Guest Blogger: Tom Rancich
Question from Joe G: Here’s a question about SEALs. Hi, Commander – I have always wanted to know something about the SEAL community that is really none of my business (as noted weeks ago, I wasn’t even a Boy Scout), but I am a person who has been inspired beyond words by people such as you and your buddies. Years ago, I became friends with a man who was a POW in Vietnam for seven years. I did some volunteer work for him and I guess he took a liking to my wife and me. He was released in 1973 and eventually retired as an admiral, and is still alive and well, although elderly – he was in his 40s in prison. We remain friends in a long-distance sort of way, writing Christmas greetings – that sort of thing.
Do you guys all know this sort of person and his story, to the extent that you might even be able to guess who I’m talking about? I think of the SEALs as separate from the Navy, for obvious reasons, even though I know they are part of the Navy. You, Alden Mills, and people of your ilk have inspired millions of men around the world, in case you haven’t been told in the past 24 hours. This particular fellow basically changed my whole outlook on life. I hate name dropping, so I’ll withhold the name. The question is, do young SEALs still hold these people in high esteem, or do you think Vietnam was so long ago that they are mostly forgotten?
Answer: Yes we hold them in high esteem. Following is the SEAL Creed—please note the last lines “Brave men have fought and died building the proud tradition and feared reputation that I am bound to uphold. In the worst of conditions, the legacy of my teammates steadies my resolve and silently guides my every deed. I will not fail.”
The creed was designed as a constant reminder to SEALs that it is not about glory—it is not about being pretty—it is hard nasty work that makes you exactly no different than any other SEAL. When my class finished Hellweek---which feels pretty darn good, one of the instructors said—Congratulations—you have now done the same thing every other SEAL has already done. Get over yourselves.”
There are two reunions—one east one west---each year and the generations are well represented back to WWII---everyone gets along and everyone respects the specific sacrifices of the other—we are, after all, the same: brothers. (The man I know that fits that description is Admiral Stockdale—a fabulous man!)
The SEAL Creed:
“In times of war or uncertainty there is a special breed of warrior ready to answer our Nation’s call. A common man with uncommon desire to succeed. Forged by adversity, he stands alongside America’s finest special operations forces to serve his country, the American people, and protect their way of life. I am that man.
My Trident is a symbol of honor and heritage. Bestowed upon me by the heroes that have gone before, it embodies the trust of those I have sworn to protect. By wearing the Trident I accept the responsibility of my chosen profession and way of life. It is a privilege that I must earn every day.
My loyalty to Country and Team is beyond reproach. I humbly serve as a guardian to my fellow Americans always ready to defend those who are unable to defend themselves. I do not advertise the nature of my work, nor seek recognition for my actions. I voluntarily accept the inherent hazards of my profession, placing the welfare and security of others before my own.
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. My word is my bond.
We expect to lead and be led. In the absence of orders I will take charge, lead my teammates and accomplish the mission. I lead by example in all situations.
I will never quit. I persevere and thrive on adversity. My Nation expects me to be physically harder and mentally stronger than my enemies. If knocked down, I will get back up, every time. I will draw on every remaining ounce of strength to protect my teammates and to accomplish our mission. I am never out of the fight.
We demand discipline. We expect innovation. The lives of my teammates and the success of our mission depend on me - my technical skill, tactical proficiency, and attention to detail. My training is never complete.
We train for war and fight to win. I stand ready to bring the full spectrum of combat power to bear in order to achieve my mission and the goals established by my country. The execution of my duties will be swift and violent when required yet guided by the very principles that I serve to defend.
Brave men have fought and died building the proud tradition and feared reputation that I am bound to uphold. In the worst of conditions, the legacy of my teammates steadies my resolve and silently guides my every deed. I will not fail.”
Lt. Commander Thomas Rancich, US Navy SEAL (Ret.) is the co-founder of VRHabilis, a disabled veteran-owned small business that seeks to employ the highly trained and motivated veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars for work in construction and related fields. Rancich and co-founder Elliott Adler are pioneering the concept of using adaptive technology to bridge the gap between industrial and medical technology. Their company contributes proceeds to two worthy causes: a fund for the development of adaptive technology that will allow disabled veterans to pursue their desired career path and the EOD Wounded Warrior Fund.
Through his consulting firm, Off-Shore Consulting, Tom provides professional advice on leadership and team building, often as a motivational speaker, in addition to being an expert consultant to the entertainment industry.
Alden Mills and Charlie Mike blogger Tom Rancich served together in the Teams.
Wednesday, January 14, 2009
Guest Blogger: Tom Rancich