Making a Night Stalker – Collective Magazine exclusive preview

Army Veteran David Burnett announces pre-order release of his first book, an autobiographical account the challenges, rewards and sacrifices it takes to become part of an elite group of soldiers who have earned the title Night Stalker as part of the 160th SOAR.



The author, former 160th SOAR Chinook Crew Chief, David Burnett.
The author, former 160th SOAR Chinook Crew Chief, David Burnett.

Foreword by Army Ranger George Diaz 2/75.

David Burnett takes readers into a unique world of the 160th Special Operations Aviation regiment. His journey starts in a conventional Army unit where he doesn’t feel fulfilled in his duties and obligations. This lack of responsibility drives David to pursue the dream of becoming an MH-47G Chinook helicopter crew chief in the most secretive and elite aviation unit in the world.

David is met with constant hurdles and set backs trying to achieve his ultimate goal but he is more determined than ever. After graduating from the units five week selection process he is thrown into school after school and non stop training before being able to step foot on the aircraft he so desperately dreams of crewing on.

After almost a year in the Special Operations unit he is trained and ready to deploy with 160th, and it is nothing short of intense. He learns quickly that his new units mission op tempo is exactly what he had hoped. He is eager to prove himself among the ranks and continues to hone his craft over the next four years. After five deployments with the unit as a crew chief he is discharged from the military.

After leaving the fast paced world of the SOF community he falls into a deep depression. Alcohol becomes the new most important thing, and he finds himself in a new and reckless battlefield. He never saw this coming.

Making a Night Stalker – Preview

After taking our seats the instructors began to clap. It was an awkward yet rewarding moment as I looked around the room at a handful of puzzled faces. We were almost in disbelief that the selection course was finally over. Another black shirt walked in the room carrying a large cardboard box as the clapping faded. Everyone looked confused and intrigued, not knowing what was in the box. He made his way to the front of the room and said, “When I call your name come up here and grab your beret.” 
Holy smokes the coveted maroon beret! I felt like the voice over from ‘Christmas Story’ was narrating my story and I was about to unwrap the infamous Red Ryder BB gun, only it was a more prized, deserved, and earned possession than Ralphie’s BB gun.
The maroon beret we truly earned and everyone in the room deserved that day. In a few regular Army units, the maroon beret was given to soldiers upon arriving to their units. Not this beret. This beret was a rite of passage, and for me, a direct ‘fuck you’ to everyone in my old unit who said I would never make it. He was calling out names and handing out berets. He called my name and I made my way to the front of the class. As he handed me the glowing maroon beret he said, “Alpha Company 2nd Battalion.”
Not really sure about the different companies in the battalion I asked him, “What’s Alpha Company?” He answered to my disbelief, “That’s a Chinook flight company.” Wow, I looked at him in my, ‘I just unwrapped the Red Ryder BB gun’ like state. I couldn’t believe it; I was going to a flight company. The only soldiers that made up a flight company in my MOS were crew chiefs. I did it. I was finally going to fly on the big beast I fell in love with on the airfield in Bagram, Afghanistan.
We were given our berets before the formal graduation so we could get a flash sewn on the front of them. The flash represented which 160th battalion we were going to be assigned. On graduation day we began the ceremony by sounding off with the Night Stalker Creed. The creed never sounded louder than any day prior, not even in the pit. We yelled at the top of our lungs to tell the whole world, we had finally done it. The graduation ceremony ended and the class was even smaller now.
Green Platoon started with 86 highly motivated guys, but now on the stage stood 46 proud Night Stalkers. I had a great reunion with my family after the class was released. While mingling after the event, I felt a tap on my shoulder. I turned around to be greeted by a First Sergeant, Burnett?” 
I immediately answered the slender and fit looking leader, “Roger First Sergeant.” He replied, “I’m your new First Sergeant. Welcome to Alpha Company.” He was stern but to the point. After shaking my hand, he gave me a report time and date to meet at the Alpha Company office. He walked off in a hurry as he nodded to my family headed for the door.

Read more of our exclusive preview of MAKING A NIGHT STALKER here.

If you would like to pre-order David Barnett’s book in paperback, you can find it and digital versions on Amazon here.

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