Jocko Willink: Commander of famous Task Unit Bruiser

Eric Sof

Jocko Willink is a former Navy SEAL and book author. He was born John Gretton Willink on September 8, 1971, in Torrington, Connecticut, and from early childhood, he dreamed of becoming a soldier.

BUD/s, SEAL Team 1, and SEAL Team 2

At the age of 19, Jocko Willink enlisted in the US Navy. After finishing basic training and Radioman (RM) “A” School training, he decided to ask for more. He was an intense, athlete-smart, driven, high-energy guy; he reported to Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL (BUD/S) training at Coronado, California.

raid on Russian tanker Volga-Neft-147 on February 6, 2000, in the Gulf of Oman
Jocko Willink was part of the Navy SEAL raid on the Russian tanker Volga-Neft-147 on February 6, 2000, in the Gulf of Oman (Photo: XY)

After finishing BUD/s, he spent eight years on active duty as an enlisted Navy SEAL operator with SEAL Team 1 and SEAL Team 2. As a SEAL, he took part in a raid on Russian tanker Volga-Neft-147 on February 2, 2000, in the Gulf of Oman. The tanker, which was carrying Iraqi oil in violation of a UN economic embargo, was seized by the Navy SEALs after the crew ignored US Navy demands to stop the vessel.

Jocko Willink, during his career, did many good things. He started as an enlisted SEAL and rose through the ranks to become a SEAL officer. He earned his commission via Officer Candidate School. He served as a platoon commander, and during his career, he completed multiple deployments to Asia, the Middle East, and Europe.

Seal Team 3, Task Unit Bruiser

He was part of the famous SEAL Team 3, Task Unit Bruiser. The unit was deployed to the Iraqi town of Ramadi in 2006 during Operation Iraqi Freedom. As commanding officer, Willink orchestrated SEAL operations that helped the “Ready First” Brigade of the US Army’s First Armored Division bring stability to the violent, war-torn city. Task Unit Bruiser became the most highly decorated Special Operations Unit of the Iraq War.

The SEAL Team 3 Task Unit Bruiser also included Marc Alan Lee, Michael Monsoor, Jonny Kim, Kevin Lacz, and Chris Kyle. He also served as a Navy SEAL instructor during his career. He retired in October 2010 after 20 years of service.

Michael A. Monsoor was a member of famous Seal Team 3, Task Unit Bruiser
Michael A. Monsoor was a member of famous Seal Team 3, Task Unit Bruiser (Photo: US Navy)

Post-military career

After retirement, Jocko Willink has become a successful author. Leif Babin (also former Navy SEAL) wrote the book Extreme Ownership: How US Navy SEALs Lead and Win. Together with Leif Babin, he founded Echelon Front, a leadership instructor, speaker, and executive coach.

After appearing on the podcasts of Tim Ferriss, Joe Rogan, and Sam Harris to publicize his book, Willink started his weekly podcast, The Jocko Podcast.

As of March 2020, Willink has officially become a designer of a luxurious men’s denim jeans line.

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