On May 1, 2011, President Obama and his national security team gathered in the White House Situation Room to watch a commando raid taking place half a world away. As the mission unfolded, the President was in continuous video contact with the senior military officer directing the operation from a base in Afghanistan, Admiral William McRaven. To this task, Admiral McRaven brought three decades of experience in special operations. The first officer to graduate from the Special Operations and Limited Warfare program at the Naval Postgraduate School, he has held commands at every level of the special ops community, from leading a single SEAL platoon, to his final post as Commander of U.S. Special Operations Command (USSOCOM). His experience includes commands in Desert Storm and Desert Shield, leadership of SEAL Team Three, and of NATO's special operations command (SOCEUR). At USSOCOM, Admiral McRaven oversaw and coordinated elite forces from all branches of the nation's military, including such storied outfits as the Navy Seals, the Army's Green Berets and Delta Force, and the Air Force Special Tactics Squadron. The success, that night in 2011, of the raid that eliminated Osama bin Laden without a single American casualty was due, in no small part, to the unique expertise of the man who organized and executed the plan, Admiral William McRaven. Earlier this year, Admiral McRaven retired from the Navy to become Chancellor of the nine-campus University of Texas system. In this podcast, recorded at the 2014 International Achievement Summit in San Francisco, Admiral McRaven addresses a profoundly simple question, "How do you change the world, when so much lies beyond your control?" Recalling incidents from his own life and service, he demonstrates that we all have opportunities to perform numberless small acts of encouragement, courage and compassion that can have repercussions far beyond our own lives.
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