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22 Medal of Honor Recipient Britt Slabinski on Leadership Under Pressure: Command Master Chief (SEAL) Britt Slabinski, was awarded the nation's highest honor for his heroi...

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Command Master Chief (SEAL) Britt Slabinski, was awarded the nation's highest honor for his heroic action fighting the Taliban in Afghanistan.

On May 24, 2018 Navy SEAL Command Master Chief Britt Slabinski was invited to the White House and presented with the Medal of Honor. He was awarded the nation’s highest military honor for his actions in 2002 when he led his team on a daring rescue mission to save their teammate who was wounded behind enemy lines. In this episode, Command Master Chief Slabinski talks about the importance of team mentality when facing adversity and what service means to him.

DF: Thank you for sharing some of your time with us for one. That’s, that means a lot I think to have your perspective voice in on the podcast, so thank you for sharing some of your time with us to start with.

BS: Certainly, happy to be here.

DF: For people that might not know you, if you could just briefly introduce yourself and tell us your history with the Navy. I know it’s not brief but…

BS: Certainly, so I am Britt Slabinski. I am a retired Command Master Chief, served 26 years mostly all of that in the SEAL teams and mostly all East Coast teams. Went through with BUDS class 164, graduated with that in January 1990, and then served with SEAL Team Four for a few years and then served to, with Naval Special Warfare Development Group and served at group two as a Command Master Chief and then retired from Naval Special Warfare Command. In March of 2002, deployed to Afghanistan January 2002, but in March of that year, conducted an operation called Operation Anaconda, where I led a seven-man reconnaissance team onto a snow covered 11,000-foot mountain peak to conduct over-watch operations, reconnaissance operations. During that operation, one of my teammates, upon landing our helicopter landing on top of the mountain, we received heavy RPG, rocket propelled grenade fire, machine gun fire. Damaged the helicopter badly, and one of my teammates was ejected from the aircraft. Teammate’s name was Neil Roberts. So, my helicopter crash-landed in a valley, and I made the decision to launch an immediate rescue mission with my remaining team members back up to the mountain, up against superior numbers, heavily armed enemy force. And for those actions during that day, I was awarded the Medal of Honor.

DF: And I understand that just happened recently as far as receiving the award. Is that correct?

BS: I did. It happened May 24th at a ceremony, at the White House presented, presented to me not too long ago. (DF: Oh wow, so just, yeah not too long ago at all.) Yeah, not too long ago at all.

DF: That must have been pretty, that must have been a pretty amazing experience.

BS: It was. It’s still very surreal, and I don’t think surreal is the right word for it (DF: Yeah, right?), but it is still very, very surreal, amazing experience indeed, but…

DF: Yeah, yeah, tough to wrap your mind around I’m sure. So, let’s rewind back to joining the Navy. What or who inspired you to do that?

BS: So, I think like most youth, graduating from high school, I’m trying to figure out want do I want to do with my life, and from an early age on, I was involved in Boy Scouts. Boy Scouts was the kind of foundation of my life, and I became an Eagle Scout, and from what I learned in scouting, that really became the foundation of my life, Boy Scout oath, Boy Scout law, those things are what I made decisions from. They were vitally important to me growing up and still are to this day. My father was also a UDT guy, so he was in Naval Special Warfare really back in the early days. He went through one of the beginning classes of it, class 13 back in the (DF: Wow, that’s interesting) early 1950s (DF: Wow). So, when I was around 13, 14 years old, my dad took me to a SEAL reunion where he introduced me to some of his teammates. And from that moment on, I thought, “Wow, he’s introduced me to this other family

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