Esquire and ‘The Shooter’
Esquire writer Phil Bronstein has an interesting article. It’s about the special ops gentleman—the Shooter—who ended being the man who took out UBL. But as it regards the Shooter, Bronstein can be… unclear.
By early September of last year, the Shooter was out, officially. Retired.
By itself, that’s not unclear. However, when combined with this, it is:
But the Shooter will discover soon enough that when he leaves after sixteen years in the Navy, his body filled with scar tissue, arthritis, tendonitis, eye damage, and blown disks, here is what he gets from his employer and a grateful nation:
Nothing. No pension, no healthcare for his wife and kids, no protection for himself or his family.
So is the shooter retired (no, it doesn’t seem so) or did he separate (yes, it seems so)? Retired from… being a SEAL? Maybe that’s one way to look at it, but it’s a way few military would choose to describe the Shooter’s situation.
People do separate at the sixteen-year point, but it’s unusual. Normally such a decision might be to obtain a Guard/Reserve/civil service gig (which leads to a federal retirement) or for work in industry that’s way good to turn down, which is hopefully what the Shooter is getting.
But separating is not retiring, unless it’s a medical retirement, of which it seems it isn’t given the “no healthcare for his wife and kids” statement (which is factually incorrect and not just unclear).
No disrespect is intended towards the Shooter in these observations. After all, he probably had a more substantive career (as far as real contributions to national security go) than Colin Powell or Wes Clark. But saying the Shooter doesn’t have health care and saying/implying the gentleman retired at 16 years makes me wonder what else the author got wrong.
Unless it’s in the Bible, don’t believe everything you read.