In the past, the individual actions taken during special operations - especially by Navy SEALs - have never been widely discussed outside of a small and close-knit community. The raid on bin Laden's compound in Abottabod, Pakistan, seems to be an exception to that rule of quiet professionalism, however, especially with the newest revelations from a former Navy SEAL.
A highly decorated Navy SEAL - earning two Silver Stars and four Bronze Stars with a combat "V" in his 16 years of service - has claimed to have been the one to have shot and killed Osama bin Laden, and will be giving a two-part interview over Veterans Day (Nov. 11 and 12) on Fox about his role in the raid.
According to this NavyTimes.com article this claim has garnered both support and disappointment from colleagues in the special operations community. Capt. Dick Couch, a former SEAL who has written several books (fiction and non-fiction) based on 3rd person stories said "I'm a little disappointed at some of the notoriety that's coming to these people who are speaking about the [Osama bin Laden] raid...the people that have come public and are making use of this to spring themselves forward in a public way, I think it cheapens the SEAL brand to some extent."
CNN security analyst Peter Bergun, author of the book "Manhunt" about the search for bin Laden, has his doubts about the claim, saying, "The point man — who hasn't been publicly identified, and won't be publicly identified, according to people who know him — shot at bin Laden as he poked his head out of his bedroom door, winging him — or mortally wounding him."
The account from Mark Owen - another Navy SEAL who was present on the raid, and whose book "No Easy Day" focused on Owen's role in the raid - said that his bullets were one of three SEALs who shot bin Laden, and while he gave ultimate credit to the point man, in the end it was a team effort.
Only a few days before the most recent SEAL came forward, Rear Adm. Brian Losey, head of the Naval Special Warfare Command, issued a reminder for Navy Special Warfare sailors: "At Naval Special Warfare's core is the SEAL ethos," the letter begins, "A critical tenant of our ethos is 'I do not advertise the nature of my work, nor seek recognition for my actions.' Our ethos is a life-long commitment and obligation, both in and out of the service. Violators of our ethos are neither teammates in good standing, nor teammates who represent Naval Special Warfare."
The Navy has declined to comment until after the interview, which airs on Nov. 11 and 12 on Fox.