Anthony O'Brien, Sr. is a retired Navy SEAL & decorated Gulf War veteran. He first joined the Marine Corps inspired by his father Don & family members who served with commitment to Duty, Honor, Country.
Don served with 1st Marine Air Wing in Korea. Tony's Uncle Dick was a Vietnamese linguist-interrogator, C.O. of 1st Battalion/8th Regiment, and National Commandant of the Marine Corps League. Uncle Dave was C.O. of the USS Constitution. Cousin Tom was a Top Gun pilot & brother David was a Marine Corps helicopter mechanic.
Tony was raised in Brockton, Mass. where his Dad was the first Deacon at St. Edward Church where his parents, Don & Lorraine, led a Christian marriage preparation program for 20 years & where Tony was an altar boy, choir member, parish council member & member of the Boy Scouts then instructor & executive committee member for the Scouts. Brockton was the hometown of world champion boxers Rocky Marciano & Marvin Hagler.
Tony 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 for youth basketball & baseball.
In the Marines, Tony served as an infantry platoon commander with 1st Battalion, 5th Regiment then as a recon platoon commander with 1st Recon Battalion at Camp Pendleton CA, received the French Fourragere Award & Navy Achievement Medal for his leadership of combat units that deployed throughout Asia on contingency operations working closely with foreign military units, 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 Operations Supervisor Course trained by the Navy SEALs. His infantry battalion was also a quick-reaction unit for middle east operations. 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, received the Meritorious Unit Citation & Navy Achievement Medal for his supervision of Drill Instructors training recruits in a highly-demanding curriculum, and was a member of his battalion marksmanship team that competed in division shooting matches.
The Marine Corps motto is Semper Fidelis (Always Faithful).
The Secretary of the Navy selected him for transfer to the Navy & he 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 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 Combat Action Ribbon, Joint Meritorious Unit Award & Navy Commendation Medal for operational excellence in Kuwait when his task force conducted combat interdiction operations & processed 1,500 POWs; 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). His SEAL platoon's exercise with Korean SEALs in a high-altitude remote area of So. Korea was suspended so they could provide critical support in the medevac of a pregnant local citizen with serious complications via helicopter during a hazardous snow storm. The platoon also was a quick-reaction unit for security & crisis operations at the U.S. Embassy in Manila, Philippines.
He is a veteran of the Persian Gulf War & received the Southwest Asia Medal and Kuwait Liberation Medal, veteran of disaster-relief operations including the 1991 Bangladesh cyclone disaster receiving the Humanitarian Service Medal for his leadership with the first-responder task force that provided critical response to the overnight destruction of the coast including massive flooding and thousands of deaths of humans & livestock, and a veteran of several other operations as well as service with Secret Service details for 3 U.S. Presidents.
While stationed in San Diego, he was a top-ranked triathlete (swim-bike-run) in one of the most competitive racing regions in the world.
He also served with SEAL Delivery Vehicle Team 1 as a platoon commander where he received the Navy Unit Commendation & Battle Effectiveness Award for his technical expertise conducting hazardous operations & training with several submarines; served with the ceremonial diver team who still dive remains of WWII "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.
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 for superb coordination of emergency response & disaster relief operations & exercises with federal agencies & national assets. In 1997, he was selected National Officer of the Year by the Association of the U.S. Navy for his leadership of his units' operational support excellence. The top Navy core values are Honor, Courage, Commitment.
Besides being a Jumpmaster and Diver Operations 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 for his superior performance as recognized by his instructors and classmates. The Ranger motto is Rangers Lead the Way.
Lieutenant Commander O'Brien's final assignment was at Norfolk VA when he served as Naval Special Warfare Group 2 Training Officer (equivalent to regiment level), Director of the SEAL 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 for his leadership in operational and training excellence.
He trained in 25 states, made 8 deployments to 30 countries in Asia, Europe and the middle-east and is also a veteran of the Kosovo conflict in 2001 receiving the NATO Medal & Kosovo Campaign Medal with SEAL Team 2 for leadership of his unit's participation in peacekeeping operations & hazardous missions.
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.
Tony 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, schools, etc. about the "History of Navy SEALs." Please contact him anytime for his assistance.
He has been recognized for his long-time service as a board member, board chairman & volunteer for several non-profits, food pantries & shelters assisting our neighbors-in-need & veterans as well as a coach for youth baseball & basketball. He is a past commander of VFW District 12 & former member of the Advisory (Finance) Committee for the town of Pembroke. 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 mental disabilities) of southeastern Mass., member of the Board of Trustees for VFW District 12 of Plymouth County, member of the Chamber of Commerce, and DAV Hospital Service Coordinator for Boston VA Healthcare System.
His decades of leadership and staff experience include extensive 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 service & 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 in accordance with the motto of the VFW: "Honor the dead by helping the living" and motto of the DAV: "Fulfilling our promises to those who served."
He lives in Pembroke, Mass. with his wife & children and they have dozens of family members throughout southeastern Mass. They are long-time fundraisers for breast cancer research - walk or give for the cure!
Contact: AnthonyThomasOBrien@yahoo.com (508) 868-2547 LinkedIn PO Box 18 Pembroke Ma 02359 www.facebook.com/TonyStaciO'Brien