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July 11, 2014

The Truth About Jesse Ventura’s Navy SEAL Status

I’ve heard the speculation and gossip about Jesse Ventura’s Navy SEAL status and wanted to set the record straight. Jesse Ventura graduated with Basic Underwater Demolition Class 58 and, like it or not, he earned his status. Some say he’s a UDT (Underwater Demolition Team), and not a “SEAL,” but that’s bullshit.

Others have seen the flaw in this analogy, and mentioned in private SEAL forums, “try telling that to a WWII UDT veteran who swam ashore before the landing craft on D-Day.”  The UDT’s and SEALs are essentially one and the same. It’s why the UDT is still part of the training acronym BUD/S (Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL).

Like it or not, Jesse Ventura is a Navy SEAL. He did the pushups and put up with the cold water, just like the rest of us.

Many are rightfully upset that he took a personal issue between himself and the late Chris Kyle and is now going after his widow and children in a lawsuit that is currently in the trial phase. SOFREP has recently spoke with legal insiders who are trial side and they are putting the odds squarely in the court of the Kyle estate in their opinion, and that’s good news for everyone.

Lots of lessons can be learned from Jesse’s lawsuit. The main takeaway is that family should be off limits; if you have an issue with a teammate then take it behind the proverbial mil van (Navy talk for behind the woodshed), and don’t drag uninterested parties involved.

As far as Jesse is concerned, it’s safe to say he won’t be showing his mug at any of the UDT/SEAL reunions anytime soon. At one time, he was highly regarded in our community for his big personality and accomplishments as a Governor of Minnesota. Now some in the Teams are petitioning to have him officially removed and banned as a member of the UDT/SEAL fraternal order.

The damage is done, and now Jesse will be forced to live with the consequences of his actions. And as a result I’m sure he’ll be spending even more time south of the US border.

(Featured Image Courtesy: Washington Post)

About the Author

is a former U.S. Navy SEAL with combat deployments to Afghanistan, and Iraq. During his last tour he served as the west coast sniper Course Manager at the Naval Special Warfare Center. He is CEO of Force12 Media , a SOFREP contributing editor, and a New York Times best selling author (The Red Circle & Benghazi: The Definitive Report). Follow Brandon on Facebook, Twitter or his website.

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  • TEHelms


  • Pitbu1107

    Integrity is a huge stickler for me.  Embellishing a story, just a little, I can deal with (even though I try to avoid doing so myself).  An outright fabrication is a deal breaker for me.  Its one thing to catch a fish and add a few inches when talking to your friends, it's another to catch no fish and tell your friends you caught a whale.  Unless someone has verifiable proof to the contrary, the story about Katrina and the two thugs at the gas station are whales.   Deductive reasoning then puts everything into question.    The book would have been profitable without all three stories that are bringing the integrity into question.  I am by no means calling into question CKs military record or performance but it my eyes some respect is lost.  At the end of the day I don't think JV suffered any pecuniary loss from CKs statements but the acknowledgement by the court in JVs favor is justifiable.  If I were in JVs shoes my aim would be to pay for my lawyers and any think above that be donated to the very foundations CK was supporting.

  • TEHelms

    Thank you Brandon....honest and reasoned as always.

  • HonestBroker247

    leiber Anyone else notice that the Marine standing next to Chris Kyle's widow (his brother?) is wearing his Combat Action Ribbon upside down?

  • Poetslife

    Jesse is a cancer upon the American body. He will bring nothing by death and destruction. Let's stop pretending that the matters anymore.