Luttrell was the only member of his Seal team to survive an engagement with over 150 Taliban in 2005. Luttrell's 4-man team dispatched an estimated 80-100 taliban during the fire-fight before running out of ammo.
On June 28, 2005, Luttrell and SEAL Team 10 were assigned to a mission to kill or capture Ahmad Shah (nom de guerre Mohammad Ismail), a high-ranking Taliban leader responsible for killings in eastern Afghanistan and the Hindu-Kush mountains…Three goat herders stumbled upon the hiding spot of the four SEALs. The men were detained by the team but the SEALs were unable to verify any hostile intent. Luttrell claims that Murphy, the officer in charge of the SEAL team, put the fate of the goatherds to a vote. Axelson voted to kill the Afghanis, and Dietz abstained. Murphy told Luttrell that he would vote the same as him so with his vote it was decided to let the Afghans go, for fear of the liberals prosecuting them back in the United States. 
The released herders disappeared and likely immediately betrayed the team's location to local Taliban forces and within an hour the SEALs were engaged in a gun battle against a force of 80-150 enemy fighters. The SEAL team engaged the Taliban for over two hours in a running gunfight through the region's hills and valleys. 
Team leader Lt. Michael P. Murphy was awarded the Medal of Honor for exposing himself to enemy fire to reach higher ground from which to transmit a call for backup. The SEALs killed dozens of Taliban, however, Axleson, Deitz and Murphy were all killed in the gunfight. Luttrell barely survived after being blown off a cliff by an RPG.
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