Remarks by Navy Admiral William McRaven, BJ '77, ninth commander of U.S.Special Operations Command, Texas Exes Life Member, and Distinguished Alumnus.
The University of Texas at Austin, May 17, 2014.
William Harry McRaven (born November 6, 1955) is a former United States Navy admiral who last served as the ninth commander of the United States Special Operations Command from August 8, 2011, to August 28, 2014. He previously served from June 13, 2008, to August 2011 as Commander, Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) and from June 2006 to March 2008 as Commander, Special Operations Command Europe (SOCEUR).
In addition to his duties as COMSOCEUR, he was designated as the first director of the NATO Special Operations Forces Coordination Centre (NSCC), where he was charged with enhancing the capabilities and inter-operability of all NATO Special Operations Forces.
As a junior officer, McRaven was assigned to SEAL Team 6 under the command of Richard Marcinko but was pushed out due to McRaven's concerns about a culture of recklessness, complaining of difficulties in keeping his sailors in line.
Admiral William McRaven has commanded at every level within the special operations community, including assignments as deputy commander for operations at JSOC, Commodore of Naval Special Warfare Group 1, Commander of SEAL Team 3, task group commander in the CENTCOM area of responsibility, task unit commander during the Persian Gulf War, squadron commander at Naval Special Warfare Development Group, and platoon commander at Underwater Demolition Team 21/SEAL Team 4.
McRaven is credited for organizing and overseeing the execution of Operation Neptune Spear, the special ops raid that led to the death of Osama bin Laden on May 2, 2011. CIA Director Leon Panetta delegated the raid to McRaven who has worked almost exclusively on counter-terrorism operations and strategy since 2001.
McRaven is the son of a career Air Force Officer and is married to Georgeann Brady McRaven. They have three children.