Jocko Willink led SEAL Team 3’s Task Unit Bruiser in Iraq during the 2006 Battle of Ramadi, before retiring from the military as a commander in 2010 after 20 years of service. Since then, he's earned his keep as a motivational speaker, host of a self-named podcast, a nonfiction author whose third book, Discipline Equals Freedom, went on sale Oct. 17.
25-year-old Marine 1st Lt. David Russell wasn’t expecting a fight in the moments before the battle that’d ultimately earn him the military’s third-highest award for valor. In fact, he was shaving his face when the first grenade exploded just beyond the wall of sandbags that stood between his platoon’s command-and-control building and the embattled streets of Ramadi, where hit-and-run attacks on American troops frequently occurred. But the sound of heavy-machine gunfire told Russell this attack was of a different nature. The enemy was determined, and close.