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Navy SEAL Commander Mark McGinnis applies the elite special operation force’s training and execution techniques to your organization. The highly decorated officer and riveting speaker draws simple yet effective leadership and team building lessons from 17 years of Special Operations experience and over 400 missions with zero mishaps.

Commander McGinnis frequently operated in the world’s most hostile and challenging circumstances. As a leader, he was responsible not only for his teams’ successes, but their lives as well, taking men and women into battlefields, war zones, and other volatile situations. He and his team executed numerous counter drug initiatives throughout the Caribbean, Central America, and South America in the early 2000s. From 2004 to 2006, he oversaw multiple missions in Iraq and Afghanistan. Additionally, he has served several deployments in northeast Asia as well as the Pacific Rim countries.

Upon completing his last tour of duty, Commander McGinnis joined Genzyme Biosurgery where he was promoted to regional sales director. His positions in both the business world and the Navy SEALS have equipped him with the unique ability to translate his experience from one to the other. Since 2012, he has served as the managing director of the SEAL Legacy Foundation, a non-profit organization that provides assistance to families of wounded and fallen Navy SEALS.

Full Profile

Navy SEALS are the elite of the Special Operations Forces — the most highly trained and dedicated forces in the global special operations community – undertaking the toughest physical and mental training in preparation for dangerous missions into enemy territory. Commander McGinnis will take you through the process of attaining this elite status — including the aptly-named “Hell Week” when soldiers are pushed to the physical, mental and emotional limits, often on less than four hours sleep.

Mark successfully completed this training, and went on to lead more than 400 SEAL operators through real world operations and training evolutions with zero mishaps. He has completed numerous deployments and operations throughout the Caribbean, Central and South America, North East Asia, the Pacific Rim countries, Iraq and Afghanistan. He truly understands the term “leadership in challenging times” and how to translate his training and experiences to his civilian career.

Born in Monroe, North Carolina, in 1969 Commander Mark N McGinnis attended the United States Naval Academy. After graduating from USNA in 1993 with a Bachelor of Science degree, he served in the U.S. Marines as a Quality Assurance Officer. Three years later, Mark felt duty-bound to fulfill his lifelong dream of becoming a U.S. Navy SEAL, and in 1996 became one of only four Marine Officers in history to be awarded an inter-service transfer to the U.S. Navy Seals.

As a Lieutenant Junior Grade, Mark served as Class Leader for Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL Training Class 212 and after graduation was assigned to SEAL Team FIVE in San Diego, California (1996-2000). At ST-5, Mark served in a variety of positions, leading his team through numerous deployments throughout North East Asia and the Pacific. After his successful tour of duty at ST-5, he was selected to serve at SEAL Team FOUR in Virginia Beach, Virginia (2000-2002) where he completed numerous deployments and operations in support of counter narcotics and counter drug initiatives throughout the Caribbean, as well as Central and South America.

In May 2002, Lieutenant McGinnis separated from active duty and embarked on a career as a Biosurgical Sales Specialist for Genzyme Biosurgery. Meanwhile, while serving in the reserves, Mark received the rank of Lieutenant Commander at Supervisor Diving and Salvage. Two years later, Mark put his civilian career on hold when he was once again asked to serve his country.

LCDR McGinnis was assigned to the Special Operations Command Center in Tampa Florida (2004-2006) where he completed numerous deployments in support of Operations Noble Eagle, Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom. During his career as a SEAL officer, Mark has earned the reputation of “Top Operator” and proudly led more than 400 SEAL operators through numerous real world and training evolutions with zero mishaps. In May of 2009, Mark received the rank of Commander.

After completing his tour of duty at SOCCENT, Commander McGinnis re-joined Genzyme Biosurgery where he was soon after promoted to the position of Regional Sales Director.

Mark continues to proudly serve in the U.S. Naval Reserves and lives in Austin, Texas with his wife Patty and his children, Reagan and Kellan.


Mark McGinnis Speaker Videos Back to top

Mark McGinnis, Navy SEALS commander: Speaker Intro


Navy seal Mark McGinnis touches on the principles conveyed in the elite force’s training that make the difference between life and death as well as success or failure. These principles have been proven time and time again as they’ve guided over 50 years of combat, not to mention the most dangerous missions in history.

“Our missions start when other special operation forces say, ‘We can’t do that. It’s outside of our capabilities,’” Commander McGinnis hints at the level of performance SEALs must achieve. However, the principles that make this possible are not limited to special ops teams. The former Navy SEAL leader specializes in bringing “these simple, yet extremely effective principles” to businesses, athletic teams, and other groups so that they can transform their performance “from good to great.”

Mark McGinnis Puts the University of Utah Basketball Team through Hell Week



Speeches / Speaking Engagements Back to top


Commander McGinnis has successfully led teams in the most high-stakes situations imaginable. Listed by meeting professionals as one of the single best speakers they’ve heard in the past few years, his message sticks with audiences long after your event. The former Navy SEAL trainer has wowed corporate audiences with his talent for relating his experiences and Special Ops principles to the business world.

Interweaving stories from the notorious “Hell Week” training as well as the field of duty, Commander McGinnis shows groups how they can foster a culture of focus, mental toughness, and belief that they can perform at world-class levels. Audiences have been so gripped by Commander McGinnis’ content and delivery that the Q&A portion following his keynote has been known to go as long as 90 minutes.

    Afterburner Black Ops
    Afterburner Black Ops provides experiential, high-impact team building seminars and workshops led by U.S. Navy SEALs, 160th SOAR and other Special Forces and Special Operations team members who utilize real-world mission examples to train your corporate teams to close execution gaps, improve performance and drive accountability.

    The Black Ops corporate team building program will train your teams in the zero-tolerance-for-error Flawless Execution℠ methodology developed by James D. Murphy, CEO and founder of Afterburner Incorporated. Murphy, a U.S. Air Force fighter pilot, founded Afterburner in 1996, after he realized that the zero-tolerance-for-error tools used in the world of military aviation could benefit and revolutionize the way many companies do business. Murphy, in tandem with key Afterburner personnel, developed the "Flawless Execution" model by combining real-life business experiences with strategic and tactical military processes to create a powerful methodology designed to teach clients how to execute and win in any business scenario.

    Special Operations Team Building Seminars
    Over 1.5 million managers and executives have been trained in the Flawless Execution℠ continuous improvement process through a variety of experiential team building seminars, keynote speeches and workshops. Since its launch, Afterburner has been featured twice in Inc. Magazine′s "Inc. 500 List of America′s Fastest Growing Companies," with appearances in a variety of publications, including Newsweek, The Wall Street Journal, Business Week, Financial Times and Meetings and Conventions Magazine. The company has also appeared on Fox News, CNN, CNBC and Bloomberg News. Murphy has also authored two books, Business Is Combat and Flawless Execution, the former of which is in its third printing, and has shared the podium with notable speakers such as Bill Clinton, Condoleezza Rice and Colin Powell.

    Afterburner has since expanded its global presence by opening up offices in Canada, Europe, Australia and Asia, and the company has executed its services in over 34 countries. Today, Afterburner is considered the world′s leading authority on organization execution, with an impressive client list that includes 23% of the U.S. Fortune 500 as well as numerous global 1000 companies who benefit from the company′s unique experiential workshops and keynote seminars.



Mark McGinnis Speaker Testimonials Back to top

“Commander Mark McGinnis has made a major contribution in the development of culture in our Golf Program at the University of Houston. Mark helped our guys paint a picture of who we are, who we want to become, and how to get there. Mark’s track record, life experiences, and verbal delivery is second to none.

Seal Leadership is something that any team, business, or organization can benefit from. His ability to relate the fundamentals of leadership along with Navy Seals applications will have you wanting to earn your Trident every day!”
- Jonathan Dismuke Head Golf Coach University of Houston

“Many times, you hear a motivational speaker and the message goes in one ear and out the other by the next day. Mark McGinnis’ message goes in one ear and stops directly at your heart… It becomes part of your lifeline. Quite simply, it’s amazing and inspiring. If you are FOCUSED on improving the play of your team or of yourself then let Mark show you how simple it all is. He’s a big time Leader with a big time message that is important for everyone! It will change lives. ”
- Billy Lange Assoc. Head Men’s Basketball Coach Villanova University

“I was very fortunate to be a part of Mark McGinnis’s presentation on leadership to our men’s golf team at St. Edward’s University. With his background of being a student athlete at the Naval Academy, his time in the marines, and being a Navy Seal he brings instant credibility to any group. He has led men on the gridiron and into battlegrounds and his passion and knowledge for leadership comes through within five minutes of meeting him. I believe his message is desperately needed in today’s society. His message will help you to truly build a TEAM by giving you tools to help you put the good of the team in front of the individual. Mark has lived it!! I am definitely going to have Mark come back to St. Edward’s and deliver his message to our men’s basketball team”.
- Andre Cook Head Men’s Basketball Coach St. Edward’s University

“I recently had the opportunity to hear Commander McGinnis address a group of area CEO’s and community leaders on leadership the SEAL way. I found his remarks to be captivating and most interesting, and his translation of the leadership principles he learned as a SEAL to business and civilian life was spot-on. I look forward to having Commander McGinnis speak to my leadership team at St. David’s North Austin Medical Center”.
- Donald H. Wilkerson, FACHE Chief Executive Officer St. David’s North Austin Medical Center

“Mark recently gave a talk at an event my company hosted for over 60 athletic directors from major college athletic departments around the country. Mark discussed leading in challenging times and right off the bat, he grabbed hold of the audience’s attention and had them for the entire presentation. Mark’s message on leadership was simple and focused. His delivery was amazing. He broke down his message into easy, simple terms that everyone could learn and apply. Everyone loved how he wove in personal experiences and stories – they were incredibly entertaining and very impactful.

One of the biggest testaments was the audience’s engagement – Mark’s presentation started at 6:30, finished at 7:30 and had Q&A that lasted nearly 90 minutes. I am still getting “thanks” from the attendees. In fact, a number of those AD’s are asking for Mark’s information to have him come in and speak to their staff and students.

Personally, I appreciated the professionalism Mark exhibited in his preparation as well as his delivery at the event. His attention to detail was outstanding – he took the time to understand our company’s interests for hosting the event and what we were expecting to get out of the evening. Mark is a bright, intuitive guy that weaved our corporate message in beautifully. Nothing was over the top – it never felt like an infomercial on Game Theory. Mark made the event easy and incredibly successful.”
- Vin McCaffrey Game Theory Group International




* Please note that while this speaker’s specific speaking fee falls within the range posted above (for Continental U.S. based events), fees are subject to change. For current fee information or international event fees (which are generally 50-75% more than U.S based event fees), please contact us.

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“Commander Mark McGinnis has made a major contribution in the development of culture in our Golf Program at the University of Houston. Mark helped our guys paint a picture of who we are, who we want to become, and how to get there. Mark’s track record, life experiences, and verbal delivery is second to none.

Seal Leadership is something that any team, business, or organization can benefit from. His ability to relate the fundamentals of leadership along with Navy Seals applications will have you wanting to earn your Trident every day!”
- Jonathan Dismuke Head Golf Coach University of Houston

“Many times, you hear a motivational speaker and the message goes in one ear and out the other by the next day. Mark McGinnis’ message goes in one ear and stops directly at your heart… It becomes part of your lifeline. Quite simply, it’s amazing and inspiring. If you are FOCUSED on improving the play of your team or of yourself then let Mark show you how simple it all is. He’s a big time Leader with a big time message that is important for everyone! It will change lives. ”
- Billy Lange Assoc. Head Men’s Basketball Coach Villanova University

“I was very fortunate to be a part of Mark McGinnis’s presentation on leadership to our men’s golf team at St. Edward’s University. With his background of being a student athlete at the Naval Academy, his time in the marines, and being a Navy Seal he brings instant credibility to any group. He has led men on the gridiron and into battlegrounds and his passion and knowledge for leadership comes through within five minutes of meeting him. I believe his message is desperately needed in today’s society. His message will help you to truly build a TEAM by giving you tools to help you put the good of the team in front of the individual. Mark has lived it!! I am definitely going to have Mark come back to St. Edward’s and deliver his message to our men’s basketball team”.
- Andre Cook Head Men’s Basketball Coach St. Edward’s University

“I recently had the opportunity to hear Commander McGinnis address a group of area CEO’s and community leaders on leadership the SEAL way. I found his remarks to be captivating and most interesting, and his translation of the leadership principles he learned as a SEAL to business and civilian life was spot-on. I look forward to having Commander McGinnis speak to my leadership team at St. David’s North Austin Medical Center”.
- Donald H. Wilkerson, FACHE Chief Executive Officer St. David’s North Austin Medical Center

“Mark recently gave a talk at an event my company hosted for over 60 athletic directors from major college athletic departments around the country. Mark discussed leading in challenging times and right off the bat, he grabbed hold of the audience’s attention and had them for the entire presentation. Mark’s message on leadership was simple and focused. His delivery was amazing. He broke down his message into easy, simple terms that everyone could learn and apply. Everyone loved how he wove in personal experiences and stories – they were incredibly entertaining and very impactful.

One of the biggest testaments was the audience’s engagement – Mark’s presentation started at 6:30, finished at 7:30 and had Q&A that lasted nearly 90 minutes. I am still getting “thanks” from the attendees. In fact, a number of those AD’s are asking for Mark’s information to have him come in and speak to their staff and students.

Personally, I appreciated the professionalism Mark exhibited in his preparation as well as his delivery at the event. His attention to detail was outstanding – he took the time to understand our company’s interests for hosting the event and what we were expecting to get out of the evening. Mark is a bright, intuitive guy that weaved our corporate message in beautifully. Nothing was over the top – it never felt like an infomercial on Game Theory. Mark made the event easy and incredibly successful.”
- Vin McCaffrey Game Theory Group International


    Afterburner Black Ops
    Afterburner Black Ops provides experiential, high-impact team building seminars and workshops led by U.S. Navy SEALs, 160th SOAR and other Special Forces and Special Operations team members who utilize real-world mission examples to train your corporate teams to close execution gaps, improve performance and drive accountability.

    The Black Ops corporate team building program will train your teams in the zero-tolerance-for-error Flawless Execution℠ methodology developed by James D. Murphy, CEO and founder of Afterburner Incorporated. Murphy, a U.S. Air Force fighter pilot, founded Afterburner in 1996, after he realized that the zero-tolerance-for-error tools used in the world of military aviation could benefit and revolutionize the way many companies do business. Murphy, in tandem with key Afterburner personnel, developed the "Flawless Execution" model by combining real-life business experiences with strategic and tactical military processes to create a powerful methodology designed to teach clients how to execute and win in any business scenario.

    Special Operations Team Building Seminars
    Over 1.5 million managers and executives have been trained in the Flawless Execution℠ continuous improvement process through a variety of experiential team building seminars, keynote speeches and workshops. Since its launch, Afterburner has been featured twice in Inc. Magazine′s "Inc. 500 List of America′s Fastest Growing Companies," with appearances in a variety of publications, including Newsweek, The Wall Street Journal, Business Week, Financial Times and Meetings and Conventions Magazine. The company has also appeared on Fox News, CNN, CNBC and Bloomberg News. Murphy has also authored two books, Business Is Combat and Flawless Execution, the former of which is in its third printing, and has shared the podium with notable speakers such as Bill Clinton, Condoleezza Rice and Colin Powell.

    Afterburner has since expanded its global presence by opening up offices in Canada, Europe, Australia and Asia, and the company has executed its services in over 34 countries. Today, Afterburner is considered the world′s leading authority on organization execution, with an impressive client list that includes 23% of the U.S. Fortune 500 as well as numerous global 1000 companies who benefit from the company′s unique experiential workshops and keynote seminars.


Mark McGinnis, Navy SEALS commander: Speaker Intro


Navy seal Mark McGinnis touches on the principles conveyed in the elite force’s training that make the difference between life and death as well as success or failure. These principles have been proven time and time again as they’ve guided over 50 years of combat, not to mention the most dangerous missions in history.

“Our missions start when other special operation forces say, ‘We can’t do that. It’s outside of our capabilities,’” Commander McGinnis hints at the level of performance SEALs must achieve. However, the principles that make this possible are not limited to special ops teams. The former Navy SEAL leader specializes in bringing “these simple, yet extremely effective principles” to businesses, athletic teams, and other groups so that they can transform their performance “from good to great.”

Mark McGinnis Puts the University of Utah Basketball Team through Hell Week