Badass Writer of the Week: Eric L. Haney

   Eric L. Haney

Eric L. Haney

By Sean Tuohy

Have you seen a movie where a group of people is being held hostage by some machine gun-toting bad guys and then all of sudden…boom! The door is blown to smithereens and black-clad commandos storm the room with guns blazing and mow down the bag guys, leaving the hostages scared shitless but unharmed?

Yeah, well this week's badass writer is the guy who trained those commandos. Before he became a best-selling author and screenwriter, Eric L. Haney dropped in and out of war zones with the U.S. Army Rangers and then became one of the first members of the U.S. Government's most deadly and secretive units: Delta Force.

We don’t recommend trying anything shady around this guy because he’s a “master trainer” of some serious shit. Consider this list from his website:

  • Close quarter combat
  • Counter-terrorist and counter-guerilla actions
  • Development/implementation of security programs
  • Executive protection
  • Guard force management
  • Hostage/ransom negotiation
  • Master sniper
  • Small arms/long guns (all classes)
  • Standard/improvised explosives
  • Surgical explosive breaching

Umm...yeah, this guy could handle a behind the lines operation the same way Daniel and Sean handle an all you can eat buffet: with skill.

Haney joined the U.S. Army right out of high school in 1970, and quickly joined the famed 75 Ranger Regiment. The Rangers are one of the oldest and most skilled infantry units within the U.S. Army. After doing this for a while, Haney got bored. Jumping out of airplanes? Yawn. The next unit that he joined was brand new and offered one of the most difficult selection process tests in the U.S. military. For 19 months, Haney trained and became an expect in...well… being a badass(did you read the fucking list above???) before he joined Delta Force.

  Haney with several other badass members of Delta Force.

Haney with several other badass members of Delta Force.

For those of you that don't know what Delta Force is (or never saw the Chuck Norris film) let us give you a little background. First of all, the U.S. Government does not officially state that Delta Force exists. They are such badasses that Uncle Sam won't admit that these guys work for us. These highly trained soldiers are sent to the worst spots in the world to do who knows what and they do it without ever being noticed. Haney was one of the first members of this elite group. While in Delta Force, Haney was part of Operation Eagle Claw, the failed rescue attempt of the American hostages at the American Embassy in Iran, as well as dozens of other operations throughout the Middle East and Latin America.

Haney retired from the U.S. Army and moved to a small farm and relaxed. Yeah, right. He actually went around the world just being a badass as a freelance security consultant. As Badass for Hire—seriously, why hasn’t this movie been made???—he helped protect royal families, save kidnapped children, and train police forces all over the world.

It was during this time that Haney got the idea to write a book about his life in the U.S. Army. We assume he came up with the idea while jumping out of a helicopter just before it blew up. His tell-all book Inside Delta Force gave his firsthand account of his time with the secretive unit.

The book proved to be so thrilling that foul mouth master writer David Mamet turned the book in to a movie called “Spartan” and in to a hit television show called “The Unit.”

Finally, after a life time of jumping out of planes, saving hostages from gunmen, and just being an all-around tough guy, Haney decided to write full time. The Writer's Bone team is still trying to figure out what is tougher for Haney: jumping in to a war zone or outlining the first chapter of his novel?

BADASS WRITERS OF THE WEEK ARCHIVE