The British Special Air Service is roughly the equivalent of the American Special Forces and maintains an equally rigorous standard for its recruits. The combat records of SAS personnel are classified, but it is assumed that Big Ben participated in the initial recon operations in the Falklands campaign and in various covert operations. He received his initial training at Bradbury Lines Barracks in Hereford and was on cadre at the NATO LRRP School in West Germany.
"To qualify for the SAS, a candidate trooper must complete the 'Long Drag' which is a forced march over 30 miles through marshes and rough, hilly terrain, carrying 50 pounds of equipment. This march must be completed in less than 20 hours and is a grueling test of endurance and land navigation. Big Ben completed his march in 12 hours, had a bit of supper, and volunteered to go back out and help search for candidates who got lost in the moors!"
Tired of northeastern winters, Whiteout's family moved west before he could walk. He was raised in the Arizona desert, where temperatures are known to reach 128 degrees in the shade. After college, Whiteout decided on a career in publishing. With revenues gained from the sale of a rather valuable baseball card collection, he founded a political magazine with a decidedly eccentric Libertarian bent entitled, Live Free Or Else! As publisher, Whiteout took more heat than a lone cactus in the middle of a desert. A trip back east convinced him that a cooler climate-and career change-were desperately needed. Once he witnessed his first snowfall, he was hooked. Whiteout took to skis, and the snow, the way a squirrel takes to trees. No maneuver is beyond his capabilities, even when carrying a backpack and rifle. He even grew a beard to insinuate his face against the stinging blast of downhill runs. The Joe team recruited Whiteout when it was learned that he single-handedly saved the lives of 12 mountain climbers trapped on the unforgiving slopes of K2.
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