Nick “Irv” Irving killed 33 men over a four month period in Iraq. Irving served as a special operations sniper in the Army’s Third Ranger Battalion, the same battalion that fought in the Black Hawk Down battle. During his ruthless streak, Irving got the nickname “The Reaper” from his fellow soldiers. It’s a name that stuck so much, Irving has used it as the title of his memoir, The Reaper, which is out now.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. He’s Been Endorsing Fat Shaming Remarks About Michael Moore on Facebook
He’s appeared on Fox News in the aftermath of the release of the movie American Sniper, and the criticism its content generated. The movie deals with the U.S. military’s most lethal ever sniper, Chris Kyle. Director Michael Moore tweeted on January 18 he was taught as a child that “snipers were cowards.”
I don’t think he deserves the breath that I’m about to give, but I’ll just say, Michael Moore, he wasn’t there in Afghanistan and the last time I checked he’s never shot anybody through the scope or with a scoped rifle so I don’t really – I don’t think he deserves the breath that comes out of me right now for the statement. I don’t really care what he gives me, a thank you or not, a lot of good guys and my friends died for his right to freedom of speech. I’m not worried about what he has to say.
Later, Irving began endorsing fat shaming remarks about Moore through the sniper’s Facebook page, one user wrote, “Hey heard you were a coward do push-ups…. Jk fuck that fat ass piece of shit.” That post was liked by Nicholas Irving. The sniper liked a post that referred to Moore as an “overweight slob.” In another comment, Irving made a vague threat against Moore, after someone asked him if Michael Moore would repeat what he said to Irving’s face:
Him saying to my face or any sniper that I know would be welcomed! The only question to him would be, “how fast can you run a mile…..” The Respect for a craft/art where you can place a projectile the size of an over the counter pill on a target that’s 20″ wide a zip code away, is learned the hard way….a zip code away.
2. Irving Was His Battalion’s First Black Sniper
He’s the first black sniper in the Army’s Third Ranger Battalion. Irving grew up in a military family in Maryland, his father was an Army sergeant. According to his book, he wasn’t a very good student in ROTC school. He was though adept at shooting and building his own guns.
In one anecdote from The Reaper, Irving explains that he regularly damaged the walls of his childhood home with his air rifle. He used his sister’s white play-doh as spackle to repair the damage. Irving’s colorblindness prevented him from becoming a Navy SEAL, the Rangers however didn’t have any reservations, despite his minor disability. Among the gruesome stories in the book, Irving writes about seeing one of his prey “turned into mist and chunks.”
3. In 2011, He Liked a Post Calling Barack Obama the ‘Biggest Terrorist in the United States of America’
According to his Facebook page, he’s married to his wife Jessica and lives in San Antonio, Texas. According to Jessica’s social media, the couple celebrated their seven year anniversary on November 30, 2014. In June 2011, Jessica quoted rapper Lupe Fiasco on her Facebook page in saying, “My fight against terrorism, to me, the biggest terrorist is Obama in the United States of America.” That post was liked by Nicholas Irving.
She’s a native of San Antonio, a devout Christian and an avid Spurs fan.
4. His Gun Was Named Dirty Diana
Irving named his gun Dirty Diana, it’s an SR-25 rifle. In his book, Irving writes about the care he gave towards his weapon, “I would stay at work for three, four or five extra hours just painting various colors and patterns. If there was an edge that was not painted correctly or crooked, I’d start the whole thing over again.” He also says in his book that his spotter and partner, Pemberton, had an ugly gun with “no personality whatsoever.”
5. He Suffers From PTSD
The New York Post reports that now that Irving is out of the military, he’s running a training center in San Antonio for aspiring snipers. He’s also a regular blogger at the military website, SOFREP. Irving writes in his book about how he now suffers from post traumatic stress disorder since leaving the military in 2010, keeping a pistol under his pillow and once breaking down crying in a Walmart.