I first met Chris Kyle when he was a new guy at SEAL Team 3, then later when I checked on board the Naval Special Warfare (NSW) sniper program as an instructor. My friend Eric Davis mentored him personally (we have a mentorship program at the course), and Chris finished middle of the pack as a student, but he had good instincts, and all of us instructors knew this.
Chris came down to my office after one of his tours and I remembered us having a laugh together when one of the SWCC (Special Boat Team) guys called down and asked me on speaker phone, “what are the requirements I need to complete to attend the course?” I replied very simply, “BUD/S” (Basic Underwater Demolition SEAL Training), and hung up the phone.
Bottom line, Kyle was a great man and a solid SEAL. I knew him as a teammate and got to know him better outside of the Navy. I wasn’t close with his family or widow Taya Kyle but I’ve heard amazing things about both. Chris and I would talk and text back and forth about the struggle of leaving the Teams, mutual dead friends, the friends and family we cared about, and gave each other shit on a regular basis.
As a SEAL sniper instructor who has trained over 300 students, I was really excited to see, and expecting so much more from, American Sniper.