Military Speakers For Veterans Day Events
Leading Authorities speakers bureau represents some of the world's top military minds. From former commanders to US Navy SEAL's and top military intelligence officials, our military speakers are inspirational and provide battle-tested insights and lessons which are applicable to all industries.
Veterans Day is November 12th, and in honor of this special day, we put together a list of outstanding and admirable military veterans who have dedicated their lives to serving our country.
MILITARY SPEAKERS FOR VETERANS DAY
Here is the list of our outstanding military options to consider for your upcoming events and meetings this fall and spring:
- General Stanley McChrystal, Former Commander of US and International Forces in Afghanistan & Best-Selling Author
- Admiral Michael Rogers, Former Director, National Security Agency & Former Commander, US Cyber Command
- Director James Clapper, Former Director of National Intelligence (DNI)
- General Michael Hayden, Former Director of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) & Former Director of the National Security Agency (NSA)
- General John Allen, Former Commander of NATO & US Forces In Afghanistan
- Dakota Meyer, Medal of Honor Recipient & Author of the New York Times best-selling book, Into the Fire
- Jake Harriman, Former US Marine & Founder of Nuru International
- Charlie Linville, Former US Marine EOD (Bomb) Technician
- Michael Durant, Former Blackhawk Pilot, Prisoner of War, & The Real-Life inspiration For The Movie, Black Hawk Down
- William McNulty, Former US Marine & Co-Founder of Team Rubicon US
- Matthew “Griff” Griffin, Former US Army Ranger & Co-Founder/CEO of Combat Flip Flops
- Greg Gadson, Disabled US Army Colonel
- Michael ("Mike") Abrashoff, Former US Naval Commander & Best-Selling Author of the Book, It's Your Ship
- General James Conway, Four-Star General & 34th Commandant of the US Marine Corps
- Lisa Jaster, US Army Ranger, Leadership & Peak Performance Expert
- General Ann Dunwoody, 1st Female Four-Star General, Retired Commander of US Army Materiel Command, & Author
- Colonel Nicole Malachowski, 1st Female Thunderbird Pilot, Combat Veteran, & Fighter Squadron Commander
- Vernice “FlyGirl” Armour, 1st African American Female Combat Pilot
- Melissa Stockwell, Former US Army 1st Lieutenant, World Champion Triathlete, & 2016 Paralympic Bronze Medalist
- Carey "Vixen" Lohrenz, World’s 1st Female F-14 Tomcat Fighter Pilot
- Chris Fussell, Former US Navy SEAL, Managing Partner at The McChrystal Group Leadership Institute, & Author
- Scott Moore, Former US Navy SEAL Leader & Author
- Robert O’Neill, Former SEAL Team Six Leader & New York Times Best-Selling Author
- Kristin Beck, 1st Transgender US Navy SEAL & Decorated Civil Rights Activist
- Commander David Sears, Former US Navy SEAL
- Darren McBurnett, Former US Navy SEAL, Managing Partner at The McChrystal Group Leadership Institute, & Author
- Jeff Eggers, Former US Navy SEAL, Executive Director at The McChrystal Group Leadership Institute, & Author
- Alden Mills, Former US Navy SEAL Team Leader & Author
- Curt Cronin, Former US Navy SEAL & Leadership Keynote Speaker
- David Silverman, Former US Navy SEAL & Leadership Keynote Speaker
Keep reading to learn more about each of these incredible military leaders and war veterans and click on the links below to navigate to each of their individual speaker profile pages and find out more about their military experience, accomplishments and rewards, areas of focus, and their speaking topics.
Former Commander of US and International Forces in Afghanistan & New York Times Best-Selling Author
The former commander of I and international forces in Afghanistan and the former leader of Joint Special Operations Command, McChrystal led the military’s most sensitive forces and revolutionized the way military agencies interact. Top-reviewed TED leadership speaker, General Stanley McChrystal inspires your team to bring their best selves to work every day. From his charismatic presence and easy command of the room to his dedication to events (meticulous testing of A/V equipment, highly-personalized anecdotes, willingness to attend dinners), McChrystal delivers 110%. His insights include leading by influence, relentless mission focus, and sharing a clear vision. If you are planning for 2018 leadership meetings aimed at increasing adaptability, building momentum, or crafting a new team of empowered leaders, General McChrystal is a top recommendation. | See more on General McChrystal here.
Former Director, National Security Agency & Former Commander, US Cyber Command
Michael Rogers is uniquely qualified to offer insight into the intelligence challenges facing the United States. He has served as Director of the NSA, chief of Central Security Service, and as Commander of US Cyber Command. He is a former Harvard Senior Executive in National Security and has served as an MIT technology seminar fellow. He has served in senior intelligence roles during the Snowden leaks and Russian election interference, directly working with President Obama and President Trump. With more than thirty years in the military, most of which spent as an expert in cryptology and intelligence, Michael offers clients a vast array of knowledge and unmatched vision on the threats we face. He has gone above and beyond at each step in his career and is ready to share his expertise. | See more on Adm. Michael Rogers here.
Former Director of National Intelligence
Jim Clapper is widely renown as one of our nation’s foremost minds on intelligence. He served as the Director of National Intelligence from 2010 to 2017 under President Obama. He oversaw over 200,000 employees, the CIA, the FBI, and NSA. He was in the situation room during the infamous raid that captured Osama Bin Laden. As an active duty member of the military he saw two tours in Southeast Asia with 73 combat support missions logged and earned the rank of Lieutenant General in the Air Force. Known for his straight forward style, Director Clapper has become a go-to keynote speaker and frequent panel contributor. He has earned numerous military honors and defense community distinctions. His wisdom has earned him frequent appearances on cable news outlets as an expert on intelligence and national security. His service to this nation has become iconic. | See more on Director Clapper here.
Former Director of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) & Former Director of the National Security Agency (NSA)
Few have the perspective on the ever-evolving list of threats we face around the world than Michael Hayden. He is a retired four-star Air Force General who has seen firsthand the challenges our intelligence community faces. He has served as the director of both the CIA and the NSA and worked directly alongside President Clinton and President George W. Bush. | See more on General Hayden here.
Former Commander of NATO & US Forces In Afghanistan
Personally appointed by President Obama as the first American to the Global Coalition to Counter ISIL, he is a fresh and thoughtful thinker on what’s happening in the world. What Gen. Allen does so well is translate how security challenges will likely play out while captivating audiences with powerful stories from his time leading the military. If your group is concerned with the major trends and power competitions that will influence business over the next generation, Gen. Allen offers an incredibly in-depth and thought-provoking speech that can also be hosted as a fireside chat with a CEO or a panel discussion. We highly recommend Gen. Allen for his professionalism, charisma, and ability to translate major issues into day-to-day takeaways for executive meetings.
Medal of Honor Recipient & New York Times Best-Selling Author of The Book, Into the Fire
Sergeant Dakota L. Meyer is a United States Marine Corps veteran and recipient of the military’s highest honor, the Medal of Honor. He is the New York Times best-selling author of the book, Into the Fire: A Firsthand Account of the Most Extraordinary Battle in the Afghan War. After risking his own life to provide cover for more than 30 soldiers during a battle in Afghanistan, Dakota Meyer was the first living US Marine to receive the Medal of Honor since 1973. His motivational talk draws on incredible stories and vivid visuals to energize audiences and impart lasting life lessons. In his presentations, he addresses inspiration, motivation, courage, leadership, believing in yourself, doing what is right, seizing opportunity, and what happened that day in Afghanistan. Meyer is a successful entrepreneur who also currently serves in the Individual Ready Reserve of the US Marine Corps Reserve.
Former US Marine & Founder of Nuru International
A visionary and innovator whose new approach to leadership has been recognized by the White House and the Dalai Lama, Jake Harriman’s story will make you want to get up and do something. He’s a former Marine Commander who founded a unique non-profit aimed at ending extreme poverty in war-torn areas. founded Nuru International, a non-profit dedicated to stopping the root of extremism abroad in war-torn areas: Poverty, after serving multiple tours in the Middle East, Africa, and Asia. He developed a new hybrid model for NGOs while getting his MBA at Stanford, and inspires audiences with his incredible story of blending teamwork and innovative ideas to solve pressing problems. Run by fellow former Special Ops officers, Nuru International worked with the Obama White House to set up a new outpost in Boko Haram territory in Nigeria. Jake has combined his service as a Marine with principles learned in Grad school at Stanford to create an NGO that is committed to creating opportunities and local leadership in the world’s poorest communities. Jake talks about servant leadership, empowering a new generation of leaders, and restoring great American leadership.
Former US Marine EOD (Bomb) Technician
Injured by a concealed IED while conducting a post-blast site sweep in Afghanistan, former US Marine, Charlie Linville, refused to be bound by his circumstances. His moving talk encourages audiences to stop saying “I can’t” and take the first step toward their goal—today. Charlie continues to challenge himself and defy the odds stacked up against him to this day. He was even the first combat-wounded veteran to summit Mount Everest.
Former Blackhawk Pilot, Prisoner of War, & The Real-Life inspiration For The Movie, Black Hawk Down
Michael Durant was the pilot of Black Hawk helicopter Super Six Four that was fired upon and subsequently brought down during a combat operation in Mogadishu, Somalia, on October 3, 1993. Durant is a recipient of the Distinguished Service Medal, Bronze Star with Valor, Purple Heart, POW Medal, and has received many other prestigious awards and recognition. Durant's story is the subject of an acclaimed book and a major motion picture, Black Hawk Down. He tells the story of how he was overrun, captured, and held prisoner for 11 days after being shot down and a engaging in a horrific street battle. In keynote talks. Durant shares insights on surviving adversity, courage, leadership, growth, and adaptation.
Former US Marine & Co-Founder of Team Rubicon US
Team Rubicon US deploys teams of military veterans in response to natural disasters (and is now requested globally by name by first responders—on par with the Red Cross). William McNulty has led response teams in the aftermath of the decade’s worst disasters including Hurricanes Harvey and Irma. His talks are all about unlocking potential, building a purpose-driven culture, and turning challenges into opportunities. Before founding Team Rubicon, McNulty served for nine years in both the infantry and intelligence, and worked for the Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence, the Defense Intelligence Agency, and the National Security Council’s Iraq Threat Finance Cell. McNulty currently serves on the Board of Directors of Airlink Flight, Team Rubicon Australia, Team Rubicon Canada, Team Rubicon Norway, Team Rubicon UK, Team Rubicon USA, Team Rubicon Global, and the Advisory Board of the Truman National Security Project. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.
Former US Army Ranger & Co-founder/CEO of Combat Flip Flops
Matthew Griffin is a former member of the elite Army Special Operation Forces and the co-founder and CEO of Combat Flip Flops. Known for his moving TEDx talk and his successful appearance on ABC's hit show, Shark Tank—where he secured a deal with three sharks including Mark Cuban—he talks about why running a purpose-driven business is “harder and takes longer” but ultimately worth it because of the people they attract and the amount of good they are able to do.
Disabled US Army Colonel
Lieutenant Colonel Greg Gadson is a retired colonel in the United States Army and the former garrison commander of the US Army Fort Belvoir. He is also a bilateral above-the-knee amputee, a New York Giants honorary captain, an occasional actor, and a motivational speaker. Greg has survived the very worst of war, but this highly decorated American soldier has not been defeated by unfortunate circumstance; instead, his life is a portrait of courage in the face of great adversity. Gadson understands that hard work and determination are key factors in overcoming life-altering setbacks. His biggest challenge happened in Iraq when an IED attack led to both of his legs being amputated above the knees. For anyone else, this might have been a defining moment, but he refused to be defined by the proverbial "hail of bullets." Gadson speaks with fervor about the crucial role teamwork and camaraderie play when facing life's obstacles. He applies his story of personal adversity to every level of an organization, showing how every team depends on every one of its players. The lessons he imparts are not just words; his life was saved by the application of these same lessons. As an Army commander, he has been responsible for the lives of his men, and thanks to the training, preparedness, and professionalism he teaches and practices--his life was saved by those same men. Perhaps no one understands the value of teamwork better than Lieutenant Colonel Greg Gadson.
Former US Naval Commander & Best-Selling Author of the Book, It's Your Ship
Michael ("Mike") Abrashoff is a former Commander of the USS Benfold and author of the best-selling book, It’s Your Ship. By sharing his personal stories about the leadership lessons he learned while transforming an underperforming Naval war ship into one of the top ships in the fleet—all without personnel turnover, he challenges and inspires audiences to rethink their beliefs about leadership and organizational culture. Warm, fun, candid, and boisterous, he addresses achieving peak performance, turnaround stories, and putting the leadership roadmap to work. His powerful talks are tailored to suit: Improve engagement, execution, leadership skills, teamwork, innovation, and more.
Four-Star General & 34th Commandant of the US Marine Corps
General James Conway is a retired four-star general and the 34th Commandant of the United States Marine Corps. One of the nation’s most highly-decorated Marine generals, he has led troops all over the world and has earned an impressive record of military achievement. Commandant Gen. Mike Hagee said Conway is a “superb, multi-talented leader who has proven he can do it all, on and off the battlefield.” Conway is a dynamic, powerful speaker who impresses audiences with leadership lessons learned from the field. His commanding presence and personal anecdotes make him an instantly memorable speaker as he addresses leadership, team building, crisis management, US challenges five to ten years out, and the military’s energy sources in the field.
US Army Ranger, Leadership & Peak Performance Expert
Lisa Jaster is a prime example of the power of persistence. At age 37, she left a highly successful career in engineering working at Shell Oil to pursue becoming an Army Ranger. Embarking on one of the military's most grueling programs and putting herself through intense training gives her unique perspective on the meaning of dedication. After numerous setbacks she finally received the distinction of Army Ranger and engaged in a seven-year active duty career that saw tours in Iraq and Afghanistan. Best embodied by her saying “there is no quitting” Lisa is a true testament to how far commitment can take you.
1st Female Four-Star General, Retired Commander of US Army Materiel Command, & Author
General Annn Dunwoody led the US Army Material Command and is our nation’s first female four-star general. She is widely renown as one of the military’s most talented logistical experts and has been a leader and trail blazer at each step in her career. She became the first woman to lead a battalion, has overseen budgets of $60 billion, led over 60,000 Army employees across 145 countries, managed the entire Army supply chain in Iraq and Afghanistan, and became the Army’s first female named General Officer of Fort Bragg. She was awarded her fourth star in 2008 and then she wrote the book, A Higher Standard: Leadership Strategies from America’s First Female Four Star General. Dunwoody is an expert in leadership, management, communications, and logistics. She has broken down barriers and continues to inspire others with her amazing story.
1st Female Thunderbird Pilot, Combat Veteran, & Fighter Squadron Commander
Colonel Nicole Malachowski an unmistakable leader for women in the armed services and continues to inspire people with her journey. She became the first woman pilot on the Thunderbirds Air Demonstration Squadron and has been inducted into the Women in Aviation International Pioneer Hall of Fame after an illustrious 21-year career. She is an Air Force Veteran and Air Force Academy graduate who has flown F-15 fighter jets into combat. With over 2,000 hours logged, 188 of which in combat, she is a distinguished leader in aviation. Her vision and accomplishments ultimately led her from the cockpit to the White House where she worked on a number of issues including mental health, employment, and veteran homelessness. Her journey was not without setbacks as she has battled a neurological tick-born illness for years and continues to educate people on the issue. She is an exciting speaker who brings energy and tremendous insight on leadership.
1st African American Female Combat Pilot
Vernice "FlyGirl" Armour went from a cop to a combat pilot in three years, the first African American woman to earn that title. Her astonishing story has earned recognition across mainstream media platforms and inspired her book, Zero to Breakthrough: The 7 Step Battle-Tested Method for Accomplishing Goals that Matter. She has served as a diversity liaison to the Pentagon, and as a member of the Comcast/ NBC Universal Joint Diversity Council. As the US Marine Corps first African American female pilot she has earned two honorary doctorates, and multiple awards as a pioneer for women everywhere. Her amazing story and rapid rise are unheard of and have provided inspiration and guidance to leaders across numerous industries. Her distinctions and extensive resume provide any organization a tremendous authority from the female military community
Former US Army 1st Lieutenant, World Champion Triathlete, & 2016 Paralympic Bronze Medalist
At first glance, Melissa Stockwell may appear to be the quintessential Mid-Western All-American girl, but she is far more. Melissa is a decorated combat veteran and American war hero who has triumphed over personal tragedy to achieve greatness, world champion status, and she has dedicated her life to chasing remarkable accomplishments while giving back to others, particularly those who face challenges similar to her own. Melissa is truly specialist in embracing adversity to create meaningful change. Upon graduating from college, Melissa was deployed to Iraq as a Second Lieutenant in the US Army. Shortly after arriving a roadside bomb caused the loss of her left leg, and she was medically retired from the Army. Following her retirement, she experienced numerous infections and complications from surgery’s repairing her wounded leg. However, these setbacks would not slow down Melissa. She received the Bronze Star Medal and the Purple Heart and was the first woman to lose a limb in active combat in Iraq. With her military service behind her she turned to sports where she competed in the 2008 and 2016 Paralympic Games in Beijing and Rio De Janeiro as a swimmer where she was able to take home a Bronze medal in 2016. In addition to the Paralympics, she competed in Paratriathlon’s where she was a three-time World Champion. Her story is one of overcoming obstacles, and always pushing yourself farther than you think you can go. She met each challenge with a burning drive to succeed and kept finding new ways to push herself past boundaries. In keynote talks, she Inspires her audiences to embrace change and find motivation in adversity while sharing her remarkable journey of leadership, perseverance, gratitude and competitive success.
World’s 1st Female F-14 Tomcat Fighter Pilot
Carey "Vixen" Lohrenz knows what it takes to win in one of the highest pressure, extreme environments imaginable: In the cockpit at Mach 2. She is uniquely qualified in the fundamentals of winning under pressure, reducing errors and overcoming obstacles. Her mastery of these fundamentals can help your team triumph in this high-risk, time crunched world. She has taken the fearlessness and tenacity that made her successful in the cockpit and used it to influence other leaders as a professional. Carey Lohrenz can kick off your conference as a keynote speaker, a business motivational speaker, and a female military speaker.
Former US Navy SEAL, Managing Partner at The McChrystal Group Leadership Institute, & Author
For events focused on transforming your culture and becoming more agile, consider Chris Fussell. Chris is a former US Navy SEAL and a managing partner at the McChrystal Group Leadership Institute. His new book, out last year, is called, One Mission: How Leaders Build a Team of Teams, which was released in 2017, providers readers with a road map for breaking down silos, increasing collaboration, skillfully implementing organizational change, and building a “team of teams.” His book was named one of the "Top 3 books on leadership" in 2017 by Strategy + Business and it was also featured on Forbes’ summer reading list. | See Chris Fussell's speaker profile.
Former US Navy SEAL Team Leader & Best-Selling Author
For events focused on building no-fail teams, consider retired Rear Admiral Scott Moore. Retired Rear Admiral Moore was the number two leader in the entire US Navy SEAL organization before he retired. He shares incredible stories of missions (including how a SEAL team saved a hostage in the Horn of Africa against all odds) and hammers home the inspiring message that Navy SEALs do the impossible by tapping into the three keys of no-fail teams: Strong leadership, demonstrated trust, and dedication to peak performance.
Former SEAL Team Six Leader & New York Times Best-Selling Author
For high-energy, unbelievable stories from combat zones, consider Robert O’Neill. One of our nation’s most decorated veterans, Robert (Rob) O’Neill is a former US Navy SEAL Team Six leader. Rob participated in several our nation’s most-celebrated and remembered war missions. A gifted storyteller who shares gripping and heart-pounding stories from his time as a SEAL, Rob is also the New York Times best-selling author of the book, The Operator: Firing the Shots that Killed Osama bin Laden and My Years as a SEAL Team Warrior. His speeches leave audiences inspired, stunned, and reflecting on what being a team player means.
1st Transgender US Navy SEAL & Decorated Civil Rights Activist
Kristin Beck is a retired US Navy SEAL who has dedicated her life to civil rights and social activism. With seven special forces combat deployments as a member of various Navy anti-terrorism units she is an accomplished veteran. Her career in the special forces as a Navy Seal earned her more than 50 medals and ribbons, including the Bronze Star of Valor and the Purple Heart. In 2009, she was selected as an advisor to SOCOM’s Science Director where she briefed SOF technology to the state department and White House. Her numerous accomplishments ultimately earned her the NDIA Special Operations Award in 2010. She now operates as a guiding force in the LGBT community and has even entered the political arena. She released a documentary called Lady Valor: The Kristin Beck Story, in 2014. She is a key voice for women and LGBT community with her decorated military experience and expertise. She is a true leader and continues to use her story to motivate others. | See Kristin Beck's speaker profile.
Former US Navy SEAL
For a talk on applying Navy SEAL practices to your own organization, consider Commander David Sears. Commander Sears planned, led, and executed hundreds of special operations missions in more than 40 countries. From the mountains of Afghanistan and the deserts of Iraq to the jungles of Colombia, Sears has been involved in some of the most significant and defining special operations missions of our time. He shares a high-energy look at how audiences can apply the best of the Navy SEALs to their own organizations, tells stories about some of our most headline-stealing conflicts (like the first successful prisoner of war rescue since WWII), and touches on themes like decision-making, leadership, teamwork, planning, and execution. | See Commander Sears' speaker profile.
Former US Navy SEAL
For an action-packed talk on preparedness and what it takes to be great, consider Darren McBurnett. Darren is a combat veteran and diverse, multi-faceted operator. As a US Navy SEAL platoon leader and senior enlisted advisor, he deployed numerous times into combat zones in four US operational theaters. With a 24-year career, he participated in Operation Iraq Freedom, Operation Enduring Freedom, Kosovo crisis, Liberia, and Operation Inherent Resolve. A professional photographer whose photographs have appeared in Rolling Stone magazine, his presentation offers incredible stories from his service paired with show-stopping visuals from his time abroad. | See Darren McBurnett's speaker profile.
Former US Navy SEAL, Executive Director at The McChrystal Group Leadership Institute, & Author
For a practical and thought-provoking look at leading through change, consider Jeff Eggers. Jeff is a senior policy advisor, security professional, executive coach, and leadership consultant with more than 20 years experience leading high-performing teams for the White House, Department of Defense (DoD), and the US Navy. He is currently executive director of the McChrystal Group Leadership Institute. Jeff presents a road map for leadership in an unpredictable world and leaves audiences with a better understanding of where they are today and where they need to go to get ahead.
Former US Navy SEAL & Leadership Keynote Speaker
For a talk on building unstoppable teams, consider Curt Cronin. Curt, who deployed 13 times, retired from the Navy only to pursue an MBA from the London School of Economics and begin a highly-successful, global consulting career. Trained to maximize efficiency and be especially respectful of time, Curt tailors his speeches on leadership to the audience at hand. And his leadership pointers are far from hypothetical—they’re based on real-life experience and illustrated through anecdotes (including the true story of rescuing Captain Phillips).
Former US Navy SEAL Team Leader & Author
For a talk on creating a culture of success, on the battlefield or in business, consider Alden Mills. Over the past 25 years of leading US Navy SEALs as well as corporate businesses, Alden Mills has failed more times than he has succeeded. He used his lessons learned from dramatic failures to remarkable successes to create a process for succeeding. Drawing on the lessons learned and insights shared in his highly-regarded book, Be Unstoppable: The 8 Essential Actions to Succeed at Anything, Mills condenses his message down to the only two things that lead to success: Actions and attitudes.
Former US Navy SEAL & Leadership Keynote Speaker
For a speech that covers the power of culture, communication, and relationships, consider David Silverman. A graduate of the United States Naval Academy, David served in the US Navy as a Navy SEAL Officer for 12 years. He is now the CEO and founder of CrossLead. In dynamic presentations on leadership, he shows how modern warfare, business, and politics demand no-nonsense leadership that is as good at implementing change as talking about it. He addresses such key leadership principles including transparency and inclusion, and sharing a clear vision with everyone who must execute against it.
Want more military speaker options?
If you would like to explore and browse through more of the highly-respected and renowned military leaders and military-focused keynote speakers on our roster, you can either:
View a more comprehensive list of our top-booked military speakers featured on our military speaker list page.
- Browse through our full list of top military speakers to see a more complete collection of the military leaders, brave war heroes, and courageous battlefield legends that we represent for speaking engagement
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