Full text of former US Navy SEAL Chad Williams’ speech titled “I’ll Die Before I Quit” .
Chad Williams – Former U.S. Navy SEAL
Thank you. So who’s Bob?
Real excited to be here with you guys this morning. Thank you for having me out and my friend Don Billets. You know, we’ve got this big event coming up March 6 next year Harvest America and I’ll be getting into that a little bit.
But as you guys know, I’m a former US Navy SEAL. I imagine most of you guys know what SEALS are. Typically I have to explain to the women one time, there was one that actually asked me, she goes, so do you work at SeaWorld or something? And it’s like, no.
Maybe you guys didn’t know this, but SEAL is actually an acronym that stands for our areas of operation: SEA, AIR and LAND. And I think most people pretty surprised to find out after Bin Laden that NAVY SEALS are operating, you know, on land, they expect us to stick to waterborne operations.
So remember a lot of people kind of scratching their heads asking like what is there a puddle in Pakistan, these guys came crawling out of or something and we’re on land to kind of give you guys an idea of what my team was doing on my last deployment.
I was out in Iraq and we were tasked with working with the Iraqi special operation forces and one of our goals while we’re over there is to hunt down men that make suicide vests and those roadside bombs IEDs. And we wanted to train the ISOF how to do this job themselves. And so it kind of makes sense.
You want to pull out of a place like Iraq, well, you got to teach up their own country men, their own special operation forces, how to do the work.
And so if you can imagine a whole deployment had gone by pretty good, we bagged and gagged a lot of bad dudes. And really the best way to operate and train these guys is to go out and fight side by side with them. And we’re coming up on what look like just enough time on the calendar to do maybe one more operation.
So we decided let’s make this final operation, a sort of graduation operation. We’ll let the ISOF plan the whole thing from the ground up. And we’ll be there with them just in case things hit the fan. So they start from scratch. They go out in the street, they get a sorts of information that tells them about a man that’s an Iraqi policeman by day but at night back home, he’s one of these bomb makers.
And to kind of give you an idea of the type of character that makes these suicide vests, for instance, you know, oftentimes they’re not the ones that want to wear it themselves. In fact, they have such a difficult time finding somebody else to put one on that one instance over there, they took two mentally handicapped women strap these vests onto them, and they shove them off into a crowded marketplace and watch from a distance as they set it off with the remote, like cowards, killing these women and just so many more.
So just kind of gives you an idea of the type of scumbags we’re going for here. But we’ve got this guy’s number, the ISOF, they’ve got this whole plan, where he lives, how they want to approach the house, get in, extract and they’re presenting all these things to us. And they say one other thing though.
They said when we operate with you SEALs, we see that we get shot at more than you guys do. And we think we figured out why. All right. Oh, yeah. What is it? And they’re convinced that it was just merely the color of our uniforms. They say it’s the uniforms; like really…
So they’re saying we’re wondering if you’d be willing to maybe take off your American colored uniforms for this final operation. We’ve got a pile of ISOF uniforms you guys could put on.
So okay let’s get this straight, you want us to get shot at more with you and they’re like yes, we said fine.
So picture this, needless to say, you know my dark complexion start growing out a little facial hair get these guys uniforms, I blended just fine with these fellas over there.
In fact, my wife’s trying to motivate me to shave by letting me know it’s time to cut it down because I look like I belong in Bin Laden’s family or something.
So here we go blended in with these guys. This is the final operation and I happen to be standing up in the Humvee, the turret that night behind the 50 caliber machine gun, that’s the showstopper. I remember I’ve got my night vision goggles on looking through my green little world. I got my weapon, headspace and time ready to go, kind of going over this in my mind where this guy lives, how we’re going to get him, this is business as usual.
But there’s one other unique I know that popped into my head. I couldn’t help but you know, realize that I know this is the final operation, which means just a matter of days from now, I know I’m going to be back home in Huntington Beach. California surfing in the ocean lobster dive in.
But what we didn’t know about that night was that we were actually being set up the entire time to get thrown into a real nasty ambush. We’re really about to get into the worst circumstances we’d been in on this entire deployment as we’re getting into about for our lives.
Now, before I hit on what happened that night, I want to kind of back step a little bit and share with you guys a little bit of my road to becoming a SEAL.
Road To Becoming A SEAL
You know, fresh out of high school, going to the local community college. I didn’t have any real big plans. I’m failing all my classes really just because I’m not attending. I’m just ditching partying and surfing all the time. And I’m pulling into the parking lot at the end of the year, it’s time to take finals. And it just hits me like a ton of bricks like wow, I’m turning out to be a loser.
I mean, the kind of guy that no young man wants to be. When you’re young, you get told you could do anything right be a pro ballplayer or whatever, and I’m thinking it’s time to do something here.
So I’m thinking what am I doing with my life. All I know is I want to do something big. I want to achieve something, go for something great. I want some identity and so I start thinking, what is that and I think I come up with the perfect plan sitting there in my truck about to go to class. I go and I’m going to do.
I’m going to go become an Alaskan crab fisherman. Yeah. Deadliest Catch. By far one of the most dangerous jobs in the world. I thought there’s some bragging rights in that right there and then this other idea pops in my head no, wait a minute, why can’t I go join the military and be a part of the most elite, go through that most difficult grueling military training?
I know what I want to be: I want to be a NAVY SEAL.
And so right there school parking lot about to take finals I just decide that’s how I’m going to do with my life. I’m going to be a NAVY SEAL.
So my first order of business is this: I don’t gotta go to class anymore because I’m going to be frogman, start my truck up and I left the school.