- Former US Navy SEAL reveals the best gear he got to use.
- Jocko spoke about GPS, night vision goggles, radios, and grenade launchers.
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Following is a transcript of the video.
Jocko Willink: I was very lucky, because when I got to the SEAL teams, there wasn’t much tech at all. In fact, the first GPS, Global Positioning System, that I had was probably about 25 pounds, and I had to carry it. It was pretty ridiculous. So, it was awesome as GPS technology evolved and all of a sudden everyone had a GPS on their wrist.
Hey, I’m Jocko Willink. I was in the military for 20 years. After I retired, I started teaching leadership to people. Well, one thing that’s really good about being in the SEAL teams and really being in the military in general is, a lot of times, you’re getting cutting-edge technology.
So, one of the best things that evolved very rapidly was night vision goggles. When I first got in the SEAL teams, the night vision goggles were very cumbersome, and they didn’t actually work really well.And now the night vision goggles that we have are incredible. That’s one thing that evolved very, very quickly. As far as, you know, watches, sometimes people are into watches, I’ve used the same … I used the same Timex watch for my whole career, and I still use it today. So, “It takes a licking, keeps on ticking.” Another thing that improved a ton while I was in the SEAL teams was the radios that we carry. So, when I first got to the SEAL teams, we carried a radio that went into a backpack. You needed a backpack to carry the radio. By the time I retired, we were carrying radios that you just could put in a pocket. So that advancement in technology was immensely helpful. As radios got more advanced, more reliable, they became waterproof and they got lighter. Thankfully. Here’s another thing that’s interesting.
When I first got to the SEAL teams, we used to go into the field carrying regular film cameras, and we would carry the chemicals to develop the film in the field. So we’d have to carry little canteens and then we had these special little bags made that we could put our fingers into to develop the film in the field to make sure that the pictures we took on reconnaissance were good. It was a real pain. Now, of course, we have digital cameras and we take millions of pictures and we don’t have to carry any developing fluids into the field. When you’re going on an operation, the gear that you bring with you is going to vary a little bit, but it depends on what the mission is, not on how dangerous the mission is. So if you’re going on a reconnaissance mission, well, guess what? You’re gonna bring, you’re gonna bring more gear, you’re gonna bring cameras, you’re gonna bring more batteries to transmit information back to the headquarters.
Whereas if you’re going on an assault, you’re not gonna bring cameras, you’re not gonna take pictures from a long distance, so you’re not gonna bring that type of gear. So depending on what type of mission you’re going on is what dictates the kind of gear that you’re gonna bring with you. Some of the weapons that we use, our weapons that have been used for a very long period of time, all the way back to the Vietnam War. So, the M79 grenade launcher is a piece of equipment that launches grenades, and we’ve used the same one for a really long time in the SEAL teams. Ultimately, despite all this different technology, the thing that you really have to rely on in the SEAL teams is your brain. Is being able to solve problems no matter what they are, understanding tactics, and being able to manoeuvre against the enemy in a way that you can win.
EDITOR’S NOTE: This video was originally published in February 2020.
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