After-Action Report: RVM #44 with Jon Macaskill

Many thanks to Jon Macaskill (@jonmacaskill, USNA ’01) for his presentation tonight! This was definitely one we are going to remember.

Nominally, Jon’s topics were mindfulness and meditation:

  • What are they, exactly?
  • How do they fit into the life of a warfighter?
  • What’s a practical point of entry into that space?

These questions are Jon’s professional bread and butter: his consultancy introduces mindfulness and meditation to individuals and organizations in order to maximize their effectiveness and well-being. Lots more to come in the Subscriber Content area once we extract all the resources mentioned in the call!

But Jon took us a giant step beyond the topic, and dug into why he cares about it.

Jon was in BUD/S pre-training on the morning of 11 September, 2001. He and his fellow SEAL candidates understood immediately—and then had explained to them in no uncertain terms—that whatever they might have expected from their Special Warfare careers, they were about to see a lot more of it.

True words.

Jon shared his experience on the radio with fellow SEAL LT Mike Murphy in the last few seconds of Murphy’s life, during the 2005 events related in the 2013 movie Lone Survivor. He detailed the personal toll of twenty years of nearly continuous combat operations, and explained how a daily mindfulness practice was able to bring him peace and closure in a way that medication and therapy on their own could not. And we heard our own Dr. Bob Adams (@drbobmd, USNA ’73)—fellow SEAL, former Command Surgeon to Delta Force, and no stranger to the battlefield—address Jon as one of HIS personal heroes.

It was that kind of Meetup.

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