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Admiral Smith teaches NAA to think like Navy SEALs

Rear Admiral, U.S. Navy (Ret.) Navy SEAL Commander Ray Smith

NADI, FIJI – Rear Admiral, U.S. Navy (Ret.) Navy SEAL Commander Ray Smith joined a contingent of National Agents Alliance agents Sept. 11-16 during their trip to the Intercontinental Golf and Spa Resort to lead a training exercise called, “Think Like a Navy SEAL.”

More than 250 people participated in the two-hour training with Smith, who was a Navy SEAL for 31 years and was Commander of the 2,300-man SEAL force before retiring in 2000. The game was designed to prepare people to deal with stress – physically, mentally and emotionally.

“It was about doing more than one thing at a time,” Smith said. “It was using your body, your brain and thinking while doing both physical and mental challenges. Both the Marines and Navy SEALs do this.”

Attendees were split into teams based simply on their first name, and Smith briefed the group before the exercise began.

Each team chose one person to spend several minutes reviewing an assortment of 21 items. That person then shared what he/she saw with the rest of their teammates. Smith then led all the teams through a series of 26 exercises like push-ups, sit-ups, jumping jacks, leg lifts, etc. In the middle of the exercises, the person that viewed the items before was allowed another couple of minutes to study the items again. After that, each team walked, jogged or ran roughly 1 mile down Natadola Beach before coming back to the Meke Lawn at the Intercontinental Fiji Resort.

At that point, each team passed a tennis ball around 12 times before selecting one person to write down the items with descriptions of each on a sheet of paper. After four minutes, three additional team members took that list and added to it.

Smith took this information and scored each team. Team Frogmen took first place and received Fijian wooden turtles, a symbol of good luck, for its efforts. Team members were: Richard Pipes, Richard Johnson, Robert Falter, Robert Bowers, Roland Kljunich, Ryan Phelps, Sabrina Molden, Sarah Myer, Scott Myer, Shawn Burt, Sheryl Lardie, Shirley Fleming, and Stephen Davies.

“Admiral Smith was the real deal and he didn’t mess around with us,” NAA President and CEO Andy Albright said. “He tested us physically and mentally, and really pushed some of our people father than they probably realized they could go. It was a lot of fun and I think our group enjoyed getting to know Admiral Smith a little better.”

Smith, who spoke to National Agents Alliance during the Foresters business meeting earlier in the week, gives 20 presentations annually, but had particularly high praise for NAA.

“There’s no question you are by far the most enthusiastic group I’ve ever seen,” Smith said. “You rank right up there, I don’t know anybody that has that much spirit, that much camaraderie and that much teamwork … working together. I watched that just like what we have in the Navy SEALs. We talked about swim buddies in my speech and I saw a lot of swim buddies out there. I don’t know that I’ve ran across a more enthusiastic team willing to challenge themselves. I’ve seen a couple that were pretty good, but this one took the cake. There were 250 people out there all putting out.”

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