Michael's Dispatches

Deuce Four: B. General Erik Kurilla makes an Amazing Speech


06 January 2016


Erik is the finest combat leader I ever went to combat with. Spent five months with him. Before I got there to the unit in Mosul, Erik had already been knocked out by a car bomb and all sorts of other things, but was still doing missions literally 7 days per week, as the battalion commander.

The enemy hated Erik so much that they put a bounty on him. The enemy hated Deuce Four. I loved them. They were incredibly aggressive and so there was constant contact with the enemy.

The bounty did not work. Erik and the Deuce Four battalion were killing enemy practically daily, and they themselves took 183 casualties.

One day Erik got shot in front of me, hit three times, badly, but he continued to fire at the enemy and give orders. Erik was the last casualty of the battalion.

image003Erik had just been shot three times. A femur was snapped in two but he kept fighting and giving orders

Before it was over, Bruce Willis wanted to do a movie about Erik and the Deuce Four, and asked me to write a book, but long story short I stayed in the wars.

image005CSM Robb Prosser shot and fought hand-to-hand the terrorist who shot Erik. Needless to say, Robb won.

Today I am honored to have such friends, and to know that such people serve in our military still.

image007Deuce Four Recon Platoon: Some of the baddest men on the block. They loved to fight. This day they took me to the range in Mosul. The snipers were practicing to fire simultaneously to take out several targets at once.

You must see Erik’s inspirational speech:

If you are unable to view the above video Click Here.

And photos of Erik and the Deuce Four in combat when Erik got shot the second time (hit three times and still fighting):



And comments from the incredible Deuce Four Soldiers who were there:



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  • This commment is unpublished.
    ken · 5 years ago
    Remember it was like yesterday. I followed all your post with the 2/4. Any information where the Sergeant Major may be these days? Quite the guy as well. Congrats to Erik and his promotion.

    • This commment is unpublished.
      KP · 4 years ago
      CSM Prosser is retired and still lives in WA state.
      I see him about once a week at LA Fitness working out.
    • This commment is unpublished.
      Cat · 5 years ago
      Prosser retired I think.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Dan Engels · 5 years ago
    Thanks for video. Good to see he became a General.
    The story is from 2005. Time flies. Can still remember following your Dispatches back then.

  • This commment is unpublished.
    Phyllis Pajka · 5 years ago
    I remember when you wrote about him getting shot. It was a great story and it is wonderful to see he is looking no worse for the wear. You did such a wonderful job of covering the action there and I still have every one of you emails about it. You're just the best writer there is Michael.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Leyla · 5 years ago
    what a wonderful speech and great guy! Makes me proud and blessed to be an American! May we never forget those who protect us and keep us free!!
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Kelly Calhoun · 5 years ago
    How well I remember this happening. What character.
    I had so many items to send to /7 Cav but since they
    Had enough you suggested to send to These brave Soldiers. Michael you were so brave and courageous.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Chris Melton · 5 years ago
    Awesome tribute to his fellow warriors. We are fortunate as a nation to have patriots such as Gen. Kurilla serving our country.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Ric Walters · 5 years ago
    Amazing doesn't describe it. No wonder he's so beloved by his troops. HOOYAH, General Kurilla!
  • This commment is unpublished.
    LarryO · 5 years ago
    Thank you Michael for your continued support of our service people and providing an unbiased report we can all relate to. There are many reasons these days to be somewhat disappointed in how our present administration is tackling the terror problem but folks like General Kurilla bring renewed faith for our country and more importantly, to our service members who take the brunt.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Don · 5 years ago
    Thank you Gen. Kurilla (for so much) and Michael for sharing this story!
    • This commment is unpublished.
      bob simons · 5 years ago
      Congratulations to the Ultimate Warrior, a warrior our nation can be very proud of and a cadet and Lt I do as a lieutenant in Korea congratulations Erik!
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Vanessa Nocella · 5 years ago
    Thank you
    We owe so much
    God Willing God Speed that those that protect us be kept as safe as possible from bodily harm and may we know peace soon so that Hashem may come and dwell openly with us so that our warriors will be with their loved ones enjoying life instead of protecting us from harm so that we may enjoy our life
  • This commment is unpublished.
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    Verdie goodner · 5 years ago
    This is a long shot I know but what would it take to make contact with General kurilla. I am know a firefight paramedic serving the community I live in and seek advice on leadership. I am no one just a small part of something bigger than myself. Yet I find my self in a portion of some influence to do good and I often draw from my time I servered under then Lt Col Kurilla in Mosul Iraq. I have yet to experience the type of leadership that was represented under his command. As I said I am just a small piece of such a much bigger picture. I humbly ask for any opportunity to seek advice and possible correspondence with General kurilla on his concepts of leadership at many levels. Godspeed to all those who serve and sacrifice daily do I may enjoy the privileges of freedom

    Thank you
    Verdie Goodner.
    Former deuce four member
  • This commment is unpublished.
    DAVID FOSTER LA ROCH · 4 years ago
    Great patriot. Obama's watch created more American casualties than G. W. Bush's by creating more difficult rules of engagement requiring even attorney consults over the radio call net.
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    Carlos Amaya · 2 years ago
    Truly it was an honored to have taken care of all all the soldiers, marines, airmen and local nationals. The 228th CSH deployed to Mosul in support of all these heroes. I remembered GEN Kurilla arriving to my trauma bay simply asking how everyone else was doing, disregarding his lower extremities injuries. Thank you DOUCE FOUR for all your sacrifices.

    Carlos Amaya CRNA
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