Okay, tell us about yourselves. Who are the Mad Duo?

Well, to start with the Mad Duo never drinks more than one in dog beers. Have you ever heard of Flat Stanley? What if Flat Stanley was an action figure that belonged to some military and LE guys? What if Flat Stanley had a buddy, and those military and LE guys took the two action figures with them to training, on operations and into strip bars?


Who are we? Individually we are Jake “Slim” Call and Richard “Swingin’ Dick” Kilgore. That doesn’t really answer he question, though, because you can’t judge us individually—it would be demeaning, stupid, and potentially fatal if we find out about it. The Mad Duo is a tactically proficient, outside the wire pair of shooters that together create an unmatched patriotic gestalt. At our simplest, we are two of the smallest, saltiest, trigger-pullingest trigger-pullers around. We’re the guys that finally caught Keyser Söze. No offense to Butch and Sundance, but if we’d have been the ones who went to Bolivia, the Bolivian Army would have surrendered to us. Unlike the Dynamic Duo, the Mad Duo requires no costume to strike fear into the hearts of evildoers everywhere (though we do rather like OCP and MarPat).

The Mad Duo would like Dalton Fury to pay them the money he owes them from that poker game, or the embarrassing cell phone pictures are coming out.

We have always wanted to meet Billy Waugh (and may yet), are big admirers of Wiley Clapp, wished we could have met Col. Cooper and were familiar with Col. Grossman’s work long before the ‘sheepdog’ phenomenon spawned patches and t-shirts and eleventy-five different websites. We don’t like to brag, but the fact is we’re masters of Kalarippayattu, we boogie down with Capoeira and are experts in Chun Kuk Do. However, we mostly prefer rifles for social work. Though flattered by the offer, we declined the Joint Chiefs’ suggestion rename CENTCOM MADDUOCOM and we were the joint tactical advisors for Fatl1ty in ’04, ’05 and ’07. Though we have no need to brew it, we both know the recipe for Funky Cold Medina.

The Mad Duo never dangles its participles and once stole Andy McNabb’s “racing spoon”.

Time spent in the Mad Duo’s company is never wasted and in the long-term is life-changing; none of the 1:1 scale lackeys that work for us, for instance, are allowed to donate blood. (That’s because Red Cross is afraid the recipients might develop superpowers.) The Mad Duo loves to share our wit and wisdom with those of sufficient perspicacity to read our blog or befriend them on FaceBook. We were roadies once for Aldous Snow and correspond to this day with guys the caliber of Rick Lopez, Rob Pincus, Angry Dave Agata and Frank Borelli.

The Mad Duo eats pansit, but not balut and their tactical operations are all in stereophonic quadrovision. Sometimes they speak about themselves in the third person.

The Mad Duo loves our country, decry stupidity and despise bureaucratic functionaries. We stalk marplots, martinets and Bravo Foxtrot (Blue Falcon) NCOs for fun and pleasure. We have mailed themselves overseas to numerous AORs, hung out with soldiers and SWAT guys from several countries, and even been videoed in a TIC during a convoy with Marines in a Anbar Province. Make no mistake are warriors—don’t you dare let the small size and the plastic fool you.

What’s your most notable mission to date?

That’s hard to say, of course. Richard had to be put back together after rolling over an IED north of Baghdad once, and Slim was thrown so far by a bull near Austin it took several days to recover him and put him back together. (Both of those events were documented and investigated.) There was one bar fight though…Remember the shootout in the bar during the opening scenes of Desperado? That was based on a Slim and a gunfight he got caught up in, in Serbia back in ’03….except for the part with the ceiling fan—that was actually Richard. There’s also the evening they spent with a retired CSM of the 10TH Mountain in the Pegasus Club, near Ft. Polk, but that’s best not spoken of in polite company. (The incident at the Pegasus Club did not officially “happen” as thankfully no charges were filed and the local cops thankfully had a sense of humor.”)

What’s the Mad Duo’s preferred skill set?

Well, both of us are accomplished trackers, but if it came down to it, Richard has always been a direct action kind of guy (suiting his background with knuckle-draggers from a SWAT team) while Slim has a marked affinity for long-range, optically assisted projectile delivery (not a surprise, given the time his handler spent working reconnaissance missions before being posted to an I & I billet.) Anything that will help them crush crime, vice and evil.

How many handlers do you have, and how do you recruit them?


The number of minions thralls handlers the Duo keeps around actually varies. There are four “primary” handlers, if that’s the right word for it, with perhaps another half dozen adjunct handlers and associates that help us out on occasion. Some volunteer, some sort of wind up part of the crew by accretion, others just do what we tell them to—or else. All handlers are military or law enforcement personnel (or both, in a couple of ‘former’ and ‘Guard/Reserve’ cases). A sense of humor is as important a quality of such handlers as their demonstrated technical expertise in their chosen field. This is to make sure the Duo’s tactical perspective is correct and well articulated offered to our devoted readers, whether with regards to tracking, patrol tactics, shooting, officer safety and the wit and candor to stay abreast of such topics as just how ridiculous Joy Behar and Keith Olbermann are and how desperately they need to be bitch-slapped.

How did such a storied and tactical proficient team ever get its start?

The Mad Duo got its start several years back as something akin to Flat Stanley. One of the Mad Duo’s current handlers, the “progenitor” of the whole thing, began taking an action figure belonging to his then 8-year old son to training evolutions, SWAT Schools, etc. This action figure was known as ‘Dirty Steve Speirs’ and his first deployment was to a Caliber Press Street Survival School in Iowa, followed quickly by LAPD’s D Platoon Advanced SWAT School at the old SOTG Range at Camp Pendleton. Speirs enjoyed about a year of various tactical, sniper and tracking courses before running unfortunately running afoul of a mastiff puppy. His injuries necessitated an early retirement, but not before he’d manage to help in the recruitment and training of a replacement: Swingin’ Dick Kilgore (Swingin’ Dick because his name is Richard and his first ‘deployment’ was to Air Assault School, where his career was very nearly cut tragically short in a horrible sling load incident). In short order Swingin’ Dick began running with Jake “Slim” Call, an action figure similarly used by elements of a local grunt company and the I & I Det assigned to them. With that friendship, history was made and the legendary Mad Duo was born. Since then the we have traveled together and separately to all four corners of the earth—Iraq, Afghanistan, Australia, assorted European countries and perhaps the strangest places of all, California and Washington D.C.

Are there any plans to make a movie about the Duo?


That’s a tough one. First they’d have to embed Johnnie To, John McTiernan and John Woo with Michael Yon and Sebastian Junger in some third world Derkaderkistan. Then they’d need to start them chewing on qat, force them to sit through 24 hours of Kurosawa films straight after getting them drunk on home-brewed soju…all the while listening to something written by Lo Tayu in a moment of stark, raving bloodthirsty epiphany. This 3-John love child would then have to collaborate with James Cameron and Ridley Scott, lashed to near fatal heights of razor brilliance by a spicy, balut-fueled Tony Scott, who would be wielding a barbed cat-o-nine-tails while haunted by the ghost of Sam Peckinpah. It would require wuxia-like special effects reflecting their transcendent mastery of qigong and a musical score by Hans Zimmer. If they managed to pull that off, and if they then hired Andy McNabb, Billy Waugh, Mick Gould and Doug McQuarrie as the technical advisors for the weapon handling…then they might have a chance of pulling it off.


So what are you doing right now?

The Mad Duo now writes in a desultory fashion in a number of places, including their own blog, Officer.com, Soldier Systems, Trainer’s Command Post, SWAT Digest, Kiy Up!, Tactical Airsoft Review and the like. Their scalpel-like, incisive wit and insight have been described as “…the equivalent of an op-ed head shot where you never hear the sound of the round hat kills you…” They continue to travel, train and deploy like the mad, dedicated, doorkicking action figures they are.