Jocko Willink Biography

(Author, Podcaster and Former Member of US Navy SEAL Team 3)

Birthday: September 8, 1971 (Virgo)

Born In: Torrington, Connecticut, United States

Jocko Willink is a decorated retired Navy SEAL officer, an author, a podcaster and the co-founder of a leadership consulting firm. He served two decades in the US Navy SEAL Teams, beginning as an enlisted SEAL and subsequently rising through the ranks to finally become a SEAL officer. His military services includes fighting the Iraqi insurgents in Ramadi as the commander of SEAL Team 3's Task Unit Bruiser. For his military services, he was honoured with numerous awards including Silver Star and Bronze Star. Post his retirement, he co-formed a leadership and management consulting company Echelon Front along with his SEAL teammate Leif Babin and also co-authored bestselling books Extreme Ownership and The Dichotomy of Leadership with him. As an author he has also written numerous other books including adult nonfictions as well as children’s book series Way of the Warrior Kid. Willink is also a successful podcaster with his podcast the Jocko Podcast ranking as one of the most popular podcasts on iTunes. Additionally, he is also a jiu-jitsu instructor and co-owner of a company that sells lifestyle, apparel and fitness products, among others.

Quick Facts

Also Known As: John Gretton Willink, Jr.

Age: 52 Years, 52 Year Old Males


Spouse/Ex-: Helen Willink

Born Country: United States

Podcasters American Men

Height: 5'11" (180 cm), 5'11" Males

Ancestry: Dutch American

U.S. State: Connecticut

More Facts

education: University Of San Diego

awards: Silver Star Medal
Bronze Star Medal with Valor


In the beginning, Jocko Willink underwent Navy recruit training and Radioman (RM) “A” School training. Thereafter, he joined the Naval Amphibious Base Coronado for Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL training(BUD/S) and later completed the SEAL Tactical Training (STT). After a six-month probation period, he got the NEC 5326 as a Combatant Swimmer (SEAL).

As an enlisted Navy SEAL, he actively served for eight years with SEAL Team ONE and SEAL Team TWO. He was also in the SEAL team that caught the Russian Tanker in the Gulf of Oman. The tanker, disregarding the U.N. economic embargo, was carrying Iraqi oil.

He then received his commission via Officer Candidate School and became a platoon commander. His work took him around Asia, Middle East and Europe.

In 2006, as the commander of SEAL Team Three’s Task Unit Bruiser, he coordinated the SEAL operations against the Iraqi insurgents in the war-torn city of Ramadi in order to establish peace and stability. His unit eventually became the most highly decorated Special Operations Unit of the Iraq War.

After serving in Iraq, Jocko returned home and assumed the duties of Officer-in-Charge of training for all West Coast SEAL Teams. In this position, he led the training of the next generation of SEAL leaders.

After two decades of service in the Navy, he retired in October 2010. His distinguished career has earned him Silver Star Medal, Bronze Star Medal with Valor and Meritorious Service Medal. Additionally, he is also the recipient of numerous other personal and unit awards.

Post retirement, he co-founded Echelon Front, along with another SEAL officer Leif Babin. In this multi-million-dollar leadership and management consulting company, he imparts training on the leadership principles that he learnt on the battlefield with an aim to help others lead and win. The list of clients includes individual, teams as well as companies across various industries and fields.

Jocko Willink and Leif Babin also collaborated to co-author a book Extreme Ownership: How U.S. Navy Seals Lead and Win. In it, they share the hard-hitting combat stories as Navy SEALs which teach unparalleled lessons for business and life. The book, published in 2015, went on to become a runaway New York Times bestseller.

In subsequent years, he wrote/co-wrote a number of other bestselling books including Discipline Equals Freedom: Field Manual(2017), The Dichotomy of Leadership: Balancing the Challenges of Extreme Ownership to Lead and Win(2018, with Leif Babin), Leadership Strategy and Tactics: Field Manual(2020) and The Code. The Evaluation. The Protocols: Striving to Become an Eminently Qualified Human(2020, with Dave Berke and Sarah Armstrong).

He has also authored children’s book including Mikey and the Dragons(2018)and the three books of the Way of the Warrior Kid series (2017–2019, with Jon Bozak).

For the promotion of his first book, he appeared on the podcasts of Tim Ferriss, Joe Rogan, and Sam Harris and was inspired to start his own podcast, Jocko Podcast. His podcast (with co-host Echo Charles)—that discusses discipline and leadership in business, war, relationships and everyday life—soon became one of the top-ranking podcast with millions of downloads. It was even selected as one of the twelve best podcasts of 2016 by iTunes.

In addition to running a leadership consulting firm, writing books and hosting a podcast, Jocko Willink is also the co-owner of Origin USA, a company that manufactures and sells products in lifestyle apparel, nutrition supplements and fitness equipment category. Willink, moreover, is a jiu-jitsu instructor at Victory MMA & Fitness, a martial arts school in San Diego, California.

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Family & Personal Life

John Gretton Willink, Jr. was born on 8 September 1971 in Torrington, Connecticut, U.S. and grew up in New England town where his father was a school teacher. As a kid, he had a rebellious nature and once he grew up, he joined the military in order to channel his headstrong personality.

Jocko Willink is married to Helen Louise Willink, a former flight attendant who he first met while stationed in Bahrain. The two soon got married (1997) and together have four children – three daughters and a son.

He is a black belt in Jiu-jitsu.

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