Darren McBurnett (SEAL) Ret. is a combat veteran, professional photographer/Artist, author, ambassador, and motivational speaker.
He holds a bachelor of arts degree from Purdue University where he was on the cycling and water polo teams and was captain of the rowing team. Darren joined the Navy after college and started a 24-year SEAL career that included numerous deployments to combat zones in support of missions such as Operation Iraq Freedom, Operation Enduring Freedom, Kosovo crisis, Liberia, and Operation Inherent Resolve. He was SEAL platoon leader and senior enlisted advisor; trained and operated with SEAL Teams Two, Four, Eight, One, Three, and SDV (SEAL Delivery Vehicle). He developed the military free fall course of instruction; deployed two years to the Middle East with a Joint Special Operations Task Force working with U.S. SOF in support of all U.S. engagements in the region - he was a member of the U.S. Navy Parachute Team, and an Instructor at the Naval Special Warfare Basic Underwater Demolition School. Darren is the recipient of 53 individual, unit, and campaign honors, including a Bronze Star.
Over the years, McBurnett has become an accomplished speaker and motivator, presenting to companies and groups including CDW, Wells Fargo AIG, Budweiser, Rite-Aid, Founders Brewing Company, Hilton Hotels, BMO, Walk Ons, National Quarterback Club, Arbor Pharmaceuticals, and many others. He is also an award-winning photographer, his professional portfolio including work for NIKE, National Geographic, Fox and Friends, Rolling Stone, CBS SEAL Team, and the movie “Act of Valor.” His work has appeared on everything from album covers to billboards to walls of Fortune 500 companies and is in the homes of Charlie Sheen, Kid Rock, Jim McMahon, John Rich, Brent Burns, Roger Clemens, and John Daly. He is proud to be an ambassador for Uncommon Grit Foundation, a nonprofit he started in 2020 to assist military, first responders, and their families—those who answer the call. His photography and art work has raised over $3 million for multiple charities across the spectrum.
McBurnett is the author of Uncommon Grit, a 224-page fine art photography book of the journey through Navy SEAL BUD/S first phase training. It’s a unique look at the military’s toughest training from the point of view of someone who has lived it. He includes descriptions of evolutions along with his sense of humor, allowing the reader to laugh, cringe, gasp, and imagine themselves participating.
His message is not only motivational and inspiring on a corporate level, but also promotes individual and personal growth—how to navigate in an ever-changing adverse environment where critical decision-making and leadership skills are absolutely vital for success. His visually breathtaking multimedia presentation highlights the untapped potential and Never Quit intestinal drive that is the cornerstone of Navy SEAL success, and shares the defining characteristics that promote leadership and sacrifice in the SEAL Teams.
What to expect from McBurnett's presentation:
High-energy delivery with a sense of humor
Real stories from his SEAL career and how they apply to all teams
Visually breathtaking presentation using his own photography and video
Leadership points from his SEAL experience that motivate and inspire
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