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Uncommon Grit, with a Navy Seal Photographer

In this episode, I chat with Darren McBurnett (U.S. Navy SEAL, Ret.). He’s a combat veteran, professional photographer, author, ambassador, and motivational speaker. Darren takes us behind the scenes into how and why he photographed the elite SEAL training program, BUD/S, in Coronado, California. We discuss his photographic “trial by fire” education, and we get a glimpse into the world of photographing the forging of the elite U.S. Navy Seals.

The Uncommon Grit official website.
The Uncommon Grit book on Amazon.


Darren McBurnett (U.S. Navy SEAL, Ret.)

Over the years, McBurnett has become an accomplished speaker and motivator, presenting to companies and groups including CDW, AIG, Budweiser, Rite-Aid, Founders Brewing Company, Hilton Hotels, BMO, National Quarterback Club, Arbor Pharmaceuticals, and many others. He is also an award-winning photographer, his professional portfolio including work for NIKE, National Geographic, Fox and Friends, Rolling Stone, CBS SEAL Team, and the movie “Act of Valor.”

His work has appeared on everything from album covers to billboards to walls of Fortune 500 companies and is in the homes of Charlie Sheen, Kid Rock, Jim McMahon, John Rich, Brent Burns, Roger Clemens, and John Daly. He is proud to be an ambassador for Uncommon Grit Foundation, a nonprofit he started in 2020 to assist military, first responders, and their families—those who answer the call.

McBurnett is the author of Uncommon Grit, a 224-page fine art photography book of the journey through Navy SEAL BUD/S first phase training. It’s a unique look at the military’s toughest training from the point of view of someone who has lived it. McBurnett includes descriptions of evolutions along with his sense of humor, allowing the reader to laugh, cringe, gasp, and imagine themselves participating.

His message is not only motivational and inspiring on a corporate level, but also promotes individual and personal growth—how to navigate in an ever-changing adverse environment where critical decision-making and leadership skills are absolutely vital for success. His visually breathtaking multimedia presentation highlights the untapped potential and Never Quit intestinal drive that is the cornerstone of Navy SEAL success and shares the defining characteristics that promote leadership and sacrifice in the
SEAL Teams.

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