Podcast: Interview with CMSgt William C. Markham (Retired)


Podcast: Interview with CMSgt William C. Markham (Retired)


In a contested environment we will need to become less reliant on constant communication with higher, reduce micromanagement, and trust the commander on the ground to make decisions.


Audio Length: 18 minutes


Editor’s Note: Following his presentation to the Air Command and Staff College as part of Gathering of Eagles, a week of events celebrating airpower history, OTH sat down with CMSgt William C. Markham for a short interview. In this video CMSgt Markham shares his experience as the first Airman on the ground in Afghanistan after September 11, 2001. He discusses his views about close air support, the impact of technology on warfare, the special forces mission, contested communications, integration of allies, urban operations, and the future of special operations warfare.






David C. Smith


Referenced during the interview:

12 Strong

The views expressed are those of the interviewee and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the Department of the Air Force or the U.S. Government.


Retired Air Force Chief Master Sargent William Calvin Markham is a long time Air Force Special Operations Command quiet professional. He has an extensive operational background to include advanced skills as a joint terminal attack controller, freefall, static line jump master and combat dive supervisor. He deployed in support of numerous contingencies and Special Operations missions during Operations Resolute Support, Freedom Sentinel, Enduring Freedom, New Dawn Iraqi Freedom, Enduring Freedom-Philippines, Joint Endeavor, Provide Promise, and Provide Comfort. Notably in 2001, he was the first Airman in Afghanistan as the Combat Controller attached to Operational Detachment Alpha 555, the famed “Triple Nickel.” Now retired, he continues to support the special operations community in a civilian capacity as the Operations Officer for the Special Operations Warfare Foundation.






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