Last month, Dr. Kevin O’Connor, physician to the President of the United States, delivered a “charge for the graduates” — a brief commencement speech — to graduating students of the George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences, where he is also an associate professor and senior medical advisor. Dr. O’Connor, who was appointed physician to then-Vice President Joe Biden in 2009, has remained the personal physician of the now-POTUS since that time. He was appointed the official physician to the President upon Joe Biden’s inauguration in January of 2021.
Dr. O’Connor is also one of the country’s handful of battlefield medical experts who have changed the face of combat medicine over the past two decades-plus, through the Committee on Tactical Combat Casualty Care (TCCC).
In his brief speech, Dr. O’Connor spoke to the graduates about “building their brand,” or becoming the professionals and humans they desire to become following the end of their formal education. By way of example, O’Connor recounted a story told by Navy SEAL Admiral (retired) Bill McRaven on St. Patrick’s Day in Savannah, Georgia, at a Hibernians Society dinner, “a few years back.” (Full disclosure: this author was also present for the dinner and speech.)
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In his speech to the graduates, O’Connor recounted how McRaven spoke about being a young SEAL officer when he was assigned to the insular, and still relatively new, SEAL Team 6 in the early 1980s. At the time, ST-6 was commanded by the legendary (and infamous) Richard “Dick” Marcinko, the unit’s first Commanding Officer. Marcinko was known for all kinds of inappropriate, and at-times-illegal, behavior, as well as for running ST-6 in a bullying, capricious, and tyrannical style.
At one point early in McRaven’s time there, Marcinko attempted to humiliate McRaven through some asinine and pointless tasking, as Marcinko was wont to do at the command. By that point, however, McRaven professed that he had grown sick of such treatment — and Marcinko’s behavior — and he flat out refused to comply with Marcinko’s order.
McRaven ended up in a confrontation with Marcinko, and possibly even punched the ST-6 commanding officer square in the jaw. That last point is possibly apocryphal, and is not mentioned in McRaven’s book, “Sea Stories: My Life in Special Operations,” nor is the punch mentioned by Marcinko in the 2015 New York Times article, “SEAL Team 6: A Secret History of Quiet Killings and Blurred Lines.”
Marcinko does, however, discuss firing McRaven, essentially over the two having vastly different leadership styles.
McRaven was indeed fired from ST-6 for taking his stand against Marcinko, and subsequently fretted over the incident and what it would do to his still-burgeoning career. O’Connor told the story as a way of illustrating how McRaven — at the time — was not the Admiral Bill McRaven he would later become: Navy SEAL flag officer, special operations author and historian, National Security Council appointee, and Commanding Officer of the Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) when it executed the Osama Bin Laden raid.
No, then he was just Lieutenant McRaven, standing up to a bullying senior officer and refusing to accept things the way they were at SEAL Team 6 at that time.
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In other words, McRaven was “building his brand.” O’Connor would go on to tell the graduates that he was not charging them with the responsibility of becoming “great,” as they built their own brands going forward. Rather, he was challenging them to be good.
“Honor where you came from by being and doing good,” he concluded.
Definitely words we can all live by.
McRaven was a product of ST-6….known for surviving the most physical and metal abuse known to any military in the world. And yet somehow…. he gets a pass for striking a commanding officer for “bullying”? The real hero of all such stories is Richard Marcinko who. like all mavericks, found ingenious ways to defend principle against bureaucracy and entrenched interests. McRaven will undoubtedly reap rewards from the bureaucracy he long defended (despite failure in the academic world). But 20 years from now, McRaven’s name will be a mere stain on history, while Marcinko’s memory will live forever among patriots.
Joe citizen says
McRaven was and is a first class cocksucker. A true coward. How’s your vote for Biden look now you arrogant little prick?
S w smith says
Well said… oh how the add kissers love to put themselves in for medals . Leaders of fellow sheep, most of which they helped over the fence while wearing firemen boots.
Nicholas George says
Obviously Marcinko was “battle fatigued” and not the guy for the job. But something lost (old Navy) and something gained. In the New Navy you have to keep the ten commandments of the latest leadership bestseller.
Make your bed?
Is he effing serious?
First of all, it’s a rack.
Second of all, be thankful you have one.
Ahem, sleepless night watches.
Ahem, far away from home.
Ahem, homelessness… I suppose this last one is lost on that stupid longhorn ox.
I’m glad I’m a civilian now so I can say this shit. Craven McRaven.
Steven W. Ferguson, U.S. Army. says
Salute from old school Army. You get it. Most don’t, and that will be our downfall. McRaven is an ass licker.
I think cant-c*nt might belong in prison? If he is not already there perhaps he is in hell after being executed. Not sure though? He also might be a Patriot? But politically in disguise? Remember when he douchebaggedly suggested Trump take his security clearance also? This Admiral took command of SOCOM 8 August 2011. This is days after Extorsion 17 occurred. Was he installed to cover things up? We will learn that the US actually shot down and purposely killed some of its best with weapons that perhaps came from Benghazi? Or was he installed to hunt down the deep state? TBD I predict he is a Cant-c*nt
CAROL SANFILIPPO says
I SO ADMIRE YOU ADMIRAL MCRAVEN AND I LIKE YOUR SPIRIT AND CAN DO ATTITUDE BUT I AM DISAPPOINTED IN YOUR THE CRITICISM OF PRESIDENT BIDEN
AS A GOOD AMERICAN CITIZEN THAT I BELIEVE YOU ARE WHY NOT OFFER A HELPING HAND TO BIDEN AND SPEAK HONESTLY TO HIM ABOUT WHAT HE NEEDS TO DO AND WHAT YOU AND YOUR FOLLOWERS CAN DO TO HELP HIM SUCCEED
I AM WORRIED THAT IF BIDEN FAILS AND A REPUBLICAN GETS IN THE NATION AND DEMOCRACY WILL BE OVER AND WE ALL FAIL
PRESIDENT BIDEN HAS SO MUCH ON HIS PLATE AND IT IS ALMOST IMPOSSIBLE TO DEVOTE ENOUGH TIME TO ANY ONE PROJECT HE NEEDS HELP FROM GOOD PEOPLE, HE IS A GOOD PERSON THAT NEEDS A TEAM PLAYER LIKE YOU
I AM USUALLY AN OPTIMIST BUT I AM TRULY WORRIED THE NATION IS IN BIG TROUBLE ON MANY FRONTS BUT MY MAIN CONCERN IS DEMOCRACY AND VOTING BECAUSE WITHOUT THAT THE WHOLE NATION WILL END UP LIKE CHINA OR RUSSIA IF THE REPUBLICANS WIN
WHEN REPUBLICANS WIN WE ALL LOSE THEY ARE NOT FOR THE PEOPLE BUT ONLY FOR THEIR SELVES AND THEIR POCKETBOOKS AND NOT GOOD AMERICANS AS FAR AS I AM CONCERNED THEY DO NOT WANT TO CONSIDER GOOD LAWS, OR PLANS TO GIVE HONEST HELP WHERE NEEDED FOR THE PEOPLE
I WANT YOU TO KNOW I FORWARDED YOUR 10 LESSONS TO CONGRESSMAN ADAM SCHIFF AND HIS STAFF AS I BELIEVE ADAM SCHIFF IS A GOOD MAN AND AN HONEST AMERICAN THAT IS TRYING TO DO GOOD FOR THE NATION
THANK YOU FOR ALL YOU HAVE DONE THROUGH YOUR LIFE I BELIEVE IN YOU AND FEEL YOU HAVE MORE TO GIVE FOR THE HEALTH OF OUR NATION
Joseph Jesus says
Biden’s an absolute failure.
J Maywood says
Are you kidding? He singlehandedly got the Covid vaccine manufactured and distributed and into millions of people’s arms for FREE, when the failure Trump let it sit on the shelves going to waste. Biden came into office with NO transition thanks to Trump’s punkish tantrum.
He got us out of Afghanistan finally after 20 years when Trump set the deadline for withdrawal and did NOTHING to get it done safely. Trump also had 5000 Taliban and Al Queda fighters released from Pakistan prisons BEFORE we pulled out and at least one of them planned and committed the suicide bombing during the withdrawal! Biden got NATO back in business and has supplied Billions of $$ of weapons to Ukraine to help them defend themselves! What did Trump do? He tried to shake down Zelenskyy to get help him contest the 2020 election.
Biden got the Covid Relief Act passed that saved thousands of businesses and kept people in their homes when they could have been evicted! It helped raise millions of kids out of poverty for 2 years until the Republicans refused to continue the funding! It is rebuilding thousands of roads and bridges all across America!
He got the Inflation Reduction Act passed which was originally called Build Back Better. This bill will fund even more infrastructure projects and provide high speed internet and smart grids to rural America! Plus and best of all, he’s been in office for 2 years without a single scandal or high-profile resignation for graft or corruption!
Dam Mar says
HA HA HA…. Let’s Go Bendon. He’s a SICK man and needs to get help, but should not be running our country !!!
J Maywood says
Biden is not sick at all but a decent capable man. So much better than the disaster he replaced. Has Trump ever done anything right in his life?
Mike Matis says
Are you truly seeing yet? It’s not an R and D issue. It’s a globalist agenda to destroy of us perceived “Useless eaters”. Wake up. Biden is NOT a good man. He’s abused his own family, the citizens of our country, especially children. Schiff IS a known pedophile. All of the info is coming out- the bush’s, obama’s, Clinton’s, Kerry’s, Romey’s, McCains’s, Pelosi’s. ARE YOU Waking Up? If not, live deluded.
We should respect other people’s opinion.. He may know something that we don’t… thus…
Paul McManus says
I like the vibe I get from Admiral Mc craven I feel that people in this country must take care of there on life and develop into responsible citizens I believe all Americans must give back to the country that gave them a start citizens should to vote because if you don’t vote you don’t have a say I do not know Admiral McCraven bout in reading a bit and conversations I have had maybe I would like to here more from him we need a firm hand on the rudder going forward
Marcinko used to refer to him as a “cant-c*nt” for a reason.
What’s up, after reading this amazing post i am too happy to share my experience here with mates.
Chris Gallagher says
I had a lot of respect for Admiral McRaven, but I lost all of it for not speaking out on Joe Biden for his horrible lack of leadership actions in Afghanistan, the Durham report that highlights potential ties to the Clinton campaign, and this Russia | Ukraine distraction.
Thank you. Me too
BIG GUNNER says
DITTO! He stopped being a warrior and became a politician!
Mike Matis says
We lived close to the base knew some of the guys. Seeing what these political hacks within the military have done to our guys is gut wrenching. McCaven is a tool. He’s no different than Matis or Kelly. Great warriors, sold out to the Chinese/DS?. Trump chopped the head off of the mil complex- Albag, and Soulessman. That’s the reason McCav didn’t want him. Look what Milley and Co have done. The money would dry up. Met some guys from the farm who see and some who don’t. Bin, Ex17, Benghazi-Tied together? Liars are going down. Truth is coming out and hopefully people are waking up. #WeGotACountryToSave #Freedom
He knows better. He was there… I believe him…
Thank you, Fru. Enjoyed the article, and I admire Admiral McRaven. Loved his book