Perhaps no other name brand in the tactical and special operations "industry" is more recognizable than Soldier of Fortunemagazine. I'll never forget my first trip to Afghanistan back in 2002, flying into a very austere Bagram air field and walking into the pax tent where I noticed a battered and bruised copy of SoF mag sitting on the fold out table. Even in the most wilderness locales and amongst the most "been there and done that" of BTDTs, SoF mag is still a popular read.
Unique, quintessentially American Soldier of Fortune magazine marks thirty-five years with release of its December, 2010 edition, on newsstands now. Founded in 1975 by Vietnam vet and former Special Forces officer Robert K. Brown, SOF instantly gained a large, loyal readership as one of the few unapologetically pro-military, pro-Vietnam veteran magazines in print.I became close friends with publisher Robert Brown back around that time and did a little writing for his magazine. Every time Bob comes to town, he gives me a call to meet up for lunch. He's a faithful friend, a darn good journalist with keen instincts and an unapologetic patriot and advocate for warfighters of every stripe.
With its military contacts, can-do spirit and stable of intrepid, combat-veteran reporters globe-trotting for news, SOF has repeatedly scooped traditional media on conflicts throughout the world since its inception. But SOF reporters have not been content with merely getting the story. Brown calls it “participatory journalism – camera in one hand and rifle in the other.”Over the years the magazine has fallen a bit off the A list of tactical publications and its digital reach has been in question. But don't count SoF mag and its leader Bob Brown out. With the indelible brand and cool content, it wouldn't surprise me at all of Soldier of Fortune is around for another 35 years.