Small Wars Journal

40 Years Later: How the Iran Hostage Crisis Shaped the Future of Special Operations

40 Years Later: How the Iran Hostage Crisis Shaped the Future of Special Operations by Diana Stancy Correll – Military Times

Exactly 40 years ago today, a group of Iranian militants seized 98 people at the U.S. Embassy in Tehran — marking the start of what is known as the Iran hostage crisis.

While the hostages were released from captivity 444 days later, an unsuccessful, covert mission known as Eagle Claw to try to rescue the hostages months afterwards is what served as a catalyst for changing special operations forces.

Just ask retired Command Sgt. Maj. Richard Lamb, who was a corporal with the “Hard Rock” Charlie Company that was responsible for conducting the airfield seizure mission inside Iran for Eagle Claw.

“Eagle Claw was the mission that gave birth to the United States Special Operations Command,” Lamb told Military Times in an email.

“The foundation established in the aftermath of Eagle Claw enabled the development of the modern day Special Operations Forces that are the envy of the free world and a threat to any adversary,” Lamb said…

Read on.