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Contributor SKK Comes in From the Cold, Credits SOF ‘Bad Boys’ for Supporting Her Early Career 

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“Those rough and tumble SOF ‘bad boys’ respected me as a peer, and judged me entirely on my ability to get the story.” – SKK

As our readers well know, the people who write for Soldier of Fortune are a special breed of journalist. They don’t just sit around an office making phone calls. They go into the field, and report what they find on the front lines of conflict. If one comes in, it’s for good reason. That’s why we are pleased to report that a long time contributor and friend to SOF, Susan Katz Keating, has come in from the cold to take on an important assignment. 

Beginning this month, Susan is the Senior Editor for National Security and Foreign Affairs at the Washington Examiner. She’s trading in her rucksack and field boots for a laptop and heels. She won’t be found on the road anymore, living in her Jeep and in random cabins. She’ll be in Washington, D.C., at the seat of world power, directing two of journalism’s most important beats.

“This is a big change for me, and I relish the opportunity to take on the challenge,” Susan said. “It’s a dynamic world out there, and security and foreign affairs are at the center.” 

Susan has been a friend to the magazine since the early 1980s, when she took out an ad looking for mercenaries (to write about). Later, she arranged for PEOPLE Magazine to accompany Col. Jack Bailey and SOF-ers on a mission in the South China Sea. At the time, Bailey was helping refugees, and looking for information about Americans MIA from the Vietnam War. 

Since then, Susan accompanied the SOF team on many adventures. These include meetings with some of the most fascinating military figures of our day. She has seen intrigue in pre-war Dubrovnik and Sarajevo, and saw action in Belfast and South Armagh during the Troubles in Northern Ireland. 

Charlie Beckwith, who founded the U.S. Delta Force, once described her as “fearless in the field. Relentless.” 

The highlight of her career has included writing for SOF.

“I came to Soldier of Fortune at a time when their writers were all men, but that didn’t stop them from working with me,” Susan said. “They were cutting edge, and a breath of fresh air to write for. At other news outlets, I often had to fight against being assigned to cover traditional womens’-type stories that I wasn’t interested in.

Soldier of Fortune took a chance. They accepted my pitches, and assigned me to write for the magazine. Those rough and tumble SOF ‘bad boys’ respected me as a peer, and judged me entirely on my ability to get the story.”

She got the story, and wrote about things like the Chinese war machine, the fate of POWs in Korea, and a blueprint for how to stage a Soviet coup. She helped plan how a theoretical U.S. invasion of Nicaragua would take place.

She’s back now in D.C., where she previously covered security issues for The Washington Times. 

“Now, I’ll be able to assign other journalists to cover important topics, and still do my own writing,” Susan said.

But, she added, “My spirit will always be with Soldier of Fortune.”

Join us in wishing her bon voyage on the new venture. 

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