Richard Marcinko: The Father of Seal Team 6

By  | July 29, 2018 | Filed under: News

He is known by many names.  Richard Marcinko.  Dick Marcinko.  Demo Dick.   The Rogue Warrior.  As well as some other names not printable here in this family publication.  But one name that is true no matter what is he is the Father of Seal Team Six and Red Cell.  Every Special Operator or Tactical Operator knows who Richard Marcinko is.

Richard Marcinko was born on November 21, 1940 in the city of Lansford, Pennsylvania.  His family is of Slovak and Roman descent.  His family moved to New Brusnwick, New Jersey.  Richard dropped out of High School and tried to enlist in the United States Marines but they rejected him due to the lack of him not having a High School Diploma.

In September 1958, Richard was successful in enlisting in the United States Navy with a classification as Radioman.  In June of 1961, he was accepted to Underwater Demolition Team (UDT) Class #26.  He graduated from UDT in October 1961.  Richard continued his training, being accepted in Officer Candidate School, which he graduated in December 1965.  After this graduation, he was commissioned as an Ensign with the United States Navy. 

Richard focused on his education where he received a Bachelor of Arts Degree in International Relations from Auburn University (Alabama).  He furthermore received a Master’s of Arts Degree in Political Science from the United States Navy Post Graduate School.  He was assigned to SEAL Team 2 in June 1966.

Marcinko deployed to Vietnam in January of 1967.  He was assigned to 2nd Platoon, SEAL Team 2.  On May 18, 1967, Marcinko led a patrol on an attack of Iio Lio Island.  A large number of Viet Cong were killed and several Sampans (boats) were destroyed.   The United States navy stated that this “was the most successful SEAL Operation in the Mekong Delta.”   For his part in the mission, Marcinko was awarded the the Bronze Star as well as the Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry with Silver Star Medals.  He returned to the United States after this tour of duty.

Marcinko returned to Vietnam from December 1967 to June 1968 as the Officer in Charge of the 8th Platoon of SEAL Team 2.  It was during the Tet Offensive that Marcinko and his men helped to rescue American Nurses and Schoolteachers from Churches and Hospitals.

Marcinko was promoted to Lieutenant Commander with a position as Naval Attaché in Cambodia in 1973.  He spent 18 months in this position in Cambodia before returning to the United States.  He was the Commander of SEAL Team 2 from 1974 until 1976.

In 1979 during the Iran Hostage Crisis, Marcinko was a member of the Terrorist Action Team (TAT).   The TAT’s mission was to come up with a plan to free the hostages.  Operation Iron Claw was the name given to this mission.  Sadly, this mission was a failure.  With the Iran Hostage Crisis and the rescue attempt, the United States Navy realized they needed a full time Counter-Terrorism Team.   Marcinko was tasked to develop this new Team.

At this time, the United States Navy only had two SEAL Teams.  When Marcinko was given command of this newly developed Team, he named it SEAL Team 6 to fool other countries into believing that the Navy had more Special Operations Teams than it really did.  He handpicked the Operators for SEAL Team 6.  Marcinko was the Commander of SEAL Team 6 from August 1980 to July 1983.

After Marcinko relinquished command of SEAL Team 6, he was tasked by United States Navy Vice Admiral James “Ace” Lyons, to develop a program and team to test the Navy’s preparedness to Terrorism.  This Team was named Naval Security Coordination Team OP-06D, commonly referred to as “Red Cell”.  Marcinko handpicked 12 members for the Team consists of Navy SEALS and one Marine Force Recon soldier.

Red Cell tested the security at Naval Bases, Nuclear Submarines, Ships, Airports, and even an American Embassy.  Red Cell would infiltrate these facilities and areas, and then disappear.  They even infiltrated Air Force One.  This was to show that these areas were not as secure as thought.

To make these infiltrations, Red Cell members used False IDs, jumped fences, barricade buildings, kidnap high ranking officers, as well as take hostages.  The unique thing about this is that Marcinko would inform these areas that they were coming.    “I’d tell them Red Cell was coming, eat them alive, and then show the film and rub their noses in it,” Marcinko said proudly. A high-ranking Navy official says there was no vendetta and that “the general take was that Red Cell was a good thing.

It is reported that former Red Cell members stated that the exercises they performed were a cover to move Special Warfare Operators around the world for mission, and not to be noticed.

Marcinko was relieved of command of Red Cell in 1986.  He was investigated for the next 2 years by the Naval Investigative Service for attempted corruption and procurement irregularities while in command of SEAL Team 6.  He retired from the Navy on February 1, 1989 with over 30 years of Service.

Richard Marcinko was indicted in July of 1989 for Conspiracy, Conflict of Interest and Lying to the Government.  Marcinko was convicted of conspiracy to defraud the government on January 24, 1990.  On March 9, 1990, Marcinko was sentenced to 21 months in a Federal Prison and fined $10,000.00 for defrauding the Government over purchasing of Hand Grenades during his time in Seal Team 6.

It has been speculated by members of Red Cell and maintained by Marcinko that the reason for the above is because of Red Cells missions, embarrassing the United States Navy and its high ranking Officers.   Red Cell basically showed the weakness of the bases and facilities, even when these facilities and bases knew that Red Cell was operating in their area.

  Since getting out of Federal Prison, Marcinko has become a Best Selling Author, produced DVDs as well as VHS tapes about Red Cell and a Radio Talk Show Host.  He is also the CEO of Red Cell International, a private security company.  He has be the consultant on the movies “The Rock, G.I. Jane” as well as the TV Series “24.”

Marcinko is a spokesman for Zodiac Boat Company.  The Zodiac is used by the Navy SEALs.  Marcinko has a line of Tactical Knives.  Furthermore, there is a series of Richard Marcinko Action Figures that are highly sought after.  Lastly, Marcinko has a video Game called “Rogue Warrior” for various gaming operating systems.

Marcinko has written his autobiography as well as three Non-Fiction Series on Management for Business Executives.  He has also written a series of Fiction Books, using himself as the lead character.  Marcinko trains Military and Law Enforcement Officers in Counter Terrorism as well as Hostage Tactics.  There was an episode called “Red Cell” on the hit TV Series JAG that was loosely based on Marcinko.

I had a friend, Mario Martinez, who was a Sheriff’s Department in Florida that helped with Instruct with Marcinko with Hostage Tactics.  He always spoke very highly of Marcinko.  Sadly, Mario passed away some years ago.

Marcinko is a true Warrior.  He is the Father of SEAL Team 6 which is one of the most efficient Special Operation Teams in the United States Military.

One in the series of Richard Marcinko Action Figures

Rouge Warrior Video Game




 Bobby Inman is retired from Law Enforcement after 21 years of Service.  He is a Consultant for Southern Heritage Gun & Pawn in Tuscumbia.   He has articles published in Law & Order Magazine, Police Marksman Magazine, Guns & Weapons for Law Enforcement Magazine as well as several published ebooks on Amazon, Kobo Writing, as well as Nook (Barnes & Noble).  He is owner of Poopiedog, an Animal Rescue Dachshund, who is his constant companion.   He is a Senior Investigative Reporter for the Quad Cities Daily.  Bobby is the Photographer for Continental Championship Wrestling. 






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