In December 2011, retired U.S. Army Special Forces MSG Jim Hetrick and close friend of the coward/POW Network listed military poser, John Giduck, published a letter trying to sell us John Giduck books in support of John Giduck on John Giduck’s mouthpiece site, SOCNETLies. In the interim, lots of information has been exposed about John Giduck.  Has any of this information made Jim Hetrick rethink his position and the public selling of his integrity based on this information?


Why use the term, “coward”? Although I prefer, “The Lyin’ King”, John Giduck seems to hide behind others to defend him…just like cowards do. John Giduck reminds me of the Lion in the Wizard of Oz:  If John Giduck had some courage, he might have admitted that perhaps he was trying to fool people about his past and not resorted to the legal system when he couldn’t produce facts to defend himself.  If he only had some heart, he might have actually completed US Army basic training or become a sworn law enforcement officer. If so, he’d have something more than a certificate of appreciation to certify his operational qualifications. Maybe john Giduck thinks that he’ll be able to sue those that intend to do our nation harm as well…oh wait, John Giduck is already friends with people that the Washington Times says blew up a US Embassy. If he only had a brain…

But I digress…

So, together, let’s relook at MSG Hetrick’s letter posted on 6 Feb 2012 on the SOCNETLies site in its entirety within the context of the information that has come to pass since December 2011 when it was apparently writen. MSG Hetrick’s letter is printed in its entirety in the indented text with my comments in the non-indented text.

It starts like this…

December 19, 2011

Subject: The misguided, ill advised, and malicious defamation of character of Mr. John Giduck and his company Archangel Group.

I’m sure that as past president of the SOA, you paid attention to every word that you wrote here.  I’d imagine that John Giduck himself likely helped you to edit it.  In that context, I find it interesting that you would use the word, “ill advised”.  Ill advised for who?  Those like you that have some sort of interest in John Giduck?  Are things malicious if they are true? How about we revisit your use of the word, “misguided”, later in this post, ok?

I am writing to you in response to the hatchet job that you and others have done on a fellow Professional, friend of the SOA, and me.  His name is John Giduck and his company is Archangel Group. I’m sure you know of John and his company, but apparently you really don’t know much about them.

You might want to scratch the part about john Giduck being a friend of the SOA. They booted him after the membership stopped taking John Giduck at his word and started to treat him as the honorary member he was. It’s amazing how quickly John Giduck’s support crumbled when his credentials had to stand on their own without incestuous top cover from people like you.

As for knowing who John Giduck is, I think that who he is has become very clear over the past 8 months since you wrote your letter.  That said, I’m open to the possibility that you may have been fooled or at least among the last to know or accept who he is.

Please let me introduce myself.  My name is Jim Hetrick.  I am a past President of the Special Operations Association (SOA) (8 years) and if you have attended a reunion, we may have met. I am also a fifteen year veteran of Special Forces (MSG Ret.). During that time, like Tilt Meyer and many others I spent a year running recon in the MACVSOG program and another year in various other assignments in the SOG program. None of this matters much now and we face a very different world than we did then.

thank you for your service to our Country.  seriously.

What does matter is what I took with me from my Special Forces career. I have always felt that things like Integrity and Honor are some of the attributes most acknowledged about Special Forces Soldiers present and past. That means that I would not judge a book by its cover and never comment on it until I read it. My evaluation would be fair and honest.  But, those I served with in SF all have the same values and they conduct themselves in the same way.

Those same soldiers expect EXACTLY the same level of honor and integrity  from you.  Let’s see just how “fair and honest” you can be – there is still time to be  so. Given what has been exposed over the past 9 months about John Giduck, in your heart of hearts, you can’t be surprised that you are being called out about your own level of integrity about this issue.

That was my approach when, as President, SOA, I met John Giduck at a SOAR. He was very honest about himself.  He stated that he had never served in the military and was honored to be in the presence of the members of the SOA.

I have several examples below of just how “honest” John Giduck is in his speaker bios for certain events. They seem to contradict your statements.

Even without the examples and just basing his level of integrity on what you say he told you, if he did serve in the military but it was for only 58 days, was he still being honest with you by saying he never served? If he lies about that to a friend like you, what’s to stop him from other behavior that lacks integrity.  For instance, is funneling money from a community corrections non-profit to Sudanese rebels and engaging in ITAR violations the mark of an honest man?  Does running away to Jamaica to sleep with a client for whom you are providing a defense create a perception of being more honest or less honest? Each of these behaviors are documented…do they change your opinion?  If not, why not?

He told me a [sic] about himself and his company, Archangel Group. I found that he has a wide range of expertise and experience and that he is an accomplished and humble man.

I guess that John Giduck skipped over the part about having served 58 days or that his training is from adventure camps.  Isn’t that a fair criticism?

Since your own organization awarded John Giduck a silver service medal in 2003 during your watch, you clearly met and knew John Giduck before he had even published a book.  Prior to 2005, John Giduck had no terrorism credentials as an author, no academic background that was specific to anything special operations/terrorism, and no military/LEO operational expertise…at all. He did, however, have a VITYAZ certificate that was and still is virtually unknown to antiterrorism or counter terrorism professionals.  I’m surprised and disappointed that as an SF MSG, you seem to accept this training at face value and without further questions.  I guess that it was easy since John Giduck did write your organization a fairly large check at the time and provide pro bono services.

Help me understand the service award and the grounds for which it was awarded by a Special Operations veterans organization. It smacks of “pay for play”.  See the problem now?

Mr. Giduck is second generation Russian and speaks the language very well, although he says he doesn’t speak it as well as he once did because he is now persona-non-grata in Russia due to information about the Russian military in his book “Terror at Beslan” and no longer has the opportunity to practice the language.

Who confirmed that John Giduck speaks Russian “well”?  John Giduck? Would you be surprised if there was a chance that John Giduck’s instruction was self paced and voluntary like the one at the same St Petersburg university facility where John Giduck attended? I’m assuming that you haven’t seen the transcript for his language training.

Since you raised it yourself, help me to also understand that if John Giduck is truly a “Persona Non Grata” in Russia, why the Russian of Interior would then provide John Giduck with a certificate of appreciation.  The PNG story seems to me like another bogus story to help provide a marketing angle for his book.

Prior to that time, he had trained with the Spetsnaz and other Russian military units off and on for twenty years, acquiring a wealth of knowledge of their operations.

Now we are closing in on the crux of the honesty issue, MSG.  It’s sad that I have to ask an SF MSG to define “trained with the Spetsnaz” for us.

Example: When I was a boy scout, I spent two weeks on an Air Force base and was trained by airmen that volunteered. Can I claim that I “trained” with the Air Force when I was in junior high? Of course not.  Why does it seem ok with you that John Giduck can claim the equivalent?

To be more specific, which of the one to two week Systema camps or commercial military style adventure camps in Russia would John Giduck have acquired a wealth of knowledge about their operations? He wasn’t in the Russian military and wasn’t on any sort of US military exchange program.  Did the Russians just let a guy with so-so Russian skills just wander into their training areas and take courses?  Do we do that with the Special Forces Q course these days or any of the advanced courses of instruction?  Perhaps we should just suspend disbelief and take John Giduck at his word.  That’s what SF soldiers do, right?

You have to have already noticed that John Giduck lies even about even the little things.  Let’s look at a simple example that, like the VITYAZ certificate, ends up being laughable and doesn’t stand up to scrutiny.


John Giduck likes to claim that he was a wrestler. It is on his bio and is mentioned in at least one podcast. Wrestler?  Evidence shows that John Giduck only wrestled in his first two years of high school yet it appears in his bios as a 45-50 year old adult. How sad is that?

Let’s look at what his high school yearbook states above. Sun Valley high school appears to be grades 9-12 (1-4 as far a sports are listed). John Giduck didn’t even wrestle in his high school junior or senior year (you know, the years that usually matter for good high school wrestlers). He was on the high school ski team his junior year.  Before anyone says that “1” is actually his senior year, John Giduck doesn’t appear in the wrestling team photos for his senior year yearbook.

So, here is John Giduck as a adult without enough warrior things to put on his resume since he’d been among the few that don’t complete basic training. To fill that gap, he obviously includes things that he he did in his first two years in high school as if they were a big deal.  The wrestling claim is still out there. Remind me why John Giduck is worthy of your support again.

You should read the book as it is an exceptionally well researched and written book and it clearly illustrates that John is extremely knowledgeable in the field of Terrorism. It would give you some insight into his knowledge base and experience.

Has your definition of “exceptionally well researched” changed after the book has been put through some level of review? As a reminder, Terror At Beslan is self-published by Archangel Group and therefore has no requirement for fact checking. Unfortunately, many basic facts have been demonstrated to be provably incorrect.  I’m not referring to the rapes here..I am talking about simple numbers of people killed, etc.

Additionally, John Giduck tries to support his legend of having been onsite or even in Russia as the siege was ongoing.  He does this in the book, in other articles, and in other info sources. There are passages in that book written in the first person as if he were there in Russia before the final assault. The book seemed to be a compilation of facts published by other sources with some opinion gained through second hand sources and presented as fact.  Interestingly, John Giduck didn’t even credit many of the sources for his facts that are plain wrong.

All that said, I will agree with you that a poorly researched book with unworkable tactical recommendations are the best insight into John Giduck’s knowledge base and experience. Have you fact checked the book yourself?

He and SF SGM John Anderson (RET) also wrote another book. It’s titled the “Green Beret in You”.  Although John has never been in the military, he has worked with Special Forces units to include our most elite units, he wrote about what he has saw in the men of Special Forces and what has come to be what he and SGM Anderson describe as what the SF Soldiers expect of themselves. It’s the Code of Honor I mentioned above. I have recommended the book to all of my friends, especially those with teenage boys. I have also given the book to my teenage grandsons. I recommend that you read it too.

I find it funny that John Giduck wrote a book purporting to be an expert of the “Green Beret” mindset and yet is surprised by their reaction to someone trying to be “cool by association”.  What surprises me is that you don’t have the same reaction, MSG.

It would appear that John Giduck really only knows the mindset of what can only be described as the Special Forces “yes men” around him – you know, the kind that might money influence them. You few around John Giduck aren’t representative of the SF guys that I know – you know, the ones with honor and integrity that you opened your letter with.  Here’s a free tip: none of us write our own legacy, MSG. It is written by the others that follow. I’ll let you decide if you are still part of that group or if you’ll hit the “easy button”  and just the people that will write your legacy decide for you.

Let’s shift to look at your kabuki dance to the contrary is actually an attempt to mislead us. John Giduck spent one short visit with our “most elite units” in 2008. Since he isn’t an employee or contractor with a clearance, we both know that he had to have been escorted.  I took an escorted trip to the White House as part of my job once….can I claim that I served on the White House staff on my bios or consulted for them? Likely not.

I would suspect that had some of these units known about John Giduck’s close and ongoing relationships with senior Russian intelligence officials that they might have shit canned future visits…perhaps they have followed the example of your own Special Operations Association and the Special Forces Association and make John Giduck a Person Non Grata (PNG)….you should call and check.  I don’t know but you might be in for a surprise.  I guess that you won’t worry about that as long as the checks clear, huh?

Mr. Giduck has written two other books. “Shooter Down-The Dramatic Untold Story of the Police Response to the Virginia Tech Massacre” is based on the Virginia Tech shootings and is another masterful piece of research and analysis conducted at the scene the day after the incident and chronicled in detail. It details the actions of the terrorist Cho as well the response by the Law Enforcement responders to the incident. It has been cited by the Head of the Virginia State Police as the most accurate and complete account of the V.T. incident. Again, it illustrates Mr. Giduck’s vast expertise and experience in the realm of terrorism.

Much like Terror At Beslan, John Giduck’s Shooter Down book has been roundly criticized as bordering on fiction. As far as John Giduck’s expertise in the field of terrorism being described as “vast”, he has zero operational expertise (despite laughable claims of years of terrorist hostage negotiations) and has only recently acquired academic credentials in the terrorism field (a Ph.D. awarded in 2011).  For most of the years that you have known John Giduck, he had almost no credentials at all…operational or otherwise…unless you count the “VITYAZ certificate in anti-terror operations and training”.  It seems only two people in the world have ever published that term on the internet…one with remarkably similar life story as John Giduck.  So remarkably similar, in fact, that a reasonable person might think that it was John Giduck himself.

As a side note, Mr. Giduck and Archangel were asked to put together a team to do an analysis at Virginia Tech.

Here is another chance for you to excel, MSG. Exactly who asked John Giduck and Archangel to put together a team to do an analysis at Virginia Tech? It’s another deliberate attempt to mislead the tax paying public as to their qualifications.   The Archangel team wasn’t invited by any government organization.  The only organization that seems to have asked John Giduck was Archangel Group. That seems a bit misleading, doesn’t it? Either you are knowingly lying here or you (like many others) have been “mislead” by your supposedly honest friend, John Giduck.  He wouldn’t have any reason to lie to you, would he?  As a friend of senior Russian intelligence officials, he’d have no reason to want access to the SOA administrative files or member information either, would he?

They arrived the day after the incident and in the mean time, the Governor of Virginia decided to form a commission to study the incident. Archangel Group continued with their investigation and analysis at their own expense and as stated above, it has been cited as providing the most accurate analysis and account of the events that occurred. They completed the study a cost of $75,000.00 and sent it or made it available to every law enforcement agency in the United States free of charge. You can’t fault that kind of dedication.

so Archangel group was supposedly asked to show up and then the next day the Governor decided to form a commission…umm..ok.   The only thing that is certain here is that John Giduck and Archangel Group have milking tax dollars from that event ever since.

Mr. Giduck’s latest book, “When Terror Returns: The History and Future of Terrorist Mass- Hostage Sieges”, is based on his Doctoral Dissertation at Kings College – London.  Kings College is prestigious international school rated above Harvard University. His recommendation to attend was written by Dr. Rohan Gunaratna, considered by most as the world’s foremost expert on Osama Bin Laden and al-Qaeda. John is associated with and supported by some of our Nation’s and the World’s foremost experts on Terrorism. I have included a copy of the announcement of this book so that you might see some of his credits.

When John Giduck started his Ph.D.studies in 2008, only a handful of people had challenged him on his “legend”.  John Giduck tells a good story..but not enough of a good story to stand up to any level of scrutiny.  Your defense of his story is already falling apart in a few paragraphs.

On a side note, I noticed that this is your third or fourth attempt to pimp John Giduck’s books.  Why haven’t you presented any factual information that indicates why the SOA had such a close relationship with John Giduck? You know, the John Giduck that hung out with a group that the Washington Times says bombed a US Embassy or committed ITAR violations while working with child soldiers in the Sudan?

I and several others here attend Mr. Giduck’s presentations whenever they are within several hundred miles of our location. We assist in selling books or whatever way we may assist him. We do not attend solely out of friendship, but also out of our deep respect for his knowledge and to enjoy his presentation.

I guess that you expect the gullible to believe that neither you nor the SOA ever made any money or received any financial benefits from John Giduck, Archangel Group, or any of the John Giduck owned non-profits in return for your “deep respect” and enjoyment of his presentations.  Oh wait…

Moreover, if you went to so many presentations while serving as President of the Special Operations Association, why were you apparently bothered by John Giduck’s claims as shown in his conference bios to be “a member of the Special Operations Association” or him making the the claim to be a “special forces” instructor.  It doesn’t appear that John Giduck changed his bio to read “civilian contract Special Forces instructor” until after later uncomfortable scrutiny as an a (now former) lifetime honorary SOA member, the SOA charter holds that honorary members are not members and even members cannot use their membership status for commercial gain.

Oh yeah, you were SELLING John Giduck’s books and accepting John Giduck’s donations to the SOA (and only those that we know of….) so none of the facts matter, right? Not everyone can just conveniently overlook the differences between what is said about John Giduck by him & his friends and what the facts say.   See the problem yet?

In every case he starts his presentation by stating he has never been in the military

so, given that he was in the military but couldn’t complete even US Army basic training, he starts off with deception at best and an outright lie at worst…

I’m wondering how you can say your statement with a straight face given the wealth of contrary evidence like the seminar bio above that demonstrates, at some point in time, John Giduck was telling people that he was a soldier in his seminar bios (above is only example)…and a Ranger….and a Green Beret.

You see, MSG Hetrick, your claims and those of the other John Giduck ball polishers ring hollow when there is no shortage of material evidence saying the opposite. Anothor John Giduck ball polisher, the author known to the public as “Brad Thor”, not only lies to the Glenn Beck audience but also inadvertently seems to provide more evidence of likely Federal crimes on the part of John Giduck:

As an SF soldier, MSG Hetrick, you are more than familiar with ITAR and the requirement to have a license for the US State Department to train foreign soldiers.  There is an entire PDF document dedicated to likely ITAR violation by John Giduck, SF SGM(ret) John “Andy” Anderson (who also holds a federal firearms dealers license despite such violations), and Archangel Group.

John Giduck doesn’t look like such a patriotic angel now, does he?  This is who you’ve defended over a currently serving SF NCO. … and now you are crying about it.  Boo hoo.

and that the audience, Law enforcement officers, Homeland Security, or other related entities that they should judge who he is by the information he presents. Then he introduces us as Special Forces Operators of the past and credits us and the present day Warriors as the real heroes in today’s war, Terrorism.

as he rightfully should….  the problem is when brothers break that sacred trust by placing money over integrity and supporting his lies through the bone fides of others that have been there and done that.  Like you, MSG Hetrick.

He never takes any credit for himself.

why should he?  The money and access to people in sensitive positions seems to suit John Giduck just fine.  It may suit the Russians just fine as well.

Actually, John Giduck takes credit for stuff back to his sophomore year in high school in his adult resume.  How sad is that?

But the most phenomenal aspect is his presentation. He is a gifted speaker and as he speaks, it is obvious that he has command of the subject about which he speaks

Why let facts or a little possible Russian intelligence recruitment get in the way of a great presentation.

At this point, I think I have made my point.

Actually, so far you’ve only made my points.

Your conduct and the conduct of your cohorts, “Elite Special Forces Operators” has been despicable to say the least. The level of irresponsibility is almost impossible for me to fathom from fellow Special Forces Soldiers. 

Hmm…I thanked you for YOUR service, MSG.  Thanks for completely disrespecting all of ours…even those with 10 years serving in a combat zone.  There was a time when a part of me that wants to tell you in a Sesame street sort of way that this post has been sponsored by the letters, “F” and “U”.

But, you know what? You’ve had to chance to see the evidence in the cold light and perhaps John Giduck lied to you too. Maybe you didn’t know that he couldn’t make it through basic, that his training consisted of summer camps, or that while you were awarding him a service star from the SOA, John Giduck was draining non-profits and committing ITAR violations. Perhaps you are in in the activities in Chester, PA where if john Giduck and Joe Bail aren’t breaking the letter of the law in terms of the PA Ethics Act, they are certainly breaking the spirit of the law.  Maybe you really believe that Archangel Group is still a non-profit as Chester Police Commissioner Joseph Bail and fellow Archangel consultant still claims on his official bio posted just a few months ago.  Archangel hasn’t been a non-profit for years.

But in the context of your own accusations, if you want to call some people’s actions “irresponsible” while you provided access to the same person to all sorts of sensitive information  about SOF personnel by naming him pro-bono lawyer to the SOA while knowing that he had foreign intelligence connections “responsible”, you go right ahead.

If john Giduck lied to you too, say so publicly.  Otherwise, dont be surprised when people getted a bit pissed at you for selling your soul for a lie.  Money must be one hell of a drug and i hope whatever you got was worth it..

I have been told by many of my friends who have worked with the current SF units that the young men of today are better trained and have equipment that we only dreamed about having, but you, rather than being a cut above seem to be a cut below what I consider to be the Honorable conduct of a “Professional Special Forces Soldier”. A Professional Special Forces soldier, regardless of his training and equipment, is first and foremost a man of character.  If he is less than that, he is nothing.

I fully agree, read on.

The men of character that I know, and that includes John Giduck, are not inclined to worry, be jealous of, or doubt without cause.

Without a doubt, you know men of character. Character normally doesn’t include lying to your friends so, if john Giduck has been lying to you, then the term “character” may include John Giduck in a far different manner than you intended.

They are secure in their own accomplishments and have long ago come to grips with who and what they are or have been. They are confident men who have no need to bolster their own egos at the expense of others.

Read the above again in the context of John Giduck’s professional bios and his actions once exposed as the phony that he is.  I don’t know how you can read some of the old John Giduck bios without laughing out loud. John Giduck was bounced out of basic training and has been trying to overcompensate ever since.  To me, a person like that would be such an easy recruitment target for foreign intelligence…or have you forgotten that since retiring?

In as much as the entries favorable to Mr. Giduck that have been posted to SOCNET have been removed with haste and the authors banned from the net, I would ask that you would post this document under your name so that it would not be removed.

I’ve posted your note in its entirely under your own name. From what I gather, the SOCNET posts never addressed any issues or offered supporting facts for the basis of why the public should believe that John Giduck is something other than he is.  Additionally, you can find evidence of John Giduck’s and others’ activities in the site map of this blog that a reasonable person might consider to be actual crimes.

Considering the damage that you and your cohorts have done to Mr. Giduck’s reputation and business with your unjustified  and malicious attacks on his character, it is the honorable thing to do and is what a is expected of Special Forces Professional.

The only person that has caused damage to John Giduck is John Giduck and his misrepresentations.


MSG James F. Hetrick (RET)
US Army Special Forces – 1965 to 1980
SFA # D-1832 Life
SOA # 036GL

I’m interested in reading your response, MSG.  Perhaps you’ve had a change of heart…perhaps you still dust John Giduck’s balls in exchange for what ever you feel is worth supporting him over your brothers.  Either way, you are still on the record as supporting a coward who apparently can’t speak for himself.  The next step is yours…


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11 Things That John Giduck Should Publish On His Blog

Have John Giduck And Joseph Bail Violated The PA State Ethics Act?

How John Giduck Misleads You: Police Find No Actual Evidence Of Property Mischief