The First SC Graduates!

Four and a half years ago, I started the SCs with one candidate. We’ll call him Candidate #1 for this story. Three days into our training he was involved in an alcohol-related incident that seemed extremely bleak at the time. With a criminal record, it was unlikely that he would even make it into the Navy at that point. I do not bring this up to call him out, but to tell the story of the SCs and what this catastrophe brought to the world. (Sidenote: This is why the SCs have a very strict no-alcohol policy for all members of SCs, even if over 21.)

I was frustrated when the recruiters immediately dropped him from the DEP program, but I’ve never been one to take no for an answer. I asked Candidate #1 to find out who the head of Navy recruiting for special programs was in So Cal. By some stroke of luck, it was one of my chiefs from when I was still active duty. He helped us navigate the YEARS worth of paperwork it took to get this candidate into the military. During this period of administrative purgatory, we continued training every week. I figured training one candidate was no different than two and I still was going to have to be down at the beach freezing my *ss off either way, so I told Candidate #1 to invite some of the other people in DEP at the time. We had 3 candidates, then 5, and then 10 and I realized I needed to get more organized.

I got on the phone and found other mentors, created a curriculum, rules, safety requirements, and a structure for training. We created the non-profit corporation to separate the SCs away from the pack as an elite group of highly motivated individuals that went the extra mile to prepare. As we increased our safety demands, we also increased our costs and started taking on donations.

After years of working in the shadows in Los Angeles, collecting data from 70+ candidates, spec ops mentors, military instructors, and former operators, we formed the future vision of the SCs. A cloud application that would revolutionize the training of all spec op programs around the country. This next step is going to be the most expensive and challenging thing we’ve ever done, so that’s where the 501 (c) 3 status came into play. I will have more on the application on here soon, but my point in telling this story is that Candidate #1’s mistake almost cost him his career. However, his years of suffering and anxiety not only brought him a trident (he’s now a combat medic SEAL), but also birthed the SC program. Through his sacrifice, others have and will continue to benefit.

This is part of the DNA of our military troops. The troops are out there in harm’s way 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, away from their loved ones, cold, wet, tired, dirty and miserable, just so you can peacefully grab a morning latte and walk your Labradoodle. Candidate #1 now joins the ranks of the elite. Seeing Candidate #1 graduate last month was one of the highlights of my life and I have no doubt that he will be a true American hero!

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