June 2, 2017
WHAT LED YOU TO JOIN THE MILITARY, AND MORE SPECIFICALLY TO BECOME A SEAL?
I always wanted to serve my country and I felt that the military was the best place to do that. After reviewing my options I decided to go to the United States Naval Academy to pursue a career in the Navy. Throughout my four years of college at USNA I was able to explore all of the different service communities available to a commissioned officer from the academy. While they all have pros and cons I elected to pursue a career as a SEAL. The main reason was that I wanted to test myself both physically and mentally in the toughest way possible and there is no better way to do that then through BUDs training. Also, the thought of leading troops in combat was the biggest dream I had should I make it through the training pipeline.
WHAT IS LIFE LIKE AS A PLATOON COMMANDER IN A SEAL TEAM?
Life as a Platoon Commander is second to none. You have myriad of challenges that you face everyday and they are never the same. Ultimately your job is to prepare your platoons to get ready to go to combat. While the thought of being a SEAL seems glamorous it is an incredibly dangerous profession. You must be willing to make the ultimate sacrifice for the good of your country and Teammates.
HOW DID NAVAL SPECIAL WARFARE CHANGE FROM WHEN YOU JOINED THE NAVY TO WHEN YOU RETIRED?
The biggest change in Naval Special Warfare is the size of the Community. When I joined the Teams it consisted of 325 Officers and approximately 1000 Enlisted. When I retired the NSW Community was much larger, 700 Officers and 1800 Enlisted. Another significant change was the deployment model. Upon entering the Teams, sister platoons would deploy overseas to a specific location and conduct operations broken down into a size that would operationally do the job. Currently the entire Team deploys together inclusive of the entire leadership; CO, XO, Ops etc.
HOW WOULD YOU RECOMMEND PEOPLE GET THROUGH A MASSIVE OBSTACLE LIKE BUD/S?
Tackling an undertaking such as BUDs should be handled the same way that you would handle any other big project in life, “One Bite At A Time”. To be successful you need to take small steps at a time and enjoy the journey. You will become a more fulfilled person if you can enjoy the small successes in your life rather than focusing on only the major milestones as they will be fewer and further apart.
YOU’VE HELD MANY JOBS WITHIN NAVAL SPECIAL WARFARE- FROM PLATOON COMMANDER TO CHIEF OF STAFF. IF YOU COULD GO BACK, WHICH OF THOSE JOBS WOULD YOU MOST LOOK FORWARD TO DOING AGAIN AND WHY?
The most rewarding job was becoming a Commanding Officer. I was fortunate enough to have four Command tours. Being the CO is the greatest feeling in the world as the “buck stops with you”. You are completely responsible to prepare the entire Team for deployment and to defend this country’s freedom. It is an awesome responsibility and an incredible feeling that the Admiral has the utmost faith in you to entrust you with the most well trained combat fighting force in the world. The job requires your undivided attention 24/7, and a work ethic second to none. The Team depends on you and failure is not an option.
WHAT QUALITIES DOES IT TAKE TO BE A GOOD NAVY SEAL? DO THOSE SAME QUALITIES TRANSFER OVER TO WHAT IT TAKES TO BE A SUCCESSFUL BUSINESS LEADER?
The qualities that it takes to be a good SEAL and a successful business leader are very similar in nature. The difference between the two is that it you make a mistake as a SEAL someone could die.
Successful SEAL traits: Quiet professional, loyalty, service with honor, emotionally stable, uncompromising integrity, great character, trustworthy, leader, follower, ability to take charge, leadership by example, never quit attitude, thrive on adversity, physically fit, mentally strong, disciplined, innovative, technically skillful, tactically proficient, attention to detail, a philosophy that your training is never complete. But the most important trait is a Never Fail Attitude”!
WHAT IS M5 LLC AND WHY DID YOU START IT?
M5 is a Company that I built in order to compete for Naval Special Warfare contracts. M5 is responsible for the current day process of selecting the SEAL Officer candidates that compete for admission into BUDs training.
FOR THOSE WHO DON’T KNOW, WHAT IS THE UDT-SEAL FOUNDATION, AND WHY DID YOU GET INVOLVED?
The UDT-SEAL Association is a non-profit Veteran Service Organization that is responsible for taking care of our SEAL Veterans. We get involved when the active duty SEALs decide to retire or leave the service. We also have the incredible responsibility of ensuring the History and Heritage of the SEAL Community is preserved.
I got involved with the UDT-SEAL Association for the same reason I served on active duty to serve others. I feel that there is no better way to live your life than to serve others. If you don’t worry about who is going to get the credit you will be amazed how much can be accomplished. It has been and continues to be my honor to serve my country, my Teammates in the defense of this great nation!