Soldier of Fortune (magazine)

Soldier of Fortune (magazine)

Infobox Magazine
title = Soldier of Fortune

image_size = 250px
image_caption = September 1995 cover
company = Soldier of Fortune Inc.
category = paramilitary
frequency = monthly
total_circulation =
circulation_year =
language = English, many others
subject_category =
editor = Robert K. Brown
editor_title = Editor/Publisher
firstdate = 1975
country = flag|United States
website = []

"Soldier of Fortune" magazine, frequently abbreviated "SOF", is a periodical publication devoted to coverage of conflicts around the globe, including conventional war, low-intensity warfare and terrorism. The motto of the magazine is "The Journal of Professional Adventurers."


The magazine was founded by Lieutenant Colonel, U.S. Army Reserve, (Ret.) Robert K. Brown, a Green Beret who served in Vietnam. [] After he retired from active duty, Brown began a circular with information on opportunities for mercenary employment in Oman. There, the Sultan Qaboos had recently overthrown his father and was battling a communist insurgency. This report eventually morphed into the present glossy periodical. Also significant in the history of SOF, was the unprecedented recruitment drive the magazine promoted in the 1970s for volunteers in the Rhodesian Bush War. The popularity of SOF led to a several similar magazines with titles such as "Survive", "Gung Ho!", "New Breed", "Eagle", "Combat Illustrated", "Special Weapons and Tactics" and "Combat Ready" which have mostly ceased publication.

Content and editorial policies

"SOF" is notorious for sending its journalists into the most dangerous and obscure parts of the world, or purchasing independent reports from "stringers" covering these areas. Occasionally these on-the-spot reports are useful to intelligence professionals, "SOF" maintains coverage of hot spots such as Afghanistan, Iraq and the Palestinian Territories even when the traditional news ignores the constant low-level violence typical in such areas. "SOF" also covers African warfare in greater depth than almost any other publication due to the historical link between Africa and mercenary activity.

"SOF"'s editorials often take positions on controversial topics in the United States military such as the POW-MIAs in Vietnam, opposing female combat roles in the armed services, budget cuts and new weapons systems, cultural changes in the military, and gun control. Sometimes these positions are unprintable in any official military publication but reflect the views of thousands of soldiers who write letters to "SOF"'s editorial staff. But "SOF" has often gone against the grain of its readership when good sense seems to call for it; for instance, the magazine was harshly critical of retired Colonel James "Bo" Gritz's attempts to rescue American POWs still purportedly held in Southeast Asia, to the point of publishing a special issue highlighting the nature of the missions. Another issue debunked several "New World Order" conspiracies and their proponents, who claim that the U.S. is about to be invaded by armies of foreign governments, and that the country should prepare itself for a United Nations takeover. The magazine is also staunchly anti-communist. Some see SOF as a continuation of men's adventure magazines that gradually fell out of favour in the late 1960s.

Notable Contributors

* Col. David "Hack" Hackworth, US army, Ret.
* Ltc. Oliver North, US Marines, Ret.
* Ltc. Robert C. MacKenzie, US Army, Ret. KIA

External links

* [ Soldier of Fortune magazine website]

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