Categorized | Commentary/Editorial

Todd Palin Rapidly Detonates His Path to Third Stripe on Stars Earn Stripes – Devito

Todd Palin arrived to the landing zone in the back of a pickup truck. His teammates were assigned to take out the first set of land mines and a power transformer, at which point he swung into action. Palin tossed a smoke grenade to provide cover as his squad ran to a desert patrol vehicle that was delivered by helicopter sling load. Palin and his teammates undid the cables, then drove the vehicle to the next objective. A Humvee – to which a Browning M2 .50 caliber machine gun was mounted – accompanied the desert patrol vehicle. Upon arrival Palin took out the next four targets using a Beretta M9 9mm Parabellum pistol, to cheers of "holy cow!" from the next squad observing in the surveillance tent. His special op, J.W. Cortes took out the remaining targets with his SCAR 16. Palin then got atop the Humvee and took out two bunkers with the M2. The squad then abandoned both vehicles and ran toward the helicopter to extract them to safety.

Contestant Picabo Street said, "if I have to go against Todd in a shootout, it’s going to suck! He rises to the intensity and the more intense it gets, the more stealthy he gets." But, Street was spared Palin’s stealthiness and marksmanship skills. Laila Ali and Nick Lachey went to the elimination round, resulting in Ali being sent home. Palin’s squad went on to earn their third stripe worth $10,000 for Armed Services YMCA Alaska.

The sequence featuring Palin begins at 18:33 and ends at 24:22. Street’s statement about facing Palin in an elimination round starts at 31:45 and ends at 31:54.

Todd Palin racks the slide on his M9 in training.

Todd Palin fires his M9 in training.

Close-up from the left: Todd Palin fires his M9 in training.

From the left: Todd Palin fires his M9 in training.

Todd Palin POV camera from the pickup truck bed on the way to the drop zone.

Pickup truck arrives to the drop zone…

Todd Palin throws the smoke grenade, providing cover….

…As the helicopter delivers the desert patrol vehicle…

The squad runs to the desert patrol vehicle….

…and releases the cables.

Todd Palin slaps a magazine in his M9….

Todd Palin takes out the first target….

…the second….

…the third…

…and the fourth…

Todd Palin locks and loads the M2….

…shoots at the first bunker….

Todd Palin eliminates his target….

…which goes up in a column of smoke…

Todd Palin fires the M2 at his second and final bunker….

Target eliminated.

The squad runs to a clearing so the helicopter can extract them….

Mission Accomplished.

Browning M2 .50 Caliber Heavy Machine Gun ("Ma Deuce")

Invented by John Moses Browning, who is also known for the M1911, Browning Hi-Power, and BAR, the M2 is a crew-operated .50 BMG recoil-operated, belt-fed heavy machine gun. Its cyclic rate is approximately 550 rounds per minute. It weighs 84 pounds and the M3 tripod adds another 44 pounds. The M2 has served through both World Wars, Korea, VietNam, the Gulf War and Desert Storm. It can be mounted to aircraft, trucks and the M-1 Abrams tank.

Being a machine gun, the M2 is regulated under the National Firearms Act of 1934. Civilians can legally own it or any other fully automatic weapon if they submit to an extensive background check; pay a transfer tax to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; and their home state or municipality has not banned full-autos. The M2’s weight, cost to acquire and cost to shoot are prohibitive to all but the wealthiest of collectors, but one always makes an appearance at well-known machine gun shoots nationwide.

Defense Industry Daily provides more information on "Ma Deuce."

Beretta M9/M92 9mm Pistol

The Beretta M9 replaced the M1911 over 25 years ago, a move that was controversial at the time – and still is in many circles. The M9 fires 9mm Parabellum and the M1911 which had served our soldiers for 75 years is chambered in the more powerful .45 ACP. The M9 holds 15 rounds in its magazine compared to the M1911’s seven. Today, Para-Ordnance makes a 14-round M1911. It is 1/8″ wider in the butt. The M1911 is made in the USA by Colt, Springfield Armory, Kimber, and others. Beretta is from Italy, so many at the time objected to our sourcing our weapons to foreign manufacturers. The 9mm was chosen to comply with NATO standards.

Like most 9mm pistols, the M9 is double-action on the first shot, single on subsequent shots. This results in a heavy trigger pull on the first shot; something Todd Palin and all the other celebrity contestants had an issue with. Todd is used to long guns and does not work with pistols much, however, he learned fast and became deadly with the M9 in no time. The M1911 in contrast is single action with thumb and grip safeties, but there are safety issues with cocked and locked carry and handling. Many shooters have actually discharged it trying to slowly drop the hammer so that the pistol has a round in the chamber, but is not cocked. This is another reason why pistols such as the M9 found favor among the military and some law enforcement agencies. Still, despite the heavier recoil, the M1911 with its light trigger pull and 110-degree angle between butt and slide is ergonomically perfect and makes it easier to master.

FN Herstal SCAR 16

The SCAR was the assault rifle of choice for this mission and was featured in Todd Palin’s first mission.

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  • friskyness

     Todd is just awesome!

  • Anna Maria

    Instead of watching the GOPEs crowning, I’ll be  watching the Star and Stripes that I DVR’d..

  • Benjoyce

    Love this show. Todd rocks. There a big chance he is going to win it all. Hopefully they are going to do it individually instead of teams. For the past three episodes Todd is carrying the load.

  • DocBarry1

    So interesting, for great Charities.

  • c4pfan


  • James A. Tyler

    Ok, just for the fun of it… we all need some levity in this depressing atmosphere don’t we?

    Mitt Romney vs. Todd Palin in a fight

    Paul Ryan vs. Todd Palin in a fight

    Barack Obama vs. Todd Palin in a fight

    If each one of these guys got int o a fight, who would win?

    My god I couldn’t write any of these down with a straight face, lmao…

    • BrianusBerkleianus

      High Five, JT!!!

      • James A. Tyler

        The only interesting matchup would be Michelle Obama vs. Todd Palin… holy hell, would that be a blood-bath. That one would go on until someone whipped out the metal chair, haha

  • Guest

    Love SES……Go First Dude!!

  • idesign2

    You should all check out the "Stars Earn Stripes" Facebook page, I lot of people are supporting Todd..:)

  • Sentinel34

    Todd is fearless and cool-headed under pressure. He has what it takes to win this thing.

  • Exgunman

    If you are going to carry a 1911 with a round in the chamber, (It is unloaded essentially if you don’t, so what is the point of carrying it) the safest way is cocked/locked, You NEVER carry a Single Action 1911 with the hammer down on a loaded cartridge!!!!!. The gun, assuming it is properly functioning, cannot fire if it is cocked/locked. The safety when pushed up physically blocks the slide from operating, the grip safety prevents,if not pressed in, prevents the gun from firing. Also most newer models have a block on the firing pin such as the Series 80 Colts. Then Carrying it in a thumb break holster that has the retaining thumb break between the hammer and the firing pin also prevents accidental firing. I am certain that there have been accidental discharges (ADs) with a 1911, but I would be willing to bet it had a lot more to do with a malfunctioning non maintained gun or a malfunctioning individual handling it, than anything that was wrong with the gun. Properly handled a 45 ACP 1911 is a magnificent firearm and a great defensive weapon………………………………..

    • Seabee

      The Marine Corps is bringing the M1911 back to replace the Beretta.

    • devitor


      I agree. I don’t like the 9mm. I don’t like the double-to-single action setup on nearly all 9mm pistols. The Para-Ordnance P14-45 solves the capacity issue. I shot the 9mm twice and accuracy was next to impossible for me. I picked up the 1911 and after a learning curve of five shots, I was getting them all in the kill zone on target. Heck, I even did better with the big .500 Smith & Wesson Magnum than the 9mm! I got one .500 in the kill zone first time I shot it. Recoil is about double that of the .45. The .45 served our troops well for 75 years, and I think we should have stuck with it. If what Seabee below said is correct – I hope it is – it speaks volumes. The .45 ACP has much more stopping power than the 9mm. If you compare standard ball ammo, the .45 is twice as heavy, yet travels not much slower. The 9mm is basically a .38 Special for semi-autos. I’m no pistolero – I keep my guns out in PA and live in NYC – thus, I can’t own pistols, but if I can master a .45 in five rounds, that’s saying something. If I ever do own a pistol, the only one I would even bother with is the 1911.

      • Seabee
        • devitor

          Thank God!!!! And thank you for sharing Seabee!

      • Exgunman

        Where were shots 2-5………………………….:>) ??.I often jokingly told my .500 S/W customers that they should really enjoy that 1st shot because it would probably also be the last enjoyable shot they made with it. If one was shooting that short barreled version in the survival kits, then it is particularly vicious ( Alot like a handful of dynamite ). If you get out of the NE and out into real America, you can get as many rifles, shotguns, handguns or other weapons as your wallet/desires can afford. Nothing like owning your own acreage and setting up a private range for everything from your .22 revolver to your .50 BMG………………………………….

        • devitor


          The .500 I shot had an 8 3/8″ bbl. I actually want to go back to that range and fire a cylinder full. I enjoyed shooting it. My first shots with the .45 were on paper but outside the kill zone. After that, I was golden.

          PA is very good aside from the pistol thing (which is a matter of federal law – and because I live in NYC. If I lived in PA, I could get a CCW for $35 and be done with it). You can keep so-called "assault weapons" in PA no problem. Heck, you can even have a machine gun there, as long as you follow the federal NFA laws. I have a FAL, a Rock River LAR-8, a Savage FP-10 .308, a Mossberg 835 and a Ruger 10/22 with the new re-released Akins Accelerator. None of them ever leave PA. Ever. I plan to put a Defend AR15 bumpfire stock on the LAR. I’m working on a Saiga 12 and an M1 Garand and those will complete my collection. If I want to shoot pistols, I can go back to that range where they have them there and you pay inflated prices for the ammo and that will have to do for now.

          What PA stinks for is long-distance shooting. I’d love to get a .338 LM or a .50 BMG, but the longest ranges in PA only go to 300 yd. unless you go out to Altoona. 300 yd is spitting distance for those rounds. So, having no place to shoot them, there’s no point in even spending the money on them. They would just sit in my closet out there collecting rust and dust.

          I’m not going to complain about PA. That state has been very good to me and is the one state in the northeast that cherishes the Second Amendment.

          • Exgunman

            Nice collection, glad to hear not all places back there hate the 2nd amendment. I worked in a gun store for 18 years,but strangely enough I never really got interested in guns personally, beyond O/U and SXS shotguns. I have a Weatherby Athena SXS that was produced by Spanish Co, Hermanos Zarbala, 1/70 that were imported in before the contract was canceled because Zarbala couldn’t keep up with quality,quantity, or price that Weatherby wanted, the other of my babys is a Browning Sporter SXS. Both are 12 gauge, I have some others also but these are my favorites………………………..

      • falling321

        Agree with you on not using my 9mm for CC, but it is a great practice weapon…ammo is inexpensive and when you achieve accuracy with that 9mm, you will see an improvement  in accuracy with any weapon you pick up

  • HisHandmaiden8

    Strength, under fire!

    Looks like so much fun! Yay, Todd… Keep up the great work!

    We love you and Sarah!
    [Met you last Labor Day in Iowa in that wet field when you came over to hug and carry little boy who had come to see Trigg… riding 200 miles in his Dad’s bike sidecar! So wish I could post the pic of this! Priceless!]

  • TangledThorns

    Its a good show, I have a feeling it’ll come down to Todd, Picabo and Eve on who wins the show. I’m surprised the series ends so shortly next week. 

    • falling321

      I was surprised too!  They have only had three shows and now it is over next week??  But I have enjoyed watching it.

  • BrianusBerkleianus

    Thanks, Ron, for this fascinating report!!

    Go, Todd, go!!!

  • daisy_mae

    Ron thanks!  Loved reading the details of mission including the weaponry explanations.  God bless you :)

  • Charles

    Sorry to repeat myself, but I earned my E-5 stripes the old fashioned way, by serving my country.   The "stripes" "earned" on this show are as valid as your wash-off tattoo.

    I left home for years. 

    I ate Army chow.

    I lived in the barracks.

    I lived on Army pay, starting at $67/mo.

    I took the chance that I might get in the sights of someone who wanted to kill me, which fortunately did not happen.

    I could not afford a wife, even if I had been in a position to meet a girl.

    I did thousands of penalty pushups.

    I cleaned the barracks every day.

    I got up at 3:30 a.m. for my 18-hour KP shift.

    I practiced close-order drill with my platoon.

    I ran in formation five miles each way to the rifle range.

    My hands bled for two weeks from the horizontal ladder in Basic.

    I was insulted and verbally abused, and expected to keep my mouth shut and take it.

    I was never disciplined, no Article-15s or courts martial.

    War is not a game.  Combat veterans do not play "paintball."  I cannot bear to watch this travesty of real military service.


    • lorenzini

      Thank you for your service. It is for charity nothing more. It is no different than watching actors play in war films which I believe is a good analogy. I’m glad you did not see combat. My father did in WWII in Guadlcanal, Pelilu, New Britton and one other place that escapes me now. When my father came home he went to college. Though he could have utilized Govt. subsidies for tuition his thought was the govt did not owe him a damn thing. He served his country because it was the honorable thing to do.
      Understand that these guys are earning money for their charities that benefit our military men and women. No one is going to get hurt and no one got hurt in war movies (watched Kellys Heros last night)
      I also sacrificed by going to the Police academy and then as a cop for 21 years never knowing if the next car I pulled over would be my last and my back-up was miles away! In most wars you see your enemy for the most part. In law enforcement, your enemy may be a surprise all the time. So Charles, I see what you are trying to say but it is falling on my deaf ears.

    • hrh40


      And as a civilian, did you raise $10,000 a stripe for a military charity?

      With the potential for $100,000 for a military charity?

      Sorry, but I’m not even inclined to thank you for your service. Since you seem to have dislocated a shoulder patting yourself on the back with such vociferous self-congratulations.

      Get a grip.

      No one.

      And. I. mean. no. one.

      Has ever said these "stars" are earning "real" stripes.

      But, in case you hadn’t noticed, there are REAL operatives, who, I might dare to guess, have suffered more than you in their dangerous missions, who are participating in this program.


      These Navy Seals, Army Delta Force, Marines, et. al. consider it a worthy cause.

      Care to cry your river at any of those dudes?

      Go for it.

      I’d love to see their reaction.



      • devitor

         Amen, HRH40.

    • lorenzini

      By the way, regarding your previous statements about the Gov. it  identifies you as a true troll with little to offer us as a human being. Also your post, at second read, is that of a true whiner. Typical of the looney left. Your comment history on this site and the sites you visit just confirms that fact. Have a nice day and stay bitter my friend.

    • Exgunman

      Then DON"T watch it, and don’t complain about it. The main purpose of this is to raise money for various charities, mostly military, and to give non-military people a view of and appreciation for, some of the things our military personel do. No one is saying these contestants are qualified as soldiers or qualified to go to war. A bit of good PR for the military is a good thing……………………………..

    • lorenzini

      Btw again, I don’t think you made it out of basic training and you definately were never in a combat zone. go away.

    • Seabee

      Well there Sgt. Snafu.  You claimed you did ‘thousands of penalty push ups’
      and never disciplined ? What are those push-up for, you jackwagon! I was 81 mm mortar platoon commander and seen your kind. They like to be coddled, lazy, bitch and moan about everything. I think you’re a fake. You were probably got kicked out for the convenience of the Army.

    • Guest

      Todd Palin has left home for months at a time to commercial fish…THE most dangerous job in this country…..AND work in the oil fields on the North Slope of Alaska.

      Todd Palin has lived in barracks on the North Slope.

      Todd Palin has had more than enough death threats.

      Todd Palin has gutted fish for $$ZERO and grew up in an area with little electricity or plumbing at 40 below zero.

      Todd Palin has a son in the military.

      Todd Palin has had the most vicious lies and distortions told about him and published in books on tv and in articles….not to mention posted on this site.

      Todd Palin has worked many YEARS on fishing boats where you don’t sleep for 72 hours at a time.

      Todd Palin has raced a snow machine across 2,500 miles with frozen limbs and broken bones 9 times.

      I appreciate your service to our country.  But Tood Palin KNOWS better than most people that war is not a game.  He is doing this to show "we the people" that military service is not easy.  AND he’s raising money…as are all the other people working on this show….to go to military charities.  Compare yourself to Mitt Romney….but I would put Todd Palin up against anyone ANY day!!!  He has served this country in ways YOU will never know.

      • BrianusBerkleianus

        I am standing up and applauding, Sandra: Thank you!!!

    • IsraeliCojones

      Want some cheese with that wine?

    • 56Survivor

      Charles, your posting history precedes you.  Move along… will be much happier elsewhere.

    • mark1955

      I’m also a Honorably discharged Military veteran ( Admittedly non-combat ), also an E-5 when discharged. In addition i retired three years ago after 30 years as a Firefighter in a city in Greater Boston. So i say this from the bottom of my Heart, YOUR FULL OF BLEEP!

    • MaMcGriz

      " The "stripes" "earned" on this show are as valid as your wash-off tattoo. "

      Tell that to the kids in Alaska who’ll have the benefit of the very real dollars Todd Palin has already won for their education and betterment. Lives are touched, characters are helped and hearts are inspired through programs like the one Todd supports. The benefits are exponential.

      My Daddy went through everything you’ve talked about in your post, and a whole lot more…but without the thousands of penalty push-ups you say you did. In fact, he went through a whole damn bloody lot more than you say you did. Likewise did my beloved father-in-law, most of whose contributions to this nation remain classified to this day. Both would have things to say to your post that would make my reply seem very mild and tame by comparison.

      So if you served, thank you for your service to this nation, and I sincerely hope you’ll let go of your resentment and misunderstanding of what Todd and the others are doing. Such bitterness is not good for a person.

      The attitude you’re projecting also seems to me to be a bit disrespectful of the efforts, service and loyalty of the operatives on the show, who have certainly earned our respect and find the show to be a worthwhile endeavor.

      Not only will the show itself generate important funding for numerous groups, it will raise awareness of them and Americans will give directly as a result.

    • $8196935

      Todd Palin’s son is serving his second tour in the war.  Track Palin has served in Iraq and Afghn.

    • bobby1946

      My fellow Americans. I was an Infantryman and member of the Big Red One. I fought for you in VietNam. I don’t want to enumerate all my sufferings but there was some.

      Some of my friends did not make it back and their names are on the Wall. I don’t say this to make you feel sorry for me.  I tell you this because I want to say that there is no charge for my services. It was my "pleasure" to do it. I volunteered. Nor am I a victim. The Army life is not a bad life.

      I am very proud and grateful to everyone involved is SES. Those celebrities are not soldiers but they are trying to walk a mile in a soldier’s boots. They have found a way to show a little love and respect.

      And look who they are helping. The USO. I remember "donut dollies" coming out to my deployment area so I could get served a donut and a styrofoam cup of coffee by a smiling American girl. Then there were the shows the USO sponsored. I always got perimeter patrol, somehow, so I never actually saw one, but they made a lot of other guys happy.  And whenever I went through an airport there was a resting area with smiling people doing many things but mostly just being there.

      There were more people like that at the Armed Services YMCA which I have been to in NY, Germany, and AK. They have properties like hotels where you can stay without spending a fortune. And they have sight seeing trips. When I went to basic at Ft Dix there was big dances with wimmins from Trenton and Philadelphia. 

      Others of the celebrities are competing for Wounded Warriors. This is helping. I can cope with it now but for a long time I felt so guilty because my friends died and were wounded and I came home in one piece. (My eyes are welling up as even now remembering them so I guess I’m not that "over it".) It wasn’t my fault I wasn’t hit in a fire fight or an ambush, that I put my foot down on the right peice of ground, that I was not in the APC next to ours that got hit with the RPG round. Still, I feel like I let them down by surviving.  I find myself mentally apologizing to every trooper I see without a limb. Look at the good that Wounded Warriors does. Doesn’t the money that the SES people earn help them help the troops?

      Sorry, I’ve gone on and on. But to me, a gift is a gift. A donation is a donation. A deal is a deal.  When you volunteered did you have an ulterior motive? When I volunteered I was prepared to give my life for my country. I would do it again for the same bargain. I don’t think I’m supposed to make people feel bad about it and sorry for me.  

      I’ve always admired the South Korean soldier who when he gets on a bus to inspect the papers of his citizens, first comes to attention and salutes the passengers whom he serves. My fellow citizens I salute you.

      So, Charles, lighten up.



      • BrianusBerkleianus

        Thank you, Bobby!!!

    • Jean_A

      Thank you for your service! Now go hang out with TuTu.

  • MaMcGriz

    Thank you Ron!!

    Just the stills alone are a thrill to see!

    And I can almost smell the gun oil on those arms segments of your post. Mmmmm!!

    Great stuff!

    You’re a gem, sir.

    • devitor

      Thank you, Mam!

  • mainelysteve

    Go Todd, make those of us in the 2nd Amendment community and your Momma Grizzly proud!!!

  • 2bigmike2

    I just finished watching the first 3 episodes again and noticed something, he has a "team name", it’s "TP". Aparrently the military professionals are quite comfortable with him, enough so to give him a team name. I also noticed that when he did the "fast rope" from the chopper onto the roof, he noticed that he had scared his partner and he considerately slowed down and didn’t scare her again but talked her into increasing her confidence in going down the wall. He went down the wall at her speed  instead of hot dogging.

  • BrianusBerkleianus


  • Lou Welz


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