TedTAce
Topic Author
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Questions About A Character In "Black Hawk Down"

Sat May 14, 2005 11:09 pm

I searched and read some of the other BHD posts, and noted that the thread "Just Saw "Black Hawk Down"" was still 'alive' almost 3 years later. I decided that my question was a little bit diferent then what has been discussed previously.

My question revolves around one of the 'higher ranking' characters. I want to say he was a major or general, but I'm not positive...
Anyway this guy came off as a total tool. He berates a ranger for carrying his gun around with the safty in the 'off' position, then subsequently allows his troops to get pinned down, and a Ranger has to save his a$$.

Was this character total emblishment?
If he was 'for real' and the movie protrayed him somewhat accurately were there any actions taken against him as a result of his apparently poor decision making?
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Wiggidy
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RE: Questions About A Character In "Black Hawk Down"

Sat May 14, 2005 11:28 pm

You might want to watch yourself with this one. The character you refer to is Cpt. Steele, combat leader of the ranger battalion in Somalia. The man you say "bailed him out" is not a ranger, he is a D boy, that is the US's most elite fighting force Delta. This is NOT an embellished character like say "Grimes" or "Hoot", he is a real person. Also, note that the Rangers are a very high disciplined organization and when Delta walks around with hot weapons that is strictly against policy in the Rangers. Delta Force has almost infinite more freedom that other organizations in the army, namely that they do not have to cut their hair, have first choice in weapons and equipment, and can wear civilian clothes when on operational duty. Hope this helps,
-Wes
 
TedTAce
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RE: Questions About A Character In "Black Hawk Down"

Sat May 14, 2005 11:44 pm

Quoting Wiggidy (Reply 1):
You might want to watch yourself with this one.

I just want to come to an understanding of the 'facts'.
Just because the character came off as a tool, that doesn't mean the real guy is, and I want to know the diference between the movie reality and real life.

Thanks for the clarifications on Ranger V Delta. I knew this before, but I got confused when I posted. Sorry to anyone who was offended by the transposition!!!
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ANCFlyer
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RE: Questions About A Character In "Black Hawk Down"

Sun May 15, 2005 12:03 am

Quoting Wiggidy (Reply 1):
The character you refer to is Cpt. Steele, combat leader of the ranger battalion in Somalia.

Only thing is, he'd be a Company Commander, not a Battalion Commander as a Captain . . .

Still hard as nails . . .
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dl021
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RE: Questions About A Character In "Black Hawk Down"

Sun May 15, 2005 12:50 am

Captain K-Pot (Steele's nickname according to some of the guys, just like Col. Scott was colonel K-pot) was a company commander in the movie as well as real life.

If you look at the movie and see where he caught the guy making fun of him....

you'll not that he didn't overreact, or scream and shout, he took the guy to the side and let him know that was unacceptable. This person, according to buddies who were there, was kind of an ate up hardcore lifer, but he was competent and when the chips were down he led his men very well, and the discipline under which they lived paid off. He did not "allow" his men to get pinned down, he followed orders and carried out his mission while other elements of the force went to hell. His job is to make sure that his young Rangers are acting in a safe manner, and walking around with their weapons off safe is a good way to eventually get someone shot accidentally. He probably should have also berated the troopies Squad Leader as well.

The Delta guys did their time in SF and Ranger units and know all about the discipline, and their level of maturity (mostly late 20's to mid-30's and senior NCOs) allows their chain of command to give them the latitude they need to accomplish their missions. THey are the most independent men in the military, because they know how to work as a team. Thats why they get to wear whatever they decide they need to wear, and they don't really answer to anyone outside their chain of command. I still say that carrying a hot weapon is probably not the safest idea, but Delta got that from SAS (Beckwith brought it back...the SAS had a rep for taking the safeties off their Hi Powers saying that if you couldn't keep your finger off the trigger then you did not deserve to carry a weapon).
Is my Pan Am ticket to the moon still good?
 
TedTAce
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RE: Questions About A Character In "Black Hawk Down"

Sun May 15, 2005 1:18 am

Quoting DL021 (Reply 4):
that if you couldn't keep your finger off the trigger then you did not deserve to carry a weapon

I kind of agree with this statment.

Thanks for the other excellent info  Smile I'm glad that this is another example of hollywood run amuck  Smile
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ANCFlyer
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RE: Questions About A Character In "Black Hawk Down"

Sun May 15, 2005 11:54 am

Quoting DL021 (Reply 4):
If you look at the movie and see where he caught the guy making fun of him....

you'll not that he didn't overreact, or scream and shout, he took the guy to the side and let him know that was unacceptable.

I thought that was an excellent segment. CPT Steele, at least this part of him portrayed in the movie, is, in my mind, an obviously good leader. He could just as easily smoked the kids ass - which would have been wrong IMO - but instead he used his obviously established power base to assure the young Specialist that he had screwed up and there would be a consequence for further infraction - something shit and french fries  Smile - hell of a leader. Too bad today's military doesn't have more of them like Steele. . . .

Quoting DL021 (Reply 4):
the SAS had a rep for taking the safeties off their Hi Powers saying that if you couldn't keep your finger off the trigger then you did not deserve to carry a weapon

I absolutely agree . . . my gun(s) are never on safe. My Safety is my mind and my trigger finger. Rule #2, Gun Safety . . . keep your finger off the trigger until you're ready to shoot. One reason I prefer my Glock handguns over the IMI and the M1911 . . . don't have to fiddle around with all that redundant safety shit.

For an inexperienced gun handler, I suppose they have their uses. But an inexperienced gun handler shouldn't be carrying a weapon anyway . . . but that's another thread topic isn't it - sorry, I digress.
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MissedApproach
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RE: Questions About A Character In "Black Hawk Down"

Sun May 15, 2005 12:31 pm

I would highly recommend the book of the same name by Mark Bowden. There's a lot of detail in there that didn't make it into the movie, including composite characters, probably to keep the running time bearable.
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ANCFlyer
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RE: Questions About A Character In "Black Hawk Down"

Sun May 15, 2005 3:45 pm

Quoting MissedApproach (Reply 7):
I would highly recommend the book of the same name by Mark Bowden. There's a lot of detail in there that didn't make it into the movie, including composite characters, probably to keep the running time bearable.

Read the book before I saw the movie. I'm glad I did, sure put a lot of things in to perspective that the movie couldn't show . . .

Excellent book.
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EMBQA
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RE: Questions About A Character In "Black Hawk Down"

Mon May 16, 2005 12:56 am

TedAce-

To answer your question in a basic form...Although several people in the movie are based off real people and real events, the scene in question was done to show the differences between Delta and the Rangers. Rangers are very 'guh-ho'..'Ho-Waa'...'Rangers Lead the Way' and all they the typical stereotypes. 'Delta' is a very independent outfit that operates within itself and is very selfsuficiant. Their mission profile is 180 degs from the Rangers. Living in Nashville, and close to Ft. Campbell where the 160th SOG is based, I've met several people that have been in the 160th SOG, that where associated with people that where actually there that day in October 1993 and the events show in the movie are very 'Hollywood'. Sadly I actually met Michael Durants Crew Chief right before he deployed Somali and it's still hard to watch the movie knowing I had met someone that died that day. If you get a chance, read Durant's book...it's pretty eye opening.

[Edited 2005-05-15 18:00:39]
"It's not the size of the dog in the fight, but the size of the fight in the dog"
 
Wiggidy
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RE: Questions About A Character In "Black Hawk Down"

Mon May 16, 2005 1:58 am

EMBQA-
I have to disagree with you in saying that the events in the movie are very "hollywood". This movie is the closest representation to modern combat ever produced in hollywood, and if you've read Boden's Blackhawk Down and Durant's In the Company of Heroes then you deffinately notice a striking realism in the actual events and those in the movie. I am in the Helicopter Flight Training program at UND and names like Cliff "Elvis" Wolcott and Mike Durant are in everyday conversation. Another thing that I absolutely find remarkable about this film is that all of the helicopters and pilots are actual members of the 160th SOAR doing all the flying themselves. Just my thoughts,
-Wes
 
EMBQA
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RE: Questions About A Character In "Black Hawk Down"

Mon May 16, 2005 2:34 am

Wes-

You are basing your thoughts on 'hear-say' and books. I'm basing mine on people that where there or know the actual crews involved. I stand by what I said.....Keep in mind, by saying 'Hollywood' I don't mean they embellished, just the opposite...

[Edited 2005-05-15 19:36:05]
"It's not the size of the dog in the fight, but the size of the fight in the dog"
 
Wiggidy
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RE: Questions About A Character In "Black Hawk Down"

Mon May 16, 2005 4:53 am

I suppose I misinterpreted what you meant by "Hollywood". Most people when they say that they mean that it is unrealistic and such. No harm no foul
-Wes

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