“Get over being a sugar cookie and keep moving forward!”

A great commencement speech by an Admiral and a SEAL, William H. McRaven.

I wonder if this was the first time these students had ever heard, in their years of education, a real achiever tell them about life and reality.

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Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. Mike Morrow says:

    This man was a newly commissioned ensign when I was a lieutenant on a submarine. We had grossly different career paths…for one thing, I did only six years of active duty. I have always had some distrust for those of flag rank (rear admiral and greater) as primarily being damnable politicians like Colin Powell more so than honorable military leaders. That being said, I find Admiral McRaven’s address to be remarkable, and a probable sign that this man would have been a great leader in any military specialty that he chose. I am impressed by this “youngster”.

  2. RANCHER says:

    A warrior, a sheepdog, and someone whose example should be copied.

  3. Rachel Pineda says:

    “If you want to change the world, start singing when you’re up to your neck in mud.”

  4. Chris Garton-Zavesky says:

    Admittedly, he’s speaking to the secular crowd, but some of these ideas translate well in the spiritual realm as well.

  5. benedetta says:

    Absolutely agree, Chris Garton-Zavesky.

  6. Andreas says:

    An impressive speech indeed from one for whom I have great admiration. Throughout my Navy career and especially as a senior officer, I found it especially critical to take to heart many of the key points made by the Admiral. Honor, integrity, courage, steadfast devotion to the oft challenging tasks at hand. All of us, whatever our rate, rank or position had to at all times be accountable for one’s actions and those of one’s subordinates and do nothing either in private or public that would dishonor the uniform and the service. Those who violated these basic tenets would find themselves discharged…sometimes within days. In these times of increasing discrimination and intolerance from without and the even more destructive discord from within The Church, is it not finally time for all those who guide and lead the Catholic flock to put into the place these basic tenets?

  7. Peter in Canberra says:

    what does the hand gesture he is making connote? I had always interpreted it as not very nice.

  8. Skeinster says:

    My sister’s family heard this in person- her older two were graduating.
    They were very impressed- more than one guest mentioned him at the next day’s party.

  9. acardnal says:

    I hope you make your bed every morning, Father Z!

  10. Peter: “what does the hand gesture he is making connote?”

    Wikapedia on this much revered hand signal:

    Hook ’em Horns is the slogan and hand signal of The University of Texas at Austin. Students and alumni of the university employ a greeting consisting of the phrase “Hook ’em” or “Hook ’em Horns” and also use the phrase as a parting good-bye or as the closing line in a letter or story.

    The gesture is meant to approximate the shape of the head and horns of the UT mascot, the Texas Longhorn Bevo. The sign is made by extending the index and pinky fingers while grasping the second and third fingers with the thumb. The arm is usually extended, but the sign can also be given with the arm bent at the elbow. The sign is often seen at sporting events, during the playing of the school song “The Eyes of Texas”,[1] and during the playing of the school fight song “Texas Fight”. It is one of the most recognized hand signals of all American universities.

  11. stephen c says:

    To Peter in Canberra – The official school mascot is a longhorn steer, the hand signal and gesture is a kind of representation of the mascot, and is used in a positive sense at sports events. “hook ’em horns” is the phrase that goes with the signal.

  12. JustaSinner says:

    The Admiral is great! Quick, hide the video before Obama sees it and fires him!

  13. Will Elliott says:

    Peter in Canberra: what does the hand gesture he is making connote? I had always interpreted it as not very nice.

    The good Admiral is merely telling his fellow Longhorns to “Hook ’em Horns” – nothing nefarious (unless, of course, you’re an Aggie…)

  14. Gerard Plourde says:

    @ Peter in Canberra – You’ve hit on the embarrassing difficulty that attends hand gestures outside of their native cultural context. In the U.S. (mostly in Texas) the gesture is perceived to be innocent, is known as the “Hook ‘Em Horns” and is meant to show solidarity with the University of Texas’s (American) Football team.

  15. I have actually heard a very different explanation of that hand gesture…the explanation was not good.

  16. CatholicLiving, as a Tennessean and descendent of those Volunteers to whom Texas owes its survival, the Universities of Tennessee and Texas to this day sharing the Orange and White, I can assure you that to many a Texan, nothing is more apple pie and motherhood–and even sacred in their understanding of the word–than “Hook’em Horns”.

  17. StWinefride says:

    acardnal says: “I hope you make your bed every morning, Father Z!”

    It’s actually healthier not to make one’s bed in the morning! :)


  18. The Sicilian Woman says:

    Great, honest speech! Which makes me wonder if he’ll be allowed to give a commencement speech again.

    The admiral reminds me of the commencement speaker, a Navy officer, at my undergrad graduation years ago. He also mentioned how no one remembers their commencement speaker. Ha, not so, not always! My speaker was a Navy officer who had graduated from the Naval Academy. I remember that fact from the story he told of having bought tickets to something, having put them in his hat…then throwing his hat in the air at the end of commencement, along with the hundreds of other hats. I don’t remember if he mentioned getting the right hat back. But I do remember he was funny, and mercifully brief.

  19. “I have actually heard a very different explanation of that hand gesture…the explanation was not good.” good to hear from ppl that know exactly what it means. I think sometimes we look too hard for Satan under the rocks when he’s not really there and more often than not he’s right out in plain sight.

  20. AA Cunningham says:

    Admiral McRaven also understands that waterboarding isn’t torture.

    His days as a sugar cookie aren’t over either due to the misalignment of his cover which would have resulted in a dip in the surf and a roll in the sand.

  21. Cantor says:

    As a Longhorn and retired AF, I can assure you that this man is the real thing.

    And AA? If you’re big enough to call him on it, he’s big enough to do it!

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