How realistic was Sicario?

Those two guys in the foreground are actually former Delta Force operators.

I remember doing a book signing and a guy came up to me and asked me where I got the call signs I used in Green Berets: Eyes of the Hammer. I said I made them up. He didn’t believe me, because he’d been on ops just like it with Task Force 6 (an over-arcing unit back in the day that fought the drug war– not sure what it’s called now, but if you’ve seen Sicario, you get an idea what’s going on now– I thought it was a really good movie and Benicio Del Toro was superb). Anyway, the thing is, besides commanding an A-Team, I also was a battalion operations officer in 10th Special Forces (Airborne) and used to plan deployments and operations for our 15 A-Teams and really, there are only so many call signs and details and our Special Ops brains think alike and . . . Well who knows what the hell is rolling around inside my brain? It’s a dark neighborhood and you don’t want to go there.

Before there was Clear and Present Danger, there was Eyes of the Hammer. I’ll grant that Clancy had the much better title. When I wrote Eyes, I was still doing active duty tours in Special Forces and I think my head was still so much in the reality of it. The title stands for the recon element (Eyes) that calls in the fire support (in this case primarily AC-130 Spectre gunships, but also Apaches). I also used some of the unique training my team went through as a MAROPs specialty team– maritime operations. We were trained for water infiltration and exfiltration. The neat thing about water is that parachuting in is softer than land; the bad part is that the chute does sink eventually and tends to come down on top of you in the dark and . . .. Also, we never swam in the warm water of the some nice sunny place. It was always some freezing water at night, somewhere not so exotic like the North Sea. Every member of my team attended and graduated the Royal Danish Navy Fromandkorpset Combat Swim School. And I didn’t apply to Annapolis because I couldn’t swim!

BTW — Eyes of the Hammer is free on all eBook platforms.

Originally published at on March 21, 2016.

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