I wanted to share this blog post by former Navy SEAL Bob Schoultz. I’ve met Bob only briefly before through my friend John Surmont however, he’s very respected by my community and I also hold him in high regard. He has some excellent feedback on all the recent SEAL hype. I’d encourage you to also read part two of his “Quiet Professional” blog, it specifically makes some good points about Matt Bissonette’s book, No Easy Day.
Quiet Professionals Of Naval Special Warfare
For years, Naval Special Warfare (NSW) leaders have sought to instill a low-profile, stay-under-the-radar, “quiet professional” ethos within the NSW community. And yet, from time to time, SEALs and former SEALs have inadvertently or intentionally brought unwelcomed media coverage to the community, through impromptu interviews, emotional articles or controversial books. In response, NSW Leaders have had to expend political capital in damage control, to shore up the ‘brand,’ of Naval Special Warfare. “Quiet professionals” they say, stay out of the news, except to be acknowledged for their outstanding service.
Military leaders expect our operators – SEALs and SWCCs – to be highly capable and aggressive warriors in combat, and discrete, humble and ‘quiet professionals’ in garrison. The challenge is that most of the men we recruit for SEAL or SWCC training are young, gregarious, aggressive, Alpha males, eager to take on the world. When they finish training, they know they will be sent almost immediately to the far corners of the world, often directly into combat. These men are not by nature, ‘quiet professionals,’ yet most do mature into that role, and come to exemplify the SEAL Ethos: “The execution of my duties will be swift and violent when required…We train for war, and fight to win” and yet, “I do not advertise the nature of my work, nor seek recognition for my actions.”
They know that decisions regarding what the public knows about who we are and what we do, are made by those in positions of authority, up the chain of command, all the way to the President. This includes the authority to release classified and other information to the public, for reasons that those in the trenches may not always understand or agree with. This can, and often does, cause frustration. Occasionally, we’ll have active duty warriors go ‘off the reservation’ and voice opinions, frustrations or even classified information in the public or in bars, for which they are appropriately sanctioned. Alcohol, it seems, is often associated with violations of the SEAL Ethos and the quiet professional demeanor it demands. For the most part, however, our active duty force understands that compliance with the decisions of superiors is fundamental to good order and discipline in the military. They have come to understand that the confidence military leaders have in NSW depends not only on how well operators carry out their missions in combat, but also on their discipline and ‘quiet professionalism’ at home and in-garrison. Once again, our warriors are guided by the SEAL Ethos: “I serve with honor on and off the battlefield. The ability to control my emotions and my actions, regardless of circumstance, sets me apart from other men. Uncompromising integrity is my standard. My character and honor are steadfast.”
Read the rest here.
For part two click here.
Photo: Act of Valor cast members.
Editor’s note: All of these active duty were essentially told to cooperate with the making of Act of Valor. The guys were on shore duty and didn’t have much of a choice in the making of this movie according to several of our sources.