Saturday, July 3, 2021

US Navy Seal Museum

Commander K at US Navy Seal Museum
Fort Pierce, Florida

The US Navy Seal Museum is located in Fort Pierce on the Atlantic coast of Florida (  During WW2 it was here in Fort Pierce in 1943 that Naval Combat Demolition Units (NCDUs) began training for their incredibly dangerous mission of preparing the beaches at Normandy for the D-Day landings.  NCDUs were also employed in the Pacific theater where they became known as "MacArthur's frogmen".  Underwater Demolition Teams (UDTs), often armed only with knives, swept onto the beaches of islands such as Iwo Jima and Okinawa on mobile flotation devices.  Their mission was to clear the beaches of obstacles and traps that had proved problematic in the landing on "Bloody Tarawa".  The astonishing bravery of these men provided an inspiration for the Navy Seals who followed in their footsteps.

Lt. John F. Kennedy

President Kennedy stumbled badly in his first days in the White House with the Bay of Pigs disaster.  In April 1961 CIA-supported Cuban exiles attempted to invade the island, seeking to depose Castro.  They were slaughtered and forced to surrender.  But the ashes of this failure were, perhaps, the genesis of the legendary US Navy Seals.  JFK, a US Navy combat veteran himself (PT-109 in the Solomon Islands), sought an unconventional weapon with which to combat Communism, particularly in Southeast Asia.  The fledgling US Navy Seals were first deployed in the riverine warfare of Vietnam where they became known as the "men with green faces" due to their use of camouflage paint and stealth tactics.

The Seals would see action during the Cold War in the 1983 invasion of Grenada and the 1989/90 invasion of Panama.  But it would really be after the collapse of the Berlin Wall and the end of the Cold War that the Seals would flourish in the covert Global War on Terror.  In the 21st century the US Navy Seals would see combat in Afghanistan, Iraq and even Pakistan.

In the Pakistan chapter of 2014's America Invades ( we wrote...

Operation Neptune Spear
US Navy Seal Museum
Fort Pierce, FL

"On May 1, 2011, four US helicopters flew from Jalalabad in Afghanistan to Abbottabad, Pakistan, on a mission aimed at Osama bin Laden. In spite of the crash of one stealth Black Hawk into the compound, Operation Neptune Spear was a near total success. Two Black Hawk helicopters carried USN SEALs to Osama’s secret compound. Two CH-47s carried extra fuel and additional forces. The SEALs relayed the code signal “Geronimo” back to the White House confirming that Osama bin Laden had been positively identified. Osama bin Laden, three other males, and one female were killed; there were no SEAL casualties.

The intelligence-gathering phase of this mission had required about ten years with several “enhanced interrogation” sessions along the way. The action phase of this invasion of Pakistan and the subsequent withdrawal lasted about four hours. No Pakistani military or civilians were killed in the raid.

Osama bin Laden
1957 - 2011

Osama’s body was identified with DNA methods and transported to the USS Carl Vinson. The burial was at sea in the north Arabian Ocean. Soon after the death of Osama was announced a crowd thronged around the White House chanting “USA, USA ...”

One of the MC-130E Combat Talon I planes that had been used when President Jimmy Carter ordered the disastrous Operation Eagle Claw to free American hostages in Iran was used to ferry SEAL Team Six to Kentucky for a congratulatory visit with President Obama. Navy SEAL Team Six received a Presidential Unit Citation—the highest unit award in the US military. President Obama credited the “countless intelligence and counterterrorism professionals” who had labored for over a decade in three US administrations to achieve this result.

The urgent need to bring justice to the author of the 9/11 attacks had outweighed considerations about the violations of Pakistan’s sovereignty and our links with that country."  (


Rob "O'Neill is featured in our forthcoming 101 Fighting Celts: From Boudicca to MacArthur.  Here is an excerpt...

JFK & Frogman
US Navy Seal Museum
Fort Pierce, FL

"In January 1962, John F. Kennedy, the most Irish-Celtic president in American history, established the US Navy SEALs. SEAL stands for Sea Air Land. The SEAL program was an evolution of the US Navy frogmen of World War II.

SEALs would be a magnet for many future warriors of Celtic descent. For example, Lieutenant Michael P. Murphy was a US Navy SEAL who won a posthumous Medal of Honor for his actions in Afghanistan in 2005. Rob O’Neill qualifies as the most famous SEAL to date. 

O’Neill forms the latest chapter in a tradition of Celtic snipers that stretches back over centuries. Private Patrick Murphy of Morgan’s Rifleman shot and killed British Brigadier General Simon Frasier in the Saratoga Campaign in 1777.

Rob O'Neill
AKA "The Shooter"

Rob O’Neill was born in 1976 in Butte, Montana. He attended Butte Central Catholic High School, graduating in 1994. O’Neill, a redhead, had been a college basketball player and was determined to become a Navy SEAL. He enlisted in the US Navy in 1995. He went through the challenging BUD/S (Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL) program, enduring “Hell Week,” in Coronado, California, graduating in December 1996... 

Over the course of more than sixteen years, O’Neil completed four hundred combat missions. He earned numerous decorations, including two Silver Stars, four Bronze Stars with Valor, and three Presidential Unit Citations.

O’Neill participated in a rescue mission in Afghanistan that ultimately managed to bring Marcus Lutrell home—the lone survivor of a four-man SEAL unit. O’Neill was in numerous operations against IED (Improvised Explosive Devices) makers in Afghanistan and in Iraq. He went on many missions behind enemy lines in search of High Value Targets (HVTs).

In 2008, O’Neill was in pursuit of an HVT named Zabit Jalil, who was operating in Afghanistan near the border with Pakistan. O’Neill was a team leader directing SEALs and soldiers from the Afghan Army, when they got into a major gunfight with hundreds of Jalils’ forces. Badly outnumbered, O’Neill called for air support, which allowed for his teams’ safe extraction and caused numerous enemy casualties. For this action, O’Neill received his first Silver Star.  

Captain Phillips
Held by Somali pirates in 2009

In April of 2009, O’Neill was part of the team that was sent to rescue Captain Phillips from Somali pirates off the coast of Africa. Phillips was the captain of the Maersk Alabama, which had been seized by AK-47-wielding pirates in skiffs. Members of SEAL Team 6 on the USS Bainbridge managed to kill three pirates and save Captain Phillips, who was on a lifeboat bobbing in the sea. In an April 17 press conference on his return to Vermont, Phillips thanked the SEALs, describing them as “titans, impossible men doing impossible jobs.” 

Two years later, in the spring of 2011, O’Neill took a principal role in the killing of Osama bin Laden, the mastermind of the 9/11 attacks. The operation was guided by the CIA, which had spent years tracking Osama’s couriers to a compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan. O’Neill and members of SEAL Team Six spent weeks practicing for the raid at a military facility in North Carolina that simulated the compound. President Obama, who has Irish roots on his mother’s side,  authorized a covert mission to capture or kill the man that the CIA had identified as “The Pacer” on the theory that he was Osama bin Laden.

The enormous danger of this mission cannot be overemphasized. In his book The Operator: Firing the Shots that Killed Osama bin Laden and My Years as a SEAL Team Warrior, O’Neill reveals that he wrote letters to his wife and two daughters, expecting that he and his fellow SEALs would perish on this mission. It would be, without a doubt, a perilous mission.  They would be invading a major regional military power, and bin Laden’s compound was only about one mile away from the Pakistan Military Academy in Abbottabad.

On May 1, 2011, two modified Black Hawk helicopters and two CH-47s flew from Jalalabad in Afghanistan to Abbottabad, Pakistan, targeting the Pacer’s compound. In spite of the crash of one stealth Black Hawk into the compound, Operation Neptune Spear was a near total success. Osama bin Laden and his son, Khalid bin Laden, and three others were killed in the attack with no SEAL casualties. 

According to his account, O’Neill proceeded upstairs to the third floor of the compound, where bin Laden twice in the head. Photographs were taken, and one of Osama’s daughters confirmed the identity of the corpse. (It was later reconfirmed by DNA.) Computers and hard drives were seized, and the Black Hawk chopper that had crashed into the compound was rigged to explode. The entire operation on the ground took about forty minutes.    

The SEALs relayed a coded message to Admiral McRaven: “For God and country, Geronimo, Geronimo, Geronimo, EKIA” (Enemy Killed in Action), which was quickly communicated to the White House... 

In August 2012, O’Neill was honorably discharged from the US Navy. He was interviewed by Esquire magazine for an article about the raid, in which he was anonymously identified as “The Shooter.” O’Neill had no health care to provide for his family. 

In 2017, he published his book, The Operator ( That book remains controversial in the SEAL community, where concerns about operational security have created an ethos of secrecy in regard to disclosing any details regarding covert operations. O’Neill serves now as contributor for Fox News. He is a cofounder of Your Grateful Nation, an organization committed to helping Special Forces veterans transition to their next successful career."  Source: 101 Fighting Celts: From Boudicca to MacArthur.

US Navy Seal Trident
US Navy Seal Museum
Fort Pierce, FL


Commander Kelly says, "Remember our heroes and go check out the US Navy Seals Museum in Fort Pierce, Florida!"

You can find signed copies of our books at these web sites...



SB said...

That was a good blog!

Xu M said...

This is a great blog