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The Depths of Leadership and Resilience: A Navy SEAL’s Journey

The Depths of Leadership and Resilience: A Navy SEAL’s Journey

From SEAL Team One and working with the CIA in Vietnam to becoming a successful entrepreneur of multiple companies, where does one find the time to also become a successful writer? 

Most people believe the professional life of a service member ends after retirement or their honorable discharge, but for veterans like Craig Marley, it’s just the beginning.

Craig Marley’s career had just begun after his time serving our nation, and while he had a successful career as a diver and entrepreneur, he never once stopped writing and making his dreams come true. 

On this episode of the Veteran Led podcast, we talk with Craig about determination, never giving up, and turning your life around for the better. 

From Canada to the US Navy

Craig was born in Canada, but when he was only three years old, his family packed their bags and moved to California since the prospects in Canada weren’t ideal. 

They were looking for a better life and the promise of greater opportunities that their country couldn’t provide.

In his new home, Craig started training and competing as a swimmer and diver from a very young age. 

He believed wholeheartedly that this was his calling, his path, and while he wasn’t completely wrong, life took an unexpected turn. 

Caught up in a whirlwind of teenage passion, something happened that would change his life forever.

A high school romance quickly turned into an unexpected pregnancy, a hurried marriage, and fatherhood. 

Craig tried to balance his life in high school with a new family, but it wasn’t long after the school decided to expel him, leaving him with an uncertain path for the future.

The Beginning of a New Era: The Navy

After the hard events and unexpected turns, Craig decided to chart a new course for his life – he enlisted in the Navy. 

He yearned to regain the respect and trust of his family, especially her mother, who he felt had been disappointed with the choices he had made.

But, if there’s one thing he knew how to do, it was swim! So, he looks at the Navy as an open door for new opportunities and a future. Hope wasn’t lost. 

Vietnam and a Love Story 

His first trip to Vietnam was while I was deployed to WestPac in Underwater Demolition Team 11. This experience was challenging, shaping him in ways he could never have imagined.

Upon his return from the expedition, he met Lynn, a woman who would become the love of his life. Craig describes it as an instant connection that would last forever. 

At this point, he had been considering putting an end to his military career. However, thanks to his leadership skills, he was offered a promotion. 

Despite the uncertainty of his military career, they decided to get married that March, just before he was set to leave again. 

Just a few months after their wedding, in June, Craig was deployed. This time, he was heading back to Vietnam for his second tour of duty.

Despite the miles that separated them, Craig and Lynn’s love remained strong. They managed to navigate a long-distance relationship while he finished his military career.

Divine interventions

Craig’s life was full of adventures. One of these happened while he was part of the Underwater Demolition Team, just before he joined The Navy SEAL team.

One day, while at Subic Bay, Craig decided to show off his swimming skills. He set out to swim 100 yards underwater.

Just as he was finishing, everything went dark. Craig was out for eight whole minutes. Then, like a miracle, he woke up.

He called this his ‘Divine Intervention’. It was a moment that changed how he saw life. It made him realize how important it is to appreciate what you have.

This ‘Divine Intervention’ was more than just a miracle. It was a turning point for Craig, leading him onto a path of gratitude and deep respect for life.

Navy SEAL Leadership Continues After the Military 

Most people believe that after the war, everything is peaceful and calm for veterans, but most of us keep looking for opportunities to serve others and be leaders. 

After dedicating many years to serving his country, Craig planned to return to school. But a chance meeting with an old navy colleague, who was now part of a diving team, changed his course. 

Intrigued, he set off for Louisiana to explore a career as a diver.

He landed a job with a diving company that had operations in Stavanger, Norway, working in the North Sea.

It wasn’t long before Craig was applying his leadership skills, honed during his military service. He found himself leading teams of divers, effectively utilizing his Navy SEAL training. 

After a successful time at the diving company, where he led a team of 600 divers, Craig felt it was time for another change.

Navy SEAL Leadership in Sales

Following his diving career, Craig received an offer to work in a laser company’s sales department. 

He had the previous experience of a salesman and the leadership experience and skills of a Navy SEAL, so he decided to take up the opportunity.

During his time, he did more than just sell laser supplies. He played a pivotal role as a project leader, focusing on integrating operations to add more value to the business.

Craig spent a remarkable 27 years in the sales industry. His Navy SEAL leadership principles were instrumental in his success. 

After a fruitful and productive career, he retired from sales but never from writing. 

The Writing Never Stops

Throughout his diverse career as a soldier, diver, and sales leader, one constant remained: his love for writing. 

Writing provided a sense of purpose and a creative outlet for Craig. Whether it was poetry, science fiction, or nonfiction, he continuously wrote his thoughts and experiences.

Drawing from his wealth of leadership knowledge and marine adventures, he created over five books. 

These works narrate his time at sea, the sights he witnessed, and the lessons he learned.

Today, his books serve as a testament to his hard work, dedication, and unique life experiences, educating the readers on the Navy SEAL’s leadership journey.

Lessons of Leadership from a Former Navy SEAL

After a fulfilling career as a Navy SEAL and a leader in various fields, Craig shares with us his fundamental lessons for achieving ultimate success in life:

The Importance of Leadership

Leadership is not just about giving orders; it’s about genuinely caring for your team. 

The most effective leaders don’t view their team members as mere subordinates but as valuable contributors to shared goals.

Resilience and Determination

Life will inevitably throw challenges your way. However, it’s your resilience and determination that will carry you through these tough times. 

These traits allow you to bounce back from setbacks, learn from your mistakes, and keep moving forward.

Optimism is Essential

Maintaining a positive outlook in life is essential. An optimistic attitude allows you to approach problems with hope and positivity, which can lead to more creative solutions.

Like What You Hear?

Tune in to the Veteran Led Podcast to learn more powerful and inspiring stories for veterans and how they keep improving and contributing to our community. 

Berry Law

The attorneys at Berry Law are dedicated to helping injured Veterans. With extensive experience working with VA disability claims, Berry Law can help you with your disability appeals.

This material is for informational purposes only. It does not create an attorney-client relationship between the Firm and the reader, and does not constitute legal advice. Legal advice must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each case, and the contents of this blog are not a substitute for legal counsel.

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