Operation Redwing Character Analysis

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True Heroism and Self Sacrifice

An Analysis of leadership of Lieutenant Michael Murphy during Operation Redwing

by:

Second Lieutenant Logan Dean Scallen

Small acts of heroism are common in wars, especially in the United States Military. Our dedication to each other during battle and the ferocity of which we fight leads to many heroic stories of soldiers risking everything during battle. However true acts of heroism and dedication embody the attributes and competencies of the US Army and show true leadership in the face of unfathomable odds. A perfect example of this is the actions of Lieutenant Michael P Murphy, a Navy Seal SDV team commander during Operation Redwing on the slopes of Sawtalo Sar Mountain. Operation Redwing
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During observation of a local town, LT Murphy’s team was stumbled upon by some local goat herders who were immediately restrained without incident. However the problem arose what to do with them, being in such close proximity to an enemy force inside the village. This was due to the fact that the goat herders had a large amount of goats and the contemptuous demeanor of the goat herders, it was plain and clear they would alert the insurgent forces in the village if released. Also after a few hours the large amount of goats and the herders would raise suspicion in the village and a search party would undoubtedly follow. LT Murphy had a hard decision to make, to either kill these herders to not expose his team or to follow the Geneva Convention and let them go even when they would undoubtedly alert the enemy. “The potential force against us was too great. To let these guys go on their way was military suicide.” (Luttrell 2007, 202) The obvious military decision would have been to kill them and preserve the concealment of his team on the mountain, however LT Murphy decided to let them go due to the fact that the goats would not leave if they killed them also the fact that the insurgents could use the bodies for exploitation purposes. Knowing that letting them go could result in danger to…show more content…
During the tactical retreats down the mountain and throughout the battle LT Murphy kept trying to contact his higher command, however the high mountains made contact impossible through his radio. Also LT Murphy’s radio antenna snapped off during the first retreat down the mountain rendering it useless, leaving LT Murphy to resort to his SAT phone which still had no connection due to the mountains. After a KIA and being shot again in the chest and pinned down once again near the end of the battle, LT Murphy made a choice to walk out into open space under enemy fire to an outcropping to get a clear signal on his SAT phone. LT Murphy was able to establish a clear connection and quickly explained the situation when he took another round through the back, yet LT Murphy got up and ended the transmission and got back to his fighting position. “Murphy eventually realized their only hope was to call for help once again. From his position, he couldn’t connect, so he sat on a small rock out in the open, making one last attempt. He succeeded, but it cost him his life.” (Schneider 2016, 2) I believe that heroic act displays the attribute leads others, due to the fact that LT Murphy risked his own life to call higher command to request support to try and save his
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