I was fortunate enough to be able to have a sit-down today with LTC Howard Pearce, Special Forces, US Army, (Ret). For his background, see the article a few posts below. We both traveled quite a way to make this happen, and it was nice to have a sit down to catch up with a friend and comrade.
First we had some breakfast and caught up about personal matters. You know, how the families were doing, future plans, et cetera. Then we went outside and had a seat in the grass and discussed Howard’s career.
This guy is a wealth of information, and our discussion covered a wide range of topics over a two-hour period. Yeah, two hours. Airborne School. The Air Assault course. Special Forces Assessment and Selection. The SF Qualification Course (“Q-Course”). SERE School. His first mission. His last. There was a lot of ground covered.
So what my task is over the next couple of days is to break down this discussion into easily digestible bits while attempting not to leave out any color or cool stuff.
The discussion was remarkable, really. He started the interview with his earliest days in the service. As a ROTC cadet he had the chance to go to Airborne School, and he graduated from the course with five jumps and gained his basic Parachutist’s Badge (joining the ranks of what are known as “five-jump chumps.”). Upon his return to ROTC, he made contact with an Army Reserve recruiter. The gentleman tried to put Howard into a Quartermaster unit, where the commander of the outfit (“The oldest captain I’ve ever seen”) threatened to put him in charge of the baker’s platoon.
Well, Howard didn’t feel like baking bread. So, he asked the recruiter if there were any Airborne units around. The recruiter thought about it, and asked Cadet Pearce if he was interested in Special Forces. Howard said, “Do they jump?”
And so the story begins…
Stay tuned- more follows soon.