I had the opportunity to interview Lieutenant Command Rorke Denver for Episode 29 (thanks to Jared Easley from Starve The Doubts for making this one possible). Rorke is a graduate of Syracuse University where he was an All American in Lacrosse. In his senior year of college, he read Winston Churchill’s My Early Life. That book was his call to service and he decided to enter United States Navy and become a SEAL.
In 2006, he led BRAVO Platoon of SEAL Team THREE in Iraq’s Al Anbar Province in one of the most combat-heavy deployments of any regular SEAL team since Vietnam. Stationed in Habbaniya, his team conducted more than 190 missions. Two of his teammates were killed in action, including Mike Monsoor, who received the Medal of Honor for jumping on a live grenade to save his teammates. Denver’s team has been widely credited with propelling the “Tribal Awakening” that helped to neutralize Iraq’s Shia insurgency. Denver was awarded the Bronze Star with “V” for valorous action in combat.
Rorke had a unique opportunity to have the one of the lead roles in a the Hollywood film Act of Valor while on active duty. After leaving active duty, Rorke wrote the New York Times Bestselling book Damn Few: Making the Modern SEAL Warrior
One of my favorite quotes from the interview talks about the importance of training. Rorke said:
What is the difference between SEALS compared to any other units on the battlefield? It has absolutely nothing to do with anything other than training….it is the one thing that you utterly control