Foxhole Sean Carrigan

| December 13, 2017 | 80 Comments

This fellow, Sean Carrigan is running for Congress in South Carolina as a Democrat. The main part of his campaign focuses on his 28 year career in the Army. He uses foxhole imagery and his time in Desert Storm to convince his potential constituency that he’s the man for the job.

“When I was in a foxhole in the Middle East it mattered that [the people] were trained to cover me and protect me and that I was trained to covered them,” Carrigan says, “but it didn’t matter who they loved. … These people need to be treated with dignity and respect.”

That foxhole-dwelling background is a piece of Carrigan’s life that he’ll put front and center. While his platform reflects many of the typical Democratic values also held by Robertson, his military experience distinguishes him from his primary foe, in Carrigan’s assessment.

He likes to talk about his “uniform covered with combat and service medals and ribbons” and how he’s “highly decorated“;

For nearly three decades, I proudly served my nation in the United State Army—eight years beyond retirement eligibility. If a uniform covered with combat and service medals and ribbons means anything, it’s the knowledge and wisdom that soldiers—the men and women who dedicate their lives to keeping America safe—value family and predictability.

In October 2015, Sean Carrigan retired as a First Sergeant after 28 years of highly-decorated service in the United States Army. He served eight years past retirement because of his commitment to the welfare of his soldier community.

Now, I’ll agree that we need more veterans in Congress and Sean, here, would probably be fine addition to that tradition, but, I’m not much enamored with people who proclaim themselves to be highly decorated. I’m not sure how many foxholes he occupied as Hawk missile crew chief in Saudi Arabia.

Carrigan was assigned to 2-52nd Air Defense Artillery, which converted to a Patriot missile unit assigned to the XVIIIth Airborne Corps for Desert Storm. He went on to be an LPN nurse at Walter Reed and found his niche as an Army recruiter during the War Against Terror, during which he had no deployments.

I guess you could call him “highly decorated” with his FIVE Meritorious Service Medals, FIVE Army Commendation Medals and NINE Army Achievement Medals. Other than the medals that everyone got for Desert Shield/Desert Storm, he has no valor or merit awards for his time there unless he was awarded one of his numerous ARCOMs or Achievement Medals for DS/DS.

The 2-52d earned a Valorous Unit Citation for their participation, but I don’t see an award that Carrigan earned during his only deployment to combat like a reasonable person would expect from a self-proclaimed “highly decorated” combat veteran.

I don’t know how much combat he “saw” – he might have seen the results of combat long after the gunfights ended, but there wasn’t much combat going on around Riyadh or Bahrain where 2-52 was deployed.

Mr Carrigan should focus on his leadership during his Army service and give up the gritty combat veteran imagery. He comes off like the governor-elect of Virginia Ralph Northam who tried to make the electorate think he was the Hawkeye Pierce combat doctor of Desert Storm.

This is NOT a stolen valor post – Carrigan isn’t exactly lying about his military service, his remarks just need clarification that he is not providing to the electorate.

Category: Politics

Comments (80)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

Sites That Link to this Post

  1. In The Mailbox: 12.13.17 : The Other McCain | December 13, 2017
  1. David says:

    May not be lying but there is a hell of a lot of misdirection there. More material to work with there than the average amount of sexism a Democrat finds in a Trump tweet.

  2. Daisy Cutter says:

    One of his assignments in the Army was as a “lactation consultant.”

    https://www.era.com/ERA-Wilder-Realty-947c/Sean-Carrigan-277887a

    Hard to tell if that was before, after or during combat.

    • ARCOM says:

      There ya go, he is certified Gun Nutz. Nothing says “I took your girlfriend” like a half a dozen rounds of .45 ammo.

      I might like this guy after all.

      I wonder if one of those MSM’s is for shooting the ex-boyfriend. This guy is an All American God Damned Hero, protector of women and the American Way of Life.

      A Nurse Recruiter that is a Steely Eyed Missile Man with a penchant for Moses Browning Arms and gives Castle Doctrine demonstrations.

      Whats not to like?

  3. ARCOM says:

    5 MSM’s ? Nothing says “In the rear with the gear” like having 5 MSM’s. We thought it was a joke when they stated giving them out to anyone who simply retired.

    I would love to hear his “There I was, knee deep in grenade pins and spent brass…” stories.

    WTF is a Nurse doing on recruiting duty anyway? I bet he gives good phone.

    Sean has spent too much time serving around civilians but Arawn is not impressed.

  4. 1610desig says:

    “…treated with dignity and respect”….dude is a bozo

  5. Keepin' It Real says:

    “When I was in a foxhole in the Middle East it mattered that [the people] were trained to cover me and protect me and that I was trained to covered them,” Carrigan says, “but it didn’t matter who they loved. … These people need to be treated with dignity and respect.”

    TRANSLATION: If you can’t love the one you want, love the one you’re with.

    • Jim Haltom says:

      “I was trained to cover them”, does that mean bed sheets up…bed sheets down…Let me help you with that medical gown.

    • rgr769 says:

      The only time this joker was in a foxhole was in BCT or when he had to qualify on a range with the foxhole firing position. After basic, I doubt he ever even participated in digging one. Reminds me of Calif. Gov. Gray Davis’ campaign ads that showed an infantry RTO climbing off a Huey in the RVN, with the ad stating he (CPT Davis) served in “combat” in Vietnam, when in reality he was a Signal Corps officer in the rear with the gear.

      • J.R. Johnson says:

        Actually they dug quite a few foxholes in DS/DS. Those Missile folks had to have fighting positions next to each of their trucks. Their fighting positions weren’t tied into any actual interlocking plan for defense or anything, but they dug them. I don’t remember seeing any at the Bahrain sights but in Saudi they did.

  6. FuzeVT says:

    “You seen much combat?”

    “Well, I saw a little on TV.”

  7. Martinjmpr says:

    I would call Carrigan’s statements a kind of harmless “puffery” – you know, the kind that advertisers use when they say things like “The Best Dish Detergent you can buy” or “Your floors will never look shinier” – the kind of meaningless hyperbole that you’d expect from anyone doing advertising.

    But of course, the danger here is exactly what you did with this post: Once you start bragging about being a “highly decorated combat veteran”, people (especially political opponents) are likely to take a magnifying glass to your actual record and reveal the puffery for what it is.

    And in the end, the damage done by the revelation of the puffing up offsets any potential gain that was realized by the puffing up in the first place.

    Also, IMO it’s unseemly for veterans to brag about their medals or to try and impress people with tales of derring-do.

    Why not just talk about service and leadership? Not only do those sound less foolish and chest-thumping, they are actually more relevant to a political career.

    A 1SG in Congress? I’d be in favor of that.

    Certainly a career NCO in a tough job (the toughest enlisted job in the Army, IMO) is more impressive to me than some Academy or ROTC grad who did his bare minimum time as a platoon leader and then lobbied to get cushy assignments or “special projects” that kept him away from the action and/or away from any kind of accountability.

    If I were in his district, I wouldn’t care how many medals he had or how many Iraqis he bayonetted from his foxhole in Riyadh. I’d be more interested in knowing what kind of 1SG he was.

    A good 1SG can make a huge difference in how a unit functions, and a bad one is an unmitigated disaster. I’ve been fortunate to see more good ones than bad ones.

    • Ray says:

      Seems like a campaign run by someone with zero military experience. “I proudly served my nation in the United State Army—eight years beyond retirement eligibility,” doesn’t sound like a commitment to the welfare of his soldier community. It comes off as arrogant and unbecoming. Why didn’t you stick around and do 30 years Sean? Did you lose that commitment?

      • MSG Eric says:

        Well, you’re saying that from a position of knowing what the military is. With less than 10% of the populace being veterans, it becomes fairly easy to see that kind of time as “holy shit that’s like forever!”

    • MSG Eric says:

      Well, I’d give him a pass just because using “foxhole” as a descriptor is an easy way to make people understand what you’re talking about when it comes to being “downrange”. The general populace at least has some semblance of “foxhole” where they wouldn’t necessarily understand, fighting position, hasty, or the 50,000 acronyms we use, or Army words we have at our disposal.

      I concur on the “highly decorated” part. I have a bronze star (meritorious) so does that mean I’m higher highly decorated?

      Having been a 1SG, it is amazing how quickly you can fix bad things and improve a company. I’ve also seen bad 1SGs that pulled their unit down worse than I thought they could get. One of my first tasks as a CSM was to fire a 1SG because his company sucked and had less than zero morale. There was immediate improvement.

      One of those things that always killed me was that over the years I’d see officers get “time off” to go do nothing but be a college student and finish out degrees. Like, “Hey, can I spend a few months just being a college student? Negative Sergeant, get back to work.” “Hey that’s a super course that I want to do.” “Negative, you’re just an NCO, only officers can go to that.”

    • thebesig says:

      Originally posted by Martinjmper:

      If I were in his district, I wouldn’t care how many medals he had or how many Iraqis he bayonetted from his foxhole in Riyadh. I’d be more interested in knowing what kind of 1SG he was.

      If I were in his district, I’d care more about his stance on issues that I consider important than about his military service. If he held a political office before, I’d look at his voting record. If his arguments, stances, or voting record are inconsistent to what I consider important, and places him/her on the opposite side of the argument, I wouldn’t care if this candidate served with me and knew me, was an NCO, or if they were MOH recipients. I’d vote against them and in favor of the candidate that represents my stances, arguments, etc. Even if the opponent had zero military experience.

    • Stacy0311 says:

      So I guess I could describe myself as a “highly decorated combat veteran” too.
      I am a combat veteran and I am highly decorated. Just none of them are for combat (unless you count that tour on Joint Staff-no shit, there I was, surrounded by colonels, stapler empty and slides not ready. But that’s another story for another time)except my CAR.

      I sure don’t remember many foxholes during Desert Storm. As grunts we were moving too much to have time to dig in.

      And so far, I’ve been in for over 3 decades, 12 years PAST retirement eligibility.

      This guy really needs to dial back the Rambo.

  8. A Proud Infidel®™ says:

    MSM’s, ARCOMs and AAMs are nice and all, but correct me if I’m wrong, something like a BSM with a “V” or higher is a Combat Decoration. On Recruiting Duty during the WOT? I’m sure the hardest time he had doing that was when he ran out of coffee!

    • Skippy says:

      The lowest would be a ARCOM with V then the BSM V

      • Jon The Mechanic says:

        I had a couple of guys in my unit get an AAM with a V after their FOB got hit by a VBIED and they were in the right place to take down some of the attackers.

        The CPT that was in his office on the FOB and never fired his weapon during the attack got a Bronze star with V.

        • J.R. Johnson says:

          Jon… your statement seems a little fanciful. The lowest Army award for valor is the Army Commendation medal (with V). The Army Achievement medal is for achievements and is not authorized for Combat. I suppose you could get one for non-combat achievements while serving in a combat area but it would not be with a V device. The other problem with your story is that CPT who was awarded a Bronze Star for Valor. It would be required to go to the Regional Commander (at least a Three Star) for signature, and they always had a board of Sergeant Majors scrutinizing every one of those citations. Are you sure that CPT wasn’t just reassigned to a less stressful job after he was in a combat situation and performed admirably?

  9. MSG Eric says:

    A recruiter’s remarks need clarification? I’ve never heard that one before….

  10. 26Limabeans says:

    I’ll bet he never dug a fighting position.
    Maybe a slit trench or piss tube.
    Probably filled a few sandbags.
    Can he claim shit burner duty?

    Looks like he had a good career and didn’t screw up. Kudos. Run for office on that.

  11. Atkron says:

    He looks like an arrogant douche…but that might be a job requisite for Congress.

  12. sbalm says:

    URL: https://www.aikenstandard.com/news/congressional-candidate-sean-carrigan-addresses-hot-button-issues-at-community/article_2c68efb0-ce59-11e7-9740-97bf01b7788d.html

    “First, Carrigan said he is in full support of the LGBTQ community.

    “What you expect to get yourself is what you should give everyone else,” he said. “When I was in the Army, and I was deployed in the Middle East, it did not matter who the person I was with in the foxhole loved.”

    That’s an awkward way of stating it. Not sure what he was getting at.

  13. Cris says:

    “Twenty-eight years of Army leadership, leading people on and off the battlefield.”

    Doing the math, he may had about 4 years in when Desert Storm began. Not being Army and not familiar with their promotion system, I’d guess he could have been a CPL/SPC or a even a SGT. NCOs are a leadership billet, but the way he phrases it just seems duplicitous to me.

    • rgr769 says:

      How to you spend 28 years “leading people on and off the battlefield,” when you spent over 75% of your career as a hospital nurse or a recruiter, except for a few years in an ADA unit? Well, I guess he checks the bullshiter qual for being a politician.

  14. OldSoldier54 says:

    Hmmmm … Felony Embellishment, perhaps?

  15. OldManchu says:

    For God’s sake suck in your gut a little.

  16. Keepin' It Real says:

    [PARODY]

    Sean “Foxhole” Carrigan – Defending the country and looking good on paper.

    When you go to cast your vote you want someone that can dig sand out of a hole. Then, when the time comes, you can quickly slip into it. You need somebody that’s been in the stank.

    I’m Sean Carrigan and I approved this message.

    [/PARODY]

  17. sbalm says:

    “I stayed in eight years longer than I had to.” – Sean Carrigan

  18. Jonn Lilyea says:

    I forgot to mention that Carrigan is endorsed by Maxine Waters;

  19. Hack Stone says:

    So mundane military tasks qualify you for elected office? What does my time shoveling horseshit at the 29 Palms Horse Stables get me?

  20. Green Thumb says:

    Manhole Carrigan.

    I see this a lot out of CS and CSS out here in the Great NW.

    If you are honorable and you served, peacetime or wartime, you are good in my book.

    Its the clowns that like to claim they are the shit. And just about everyone has a 30% PTSD rating; whatever that is.

    I agree, this dude is not a Stolen Valor bust, he is just a tool who is being extremely vague. But then again, it seems not a lot of folks are asking the right questions…..

  21. Old 1SG, US Army (retired) says:

    So he’s covered all the democrat social talking points according to the Aiken Standard in their online news article… he’s got an “answer” for darn near every friggin’ social “issue” out there!

    Can’t wait until some of the women he “coached” on the finer points of lactation start coming out of the woodwork claiming he sexually harassed them… that won’t matter though, he’s a Dem.

    His comment on gun control was your typical nonsensical democrat position attacking the NRA…

    “He described the term gun control as an “NRA push-job” that aimed to keep voters divided.”

    Do you really want to go down this road Carrigan? The NRA will be all over your “discharge” of weapon sending a guy to the hospital. I bet there’s an interesting story behind that love triangle!

    I’m just surprised that after 28 years of service he can be so far left leaning…

  22. desertdweller says:

    28 years in the “Ormy” and he didn’t learn a stinking thing….here he is, running for congress as a DUMOCRAP!!

  23. SFC_K says:

    He’s a recruiter, gotta be a bit dirty. Having spent a bit of time in USAREC I’m not sure I want one in politics.

  24. Airdale (AW) USN ret. says:

    That would be a hell of a fox hole!! Sand caves in!!

  25. JH CrewChief27 says:

    Bragging about awards, bravery & his own “honorable service,” esp. after 15 yrs. of talking to kids in malls, tells me #foxholesean is just PERFECT for politics.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *