Talk:Chris Ryan

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According to the Bravo Two Zero article, this is his real name. Have confirmed this elsewhere. Beanbatch 17:23, 30 August 2005 (UTC)

Have met the man. I confirm that this is not his real name. It is indeed a pseudonym. Edward Grefenstette 02:25, 2 November 2005 (UTC)

I don't get it, he is now a public figure, an author, on TV, etc..why maintain the pseudonym? Part of the SAS mystique?--Hooperbloob 05:44, 5 April 2006 (UTC)

Because that's how he's known? I doubt Fred Boggis's Survival Tips would sell quite as well, somehow. PeteVerdon 23:18, 6 April 2006 (UTC)
Heard it's part of the SAS policy. If I'm not right, please correct me. 05:46, 20 June 2006 (UTC)
I believe it is, but he hasn't exactly kept within the spirit, if not the letter, of SAS policy already. I personally think it's to protect himself and his family. On his real name being boring... well I know his surname and that's not too boring or geeky. Still, I shall say no more on the subject. 19:25, 16 August 2006 (UTC)

Chris was never a member of the Parachute Regiment. He went straight into 22 SAS as a territorial. He did however spend a brief period with the paras to get a parent regiment something they did then. It was common practice for anyone not serving in a regular army unit to do that then. Royal Navy, RAF and even Royal Marines but is a system that has become defunct now.

hmmmmm.... nice fairytale mate. Ryan IS a pseudonym, let's please stop bringing this into question. some of you may be confused as to why he uses a pseudonym but doesn't hide his face, but it doesn't matter, it will remain an unanswered querie. just to reconfirm, regardless of what some of you have heard from your cousin's best friend's mother's uncle, or elsewhere, ryan IS a pseudonym.—The preceding comment was added on unknown date.


I just wondered if anyone could answer this question. If 'Chris Ryan' is indeed not his real name, and the name is a Pseudonym, then why on the cover of 'Chris Ryan's SAS Fitness Book' and at the back of his books is there a picture of him?

Note: (P.S) : I thought his name and his face had to be secret?—The preceding comment was added on unknown date.

You can choose to keep your name OR your face secret - or BOTH. You don't have to keep both if you want one. I can confirm that "Ryan" is a pseudonym, and you people should respect that. Maybe none of you know how it is to live with terror threats over your head, but I happen to know how it is and it's not something you want to play around with. He should be able to write books without people crying out for his name to be publicized. Same applies to "Andy McNab". To the person who tried to publicize what they thought was his real name earlier: you should be ASHAMED of yourself. I'm sorry that you have an unsated curiosity and want to know everything - but you're playing with a man's life here. Nimloth250 (talk) 16:24, 16 June 2010 (UTC)Nimloth250

What is OP?[edit]


OP? what on earth is OP? How on earth can an initial be used with no reference to what it stands for.

Also the phrase '...made eye contact with the patrol' could of course be expressed succinctly as 'saw them.'


An OP is an observation post and I've clarified this in the article. DavidB601 08:12, 12 August 2007 (UTC)

Chris Ryan ain't his real name. He used it when he was held by the Syrians. Besides he knows things about the regiment. If he used his real name, enemies could track him and his family down and squeeze him for information which would endanger SAS troopers and their families.

Right... i believe that the Pseudonym is part of the policy, as a few programmes on tv lately are interviewing past members of the regiment and a few have blanked out faces. Now, has anyone thought that maybe, they have several choices; firstly, they can have a pseudonym. Secondly, they can have a pseudonym and general media blackout (so to speak) or their third ption could be to just not have any secrecy and risk it. ALthough, it could depend on what ops they've been on and how long they've been out of the regiment. Anyhow, thats my say, hope it's either switched on a few light bulbs or cleared some things up. if not, well, tough.

Oh, and has anyone actually noticed a striking similarity between Chris Ryan (ex SAS) on Chris Ryan's Elite World Police tv show and Mike from the Young Ones? just throwing it out there..... —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:45, 15 December 2008 (UTC)

One Blank Too Far?[edit]

Is somebody able to confirm that Chris Ryan has (or is planning) to write this book as I've checked elsewhere on the Internet and cannot find anything about it. I've removed it but if someone does find something about it then feel free to put it back under Non Fiction. DavidB601 18:47, 26 March 2007 (UTC)

Based in aden??[edit]

How could Chris Ryan have been based in Aden during the british withdrawl... The withdrawl happened in 1967, Ryan was born in 1961 and didn't join the terratorial SAS until 1984? WikipedianProlific(Talk) 12:51, 5 July 2007 (UTC)

The same question I wanted to pose - Chris Ryan was 6 when the British pulled out of Aden, this is clearly a spurious edit and should surely be removed?

Yes I was just about to make this exact comment! Since the above comment was from 2007 I am going to take this bit out. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 10:57, 17 March 2009 (UTC)

The quote is true. I made sure the reference given was correct, by looking up the page given in the reference and it says specifically how he parachuted into Aden because law and order was breaking down, no one mentioned a war.

Where does it specifically say "they parachuted into the sea to secure the beach heads whilst the British pulled out."? —Preceding unsigned comment added by Snakehands (talkcontribs) 12:21, 9 July 2010 (UTC)

"but after 3 weeks they were ordered to return to 22nd SAS to go with 'B'Squadron to Aden where they parachuted into the sea to secure the beach heads whilst the British pulled out."

Shear fantasy. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Snakehands (talkcontribs) 18:12, 7 July 2010 (UTC)

Changing the pseudonym 'Chris Ryan' to his actual name[edit]

Because this article is about a real person, I intend to edit the name 'Chris Ryan' to his actual name. I am aware that this is going to cause an uproar from 'Ryan' devoteees, however the edit is verifiable, and most importantly, it is the right thing to do for the sake of encyclopedic content: Wikipedia is not a soapbox and additionally, Wikipedia is not censored.

Not that it is required, but below is a brief justification for those who disagree that Wikipedia should inform readers about the truth behind their 'war hero'.


  • the British Official Secrets Act 1989 does not specify any legal restrictions on naming current nor ex-SAS personell[1].
  • Fellow patrol member 'Andy McNab' has stated "It's not a rule, it's common sense"[2].
  • The real name of 'Ryan' was published by the British Government themselves In The London Gazette in 1998 after he had left the SAS, and is still available online from the original British Government source[3].


  • Peer review and scrutiny is standard practice for all academic work, and when an autobiographer makes themself the subject of such a work, privacy is the price they knowingly pay. For the purpose of making a profit from authoring books, 'Ryan' has made himself the subject of one autobiography; The One That Got Away (1995).
  • When publishing the novel The One That Got Away, 'Ryan' demonstrated no consideration for the privacy of Vincent Phillips, Steven Lane and Bob Consiglio, all of whom he named, whilst not naming himself.
  • The verifiability of 'Ryan's' actual name, is solely due to his own actions in promoting himself as a Military Medal recipient. If 'Ryan' really cared about the privacy of his real name, he would not have included this distinguishing title in his pseudonym.


  • 'Ryan' regularly attends book signings[4][5][6] and is available for motivational public speaking[7] both actions which would contradict any serious claim for security.
  • 'Ryan's' former boss, ex-SAS Regimental Sergeant Major and fellow Gulf War veteran, Peter Ratcliffe has scorned 'Ryan's' use of a pseudonym, stating Ryan is not "serving in the regiment any longer. So what possible reason could [he] have for concealing [his] true identity?"[8].
  • There are no quoted sources in Chris Ryan's wiki article that claim any security reasons for his pseudonym[9].


  • 'Ryan' has always used the initials 'MM' as part of his title when authoring books. 'MM' refers to the 'Military Medal' 'Ryan' won during Operation Granby, Gulf War, 1991. Only 15 MMs were awarded in this operation[10]; the names of each recipient publically appearing in the London Gazette. Only 8 of these were awarded to members of the Special Air Service, 5 of which were ex-Parachute Regiment (as 'Ryan' has stated was his parent regiment in The One That Got Away (1995)), and one of these (Robert Consiglio) was awarded posthumously leaving only four names; Melville, Armstrong, Dunbar and Yoursten. Of these four, Yoursten works for Olive Security Group using his real name[11] and the service numbers of both Melville (24355763)[12] and Dunbar (24388481)[13] pre-date that of even Steven Mitchell (24428654)[14], who served in the British army for two years before 'Ryan' enlisted.

    By a structured process of elimination, using only British Government published sources and 'Ryan' himself, 'Chris Ryan' is most certainly Colin Armstrong[15]. --Mr Pillows (talk) 02:54, 13 May 2009 (UTC)
There's nothing 'secret' about it, as I understand Peter Ratcliffe has made clear. For me it's more a case of being a sport and letting the parade go by. I'd compare it to the Banksy article. His name isn't secret either, there's just no need to publish it here. Hakluyt bean (talk) 03:56, 7 February 2010 (UTC)
(For context, another editor had gone through and replaced all identifying information with "secret" and "classified" in the above section, before Hakluyt Bean replied. Mr Pillows was alleging that "'Chris Ryan' is most certainly Colin Armstrong", not "'Chris Ryan' is most certainly secret". --McGeddon (talk) 19:10, 8 October 2012 (UTC)

References for name change[edit]

Response to the proposal[edit]

If your strongest source for the author's real name is your own personal "structured process of elimination", then this goes strongly and clearly against WP:SYN ("Do not put together information from multiple sources to reach a conclusion that is not stated explicitly by any of the sources."). Editors' personal theories and research are not reliable sources, especially for a biographical article, which must hold to WP:BLP. --McGeddon (talk) 10:54, 13 May 2009 (UTC)

Comment. Wihout regard to above the article should be named using the most usual name he is known by - See Saki for an example Kernel Saunters (talk) 11:29, 3 July 2009 (UTC)

Ghost Written[edit]

It is surely well-known, and can be easily checked on the web, that Chris Ryan's books are ghost-written by a variety of different authors. Surely then this entry should make this clear? Wiki-pedia is meant to be a soource of information, and so it is surely wrong to describe him as an 'author'. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:46, 18 July 2009 (UTC)

Laughable claim, and as such don't post suggestions like that without clearly referencing to reliable sources (blogs, for instance, will not do) that state this explicitly with irrefutable proof. I know we all love to throw dirt on people who have achieved more than us, but for god's sake. It seems from the writing style that some of his later books may be ghost written (again, just speculation from my part and I have the humility not to represent it as fact), but trying to put doubt on his status as an author is just laughable and you ought to know better. Nimloth250 (talk) 05:44, 14 April 2012 (UTC)Nimloth250

Real name in lead[edit]

Given there's an edit war over this at the moment, does Michael Asher's book explicitly identify Ryan or is it the same network of speculation listed above? Should we be framing it as "the pseudonym of a Special Forces operative, thought by Michael Asher to be Colin Armstrong"? I can't find any other obvious sources that identify him. --McGeddon (talk) 10:33, 8 January 2010 (UTC)

Asher never served in 22 SAS and his book is flawed—Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 20:10, 26 January 2010
First claim true - as for the second one, EVERYONE'S book is flawed. Unless you want to assign yourself to the "Mcnab faction", the "Ryan faction" and so on and so forth, you're going to have to accept that each and every author lied at least a little bit in their books. In either case, your childish comment is irrelevant. Nimloth250 (talk) 05:46, 14 April 2012 (UTC)Nimloth250

Don't get it...[edit]

"planned to spend three months with the Parachute Regiment at Falklands, and stayed there for 3 months before returning back to England, where they parachuted into the sea to secure the beach heads whilst the British pulled out"

Into which sea did he parachute?

Which beach heads was he securing?

From where were the British pulling out?

Is this tied up with the Aden quotes I've read? They seem to have all gone. "At Falklands"? Do they mean the Falkland Islands?

The passage doesn't make much sense to me. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:38, 30 May 2010 (UTC)


Relating to his books, does the character Geordie Sharp in some of his books come in because of his internal SAS time? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 05:30, 1 July 2010 (UTC)

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Pilger/Khmer Rouge quote[edit]

The source for this states:

"Last March, the former SAS soldier Chris Ryan, now a best-selling author, lamented in a newspaper interview “when John Pilger, the foreign correspondent, discovered we were training the Khmer Rouge in the Far east [we] were sent home and I had to return the £10,000 we’d been given for food and accommodation”.

Checking back, the interview appears to be this one on the Daily Mail's 'This is Money' site. The full text reads:

Yes, in 1984 when I was in the SAS. The worst time was when John Pilger, the foreign correspondent, discovered we were training the Khmer Rouge in the Far East.
We were sent home and I had to return the £10,000 we'd been given to pay for food and accommodation. Unfortunately, I'd already spent the money kitting out my new home.

Pilger's use of the word "lamented" implies that Ryan was sorry that the training was stopped, when from the fill context it's clear that it caused him financial problems, because he'd already spent some/all of it. The latter may be an issue, but it has very little to do with the main issue of KR training by the SAS. I am therefore amending the text accordingly. Nick Cooper (talk) 15:06, 7 November 2011 (UTC)