Sas officer sacked

July 23rd, 2007  
sven hassell

Topic: Sas officer sacked

Decorated SAS commander is forced to quit after refusing to leave the frontline

By MATTHEW HICKLEY - More by this author Last updated at 18:18pm on 17th July 2007 Comments (56)
The Commanding Officer of Britain's elite SAS Regiment has resigned from the Army amid reports of clashes with senior defence chiefs over his decision to accompany his men on frontline operations.
The Lieutenant Colonel, who cannot be named for security reasons, is to quit the military after a highly successful 20-year career and is expected to take up a lucrative senior post in the private security industry.
According to sources close to the legendary Special Forces regiment the high-flying officer has had a number of run-ins with top generals over his policy of joining his troops on highly dangerous covert operations in Afghanistan and Iraq, instead of taking a more 'strategic' leadership role. Scroll down for more...

The SAS commander in question was told to oversee his unit from a removed position in Afghanistan. This picture is posed by a model

Ministry of Defence officials last night played down the significance of such disagreements, insisting the officer was completing his 'exemplary' tour of duty as planned, and that his decision to resign his commission was made for personal reasons.
Commanging Officer of the SAS is one of the most pivotal and sensitive positions in Britain's efforts to tackle terrorism around the world.
The officer is responsible for shaping the elite Special Air Service, whose members undertake scores of top secret operations against terrorist targets abroad and are on constant standby to respond to attacks in the UK.
The current commander, an ex-public schoolboy and university graduate, joined the Parachute Regiment as a young officer, rising swiftly through the ranks and serving several tours of duty with the SAS.
As a major he impressed senior commanders during spell as an SAS squadron commander, leading a number of covert missions in Iraq and establishing as a reputation as a 'brilliant and fearless' operational leader.
The officer, who is in his early 40s and married with children, was invited back to take command of the famous regiment last year after being promoted to Lieutenant Colonel.
According to sources he has repeatedly joined his men on frontline missions during visits to SAS detachments in Afghanistan and Iraq, insisting that he would not send his troops where he was not prepared to go himself.
The habit made him a popular figure among his men but raised eyebrows among senior Army chiefs, who believed it was not the job of the regiment's Commanding Officer to lead his troops from the front. The difference of views is said to have caused a number of heated exchanges.
One insider said: 'The Regiment has got enough action men. It doesn't need the CO coming along as another one.
'The blades [SAS soldiers] expect the CO to tell them what to do and then get out of the way.
'It's not his job to plan or lead missions. That's done by the Operations Officer, the Squadron Commanders and experienced sergeants.'
Unlike in the rest of the Army the pecking order of SAS soldiers on operations is based on experience, with seasoned and long-serving but relatively junior soldiers often leading a small team which includes officers who outrank them on paper.
The Ministry of Defence does not comment officially on the work of the Special Forces.
But officials took pains yesterday to play down any clashes between the SAS commander and his superiors, and said his tour of duty had been 'exemplary.'
The officer had been offered promotion to the next rank of Colonel, insiders said, but instead chose to end his 20-year career 'on a high', feeling that desk jobs would not match the excitement of commanding the SAS.
He is expected to stay in post until a successor takes over later this year.
Britain's Special Forces have a history of hands-on leadership dating back to their earliest days, when Lt Col David Stirling founded the forerunner of the SAS in 1941 to raid behind German lines in North Africa. Two years ago the commander of the SBS, Lieutenant Colonel Richard van der Horst, was killed during a winter warfare training exercise in Norway, where he was testing a new underwater vehicle for Special Forces divers.
July 27th, 2007  
A Can of Man
The others are jealous of his style.
July 28th, 2007  
The others are frightened that they may have to do the same to avoid losing face.

Similar Topics
"Tommy's Dictionary Of The Trenches" WWI
NZ SAS soldier to receive Victoria Cross
Operation Anaconda: The Battle of Roberts' Ridge
US troops nearly kill SAS
SAS Trivia