The Quiet Professional by Alan Hoe

Alan Hoe, a retired British Army Special Forces soldier, was a close friend of  U.S. Army Special Forces Maj. Richard J. “Dick” Meadows. Hoe’s latest book, The Quiet Professional: Major Richard J. Meadows of the U.S. Army Special Forces (University of Kentucky, 253 pp., $29.95) is a tribute to his former friend and brother in arms.

This book, which Dick Meadows asked Hoe to write, contains lots of first-person testimony from Meadows, who enlisted in the U.S. Army in 1947 when he was fifteen. He went Airborne and served in Korea with the 187th Regimental Combat Team. Meadows, at age of twenty, became the youngest Master Sergeant of the Korean War.

After Korea, he volunteered for the newly formed Green Berets, where Meadows wound up serving for more than two decades, receiving a battlefield commission in the process. That included more than three years’ service in Vietnam with the Vietnam Studies and Observation Group, the famed clandestine MACV-SOG operation.

Among many other things in Vietnam, Meadows led the first Bright Light mission attempting to rescue a downed U.S. pilot inside North Vietnam. He later went on to help plan and lead the ground assault team of the abortive Son Tay Prison Raid that went after American POWs.

Hoe (not to be confused with VVA member Alan Hoe of Hawaii, who did the Keynote Speech at the 2005 National Convention) also goes over Meadows’s many activities after the Vietnam War, including working undercover after he retired from the Army to help free the American hostages held by Iran and setting up a security business in Peru.

—Marc Leepson