Early in the Vietnam conflict, SEALs were considered just another soldier. They were used on common missions alongside regulars. Most military officers had no idea what they were capable of. They were not sent on specialty missions and didn’t get to fight the way they were trained. It wasn’t until Richard Marcinko was fighting that they started to be used the way they are supposed to. He forced the officers to let him write up his own missions and then go out and find the enemy. Seek and Destroy missions were often done by SEALs. They started to go on specialized missions with the help of reluctant officers and Marcinko. He fine tuned SEAL tactics and fought the way he wanted to.
A good majority of the officers he came into contact with were severely disgusted with his attitude towards superiority and this type of thing eventually got him kicked out of the military and a prison sentence. In Vietnam, his group racked up a staggering amount of kills and eventually had their tactics down so well they would periodically infiltrate enemy territory farther than anyone could have fathomed. His group was involved in uncountable intelligence intercepting missions, which bettered not only his situation, but also that of the entire military force in Vietnam. Most of Marcinko’s specific tactics are probably still in use today. He thought up the retrieval of a person from a plane and tried it himself. He served 2 tours in Vietnam and both times made the SEAL a respected title. Before his appearance, SEALs were not used probably at any stretch.
What he did for the military and SEALs specifically, is what makes them what they are today. The use of SEALs in Vietnam got better as the war went on. If Marcinko hadn’t been such the SEAL advocate that he was at that time, the military would be much different right now and the outcome of Vietnam could have been much worse in terms of casualties. He used his forces so effectively, that the enemy eventually put bounties on his group and on his head. I shudder to think how the military would be run if it didn’t have the kinds of people like Marcinko, and the very high-ups were making all the calls. It would be a much different military now, and it would have been a much different war in Vietnam.