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Robert O'Neill, the Navy SEAL who shot Bin Laden, just landed a movie deal
Robert O'Neill, the Navy SEAL Team 6 operator who fired the shot that killed Osama Bin Laden during the May 2011 Abbottabad, Pakistan raid, recently signed a movie deal with Universal Studios to base a film on his best-selling biography.
The rights to the film were obtained by Universal Pictures and Broadway Video, owned by SNL creator Lorne Michaels, Deadline originally reported on Feb. 7. Titled The Operator: Firing the Shots That Killed Osama Bin Laden and My Years as a SEAL Team Warrior, the film is based on O'Neill's biography of the same name.
The story will follow O'Neill as he grows up in a small town in Montana, through his career in the Navy, to the years he spent hopping from country to country in an ever-expanding Global War on Terror. It seems likely that a large portion of the story will either focus on, or build up to the mission when O'Neill and his fellow operators set out to kill the most wanted man in the world: Osama Bin Laden.
After O'Neill was revealed as the shooter in 2014, some SEALs challenged his version of events, while others criticized his decision to share the story publicly, seeing it as a breach of the special operations community's emphasis on being silent professionals.
In an interview with The Washington Post that year, O'Neill said the decision to speak about the raid, and his role in it — shooting Bin Laden in the head — was prompted after meeting with family members whose loved ones were killed in the 9/11 terror attacks. Here's how the Post described it:
He said his decision to go public was confirmed after a private encounter over the summer with relatives of victims of the Sept. 11, 2001, attack on New York's World Trade Center.
O'Neill, who works as a motivational speaker, had been invited to address a gathering of 9/11 family members at the National September 11 Memorial Museum shortly before its official opening. During what he described as a highly emotional exchange, O'Neill decided spontaneously to talk about how bin Laden died.
"The families told me it helped bring them some closure," O'Neill said.
In recent years, the former SEAL, who retired in 2012 and now runs a charity for transitioning special operators, has taken to speaking more candidly about the raid, and even cracked a few jokes during a Clever Talks event in San Diego May 16, 2018, as Task & Purpose previously reported.
"This is some serious Navy SEAL shit we're about to do," O'Neill recalled thinking as the members of SEAL Team 6 made their way into Pakistan, headed for Bin Laden's compound.
That, and other examples of "serious SEAL shit" are likely to feature prominently in the film.
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A memo circulating over the weekend warning of a "possible imminent attack" against U.S. soldiers in Germany was investigated by Army officials, who found there to not be a serious threat after all.
The U.S. Navy will name its fourth Ford-class aircraft carrier after Doris Miller, an iconic World War II sailor recognized for his heroism during the Pearl Harbor attack, according to reports in The Honolulu Star-Advertiser and U.S. Naval Institute News.
Acting Navy Secretary Thomas Modly is expected to announce the naming of CVN-81 during a ceremony on Monday in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, according to USNI. Two of Miller's nieces are expected to be there, according to the Star-Advertiser.
Comedian Jon Stewart has joined forces with veterans groups to make sure service members who have been sickened by toxins from burn pits get the medical care they need, according to the Military Officers Association of America.
"Quite frankly, this is not just about burn pits — it's about the way we go to war as a country," Stewart said during his Jan. 17 visit to Washington, D.C. "We always have money to make war. We need to always have money to take care of what happens to people who are selfless enough, patriotic enough, to wage those wars on our behalf."
Editor's Note: The following is an op-ed. The opinions expressed are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Task & Purpose.
Editor's Note: A version of this article originally appeared on the blog of Angry Staff Officer
This morning, the Virginia state capitol in Richmond saw dozens of armed men gathering to demonstrate their support for the Second Amendment of the United States Constitution – the right to bear arms. These men were not merely bearing arms, however; they were fully accoutered in the trappings of what one would call a paramilitary group: helmets, vests, ammunition pouches, camouflage clothing, and other "tactical" necessities, the majority of which are neither tactical nor necessary. Their weapons, too, are bedecked with all sorts of accessories, and are also in the paramilitary lane. Rather than carry rifles or shotguns that one would use for hunting, they instead carry semi-automatic "military grade" weapons, to merely prove that they can.
This is not an uncommon sight in America. Nor has it ever been. Armed groups of angry men have a long and uncomfortable history in the United States. On very rare occasions, these irregulars have done some good against corrupt, power-hungry, and abusive county governments. For the most part, however, they bode no good.
How We Found Out explores recent reporting from Task & Purpose, answering questions about how we sourced our stories, what challenges we faced, and offers a behind-the-scenes look at how we cover issues impacting the military and veterans community.
Following a string of news reports on private Facebook group called Marines United, where current and former Marines shared nude photos of their fellow service members, the Corps launched an internal investigation to determine if the incident was indicative of a larger problem facing the military's smallest branch.
In December 2019, Task & Purpose published a feature story written by our editor in chief, Paul Szoldra, which drew from the internal review. In the article, Szoldra detailed the findings of that investigation, which included first-hand accounts from male and female Marines.
Task & Purpose spoke with Szoldra to discuss how he got his hands on the investigation, how he made sense of the more than 100 pages of anecdotes and personal testimony, and asked what, if anything, the Marine Corps may do to correct the problem.
This is the fourth installment in the recurring column How We Found Out.