NORFOLK, Va. — Navy SEALs, one of America’s most iconic special operations forces, are renowned for their expertise, prowess, and the shroud of secrecy surrounding their operations. However, the life of a Navy Special Warfare operator can also be one of the most rewarding paths in the military service, given the right combination of experience, publishers, and celebrity connections, according to a new book by former SEAL Joe McQueeney.
“Being a SEAL isn’t all guts-and-glory, or five-mile swims before dawn,” McQueeney said. “There’s also networking with publicists, prime-time appearances on cable news channels, and telling complete strangers what you do for a living.”
According to McQueeney, it was difficult for him to learn to interject his SEAL service into unrelated conversations, but he overcame his initial hesitance during a PTA meeting at his daughter’s elementary school.
“The principal had asked if the parents had any concerns, and I remember standing up to make a comment on the school lunches. I said, ‘I think, as a Navy SEAL, the lunches here aren’t very nutritious,’ and that if I had to eat that food every day, I would never have gotten in camera-ready shape to star in the Hollywood blockbuster ‘Act of Valor,’” he said.
“From then on, it got a little easier to bring up my covert ops experience to total strangers, whether I’m buying groceries, chatting up girls at the gym, or even asking police officers to give me their service weapon on Instagram.”
McQueeney’s interview was cut short when the barista at Starbucks announced that she had a venti no-whip soy mocha frap for a “Quiet Professional.”