Birth of an Operator
Have you been wondering who the mysterious guy in most of our sniper photo’s is? Well let me introduce to you the most experienced scout sniper I have ever met and I know a ton of heavy weights in this community. Chris is a man that has seen and dealt death to our enemies in every major war as well as many unofficial operations in the last 20 years. We have not been able to advertise him on the website until recently because he was an operator for one of the most notorious contractor firms in the world and was deployed to some of the deepest darkest jungles to combat terrorism. His main specialty is scout sniper operations but he is also a world class SERE instructor. We welcome you to SIGMA 3 Family Chris and hopefully you can gain as much from us as we have gained from your expertise. Semper Fidelis!
In my life, early on, my Father who was US Army SF(24 yrs), taught me from about age five not only to enjoy the woods, but to rely on them for food, shelter and peace of mind.
During my career in the US Military, I attended several “survival” schools, never learning from them more than what my own Father had taught me. Don’t get me wrong my instructors probably loved me almost as much as my Father and I did walk away with the best they had and never failed one course. I had great instructors but they were “locked in” by the very manuals they taught from and from that point on I was determined to train troops in the best methods for survival.
The time spent in an infantry was uneventful other than the invasion of Iraq in 1991. They foolishly made us believe that the minute we made contact with the enemy, that we were dead. As it turned out we dominated them with little to no problems! A 100 soldiers would surrender to a four man fire team, it was really quite pathetic.
After the so called Storm, I was about to come into my niche and as the rest of the world was coming down from the high of a war. Most of my peers sought discharge and I went to what was the hardest training I would ever endure. The School House of the Scout Sniper! From this point on I would be a Marine Sniper and I would begin my road to becoming a Tactical Operator for the most elite private military contracting company in the world.
As a marine sniper we learned the business of dealing death on a deep and deliberate level. To move unseen in the enemy’s back yard and to disrupt their ranks by taking away the ones they valued the most, their leaders, radiomen, as well as their best and brightest snipers.
Over the years, I would find myself in small hardly known places watching horror stories unfold , frame by frame. Watching people, human beings being slaughtered, wholesale for dirty little pieces of real estate. I loved my work and felt relief when I pulled my trigger on our wicked enemies. Pulling the trigger became a secret love because most of my time was spent watching and after all, there was no official war in many of the places I found myself operating. Pulling the trigger was like asking to nuke a country and permission was almost always not granted, and sometimes we didn’t bother to ask because they had it coming anyway.
We moved through environment after environment, helping those that could not help themselves and trying to good when we could. When you watch a family walking behind an armored vehicle just to go grocery shopping as if they are being ferried from shore to shore it reminds you of the simple pleasures we have in the US! When you can’t even shop because a sniper is watching you and waiting for you to make one mistake so he can remove you from the face of the earth it makes you deeply appreciate the simple things we enjoy. Sad really, but it truly is survival in its most simple form.
In early 2003 we found ourselves back in the arms of an old familiar enemy, one that started my military career and the one who would end it. Iraq!
This time it was much different than the last and the enemy was prepared, exclusive, and smarter than us in many respects. They knew they couldn’t take us one on one in a fair fight so they resorted to the oldest form of small unit combat known to man, guerilla warfare. They placed roadside bombs everywhere, IEDs as they are called. It could be a cool pair of shades, a teddy bear or a child asking for water. You never knew!
We worked province after province searching for the enemy, occupying the local’s houses, using them for our hides, watching from windows and rooftops. I truly didn’t think it was great idea (at the time) to be in one place so long that the locals knew your name. The last military operation I would go on turned out to be the most valuable lesson of survival in my life. We had moved a four man team into a three story structure and after it was cleared we sat up on the roof with a small wall surrounding us. We had made small holes in which to shoot from so that we could remain undetected. We were successful in stopping the placement of IEDS and stopped many weapons resupplies. Late in the mission, we received flash traffic over the net that we were to be extracted from our hide in 30 minutes and as we packed up our gear we were all happy that we had done our jobs. You could hear the AMTRACS coming down the street, so I sent our gunners down into the structure to clear it out. The gunners called all clear and my spotter started towards the door and I made it half way and the roof suddenly collapsed. And that was all I remember! From that moment on, I had visions of pain and small fragmented thoughts of one word SURVIVAL screaming at me in my brain. I was buried under three floors of rubble and my 120lb rucksack made sure I was the first down.
In the excitement the AMTRACS left me and my spotter and the one time they didn’t do accountability was the one time it almost cost our lives. From what I was told later I was under the rubble for well over four hours. My whole left side broken and deeply bruised and the pain was unbearable! I woke up in a familiar place, a house we had worked the week before. My spotter stood at the door providing security and the family I thought hated me was rendering aid to my wounds. We had no way of calling for help so we had to walk in to the FOB (Forward Operating Base) or try to find a patrol. The family we had worked around moved me from house to house, feeding us and caring for us never asking for anything. When we got close to the FOB we made a run for it and I moved as long as I could and then I collapsed 340 meters from the base perimeter. The next thing I remember is this great wind (an ARMY Blackhawk) and then a hospital.
It took me some time to recover from my wounds. But after I did I went on to teach many different subjects including: SERE , jungle warfare and various survival skills while taking a much needed break from being shuffled around. As an instructor I tried to move outside of the manuals by implementing my own thoughts and processes that I knew worked into our training cirricullum and to my delight it worked and the people who took my schools had a higher survivability rate and it was a proven fact. Nothing can prepare you for the unexpected, except training and even that won’t help you sometimes (as I found from my incident). It all boils down to mental strength and a positive attitude and not thinking you can but knowing you can.
After the military I moved on to work for the most notorious private military contracting company in the world and finished my operator career with them going to some of the most hostile places on the planet in operations I can’t speak about. Something I love about the contractor lifestyle is that I am free to teach any way that I want too and I do. My opinions count, my experience counts, and most of all my tactics count. Because they have been proven in combat time and time again. I do not accept failure from anyone and I do not take survival lightly and you will know that from the first time you meet me as your instructor. I respect all of the greats out there, civilian as well as military but they are not me and I am not them. When you come to learn from me you will be treated with respect, fairness, and I will give you one hundred and twenty percent. And I damn well expect the same from you. With me you are buying a promise and I have never broken that promise to anyone. Death is not an option, quitting is not an option. But your existence is and because people depend on you , and rely on you, I am going to give you the tools necessary to survive no matter what the circumstances might be. I will give you the tools to never break that promise to me or to the ones who love you. But I will not be easy on you, because character is refined through fire and I am going to put you through the fire and see if you have what it takes to survive. Thank you for your time , and thank you for allowing me to share some of my life with you.
Being born into a life of battle doctrine and combat eventually consumed Chris and he followed the course of his Father but he never took his mind off of his lessons of earth, wood and grass as a matter of fact they would bring him success throughout his entire career as a Scout / Sniper. Chris operated in some of the most hostile environments on earth, never being seen nor heard. Due to injury Chris was separated from the US Military. Chris then began life as a contractor serving three more tours. Chris began to realize that his team mates had no “survival training” and the Instructor was born.
Chris has worked with and trained such units as USMC Scout / Snipers, USMC Recon as well as USMC and US Air Force pilots and Para Rescue. He has taught at the USMC Jungle Warfare School in Okinawa, Japan . Chris has taught as well as written the classes for the US. Military’s elite SERE program, which stands for Survival, Evasion, Resistance and Escape. He is a certified Combat Tracker and teaches Small Unit Tactics and Survival to Sniper Teams as well as small Recon Teams.
Making the transition from warrior back to normal human being has been hard for Chris, he has found that giving freely and love and laughter are the best healing medicines their are. Chris believes in the healing power of human contact and simply talking to others to achieve answers. He believes in helping others in their quest for peace and stability .
|N.P.R.C. has no record of him ever serving in the Marine Corps
This Ain’t Hell Blog # 2 ; http://thisainthell.us/blog/?p=43031