I'm not wild about Time's selection of "Person of the Year", myself, for a number of reasons (not least of which is my opinion that marketing - as increased by controversy - was a large factor in their decision). That said, it's hard to argue with at least one of the runners up.
Admiral William McRaven, United States Navy.
What an awesome name for a SEAL, huh?
"...July 18, 2001, midway through that quiet summer before the whole world learned Osama bin Laden's name. McRaven, then a 45-year-old Navy SEAL captain, led a jump exercise near San Diego.
The commandos dropped into 10,000 feet of free fall, reserving their parachutes for the last moment. As they neared the release point, one of the men below McRaven drifted directly underneath. Seconds later, his canopy slammed into McRaven at well over 100 m.p.h., throwing him into a violent spin.
"Frankly, I wasn't sure whether I had been knocked unconscious, so when I had the chance, I pulled my rip cord," McRaven told TIME. "Part of the chute wrapped around one leg, the risers around the other, and the good news is that it opened. The bad news is that when it opened, it split me like a nutcracker, I guess, and just kind of broke the pelvis, broke my back."
...By thetime U.S. intelligence pinpointed its quarry, McRaven was a three-star admiral atop the Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC), the U.S. military's clandestine strike force. And so on Jan. 29, it was McRaven who began to plan "finish options" for Bin Laden alongside his counterparts in a seventh-floor CIA conference room. On May 1, with President Obama's go-ahead, it was McRaven who commanded the helicopter assault against the al-Qaeda leader's redoubt in Abbottabad, Pakistan. And on that night it was McRaven, linked by secure video from Jalalabad to the White House, who briefed the President in real time as the operation progressed...
Make no mistake, I'm not a fanboy here. I've met SEALs I liked and admired, I've met some who were arrogant bastards that thought they were rock stars and needed to receive the Great Bitch Slap of Humility. I've met and am friends with Army SF guys who were genuine, no-shit heroic sonsabitches, and others that should have been working unarmed security at the mall. Point here is, the Time's person of the year didn't have to be an officer from a steely-eyed snake-eater branch and it certainly didn't have to be an officer, but it's a good choice. It could just have been my friend and former student Sgt. Joshua Robinson, USMC, who did more in any one of his several tours to serve his country than I did in 20 years It could have been a lot of people. It could easily have been SrA. William N. Newman, or Kristoffer Domeij and Christopher Horns and Ashley White all together, but you can't recognize everyone that deserves it so you do the best you can...and as a representative of all the guys who hung it out there to kill the enemy and break all his shit, I think Admiral McRaven works just fine.
Congratulations, sir, and thank you for your service. Read the rest of the story on Time's website.