Mark Anthony Patrick Owen, is an English singer-songwriter. He is a member of pop-group Take That. As a solo artist, Owen had sold over 500,000 records worldwide and 45 million with Take That.
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Many young kids (including a couple in this thread already) dream of becoming special forces or a SEAL. They are inspired by movies, such as Lone Survivor for example. Many of these kids will watch you on the news and listen to what you have to say here. How do you feel about the fact that some of these kids are actually going to make it to the SOF/SMU community and emulate what they saw growing up? Do you foresee many more individuals putting themselves ahead of their teams for personal gain like you have? At what point do you predict that a mission will actually be compromised due to an individual's selfishness or act of greed? Thank you for your answer.
I hope that half of the people I talk to can make it through BUDS and serve their country. And if they choose to write a book when they get out and talk about their experiences, I encourage them to and pass it on generation by generation. There is nothing wrong with sharing lessons learned.
How do you sleep at night knowing you've betrayed your teammates, friends and the special operations community?
code of honor?? what do you think of the movies? People from every special operations command have written books and you are singling out me?
Have you ever worked with any PJs? If so, what are your thoughts on them?
Great great guys. Some of my best friends are PJs. Just as talented as any of the SEALS are but they don't get as much credit because they are a smaller organization.
What was the toughest part of training to become a Seal?
Not quitting. once you figure out you can do the physical its more of a mental thing to stay focused and not quit.
What is your take on the DoD's criticism regarding members talking about missions like you have in your books?
Members of SOF Forces have been writing books or talking about their careers since Vietnam or even before. I am no different.
Officers, CIA, SEAL community has been talking about this. Acts of Valor was sponsored by the SEAL community so I think the "silent profession" criticism is a bit hypocritical.
There is a right and a wrong way to do it. The wrong is for me to come out and tell you I am something special which I never have. If you read the books you will see all I talk about is the teams, I am not stroking my own ego.
Hi Mark, thanks for doing this. My question is about the publication process: how strict was the military in terms of vetting your manuscript, and did they force you to leave anything out for security reason?
Yes, we left redacted comments in NO HERO and I think the readers will find that interesting
I'm sure you have undoubtedly seen Act of Valor, do you feel it was an accurate portrayal of Seal life?
When you are a seal, you become an Elite in a sense. Do you run into personal like briefings all the time that you would see in a movie. Or are you just a task force and do whatever you told.
Also do you hate the American government? (not military)
As much heat as I am taking about writing about my career and sharing the goods of the team, acts of valor is a perfect example of the hypocrisy. The seal leadership authorized a movie that starts with "the mission might be fake but the men, equipment and tactics are all real".
Hey Mark. Big fan of yours and the teams. I've dreamed of going to BUD/s for years, but the thought of hours of freezing water makes me want to quit before I start. How did you condition your mind to deal with that? It sounds like a superhuman feat.
Its not a superhuman feat, we just break things down and eat that elephant one bite at a time.
In NO HERO, I talk about my own feat of heights and how I got through it.
How are you today? I want your honest opinion...what are your thoughts on women being on the front lines?
I think women have strength that we do not have while men have strengths that women do not have. Those strengths should be taken advantage of - if that means in combat on the front lines - that's fine.
Hey man, loved NO EASY DAY. Can't wait for NO HERO.
A few questions…
What was your "pre-game ritual" that you've developed? (I know you've said that you liked to lay out your gear and do pre-combat inspections but I feel every operator does that, so, what did YOU do to prepare yourself)
What advice/tip would you give someone who wants to "fly under the radar" for the sake of general security?
Looking forward to hear from you again but in different circumstances.
Thanks and best of luck.
I like to listen to music and I am a bit OCD so I go through every piece of my kit.
Don't use unsecure internet
Fearless by Eric Blem about Adam Brown
I loved The Endurance
NO HERO is a much more intimate look at the lessons I learned throughout my career, the life changing moments that have made me the person I am today. I have made a thousand mistakes and if I can share and others can learn from them it's been a success.
Not only is Kevin a great writer but he is a great friend. We work very well together.
A glock 42
and Anything microbrew
It seems that the SEALs are in the media a lot lately, or at least more than other American SOFs. Why is that?
I read a book about SOF units in Vietnam which is why I became a SEAL. I don't think this is any different, its just more in the press.
Hi, thanks for doing this AMA!
I've read No Easy Day and it was awesome. Your missions, your team, stories from your childhood, it was a nice reading. I thought that being on the military field there would be no practical jokes, but your book proved that wrong, now I wonder: the Staff of Power made another appearance or is it still missing?
The staff of power is still MIA
Hey, quick question: have you ever worked with Polish Special Forces (GROM, FORMOZA, JWK?) and if so what do you think of them?
Thanks for the time and thank you for your service.
Absolutely, worked with SOF units from around the world, they share the warrior mindset.
Did you ever have back-up plan to becoming a SEAL, just in case something didn't work out ?
Absolutely not. I was all in all the time. The only thing I could see was making it through.
I saw your profile on 60 Minutes. Your comment about thinking about "what is in your 3 foot box" was excellent and I've been applying it to my life when I get down. Any other psychological tips/advice you have learned over the years that the common person can benefit from?
The aspect of the three foot world is I prioritize everything into little pieces and then eat them one bite at a time.
Hey Mr. Owen;
I want to be an Enlisted SEAL, but my parents want me to go to college first regardless. I remember you discussing college in No Easy Day. Would you recommend me going to college and if so, what should I major in?
Yes, go to college first. Get your degree and then enlist. Don't become an officer, enlist.
Hey mark! Do you have a pet dog? And what are you doing now that your out
No dog but would love one.
Want a beer Mark? 😛
Yes, are you buying?
Mr. Owen, I just signed up a GovX account like you suggested. It says your book is now available and if I order will your autograph be on these books automatically or will there be a special edition?
Not a special edition just a way that I could make sure people could get signed copies.
I actually have a few questions for you. If you could reply that would be awesome. If you don't feel comfortable replying via posting, I understand (maybe a pm?). I appreciate you taking the time to do an AMA.
2) somebody who listens
3) BUDS focuses on more of the mental toughness and your ability to not quit and green team is much more about how you handle massive amounts of stress and pressure.
4) they all have the mental discipline and the individual operator are all the same the difference is how much money the government wants to throw at equipment and training.
How would you handle Iraq if given the power to do so?
What exactly do you think of airsoft? I only ask this because of the overwhelming amount of military personnel who hate it.
Thank you for your time, drive on dude. And here's to hoping the censors didn't butcher No Hero.
I would send SOF forces in to handle the situations and then leave.
I don't mind airsoft at all, I think they get a bad rap. When I was young I played paintball and I would dress up because i idolized these guys because it was fun to me. I don't mind what airsofters do.
Hey Mark! Big fan, I loved your book, it's what inspired me to hopefully pursue and attempt a career as a Naval Special Warfare Operator! So I have a few questions! What's the best advice you could give to get past the cold of BUD/S? How much more difficult was green team than BUD/S? How has your transition from being a member of DevGru back to being a civilian been?
I would do BUDs twice before I would go back through Green team. If you thought BUDS was hard, Green team is even harder.
I have a couple of questions because I am pursuing becoming an officer in the teams.
What is the officer's life as a SEAL like compared to enlisted?
Do officers do the specialized things such as breaching, sniping, and heavy weapons?
What was the best part of being a SEAL in your eyes?
My final question is do you have any funny stories that didn't end up in No Easy Day that you can say without revealing too much.
Thanks for doing the AMA, and thank you so much for your service to our country.
They are similar we work hand in hand in a lot of areas
For nick names we call them temps because they are only in their position for a temporary amount of time rather than being enlisted for their career. Some of my best friends are officers.