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Author Topic: New Book on Mike Echanis Released by Paladin Press  (Read 102052 times)

Greg Walker

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Re: New Book on Mike Echanis Released by Paladin Press
« Reply #30 on: July 23, 2012, 10:15:35 AM »

On second cup of coffee :).

Echanis did do stunts.  Several pictures taken of him landing breath-taking full force kicks to the chest of a student were achieved by Echanis running down a long table that had been set up and launching himself from it.

Great stuff once you know this.

He did have jeeps and trucks navigate over his body and he did have needles of pierced through his skin and have heavy weights attached / pull heavy loads.  This is not new stuff - I watched Robert Taylor do the same at a long past Soldier of Fortune convention. 

Chief Gary O'Neil has done likewise and has video on YouTube of him teaching blood flow and pain control to this day. 

I was at DLI in Monterey, California, when SERE began recruiting instructors in 1981.  My packet was accepted by Nick Rowe and SGM Carlson.  However my orders to the 7th in Panama overrode SERE (SF was ramping up the 3/7th for training and combat operations "Down South"). 

To this day I regret having missed out on the SERE assignment.

I met Rowe at Bragg in 1985.  A very unique individual.  Dan said of him "If Nick wasn't anything else he was tenacious...It was both his strongest and weakest trait.  Even in the camps he wouldn't back off."

I met and became very close to former POW and
Rowe's constant companion in the cages, Dan Pitzer.  Dan became a mentor and second father to me.  I stayed with he and his wife, Gail, many times. When Dan passed away from cancer he left me his silver Special Forces ring which I wear in his memory to this day.

Later, Major General Kenneth R. Bowra, USASFC Commander at the time, asked me to work with Gail and the SF Command Historian at the time (Dr. Richard Stewart) to create the CSM Dan Pitzer Memorial Conference Room at USASFC.  I was honored to be a part of that project.

Dan, who had retired from the Army and was teaching SERE for the Navy out on the West Coast, was coaxed back to Bragg by Rowe to serve as the new SERE program's senior civilian instructor.  I still have Dan's personal instructor notes / cards from this period of time.

Upon Colonel Rowe's assassination in the PI in 1989, I asked his wife Susan, Dan Pitzer, SWC senior librarian and confidant Fred Fuller if I could write Nick's story.  They agreed and I was given enormous support and provided with extra ordinary materials and background never before made public. 

I went to Fort Bragg and lived with Dan and Gail while interviewing and collecting information for the piece.

In the November 1989 issue of International Combat Arms "Fallen Soldier" was published.  It is 6 1/2 pages long with photos - unheard of in magazine publishing then and now.  The story not only covered Rowe's life but revealed the circumstances of his assassination, his fears, thoughts and preparations to avoid it and how the NPA guerrillas finally got to him.  All of this supported by documentation to include private letters written by Rowe to his close friend and comrade in arms CSM Pitzer.

Susan Rowe reviewed the article before it was published, provided one of a kind pictures of she and Nick and gave it her blessing for publication.  My copy of Nick's book, "Five Years to Freedom" is signed by both she and Dan.

There SERE Committee at Fort Bragg was so pleased with the article and its presentation of Rowe's philosophy that for some time it printed and distributed copies of the article to incoming SERE students.

All this to say to my knowledge Colonel Rowe and Mike Echanis never met.  Rowe resigned his commission in 1974 to run for state office in Texas.  He was not elected.  He reaffilated with Special Forces by joining the 20th SFG(A).  When Special Operations began to shift gears swiftly in 1981 (clandestine wars in El Salvador, Honduras and Nicaragua, for example) Rowe returned to active duty specifically to develop what would become the SERE program.

Mike Echanis had long before come and gone, dying in 1978.

Rowe's interest in the power of the human mind (as well and more importantly his belief in possessing and practicing Spirituality) was developed while a POW and would be reflected in his still available book "Five Years to Freedom".  Colonel Rowe vocalized this belief on one of a series of video taped programs made for SERE - which I watched with Dan Pitzer one evening at his home.

This belief is also noted in "Fallen Soldier" -

"An exceptional faith in God had blossomed inside of Nick Rowe, a faith hammered and tempered over the coals of isolation, starvation, cruelty and depression.  Says Pitzer of his and Rowe's religious beliefs, "If a man is going to survive the kinds of horrors we did, he needs three things that can't be taken away from him.  The first is faith in a Higer Being.  If you're an atheist, you'd better study up on some form of religion because in many countries, those who have no god to worship are considered souless, and are treated as less than common animals.

"Second, you need an unshakable faith in your country.  POWs are only useful if they can be used for propaganda purposes, or as bargaining chips...

"Last, you must have the ultimate faith and trust in your fellow POW.  Nick and I became closer than family when we were in Vietnam.  We relied on eachother for everything.  If you don't have faith in the man occupying the cage next to you, you're in a world of hurt."

I make it a point to visit Dan's final resting place in Fayetteville whenever I can get back there - and I last visited Colonel Rowe's gravesite at Arlington this last December. 

Respect.

Note:  Hock/JimH - if you would like a  copy of the ICA article mentioned let me know and I'll send two out to the office address.



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Greg Walker (Retired - 2005)
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Greg Walker

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Re: New Book on Mike Echanis Released by Paladin Press
« Reply #31 on: July 23, 2012, 02:06:46 PM »

Little research - it does indeed appear Mike Echanis was awarded a CIB along with his BSM w "V" Device and Purple Heart.  More to follow.
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Greg Walker (Retired - 2005)
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Greg Walker

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Re: New Book on Mike Echanis Released by Paladin Press
« Reply #32 on: July 23, 2012, 02:54:33 PM »

Link to picture of Chief Warrant Officer Gary O'Neil conducting blood flow / pain control demonstration many years ago now.  Gary's autobiography with noted author David Fisher is projected for publication after the first of the year.

http://www.dvidshub.net/image/298866/fort-bragg-warrior-inducted-into-army-ranger-hall-fame#.UA25VvmCnCY
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Greg Walker (Retired - 2005)
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Greg Walker

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Re: New Book on Mike Echanis Released by Paladin Press
« Reply #33 on: July 23, 2012, 07:52:01 PM »

Former Echo and Charlie Companies (LRP/75th Ranger Infantry) member Steven Dick posted the following on a past BladeForums thread about Echanis.

"I don't remember Mike while I was with the unit but he is carried on the "deceased" list of the E/20 Long Range Patrol-C/75 Ranger Association. If he was wounded and sent home after only three weeks with C/75, none of us in the unit would had much chance to get to know him. Look on the deceased list."

Dick, the editor in chief of the highly successful cutlery magazine Tactical Knives, served with Echo/Charlie companies in Vietnam in 1969/70.


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Greg Walker (Retired - 2005)
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JimH

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Re: New Book on Mike Echanis Released by Paladin Press
« Reply #34 on: July 24, 2012, 11:40:02 AM »

Echanis was at Bragg 75-76,he believed in the power of the human mind.
 
Nick Rowe was brought back and was running SERE,1981.
Nick also believed in the power of the mind as a result of being a
POW.
(I met Col.Rowe  and then Major Howard at Bragg in 1981)
 
Guy Savelli was brought to Bragg by Nick Rowe,due to Col. Rowe and Savelli's belief in the possibilities of the human mind and abilty to enable people to be more aware and force themselves to go beyond pain.
 
You can see some of the SERE instructors who trained with Savelli on youtube under Kuntao.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9zKGx-HWIvU
 
These men are among the few who realized the human body is capable of much more,and it can be pushed further if trained right.

All of these people believed in the possibilities of the human mind and body.
...
Nice Picture of CWO O'Neil.
i Remember the pictures of Mr Echanis doing his piercing tricks.
It is not really control of Blood flow though is it ?
It is just to amaze those who do not understand that there are no mystical powers crap.
 
I remember as a teen watching a TV show where a Karate  guy stuck needels through his arms and carried buckets of water,maybe Takayuki Kubota ?
Not really stopping blood flow to do it,but selecting certain areas of the body to pierce,(like those today on TV shows using hooks through their backs)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6g0fpeFYFV8
Like piercing a kids ears,a pinch,maybe some ice and go for it.
Not magic,just knowledge .

If someone can pierce the side of their neck behind the artery and pick up a bucket of sand that would be a good trick.
Or better yet.
if they can control blood flow then slash their wrists or stomach open  and see if they can stop the bleeding with out direct pressure.

All this crap of remote viewing and pain and blood flow are just to sell a product and make out that Martial artists are capable of extreme mystical crap,which is a load.
(not for nothing but if Mr Echanis could remote view then he should have seen the enemy setting up the roadside attack.)
Oh yeah he had not studied his 6 months of Hwarangdo yet.

...Now because someone says Mike Echanis maybe listed on the E/22-C /75 Rangers Association,are we now saying that Mike was a LRRP ?

No one remembers him because he was there a short time before being wounded.

Some one needs to get his DD214 and see what he REALLY was.
We know he did not go to jumps school,he did not go to Ranger school and he was not a Green Beret.
He may have been assigned as a leg to C /75  but that does not make him a LRRP or a Ranger
...
To much Hwarangdo BS to get to the truth.
DD214 would tell all,but no one wants to see it as then the bubble bursts on all the sales of materials around stories made up by Martial artists,magazines,articles  and book sales along with SOF reputation die off.

Hwarangdo is just repackaged Hapkido with some historical changes added in.
What were the Lee brothers selling before the revilation of training in ancient ways?
Hapkido
If they knew Hwarangdo why go study and teach an art like Hapkido ??
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Greg Walker

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Re: New Book on Mike Echanis Released by Paladin Press
« Reply #35 on: July 24, 2012, 02:03:12 PM »

JimH,

I feel my earlier post regarding Rowe's belief in the power of the human mind was clear.  He believed in the power of the soul to comfort and strengthen the mind through faith.

Personally I don't get hung up on the magical mystery tour stuff.  Been around for centuries.  "My Dim Mak is better than yours" argument :)

CWO O'Neil was recently inducted into the Ranger Hall of Fame.  If Gary chooses to include material on Echanis in his book it'll be very interesting as he is the best person, in my mind, to tell the story from a First Person role.

Steven Dick, editor of Tactical Knives Magazine and former LRP/C Company 75th Ranger (Vietnam) states Echanis is on the deceased roster of the Echo/Charlie Company Ranger Association.  Echo Company (LRP) became C Company 75th Ranger Infantry.  Tranistion and redesignation.  Hock knows Steve and can call / email him to confirm this.  Dick was there and is well respected by his fraternal association.

Quik question, my new friend.  Why haven't you requested a copy of Echanis' DD214?  Just wondering aloud.

I don't get to worked up about HWD.  Historically it is well documented today that TaeKwonDo and Tang Soo Do and Hapkido are actually the root arts of HWD.  However, HWD is a martial art and an effective one depending upon what one wants from it.  I agree with the Bruce Lee maxim regarding "the classical mess".  Datu Kelly Worden founded Renegade JKD and his art was blessed by both the late Jesse Glover and Taky Kimura, two of Lee's senior students in Lee's JKD.  Whose Kung-Fu is "better", more "real", more "effective"?

Again, I don't het up over this stuff anymore. 

Interesting final note to this post.  Echanis, Chuck Sanders and Nugyen "Bobby" Nugyen were all returned to the United States by CWO O'Neil's ODA.  All three are buried in Ontario, Oregon.  Sanders buried in his family plot - Echanis and Bobby buried next to eachother.  The latter occurred as no one claimed Bobby's remains and the Echanis family, when informed, requested he be buried next to their son.

Respect.
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Greg Walker (Retired - 2005)
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JimH

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Re: New Book on Mike Echanis Released by Paladin Press
« Reply #36 on: July 24, 2012, 04:02:06 PM »

Hi Mr Walker,
The discussion is about Mr Mike Echanis,and for YEARS those in Hwarangdo,(after  Mike taught down at Bragg),promoted him,called him one of the Greatest practitioners of the Art and blew him up as some super hero under Hwarangdo.They forgot that when Mike walked away to head down to Bragg he was called all the names in the world and was not to be spoken of.
Black Belt Magazine used Mike to make him a Martial arts super Hero,who taught SF,and claimed him to be the Special Forces Airborne Ranger,and Hwarangdo Practitioner.
SOF used Mike and used his history as created for Black Belt,one that Mike himself never wrote about being entitled to.

Now after Mr Echanis died they make claims of supernatural powers ,that he never claimed either,(may have been interested in,but never claimed to do),the stunts he did were just that,same as many other martial artists did and do to attract people.
When you read the forward of the book ,which this thread is based on,if you were around the martial arts then and know some of the truth you have to shake your head at the claims made as to his Hwarangdo training and special skills.
AGAIN none that Mike ever claimed.

If you think my comments on hwarangdo or any other made by me are towards you,they are not,they are directed to those who USED Mr Echanis for their own goals.
You apparently are dedicated to Hwarangdo and those in it,but since you know some who have been ousted from their organization for no real reasons then you can understand my point of Hwarangdo's use of people for the good of those who are at the top of the pyramid.

Why do I not get Mr Echanis DD214 ?
I am just a regular guy,with nothing to gain from Mr Echanis name or material.Since I know what I know and I am familiar with what Mr Echanis IS NOT,though others claim him to be  ,I do not feel the need to get his DD214 and have no clue as to go about doing so,as a non family member. Others though can apparently get it and others who know what Mike was not can get this information,especially those who use his name to make a buck. A Buck I am sure his family does not get much if anything from.

Mr Steven Dick may be right that Mr Echanis name is on their deceased list, but that does not make anything official does it.The Association says anyone who served in the unit C/75 ,even if one day,may be listed.Though E/22 was about LRRPS/LRPS. Also who listed Mike on there ? (someone who read he had served maybe ?)
(I went on the E/22-C/75  sites and Ranger sites and never found the deceased listing of Mr Echanis) Again his name on a list does not mean he actually served,just that someone thought he should be mentioned there.
Mr Steven Dicks also served in E/22-C/75 at the time Mr Echanis was there and Does Not/Did Not know him. No one on any Ranger or SF site when this question of Mr Echanis claiming to be in one of these units ever knew him.They know his name through books and some from his classes at Bragg,of which I know people who trained with Mike there and were certified by Him there and I am told he NEVER claimed to be a LRRP,Ranger or SF.He was Just a Good Martial artist with  skills some people wanted to learn.

Again,Mr Echanis served in the Military,was wounded in Vietnam,got into Martial arts,got into writng and working for SOF and died doing work in a far off land  that he and SOF believed right.
Why does he have to be a Green Beret Airborne Ranger who taught Special Forces and SEALs and have magical powers ?

Again just a discussion nothing toward anyone reading this.

If it maters why I have not gotten Mr Echanis DD214,then tell me how to get a copy of it and I will. I will then send a copy to you and Hock.
I think I would need Mike's birth date ,Social Security number and dates of service.
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Greg Walker

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Re: New Book on Mike Echanis Released by Paladin Press
« Reply #37 on: July 24, 2012, 04:40:52 PM »

JimH -

I certainly don't think anything you have to say about HWD or the subject of Echanis is in any manner, way, shape or form directed toward me.

As you point out this is simply a discussion.

Actually I have no favored art and have trained in many over the years.  I found HWD to be very interesting and I enjoyed every Black Belt instructor and student I was able to meet while researching and doing some training in it.  But then as the founding editor of Full Contact Magazine "back in the day" I was blessed to meet, interview, train and spar with some of the very best in the "unconventional" as well as conventional martial arts arena.

Actually Echanis' name being on the LRP/Ranger Association webpage does acknowledge by his peers that he was indeed assigned to their unit/company and that inclusion was vetted by their folks. 

Also, CWO Gary O'Neil - as has been mentioned many times in the past and to whom I spoke with specifically about this - was Echanis' squad leader at C Co 75th RGR in Vietnam at the time he (Echanis) was wounded.

End of that particular story where I am concerned.

The whole Airborne/Ranger/Special Forces "thing" is also clearly - at this point in time - sorted out and back-stopped with hard references (See Wikipedia link and read carefully).  Echanis never claimed any formal qualifications along these lines and this, too, has been made clear.  Therefore it's really not an issue any longer unless we want to gnaw over the bone until we break our teeth doing so.

As for the D214 - as I'm a professionally trained and experienced researcher and investigator (a handy combination) I'd encourage you to do the homework and find out how to obtain a DD214 - then fill out the paperwork to do so after doing the research to locate the information required - and send it off.  Won't mean anything to you unless you invest your time, energy and effort - kinda like training in the Arts.

All of that info is out there.  One just needs to spend a bit of time running it down and putting it together.  Actually kinda fun.  Of course it's what you do with the information afterward and how you present it that makes all the difference in the world. 

I've followed the legend and memory of Mike Echanis for many, many years now.  Know more about him than most, less about him than those who actually knew him for any period of time.  The older I grow and the more I learn about life, about people, about me the more kindly and understanding I become.  Echanis was far, far more than just a Vietnam veteran, Wounded Warrior, decorated hero and martial artist.  He was a very interesting human being well outside those "boxes".

Although I've wanted to for years I haven't yet visited the graves of he, Chuck Sanders and Bobby Nuygen.  However, I am doing so this September 8th, the day they died in Nicaragua and I'm looking forward to it. 

For me, now preparing to enter my sixth decade in life, it is yet one more wonderful adventure to experience.

Mike, today, would be 61 years old.  He passed on at age 27. 

I love the following article by SiGung Art Gitlin, sadly now deceased, too.

www.kajukenbo.com/cafe/index.php?topic=5304.0

Words to grow by.

Respect.

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Greg Walker (Retired - 2005)
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JimH

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Re: New Book on Mike Echanis Released by Paladin Press
« Reply #38 on: July 24, 2012, 07:43:28 PM »

Mr Walker,
I have no need to gnaw on bones,just a need to stop the stories.
The ones gnawing on bones are the ones who made coin and are still making coin off Mr Echanis, his story as they tell it and his skills.
I make nothing,but I open people's eyes to what is.
Your addition to wikipedia does the same.

Truth, that is all the buying public need.

In your reply before last you mentioned at least three times that You do not get hung up on this stuff any more in regard to hwarangdo. That is why I mentioned that my references to Hwarangdo  were not directed to you.
Glad you did not take them as such.

I would love to read Mr O'Neil's book when it comes out.

Thank you for the dialogue,much appreciated.

Jim
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Hock

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Re: New Book on Mike Echanis Released by Paladin Press
« Reply #39 on: July 24, 2012, 08:25:48 PM »

So, was he a Ranger or not? Did he actually graduate "the school?"
Something like might be easier to find out?

Hock

Greg Walker

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Re: New Book on Mike Echanis Released by Paladin Press
« Reply #40 on: July 24, 2012, 08:37:22 PM »

Jim,

Chief O'Neil's book will be an incredible addition to the growing library of extra ordinary autobiographies and biographies coming from our SOF community.  We need the "Old Warriors" of the level of achievement they have attained to share their stories and their wisdom.  We have so many great SOF warriors from OIF/OEF now who are likewise bringing their experiences to us, as well.

It is my strong sense the recent "surge" of dialogue that is not focused on further exploiting Echanis for profit is occurring for a good reason.  His "other story" has much to offer - and that story is relevant today as it is the story of how seriously wounded, injured or ill Warriors have and continue to overcome enormous challenges to attain a "New Normal", if you will.

The oft overlooked (and I am certainly guilty of being uneducated and hence unaware of this, too) period of Mike's life was that between his return to the states and an Army hospital - and his re-appearance in rehabilitated form roughly two or so years later.

This is the all important snapshot in time where Echanis embraced healing and recovery and new mobility and accomplishment over becoming an angry, beaten down, non-productive veteran collecting a disability check back home in Ontario.

It could have gone that way?  How and why didn't it?

There are answers already out there and these can be expanded and built upon to help us understand how rehabilitation and reintegration can and does occur.

Our OIF/OEF veterans are doing it every day.  Echanis, as only one but a very well known One, did it over 30+ years ago when things medically and otherwise were quite, quite different.

And he, in part, used the martial arts to help him find his path.

Respect.
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Greg Walker (Retired - 2005)
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Greg Walker

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Re: New Book on Mike Echanis Released by Paladin Press
« Reply #41 on: July 24, 2012, 08:45:57 PM »

Hock,

He never claimed to be a Ranger School graduate.

All sources tell me he did not attend Ranger School.

He never claimed to have attended SFQC.

All sources tell me he never did.

I am doubtful he went to Airborne School but am waiting on solid sourcing before saying otherwise.  As I have pointed out there's not a picture of him I've seen during his "public face" days wearing U.S. jump wings.  Being so closely tied to Soldier of Fortune it would be almost mandatory he wear them on something for "street creds" in the mag ... and he never did.

Yes, I have submitted for a public record copy of his DD214.  All schools, awards, overseas tours are considered public information and will be reflected in the document.  Information covered by the Privacy Act will not.

It'll take some time for them to process the request but I'll be sure to update the forum when I have something.  Pretty routine practice for journalists/historians.  They get and process these all the time.

Respect.
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Greg Walker (Retired - 2005)
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Greg Walker

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Re: New Book on Mike Echanis Released by Paladin Press
« Reply #42 on: July 24, 2012, 09:00:43 PM »

Postscript -

In the strictest of sense Michael Echanis was indeed a Ranger.

He was assigned to a Ranger unit; served in combat with the unit; was wounded in the unit and was decorated for valor by the unit.

We have three current Ranger Battalions.  The core of the battalions are the E2s, E3s and E4s who are the war fighters.  It has always been this way.  The overwhelming majority of these are not "tabbed".  Based on a current briefing I was privileged to attend the average Ranger war fighter from this population has over 300 combat missions under his rucksack and has deployed multiple times.  I would not tell one to his face that he is not a Ranger nor would I tell anyone who served in Vietnam with the Ranger companies as a "grunt" that he wasn't a Ranger ... unless I was suicidal and had a good dentist.

Those who attend Ranger School are selected under a grueling process.  They used to call it RIP.  Now they call it RASP.  You cannot make E5 Sergeant unless you have attended and graduated Ranger School.  The average tabbed E6 Staff Sergeant has over 600 combat missions to his credit.

Ranger School is and always has been a small unit leadership course.  Not a qualifier to serve in a Ranger company or battalion.  This dates back to the school's inception in, I believe, 1952.

In today's Ranger Speak they refer to themselves as "Scroll House" or "School House" Rangers. 

Scroll House means you've got a battalion right sleeve combat patch which announces you having served in combat as a Ranger and which battalion you served with.  A Combat Infantryman Badge is most often in attendance if you were a shooter.

School House means you have attended and graduated Ranger School.  The tab is only worn on the left sleeve side and above your unit patch.

Echanis would be a Scroll House Ranger and that's pretty damn impressive by anyone's standards who has served in in the Rangers and in combat.

Respect.
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Greg Walker (Retired - 2005)
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Hock

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Re: New Book on Mike Echanis Released by Paladin Press
« Reply #43 on: July 25, 2012, 06:22:36 AM »

So any soldier can be assigned to a Ranger Battalion, and upon that assignment and with a firefight, is automatically a Ranger, or a Scroll House Ranger? Interesting.

Hock

noload

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Re: New Book on Mike Echanis Released by Paladin Press
« Reply #44 on: July 25, 2012, 07:00:21 AM »

From Wikipedia...

Quote
There is some dispute over the use of the word "Ranger." According to John Lock,
The problems of the Ranger Tab and indeed Ranger history is in large part caused by the lack of a clear-cut definition of who is a Ranger. The Ranger Department, the Infantry School, and Department of the Army have in the past carelessly accepted the definition of a Ranger unit to include the use of terms 'Ranger-type' and 'Units like Rangers,' and 'Special Mission Units.' In his book Raiders or Elite Infantry, David Hogan of the Center for Military History writes that 'By the time of the formation of LRRP units..., Ranger had become a term of legendary connotations but no precise meaning.' For the want of a definition of who and what is a Ranger, integrity was lost. As a result of Grenada, circumstances have changed. Since 1983, men have had the opportunity to earn and wear an authorized Ranger unit scroll or an authorized Ranger Tab or both. But there is a need for a firm definition of who and what constitutes a RANGER. Without that definition, we face the likelihood of future controversy.[32]
Organizations define the term "Ranger" in different ways. For example, the annual "Best Ranger Competition", hosted by the Ranger Training Brigade, can be won by pairs of participants from the 75th Ranger Regiment, or by Ranger qualified entrants from other units in the US military. For an individual to be inducted into the U.S. Army Ranger Association's "Ranger Hall of Fame" he "must have served in a Ranger unit in combat or be a successful graduate of the U.S. Army Ranger School." The Ranger Association further clarifies the type of unit: "A Ranger unit is defined as those Army units recognized in Ranger lineage or history."[33] Acceptance into the US Army Ranger Association is limited to "Rangers that have earned the U.S. Army Ranger tab, WWII Rangers, Korean War Rangers, Vietnam War Rangers, all Rangers that participated in Operations Urgent Fury, Just Cause, Desert Storm, Restore Hope, Enduring Freedom, and all Rangers who have served honorably for at least one year in a recognized Ranger unit."[34]

Very interesting. So one way a soldier can be considered a Ranger based on lineage rather than a type of training.
« Last Edit: July 25, 2012, 07:06:20 AM by noload »
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JimH

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Re: New Book on Mike Echanis Released by Paladin Press
« Reply #45 on: July 25, 2012, 08:15:20 AM »

Just when you think you are out they pull you back in,LOL

Mr Walker,
I did do some homework,LOL.

i would agree if Mike Echanis served in and or were wounded in a Ranger unit then he would be called a Ranger.
When you get the DD214 you will know if he was assigned as a Ranger or if he maybe was a LRRP swallowed up when the Ranger companies,C in this case took over the LRRP units.

Here is some info that may be of interest.
Hopefully Helpful.
Also some info on being tabbed and or scrolled in from the E/22-C/75 Historians.
If he served in Combat as a Ranger then scroll or tab missing he is still entitled to be called a Ranger.(that is to be established as to were he was assigned when wounded,as that was his one and only Combat encounter)

All the Best
Jim
De Oppresso Liber

During March 1969, Lt. Gen. Charles A. Corcoran assumed command of I Field Force and an enhancement of ranger capability was begun. Company C constructed a basic and refresher training facility at Ahn Khe and conducted a three-week course for all non-recondo-graduate individuals during April. The company then used the course for new volunteers before going to the MACV Recondo school. In late April, Company C shifted support to the 173rd Airborne Brigade's Operation WASHINGTON GREEN in northern Binh Dinh Province. Company C assisted Company N by conducting surveillance of enemy infiltration routes that passed through the western mountains of the province toward the heavily populated coastline

****** Question:
Was the Recondo prep school closed when the unit moved to Bihn Dinh ,or kept in use ?

***** Timeline of C/75 around the time Mr Echanis would have been there:

On 1 February 1970 the company was split when two platoons moved into Tuyen Duc Province and then rejoined on 6 March. Numerous team sightings in the Binh Thuan area led to operation HANCOCK MACE.

Company C was moved to Pleiku city on 29 March 1970, and placed under operational control of the aerial 7th Squadron of the 7th Cavalry where they conducted thirty-two patrols in the far western border areas of the Central Highlands.

***** On 19 April the company was attached to the separate 3rd Battalion, 506th Infantry and relocated to Ahn Khe, where it was targeted against the 95th NVA Regiment in the Mang Yang Pass area of Binh Dinh Province.

The rapid deployments into Pleiku and Ahn Khe provided insufficient time for teams to gain sufficient information about new terrain and enemy situations prior to insertion and they sometimes lacked current charts and aerial photographs. Company C effectiveness was hindered by poor logistical response, supply and equipment shortages, and transient relations with multiple commands. These difficulties were worsened by commanders who were unfamiliar with ranger employment. Thus, the rangers performed routine pathfinder work and guarded unit flanks as well as performing recon missions.

On 4 May 1970 the company was opconned to the 4th Infantry Division. The following day Operation BINH TAY I, the invasion of Cambodia's Ratanaktri Province, was initiated. Although ranger fighting episodes in the BINH TAY I operation were often fierce and sometimes adverse, the operation left Company C with thirty patrol observations of enemy personnel, five NVA killed, and fifteen weapons captured. On 24 May 1970 Company C was pulled out of Cambodia and released from 4th Infantry Division control.

Four days later they were rushed to Dalat to recon an NVA thrust toward the city. Their recon produced only seven sightings but an enemy cache was discovered containing 2,350 pounds of hospital supplies, and 50 pounds of equipment. They remained in Dalat less than a month before being sent back to rejoin Task Force South at Phan Thiet.

***** Note:

Mike Echanis was wounded At Ahn Khe in May XX,1970.
Was he at Ahn Khe for the Recondo prep school or was he there to assist  3rd Batt 506 Inf ?

Here is the historic perspective of scrolled/tabbed:
this is from the E/22-C/75 association pages.
http://www.armyparatrooper.org/dropzone/showthread.php/20974-The-True-story-of-the-LRRP-LRP-RGR-amp-BDQ-in-Vietnam
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JimH

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Re: New Book on Mike Echanis Released by Paladin Press
« Reply #46 on: July 25, 2012, 08:34:20 AM »

The problem with the definition of Rangers ,as said in the Wiki piece is what about overlap.
Let us take Vietnam for example.
LRRP's,LRP's were operational teams ,trained in the US or Vietnam,some untrained who were assigned to units like the 173rd or 101st or others.
They operated as LRRP's,LRP's until around 1969 I believe when the Army Command wanted them under a singel structure and men of the units above and others were swallowed up by the Ranger's.
So one day you were a LRRP for 173rd,for example,and the next day you were under a Ranger unit command.
Do you suddenly go from the 173rd  as a LRRP,LRP to being called a Ranger ,doing basically the same job ?
That is the problem,are you still part of your original unit,on loan so to speak to the Ranger's or are you a RANGER from that point on.
Even many of the men who served in these units are not sure.

Here is a link that speaks to this situation.Men who are Historians of the LRRP's,LRP's that were suddenly Rangers.
It is a good read if interested in the hiistory of these men and their units.
http://www.armyparatrooper.org/dropzone/showthread.php/20974-The-True-story-of-the-LRRP-LRP-RGR-amp-BDQ-in-Vietnam
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Greg Walker

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Re: New Book on Mike Echanis Released by Paladin Press
« Reply #47 on: July 25, 2012, 11:10:48 AM »

Coffee break -

Few quik thoughts on the above -

For the sake of setting a discussion standard we might agree that - Vietnam War to Present - if one graduates from Ranger School one is rightfully referred to as a Ranger.  If one is assigned to a designated Ranger unit or the current Ranger Regiment but does not attend/graduate Ranger School, one is more accurately referred to as a "ranger".

Big "R", little "r" just for the purpose of creating a baseline we can all work from.

If so, I would revise my reply to Hock by offering Echanis was indeed a (r)anger on the basis of unit designation by the Army and assignment.

This baseline could also then be applied to WW2 and Korean era Rangers/rangers although Ranger School was not stood up until 1952, if I recall correctly and the WWII veterans were actually first trained by the Brits in commando operations which our Army then designated as ranger operations. 

All very esoteric.

Otherwise there's no reason to further dismantle a dead man's military service simply for the sake of doing so.  JimH is spot on when he says it was the money makers who created the Image to begin with - and they still are - witness the reissue of the O'Hara books as well as the 2010 booklet written by Mike Janich that hinges on the Echanis legend (although Mike is quick to point out per former REKAT Knives founder Bob Taylor that Echanis had nothing to do with the Warrior Knife other than suggesting a serration feature be included.)

The booklet is a marketing tool and not a bad one.  However if it all hinged on Bob Taylor and Randy Wanner I don't know if they would be "sexy" enough if you know what I mean.

And, no disrespct to Mike, the material he drew from is essentially rehashed with little new introduced by Mike that I can see.  There are inaccuracies in it such as offering Echanis was assigned to the 75th Ranger Battalion in Vietnam - which did not exist.  I pointed this out to Mike and he graciously offered it was an editing error on his part.

Ah, well. Whadda gonna do? :)

I can see now why Gary O'Neil has maintained the position he has over the years regarding Echanis.  And that is, and I paraphrase, "he was a good soldier when I knew him and he did what he had to when he had to [Vietnam firefight when Echanis was wounded].

If I am fortunate enough to get an appropriate response back on my DD214 request I'll share upon receiving.  The only thing I'm interested in is if he indeed attended Airborne School prior to Vietnam and if he indeed, as implied in several past articles to include Janich's writings, served in Korea.

Otherwise, on the eve of the annversary of his death, may he rest in peace and may his family be comforted.

Respect.

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Greg Walker (Retired - 2005)
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noload

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Re: New Book on Mike Echanis Released by Paladin Press
« Reply #48 on: July 25, 2012, 11:48:20 AM »

Quote
I can see now why Gary O'Neil has maintained the position he has over the years regarding Echanis.  And that is, and I paraphrase, "he was a good soldier when I knew him and he did what he had to when he had to [Vietnam firefight when Echanis was wounded].

That says a lot.

BTW, Here's a non-Echanis story that shows some of the grey areas of the time and place.
http://www.militaryphotos.net/forums/archive/index.php/t-6909.html

« Last Edit: July 25, 2012, 01:17:50 PM by noload »
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Greg Walker

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Re: New Book on Mike Echanis Released by Paladin Press
« Reply #49 on: July 25, 2012, 01:55:43 PM »

Baez was former 3/7 SFGA member.  Was of NIC decent.  Was given rank of CPT in Sandinista Army after defection and return to NIC.  Reported as captured then killed in battle of Lolo Valley in Hondo by Honduran Special Forces. 

He was advising a column of Sandinista sponsored Honduran guerrillas infiltrating from NIC back into Hondo to attack a U.S./Honduran base.

Haney's account has been challenged for some time now and he has gone moot on the issue since.  I was surprised when I read his book. 

Carney was radical Jesuit priest and was with column, as well.

There is quite a bit of information/speculation on this event but bottom line is that the Marxist Honduran revolutionary movement never gained a toe hold in Hondo thanks to the aggressive campaign conducted by the then Honduran government and its military and supported by the US. 

That's both history and public record.
 

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Greg Walker (Retired - 2005)
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Greg Walker

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Re: New Book on Mike Echanis Released by Paladin Press
« Reply #50 on: July 25, 2012, 02:45:28 PM »

Jim,

We don't know each other, I believe.  You signed off last post or so with DOL.  What Groups?  Retired? 
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Greg Walker (Retired - 2005)
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noload

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Re: New Book on Mike Echanis Released by Paladin Press
« Reply #51 on: July 25, 2012, 04:17:33 PM »

Yup, that's the story that I pretty much believe about Baez. And that's what I mean by grey. Lot's of folks running around doing covert things that it muddies things up, so I can see where Haney was coming from where you can't believe that a good guy went rogue or became a merc or worse. I learned long ago to take history and the public record of that time and place with a grain of salt.

FWIW My wife and I both have family and friends from down in that neck of the woods and the stories they tell about both sides in all the civil wars they had back then just make you shake your head. The "good guys" sucked but the "revolutionaries" were worse, and Lord help you if you were a merchant or business man with any amount of success stuck in the middle. I still have people try to convince me that the Sandies, Chavez and FMLN were good guys who just wanted to help the poor. I've walked out of more than one Mass when a visiting priest from SA or CA tried from the pulpit to sell me on Liberation Theology. Then again I know folks with kin who were disappeared.

« Last Edit: July 25, 2012, 04:20:28 PM by noload »
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Greg Walker

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Re: New Book on Mike Echanis Released by Paladin Press
« Reply #52 on: July 25, 2012, 04:27:39 PM »

It was both a crazy time and the "Wild Wild West".  Met several "former" FMLN guerrillas while attending Portland State University a few years ago.  Interesting discussions with them.  Yes, they were just "helping" and none ever offered having done anything "bad" during the war. 

Echanis got down there in the late 1970s and was only able to remain alive for a very few months.  The region really caught fire in '80 after NIC was taken over by the Sandinos - after that all hell broke loose. 

Crazy...
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Greg Walker (Retired - 2005)
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noload

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Re: New Book on Mike Echanis Released by Paladin Press
« Reply #53 on: July 25, 2012, 04:56:50 PM »

And of course The War on Drugs added yet another layer to what was going on. The history of that time will be fascinating reading one day.

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noload

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Re: New Book on Mike Echanis Released by Paladin Press
« Reply #54 on: July 25, 2012, 05:17:33 PM »

BTW Greg, any thoughts on Bob Duggan's idea that Echanis may have been part of a planned coup?
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Greg Walker

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Re: New Book on Mike Echanis Released by Paladin Press
« Reply #55 on: July 25, 2012, 09:38:32 PM »

Check out the Wikipedia link on Echanis as the National Palace take-over and the immediate three weeks afterward resulting in Echanis' death is very detailed and referenced to more than Soldier of Fortune :)

I think very highly of Bob D in all respects and we have communicated in the past in the most positive of manners.  It is my strong sense when Bob remarked on this aspect of the story he was, in part relying on what SOF published.  That story soon became accepted as the truth which is unfortunate.

IMHO, I believe as is offered by Somoza in his 1980 book and in other accounts afterward that many in his senior officer corps were very angry at his resolution of the National Palace take over.  It was a matter of honor as well as a matter of hating the FSLN to such a great degree that retaking the palace by force regardless of the loss of innocent lives was of no concern.  Somoza, in his own words, did not feel this way and would not take responsibility for the 300-400 deaths that Echanis himself advised Somoza would likely occur.

Was there likely a great degree of disgruntled and threatening talk afterward at all levels of the NIC military?  Absolutely.  Did Somoza, as SOF offers, hear of a plot by General Allegrett and Echanis to replace him, as brought to his attention by the mysterious "Big Bob" of the CIA? 

There is no hard evidence of this other than rumor/speculation coming from inside the NIC military itself.

But it makes a better story than Allegrett/Echanis dive bombing some little FSLN encampment on Lake Nicaragua from a private plane with Echanis throwing hand grenades from the co-pilot's seat out an open window and losing control of one with the expected results.

I mean, Barry Sadler is now believed to have simply mis-handled his .380 while intoxicated in a GUAT taxi cab.  I believe SOF spun up the assassination angle with him, as well.  Stupid ways of dying playing with guns and explosives are not new and no one is immune from carelessness / bad judgement.

The National Palace take-over was one of those pivotal moments in a war where the tide turns from one side to the other and the other wins because of it.  Somoza could not win either way - storm the palace and all international support for his government would evaporate because of the casualties - to include the country's entire congressional body being murdered.  Resolve it as he did and the FSLN claims a major victory and international support starts to rethink its support of Somoza.

The latter is exactly what occurred with Somoza stepping down and out in '79.  By 1980, he was dead thanks to a Sandinista hit team.

Respect.

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Greg Walker (Retired - 2005)
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JimH

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Re: New Book on Mike Echanis Released by Paladin Press
« Reply #56 on: July 25, 2012, 10:18:57 PM »

Mr Walker,
I was 3 years USMC and 8 years on an ODA with 11th SFGA.
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noload

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Re: New Book on Mike Echanis Released by Paladin Press
« Reply #57 on: July 26, 2012, 06:02:03 AM »

Thanks Greg.
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Greg Walker

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Re: New Book on Mike Echanis Released by Paladin Press
« Reply #58 on: July 26, 2012, 09:57:03 AM »

Jim,

Our two youngest sons are Marines and GWOT veterans.  We are a Marine Family and proud of it.  "Semper Fi" and thank you for your service.

I was with 10th and 7th while on active duty.  Old 12th which when they deactivated the Group our company went to the 19th up in Washington State.  Deployed to Kuwait and then into Iraq with the 19th for OIF and retired in '05.  Spent some DIMA time with 3rd which I enjoyed quite a bit.

Respect.
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Greg Walker (Retired - 2005)
United States Army Special Forces
El Salvador/Operation Iraqi Freedom

"No Fallen Comrade Left Behind"

JimH

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Re: New Book on Mike Echanis Released by Paladin Press
« Reply #59 on: July 26, 2012, 12:07:29 PM »

Mr Walker,
I worked a lot with the 10th.
Had a good few from the 10th in the 11th.
I was in 1980-1988,so if you were at Devons around then we shared the same ground.
We did a lot of training and exercises in Europe,so we probably shared the same ground at the same time there as well.

Our unit had a good few guys from all over the Ranger,LRRP's and SF community,most Vietnam vets who had Great First hand operational knowledge.
It was a Great unit.
Got to work with other Great US and International units.

I know a few people from the 7th,that were prior Rangers,that you probably know from work down south.

A good number of our guys went to the 19th in R.I. and the 20th in Mass. when they deactivated the 11th,many still in working around the world,many well over 30-35 years in.

All the best to your sons,Tell them Stay Safe and Semper Fi from an old Marine.Thank Them for their service ,for me.

Six degrees of seperation.
There is always someone we know who connects us to each other.
I am sure we share a good few of these.

All the Best
Jim
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