I first met Dick at one of the most unlikely places I would have guessed to meet the first Commander of SEAL Team 6, the hipster elite lobby of the Ace Hotel in Manhattan. SOFREP had flown him in for a special interview and book signing event. 

Dick was older, in his late seventies, but he still had the shine in his eyes and a presence that most hard men have. It is the kind of steely-eyed look you would guess an old west gunfighter would have. Dick was a guy who sat at that card table of life and death and dealt the Ace of Spades, face up to more than a few people.


“Brandon, nice to meet you.”, he said to me as he gripped my hand as if a steel vice had locked onto it. 

We made small talk, and I made sure he was happy with his room. I’ve been a VIP at the ACE ever since staying there at the recommendation of a friend when I released my memoir, The Red Circle. The rooms are smart, the location excellent, and the prices are less than most the tourist trap chain hotels in Times Square with fake reviews. 

I made plans to have dinner with him that night at the Breslin next door. 

Marcinko was the first SEAL celebrity. Had he not been jailed for embarrassing a lot of brass (read Rogue Warrior if you haven’t), he’d likely have stayed an unknown and not inspired a generation of SEALs, myself included.