Jason Amerine

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Jason Amerine
Born 1971
Honolulu, Hawaii, United States
Allegiance  United States of America
Service/branch United States Army
Years of service 1989 - 2016[1]
Rank Lieutenant Colonel
Unit Operational Detachment Alpha 574
Commands held Operational Detachment Alpha 574

War in Afghanistan

Awards Bronze Star Medal
Purple Heart
Legion of Merit

Jason Amerine (born 1971) is a retired Lieutenant Colonel in the United States Army Special Forces.[2] He served in the Invasion of Afghanistan in 2001, in which he aided tribal leader Hamid Karzai in fighting a guerrilla war against the Taliban. For bravery in the invasion, he was awarded the Bronze Star Medal and the Purple Heart.[3] He was also a "Real Hero" in the America's Army video game.[4]

Military career[edit]

After graduating from West Point, Amerine volunteered for Ranger duty and then for Special Forces Assessment and Selection (SFAS) and thereafter headed up Texas 12, the codename for Operational Detachment Alpha 574 of the Army's 3rd Battalion, 5th Special Forces Group. When training Kazakh paratroops in Kazakhstan, he received news of the September 11 attacks. He was assigned to help Afghan freedom fighters overthrow the Taliban rule in Afghanistan. He joined forces with local tribal leader Hamid Karzai, who assisted the US invasion via his own guerrilla war. In Uruzgan, Amerine with his Americans and Karzai with his freedom fighters both defended the town of Tarin Kowt from a Taliban attack. Next, the leaders marched on a campaign along the Arghandab River, fighting the Taliban at Shawali Kowt and Sayyd Alma Kalay. Both were US-Afghan victories, eventually leading to the capture of Kandahar, an Islamic spiritual center. Shortly after Karzai was elected to be interim leader of Afghanistan, Amerine was hit by friendly fire from a bomber. He lost three of his friends in the explosion, and learned three days later (in a hospital in Germany) that Kandahar had finally fallen to end the war. After recovering, he completed a master's degree in international affairs with an emphasis in national security at the George Bush School of Government and Public Service at Texas A&M University then taught at West Point as a Social Sciences, and later, an Arabic Language teacher.


On January 15, 2002, Jason Amerine was awarded the Bronze Star with Valor and the Purple Heart for his actions in Afghanistan. According to his citation: "His actions in the face of overwhelming odds and direct hostile aggression resulted in the surrender of Kandahar by Taliban forces... and directly contributed to his unit's and his country's success". Lieutenant General Paul T. Mikolashek, who oversaw the land war in Afghanistan, praised his exceptional courage, dedication to mission, and selfless commitment to his comrades. He was a guest at President George W. Bush's State of the Union address, where he said "Serving as an officer in the United States Army has been the greatest privilege in my life. In Afghanistan, I commanded American and Afghan soldiers, each fighting for his own nation and his people, yet united in a common cause as they entrusted one another with their lives. There is no greater courage than for people to fight side by side against the terrible odds they faced with such impenetrable faith in one another". Lieutenant Colonel Amerine's story and the story of his eleven-man A-Team of Green Berets is told in the New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestselling book The Only Thing Worth Dying For by Eric Blehm.

Whistleblower status[edit]

After Amerine provided information to Representative Duncan Hunter (R-CA) to assist the Congressman in preparing legislation to improve U.S. hostage freeing efforts in 2014, the Army received complaints from the FBI. In early 2015, the U.S. Army initiated what has been deemed by those close to Amerine as a retaliatory criminal investigation for his work aimed at improving hostage rescue procedures. In May 2015, Amerine's West Point Classmates initiated a Whitehouse.gov petition to “provide LTC Jason Amerine, SF, US Army, Whistleblower Protection and end all investigations and unfavorable actions.” On June 11, 2015 Amerine was one of five whistleblowers who testified before the U.S. Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs when it convened a hearing entitled, "Blowing the Whistle on Retaliation: Accounts of Current and Former Federal Agency Whistleblowers."[5]


  1. ^ Retired Green Beret says Mattis left 'my men to die' in Afghanistan Stars and Stripes, December 2, 2016
  2. ^ Fog of War: Facing Friendly Fire By Rebecca Leung (2003-04-11). "Fog of War: Facing Friendly Fire - 48 Hours". CBS News. Retrieved 2011-04-01. 
  3. ^ Zullo, Allan: Battle Heroes: Voices from Afghanistan
  4. ^ "America's Army: Jason Amerine Bio". Retrieved 2011-10-07. 
  5. ^ Kyle Jahner (2015-06-10). "Special Forces officer to talk at whistleblower hearing". Army Times. Retrieved 2015-06-12. 

External links[edit]