Born in 1914 and leaving this mortal coil in 1998, The Colonel (as everyone called him) was a hard-bitten realist who pioneered the doctrine of “real-world” based training and founded America’s first close-combat school. He was recruited to serve in the fledgling Office of Strategic Services (OSS) in 1942 by Wild Bill Donovan and given $30,000 in cash and a simple mandate—“Get it done.”

OSS Secret Training School Founder: “Get it done,” meant that The Colonel was to set up a secret school to train OSS operatives who would work covertly in Nazi-occupied Europe and the Pacific Theater. In addition to providing his own brand of close-quarters combat training with gun, knife and other weapons, he recruited safe crackers and lock picks, cat burglars and forgers, car thieves and swindlers, anyone with the necessary, if somewhat unsavory, skills to teach his charges everything from how to kill a sentry quietly to how to falsify Nazi papers.

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