The only publicly known operator who served both DEVGRU and DELTA FORCE

The only publicly known operator who served both DEVGRU and DELTA FORCE 2020 image
MSG Kevin Holland (Photo: XY)

The only publicly known operator who both served in DEVGRU (SEAL Team 6) and Delta Force (1st SFOD-D) was Kevin Holland. Long-story-short, yes; it is possible for an individual to serve in MULTIPLE Special Mission Units (i.e. RRC, TFO, 24th STS, NSWDG, and 1st SFOD-D), however, it is VERY unlikely.

MSG Kevin Holland is a former member of BOTH the Naval Special Warfare Development Group (SEAL Team Six) and the 1st Special Forces Operational Detachment-Delta (Delta Force). He was originally 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 his high school, he signed up on the delayed entry program to join the US Navy.

Holland started his career off in the SEAL Team 6: A Secret History of Quiet Killings and Blurred …www.nytimes.com › 2015/06/07 › world › asia › the-secret-history-of…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 at graduation there were 8 students left. The entire class was assigned to SEAL Team 8. After that, Holland drove to Fort Benning, Georgia to US Army Airborne School. He was the youngest in the class of 300. Upon graduation, he reported to SEAL Team 8, located in Little Creek, Virginia.

The U.S. 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 completion of 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 honor graduate and received the top shooter award.

MSG Kevin Holland, former DEVGRU and Delta Force operator
MSG Kevin Holland, former DEVGRU and Delta Force operator (Photo: XY)

In 1992, Holland went for screening to the Naval Special Warfare Development Group. 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 Dev Group. In 1995, Holland left the Navy.

Private sector and then Delta Force

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

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

He completed the 8 month Special Forces Qualification Course (Q Course) in 2005 and earned my Special Forces Tab and Green Beret.

He 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 the members of his team.

After successful completion of A&S/OTC, MSG. Holland served as an assaulter with 1st SFOD-D for roughly 10 years; retiring in 2013.  Most men who make it to an SMU will stick with said-SMU for the majority 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 that 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.

The other one ran deeper into the palm grove. Team landed and eliminated the wounded individual that was still shooting at them, and pursued the other. Holland was directed to the insurgents’ location and 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 of ammunition 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 raised up 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. Insurgent was shot in the foot and that’s why he fell nearly on top of Holland and hobbled out of the gate where he was captured.

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

MSG Holland spent the whole time at rehabilitation until his retirement from active military service in 2013. The doctors told him they do not have a lot of data on his wound because not a lot of people survive being shot through the chest where he was shot 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 included seven Bronze Stars with two awarded for valor in combat along with two Purple Hearts.

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