By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Rob Rupp, Naval Special Warfare Group 2 Public Affairs
CINCINNATI (January 29, 2015) – Lt. Mark Greene, an East Coast based U.S. Navy SEAL (Sea, Air and Land), addressed African American students from the University of Cincinnati (UC) on mental toughness at the P&G headquarters, Jan. 29.
The brief was organized by the East Coast SEAL and SWCC Scout Team Recruiting Directorate as part of the “Striving to Transform, Enrich, Empower and Reward” (STEER) program, and to promote Naval Special Warfare (NSW) awareness.
Greene explained how he had to become mentally tough when going through his training at Basic Underwater Demolition/school (BUD/s) and how he overcame adversity as an African American SEAL.
“That BUD/s experience destroyed every barrier I had, and I had to become mentally tough quick,” said Greene. “It was tough going through BUD/s not only because it was the toughest physical challenge I had ever faced but also because the drop-out rate for African Americans was very high and that weighed on my mind heavily.”
Greene also told the students there was more out there after graduation, whether it is finding a job or joining the military.
“This is a great time for African Americans here, you have so many opportunities available to you, you can not only find a job in the real world but you could join the military like me,” said Greene. “The military has done great things for me. It gave me an education and a career.”
Striving to Transform, Enrich, Empower and Reward was created in 2010 in partnership with UC and P&G and designed as a mentorship program providing African American students with African American mentors to help increase graduation rates.
“Mentoring makes a difference in the lives of students,” said Debra Merchant, Vice President of Student Affairs and Services at UC.
The East Coast Navy SEAL and SWCC Scout Team Recruiting Directorate identifies and engages high-quality, potential SEAL and SWCC candidates, informs them of a career in Naval Special Warfare and assists them with the recruiting process, and has a major goal of trying to bring more cultural diversity to Naval Special Warfare.
“Currently, there are three African American SEAL officers and 20 African American enlisted SEALs,” said Greene