David Goggins

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David Goggins
Goggins in May 2008
Born (1975-02-17) February 17, 1975 (age 47)
Sports career
Height6 ft 1 in (185 cm)[2]
Weight200 lb (91 kg)
SportUltra-distance cycling, Triathlon, Ultramarathon
Military career
Allegiance United States
Years of service1994–1999 (USAF)
2001–2015 (USN)
RankChief Petty Officer[3]
UnitUnited States Navy SEALs
  • SEAL Team 5[4]
  • SDV Team 1
Other work

David Goggins (born February 17, 1975) is an American ultramarathon runner, ultra-distance cyclist, triathlete, public speaker, and author. He is a retired United States Navy SEAL and former United States Air Force Tactical Air Control Party member who served in the Iraq War. His memoir, Can't Hurt Me, was released in 2019.

Early life[edit]

David Goggins was born on February 17, 1975, to Trunnis and Jackie Goggins. In 1981, Goggins lived in Williamsville, New York with his parents and brother, Trunnis Jr.[5] As a six-year-old, Goggins was forced to work alongside his mother and brother at his father's skate rink.[5] Goggins and other members of his family suffered constant and severe abuse from his father before escaping from him along with his mother to Brazil, Indiana, something which he talks about in the book Can't Hurt Me.[6] In the gap between his discharge from the Air Force and enlisting in the Navy, Goggins worked as a pest control fumigator.

Military career[edit]

Goggins initially applied to join the United States Air Force Pararescue, and was accepted into training after failing his ASVAB twice. During the training he had been diagnosed with sickle cell trait and was removed from training; he was given the option to restart the training upon his return but chose not to.[7][8] He then completed United States Air Force Tactical Air Control Party (TACP) training, and worked as a TACP from 1994 until 1999, when he left the United States Air Force.[5] After three attempts due to multiple injuries, Goggins succeeded in graduating from BUD/S training with BUD/S class 235 in 2001. Following SEAL Qualification Training (SQT) and completion of six month probationary period, he received the NEC 5326 as a Combatant Swimmer (SEAL), entitled to wear the Special Warfare insignia also known as "SEAL Trident". Goggins was assigned to SEAL Team 5. In his 20-year military career, Goggins served in Iraq and Afghanistan.[9] In 2004, Goggins graduated from Army Ranger School, and received the "Enlisted Honor Man" award.[4]


After several of his friends died in Afghanistan in a helicopter crash in 2005 during Operation Red Wings,[10] Goggins began long-distance running with the aim of raising money for the Special Operations Warrior Foundation. The Foundation gives college scholarships and grants to the children of fallen special operations soldiers.[11] Competing in endurance challenges, including the Badwater Ultramarathon three times, has enabled Goggins to raise more than US$2 million for the Special Operations Warrior Foundation.[12]

Marathon and ultramarathon running[edit]

Goggins attempted to enter the Badwater Ultramarathon as a fundraiser but was told by organizers that he needed to enter another ultramarathon first; as the Badwater is an invitational event. In 2005, Goggins entered the San Diego One Day, a 24-hour ultramarathon held at Hospitality Point in San Diego. He was able to run 101 miles in 19 hours and 6 minutes. He completed the Las Vegas Marathon in a time that qualified him for the Boston Marathon. Goggins entered into the Hurt-100 in Hawaii.[citation needed] Goggins was invited to the 2006 Badwater-135, where he finished 5th overall.[13]

Three months after completing his first Badwater Ultramarathon in 2006, he competed in the Ultraman World Championships Triathlon in Hawaii. He placed second in the three-day, 320-mile race. He also participated in the Furnace Creek-508 (2009), an ultra-distance invitational Cycling Race.[citation needed]

In 2007, Goggins achieved his best finish at the Badwater-135 by placing 3rd overall.[14] He competed in the Badwater-135 again in 2008 and did not finish the race.[15] He competed in the Badwater-135 in 2013 and finished 18th, after a break from the event since 2008.[citation needed] He competed in the Badwater-135 again in 2014 and did not finish the race.[16] Over the next two years,[when?] he competed in another 14 ultra-endurance races, with top-five finishes in nine of them. He set a course record at the 48-hour national championships, beating the previous record by 20 miles with a total distance traveled of 203.5 miles.[citation needed]

In 2008 he was named a "Hero of Running" by Runner's World.[17] In 2016, Goggins won the Infinitus 88k in 12 hours, almost twenty minutes ahead of the next finisher. In the same year, he also won the Music City Ultra 50k, and Strolling Jim 40 Miler.[18] In 2020, Goggins ran the Moab 240 ultramarathon, placing 2nd in the 241 mile event with a time of 63 hours and 21 minutes, approximately 95 minutes behind race winner Michele Graglia.[19][20]

Entrepreneur Jesse Itzler, upon seeing Goggins perform at a 24-hour ultramarathon, called and hired Goggins to live with him in his house for a month. Itzler wrote about his experience on a blog and later published the story as the book Living With A SEAL.[21]

His self-help memoir, Can't Hurt Me: Master Your Mind and Defy the Odds, was released on December 4, 2018. In the book he refers to the 40% rule, his belief that most of us only tap into 40% of our capabilities.[22]

Awards and decorations[edit]

United States Navy Special Warfare insignia.png
Meritorious Service Medal ribbon.svg 1 golden star.svg1 golden star.svg
Bronze star
Bronze star
Bronze star
U.S. Navy Expert Rifleman Ribbon.svg U.S. Navy Expert Pistol Shot Ribbon.svg
U.S. Navy and U.S. Marine Corps Parachutist Insignia-redone.png
Ranger Tab.svg
Special Warfare insignia
Meritorious Service Medal Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal with 2 5/16 inch stars
Army Achievement Medal Air Force Achievement Medal Combat Action Ribbon
Navy Good Conduct Medal with 4 Service Stars National Defense Service Medal with 1 Service star Iraq Campaign Medal with 1 Service star
Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal Global War on Terrorism Service Medal Military Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal
Navy and Marine Corps Sea Service Deployment Ribbon with 1 Service star Rifle Marksmanship Medal with Expert Device Pistol Marksmanship Medal with Expert Device
Navy and Marine Corps Parachutist Badge
Ranger Tab


  • Goggins, David (2018). Can't Hurt Me: Master Your Mind and Defy the Odds. Lioncrest Publishing. ISBN 978-1-5445-1228-0.


  1. ^ "Speaker David Goggins, Book David Goggins, US Navy SEAL – Robinson Speakers Bureau". Robinsonspeakers.com.
  2. ^ "UItrarunner and Navy SEAL David Goggins Know How to Suffer". April 26, 2017.
  3. ^ "Team Never Quit » David Goggins". Archived from the original on July 31, 2015.
  4. ^ a b "An interview with US Navy Seal David Goggins". Slowtwitch.com.
  5. ^ a b c "David Goggins Defies the Odds". Usveteransmagazine. November 2018.
  6. ^ "David Goggins' Father: Abuse Shaped Early Life". Shortform Books. February 23, 2021. Retrieved May 12, 2021.
  7. ^ "Joe Rogan Experience #1080 - David Goggins". Youtube. 7:47 in the video: PowerfulJRE.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: location (link)
  8. ^ "An Interview with Goggins". Dvidshub. Austin Rooney. Retrieved November 16, 2019.
  9. ^ "That Wealthy Entrepreneur's Live-In Navy SEAL Has Been Revealed". November 5, 2015.
  10. ^ "He epitomizes what a SEAL is". Stripes.com. Archived from the original on December 10, 2016. Retrieved September 17, 2017.
  11. ^ "Special Operations Warrior Foundation -". Specialops.org.
  12. ^ "Inspiration has the Ability to Change Lives". www.vfw.org.
  13. ^ Badwater-135 results since 2000 Archived September 29, 2011, at the Wayback Machine
  14. ^ Cramer, Cathy. "AdventureCORPS Presents :: 2007 Badwater 135 :: Race Results". dbase.adventurecorps.com.
  15. ^ "2008 BADWATER 135 RESULTS". Retrieved July 20, 2021.
  16. ^ "2014 BADWATER 135 RESULTS". Retrieved July 20, 2021.
  17. ^ "RW Hero of Running David Goggins at Runner's World.com". December 8, 2008. Archived from the original on December 8, 2008. Retrieved September 17, 2017.
  18. ^ Ultrarunning.com, https://calendar.ultrarunning.com/runner/show?first_name=David&last_name=Goggins
  19. ^ "Moab 240 2020 live tracker by trackleaders.com". Trackleaders. Retrieved October 12, 2020.
  20. ^ "Michele Graglia takes roadside nap, wins Moab 240". Canadian Running Magazine. October 12, 2020. Retrieved October 13, 2020.
  21. ^ Itzler, Jesse (2015). Living with a SEAL: 31 Days Training with the Toughest Man on the Planet (1st ed.). New York, NY: Hachette Book Group. pp. 3–9. ISBN 9781455534678.
  22. ^ Briley, Aaron (March 12, 2021). "David Goggins' Key to Perseverance". Objective Standard Institute. Retrieved March 25, 2021.

External links[edit]