SEALs quietly end relationship with PR firm behind ‘bad boy’ image campaign


CORONADO, Calif. – Sources close to the Naval Special Warfare Command (NAVSPECWARCOM) have revealed the command has discreetly severed ties with the public relations firm of Livingston, Aldred, and Burley. Contracted in 2011, the firm had a single purpose — to help bring a paradigm shift to the public image of the Navy’s premier commando force, the SEALs. That edict ultimately would go horribly awry.

Reeling from years of veteran ridicule as Hollywood pretty boys as concerned with hair gel, chest waxing, and book deals instead of as killers of the enemies of freedom, NAVSPECWARCOM contracted the firm to help change the narrative.  LA&B recommended changing the SEALs’ reputation from pretty boys to bad boys.

Unbeknownst to Naval commanders, the storied frogmen would take the new message and run with it. From SEALs being accused of illegally killing ISIS prisoners and taking selfies with their bodies to a variety of other heinous crimes, the Navy SEALs apparently went from SOCOM Navy SEALs to Grand Theft Auto in the blink of an eye.

“I mean we all get tired of the same old jokes about tell-all books and movie deals,” said Lt. Cdr. Mark “Duck” Moses, “but we never meant for these guys to just run around killing people like they’re the Manson family or something.”

“I mean, they don’t they get to kill enough with ISIS and Boko Haram?”

According to sources, some SEALs took their new public image too far. War crime allegations within the Naval special operations community from Iraq to Africa have captured the attention of national security media and prompted some to ask if there is an ethical dilemma within the Navy’s premier anti-terror forces.

“It seems like LA&B came up with a new message but failed to illustrate that the message was a story, not the new Rules of Engagement,” said Cdr. Roger Sterling. “We didn’t want to make a big deal about it, but we knew this firm had to go.”

“We’re not their command,” said Paul Kensey of LA&B, “We just pitched them an idea and few talking points. Like making rappers look like they really had street cred instead of being hip band nerds. How were we to know they would take that stuff as an excuse to go full John Wayne Gacy?  I mean where was their leadership during all this?”

Sources close to NAVSPECWARCOM have hinted the command is looking at a shift back towards their previous reputation.  To assist this, classes in book editing and finding an agent will resume at BUD/S.


Paul J. OLeary
Paul enjoys mixing high quality bourbon with Rip Its and thinks a few 15-6s are a small price to pay for big fun. @pauljoleary on Twitter.
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