Anthony O'Brien, Sr. is a former Navy SEAL & Gulf War veteran. He first joined the Marine Corps inspired by his father "Deacon Don" & family members who served with commitment to Duty, Honor, Country.
Don was a Marine Corps aviation ordnanceman with 1st Marine Air Wing in Korea. Uncle Dick was a Vietnamese linguist-interrogator, CO of 1st Battalion, 8th Regiment, and National Commandant of the Marine Corps League. Uncle Dave was CO of the USS Constitution. Anthony's cousin Tom was a Top Gun pilot & brother David was a Marine Corps helicopter mechanic.
Anthony was raised in Brockton, Mass. where his Dad was the first Deacon at St. Edward Church where his parents, Don & Lorraine, led a "Pre-Cana" Christian marriage preparation program for 20 years & where Anthony was an altar boy, choir member, Eucharistic minister, member of the Boy Scouts then Boy Scouts instructor & executive committee member and parish council member. Brockton was the hometown of world champion boxers Rocky Marciano & Marvin Hagler.
He attended Cardinal Spellman High & Stonehill College. At Spellman, he was selected to the National Honor Society & co-captain of the cross-country/track teams (he ran three 26.2 mi. marathons in his senior year including a 2nd place finish in the New England Jr. AAU marathon) and participated in the theater program. In 2011, he was inducted in the Robert McEwan Drama Hall of Fame at Spellman. He worked his way through college as a Teamster warehouseman on the 'graveyard shift' loading delivery trucks & was a coach of youth basketball & baseball.
Anthony served as a platoon commander in the Marine Corps infantry (1st Battalion, 5th Regiment then 1st Recon Battalion) at Camp Pendleton CA, received the French Fourragere Award & Navy Achievement Medal, and attended Mountain Leaders Course at Pickle Meadows CA, Navy Diver School in San Diego, Army Airborne Course & Army Jumpmaster School at Ft. Benning GA, and Submarine Diver Supervisor Course trained by the Navy SEALs. His recon platoon were 'extras' in the Clint Eastwood Marine Corps movie "Heartbreak Ridge."
Then he served at USMC Bootcamp Parris Island SC as a series commander, battalion adjutant & battalion executive officer supervising Drill Instructors training recruits, received the Meritorious Unit Citation & Recruit Training Award, and was a member of his battalion marksmanship team that competed in division shooting matches.
The Marine Corps motto is Semper Fidelis (Always Faithful).
He was then selected to transfer to the Navy & attended basic training for Navy SEALs or Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL ("BUD/S") Training where he received the Top Shooter Award & his Navy SEAL qualification. BUD/S is considered one of the world's toughest military courses in physical conditioning and combat diving, weapons & tactics.
The SEALs were established in 1962 by President Kennedy from the Navy UDT "Frogmen" (Underwater Demolition Teams). SEALs still call each other 'frogman' with utmost respect to their predecessors.
The acronym SEAL stands for the SEa, Air & Land capabilities of the Navy's commandos. Navy SEALs are highly-trained in diving, demolitions & parachuting in hazardous, high-stress conditions for no-notice crisis-response, disaster-relief, and search & rescue missions. The SEAL motto is "the only easy day was yesterday."
He served with SEAL Team 5 as a platoon commander; received the Navy Commendation Medal, Combat Action Ribbon & Joint Meritorious Unit Award; and attended Navy SERE School (Survival, Evade, Resist, Escape MIA-POW training) & Army Freefall-HALO (high-altitude, low-opening) Parachutist Course, Ft. Bragg NC (via MTT/course challenge at Yuma AZ).
While stationed in San Diego, he was a top-ranked triathlete (swim-bike-run) in one of the most competitive regions in the world.
He also served with SEAL Delivery Vehicle Team 1 as a platoon commander where he received the Battle Effectiveness Award & Navy Unit Commendation for his service with several submarines; served with the ceremonial diver team who still dive remains of "Pearl Harbor survivors" to their final resting place alongside the hull of the USS Arizona; and was a member of the Pacific Armed Forces Exhibition Skydiving Team that parachuted into NFL games & DARE events hosted by police & schools.
Anthony trained in 25 states, made 8 deployments to 30 countries in Asia, Europe and the middle-east and is a veteran of the Persian Gulf War (received Southwest Asia Medal and Kuwait Liberation Medal), Kosovo conflict (in 2001 received NATO Medal & Kosovo Campaign Medal with SEAL Team 2), disaster-relief operations including 1991 Bangladesh cyclone disaster (received Humanitarian Service Medal with SEAL Team 3) & several other operations as well as service with Secret Service details for 3 U.S. Presidents.
Then he was assigned as Chief of the Maritime Counter-terrorism Operations Section for the Commander-in-Chief Pacific theater where he received the Defense Meritorious Service Medal. In 1997, he was selected National Officer of the Year by the Association of the U.S. Navy. The top Navy core values are Honor, Courage, Commitment.
Besides being a Jumpmaster and Diver Supervisor, his military instructor certifications include rock-climbing, skiing, water safety-survival & shooting. He earned his FAA pilot license in Columbia SC.
During his military service, he was a member of the Marine Corps Virginia Rugby team and won awards in military boxing & shooting tournaments, road races, biathlons (ski-shoot), triathlons (swim-bike-run) and finished 15 marathons including the IRONMAN Triathlon World Championship in Hawaii.
In 2000, he attended Army Ranger School at Ft. Benning GA & Eglin AFB FL and received a Distinguished Leadership Award. The Ranger motto is Rangers Lead the Way.
Lieutenant Commander O'Brien's last assignment was at Norfolk VA when he served as Naval Special Warfare Group 2 Training Officer (equivalent to regiment level), Director of the Sniper and Breacher Courses, Maritime Operations Officer for SOCOM Y2K Task Force & Commander of Special Operations Detachment Kosovo and received the Meritorious Service Medal, Joint Service Achievement Medal, Army Achievement Medal & U.S. Presidential Commendation.
He received other personal, unit & campaign awards during his military service. He was selected & served as a US Presidential Management Fellow with the Dept. of Energy in Washington DC & served with the VFW as a post & district commander and as a county commissioner in his home state of Massachusetts.
Anthony is very appreciative of the service of colleagues in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines & Coast Guard and their reserve & national guard counterparts with whom he served. He has many family members & friends still serving & keeps all in uniform & in harms way in his prayers.
Mr. O'Brien has been a spokesperson in national & local media in the U.S. & Canada for matters related to Navy SEALs & national security and is regularly asked to speak at events, meetings, in schools, etc. Please contact him anytime for his assistance.
He has served for many years as a board member, board chairman & volunteer for several non-profits, food pantries & shelters assisting veterans as well as a coach for youth baseball & basketball. He is the chairman of the board for the United Way Emergency Food & Shelter Program of Greater Plymouth County, chairman of the Human Rights Committee for the Dept. of Developmental Services (for mental disabilities), member of the Board of Trustees for VFW District 12 of Plymouth County, member of the Advisory (Finance) Committee for the town of Pembroke, and DAV Hospital Service Coordinator for Boston VA Healthcare System.
His decades of leadership and staff experience include management of personnel, budgets and facilities and countless staff functions while conducting highly-classified worldwide operations and assisting many countries, communities, governments, businesses & charities.
His family's lifelong passion for public & community service and helping veterans is dedicated to uniformed patriots who made the ultimate sacrifice for our great country and those who continue to Stand the Watch. The motto of the VFW is Honor the Dead by Helping the Living.
He & his wife Staci & their two children Anthony Jr., and James Donald, live in Pembroke, Mass. James is named after his wonderful grandfathers. Staci is a part-time nurse & her family are long-time fundraisers for breast cancer research - walk or give for the cure!
We are all in this together. Please contact us for any reason.
Contact: AnthonyThomasOBrien@yahoo.com cell (508) 868-2547 PO Box 18 Pembroke Ma 02359 www.facebook.com/TonyStaciO'Brien