John G. Willink
|Birth name||John Gretton Willink, Jr.|
|Born||September 8, 1971|
|Service/||United States Navy|
|Years of service||1990–2010|
|Unit||U.S. Navy SEALs|
|Battles/wars||Iraq War, Battle of Ramadi|
|Awards||Silver Star Medal|
Bronze Star Medal with Combat V
John Gretton "Jocko" Willink (born September 8, 1971) is an American retired United States Navy SEAL, podcaster, and author. He received the Silver Star and Bronze Star for his service in the Iraq War and was commander of SEAL Team Three's Task Unit Bruiser during the Battle of Ramadi.
Willink co-authored the books Extreme Ownership and The Dichotomy of Leadership (with fellow retired SEAL Leif Babin) and co-founded the management consulting firm Echelon Front, LLC. Willink hosts a weekly podcast with Brazilian jiu jitsu practitioner Echo Charles, called the Jocko Podcast.
Early life and education
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Willink was born and raised in New England and played soccer in high school. He enlisted in the United States Navy in 1990 and graduated from the University of San Diego in 2003 with a bachelor's degree in English.
After Navy recruit training and Radioman (RM) "A" School training, he then reported to Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL (BUD/S) training at Coronado, California. Willink served eight years on active duty, as an enlisted Navy SEAL with SEAL Team ONE and SEAL Team TWO. Willink was part of the SEAL team that seized Russian Tanker Volga-Neft-147 in the Gulf of Oman which was carrying Iraqi oil in violation of a U.N. economic embargo. Willink earned his commission via Officer Candidate School and eventually served as a platoon commander. Willink completed multiple deployments to Asia, Middle East and Europe. During Operation Iraqi Freedom he deployed to the Iraqi town of Ramadi in 2006 with SEAL Team THREE as commander of Task Unit Bruiser, which included Marc Alan Lee, Michael Monsoor, Jonny Kim, Kevin Lacz, and Chris Kyle. Willink also served as a Navy SEAL instructor during his career. He retired in October 2010 after 20 years of service.
Awards and decorations
Along with Leif Babin, Willink formed Echelon Front, a management consulting firm. He and Babin co-authored the leadership manual Extreme Ownership: How U.S. Navy Seals Lead and Win. After appearing on the podcasts of Tim Ferriss, Joe Rogan, and Sam Harris to publicize his book, Willink started his own weekly podcast, The Jocko Podcast, with Echo Charles on December 22, 2015.
Willink lives in San Diego, California with his wife and children. On his September 25, 2015 appearance on the Tim Ferriss podcast, Willink stated that, after retirement, he does not drink alcohol but has nothing against others who do. He also said he is motivated to get up extremely early because it gives him "a jump on the enemy."
- Extreme Ownership: How U.S. Navy Seals Lead and Win (2015) (ISBN 9781760558208)
- Discipline Equals Freedom: Field Manual (2017) (ISBN 9781250156945)
- The Dichotomy of Leadership: Balancing the Challenges of Extreme Ownership to Lead and Win (2018) (ISBN 9781250195777)
- Leadership Strategy and Tactics: Field Manual (2020)
- Way of the Warrior Kid series
- The Way of the Warrior Kid (2017) (ISBN 9781250151070)
- Marc's Mission: Way of the Warrior Kid (2018) (ISBN 9781250156792)
- Way of the Warrior Kid 3: Where there's a Will... (2019) (ISBN 978-1942549482)
- "Extreme Ownership". Macmillan Publishers. Retrieved 2016-01-23.
- "These former Navy SEALS explain why you should wake up before dawn to win at life". maxim.com. Maxim. Retrieved 16 April 2017.
- "Echelon Front". Echelon Front. Retrieved 2016-02-01.
- "Why this retired Navy SEAL commander has 3 alarm clocks and wakes up at 4:30 a.m." Business Insider. Retrieved 2016-01-23.
- Schawbel, Dan. "Jocko Willink: Career Advice From a Former Navy SEAL". forbes.com. Retrieved 16 April 2017.
- "The Scariest Navy SEAL Imaginable…And What He Taught Me". The Blog of Author Tim Ferriss. 2015-09-25. Retrieved 2018-05-03.