‘NCIS’ Star Mark Harmon Said Admiral William H. McRaven’s Ten Virtues Are ‘a Guide’

by Suzanne Halliburton

NCIS star Mark Harmon was all sorts of impressed when he had the opportunity to interview retired Admiral William McRaven, the man who commanded the raid for Osama bin Laden.

Especially, Harmon lauded McRaven for a commencement speech he gave seven years ago for the graduating class of the University of Texas. McRaven is a UT grad and in 2015, he became chancellor of the UT system.

Harmon and McRaven did an online Q&A for Live Talks-Los Angeles, April 29. Harmon conducted the interview. On TV, He plays a former Marine sniper who commands an NCIS team. McRaven, in real life, was a former SEAL and four-star admiral. He recently completed the book “The Hero Code: Lessons Learned from Lives Well Lived.”

It had a genesis in the commencement speech McRaven gave. And truthfully, the 10 rules McRaven spelled out sounded a lot like something Gibbs would say on NCIS. Gibbs lives by rules that he writes down and keeps in a tin in his home. Meanwhile, McRaven called his the 10 life lessons he learned from his SEAL basic training.

Here’s What the NCIS Star Told the Admiral

Harmon told McRaven:

“These individual stories that you’ve talked about since 2014, the way you turned that, so interests me because I can learn so much from you for sure. I find that you have the ability to teach in what you are writing about. But at the same time, you are doing things that not normal people do. I can think of so many stories and that’s part of reading your book.

“I find myself telling other people what you wrote because something they’ve said is something you’ve made a point about. And that’s true in this book. You have these 10 virtues that you’ve done chapter headings with. I see that as such a guide. And it reminds me so much of a man I knew earlier in my life who was a remarkable teacher for me… I think you have that same gift. “

And here are the McRaven rules that the NCIS star loves:

1. If you want to change the world, start off by making your bed.

2. If you want to change the world, find someone to help you paddle.

3. If you want to change the world, measure a person by the size of their heart, not the size of their flippers.

4. If you want to change the world get over being a sugar cookie and keep moving forward. (When a SEAL flunks a uniform inspection, he has to run, fully clothed, into the surf. Then he must roll in the sand til his uniform is covered. That’s a sugar cookie. The SEAL must stay in the wet, sandy uniform all day).

Do These Sound Like Something Gibbs Would Say?

5. If you want to change the world, don’t be afraid of the circuses.

6. If you want to change the world sometimes you have to slide down the obstacle head first.

7. If you want to change the world, don’t back down from the sharks.

8. If you want to change the world, you must be your very best in the darkest moment.

9. If you want to change the world, start singing when you’re up to your neck in mud.

10. If you want to change the world don’t ever, ever ring the bell. (For reference, when a SEAL rings a bell, it means he quit).