Diversity is a key ingredient that SEALs rely on to ensure they have the ability to perform their job, and it’s no different at the top. On 21 June Rear Admiral Brian L. Losey took command of Naval Special Warfare from Rear Admiral Sean A. Pybus, who is expected to pick up his third star in route to Brussels, Belgium as he takes Command of NATO’s Special Operations Headquarters.
Admiral William H. McRaven, senior officer for all special operations and fellow Navy SEAL, attended the ceremony held at Naval Special Warfare’s homeport in Coronado, CA. During the ceremony McRaven praised Pybus’s by saying, “We have earned a reputation that is unparalleled, primarily because Sean (Pybus) has led the effort to ensure we send the best selected, the best trained, the best equipped and the best supported Naval Special Warfare warriors ever.” However, often times the most difficult part of any operation is exfil, a vernacular spoken within the military meaning moving out of a current location. That responsibility belongs to Losey.
No one is implying Navy SEALs aren’t going to be involved in Afghanistan post the 2014 drawdown but history has shown the role of special operations can change significantly during the buildup and withdraw. By and large the transformation from a strike team to an advisory group can increase the risks these warriors face when leading the men they’ve trained into battle, without the supporting elements of conventional American forces. Selecting the right man to steer the ship during such a perilous journey is essential. Losey’s diverse military background makes him the logical choice.
Commanding troops and overseeing combat operations is nothing new for Losey who recently served as Commander of all special operations activities for the African AOR. However, unlike most of his peers Losey’s time didn’t start at the Naval Academy or even a navy ROTC program. Rather this Tacoma, Washington native started his military career at the United States Air Force Academy. Following his 1983 graduation he made his way to the Navy and Basic Underwater Demolition / SEAL School. Later Losey was assigned to a series of commands that have uniquely qualified him for his current responsibilities.
Having been operationally assigned to nearly every facet of the NSW community including SEAL Delivery Vehicle (SDV) Teams, Special Boat’s and Naval Special Warfare Development Group has given Losey an understanding on what he can realistically expect from each and every component. Likewise his staff assignments reflect an equal mixture of experience. Be it from his time with the Navy Fleet to the Executive Office of the President, where he served as a director on the National Security Council Staff for two administrations. Losey’s understanding of interagency and multinational partnerships will prove key as the Defense Department tries to accomplish more with less. Diversity is certainly something the SEALs rely on but it is also the United States Special Operations Command needs as they move into a less visible but equally impacting role in protecting America’s citizens.