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SEAL Team Six Founder, Marcinko, Talks Leadership

WHAG’s Merris Badcock spoke one-on-one with Commander Marcinko about his thoughts on the current administration.

WINCHESTER, Va. – SEAL Team Six, the special operations team out of the United States Navy, is known across America as the ones who "Got Bin Laden and rescued Captain Phillips."

SEAL Team Six’s Founding Commander, Richard Marcinko spoke to Winchester residents on Friday about leadership, motivation and teamwork, as part of a new leadership series hosted by the Winchester Police Department.

Marcinko says he first noticed his own leadership qualities after winning the leadership award while attending the Navy's Officer Candidate School.

"I was questioned why my grades weren't very high, and I explained [that] I was making sure nobody in my section failed," said Marcinko.

It was this untraditional thinking that made him stand out amongst his peers.

"If chiefs hadn't raised me, I wouldn't be here. I think it's a pass-the-baton-down, it's a teamwork that we, as a team, grow with.”

Winchester resident Frank Phillips was selected by Marcinko to be a founding member of SEAL Team Six and, later, Red Cell. Philips has known Marcinko for over 25 years, and his company, Golden Seals Inc. also helped sponsor Marcinko’s appearance.

"He’s forward, he's blunt, and he does it his way,” said Phillips. “If you consider putting together the most renown counterterrorism squad in the world, to date, which is what he did, it took a personality like Commander Marcinko’s to do that."

His time in SEAL Team Six, Red Cell and the aftermath of publicity that came with it, have shaped Marcinko's opinion on the current administration and how they handle their special ops programs.

"You need some inkling of what's going on,” said Marcinko, who was inspired to serve thanks to movies like Frogmen. “But you don't need to sell the family jewels,” he said, in response to today’s Hollywood view on special ops programs, like SEAL Team Six. “In terms of [the current] administration, I certainly feel that they have advertised too much, in terms of what the capabilities are [of an operator]. I'm suspect it's for political gain."

Recent SEAL Team Six success stories include the capturing and execution of Osama Bin Laden, and the rescuing of Captain Phillips. But their setbacks have also been made into movies, like Mark Walberg’s Lone Survivor, which documents the wipeout of all but one SEAL Team Six member during an Afghanistan mission in 2005.

"It makes it hard, no so much on the individual warrior, but it's hard on the families," said Marcinko.

Commander Marcinko's appearance was the first in a leadership series, sponsored by the Winchester Police Department.

Currently, Leiutenant Colonel Dave Grossman is scheduled to speak at Shenandoah University on October 23rd as the second leadership-series speaker.

Col. Grossman is one of the world's foremost experts in the field of human aggression and the roots of violence and violent crime.

Col. Grossman is a former West Point psychology professor, Professor of Military Science, and an Army Ranger who has combined his experiences to become the founder of a new field of scientific endeavor, which has been termed “killology.”

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