Chriss Smith Jr., now 53 years old, was already 29 years old when he first joined the Navy. Growing up, his father brought his family all over the country as part of being in the US Air Force for 26 years. Born and raised in Kansas, he got his first job working at Mcdonald’s. It took him only 3 hours to realize working there didn’t make sense to him.
Chriss worked at Walmart for almost a decade, and moved on to Westinghouse as an engineer with a steady paying job, and a successful personal and professional life. Many people don’t believe what pushed him to become a Navy SEAL was the movie “Red Dawn.” “That movie literally changed my life,” he said. “It changed my life in a sense that I recognized that I had zero skills.”
Little did he know that statement would change his life forever.
Weighing only 130 pounds and being skinny with almost zero skills, he envisioned himself as a better individual with a stronger mentality and possessing a handful of gained skills. He just didn’t know where to start.
“You know you could give more, but you really don’t know how to give anymore because you just don’t find yourself in those adverse or harder situations,” he said. “I was looking for something to push me to figure out what I’m really made of, who I really am, and what I can give. I just need to know.”
He needed to know what he’s made of—his capabilities, his limits, and the process of overcoming those limitations, and it brought him to the very organization that would push him farther than his limits: the Navy SEAL.
Chriss worked his way through the Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL (BUDS), which is the United States Navy SEAL training and selection program. After a lot of excruciating hours of training, he failed his attempt in completing the BUDS. Desperate for change, find out how he transitioned from being a simple working man to becoming part of the most elite individuals in the world.
Watch the podcast below where Chriss talks about the extra challenges in joining the Navy SEAL and how failing the BUDS changed him for the better!
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