END OF AN ERA: SOF Publishes Its Final Print Magazine



“Ross!  Bob Brown, Soldier of Fortune Magazine.”  And thus began my relationship with the man who, for all intents and purposes, is Soldier of Fortune.

The Journal of Professional Adventurers’ 40 year presence on magazine racks and in mailboxes is coming to an end.  As I type this, the staff of Soldier of Fortune is compiling what will become the magazine’s final print edition.  The magazine will live on in cyberspace at its web address (www.sofmag.com) which will provide a much more dynamic venue for today’s fast-paced news and world events.  I suspect Soldier of Fortune will live on as long as its founder, publisher, editor, and spirit animal, LTC Robert K. Brown, has something to say and the ability to say it.  Let’s face it, I doubt the good Colonel will run out of things to say any time soon.

As a reader, my relationship with the magazine dates back some 35 years to a time when, as a teenager interested in firearms and general adventure, I found a copy of SOF on a local grocery store magazine rack.  Off and on throughout the years I was a subscriber but, most often, I was the guy browsing the shelves of the book store trying to find the latest copy.


Enjoying a day of 5 Stand Trap shooting with the Colonel at the NRA Whittington Center. Dale Fields and Robert Bernard, the Special Forces Medic who patched up Brown following a mortar attack in Vietnam, are also pictured.

If memory serves, it was around 2009 when I received that call from LTC Brown.  I had written a few things online and he emailed asking if he could give me a call.  Who says no to something like that?  Not I.  That’s how it all started.  A couple of years later, I found myself on a plane to Afghanistan and Bob suggested I produce a monthly column for the magazine during my time overseas.  Again, who says no to such a thing?  Not this guy.

Colonel Brown and the rest of the staff of Soldier of Fortune have been very kind and welcoming to me.  Writing for the magazine and getting to know the characters behind the iconic publication has been a high point in my career.  Sure, they have had many detractors over the years, mostly people who’ve never read the magazine but, after forty years of leading the industry, they outlasted most of them.  Other publications have tried to be “the new soldier of fortune” but they never succeeded.  They didn’t have the unstoppable personality of Bob Brown driving them.  And, so, they faded away.  We won’t even remember their names.

I’ve been told a short blurb from yours truly will be included in the final print edition.  I am honored to be included in this historic endeavor and I hope my relationship with the now online-only magazine continues into the distant future.

Ross Elder, A proud contributor to Soldier of Fortune Magazine



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