On this day in 1995, Marines rescued Captain Scott O’Grady

This was such a big day in modern Marine Corps history.

On this day in 1995, Marines rescued downed U.S. Air Force Pilot Captain Scott O’Grady.

Bosnian Serbs shot down O’Grady, who was part of a peacekeeping mission over Bosnia, nearly a week earlier.

O’Grady spent six days hiding, eating leaves and bugs.

I remember this time well, as by that point, CNN was in probably its apex of power (following the Gulf War in ’91).

And Americans were riveted to the news, worried to death about O’Grady. (Two years later, I’d get the pleasure of sitting off the Bosnian coast for 45 days before later flying into Albania. But that’s just a footnote to this story that matters greatly to me, and absolutely none at all to others.)

I’ll never forget O’Grady returning, the photos and video shots, and the interviews. He was considered such a hero and it’s just one of those iconic things I’ll probably remember forty years from now…

Keep the faith,

Stan R. Mitchell

Oak Ridge, Tenn.

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 If you enjoy fast-paced books, you just might like my works. “Sold Out” tracks the life of a legendary Marine Sniper after a CIA unit decides to kill him for reasons of national security. “Little Man, and the Dixon County War” tells the uphill fight a young deputy faces after finding himself in the sights of a mighty cattle baron. And “Soldier On,” a short novel, follows the lives of several German soldiers in a depleted infantry company trying to make it through the final, miserable months of World War II.

8 Comments

Filed under Marine Corps, Random posts

8 responses to “On this day in 1995, Marines rescued Captain Scott O’Grady

  1. A great example of what a MEU can do out there.

    I remember the command staff got into a lot of flack though for tagging along for the ribbon give away for that mission. The MSALTs that happened in W. Africa later that decade were also of note.

    They need to stand-up at least 2 more MEUs to patrol the Arctic.

    • That’s right!!! I had forgotten that, but both the Lt. Col. and Sgt. Major went on that mission if I recall correctly.

      And I remember at the time thinking, “What inspirational leadership!”

      Then the critics pointed out that, “Well, what about if you lose your entire command structure?” and I was like, “Hmmm… Good point….”

      Onto your other point… I’m obviously not in the know as to why we need 2 more MEUs patrolling the Artic. (Is this because fo Russia and their attempts to claim and seize natural resources? Do you mind elaborating and edu-macating me?)

      • Hey, Stan.

        Yeah, Russia’s intending to do what it did in the Crimea in the Arctic. Although that’s more of a long term worry (chess pieces in place), it would be good to have MEUs regularly ply that sea.

        But more fundamental is the concept of a MEU and how pre-9/11 it worked, in the 90s the MEUs were the Marine Corps’ work horse. Now there’s talk of beefed up specialized units, like FAST, this talk of Expeditionary Force 21, expansion of MARSOC, when MEUs can basically do the job for cheap.

        FAST are useful, so are MSGs, but instead of expanding them, it should’ve been the MEUs (either add a 17th and 28th MEU or add 33rds & 35th MEUs).

        After GWOT Special Ops became the fad, we’re out sourcing Marines to SOCOM for that branch’s missions not the Marines’. Cut up MARSOC, return them to Force and Radio Recon, up the capabilities for those units and re-integrate them to MEUs.

        Expeditionary Force 21, like Det. 1, is a pipe-dream, yeah a lot of special Marines will get to be special, but honestly if that was their whole intent, they have the SF or SEALs or Rangers to join.

        Regular units, with training, can do a lot, that’s been the whole point of MEUs. Lately, everyone wants to be special.

        • Thanks for the explanation about the Artic.

          And yeah, I did my time on a MEU. I’m a big believer in them — from both the fully contained unit (including air, arty, and tracks) to the six-month work up with commanders all getting on the same page.

          So, tell me a bit about your time, if you don’t mind? Or are you still in? (You can also email me at my gmail, listed on my About Me page if you’d like.)

          Thanks!

  2. mal elrod

    When will Mexican Heat be available?

    • Hey Mal Elrod!

      Thanks so much for the question! I am killing myself, and so are two others, to get final edits done. The book is written, we’re just doing some final polishes…

      The bad news is it still might take several more weeks, but the good news is it’s epic beyond belief. (It’s also 115,000 words of awesome, compared to just 73,000 for Sold Out. And that huge amount of extra length — and all the extra gun battles, characters, and even sword fights that go into it — is really kicking our butts getting the final edits done.)

      Anyway, again, thanks so much for the question. It totally made my day! And we’ll continue to push just as hard as we can to get it done quickly. Make sure you sign up for email alerts above (if you haven’t already), and I’ll post when it’s live and available for sale the very moment it’s ready!

      Sincerely yours,
      Stan

      • mal elrod

        Thanks, I look forward to reading it. I’ve enjoyed all 3 of your writings but Sold Out was outstanding. Incidentally, I recommended your works to Bennie Arp, my old roommate at MTSU who is from Oak Ridge and now lives in Knoxville. He enjoys action thrillers as do I. You might know his wife Susan. If you find yourself in K’ville with time on your hands Bennie’s State Farm Office is on Broadway. I believe you would enjoy meeting him.
        Take Care
        Mal Elrod

        • The name doesn’t ring a bell, but I sure appreciate you recommending the books to him. (And if you haven’t dropped a review on Amazon on any of them, I’d sure appreciate it if you did. Those reviews — even two or three sentence ones — are worth their weight in gold.)

          And again, thanks a million for your comment today. I actually talked with the person helping me edit it — as well as my wife! — and we all agreed to aim to have the entire thing done in three weeks. (No if, and’s, or but’s about it!)

          Sincerely yours,
          Stan

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