Program: Special Forces Leadership - Time in the Gulf.

Paul Mc Namara introduced our speaker, Retired Captain Jay S. Richards, U.S. Navy. Captain Richards is from Essex Junction, Vermont, earned his commission from Officer Candidate School in November of 1989 and graduated with Basic Underwater Demolition / SEAL (BUD/S) Training Class 168 in July of 1990. 

He has served in various operational assignments including: Assistant Platoon Commander at SEAL Team ONE and SDV Team ONE; SEAL Platoon Commander and Operations Officer at SEAL Team THREE; Tactical Development and Evaluation Element Leader at Naval Special Warfare Development Group; Basic Training Officer at the Naval Special Warfare Center; NSW Task Unit Commander at SEAL Team THREE and Executive Officer at Naval Special Clearance Team ONE.

Captain Richards’ staff assignments include: Current Operations Officer at Special Operations Command Pacific (SOCPAC) and Director of Operations at Naval Special Warfare Group ONE and Chief of Requirements at Naval Special Warfare Command.  He was the Commanding Officer of Naval Special Warfare’s Advanced Training Command and the Commanding Officer of Naval Special Warfare Unit TEN and Commander of Special Operations Command Forward-East Africa (SOCFWD-EA).

He earned his Masters of Business Administration (MBA) from San Diego State University in 2004.  Captain Richards’ personal decorations include: the Defense Superior Service Medal, the Bronze Star with “V”, the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, the Joint Commendation Medal and various other personal and campaign medals.

Some of the information we learned was that there are 10 SEAL Teams, with 5 teams stationed in Coronado and 5 teams in Virginia Beach, VA. There are 3000 active duty with 400 officers. While stationed in the Gulf area, Capt. Richards assignment was initially to check each Iraqi ship coming through, with the SEALS approaching as a surprise. The SEALS Fast Boats created a phosphoresence when moving fast, so they were concerned that there would be no surprise. So they adjusted their operating plan to approach slowly, at 6 knots, so as to give no advance warning. Capt.Richards teams took down 2 oil platforms, working with a Polish special warfare group.

The SEAL training is INTENSE lasting 6 months with an 80% attrition rate. Hell Week is toughest in Week 9. Women have been approved now for SEAL training. The normal ETHOS for SEALS is, you don't brag, don't talk about your 'operations'. Recent books have not pleased the Captain. One question from the members asked the difference between the Delta Force or Green Berets and the SEALS. The SEALS are the maritime force, with on land operations only when needed.