In 2002, John Chapman survived alone on top of Roberts Ridge through a cold Afghan night, fending off assaults by the Taliban single-handedly. He sacrificed his life to provide cover for a Chinook full of Rangers who were about to set down inside of a Taliban killbox.
After much infighting and investigation, it appears that Chappy may finally be awarded the Medal of Honor. His medal citation is based on drone footage that was analysed by forensics investigators, making it the first Medal of Honor awarded without eyewitness proof of his heroic deeds. Now his heartbreaking and incredible story is being turned into a feature film.
U.S. Air Force
A book being written about Chapman’s exploits, ”The Controller: Medal of Honor Recipient John Chapman and the World’s Deadliest Special Operations Force” by Dan Schilling and Lori Longfritz has been optioned by Thruline entertainment. Among the series produced by Thruline, notable ones include 8 seasons of the USA channels hit TV show “Psych” and “I Love You, America” on Hulu.
“We are honored to be the trustees of John Chapman’s story,” producer Ron West toldDeadline. “His life as a husband and father was as touching as his valor in combat. Dan and Lori are providing us with incredible architecture from which to create this film and I can’t think of a better screenwriter than Michael [Gunn] to bring his story to life.”
The writer of the upcoming book, Dan Shilling, was like Chapman, a Air Force Combat Controller. Shilling was on the ground during the Battle of Mogadishu, the source of the acclaimed book and film of the same title “Black Hawk Down.” He went on to write the “The Battle of Mogadishu: Firsthand Accounts From the Men of Task Force Ranger” in 2005.
A 1992 photo assumed to be of CCT Dan ShillingDan Shilling
As Chapman’s heroic actions on that cold mountain in Afghanistan continue to come to light, it seems that his story will not be forgotten or buried. No matterhow muchsome may want to.
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Every once in a while, we run across a photo in The Times-Picayune archives that's so striking that it begs a simple question: "What in the name of Momus Alexander Morgus is going on in this New Orleans photograph?" When we do, we've decided, we're going to share it — and to attempt to answer that question.
Members of the Syrian Democratic Forces control the monitor of their drone at their advanced position, during the fighting with Islamic State's fighters in Nazlat Shahada, a district of Raqqa. (Reuters/Zohra Bensemra)
MUSCAT (Reuters) - The United States should keep arming and aiding the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) following the planned U.S. withdrawal from Syria, provided the group keeps up the pressure on Islamic State, a senior U.S. general told Reuters on Friday.
Long before Tony Stark took a load of shrapnel to the chest in a distant war zone, science fiction legend Robert Heinlein gave America the most visceral description of powered armor for the warfighter of the future. Forget the spines of extra-lethal weaponry, the heads-up display, and even the augmented strength of an Iron Man suit — the real genius, Heinlein wrote in Starship Troopers, "is that you don't have to control the suit; you just wear it, like your clothes, like skin."
"Any sort of ship you have to learn to pilot; it takes a long time, a new full set of reflexes, a different and artificial way of thinking," explains Johnny Rico. "Spaceships are for acrobats who are also mathematicians. But a suit, you just wear."
First introduced in 2013, U.S. Special Operations Command's Tactical Assault Light Operator Suit (TALOS) purported to offer this capability as America's first stab at militarized powered armor. And while SOCOM initially promised a veritable Iron Man-style tactical armor by 2018, a Navy spokesman told Task & Purpose the much-hyped exoskeleton will likely never get off the launch pad.
"The prototype itself is not currently suitable for operation in a close combat environment," SOCOM spokesman Navy Lt. Phillip Chitty told Task & Purpose, adding that JATF-TALOS has no plans for an external demonstration this year. "There is still no intent to field the TALOS Mk 5 combat suit prototype."