Admiral Mcraven Quotes

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Admiral McRaven, the senior Navy SEAL who planned the Bin Laden mission, said this starts with the mundane: making your bed. “If you make your bed every morning you will have accomplished the first task of the day. It will give you a small sense of pride and it will encourage you to do another task and another and another. By the end of the day, that one task completed will have turned into many tasks completed. Making your bed will also reinforce the fact that little things in life matter.
Dan Crenshaw (Fortitude: Resilience in the Age of Outrage)
Start each day with a task completed. Find someone to help you through life. Respect everyone. Know that life is not fair and that you will fail often, but if you take some risks, step up when the times are toughest, face down the bullets, lift up the downtrodden, and never, ever give up.......if you do these things, then the next generation and the generations that follow will live in a world far better than the one we have today. And what started here will indeed have changed the world, for the better.
William H. McRaven
Throughout my career, I always had great respect for the British Special Air Service, the famed SAS. The SAS motto was “Who Dares Wins.” The motto was so widely admired that even moments before the bin Laden raid, my Command Sergeant Major, Chris Faris, quoted it to the SEALs preparing for the mission. To me the motto was more than about how the British special forces operated as a unit; it was about how each of us should approach our lives. Life is a struggle and the potential for failure is ever present, but those who live in fear of failure, or hardship, or embarrassment will never achieve their potential. Without pushing your limits, without occasionally sliding down the rope headfirst, without daring greatly, you will never know what is truly possible in your life.
William H. McRaven (Make Your Bed: Little Things That Can Change Your Life...And Maybe the World)
The little things in life matter.
William H. McRaven
Remember... start each day with a task completed. Find someone to help you through life. Respect everyone. Know that life is not fair and that you will fail often. But if you take some risks, step up when times are toughest, face down the bullies, life up the downtrodden, and never, ever give up - if you do these things, then you can change your life for the better... and maybe the world!
William H. McRaven
Trump’s rash and retaliatory dismissal of Maguire would compel retired Admiral William McRaven, who oversaw the Navy SEALs raid that killed Osama bin Laden, to write: “As Americans, we should be frightened—deeply afraid for the future of the nation. When good men and women can’t speak the truth, when facts are inconvenient, when integrity and character no longer matter, when presidential ego and self-preservation are more important than national security—then there is nothing left to stop the triumph of evil.
Carol Leonnig (I Alone Can Fix It: Donald J. Trump's Catastrophic Final Year)
In a commencement speech at the University of Texas, Admiral William H. McRaven, commander of the US Special Operations Command, said that when he was training to be a Navy SEAL, he was required to make his bed every morning to square-cornered perfection—annoying at the time, but in retrospect one of the most important life lessons he ever learned. “If you make your bed every morning, you will have accomplished the first task of the day,” he told graduates. “It will give you a small sense of pride, and it will encourage you to do another task, and another, and another.” Making your bed, McRaven went on, reinforces the fact that the small things in life matter. “If you can’t do the little things right, you’ll never be able to do the big things right. And if, by chance, you have a miserable day, you will come home to a bed that is made—that you made. And a made bed gives you encouragement that tomorrow will be better. If you want to change the world, start off by making your bed.
Jancee Dunn (How Not to Hate Your Husband After Kids)
If you want to change your world don't ever, ever ring the bell!
William H. McRaven
By 2003, I found myself in combat in Iraq and Afghanistan. Now that I was a one-star admiral leading troops in a war zone, every decision I made had its consequences. Over the next several years, I stumbled often. But, for every failure, for every mistake, there were hundreds of successes: hostages rescued, suicide bombers stopped, pirates captured, terrorists killed, and countless lives saved. I realized that the past failures had strengthened me, taught me that no one is immune from mistakes. True leaders must learn from their failures, use the lessons to motivate themselves, and not be afraid to try again or make the next tough decision. You can’t avoid The Circus. At some point we all make the list. Don’t be afraid of The Circus.
William H. McRaven (Make Your Bed: Little Things That Can Change Your Life...And Maybe the World)
The SAS motto was “Who Dares Wins.” The motto was so widely admired that even moments before the bin Laden raid, my Command Sergeant Major, Chris Faris, quoted it to the SEALs preparing for the mission. To me the motto was more than about how the British special forces operated as a unit; it was about how each of us should approach our lives.
William H. McRaven (Make Your Bed: Little Things That Can Change Your Life...And Maybe the World)
It is better to err on the side of daring than the side of caution. —Alvin Toffler, American writer and futurist
William H. McRaven (The Wisdom of the Bullfrog: Leadership Made Simple (But Not Easy))
Learning to sacrifice is easy. Start by giving a little of yourself, every day. Give a little time to your friends. Give a little of your treasure to a worthy cause. Give a little love to your family. Every day—without fail—give a little of yourself. The giving will become a habit, a part of your character. In a month, in a year, in a decade, in a lifetime, all that sacrifice will add up to something special. If you do this, the sacrifice will be a blessing, a reward, a magnificent obsession, and no burden will be too great—and you will leave behind a legacy worthy of respect and admiration. A hero.
William H. McRaven (The Hero Code: Lessons Learned from Lives Well Lived)
It’s easy to judge the wars today and say they clearly did not deliver the peace or the change we had hoped for. But… how many more Americans, or our allies, would have died in embassies, in airplanes, in towers, in subways, in hotels, or on the streets if we hadn’t eliminated terrorists like Saleh Nabhan, or the countless others who were plotting against us? We may never know, but I take some consolation in believing that somewhere out there is a world leader, or a brilliant scientist, or a lifesaving doctor, or a renowned artist, or a loving mother or father—someone who will bring about real change in the world, someone who is alive today because my men did their job.
Admiral William H. McRaven (Sea Stories: My Life in Special Operations)
is
Admiral William H. McRaven (Sea Stories: My Life in Special Operations)
In the meantime, let’s get a Concept of Operations knocked out. I want it simple as usual: one slide on the situation showing the location of the lifeboat and the position of the Halyburton and Bainbridge; one slide on the intelligence regarding the pirates and their chain of command; one slide on the size of the rescue force and your planned movement from CONUS.
Admiral William H. McRaven (Sea Stories: My Life in Special Operations)
Sir, the Chairman would like a Concept of Operations within the hour, but he and the Secretary have authorized me to move whatever forces you think appropriate at this time to set the conditions for the rescue.
Admiral William H. McRaven (Sea Stories: My Life in Special Operations)
But however this unfolds, sir, we will be patient and we won’t rush to failure.
Admiral William H. McRaven (Sea Stories: My Life in Special Operations)
Mullen nodded. He knew we would do the right thing and not jeopardize Phillips’s life.
Admiral William H. McRaven (Sea Stories: My Life in Special Operations)
Yeah, but other than that, it should be easy, right?
Admiral William H. McRaven (Sea Stories: My Life in Special Operations)
Both officers were extremely experienced in combat, both superb tacticians, and most importantly, I felt, both were consummate team players. With all the tension that would invariably develop as a result of this high-profile mission, I needed someone who could calmly build the joint operational team and not get overpressurized when the stakes got high.
Admiral William H. McRaven (Sea Stories: My Life in Special Operations)
The first slide gave the battlefield geometry, a map showing the distance between the Afghanistan border and Abbottabad. The second slide was a graphic portrayal of the Pakistani air defense radar coverage.
Admiral William H. McRaven (Sea Stories: My Life in Special Operations)
I directed the staff to build a decision matrix, so that in the heat of the moment if something went wrong on the mission, I didn’t have to think through all the alternatives.
Admiral William H. McRaven (Sea Stories: My Life in Special Operations)
We would work through all the possible problems ahead of time and be prepared with options.
Admiral William H. McRaven (Sea Stories: My Life in Special Operations)
Most of my decisions were binary: If we were detected crossing the border would we continue? Yes or no? If we were detected one hundred miles out? Yes or no? Fifty miles out? Yes or no? What if we had mechanical problems with the helicopter one hundred miles out? Fifty miles out?
Admiral William H. McRaven (Sea Stories: My Life in Special Operations)
The list of possible problems was extensive, but the decisions were easy. Hard to make, but easy to discern.
Admiral William H. McRaven (Sea Stories: My Life in Special Operations)
If we were compromised crossing the border we would turn around and try for another day. If we had a helo set down for mechanical problems at a hundred miles out from the target, but the helo was not detected, we would continue on with the force we had. If a helo crashed, but we still had sufficient force to move to the target, we would continue the mission, but alert the Quick Reaction Force and medevac.
Admiral William H. McRaven (Sea Stories: My Life in Special Operations)
Everything was binary.
Admiral William H. McRaven (Sea Stories: My Life in Special Operations)
On missions like these you don’t want emotions to drive your decisions. If we were compromised crossing the border and the Pakistanis threatened to shoot down our helos, you could easily convince yourself that the mission was so important that you must press forward. Decisions like that rarely ended well. We had a backup plan for every contingency and a backup to the backup.
Admiral William H. McRaven (Sea Stories: My Life in Special Operations)
Every historical mission I analyzed for my thesis showed that when a particular part of the mission wasn’t rehearsed, that portion invariably failed.
Admiral William H. McRaven (Sea Stories: My Life in Special Operations)
Next I contacted some of our clandestine operators and asked them to look at the Trojan horse idea. While it had merit, it also had the greatest risk of compromise and took the longest to execute.
Admiral William H. McRaven (Sea Stories: My Life in Special Operations)
Clausewitz asserted that the only way for an attacking force to overcome the natural strength of the defense was through mass and maneuver.
Admiral William H. McRaven (Sea Stories: My Life in Special Operations)
But special operations missions seemed to defy conventional wisdom—why was this? I concluded that special operations forces were able to achieve “relative superiority” over an enemy by developing a “simple plan, carefully concealed, repeatedly rehearsed, and executed with surprise, speed, and purpose.
Admiral William H. McRaven (Sea Stories: My Life in Special Operations)
What is crucial for the success of any special operations mission is to minimize the time from when you are vulnerable to when you achieve relative superiority.
Admiral William H. McRaven (Sea Stories: My Life in Special Operations)
Unlike real military superiority, relative superiority only lasts for a short period of time.
Admiral William H. McRaven (Sea Stories: My Life in Special Operations)
No matter how I compared each Abbottabad option to the relative superiority model, the outcome was the same. The best approach was the simplest and the most direct: fly to the target as quickly as possible, get bin Laden, and get out. Nothing complicated, nothing exotic, just like thousands of missions we had done before. By the end of the week I knew what needed to be done. What I didn’t know was, could it be done?
Admiral William H. McRaven (Sea Stories: My Life in Special Operations)
I look back on the hundreds of men and women I visited in the hospitals. Every single one of them—every single one of them—asked me the same basic question: When can I return to my unit? When can I be back with my fellow soldiers? When can I get back in the fight? No matter how battered their bodies, all they could think about were their friends, their colleagues, their comrades, still in harm’s way. Never once—never once—did I hear a soldier complain about their lot in life. Soldiers with missing legs, blinded soldiers, paralyzed soldiers, soldiers who would never lead a normal life again, and yet not one felt sorry for themselves. Later that week, Mike was transferred back to the States.
Admiral William H. McRaven (Sea Stories: My Life in Special Operations)
His injuries were too severe for him to get back in the fight, but that didn’t stop him from serving his fellow warriors. Today Mike helps veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder and traumatic brain injury. He gives back to the nation every chance he can. Over the years that followed, I would run the obstacle course every chance I could, knowing that one day Mike would show up to challenge me. I needed to be ready.
Admiral William H. McRaven (Sea Stories: My Life in Special Operations)
Don’t ring the bell. Don’t ring the bell. It was the call to continue no matter what obstacles lay ahead. No man wearing a SEAL Trident ever rang the bell. Ringing the bell was for those who couldn’t make it. Ringing the bell was for those who weren’t up to the challenge of SEAL training. Ringing the bell was an admittance of defeat. Moki Martin never rang the bell. I wouldn’t either. For
Admiral William H. McRaven (Sea Stories: My Life in Special Operations)
He turned from the window, came and stood directly in front of me. He looked up at me, smiled, and said, “Well, you probably should have let them continue on.” It was not the response I was expecting, but in the years to come I would realize that the greatness of Dave Petraeus was his ability to shoulder the missteps and even the failures of his subordinates: to build loyalty through his personal sense of command responsibility. He knew that both Erwin and I were doing our best. We had made a mistake, one that he knew we would correct and learn from. But now was not the time for an ass chewing, but the time for understanding.
Admiral William H. McRaven (Sea Stories: My Life in Special Operations)
Minutes later I gave the official order to Votel that he was cleared to proceed when he felt the operational conditions were right. The mission was now in his hands.
Admiral William H. McRaven (Sea Stories: My Life in Special Operations)
Rick Sanchez was the military commander in Iraq. He and I had met only briefly in General Abizaid’s office months earlier, but I liked the man. His leadership in Iraq had been heavily scrutinized, mostly by those who weren’t in the fight.
Admiral William H. McRaven (Sea Stories: My Life in Special Operations)
the consequences of failure outweighed their sensitivities.
Admiral William H. McRaven (Sea Stories: My Life in Special Operations)
Experience matters, and sometimes all the staff work in the world doesn’t get you better results than what the experienced officer knows intuitively.
Admiral William H. McRaven (Sea Stories: My Life in Special Operations)
And I had the confidence in my own abilities to know that under pressure I would make the best decisions possible. Still, on every mission, the unforeseen is always lurking in the shadows.
Admiral William H. McRaven (Sea Stories: My Life in Special Operations)
Good. Just remember—it pays to be a winner.
Admiral William H. McRaven (Sea Stories: My Life in Special Operations)
For a soldier, when you have earned the respect of real warriors, there is no greater feeling in the world.
Admiral William H. McRaven (Sea Stories: My Life in Special Operations)
Many times over I found that my success depended on others. It was the simplest of lessons, one I had been taught in basic SEAL training rowing my little rubber boat. And every success I had from that moment on had been because someone helped me.
Admiral William H. McRaven (Sea Stories: My Life in Special Operations)
I realized that life is actually pretty simple. Help as many people as you can. Make as many friends as you can. Work as hard as you can. And, no matter what happens, never quit!
Admiral William H. McRaven (Sea Stories: My Life in Special Operations)
If you want to change the world, start off by making your bed. Admiral Bill McRaven (Navy SEAL)
Terri Savelle Foy (Declutter Your Way to Success)
Infantry. The toughest occupation in the Army, I thought. The soldiers are always road marching, always carrying a rucksack, always in the line of fire. You have to be strong and fit to last in any infantry unit, particularly during war.
William H. McRaven
If a nation is to survive and thrive it must pass on the ideals that made it great and imbue in its citizens an indomitable spirit, a will to continue on regardless of how difficult the path,how long the journey, or how uncertain the outcome. People must have a true belief that tomorrow will be a better day-if only they fight for it and never give up.
William H. McRaven
In that dark moment, reach deep inside yourself and be your very best.
William H. McRaven