I’m Jocko Willink, retired Navy SEAL Officer, author, and host of JOCKO PODCAST and I'm here for you to Ask Me Anything.
My name is Jocko Willink. I'm a retired SEAL Officer and author of the books Extreme Ownership, Way of the Warrior Kid, and Discipline Equals Freedom: Field Manual. I also host the podcast, JOCKO PODCAST, where I talk about leadership and human nature through the lens of war and human struggle. Outside of that, I own Echelon Front, a leadership and management consulting company that works with businesses in every industry. I’m also a black belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu, an avid surfer, and father of four “highly motivated” children.
- Website: http://jockopodcast.com/
- YouTube Channel, Jocko Podcast: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCkqcY4CAuBFNFho6JgygCnA
- On iTunes: Jocko Podcast
Most burpee's youve ever done continuously?
Wanted to send thanks your way. Partly in thanks to your podcast, i have left my 3rd shift factory job and will be shipping out for navy boot camp in 1 week.
Coincidentally, my A school is in San Diego. Can you recommend a good beginners bjj gym? I trained tae kwon do for 9 years, and really wanna branch out my game.
Victory MMA. 3666 Midway Drive. See you there.
Hey Jocko, you talk a lot about "Extreme Ownership" in life, but is there ever a situation when it is appropriate to lay the blame on someone else or a circumstance?
Yes. When someone intentionally does something immoral, unethical, or criminally wrong.
Hey all, I have to go get some work done. Thanks for joining. I will try to get back later and answer more questions. Jocko
Hi Jocko, reading Extreme Ownership completely changed my approach to being a leader within my company (I'm one of the younger "leaders"). So thank you. Recently our team at work has had issues that result in a lot of the leaders pointing the finger downward to cast blame when things go wrong, rather than at themselves. What's the best approach to getting them to buy into the Extreme Ownership mindset so that we can actually fix our problems?
When they point the finger at you, accept the blame and fix the problem. Eventually, they will either take ownership, or you will take their job.
Jocko, do you have suggestions on what first steps to take to start to develop personal willpower and discipline?
Stop trying to develop and start DOING.
When will you and Sam harris decide who is the better grappler?
After we grapple.
Hey Jocko, when can we expect to hear your podcast with Jordan B Peterson?
Ever read "Fearless", by Eric Blehm? Good book for the podcast.
Have it. Will do it.
Jocko, good morning, you mentioned the podcast has created a new bridge for you and your wife to connect as she gets to just sit and listen to you speak your thoughts. Is there any plan to have her on the podcast?
She WILL NOT come on.
Jocko- are you able to fuel endurance/ multiday efforts in the field with your day to day low-carb diet?
Thanks for the commitment to delivering excellent content.
During college, how long did you spend studying a day? Do you ever get burnout?
2-8 hours. Yes. But it didn't matter. Did it anyway.
Hi Jocko, thanks for doing this and being a general inspiration to thousands. What do you think is the most important thing to focus on at each belt in Bjj? Thanks again. (Bjj blue belt in particular as that's my current rank)
White: Relax Blue: Relax Purple: Relax Brown: Relax Black: Start Learning.
Hey Jocko, what do you think is the most difficult thing you've had to overcome, and how were you able to? Thanks!
Losing my friends. Live a life that honors their sacrifice.
Hey Jocko, I like how you always mention people should be able to do pull-ups, as so many gym goers look so strong, yet cannot do pull-ups. As a rock climber, one of my main exercises is pull-ups. Have you ever tried rock climbing?
Yes. It is fun. I am not good.
Hey jocko, first thank you for sharing what you know and how you go about things. My question is simple, have you gotten any blow back from the seal community for your book or podcast? When are you gonna go talk to Joe Rogan again?
No. My SEAL Friends listen to the podcast. Not sure.
hey Jocko, I loved Extreme Ownership and am an avid listener of the podcast. 2 questions:
1) what's the most important piece of advice you've given to your daughters?
2) I'm a college senior applying for jobs; how do you deal with working hard/trying your best for something and still failing?
- Discipline Equals Freedom.
- Good. I get to try again, harder.
Jocko, I completed the process for Concealed Carry Permit in my state and I'm set to receive in 45 days. Any further training you recommend? Do agree with Concealed Carry? and Do you concealed carry in California?
Train as much as you can. Yes. Yes.
What music do you listen to when you've got to GET AFTER IT?
Also, what unconventional PT would you recommend for a platoon (besides Jiu-jitsu, we already have a few days that we roll) that would be intense but also entertaining?
Old School Hardcore. Combat Waterpolo.
Jocko, long time listener here. Any chance you can get yourself, Tony, and Leif in the same room at the same time and record it? That would be amazing
You mention Band of Brothers and the Pacific often on the podcast. What is your take of the Generation Kill miniseries? Topic for the podcast?
Signing up for bjj today, gonna do my first class. Advice for a newbie?
Huge fan, and thanks for all you do!
- Haven't watched.
Hey Jocko, I have an interview coming up for a DPT (Doctorate of Physical Therapy) school in about a month. It consists of 4 sets of group interviews in one day with the last one being myself and one other candidate. In this last round, I will have to explain to the admissions staff in front of me why I am a better fit for the program than the person sitting next to me and he/she will have to do the same. How do I remain humble and true to myself but also complete the task that is going to be presented to me? Any advice is greatly appreciated. Thanks for your time.
Be humble, yes, but tell the truth about why you will be great for the school, what it means to you, and what you will do with the degree.
JOCKOOOOOO!!!!! Because of you I now can’t sleep later than 5 am and have to workout everyday or I feel like a bum. Love your podcast. My question, do you have specific days where you train for strength or endurance? Or does it change depending on how you’re feeling? Thanks for your service and also for sparking a fire in so many of us to get disciplined.
I train them both, often.
Hey Jocko, Can you share a few comments about your relationship with Seth Stone? I'm an old friend of his and went to middle school and high school with him. These last 10 days have been a big shock to many people, here in Houston and all across the world.
I will. Not now. He was the best.
Good morning Jocko. When are you going to write the complete history of TU Bruiser?
Leif and I are planning to do that in a few years...
Can we expect to see Jocko Willink/Leif Babin on the presidential ticket for 2020?
Ha. Can we put a wave pool in the rose garden?
Jordan Peterson and many prominent psychologists say IQ and discipline are critical to life success with more weight on IQ. What do you think about this and how important were these two factors in determining whether or not a Seal was successful or not?
Being smart and disciplined seems like it would be a good combination. Smart and disciplined people normally make good SEALs.
Jocko, about to graduate college after 4 years of division 1 football. Majored in finance but I am debating military OCS route versus typical 9-5 corporate desk job,what are your thoughts? Big EO fan. Thanks for sharing your knowledge.
Never mind my thoughts. What are yours? I know what I would do, and so do you.
Jocko - simple question... Do you believe in God?
In my own way, yes.
Hi Jocko, Mint moose tracks exists. It's delicious.
Any podcast worthy books on the most recent conflict in Iraq/Afghanistan? Anything on Ramadi would be ideal.
How do you take notes on books? Any system or methodology to it?
How do you source your collection of watches?
- there are some good ones.
- Highlight and write in the books themselves with post-it notes.
Who was Seth Stone?
SEAL. Delta Platoon Commander, Task Unit Bruiser. Friend. Brother.
Im sorry to hear about Cmdr. Stone. Do you plan on doing anything special on the Podcast to honor his memory? Or is that not podcast appropriate.
Thanks for all that you do.
I will at some point, when it is time. He was the best.
Who would win in a submission only BJJ match, you or Joe Hogan (Rogan)?
Never rolled with him.
I'm training for BUD/S, and I'm really thinking about training bjj (not to get ready for BUD/S, but for personal enjoyment and development). Thoughts?
BJJ is great. But stop a year prior to BUDS and focus 100% on that.
Long time listener and I love your material. I have interviewed at USUHS to become a military physician. I have to choose a branch of the military to go into. Any suggestions? Working to assist the navy seals would be incredibly rewarding. There are many opportunities as a military physician, but your insight would be great!
Working to assist anyone in the military will be rewarding. There aren't many SEALs.
-longest time off the mats? What was hardest part when you started back up again?
-Are your kids going to start a hardcore band?
Thank you for all the podcasts and sharing.
6 weeks- neck surgery. I hope so.
What's for dinner?
Hey Jocko, have you ever had to use your jiu jitsu in a real world combat situation?
Hey Jocko, High schooler, who just recently started listening to your podcast. How does someone find out what they should do after high school?
Take what you are interested in and see where that places you.
Am I the only one that thought Jocko white tea was a white tee shirt????
Jocko: 9mm Luger or .45 ACP ?
Hello Jocko, I love you work.
I have a question relating to sleep and discipline.
I have severe problems with sleep, I sleep very badly and wake up with much difficulty and then I am tired throughout the day.
When I hear you talk about 5 to 6 hours a sleep I can't help but think that this is not for everybody.
My main problem is that I very often am able to turn off alarm clocks even when they are at my desk while half off-concious and then wake up 2 hours later only to discover the mistake that I made.
This happens to me a lot. The problem is that when I wake up, I am never really concious enough to catch myself from going back to sleep. I just can't imagine what willpower means in this scenario when consciousness is literally the limiting factor.
What do you think about this? Tips? Tricks?
I have a second question but please don't answer this if you want to get back at as many people as you can. I don't want to consume time.
I also have a lot of problems with scheduling. Due to my Aspergers I tend to misread schedules wrong which causes me to mange my agenda wrong. This happens a lot when I have to read tables and my eyes somehow misalign the rows. In the same way I tend to forget to put appointments in my agenda. This happened to me several times but don't seem to learn.
I really like your, just try more, harder and better approach but I really don't know what this means. I have feld so bad amout my failures so many times and yet I keep making them. Now I know you can't solve my autism but what comes to mind? Do you by chance think of any other approach that might work for me that appeals more to my strengths? How would you go about solving problems like the one I have? I know those are actually multiple questions but you can interpret them as one.
At last, I want to thank you for all the amazing work that you do. Your youtube videos and podcasts really help me to sort myself out. Thanks a lot and thanks for your service even though I'm Dutch.
Use multiple alarm clocks in multiple locations. Separate you schedule by pages.
We often want to model our lives after the heroes that we hear or read about. For example there are so many heroes that you've covered on the podcast, or in books such as Musashi. I want to be like these people, but often our lives lack the same clear-cut purpose and direction. I can't buy a sword and become a samurai, I'd look a little funny walking down the street. My question is, how do we emulate these figures while finding a path that works in our often less exciting lives?
Strive hard no matter the path.
Jocko, what is your greatest lesson learned since writing books and having a podcast?
DISCIPLINE EQUALS FREEDOM.
If you could work with or be attached to any foreign SOF unit, which one would it be and why?
Brit or Aussie SAS or SBS.
Because Brit or Aussie SAS or SBS.
Hey Jocko, I know you’re a fan of the Cro-Mags and you mention being involved in the hardcore scene growing up. What are some of your favorite bands and how do you think that DIY mentality shaped who you became?
Also, which Breakdown demo do you prefer?
Bad Brains. Agnostic Front. Slapshot. Black Flag. Minor Threat. etc etc
I am a BJJ purple belt and Muay Thai/MMA practitioner, I tore the labrum in both my shoulders a while back but am still looking to go the BUD/s route. No physical limitations, I still lift and do push ups, pull ups, etc. but the Navy doesn't seem to want to give me a shot due to my medical history. Any advice? Thanks.
Try to get a waiver.
What makes a good teammate? What makes a good leader?
Teammate puts the team first. So does the leader.
Hi Mr. Willink, Do you allow yourself to listen to music or have any other sorts of distractions when you're in the weight room or running?
Yes. I listen to music.
What are your top 10 values/principles of life? Actions to take when your life is falling apart? What to do if you're too ugly to get a girlfriend and have bad thoughts about this?
Thanks for your work. Love the podcast. Thanks for getting me in to bjj.
- Discipline Equals Freedom.
- Prioritize and Execute.
- Find happiness in being alone and don't worry about it. The right person will come along eventually.
Jocko, I am currently in the AFROTC program at UNC Charlotte; what advice do you have for future officers, and what qualities do you want the future officers to have?
In war, and in life, there are often times of monotony where the status quo remains the same. How do you keep your discipline when you can't measure improvement or make advancement?
Thanks so much for the podcast!
Do you have any tips for a 40 year old male starting BJJ ?
Relax. No Ego.
Jocko, do you set your alarm for those 4 am wake ups?
Hey Jocko I recently heard you on Joe Rogan and started listening to your podcast. I have a question I was hoping you could help me out with. I was a blue belt in Jiu Jitsu here in New York about 3 years ago, when I was rolling one day I got hip tossed by a purple belt and tore my labrum in my shoulder after healing up I got into college hockey and didn’t go back to Jiu Jitsu. Now that I’ve been out of college I want to get back at it but I’m embarrassed to go back to my old gym. Do I put my ego in check and suck it up and go back or do I pick another gym a few miles away and start fresh?
Just go start training.
Jocko, any chance of you getting Dick Marcinko on the podcast? I think he'd be a fascinating guest. I wonder if in his later years he came to see his error that you mentioned in one of your podcasts...that he didn't adjust his style once he advanced up the ranks.
Open invite to Marcinko.
Do you have any suggestions pertaining to veterans who have certain regrets with separating from their respective branch too soon & looking back wishing they have stayed in?
Try and get back in. If you can't, look for your next mission. Regret gets you no where.
Since you launched the podcast, from all your interviews and books you've used to recount the stories of so many heroes, what is the main takeaway you got from these individuals and about leadership? #getafterit
Will episode 100 be an extra long podcast? Thanks.
I don't know. I don't plan the lengths.
Hey Jocko, what are some hobbies you'd like to try but haven't had the time?
If I want to try something, I make time.
Ever think about doing an AMA over on r/navyseals. Boys would love it ?
Jocko, thanks for doing this. I'm a fan of the podcast and half way through your book. Also, just received my order of Jocko white tea. Can confirm that my deadlift has increased by about 3000%.
I'm in the process of submitting my package to SOAS and hopefully I'll receive an invitation to attend SOAS in the spring. I have relatively little leadership experience which worries me. My question for you is how does one motivate a team that has low morale? Similar to the boat crew example early on in your book. Providing clear, concise, and confident instruction on the task at hand as well as believing in the objectives and goals of the task/mission seems like just about all one can do. How big of a role does charisma play in how effective a leader is?
And, although I know you don't like to speak about BUD/s, my final question is how much effort do you dedicate to a classmate that seems to be not putting out. I understand the only way to make it though BUD/s is as a team, but at what point do you simply abandon someone who isn't performing well enough despite them making every effort to help the team and themselves?
In BUDs, if someone is weak, let them quit. We don't want them in The Teams,
Hi Jocko, In your opinion do you think Jiu Jitsu will ever become "mainstream" and do you think there is a competition format (EBI, ADCC, IBJJF, etc.) that would bring in the largest audience?
Hi Jocko -- I started Brazilian Jiu Jitsu but I'm working on a PhD and have very limited time. Right now I'm only able to go once a week. I know your answer but I'll ask anyway. Is it worth it to continue even though my progress is incredibly stifled?
Thanks for doing this, Jocko--big fan here.
What are some useful methods you use to stay disciplined in pursuing long-term goals? How do you stay focused on projects that take months and years to complete?
Make short term steps and attack them.
Hey Jocko, what was the best burger you ever had?
Hi Mr. Willink! Kind of a goofy question (re-posting from the other thread), but:
I read a great story about the UDT's in WW2 (proto-SEALs) and how they would paint depth markings along the length of their bodies to measure depth while surveying landing beaches in the Pacific. Basically they would stand up in the water and see how the depth measured against the markings on their bodies. I thought it was cool and inventive. Is this something that's still taught to SEALs? Is it ever put to use?
Not any more.
Hi Jocko! Im a 41 years old women and i would like to start bjj Should i go to a man or women class? Thanks!
Hey Jocko, been wanting to get into some MetCon training but dont know how to get started,any tips? thanks
100 Burpees for time. Go.
Hi Jocko , when you complete a task for example , writing a book . Do you immediately find a new task to accomplish to keep yourself busy?
No. I already have the new task underway before I finish.
Favorite Emerson folder?
Thank you for all you do.
Hey Jocko, love the podcast. Just curious as to what your favorite submission to hit is?
I’m a 32 year old married man and work for a large city fire department as a paramedic with over 12 years experience in the field. I’m considering a reserve position within the military. I’m seeking change, including excitement, knowledge, camaraderie and looking to learn valuable new leadership, combat and vocational skills. I want to disrupt my home life as little as possible. I am married and hoping for children soon. Active duty is not an option at this time. Currently I’m looking at national guard, possibly their combat medic program, although this would likely be basic and easy for me given my experience. My interests are medicine and combat/weapons, not much else.I’m open to all other options... what do you think about this, what would you choose, if any? Thanks Jocko.
Sounds like a great plan.
Hi Jocko, thanks so much for taking the time to do this AMA. If you had a pontoon boat, what would you name her?
Jocko, in podcast 29 you briefly talked about how the best candidates in BUD/S often ranked themselves as the worst, and the worst ranked themselves as the best. As you said, it is very important for a good leader to be humble, open to criticism, and always want to better themselves, however is there a fine line between humble and having no confidence? A leader also needs to be confident in his abilities to lead, right? I look forward to hearing your response, I thought about this a lot after the podcast. As always, great work to you and Echo on the podcast!
That wasn't in BUDs, that was in platoon training. Yes. You must have confidence without being arrogant. Those are some of the many Dichotomies of Leadership: Humble, but not passive. Confident but not cocky.
In your opinion, how do you feel about the president and his lack of leadership he brings. What is your opinion on his constant criticism to things such as the NFL players kneeling, the Puerto rican relief efforts and so on. What does this say about our country to those who dont live in ours?
And your podcast is amazing btw. I've listened to all episodes. You're awesome.
Thank for listening. America is stronger than one man. Even the president.
Is there a marked difference in culture between Army Special Forces and the SEAL Teams? I've heard Special Forces soldiers tend to be a bit older than your average SEAL and that an ODA tends to be more self-sufficient and not reliant on non-SOF support when deployed. Also heard that SEALs hate FID. All second hand info but I'd appreciate any insight.
Also, I have a question about BUD/S. This is taken from a recent graduate's AMA: "The biggest difference I would assume is you no longer want to be the grey man. They started doing a more "wholelistic" approach to BUD/S and it really is a selection now. You are judged on performance and character, you want them to know you." I thought this was really interesting, do you have any insider information on how selection has evolved?
Your generalizations about SEALs vs SF are rooted in stereotypes that have some loose validity to them, but are not entirely accurate at all. BUDs is BUDs.
Navy huh, is being locked in a big metal shaft with 299 other semen something of a treat?
Is it true that 300 Semen go out to sea and 150 couples return?
All jokes aside, thanks for your service and thank you for this AMA.
Serious question, what is your favorite food?
I really liked Way of the Warrior Kid but my kid knows no English yet. Are you working on translations of the book? If yes, in what languages and when may we except them for sale?
Thank you for your time.
Ask Feiwel and Friends, the publisher. Translations are coming. Not sure of languages and dates.
Can you recommend a good all weather hiking/wilderness boot?
Everyone's feet are different.Try a bunch.
Before you answered a question about if a child was being bullied, you said they should go to Jujitsu. What about if they're the bully?
Also, how do you tread between taking ownership and excessive self-blame?
Thank you for your great podcast and awesome books! Extreme ownership has played an important role for me to get after it!
They should also do jiu-jitsu. they will be humbled. Balance.
Do you train any striking or strictly grappling?
I trained a bunch, but don't much anymore.
I'm looking to move to a sunnier environment while building my business, (need to be around more small to medium sized businesses). I want to live close to the beach, scuba, surf, paddle board, crossfit as well as BJJ/MMA gyms. Would you recommend Florida coastline (Tampa, Miami, Jacksonville) or San Diego?
FLORIDA! San Diego is too crowded...
Jocko, How can I find motivation, be it to get up in the morning or to go to the gym, what can I do to find something that motivates me?
GET UP AND GO.
Hey Jocko, Do you know of any good BJJ schools in the Chicago-land area? Or anyone on here?
Pete the Greek or Comprido.
- Did you ever work with Col. Peter Mansoor (Army)? He was pretty high up with General Petraeus for a tour in Iraq. I took a couple of his classes while in college and loved them.
- Is Echelon Front hiring??
- I did not.
F/S Shipping out soon. Any books you wish you read before starting your career in the Navy, one military related and one non-military related?
ABOUT FACE, Hackworth.
Wondering if you had any recommendations for a young guy trying to develop good habits/discipline! Also do you have a list of things that you think everyone should be doing to be better?
Wake up early. Work out. Be stronger smarter faster better.
What was your ah ha moment?
Favorite Hardcore band of all time?
Thanks for the podcast, I enjoy it.
Hi Jocko, Do you practice meditation? I've heard you describe how you can take a step back from a stressful/negative situation and observe things from a calm, rational perspective before deciding how to react. It sounded like something an experienced meditation practitioner might do. Thanks!
Jiu-jitsu and surfing.
Jocko, you are incredibly driven. I've read Extreme Ownership and listened to many of your podcasts and I know you advocate working towards multiple milestones at once, but do you have one overarching goal you are working towards? Or are you a modern-day Cyrano and pursue "excellence in everything"?
Pass on what I have learned.
Hey Jocko! Do you admire any military history figures in particular? If so, who impresses you the most?
Hey Jocko, fellow navy guy here but nearly as badass. How long did you serve for? If you could do it all over again, would you change anything?
No badass here. 20 years. Nope.
Hey Jocko. First of all, thanks for the motivation, it's been a big help.
My question is: Between your watch and "aftermath" pictures on Instagram there is often a gap of 3-5 hours. Do you work out for that entire time? Also, how much do you weigh?
Thanks! GET AFTER IT!
Sometimes write or do other work in between wake up and aftermath.
Hey, Jocko! What was your biggest setback in life or in the army? EDIT: Forgot to greet you. Apologies, sir! Haha
Too many to talk about.
Have answered this on podcast. Sure. Come to my gym with a book. We will grapple and I will sign.
Congratulations on having your third book published and thank you for all the work you do. The leadership principles distilled from your hard-won experience are applicable in virtually any life scenario, and the podcast has introduced us, your faithful audience, to dozens of stories and individuals that have valuable perspective on leadership, life, and war. We are in your debt, both for your service, and for the work you do in private life.
As you are aware, Russia is engaged in an overt, and more importantly ongoing, Active Measures (активные мероприятия) campaign against American democracy. This campaign takes several forms: spreading propaganda and disinformation aimed at supporting or tearing down specific candidates, widespread use of social media for amplification of this disinformation and propaganda to engage in provokatsiya, and the use of compromised American agents of influence to distort the national conversation. The Active Measures campaign has continued to this day, as easily identifiable social media bots and trolls continue to polarize American discourse through propaganda and disinformation. And before you discount social media as unimportant, that is largely how democracy (save the singular act of voting) is done in 2017. Rhetorically, how many more people does your message reach through it compared to a world without it?
A major front of the Russian Active Measures campaign was weaponized leaks. GRU-linked Russian hackers (Fancy Bear, Guccifer 2.0) illegally stole private data from both the DNC and John Podesta. This data was then passed to WikiLeaks for publication, which is hosted partly in Russia (it got RU hosting a week before the Podesta emails were released). This is the same WikiLeaks that has released NSA cyber-weapons stolen via what appear to be FSB connections with Kaspersky Antivirus, the same WikiLeaks that arranged Edward Snowden’s massive NSA data breach (he now lives in an FSB safe house outside Moscow), and whose editor, Julian Assange, has been working tirelessly for years to discredit the United States, but rarely, if ever, releasing information unfavorable to authoritarian regimes. In fact, within minutes of the infamous Access Hollywood tape release last year by the Washington Post, WikiLeaks began releasing periodic tranches of John Podesta’s stolen emails to mitigate the former’s impact.
Consensus report from the intelligence community released in January: https://www.dni.gov/files/documents/ICA_2017_01.pdf
During the campaign, Donald Trump repeatedly made references to the illegally obtained emails (“Russia, if you’re listening…”) and WikiLeaks, including mentioning WikiLeaks over 150 times while campaigning in the final month before the election. Furthermore, since his election, Donald Trump has repeatedly worked hand in glove with the Russian influence operations, most recently by repeatedly questioning the patriotism of people kneeling during the national anthem, a major theme amplified by Russian social media bots and trolls. Donald Trump did not create the fissures in our society, but he has no problem driving the biggest wedges he can find into them for his own political benefit.
Donald Trump embraces Russian Active Measures.
https://medium.com/dfrlab/botspot-bots-boost-nfl-divides-abec2e025ddb note: while bot activity cannot be definitively tied to Russia, someone is paying the bills, and circumstanial evidence points that direction (see NYT article)
https://i.imgur.com/Rf7e5gK.jpg In which fake opposition forgets to turn off location sharing.
And our president, driving that wedge as deep as he can: https://i.imgur.com/YchpOvo.png https://i.imgur.com/fQNAvHI.png https://i.imgur.com/fdVMCyf.png https://i.imgur.com/Ab51YNn.png https://i.imgur.com/pB0kutx.png https://i.imgur.com/6NCvCEb.png https://i.imgur.com/YchpOvo.png https://i.imgur.com/MJ8AKYD.png
Current trends in Russian social media influence campaigns (on Twitter) can be explored at the Hamilton 68 project: http://dashboard.securingdemocracy.org/
Russian Active Measures are best thought of as part of Hybrid War strategy (see: “Gerasimov doctrine.”) Clausewitz said that “war is the continuation of politics by other means.” Hybrid war is the space in between. They are aimed at internally destabilizing our society with lower attribution than outright violence in order to strategically neutralize it. Our president participates in this, to the detriment of our shared Republic. If you disagree, ask yourself one question: what is American posture toward Russia under Donald Trump? “To subdue the enemy without fighting is the supreme art of war.” -- Sun Tzu
This playbook of dividing the nation in order to consolidate power is familiar to anyone with a passing understanding of post-Soviet Eastern European authoritarian kleptocracies, where Chekist tactics are a standard means of maintaining control. For those unfamiliar, Chekism is the institutional philosophy of the Russian secret police, which became the KGB, now FSB. As Vladimir Putin (in the Soviet days, a KGB officer) once said, “There are no former Chekists.”
You and Leif have made no secret of your disdain for Hillary Clinton, which is fine, no one was going to convince you to vote for her. However, both of you engaged in evidence-free conspiracy theories about her, suggesting that she was far worse than any other option, including Trump, who is now being investigated for possibly conspiring with Kremlin-linked actors to win the election, in addition to the numerous other crimes and moral abominations he has brought into our national discourse (remember torture? Killing the families? Glad we have President Mattis.)
https://i.imgur.com/z6u8guj.jpg “Hamilton rule” essay suggests that conservatives should vote country over party if Trump gets nomination.
https://i.imgur.com/cihBgee.png You’re smart enough to understand the statistical probabilities that make this effectively an endorsement of Trump.
https://i.imgur.com/KTDHa87.png Stick a pin in this one…
https://i.imgur.com/VB9Xe5h.jpg Here’s that “Obama created ISIS” meme. We all know about the 2008 Status of Forces Agreement, right? Remember Bush dodging the flying shoes? Or should we have been occupying at gunpoint a country we invaded, then helped rebuild, against the will of its duly elected representatives?
https://i.imgur.com/2gsX1RT.jpg Bold accusation. Evidence? If Leif is talking about Benghazi, multiple Congressional investigations run by Republicans have turned up no wrongdoing, no “stand down” order.
In fact, Jocko, you went so far as to encourage your Twitter followers to participate in the Russian Active Measures campaign: https://i.imgur.com/Vu4xApX.png (I realize the quoted tweet is blocked, but come on. Context. Look at the date. Screenshots from WikiLeaks in replies, too.)
That seems like kind of a big deal to me.
As I have mentioned before, the principles enumerated in your book are extremely valuable, and can serve as a lens through which one can analyze someone in a leadership position’s ability to lead. In fact, you and Leif have done exactly this, criticizing Barack Obama in a Washington Times Op-Ed, describing him as “the worst kind of leader” and a “tortured genius.”
Given that Trump (at least in my estimation, as I have noted in the past) objectively fails as a leader on every Extreme Ownership dimension, it is all the more odd that, as his presidency spirals into the void in terms of approval ratings, ability to execute on his agenda, and the fact that his campaign likely engaged in a criminal conspiracy against our shared democracy, not to mention his flagrant violations of the law and Constitution, both you and Leif have been almost completely silent since his election. This, in spite of the fact that he speaks approvingly of, and appears to want to emulate, Russian president Vladimir Putin, a man I believe you have referred to as a “thug.” Furthermore, like Putin and the other global leaders he has praised, Trump embodies the (populist) authoritarian style, which as best as I can understand, is the diametric opposite of what you and Leif teach.
You and Leif teach leadership principles that facilitate trust within teams and organizations. This president and his administration lie to or mislead the American people several orders of magnitude more frequently than any previous president, over a thousand times since inauguration according to a recent count by the Washington Post, which only erodes trust with anyone outside of his core supporters, and he can only survive doing this with media enablers willing to excuse and obfuscate it. As I have said before, the President, his administration, and his media enablers are waging a disinformation campaign against the American people. An administration that functions this way makes national self-government impossible, as there are no standards by which to judge our national leaders. Furthermore, it is my understanding that an officer in the military must never lie or tolerate those who do, and yet, here we are.
With all due respect, please help this trooper understand.
If silence can be interpreted as acceptance, this trooper wants to understand the Extreme Ownership case for the Donald Trump presidency, which only seems fair given you and Leif’s prior contributions to the national discourse. This is not about politics.
“It’s not what you preach, it’s what you tolerate.” I read that in a book somewhere.
P.S. When all of this comes to a head, make sure you have John Schindler (@20committee) booked as a podcast guest.
America is stronger than one man.
Jocko, is Joe Rogan better looking in person?
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