Manvotional: The Navy Seal Creed

by Brett & Kate McKay on August 9, 2009 · 28 comments

in A Man's Life, Manvotionals


The Navy SEALs are the elite of the United States Military. As the Special Operations Forces of the Navy, they are charged with carrying out some of the most dangerous and important combat and reconnaissance missions. The long and famously grueling process of becoming a SEAL is legendary and ensures that only the best of the best will ever wear the Trident.

The SEALs have always had an unspoken creed of valor and honor. In 2005, a formal creed was adopted in order to clearly delineate the values of this special team. I first came across this creed while watching a video posted by the huhman about the sacrifice of Michael A. Monsoor. While parts of the creed  obviously only apply to being a SEAL, much of it transcends the military and succinctly sums up the values every man should live by each day.

United States Navy SEAL

In times of war or uncertainty there is a special breed of warrior ready to answer our Nation’s call. A common man with uncommon desire to succeed.

Forged by adversity, he stands alongside America’s finest special operations forces to serve his country, the American people, and protect their way of life.

I am that man.

My Trident is a symbol of honor and heritage. Bestowed upon me by the heroes that have gone before, it embodies the trust of those I have sworn to protect. By wearing the Trident I accept the responsibility of my chosen profession and way of life. It is a privilege that I must earn every day.

My loyalty to Country and Team is beyond reproach. I humbly serve as a guardian to my fellow Americans always ready to defend those who are unable to defend themselves. I do not advertise the nature of my work, nor seek recognition for my actions. I voluntarily accept the inherent hazards of my profession, placing the welfare and security of others before my own.

I serve with honor on and off the battlefield. The ability to control my emotions and my actions, regardless of circumstance, sets me apart from other men.

Uncompromising integrity is my standard. My character and honor are steadfast. My word is my bond.

We expect to lead and be led. In the absence of orders I will take charge, lead my teammates and accomplish the mission. I lead by example in all situations.

I will never quit. I persevere and thrive on adversity. My Nation expects me to be physically harder and mentally stronger than my enemies. If knocked down, I will get back up, every time. I will draw on every remaining ounce of strength to protect my teammates and to accomplish our mission. I am never out of the fight.

We demand discipline. We expect innovation. The lives of my teammates and the success of our mission depend on me – my technical skill, tactical proficiency, and attention to detail. My training is never complete.

We train for war and fight to win. I stand ready to bring the full spectrum of combat power to bear in order to achieve my mission and the goals established by my country. The execution of my duties will be swift and violent when required yet guided by the very principles that I serve to defend.

Brave men have fought and died building the proud tradition and feared reputation that I am bound to uphold. In the worst of conditions, the legacy of my teammates steadies my resolve and silently guides my every deed.

I will not fail.

{ 28 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Zach B August 9, 2009 at 3:02 am

Incredible…I just searched “seals” on your website today to see if there were any articles posted about them. Then this – I am pleased we’re on the same wavelength :)

2 Hutch August 9, 2009 at 7:34 am

I am really glad to see this on the site. My grandfather was a highly decorated SEAL in Vietnam, and coming from Virginia Beach (where the Navy keeps a large contingent of SEALs) I know several others. My grandfather contributed to a book about his experiences along with several other SEALs of that era (including Rudy Boesch of Survivor fame). It is an excellent account and I highly recommend it for anyone interested in the SEALs or modern military history in general.

3 A. Fischer August 9, 2009 at 9:26 am

Perhaps one of the most moving things I have seen from the Iraq War is the funeral of Petty Officer Michael Monsoor, a Navy Seal recipient of the Medal of Honor. A tribute to him and a reading of the above creed is here:

I think the most amazing part of the tribute to him is the number of SEALS that came and decorated his coffin with their tridents. I can’t find the video any more but there is a less polished version with just that part and you can hear how hard the SEALS are hitting their tridents, literally embedding them in the wood of the coffin. For whatever reason it has on overwhelming symbolism.

4 Oyaji August 9, 2009 at 4:48 pm

Cowards never try, the weak die along the way and only the fittest survive. All volunteer to operate in the uncompromising ocean to perform incredible feats often against terrible odds and then to return while leaving no man behind. Weak links or doubt is a danger to them all. Britain had “The Few” during the Battle of Britain, and we have the SEALs.

5 Jack Donovan August 9, 2009 at 6:22 pm

Great addition to the site.

6 Playstead August 9, 2009 at 8:14 pm

Just another reason I’m glad they’re on our side.

7 Mike August 10, 2009 at 1:10 pm

Read the book “Lone Survivor” by Marcus Luttrell. This is the story of a Seal Team in Afghanistan that is attacked by terrorist. One of the members of this team, Michael Murphy was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for his actions during the fight. Marcus Luttrell was the only survivor. What he went through is incredible and shows how tough the Seals really are.

8 James Wescott August 10, 2009 at 11:47 pm

Men will discriminate against women every chance they get, it’s too bad laws have to be passed in order to make men accept women as intelligent beings, but that’s how you tame a pig I guess.

I don’t want warlike people making decisions about my health care. I don’t like seeing women being attacked every time they open their mouths. I don’t want attacking, offensive, and disruptive behavior in the boardroom. I don’t like aggressive cops thinking every one is a criminal, and treating them as such.

When hunting was no longer needed and super markets were created, man learned to turn against his fellow man, and that’s wrong. Men: gentle-up! It’s the civilized thing to do.

9 Josh Edwards August 11, 2009 at 2:47 am

You do realize that men have been quite happily killing each other for some time right James? I suppose that I am “warlike” since I am in the Army and in a war, but are you saying that I am automatically disqualified from making decisions about healthcare? Your comment has absolutely nothing to do with this post. I don’t recall seeing anything in this post attacking women or implying that they cannot think for themselves. As a matter of fact I have not really seen anything implying this anywhere on this site as a post. It is quite possible that there is something in the comments; I generally do not read to many comment threads as sadly there are quite a few idiots who post in them.

I will say that this is a good post though. I do not know any seals, but I have had the pleasure of working with several Rangers and SF guys and they have proved to be extremely professional and pleasant to work with.

10 AF Medic August 11, 2009 at 8:45 pm

Thanks for your service, and a word of advice: Don’t feed trolls. And I agree it was a very nice article. Take care!
AF Medic

11 Mark Bryan August 12, 2009 at 8:49 pm

Well James, you are really out there on the lunatic fringe. You go girl!

12 Gary Slaughter August 13, 2009 at 10:06 am

AF Medic,

I love your word of advice. Concise and to the point. I’m adding it to my list of Words of Wisdom.

Thank you for what you do.

13 Rory March 21, 2010 at 9:36 am

Thanks for this. I’ve met a Brit who served in our Royal Marines, fought in the Falklands and later was an instructor for the Seals. He must have been good. My Grandfather was in WW1 my father in WW2 and I live in freedom because of what they did and so many others. Thanks mates.


14 George Giles March 23, 2010 at 9:14 am

This is complete bullshit the Navy SEALS are trained murderers and tools of imperialism. This ‘honor code’ is a way to fool young men about what they are really doing. Murder is murder even if it is committed on the orders of some buffoon with fancy stripes and paraphenalia on their pajamas. The United States is long past the point of anyone ever invading America! We have a billion small ARMS in private hands and a dozen Trident submarines with the D5 missile a massive first strike weapon. What Imperialism is about is letting our government bully others, but as we have seen in Iraq and Iran towel heads with Coke bottles and gasoline can resist successfully the world’s mightiest military power (some folks just don’t like having their country invaded and their brothers, sisters, mothers and fathers, and children murdered), imagine that! The war on terror is a war on the taxpayer, grow up, get educated and stop the worship of the Defense Department who rape the taxpayer each and every year. Remember the words of George Washington: “Free trade with all, encumbering alliances with none.”, thus no need for NAVY Seals.

15 Paul II April 21, 2010 at 4:43 pm

You can’t even fathom what these men do for you guys. They have no clue who you are, but they are willing to go through hell just so you can have dinner with your family and live peacefully.

16 Keri May 19, 2010 at 1:17 am

Amen to that.

17 Noah June 25, 2010 at 10:55 pm

@ George Giles- Guess you were asleep for the attack on the bombing of the US embassies in Beirut, the attack on the USS Cole, and you must have missed 9/11.

18 wanderingwonderer November 5, 2012 at 11:49 pm

What is wrong with me? I ask because I can identify with almost all of the responses here. I kind of felt like James Wescotts comment was a little off-base, but, I guess, valid in its own context, nonetheless. I also kind of found it funny how Mark Bryan responded to it. Not funny in the suspect way, but funny in that I laughed when I read it. Anyway, who cannot see the value in the Navy SEALS honor to their duty and their elite level of commitment and ability to persevere and succeed in the most harsh conditions? Just to complete BUD/S Training is a very impressive feat that sets them apart. By the way, George Giles, would you say that to a SEAL’s face though?

19 RetiredNavy February 5, 2013 at 1:09 pm

George, take it from someone who knows. You are completely unaware of the dangers outside of the U.S.. And I can tell purely by your response that you have never served in the military. You question what the military does, only because you have not fought to keep that questioning free from persecution. Talk about disrespect and unintelligent responses. You epitomize both. You would not have the courage nor the discipline to stand where some of us do. It’s people like you that make me wish that we could choose who to protect. But you have the luxury of hiding behind those that are appreciative of the sacrifices we make.

20 Lt. Ngaruthi April 19, 2013 at 8:26 am

I have the honor to serve in the United States Marines Force Recon. I have interacted with our SEAL brothers both at home and abroad (2′tours in OIF and a Tour in OEF) and I have nothing but respect for them and all my comrades. I love everyone who has served and those who serve no matter the Branch or Unit. And to the civilian population receive gratitude of a greatful Marine. We are mindful of your support and to those who criticize what we do, we love you too and in the legendary words “Kiss your wife and kids goodnight, I will stand on the wall to ensure no one hurts you”

Semper Fidelis

21 SOFPosersUNITE May 13, 2013 at 5:49 pm

BS, Lt. Ngaruthi – IF you were with Recon, you sure as hell wouldn’t be publishing it in a public forum. As for the haters, go live somewhere else! We do what we do, for people like you, and will continue to!

22 Rev. Luficarius van Ratspeed, Esq. July 4, 2013 at 2:20 pm
23 MetaCynic December 6, 2013 at 11:35 pm

Why are SEALS childishly worshiped because of their elite training and oath? They are a brutal tool wielded by the American political class to build an empire. Their use, as is any military unit, is to invade foreign lands and kill people who have neither harmed nor threatened us. They just happen to be better at the killing game than anyone else. Is this what makes them special?

The last time any Americans fought for liberty was in 1776. All other wars have been fought for the financial gain of a few puppet masters. The greatest threat to Americans’ freedoms is and has always been our own government. Someday when the economy melts down, the SEALS, this fabulous killing machine trained to obey, will be turned on us. That has always been the real purpose of elite military units everywhere.

24 Andrew December 7, 2013 at 4:05 pm

I am saddened to see some of the responses on this article. If you believe in the thing that AOM stands for, it doesn’t matter if you approve or disapprove of the US Military. This post is giving us an example of men who have dedicated themselves to something they believe in. That is Manliness. If you support the Military, Great! Use this to inspire you! If you do not support the US military, Great! This is America, and you are free to voice your opinion as you see fit! However instead of trying to diminish what has been said, apply it differently. Do you have something that you have dedicated yourself to? Then apply the same type of dedication to that cause and stand for what you believe.

25 Brad December 10, 2013 at 5:43 pm

Just a note of thanks to the men and women of our U.S. Armed Forces. We appreciate what you do to preserve our way of life, and allow us to sleep in peace while you put your lives in harm’s way for all of us. Please don’t judge all Americans by the comments of this particular post. There are still some of us out here who love this country and respect our military personnel. As one who has lived overseas, I can tell you this is the greatest Nation on the face of the Earth – bar none!! You don’t like America? Delta is ready when you are……..hit the road and see what you’ve been missing…….oh yeah.

26 Steve Mensing December 11, 2013 at 10:07 am

I can only imagine you sitting in your mother’s basement playing video games. It is hard for me to believe people-especially men who read AOM feel this way. I spent 27yrs in law enforcement, retiring as a prison warden. Did I train to hunt and kill the bad guys-no, I trained to protect those not strong enough or able to protect themselves. My son is currently training to be a SEAL and I am VERY proud of him and the man he is becoming. Do you really think you know what is going on in the world-do you belive the news media. The public and not know of threats that are ever present-we can’t let out enemies know that we are on to them for they will change their game. Either be part of the solution or get the hell out of my way!!

27 Gunslinger December 18, 2013 at 9:36 am

I’m a FAST Marine stuck out here in Norfolk Virginia and have had the opportunity to watch and train with SEALS so to see comments about them or any service men and women as being murderers or mindless just shows how ignorant some people can be because if you sat down with any of us you would see that most of us are some of the most independent and kind people you could ever meet and are the first to help others no matter how inconvenient it would be to our selves.

28 3200 December 22, 2013 at 8:57 pm

We’re missing the point here. The issue isn’t what the SEALS do or do not represent. The issue isn’t US imperialism (perceived or real), nor is it about who has and has not served where.

The point is the creed itself. Like the famed “Band of Brothers” speech from Henry V, it’s meant to remind us all to persevere with everything we have, despite the obstacles and push on even if it means we die in the end. It’s about inspiring us to give of ourselves that others may live. AOM could have chosen from a dozen different sources for that, but they chose the SEAL creed. Nothing wrong with that. The intent is not to glorify war, rather to remind us of the higher call we must have as men. It is really that simple.

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