Take a minute in your busy day to have some sympathy for poor Jack Tobin. The newly elected president of the Special Forces Association, the major association of Green Beret veterans, is dealing with a lot of outraged old-timers that are seeing the following story or excerpts therefrom, and haven’t figured out that the Duffel Blog is satire.
It’s not serious, guys. It’s a joke.
Fort Bragg, NC – The White House Press Office announced today that President Obama will soon be inducted into the Special Forces Association and receive an honorary Green Beret.
Officials have said the honor will be bestowed in an upcoming September 11th ceremony at Fort Bragg.
The honorary beret comes in recognition of the President’s decisive role in covert operations throughout the world during his term — including the killing of Osama bin Laden last year in Pakistan, and his combat action in Afghanistan months ago.
Army Public Affairs has confirmed that Lieutenant General Charles Cleveland will personally present Obama with his beret and a specially engraved Fairbairn-Sykes combat knife.
Now, like all the best Duffel Blog posts, there’s a germ of truth in there. For example, Senator Mean Jeane Shaheen (D-NH) told a local crowd that the President personally led the raid, making one wonder whether she knows it’s false (which would speak rather badly of her), or thinks it’s true (which would speak even worse of her), or has been in Washington long enough she can’t tell the difference (if we had to place a bet, that’s where we’d lay down our marker — and we’re not sure what that says about her, but she probably wouldn’t like it).
And the POTUS does seem to be second to none in the politician’s game of self-regard, although the rest of the DC gang seems to be, if lacking his all-star level of hubris, at least playing in the major leagues with him.
And meantime, when Jack Tobin’s phone rings, for the next few days and maybe from time to time for years to come, he knows he’ll be having to talk some outraged SF vet down from the ledge of imminent myocardial infarction.
It’s the Duffle Blog, people. It’s a freakin’ joke.
(It’s an almost perfect joke, but there is one dead give-away in there that would flag an actual SF guy to the lack of legitimacy of the post, if he read with care… we won’t mention it because there’s no reason to enable wannabes).
But the best reaction came to an SF vet who mischievously forwarded the link to a local busybody Democrat activist. She responded that she fact-checked the link and it was all true!
UPDATE: We’re still getting mail indicating that major luminaries in the Special Forces community — we mean, not guys like us but real major luminaries that books are deservedly written about — are missing the joke and getting furious. It’s the Duffle Blog, for crying out loud!
UPDATE II: And we were just joking about Tobin, but he’s issued a statement for the record denying that the SFA has any such plans.
UPDATE III: This is the statement from the Special Forces Association:
A recent satirical article on an internet blog called Duffleblog reported that President Obama was receiving an honorary membership in the Special Forces Association, this is not true, I do not find where the author of this article finds humor in his work, but I do not. Few honorary berets have been awarded they have gone to individuals have provided great support to our Regiment, Maggie, the Duke, Ross Perot, people who stood and have stood with the Regiment in good times and bad, and who have honored the Regiment with their support and contributions.
Colonel Tobin asks for the widest possible dissemination. Personally, we do see the humor in the article, but if we were getting heat from hundreds or thousands of retired SF guys, it would probably wear pretty thin.
Kevin was a former Special Forces weapons man (MOS 18B, before the 18 series, 11B with Skill Qualification Indicator of S). His focus was on weapons: their history, effects and employment. He started WeaponsMan.com in 2011 and operated it until he passed away in 2017. His work is being preserved here at the request of his family.