Blood on the Altar: Poncho’s Last Walk

An expanded excerpt from the full chapter. Setting: the early morning hours of September 25th, 1993 in Mogadishu Somalia. A chapter that could easily be called “The Original Black Hawk Down”. Based on the firsthand accounts of 1-87 INF, 2-14 INF, 3-75 RGR and 5th Special Forces soldiers. Blood on the Altar The incident we’re […]

Knights and Pawns: Al Shabaab

Some details have been excluded in this condensed preview version of the events. This chapter sets the stage for the climax in Somalia and more importantly, shows you where the war on terror actually started. These are the first Americans known to have directly faced Al Qaeda, long before most of America or the world knew […]

Poe – The Iron That Sharpens

“As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.”  Proverbs 27:17 Poe is the iron who has sharpened every soldier who had the privilege of spending any time at all around him in the Army. He is Iron Mike incarnate. Show me a good soldier and if you look, you will find the good leaders who molded him; […]

“Gute” – A Long Climb to the Top

On today, his birthday, Behind the Gun is going to tell you about Gerard Gutierrez as we celebrate his service, and also his birthday. Gutierrez, or “Gute” (like GOOT), fought in Mogadishu on Oct.3rd and 4th as a SAW gunner with 3rd Platoon C CO. 1-87 IN, and was wounded during the Battle of Mogadishu. Gute […]

Our PSG – “The Godfather”

The Godfather is one of the finest all around NCO’s any of us ever had. Usually I can categorize a leader by a specific stength, but for the Godfather, that is pretty much everything; tactically proficient, knowledgeable & competent, driven and leads by example. And to make life in a combat zone exponentially more fun, […]

“Wheels” – SAW Gunner

Born in Barbados, “Wheels” was a member of my squad in Somalia with J’Dub as our Squad leader. After returning, we came up together as NCO’s. The previous nickname he had was “Booger”, but that was before he met Steve Mangold, and it’s not exactly a nickname that describes the general level of “bad-ass-ness” that adequately […]

Cool Hand Luke- The Young Rooster

My brother Poncho called the young M-60 gunner “Baby Face” in Somalia, as Carr had just got to C CO in March of 1993 while A CO was in Somalia, which is why I didn’t remember seeing or meeting him prior to Somalia. I first remember running into Carr at the range after we had […]