In 3 years and 333 episodes, today’s conversation is the highlight of my time with Beyond the Uniform. More than anyone else I have witnessed, Jocko Willink and Leif Babin are doing the most to elevate the civilian world’s understanding of military Veterans and what they bring to the table. In this conversation, we talk about what it is like for Jocko and Leif to work together now, out of uniform. We also talk about what it was like starting their company, Echelon Front… and it’s not as easy as I had thought it would be. We talk about their newest initiatives - EF Overwatch and EF Legion, incredible recruiting resources for the military community. We talk about career transition advice and mindsets to keep and tweak and more.
Jocko Willink is a retired U.S. Navy SEAL officer, co-author of the #1 New York Times bestseller Extreme Ownership: How U.S. Navy SEALs Lead and Win, Dichotomy of Leadership, host of the top-rated Jocko Podcast, and co-founder of Echelon Front, where he serves as Chief Executive Officer, leadership instructor, speaker and strategic advisor. Jocko spent 20 years in the SEAL Teams, starting as an enlisted SEAL and rising through the ranks to become a SEAL officer. As commander of SEAL Team Three’s Task Unit Bruiser during the battle of Ramadi, he orchestrated SEAL operations that helped the “Ready First” Brigade of the U.S. Army’s First Armored Division bring stability to the violent, war-torn city. Task Unit Bruiser became the most highly decorated Special Operations Unit of the Iraq War.
Jocko returned from Iraq to serve as Officer-in-Charge of training for all West Coast SEAL Teams. There, he spearheaded the development of leadership training and personally instructed and mentored the next generation of SEAL leaders who have continued to perform with great success on the battlefield. Jocko is the recipient of the Silver Star, the Bronze Star, and numerous other personal and unit awards.
Upon retiring from the Navy, Jocko co-founded Echelon Front, a premier leadership consulting company, where he teaches the leadership principles he learned on the battlefield to help others lead and win. Jocko also authored the Discipline Equals Freedom Field Manual, a New York Times Bestseller, and the best selling Way of the Warrior Kid children’s book series.
Leif Babin is a former U.S. Navy SEAL officer, co-author of #1 New York Times bestseller Extreme Ownership: How U.S. Navy SEALs Lead and Win, and co-founder of Echelon Front, where he serves as President/Chief Operating Officer, leadership instructor, speaker, and strategic advisor. A graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy, Leif served thirteen years in the Navy, including nine in the SEAL Teams. As a SEAL platoon commander in SEAL Team Three’s Task Unit Bruiser, he planned and led major combat operations in the Battle of Ramadi that helped the “Ready First” Brigade of the US Army’s 1st Armored Division achieve victory. Task Unit Bruiser became the most highly decorated special operations unit of the Iraq War.
Leif returned from combat and became the primary leadership instructor for all officers graduating from the SEAL training pipeline. There, he reshaped SEAL leadership training to better prepare the next generation of SEAL officers for the immense challenges of combat. During his last tour, Leif served as Operations Officer and Executive Officer at a SEAL Team where he again deployed to Iraq with a Special Operations Task Force. He is the recipient of the Silver Star, two Bronze Stars, and a Purple Heart.
Upon his departure from active duty, Leif co-founded Echelon Front, a premier leadership consulting company that helps others build their own high-performance winning teams.