I am secure enough in my masculinity to admit that SEALs scare me. There, I said it.
Theyâ€™re the best in the world at what they do, which is â€“ well, you know what it is. I don’t care how many pushups you can do, no demonstration of machismo can ever measure up to what they do for a living, which is quite frankly the ultimate test of manhood.
They have a certain mystique about them, which enhances the whole image. Talk to a SEAL and he’ll tell you snippets of stories about vague places, doing ambiguous things to undetermined people. But you know what they do, and they know you know. And you know – or at least have heard – that SEALs have a whole portfolio of ways to kill people, so the details really aren’t necessary.
SEALs are mellow and friendly in a normal environment, but don’t let that fool you. Put them in BDUs and they change into something less …well, genteel. One time I ran into one of them, all decked out in his “game-day uniform” (BDUs, face paint, gadgets attached all over the place). His eyes bored right through me, and I froze in my tracks. This fellow, who I knew as a pleasant staffer that spent most of his time drafting messages and giving briefs, had suddenly morphed into the ultimate warrior. He didn’t say much that day, never smiled…but I’ve never seen him happier.
They swim out of submarines. They jump out of low-flying airplanes, scale mountains and rappel out of helos. I even saw a picture of a SEAL on horseback. They’re tough, I tell you. SEALs are the only guys who could walk into a motorcycle bar and yell, “BIKERS ARE WIMPS!” and live.
So let’s just agree that on the macho ladder, they get the top rung. I’ll content myself with standing a few steps down. And if they scare me a little, who cares? I have the consolation of knowing they’re on our side.
Imagine how the bad guys feel.