Richard Marcinko, a legendary Navy SEAL, died on Christmas Eve at the age of 81. He is best known for setting up SEAL Team 6, which is one of the best military units in the country.

Richard’s son, Matt Marcinko, tweeted this on Sunday: “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.”

It was also announced on the Navy SEAL Museum’s Facebook page that Marcinko had died.

“Dick Marcinko played a very unique part in SEAL history, leaving a legacy like no other. Demo Dick – is considered the United States premier counterterrorism operator. We send our deepest sympathies to his family, teammates, and friends.”

Marcinko was born on Nov. 21, 1940, in Lansford, Pennsylvania. He tried to join the U.S. Marines, but was turned down because he didn’t have a high school diploma. Later, in 1958, he joined the U.S. Navy and worked his way up to the rank of commander. It was after that that he went on to get both a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in international relations and political science.

https://www.facebook.com/NavySEALMuseum/posts/10158427276325812

First, he led SEAL Team 6 and RED CELL, two of the military’s best anti-terror units, which he helped start.

First, Marcinko joined the Navy SEALs in January 1967. He was in 2nd Platoon, SEAL Team 2. Assaulting ‘Hòn Ilo Ilo’ on May 18, 1967, was one of the Navy’s most successful SEAL missions during the Vietnam War. He was part of that assault, which took place on May 18.

After he came back to the United States, Marcinko went back to Vietnam for a second time, where he was a part of the Tet Offensive in 1968.

Marcinko was wanted by the North Vietnamese because he was a good leader, but he hid from the enemy. When he served, he would get four Bronze Stars, as well as the Silver Star and the Vietnamese Cross of Honor. All together, he got 34 citations and medals.

After being one of two Navy representatives on a failed task force that tried to free American hostages in Iran in 1979, Marcinko was asked to design and lead an elite anti-terrorism team. This team, which later became SEAL Team 6, was called SEAL Team 6. Named this way, it was meant to make the Soviet Union and other enemies think that the U.S. had more SEAL teams than it did.

Marcinko led SEAL Team 6 from August 1980 until July 1983. He also wrote a lot of books, including “Rogue Warrior.” which was a best-seller on the New York Times best-seller list in 1993. The book would lead to a lot of other spinoff ones.

Ex-Navy SEAL Adm. Eric Olson told Navy Times that the SEALs who knew Dick Marcinko will remember him as a fighter at heart, “a spirited rogue” and “unconventional service.”

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