I am a British army veteran, I worked alongside special forces of all nations in Afghanistan. I was tasked with assisting SF in locating and detaining high valued taliban insurgents. Ask me anything.

Mods have my proof.

Edit: I understand stand that this is tough subject for some people and I respect your right to voice your opinion. But if you’re going to private message me or comment abuse i just won’t answer. I’ve witnessed much worse than what you can say to me unfortunately fellas.

Edit: Thankyou very much for all your questions. If I didn’t answer your question it’s because I’d already answered one similar.

Edit: thank you very much for the gold, silver and other award! Appreciate that. Wow and now platinum. Thanks a lot everyone

Comments: 1638 • Responses: 80  • Date: 

Chairmanwowsaywhat979 karma

Did you ever notice or experience any cultural clashes between the different nations soldiers that you were working with?

cryptosal2138 karma

Not really, in terms of special forces the teams generally have a massive mutual respect for each other. However the Americans had orders that they were under no circumstances allowed to drink alcohol or gamble with the British so you can work that one out haha

Burchling147 karma

I never met a British soldier I didn’t like. Just like anyone they all had their quirks, but just great guys. They’re why I’m a Chelsea fan, and the only reason I watch “football” at all.

Edit: to the guy saying they were annoying in large numbers. All infantry are their own breed of annoying/boisterous lol can’t take em anywhere nice..

cryptosal186 karma

We’re not bad in small doses mate

cryptosal966 karma

Yes, hit an ied and was under attack for about an hour from all directions, they were about 100-200 meters from us, luckily we were in sort of a ditch. They stopped when we eventually got an Apache in support. Lost a good friend in the initial IED.

hatsnatcher23606 karma

What's your favorite MRE/ration?

cryptosal999 karma

They’re all horrendous, however if I had a choice it would have to be the full English breakfast or the chicken in yellow curry and rice

Verystormy170 karma

My service in the British army was a very long time ago. Do they still issue biscuits brown and biscuit fruit? The brown were inedible, but I used to bring them home as they were good for my kids, then babies, to bite on when teething. Certainly no curry. We used to all carry a sachet of curry powder from home.

cryptosal202 karma

Yeah still do biscuit browns. Like tryna chew through body armour

Neddius88 karma

What about treacle trackpads? Are they still causing untold misery on your teeth?

cryptosal171 karma

Indeed they are throw them straight at the enemy

TriscuitBob46 karma

Do the British MREs come with packets of HP Sauce?

cryptosal87 karma

They come with tobasco and plenty of tea bags tho

Northernfrog198 karma

Canadian Afghan vet here; we used to call the Brits (who we respected very much), shit eaters. When I asked why we call them that I was told "becuase they eat shit!". I laughed, then saw one of their meals... yuck.

cryptosal211 karma

Yeah. Like I said fuckin horrible. I’ve swapped my combat jacket with a Canadian for one of his ration packs haha

cschraer568 karma

Have you ever had to enter into one of those crazy underground compounds? If so, what was it like conducting a mission inside there?

cryptosal879 karma

I have had to clear out cellars, but unground like tunnel systems no, I think they were mainly the cave systems in the north of afghan which the Americans dealt with the poor buggers. Stairs in general are hard thing to navigate but plenty of flash bangs and plenty of speed usually does the trick. The element of surprise is the main ingredient to all room searches.

Paracelsus8554 karma

How favourably did Afghan civilians tend to perceive the British and American forces in Afghanistan? Were they pleased that they were being protected, or did they resent you as an occupying force?

cryptosal1140 karma

It differs from location. To answer this in the best way you need to understand the social climate in afghanistan. You have the NATO countries who are assisting locals, building schools, electricity, water and they are clearly grateful for this. But when you leave the taliban move in and threaten the locals for speaking to us and a lot worse if they found out a local had given information.

The communities where nato held were very welcoming to the extent that they would tell you where the taliban had planted IED’s and such. however the further you go out the more the taliban had a hold on the local population and they would all disappear as soon as they knew you were coming. But again this was a massive indicator that something was about to kick off because the locals would all disappear and then you’d get incoming. So it’s extremely difficult to answer your question and it all depends on what village you were in.

The difference in opinions were so vast.

Paracelsus8267 karma

Thanks for answering. I don't know if allowed to ask multiple questions, but I'd be really interested to know if you think that the war was worthwhile. If it was your decision, would you, knowing what you do now, have sent British Forces into Afghanistan?

cryptosal721 karma

I think if you saw how the Afghan people were being treat before we got there it would be hard to not intervene. However that wasn’t our original reason for going, the reason for going was because al-qaeda was using the Region as training camps for there soldiers and as far as I am aware that is still going on, much less and much more underground though I must say. Was it worthwhile? probably not. Would I send troops if I it were up to me? Yes because I saw how much the lives of the Afghan people improved once we’d cleared regions of taliban control. So to answer yes I would send troops but under a different objective than the one we deployed under.

Meaty_Pig500 karma

Did you have any experiences which did not happen at all like you might have imagined?
For example, a family friend who served said the first time he experienced 'close combat' was complete chaos, just 5 min of pure panic and deafening noise.

cryptosal816 karma

The complete chaos, pure panic, deafening noise is completely accurate. Something that didn’t happen at all like I imagined is the absolute boredom when you’re not on a mission, hours of just working out for no reason because there is nothing else to do.

CriticDanger183 karma

Did you have hearing protections during those situations? If not, did you notice long-term effects of noise exposure (hearing loss, Tinnitus) ?

cryptosal399 karma

Yes you have hearing protection but nobody wears it because you can’t hear orders. Yeah mate my hearing is terrible now

FlyingLemurs76468 karma

What's your favorite dinosaur?

cryptosal556 karma

Velociraptor

SightWithoutEyes450 karma

Is it true that soldiers are told to look the other way in regards to the practice of Bacha Bazi, aka normalized pedophilia in Afghanistan?

cryptosal553 karma

Yes, this is completely true. It happens and nobody does anything about it.

NotSparble387 karma

What's the worst thing you saw there? Did you have many nightmares at the time and after that time?

cryptosal1383 karma

Worst thing I saw was the aftermath of a Taliban school shooting, the engineers (im not sure if British or American) had built a school for a local community, the taliban weren’t happy because girls were allowed to go to the school there, I think the school was operational for about 2 weeks before we got reports of an attack. When we turned up they had shot every young girl at point blank to send a message. That one stays with me.

Nightmares whilst I was there no, you’re so busy you don’t get a minute to dwell on things. But since I have left the military I started struggling, I’ve received a lot of help from charities and I’m getting a lot better. I had been given advice about talking to people about what I experienced hence the idea to do an AMA. So it’s sort of therapy for me and I guess it’s interesting to others.

siddarth8798335 karma

I'm into war movies , which movie in your opinion presents the tactics of combat and the emotional battles the soldiers have to endure the best to the public?

cryptosal604 karma

A British film called kajaki, I’ve never seen a film represent the chaos of a situation so accurately

dlvx179 karma

kajaki

Kilo Two Bravo - this one?

Kingfish455271 karma

How do you feel about the current situation with two ex British Paratroopers taking the Army to an employment tribunal over alleged racist behaviour in the Army?

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-essex-48857600

cryptosal460 karma

Completely unacceptable, I worked with many people from different races and religions and I have nothing but respect and admiration. I loved the difference in cultures coming together in the army and learning about different heritages and traditions.

The soldiers in question I hope will be punished accordingly and rightly so.

GTOADINATOR264 karma

This is gonna sound so weird, but how helpful were the medics? What kind of training did they have to go through. Also how big of a part did computer science guys play? Like how much did they help and what did they do?

cryptosal410 karma

You have good and bad medics, usually the ones attached to us are the best. But bad medics do slip through the net at training and end up in the field. The medics I’ve had have been amazing, complete professionalism in some of the hardest scenarios.

Not sure about computer science, I’m sure they do all there sneaky intelligence stuff but I’m not even going to pretend that I understand it haha

urmomgay9966250 karma

Would you suggest this as a career?

cryptosal443 karma

Absolutely, my time in the army provided experiences that people would struggle to even imagine in good and bad ways. But even when you’re in the bad situations your bond with the lads around you is enough to get you through anything. Always laughing and always part of a team and I think being part of a team is so important in life you feel like you can take on anything and it carries with you when you leave the army. The confidence shows in job interviews and such.

Jayyymac7228 karma

If you are allowed to briefly summarize. Did you ever have a favorite successful capture??

cryptosal1045 karma

The one that sticks out in my mind, it was funny afterwards but at the time it could have gone horribly wrong. We had “solid intel” that a man we’ll call ‘Mr A’ was gonna be in a compound at a certain time. We had quite a while to prepare and the usual nerves start to set in, getting your equipment ready, cleaning weapons and checking explosives for entry.

We arrived there at that certain time and not only was it incredibly dark (no moonlight), the compound they had told us about was actually three separate compounds connected like terraced houses. Our radios were absolutely useless at the best of times but we did our best to clarify which compound Mr A was in and got sweet FA back.

The officer in charge on the ground decided we’d gamble on the 3 in 1 chance, so we stacked up on the first compound and detonated the side of the wall out, I was first in and I was met by a very confused and aggressive farmer who wasn’t overly pleased that we’d just destroyed the side of his house. So after doing a quick sweep and clearing each room. Nothing.

We stacked up on compound number 2 in sort of a frantic rush as now we were sure they knew we were coming. We blew the wall out again and entered with a lot more aggression this time expecting to come under contact as soon as we entered. But the odds were clearly against us as the second compound was empty and it looked like it was used as some kind of storage.

Now the panic had really set in as we knew what we were entering was now going to be an extremely dangerous bloke who knew we were there and we had to go in anyway. We blow the side of the third house and enter half expecting the first man in to be shot instantly. To our surprise (and luck), Mr A and one of his buddies were still fast asleep on the floor, they was so out of it from smoking opium they’d not even heard the first two blasts and they woke up to me screaming at them with a rifle in there face.

All in all a massive shit show that we all absolute piss ourselves about now, Ive never gambled at a casino or anywhere since haha

Compensation was payed at way above market price for the damage to the farmers house also.

Turicus306 karma

What's "You wrecked my house, you foreign cunt?" in Pashto?

cryptosal154 karma

Haha haha

phiber_optic0n142 karma

How did the compensation work? Did you blow up the wall then hand the farmer an insurance claim form?

tikiwargod267 karma

This is Afghanistan, they have him cold hard cash. Probably American Bills.

cryptosal446 karma

Yep straight up yanky dollars

Orcwin73 karma

I'm amazed you went in with so little intel. I can understand that getting eyes on the place beforehand might be difficult, but shouldn't you have an aerial photo at the very least?

cryptosal220 karma

Try telling that to the uk tax payer. Some 40 year old Russian map of the area is usually as good as it got haha.

To be fair most of the time the intel was solid, I think the recon blokes thought it was just a big house not 3 separate

soupoftheday537 karma

Lol, were they silhouette charges?

cryptosal39 karma

They were indeed

the_star_lord201 karma

As a Brit, thank you and I appreciate that you have opened up on here. Have seen some negative comments which you seem to have handled much better than I think I could of.

Just wondering what you get up to in downtime now days and do you still keep in touch with others from the army?

cryptosal272 karma

Cheers pal, I wouldn’t be setting a very good example if I struggled with a bit of confrontation on reddit ey hahaha

I go to a lot of football games and play golf mainly mate and yeah I’m still in touch with pretty much everyone I went to afghan with, we meet up once every year and then more if people have like stag do’s and stuff!

dotayoda49 karma

What team do you support?

cryptosal92 karma

Sheffield United

Borower165 karma

Thank you for your work and doing this AMA. I have a few questions. Of course feel free to answer as many or as few as youd like.

Sounds like you worked along side both conventional and special forces - what do you think on a personal level (personality, mindset, intangibles) sets a SF guy from a typical infantryman?

And

What are a few words of advice you would give to people that will soon join the military? Especially working in the middle east?

What do you think you feared the most? Did this differ from what your teammates feared the most?

Thanks again

cryptosal254 karma

Personality not much, although I think sf hold themselves to a higher level of professionalism you wouldn’t see us joking around in front of other units and such as much as reg inf. and sf blokes have an inhuman way disconnecting there brain from feeling pain in terms of fitness I’ve never seen anything like it. Running insane amounts of distance with instance amounts of weight on there back incredibly painful and they just have the ability to get on with it. It’s very impressive.

As it was my first time in combat I will honestly say I feared freezing under contact more than anything. I never told anyone that but I was worried that I didn’t know how I would react that was soon put to rest tho haha. I guess that’s different from the other lads in my team as they had been in combat. I don’t know what they feared probably losing a limb.

TheCrimsonWave154 karma

My mates in the forces and always manages to find a dog to befriend and look after where ever he goes. Did you ever do so and were they good boys?

cryptosal312 karma

There is a lot of stray dogs in Afghan, personally we were never in one location long enough to befriend a dog as our job was to clear buildings and detain a suspect and get out more often at night too.

And yes, they were always the goodest boys.

Malcolmpargin123 karma

What skills did you learn in the military that you use in your everyday life?

cryptosal214 karma

Team work and hard work.

PooperMega122 karma

Thank you for your service! How are you doing? Are you drinking enough water?

cryptosal222 karma

Hahaha! Is this my mum?

Dork_confirmed120 karma

What was one of you best/most rewarding moments while working overseas?

Also please tell us something interesting about Afghanistan we foreigners may not know! Ie a cool cultural or traditional thing.

cryptosal345 karma

Most rewarding was probably my time in Africa during the Ebola crisis, we were taking supplies to affected regions, water and food, the usual suspects run straight up to the truck and start trying to grab stuff but I used to take a box of water and food and walk around to the kids and elderly who were too weak to come to the van.

I didn’t have to do this, as the community are supposed to distribute it amongst themselves.

But seeing these kids who are so weak they can’t even get up to get food crack a smile when you sit with them is honestly the best feeling in the world.

And something about afghan. The rural areas don’t have toilet paper so if the locals go to shake your hand with there left hand, it’s probably very unclean and they do it as a massive sign of disrespect to you. And I think many Middle Eastern people take a left handed shake as a big sign of disrespect

RupertDangfield112 karma

How many men did you typically work with and what was the chain of command like? Sorry I'm ignorant about military, just curious what the infrastructure of your team was like, if you're able to comment on it.

cryptosal169 karma

Usually a team of 6 with a section commander usually a corporal or sergeant in charge of that 6, which would include 2 rifleman, a marksman, an lmg gunner, the tech who has the door charge and the section commander

For bigger missions it could be anything up to a full company of blokes

RupertDangfield56 karma

It's crazy to me that you would do these things with a team of 6. How much training did you have previous to your deployment with SF? How difficult was it? How did you approach the target area and escape (means of transportation)?

cryptosal118 karma

The training was extremely intense, 9 months pre deployment training of close quarter battle simulations, handling of prisoners, handling of intel, sensitive information handling that sort of stuff. If the difficulty was big then we would obviously use more men.

It’s hard to answer your question without giving away sensitive information about tactics but transport was usually chinook or u.s. black hawks and it was almost always at night

Streakshooter3189 karma

What was your load out? And does your loadout change depending on the intel?

cryptosal154 karma

It changes on intel like you said but standard for everything is weapon, nvg’s, ammo, radios, standard grenade, phos grenade, smoke grenade, med kit, snacks, water, tie wraps (for detaining), warm clothes (temperature drops a lot), some one will have metal detector for mine sweeping, some one will have ladders. We moved quite light but a lot of infantry units would be out with 60-100kg on their backs.

Essex24789 karma

Im originally from england recently moved to australia and got my citizenship, i plan on joining the defense force, have you got anything to share to help me prepare physically and mentally?

cryptosal183 karma

Physically follow instructions on YouTube videos and stuff to get you a little fitness routine going don’t waste money on physical trainers or anything there is plenty info for free.

Mentally get ready to listen to instructions, be willing to learn at all times and never give up. Ever.

GamerBuddha88 karma

How do you feel about NATO now getting out of Afghanistan, with Taliban most likely back in power? I for one was really hoping we would have Afghan redditors soon.

cryptosal129 karma

It’s a shame the region still needs a lot of help. But money talks and I’m afraid many are sick of spending it. I agree with you, I made with a lot of afghan translators really nice people and it’s sad that they are still fighting the same fight

nicoladawnli83 karma

Hey do you guys still use those shitty zap straps to tie people's wrists? In 2008 that was a NATO standard in my training as a Canadian...

cryptosal80 karma

Yes. Yes we do

jawsnnn81 karma

I've heard it from a few vets (on Reddit and elsewhere): Do you also get irritated or uncomfortable when people thank you for your service?

cryptosal191 karma

I don’t get irritated no it is uncomfortable in situations like if you’re in a rush and stuff and someone wants to know what unit you were in and if you know his cousin Dave who’s in the navy haha

costaccounting76 karma

Did you ever refuse an order?

What was your highest value target that you had detained?

Is there any misconception about british army role in afghanistan that you find annoying?

cryptosal134 karma

It’s different in real life there is a little more discussion amongst the men rather than solid orders. Ive questioned orders and discussed solutions to improve certain decisions but I wouldn’t say I’ve ever refused an order no.

I detained a bomb maker who was pretty well known, they told us he was responsible for about 20% of all the bombs in Helmand

All you have to do is read some of the comments on this thread to see the misconceptions my friend

FriendTreaty73 karma

As a Brit myself I just want to thank you for everything you and the countless other men and woman have done and continue to do for us. Can’t imagine some of the horrors you would have experienced, so that the rest of us at home don’t have to.

What do you do now as a profession and how easy/difficult was it adjusting to civilian life when you left the Army?

cryptosal131 karma

Thanks for that mate.

I am a firefighter now, adjusting was definitely difficult, the pace of life is a lot slower however I haven’t really changed much in terms of severity of situations so I still get the buzz that I used to get before. And the camaraderie is still there in the fire service so I’m lucky in a sense.

I imagine if I went to working in an office or something similar it would have been a completely different story.

sgf-guy67 karma

Always a lot of dick swinging about the most hardcore of SF between countries. What was your take on who you worked with?

cryptosal118 karma

Yeah there are some extremely big egos

n-person64 karma

What is you favorite action movie?

cryptosal124 karma

I’m a big fan of Tarantino so I’d have to say the kill bill movies

kirkdict64 karma

What sort of training were you given for manhunting of this sort?

What type of support did you provide?

cryptosal83 karma

The training was extremely intense, 9 months pre deployment training of close quarter battle simulations, handling of prisoners, handling of intel, sensitive information handling that sort of stuff.

The special forces gathered the intel on the suspects, we were a section of pathfinders who were tasked with detaining said suspects. Usually the special forces would join in on the missions to try and get information on the ground and collect the evidence such as laptops and stuff.

theo_Anddare64 karma

How are you finding civi life? I left about 18 months ago and fuck me I miss just being around the lads.

cryptosal68 karma

Absolutely mate, miss the block life. Try n keep in contact with as many as you can

qhdidbwb61 karma

Have you ever come under an ambush while moving around the country? If so, how did it happen?

cryptosal106 karma

Yes, hit an ied and was under attack for about an hour from all directions, they were about 100-200 meters from us, luckily we were in sort of a ditch. They stopped when we eventually got an Apache in support. Lost a good friend in the initial IED.

JHutch9557 karma

As a combat soldier, what's your opinion on politicians using the likes of WW2/"Blitz Spirit" to justify a No Deal Brexit?

cryptosal245 karma

Absolutely ridiculous. Just because the British people can endure hardship doesn’t mean we must endure hardship.

snomonkee952 karma

Did you enjoy your time working with us? Did your views of Americans change due to the proximity?

I did much the same in Iraq fighting AQI but we remained homogenous. I did serve with some Australian SAS and they were amazing.

cryptosal111 karma

Yeah absolutely loved the mix of nationalities. I don’t think Americans understood our dry British humour, but at the end of the day we’re all fighting men and the brotherhood is something that will stay with me forever. I’m still close friends with a seal from san fransisco, keep meaning to fly out there and soak up some sun but finding the time is hard.

Conroadster37 karma

What was the most common breach of procedure? Most severe?

cryptosal64 karma

Most common breach of procedure, walking between buildings without putting your body armour on its such an effort putting it on when you just wanna take a piss.

Most severe I’m not sure I worked with very professional guys, there wasn’t many fuck ups to be fair

Speedymon1237 karma

What hobbies did you take after retiring ?

Also, what education did you do and did it ever help you in life; Either before, during, or after deployment?

cryptosal62 karma

Golf and going to watch the football games.

I joined at 16 didn’t really gain any education apart from leadership courses. I’m a firefighter now so luckily it doesn’t require any qualifications haha but plenty of life experience I’ve found can carry a long way

pantsMcGaven29 karma

What was your favorite airframe to have overhead?

cryptosal76 karma

Anything that wasn’t flown by the yanks haha

No I’m joking, nothing like the sound an a10 rip to get the enemy to run away

Catch_02223 karma

Hope this isn't a weird question.

How do you feel about women in combat roles - are they as capable as men? Especially in terms of ability to literally carry their own weight (ammo, supplies, etc.) and also able to carry someone injured out of danger?

My brother-in-law served in Afghanistan and he was convinced that women weren't physically as capable as men in combat and that they would, therefore, be a potential risk and burden.

cryptosal75 karma

I would never say don’t allow women to even apply because I have no doubt there are some women out there that are capable of doing the job. However if you relax the standard for women that’s when things start getting dangerous when it gets to the serious business

LeoBravo20 karma

What’s your position on whether British soldiers should be given immunity from prosecution?

cryptosal53 karma

It’s a difficult one, I don’t approve of lawyers making money from investigating allegations from decades ago. However I do think soldiers should be accountable for their actions. It’s a thin line

bumpkinblumpkin19 karma

Why do you think the Afghani Military performs so poorly? They are armed by the US Military.

cryptosal97 karma

Because they are so high on heroin and cannabis that they don’t know there arse from there elbow unfortunately

Cyberhaggis18 karma

Have you ever seen Bluestone 42, comedy about British bomb disposal? I've heard it's pretty accurate in depicting life in the field, how true is that? (If you haven't seen it, it's bloody funny)

cryptosal14 karma

I’ve not seen it mate I’ll have to give it a watch

Mighty_Ziggy18 karma

Any awkward moments you can share with us about your HVTs while they were in your custody?

cryptosal78 karma

I remember once we told the translator that we were going to have to blindfold the hvt whilst we go through the front office because there is sensitive information in there that the detainee can’t see

All of a sudden the hvt starts kicking off going absolutely crazy tryna run away. Eventually we calm him down.

Turns out the translator had said “you’re not allowed to see what is in this room so we’re going to have blind you”

Poor sod panicked like mad, understandably

SRB_9314 karma

What food did you most look forward to eating when you came back to old Blighty?

cryptosal51 karma

Oh mate the first Sunday dinner was absolutely magical. My nans Yorkshire puddings could start a war

Tex-Rob13 karma

I’m doubtful you’d be willing to answer this, but here goes.

Any thoughts on the Gallagher trial? Do you believe he’s truly innocent?

cryptosal21 karma

I hadn’t heard about it until you said mate, not really international news so I don’t really know enough to comment

aethernal313 karma

Did u ever come across a French Foreign Legion soldiers? If so what do you think of them? In terms of discipline, equipment, training, professionalism and general strength as fighting force.

cryptosal18 karma

Unfortunately I never got to meet any Howe there the things I’ve heard paint a very positive picture. Incredibly fit and highly professional. Even with less of the equipment than most.

SmugFrog13 karma

What are your thoughts about incidents such as the one many years back where Navy Seals were sent to court martial over captured targets having a black eye and having been “roughed up”? I believe this was around 2008 and it was dismissed but I’m on mobile and pulling the link is not so easy to do I’m lazy.

cryptosal18 karma

I think soldiers should be accountable for there actions. There’s no way British soldiers would get away with something like that

christian_81312 karma

Man, how do you train to not to be afraid? I mean, what's the methodology to overcome a panic attack during a critical situation?

cryptosal27 karma

I guess there isnt. Training is intense enough you get your stress levels really high but nothing can prepare you for incoming bullets. I guess you just trust your training and keep moving forward with your brothers that you trust.

broogbie10 karma

Did you ever operate near pakistan border?

cryptosal17 karma

Yes I did in the mountains

DekitaRPG5 karma

I'm wondering if you ever seen anything that made you feel like the entire war effort was a pointless charade?
Like, something that make you question if you should be there, or something that proved to you that you were there for reasons other than 'helping' afghan civilians.

Personally, I feel that all wars are pointless and unnecessary. Did/do you ever feel the same?

cryptosal18 karma

The thing as I mentioned before, building a school and then the Taliban just kill all the kids that dare to attend that school. That kinda made it feel pointless but you have to pick yourself up and keep fighting. No one else was going to fight for those kids so you have to keep believing in what you’re doing

I_Love_Classic_Rock3 karma

Do people in the British army talk fondly of the old empire?

cryptosal57 karma

That’s made me laugh haha no mate we tend to just talk about football (soccer)

Prycebear2 karma

Ever spend time in Bunker 7?

cryptosal2 karma

Nope, never heard of it.

dlvx2 karma

Thanks for doing this AMA, and for your service.

In media special forces are always total badass superheroes. What tv-show, movie, game or book would you say came closest to reality?

And loaded side question, which I don't expect an answer to. Did you lose any friends while in service? How does a soldier deal with such a loss in that setting?

cryptosal17 karma

I would say a British film called kajaki shows the mentality of British special forces. Even though the characters depicted are parachute regiment the mentality is exactly the same, laughing in the scariest moments and being sarcastic in serious situations.

Yes I have lost good friends, you deal with it the same way if you lost a good friend in a car accident or any other way. It’s hard but you get through it

CurlyHam1 karma

What regiment were you in?

cryptosal6 karma

Pathfinders

james-c-m-kim1 karma

How many did you determine were actually guilty of something serious, and how many were not really related to terrorism?

Or is it very mixed up, down there?

cryptosal3 karma

Once we detained them they went into the system we don’t really find out much about what happens to them after that whether they are found guilty or not.

lazybear17181 karma

do you personally know anyone who committed war crimes?

cryptosal5 karma

No

tanzim51-1 karma

Do you think American soldiers are more morally down than British soldiers? Did you ever witness anything ?

cryptosal5 karma

Can you explain what you mean by morally down?

Multielladan-4 karma

Do you, by any chance, have contacts to the Nato role 3 MMU at Kandahar Airfield? I‘m an army doctor and want to work there for some months to get experience in trauma surgery. But I haven‘t been able to get in contact with anyone down there...

cryptosal6 karma

Which nation are you an army doctor for? I operated mainly out of camp bastion so unfortunately not, I know a few civilian contractors who work security in Kandahar but I doubt that would be of much use. My advice would be to go through the correct channels of your chain of command and request a posting there

Craze_Laze-4 karma

Did you ever get any kill orders?

cryptosal8 karma

No, that would break every rule in the book. However I have had to defend myself on a number of occasions when entering target locations

juloxx-33 karma

So you just abducted like 14 year old kids (or i guess you call em "targets")? Literally a professional kidnapper? Lets be real, half the "insurgents" are teenagers that live there.

Crazy how people are proud of themselves for going over to the other side of the world and abducting people from villages that make less than $100 a year, if that. Good job bro

cryptosal23 karma

Okay then, “let’s be real”

  1. Teenagers don’t tend to become taliban commanders, so the answer is no I’ve never “kidnapped a teenager”
  2. Where did I say I was proud of anything I have done. If you read a few comments up you will see I was suggested that speaking about this could help with ptsd.

I appreciate your right to say what you want and I respect your opinion but please don’t accuse me of things that’s there’s no way you could possibly know.

Have a good day

themindlessone9 karma

You are handling idiots like this guy with far more articulation and class than I'd be able to - you seem like a very grounded, well spoken person.

cryptosal3 karma

I’ve seen enough violence for one lifetime. I think killing them with kindness is the best way to hurt them haha