American Consequences - December 2017

accomplish the mission above that of your own comfort, your own morale, and your own safety. They just want the job done. And if you don’t understand that and you can’t bring yourself to terms with that, don’t even bother going out for special operations. Q: Now take us into what it was like as an elite sniper in the Marine Corps overseas. JASON DELGADO: The Marine Corps has a funny way of taking a bunch of different factors and grinding out the same product like McDonald’s. It’s nothing special when you’re in combat as a scout sniper. You’re just another team member of that battalion or that unit or that company. They don’t treat you special. You’re not going to get that. But what you’re going to get is that personal satisfaction. That instant gratification of who you are and what you can do and the fact that not everyone around you can do that. So in other words, you’re not going to get that praise from your command. It’s not like we’re this cool unit that just shows up and we get our own area – and we run operations secretly behind the curtains. We have to learn how to play with the big picture. We have to be able to basically coordinate with smaller units. It’s a lot of groundwork. You have to do a lot on your own. No one’s going to do it for you. No one’s going to hold your hand in combat. On top of that, most of the shocks or the decisions that are made on the ground, you’re on your own with your team and you have a small unit. And you guys have to stay alive. You can’t make an irresponsible judgement

call, like opening up on four or five guys that we see and it’s only three of us. Next thing, there’s 50, 60 guys surrounding you. You have to be able to come out of that situation or mitigate that situation as intellectual as possible. So at some point, you’re going to probably dig down into your other resources... like get a direct action team to come in there and take them out while you oversee it. It’s playing chess. It’s a long game, being a sniper. It’s not something that you go out there with a two-quart canteen of water, a box of bullets, and a rifle. It’s a lot of logistics. And a lot of should I say supporting elements and where you have to coordinate with. It’s a difficult task. It’s not what you see in Hollywood, to tell you the truth. Q: Jason, what’s the roughest place in the country that you were? And for those who have no experience of it, what’s it like to wake up and go into combat? JASON DELGADO: The toughest situation I’ve been in was the Al-Qa’im province of Iraq, which was a small border town. I’m not sure what they call it nowadays, but at that time we named it Husaybah. And it was right on the border of Syria and Iraq. It was like a border town similar to Nogales. And needless to say, along with all the “terrorist” activity, or the insurgent activity should I say, there was the drug activity. There was the money activity. Everything that you would see at a typical border. Plus, the insurgency. It was a very difficult period in my combat experience. Waking up every day knowing that I’m going out in the wire is something

American Consequences | 89

Made with FlippingBook - Online catalogs