One of the [Jedburgh] teams operating in advance of Seventh Army was Team Packard.
Deploying from Algiers on the night of 31 July, Packard, under Capt. Aaron Bank [codename: Chechwan], jumped into the Lazare Department, a region of forested mountains and small cities near the Rhone Valley.
Caught in the middle of various political squabbles between Communist and Gaullist partisans, they provided assistance to both groups but worked more closely with the non-Communist elements, initially arming and training them, and then accompanying them on occasional forays against railroad bridges and tunnels.
When the Germans began to withdraw following Patch's breakout from the ANVIL beachhead on 19 August, the partisans stepped up the tempo of their operations, harassing the Germans with roadblocks and ambushes and providing intelligence and all possible assistance to the advancing Allied forces.
To the end the various resistance factions continued to compete with one another, each attempting to be the first to liberate the French cities and towns.
Exuberant Frenchmen feted Bank's team with wine and food and even offered free service at a local bordello.
Aaron Bank. 40 years-old when he was accepted into OSS.
Went into Harm's Way and trained men and women who were willing to fight. And he fought with them.
Before there was SF and CIA there were men like Bank, Donovan, Fairbairn and others.
While SF, SOF, CIA, et al are capable of making heroes - never forget that it was heroes who made those organizations, with sweat and blood and common sense.
Be that guy.
For the record: Aaron Bank was a life guard prior to joining the military - at the age of 40.
Be careful how you judge the man next to you, or yourself, based on 'credentials' alone.
An afterthought: If you are a true Warrior, or man of action, do not let doubts slow you down when those around you are too unprincipled, too self-serving, and/or too stupid to do the right thing. Here are two paragraphs relating to another serious bad ass and Patriot, Hans Tofte:
For all his distinguished service and incredible wartime feats, things eventually soured for Tofte in civilian life. Like many warriors, he discovered that the skills needed to survive in a wartime environment bear little resemblance to those needed in a peacetime bureaucracy. He remained in the employ of the CIA during the 1950s and 1960s until being unceremoniously booted out in 1966.
Here we see a theme played out countless times in history: a man of action, perhaps resented by his peers and having worn out his organizational welcome, finding himself given a final push out the door. Men of ability invariably arouse envy among those who prefer to lurk in obscurity behind the comfortable partitions of stifling bureaucracies. So it has always been.
Stand tall. Fuck the cowards, idiots and life's losers.
You do you. Losers and Bad People tend to wallow in their own shit until they die.
That's always worth a grin.