Retired Lt. Cmdr. Jocko Willink had always wanted to be some kind of commando. When he was a kid, he would run around the woods, playing soldier with sticks and BB guns. He burned cork and blackened his face to disguise himself from his imaginary enemies. 

“The bottom line is I never grew up,” he says. “I went into the Seal teams and got to do that my whole career and it was an awesome experience.” 

Lt. Cmdr. Willink spent 20 years as a Navy SEAL, rising up through the ranks into leadership positions. He commanded SEAL Team 3’s Task Unit Bruiser and earned several accommodations and awards for his bravery, including the Bronze Star and the Silver Star. After he retired, he began a podcast and became a book author. His new book “Discipline Equals Freedom” hit shelves in October. 

He is also one of several guests who will be appearing on The Army & Air Force Exchange’s new series “In Recognition Of” on Facebook Live during the month of November. The series is part of the first-ever joint military resale Veterans Day event to salute veterans and offer a chance to hear firsthand from our Nation’s heroes.

Air Force Chief Master Sgt. Kevin “KO” Osby, the Army & Air Force Exchange’s senior enlisted advisor, hosts the twice-a-week Facebook Live chat. Other guests include: 

  • retired Army Col. Jack Jacobs, Medal of Honor recipient, at noon on Nov. 5
  • retired Army Capt. Florent Groberg, Medal of Honor recipient, at 10 a.m. on Nov. 12
  • Silver Lifesaving medal recipient Coast Guard Petty Officer 2nd Class Victoria Vanderhaden and her father Master Chief Petty Officer of the Coast Guard Jason Vanderhaden at 10 a.m. on Nov. 17
  • retired Marine Corps Warrant Officer Woody Williams at 10 a.m. on Nov. 19
  • retired Army Sgt. Maj. Gary Littrell and retired Sgt. Gary Beikirch at 10 a.m. on Nov. 24

The Army & Air Force Exchange’s Veterans Day series kicked off with Lt. Cmdr. Willink in late October. In the Facebook Live episode, he discussed the importance of leadership and how it translates from the military to the civilian world. 

“Leadership is leadership whether you are trying to catch and kill a bad guy or manufacture some widgets to get on the market,” he says. “The principles that we use, they work.”

To learn more about the principles, check out the video below: 

Christian McPhate

Christian McPhate is the managing editor of Local Profile. He has been working as a journalist for more than a decade. His work has appeared in a number of publications, including the Dallas Morning News,...