Retired Sgt. Maj. William “Billy” Waugh, known as a legend within the Special Forces and the CIA, passed away at age 93. With a remarkable 50-year career that included multiple deployments to Vietnam, counter-terrorism operations with the CIA, and mentoring Special Forces soldiers, Waugh left an indelible mark on American military and intelligence history. His daring exploits and fearless attitude were celebrated at a ceremony held by the U.S. Special Operations Command at MacDill Air Force Base in Florida.
- Billy Waugh enlisted in the Army in 1948 and earned his Green Beret in 1954, two years after the first Special Forces unit was formed. He went on to participate in classified special operations and reconnaissance missions during the Vietnam War.
- After serving 24 years in the Army, Waugh transitioned to the CIA, where he monitored terrorists and played a crucial role in capturing Venezuelan terrorist Carlos the Jackal and surveilling Osama bin Laden.
- At the age of 72, Waugh defied the norms by deploying to Afghanistan post 9/11, contributing to the war on terror. His fearlessness was highlighted as he negotiated with the then CIA chief to allow him to join the mission.
- In his later years, Waugh dedicated his time to mentoring Special Forces soldiers, frequenting the John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School to provide his insights and experiences.
- The ceremony celebrating Waugh’s life emphasized his enduring commitment to the welfare of soldiers and his significant contributions to the security of the United States, symbolizing his lasting influence on the military and intelligence communities.