington were my heroes. I idolized our nation’s greatest leaders and dreamed of being the next Eisenhower at least until I learned that the real leaders in the Army were the NCO’s.

Two months before my 17th birthday I approached a recruiter at my high school and told him exactly what I wanted, four months later I was attending drill with the National Guard Special Forces and three years later I was a new graduate of the Special Forces Qualification Course. Over the following two decades I spent time in Australia, Haiti, Uganda, the Congo, Zimbabwe, France, Germany, Korea, Thailand, and recently Afghanistan. For a number of years I served on active duty with the 3rd SFG and finished with a tour of duty at the John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School. One thing I have learned over the past 20 years is that I have the best job our military has to offer and I am good at it.

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