Who was Navy SEAL Richard Marcinko?

RICHARD "Dick" Marcinko was a first commanding officer of the US Navy SEAL Team Six, leading one of the most successful operations during the Vietnam War.

He died on December 25, 2021, leaving "a legacy like no other."

Who was Navy SEAL Richard Marcinko?

Richard "Dick" Marcinko was the first commanding officer of US Navy SEAL Team Six, and a Vietnam War veteran.

Born November 21, 1940, in Lansford, Pennsylvania to Slovak parents, Marcinko moved to New Brunswick, New Jersey at a young age.

He enlisted in the US Navy in September 1958 as a radioman before being accepted into the Underwater Demolition Team training in June 1961.

In the Navy, Richard worked his way up to the rank of commander, becoming the first commanding officer of SEAL Team Six and RED CELL, both of which he helped found.

After retiring from the US Navy, he became a radio talk show host, military consultant and an author, publishing his 1993 New York Times bestselling autobiography Rouge Warrior.

Marcinko also earned a Bachelor's degree in International Relations from the US Naval Postgraduate School and a Master's degree in Political science from Auburn University at Montgomery.

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What was Richard 'Dick' Marcinko's cause of death?

Richard's death was confirmed on Sunday, December 26, 2021 on Twitter by his son Matt.

"Last night, Christmas evening, we lost a hero, who’s also known as The Rogue Warrior, the retired Navy SEAL commander AND the creator of SEAL Team Six, my father, Richard Marcinko.

"His legacy will live forever. The man has died a true legend. Rest In Peace Dad. I love you forever."

The cause of his death is still unknown.

What missions did Richard Marcinko go on?

During his extraordinary life, Richard Marcink led troops in what was called one of the most successful operations in the Vietnam War.

In January 1967, Marcinko deployed to Vietnam with 2nd Platoon, SEAL Team Two, where on May 18, 1967, he led his men in the assault on Ilo Ilo Hon (Ilo Ilo Island).

For leading this action, which the US Navy called the "most successful SEAL operation in the Mekong Delta", Marcinko was awarded the first of his four Bronze Stars, as well as a Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry and the Silver Star.

Marcinko was deployed to Vietnam for the second time a few month later, where he participated in the Tet Offensive.

In a statement after his death, The Navy SEAL museum said: "What began as an urban street battle evolved into an intense rescue mission of American nurses and a schoolteacher trapped in the city's church and hospital."

After returning from Vietnam, Marcinko was promoted to Lieutenant Commander and assigned as the Naval Attache to Cambodia in 1973, where he served for 18 months.

He then assumed command of SEAL Team Two until 1976.

In 1979, during the Iran hostage crisis, Marcinko designed and led an elite counterterrorism team, later becoming SEAL Team Six.

At the time, there were only two other SEAL teams, but Marcinko named the unit SEAL Team Six to confuse the Soviet Union into believing there were at least three other SEAL teams they were unaware of.

SEAL Team Six is the Navy's premier counter-terrorist and hostage rescue unit, like its Army counterpart Delta Force.

Marcinko was in charge SEAL Team Six for three years, from August 1980 to July 1983.

The team was credited with taking down Osama bin Laden in 2011, and Marcinko said he felt like a "proud papa" of their work.

He was also tasked with the design of a unit to test the Navy's vulnerability to terrorism, the National Security Co-ordination Team, known unofficially as Red Cell.

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