In 2010, Rick Witt commanded a SEAL team preparing to deploy to Iraq. At that point in his career, he’d spent more than a decade in the SEAL community, deployed multiple times, and was eager to take his team forward. There was just one problem: one of his platoon commanders wasn’t working out. The platoon was not functioning like it should, something that became more and more obvious as training continued. After discussions with his master chief petty officer, Witt knew he had to relieve that officer. Fortunately, a replacement was found, and the platoon changed course.

Once in Iraq, the change likely had direct consequences when that platoon found itself engaged in a firefight with, of all units, the Iraqi Army. This Iraqi Army unit, rather than running or putting up half-hearted resistance, was delivering accurate fire. The platoon’s interpreter went forward and was seriously wounded. All the while, Witt watched this chain of events unfold from his command post. The decisions he made prior to deployment and that day form the basis of this episode of The Spear.

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Image credit: Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class John Scorza via Wikimedia Commons