“Broken Bones, A Big Heart, And Not Quitting”: A Special Forces Officer With A Mission

Lyle Hendrick


Lyle Hendrick grew up in an Air Force Family with his three sisters. Seeing the movie “The Green Berets” was formative during his youth and set him on the path to becoming one himself. For high school, he attended Camden Military Academy in South Carolina from 1970 to 1974. His experiences at Camden helped focus him on what he wanted to do in the future. He recalls missing church to watch news of the POWs returning home from Vietnam. After graduating from Camden, he enlisted in the Army as a COMSEC (Communications Security) repairman. This was during the early years in the transition to the VOLAR (Volunteer Army), and he was stationed inFrankfurt, Germany with the Army Security Agency (ASA). He then attended the University of South Carolina and was a member of Class 01 in the ROTC program. Upon graduation, he commissioned into the Signal Corps and while still in his Officers Basic Course was selected to attend jump school and Special Forces Qualifications (SFQC) and became a Special Forces Officer. He returned to Germany and was stationed in Bad Toelz with the 1st Battalion, 10th Special Forces, where he observed the best and the worst the Army of the 80s. Assigned by his commander, he became the liaison to US Army CID during an extensive drug suppression investigation involving SF soldiers within the unit. had to offer, including drug use within the unit. After serving in Europe with deployments involving NATO units, he returned to the United States and was stationed at Ft. Stewart, Georgia upon completion of his Officer Advanced Course. In 1987, he left the Army to apply to the Drug Enforcement Agency ultimately starting a career as a private investigator. He then served as a contractor in Iraq, Afghanistan, and other hotspots around the world His final corporate assignment was as the Project Security Manager on the Mario M. Cuomo bridge, which replaced the old Tappan Zee Bridge in New York. Currently, he is working on recording oral histories of Special Forces veterans and has returned to world of private investigations. In this interview, he talks about his childhood, his desire to serve, and becoming a Special Forces Officer. He reflects on a career that took him around the globe, and different missions he performed. Finally, he discusses what his service means to him, and why he is dedicated to recording the histories of other Special Forces Soldiers.


name Lyle Hendrick
institution University of South Carolina
graduation year 1980
service Signal Corps / Special Forces
unit 1st Battalion, 10th Special Forces – ODA 123
specialty Special Forces
service dates 1974