Richard Marcinko, first in command of Seal Team 6, dies on Christmas


Richard “Dick” Marcinko, who was the first commanding officer of US Navy SEAL Team 6, died Saturday at the age of 81, according to an announcement from his son.

“Last night on Christmas Eve we lost a hero, also known as The Rogue Warrior, retired Navy SEAL commander AND SEAL Team Six creator, my dad, Richard Marcinko,” tweeted Matt Marcinko Sunday. “His legacy will live on forever. The man died a true legend. Rest in peace dad. I love you forever.”

Marcinko’s passing was also announced on the Navy SEAL Museum’s Facebook page, which said: “Dick Marcinko has played a very unique role in the history of SEAL, leaving a legacy like no other. ‘Demo Dick he is considered the premier counterterrorism operator in the United States. We send our deepest condolences to his family, teammates and friends. “

Marcinko was born on November 21, 1940 in Lansford, Pennsylvania, and enlisted in the United States Marines before being rejected for his lack of a high school diploma. He then enlisted in the US Navy in 1958, eventually rising through the ranks of commanding officer. He would also earn a bachelor’s and master’s degree in international relations and political science, respectively.

He was the first commander of Team SEAL 6 and RED CELL, two of the Army’s top counterterrorism units, which he helped found.

Author and former US Navy SEAL Richard Marcinko arrives at Sapphire &; Day Club on August 1, 2014, in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Gabe Ginsberg / FilmMagic)

Marcinko was deployed to Vietnam in January 1967 in the 2nd Platoon, SEAL Team 2. He participated in the May 18, 1967 assault on Ilo Ilo Hon, which the Navy described as its most successful SEAL operation during the United States War. Vietnam.

After returning to the United States, Marcinko deployed to Vietnam for the second time, during which he participated in the Tet offensive.

The North Vietnamese put a price on Marcinko’s head for his effective leadership, but he escaped the enemy. He would earn four Bronze Stars, as well as the Silver Star and the Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry. In total, he obtained 34 citations and medals.

The second wave of 1st Air Cavalry Division helicopter gunships flies over an RTO and its commander over an isolated landing zone during Operation Pershing during the Vietnam War.  (Photo by Patrick Christain / Getty Images)

The second wave of 1st Air Cavalry Division helicopter gunships flies over an RTO and its commander over an isolated landing zone during Operation Pershing during the Vietnam War. (Photo by Patrick Christain / Getty Images)

After serving as one of two Navy representatives on an unsuccessful task force to free American hostages during the Iran hostage crisis of 1979, Marcinko was hired to design and lead an elite team. counterterrorism, which later became the SEAL 6 team. The name was intended to trick the Soviet Union and other adversaries into believing that the United States had more SEAL teams than it did. .

Marcinko commanded SEAL Team 6 from August 1980 to July 1983. He is also the author of several books, including his best-selling 1993 New York Times autobiography, “Rogue Warrior”. The book will lead to several derivative novels.

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“SEALs who knew Dick Marcinko will remember him as imaginative and daring, a warrior at heart,” Eric Olson told Navy Times. “He was a fiery thug, to be sure, but we’re better off for his unconventional service.”


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