Kevin Holland served both in Seal Team 6 and Delta Force

The story about the extraordinary journey of MSG Kevin Holland, the only publicly known operator to have served in both DEVGRU (SEAL Team 6) and Delta Force (1st SFOD-D), from his humble beginnings in North Carolina to becoming a decorated and resilient warrior, showcasing his unwavering dedication and exceptional skills in multiple elite Special Mission Units.

Eric Sof

MSG Kevin Holland is the only publicly known operator who served in DEVGRU (SEAL Team 6) and Delta Force (1st SFOD-D). Long story short, yes, an individual can serve in MULTIPLE Special Mission Units (i.e., RRC, TFO, 24th STS, NSWDG, and 1st SFOD-D). However, it isn’t peculiar. MSG Kevin Holland is a former BOTH member of the Naval Special Warfare Development Group (SEAL Team Six) and the 1st Special Forces Operational Detachment-Delta (Delta Force). He was initially a DEVGRU operator who turned Army and passed SFQC (Special Forces Qualification Course) and made his way to serve in the elite counter-terrorism unit, Delta Force.

Early life

Kevin Holland grew up in the foothills of North Carolina. He played football and baseball in high school, and shortly after high school, he signed up for the delayed entry program to join the U.S. Navy. Holland started his career in 1988. After that, he completed boot camp and Navy Photographer School and volunteered for Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL training. He arrived in Coronado, CA, in November 1988.

His BUD/S class started with 80 people, and in July of 1989, 8 students left at graduation. The entire class was assigned to SEAL Team 8. After that, Holland drove to Fort Benning, Georgia, to the U.S. Army Airborne School. He was the youngest in the class of 300. Upon graduation, he reported to SEAL Team 8, Little Creek, Virginia.

SEAL Team 8 and DEVGRU

In 1990, he was deployed to Northern Iraq during Operation Desert Storm. Holland was tasked with deep reconnaissance and sniper missions. Upon completing the deployment, he was awarded the Navy Achievement Medal and was sent to Sniper School. He completed  Naval Special Warfare Sniper School at Atterbury, Indiana, as an honor graduate and received the top shooter award.

Kevin Holland finished his BUD/s training in November 1988
Kevin Holland finished his BUD/s training in November 1988 (Photo: U.S. Navy)

In 1992, Kevin Holland went for screening by the Naval Special Warfare Development Group (DEVGRU, Seal Team 6). This organization recruits the top 1% of all SEALS in the Navy. In the summer of 1992, he left SEAL Team 8 and checked in to DEVGRU. Only three years later, Kevin Holland left the Navy.

Private sector and then Delta Force

From 1995 to 2001, he worked with his dad in the private sector, and then 9/11 happened, and all that changed. Holland immediately called his old command and spoke with some people about returning to help. He had a friend with the U.S. Army Special Operations in Somalia in 1993. He told him that the organization was already in the Middle East, and he would try out for that unit if he were him. He contacted them and went and tried out.

He attended the selection with 116 other candidates, and one month later, 16 of them remained. Holland was assigned to Fort Bragg and the U.S. Army Special Operations Command in 2002.

MSG Kevin Holland, former DEVGRU and Delta Force operator
MSG Kevin Holland, former DEVGRU and Delta Force operator (Photo: X.Y.)

He completed the 8-month Special Forces Qualification Course (Q Course) in 2005 and earned his Special Forces Tab and Green Beret. Kevin Holland deployed 20 times to the Middle East, conducting over 2000 combat missions. He was wounded with shrapnel in 2004 when an IED exploded behind his vehicle, killing one of his team members.

After completing A&S/OTC, MSG, Kevin Holland served as an assaulter with 1st SFOD-D for roughly ten years, retiring in 2013. Most men who make it to an SMU will stick with said SMU for most of their careers. In March 2011, Holland was shot during the mission.

Wounded in combat

In March 2011, he was unlucky. During the mission, they were watching a patrol of foreign fighters. All were well-armed and on a mission. They took a house from a villager, and that’s when they were launched. Holland’s team mission was to eliminate two individuals who had walked out into a palm grove behind the house. As they came in on helicopters, the individuals started shooting at them, so they returned fire with a grenade launcher, wounding one of them.

Kevin Holland become member of Delta Force in 2002
A Delta Force operator with a CAR-15 is seen in the foreground of this picture (Photo: DoD/Staff Sergeant Dean W. Wagner)

The other one ran deeper into the palm grove. The team landed, eliminated the wounded individual still shooting at them, and pursued the other. Holland was directed to the insurgents’ location. When he rounded the corner of the villagers’ house, the insurgent opened fire with a belt-fed PKM machine gun from 20 yards, hitting him in the chest just above his armor plate+, immediately paralyzing his left arm. Another round glanced off the weapon magazines on his chest, and another shot his radio in half, which was on his side.

Holland dove into an irrigation ditch as the individual kept firing his 200-round belt at him, hitting the pack he was wearing multiple times. He then started firing at Holland’s team, and when he realized he wasn’t being shot at anymore, he rose above the water, laying his weapon on its side on the mound of dirt in front of the ditch, and started shooting at the insurgent’s muzzle blast. Insurgent then came running at Holland as he was shooting at him. The insurgent was shot in the foot, so he fell nearly on top of Holland and hobbled out of the gate where he was captured.

After about 10 minutes, Kevin Holland got out of that ditch, found his team, patched up, walked out to the helicopter, and flew to the nearest base.

MSG Kevin Holland spent the whole time in rehabilitation until he retired from active military service in 2013. The doctors told him they did not have a lot of data on his wound because not many people survive being shot through the chest, so they don’t know a whole lot about how long it will take the nerves to come back if they come back. Among over 30 awards are seven Bronze Stars, two for valor in combat, and two for Purple Hearts.

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23 thoughts on “Kevin Holland served both in Seal Team 6 and Delta Force”

  1. Thank you for sharing your testimony as well as our country. May GOD continue to Bless you and your family.

  2. “Brotherhood”
    Back then I was so young. 9/11, left Bragg to train in Eastern Europe and a short rest in Germany. Assigned to 3rdID, Kuwait, Jan 03′, “Shock & Awe” Iraq, Mar 03′. Its a blur trying to remember the what, the where etc…I remember shortwave radios we’re not aware until we had already made it to the outside of Baghdad. Small arms were minimal until we hit Ramadi, BIAP and the Air base “Al Balad”. First experience of little tripod to launch mortars were in the beds of these little Toyoyta trucks. Within two months daily mortar attacks (still showering next teammates in between light Humvees. Sandbags lining the floors. Strapped across the hood against windshield, plywood inside door (vinyl doesn’t do much against rounds or shrapnel).
    Contractors making 4-6 times more than I was making (E5/4+ yrs) gave us purpose. Protect the semi’s. No overwatch, QRF, Baghdad to Mosul or Fallujah. Sunni Triangle, or part of it?
    Thank God for Stop-loss. 5 1/2 yrs still over there.

    If you’re venting over good & evil then you have many chapters left to read mate! CNN, Fox News is gospel and that’s we watch it every Sunday morning in our class A’s!!

    Honorably Discharged
    Service Connected “Disabled”
    3-5 months vacation to vurn and that’s when I get a peak behind the curtain.

  3. Thanks Kevin, for all you have done in service for our great nation.
    Thanks also to his parents who obviously were paramount in molding and shaping this great and honorable man.

  4. “Don’t mourn men such as this when they die,be gratefull that men like this lived” -General George S Patton The man did more then his share for his country.

  5. Kevin, I want to thank you for your testimony. I’m Retired Army and after work tonite I sat and heard your testimony. I didn’t pray alot either but tonight I prayed to the good Lord and thankful for all I have and for my family. I always remember the times I seen you special operators in Iraq and Kuwait and I have always held your teams service with the highest regard. God speed brother.

  6. to charles smith and his remarks,
    my best man was a former 160th SOAR CW4 deployed 12 times and conducted several hundred missions, as honorable and brave and was a true warrior and hero and you are a true coward Smith

  7. What a machine able to do something at a very high level few can ever do ,then leave in good terms .Sign up with a different branch then operate again at the highest level again .

  8. God bless Kevin Holland. Just listened to his story on Jack Carr’s podcast. A humble, elite American badass who has led an extraordinary life. Thank you for a lifetime of sacrifices sir.

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