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Former SEAL Team Six Leader, Author Speaks of His Experiences
Posted on: 03/05/2013
By  Mike Cullums
Few people have fit more into a life than Don Mann. A former Navy SEAL team leader who was twice captured by enemy forces and lived to tell about it, Mann played a crucial role in some of America's most daring military missions over the past two decades. He trained SEAL Team Six, whose members killed Osama bin Laden in May of 2011. 

Mann is now a New York Times bestselling author (Inside SEAL Team Six: My Life and Missions with America’s Elite Warriors), an endurance athlete and a mountaineer.
He’s also the featured speaker for the 98th annual Marietta Chamber of Commerce Dinner on Monday (March 11).
WMOA News spoke yesterday with the former member and trainer of SEAL Team Six. We started by asking Mann: Did you want to be in Special Forces since childhood or did your life path simply lead you there? 

“My father was a World War Two veteran. When Pearl Harbor was attacked, he and all his siblings and buddies joined the Navy or the Army, so he instilled a sense of patriotism in me and my siblings. So I knew I was going to join some service, but it wasn’t until I saw a Navy SEAL movie - it turned my life around. I knew that was exactly what I wanted to do.”
How much additional training does it take for a sailor to become a SEAL?
“Once you get through the initial steps of being in the Navy, and you want to be a SEAL, that’s when things start to get very, very difficult. That’s another year plus of really challenging, hardcore training. It’s the most challenging training in the military.”
We asked Mann: When you became a Navy SEAL did you ever envision a day when you would become a bestselling author?
" Not at all. Neither would any of my high school English teachers. I had some very good help from my co-author, Ralph Pezzullo. He kept me in line and on track. It was my story and his writing abilities that made it a best seller.”
Mann says writing a book about special forces and secret operations presented a unique set of challenges.
“When you leave SEAL Team Six, all those secrets and all those things everybody wants to know – you leave those in the compound. You just don’t talk about it. Some publishers offered me a lot of money to talk, but I turned all these big offers down. It was just the right thing to do.”
“So I said the only way I’ll do a book is if the Navy, the SEAL teams and the U.S. government approve of everything I send to you. So that was the agreement. I gathered everything and sent it to the Publication Review Board for the Navy’s Special Warfare Command. Once they approved it, then it became the book.”
Mann described the theme of his keynote address on Monday night.
“It’s called ‘Reaching Beyond Your Limits.’ I have a couple of stories that happened to me, a couple that happened to other SEALS, and some other people who did some incredibly challenging things, like mountain climbing and endurance events. I’ll describe a series of events in which I found that, with the right mindset, nothing is impossible.”
Learn more about Don Mann’s story at www.usfrogmann.com
Find more about the Chamber Dinner at www.mariettachamber.com    
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