Husband. Dad to 5. Student Ministry Pastor. Follower of Jesus. Yatta yatta.


I confess, I have a file in my office labeled “Navy SEALS”.  I’ve had it for 15 years or so and I keep adding to it from time to time when I read articles written about them.  I’ve used them as teaching illustrations from time to time- mostly for issues like discipline and suffering.

I have always been amazed by their commitment, willingness to endure severe pain and ridiculous demands for a cause, and the elitism of the training process- especially during the week know as “hell week”.  I was fascinated by a Newsweek reporter who once documented the week moment by moment for a cover article.

I then read an autobiography in college (warning- it’s r rated for sure) of Richard Marcinko titled “Rogue Warrior”– the founder of the seal team six. It’s a crazy read and tells extensive details about missions and training and mindset.

I was mesmerized several years ago after we moved to SD and we were having dinner in Coronado when I found myself watching the seals train in San Deigo bay in rubber rafts.  They would fly by at about 40 miles an hour and then each man would just start falling into the water in a tightly choreographed event before they would come by just as fast and pick them back up.  They did this like 20 times as the sun set and darkness crept in.

One of my favorite Ad campaigns of all time is this one from 2005.  It’s for the Navy SEALS and asks, “do you have what it takes?”

The fine print at the bottom says this:  “Pictured, from left to right:” and then lists name and rank of 8 navy SEALS.  Too funny.

Anyway, as a result of all of that, I’ve been slightly addicted to the details of this Bin Laden thing because of the SEAL role in it.  As I read this article, I found this paragraph from a Navy SEAL recruiter incredibly interesting.

“We are not looking for cocky kids,” said Senior Chief Hans Garcia, a SEAL recruiter. “The perfect person would be a candidate who is remarkably physically fit, but is pretty humble, an analytical thinker, a problem solver — someone who is very value-oriented, patriotic, puts service above self.”

Regardless of one’s opinions about the decisions made in the last few days.  I found myself again mesmerized by the description of the ideal SEAL.

  • Takes care of their physical body
  • Humble
  • Thinks before he acts- especially under pressure
  • Sees a problem and figures out a way to solve it.
  • Value oriented- thus willing to sacrifice and even die for them
  • Serves others before themselves.
Truth is…. I believe that list is what I’m looking for in a great leader in my high school ministry.  That’s who I want to be and who I’m trying to be before my kids.  
And ironically, as much as Americans might celebrate the Navy SEALs accomplishments in stopping at least one man from master minding and funding anymore terror around the world, their own celebration is a humble one and their pride is in their mission, not in the flaunting of it.  They have always been, and will continue to be, a largely unseen and very powerful force.  
That fact alone inspires me.  


  1. Good post. It’s funny how many youth ministry blogs have generated posts relative to the Bin Laden news, but the content has nothing to do with youth ministry. This is distinct and helpful.


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