After joining the U. Patton , for whom Danny Dietz was substituted. Their mission, Operation Red Wings , was to observe a village and capture or kill a leading Taliban member thought to be allied with Osama bin Laden. One night in June , while hiding out, the team encountered three shepherds, including a boy. The team debated killing the shepherds, but after a vote, team leader Michael Murphy decided to uphold the rules of engagement and let the shepherds go.

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Operating in the middle of an enemy-controlled area, in extremely rugged terrain, his Special Reconnaissance element was tasked with locating a high-level Anti-Coalition Militia leader, in support of a follow-on direct action mission to disrupt enemy activity.

On 28 June , the element was spotted by Anti-Coalition Militia sympathizers, who immediately revealed their position to the militia fighters. As a result, the element directly encountered the enemy. Demonstrating exceptional resolve and fully understanding the gravity of the situation and his responsibility to his teammates, the unidentified SEAL fought valiantly against the numerically superior and positionally advantaged enemy force.

By his undaunted courage in the face of heavy enemy fire, and absolute devotion to his teammates, Petty Officer Luttrell will long be remembered for the role he played in the Global War on Terrorism.

In , Luttrell was medically discharged from the Navy. In , he was granted a medical retirement through the Board for the Correction of Naval Records. The mission of the foundation, headquartered in Houston, Texas , is to "restore, empower, and renew hope for our wounded warriors and their families through health, wellness, and therapeutic support. Luttrell filed an official after-action report in which he estimated the size of the Taliban force to be around 20— He claims in his book that his team were told in their briefing that around 80 to fighters were expected to be in the area.

The military intelligence estimate cited by Darack is based on research from intelligence reports and aerial and eye-witness studies of the battlefield after the fact, including the men sent in to rescue Luttrell, as well as reports from Afghan intelligence. Navy Special Warfare Command spokesman Lieutenant Steve Ruh stated that "the senior guy ultimately has the ultimate authority" for making decisions in the field.

Military protocol and rules of engagement strictly forbid harming unarmed non-combatant civilians. Marcus claims that he fired off nearly all of his bullets, but Gulab said that he was found with all 11 magazines of ammunition.

When the Taliban found them, they were debating about what do with the herdsmen, so they held back. After they released them, the Taliban decided to attack. Gulab claims that the locals heard the firefight, searched the hills afterward, and found no Taliban corpses. Andrew MacMannis is a former Marine Colonel who helped plan the mission and was on location for the recovery operation, and he says that there were no reports of any enemy casualties.

Murphy Taylor Kitsch , lightheartedly hazing rookie SEAL Shane Patton Alexander Ludwig before the mission, jokingly giving Shane his first mission or "op" of cleaning the table, supplemented by knocking over a drink. His second appearance is during the presentation of the rules of engagement for Operation Red Wings where he can be seen shaking his head at the rules governing return fire. This scene is significant. In his book, Lone Survivor, Marcus explains extensively how these rules created substantial risk for the forces in Afghanistan.

His third appearance is later in the film as one of the 16 special operators aboard the doomed Chinook helicopter sent to rescue Luttrell and his team.


Lone Survivor



Marcus Luttrell




IEC 60571 PDF


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