Marcus Luttrell

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Marcus Luttrell
Marcus luttrell 2007.jpg
Luttrell at the 2007 Texas Book Festival in Austin, Texas.
Nickname(s)"Southern Boy", "The One", "The Lone Survivor"
Born (1975-11-07) November 7, 1975 (age 43)
Houston, Texas, U.S.[1]
Allegiance United States of America
Service/branch United States Navy
Years of service1999–2007
RankUSN PO1 collar device.svg Hospital corpsman first class
UnitUnited States Navy Special Warfare insignia.png United States Navy SEALs
Battles/warsIraq War

War in Afghanistan

AwardsNavy Cross[2][3]
Purple Heart
Melanie Juneau (m. 2010)
Other workService: A Navy SEAL at War (2012)
Lone Survivor (2007)
Lone Survivor Foundation

Marcus Luttrell (born November 7, 1975) is a former United States Navy SEAL who received the Navy Cross and Purple Heart for his actions in June 2005 against Taliban fighters during Operation Red Wings. Luttrell was a Hospital Corpsman First Class by the end of his eight-year career in the United States Navy.[2]

Luttrell co-hosts After Action, a TV show where former special operations veterans talk about issues in the United States. Glenn Beck is the executive producer of the show, which airs on TheBlaze.

Early life and education[edit]

Luttrell was born in Houston, Texas, on November 7, 1975. He began training for the U.S. Navy SEALs at the age of 14, with U.S. Army veteran Billy Shelton, who lived near Luttrell's home. Luttrell trained every day with his twin brother, Morgan, and others who aspired to join the U.S Navy and other special operations forces. Shelton trained them using various weight and endurance exercises. After high school, Luttrell attended Sam Houston State University where he was a member of the Epsilon Zeta Chapter Delta Tau Delta Fraternity.[4] In 1998 he graduated with a B.S in International Business.


United States Navy[edit]

Luttrell enlisted in the U.S. Navy in March 1999.[5] After graduating from bootcamp and Hospital Corpsman A-school, he transferred to Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL (BUD/S) Class 226. However, due to a fractured femur he suffered from falling off a rope, he graduated with Class 228 on April 21, 2000.[6] After completing BUD/S, Luttrell attended Army jump school and SEAL Qualification Training (SQT). Luttrell earned his Navy Enlisted Classification (NEC) 5326 Combatant Swimmer (SEAL) and Naval Special Warfare Insignia on February 2, 2001 after completing SQT. He was then sent to Fort Bragg, North Carolina, for the Special Operations Combat Medic (SOCM) course. SOCM was an additional six months of advanced training in conventional and unconventional medical skills, ranging from diagnosis and treatment of many conditions to advanced emergency medicine and battlefield life support.[4][7] He was deployed to Iraq with SEAL Team 5 on April 14, 2003, during the 2003 invasion of Iraq, to root out and destroy leftover Iraqi resistance and joined in the search for WMDs. Afterward, he carried out operations to eliminate or capture terrorists.[8]

He was deployed to Afghanistan in 2005 with SEAL Team Ten as part of SEAL Delivery Vehicle Team One (SDV-1).[4] While in Afghanistan, he was involved in Operation Red Wings, during which the four-man Special Reconnaissance element with SDV-1 was discovered by local herdsmen, subsequently ambushed, and all killed except Luttrell. Luttrell was awarded the Navy Cross for his actions during the operation. The team knew the local herdsmen might reveal their whereabouts to Taliban fighters but, because they were not armed combatants, the team allowed the herdsmen to leave despite the risk to themselves and their mission.[4]

During the ambush of Operation Red Wings the four SEALs were attacked from three sides and took fire from PK machine guns, AK-47s, RPG-7s, and 82mm mortars. The attack forced the SEALs into the northeast gorge of the Shuryek Valley side of Sawtalo Sar. The SEALs made a number of attempts to contact their combat operations center with a PRC-148 MBITR (Multi Band Inter/Intra Team Radio) and then with an Iridium satellite phone. They could not establish consistent communication, however, other than for a period long enough to indicate that they were under attack. Three of the four team members were killed, and Luttrell, the only survivor, was left unconscious with a number of fractures, a broken back, and numerous shrapnel wounds. Members of SEAL Team 10 attempted a rescue during the firefight, but their helicopter was shot down, and all aboard were killed. Luttrell regained consciousness and evaded the pursuing enemy, with the help of local Pashtun villagers, one of them being Mohammad Gulab, who eventually sent an emissary to the nearest U.S. base to secure Luttrell's safe rescue and ultimately saved his life.

The target of Operation Red Wings,[1] Mohammad Ismail alias Ahmad Shah, survived the American operation but was killed during a firefight with Pakistani police in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in April 2008.[9]

After recovering from his injuries, Luttrell returned to active duty and deployed to Ramadi during Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2006, as part of SEAL Team Five. He later had his knees blown out and fractured his spine again. These injuries ultimately led to his discharge.

Returning home[edit]

Luttrell returned to the U.S. in 2007[10] and co-authored the New York Times bestseller Lone Survivor: The Eyewitness Account of Operation Redwing and the Lost Heroes of SEAL Team 10.[11] A film version, starring Mark Wahlberg, was released on December 25, 2013.

In 2007, Luttrell was medically discharged from the Navy. In 2009, he was granted a medical retirement through the Board for the Correction of Naval Records.[10]

In May 2012, Little, Brown and Company released Luttrell's latest book, co-authored with James D. Hornfischer, Service: A Navy SEAL at War.[12][13]

Lone Survivor Foundation[edit]

In 2010, Luttrell established the Lone Survivor Foundation. The mission of the foundation, headquartered in Houston, Texas, is to "restore, empower, and renew hope for our wounded warriors and their families through health, wellness, and therapeutic support." The vision is to "provide exceptional therapeutic, outdoor, and unique opportunities that optimize recovery and healing of affected American wounded service members and their families."[14]

Luttrell and The Lone Survivor Foundation partnered with The Boot Campaign[15] to help show tangible appreciation of America’s active-duty military, raise awareness of the challenges they face upon return, and support the transition home.[16]

Personal life[edit]

Luttrell married Melanie Juneau on November 27, 2010, in Texas.[citation needed] Their son Axe, named after fallen SEAL comrade Matthew Axelson, was born on May 8, 2011.[citation needed] On January 14, 2012, at an event for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, Luttrell announced that he and his wife were expecting their second child.[citation needed] Their daughter, Addie, was born on August 26, 2012.[citation needed]

Luttrell's twin brother Morgan Luttrell is also a retired Navy SEAL; he left the Navy with the rank of lieutenant.[2][17][18]

Luttrell endorsed the 2016 presidential campaign of former Texas governor Rick Perry[19] and was present, alongside his twin brother Morgan, at Perry's formal announcement on June 4, 2015.[20] Luttrell spoke at the 2016 Republican National Convention in support of Donald Trump.[21]

In popular culture[edit]


  • In the film Lone Survivor (2013), Luttrell was portrayed by actor Mark Wahlberg.[22] Luttrell makes a significant cameo appearance (uncredited) in at least three scenes in the film and is present in other scenes, as well. He first appears as one of the SEALs, referred to as "Frankie" by Lt. Murphy (Taylor Kitsch), lightheartedly hazing rookie SEAL Shane Patton (Alexander Ludwig) before the mission, jokingly giving Shane his first mission or "op" of cleaning the table, supplemented by knocking over a drink. His second appearance is during the presentation of the rules of engagement for Operation Red Wings where he can be seen shaking his head at the rules governing return fire. This scene is significant. In his book, Lone Survivor, Marcus explains extensively how these rules created substantial risk for the forces in Afghanistan. His third appearance is later in the film as one of the 16 special operators aboard the doomed Chinook helicopter sent to rescue Luttrell and his team. The camera stops on him and several real-life SEALs just before the Taliban's rocket-propelled grenade comes through the open rear bay door and impacts the Chinook's interior, killing everyone aboard. "I was on the other side of the mountain when those guys came to help me," Luttrell says of his real-life experience, "so getting to die on the helicopter in the movie was a very powerful moment for me."[23]
  • Luttrell had a brief role in the veteran funded movie Range 15.



  • Luttrell appears in a Season 9 episode of the A&E series Duck Dynasty, visiting West Monroe, Louisiana to honor two wounded Marines for their service.
  • Luttrell appears in Season 9 episode 3 of the Discovery series Overhaulin', having a Ford Mustang built to honor his service.
  • Luttrell appears in a speech at the Republican National Convention on July 18, 2016. Luttrell offered his endorsement for Presidential Candidate, Donald Trump.


  1. ^ a b Marcus Luttrell; Patrick Robinson (12 June 2007). Lone survivor: the eyewitness account of Operation Redwing and the lost heroes of SEAL Team 10. Hachette Digital, Inc. pp. 27–. ISBN 978-0-316-06759-1. Retrieved 18 November 2011.
  2. ^ a b c "Marcus Luttrell". Navy Seals. 2016. Retrieved 2008-12-10. In 2006, Petty Officer Luttrell was awarded the Navy Cross for combat heroism.
  3. ^ "LIEUTENANT MICHAEL P. MURPHY – United States Navy". United States Navy. 2007. Archived from the original on 2009-01-13. Retrieved 2008-12-10.
  4. ^ a b c d Luttrell, Marcus; Patrick Robinson (March 2006). Lone Survivor: The Eyewitness Account of Operation Redwing and the Lost Heroes of SEAL Team 10. Back Bay Books. ISBN 0-316-06759-8.
  5. ^ "Bio". Marcus Luttrell.
  6. ^ Couch, Dick (2003). The Warrior Elite: The Forging of SEAL Class 228. ISBN 978-1400046959.
  7. ^ SEAL of Honor: Operation Red Wings and the Life of Lt. Michael P. Murphy, USN by Gary Williams (pg. 135)
  8. ^ "Lone Survivor: The Eyewitness Account of Operation Redwing and the Lost Heroes of SEAL Team 10 [Audio Download]". Retrieved 15 March 2015.
  9. ^ Matt Dupee (April 17, 2008). "Bara bin Malek Front commander killed in Pakistani shootout". long war journal. Retrieved 2008-12-10.
  10. ^ a b Engel, Mac (9 January 2014). "Uncomfortable questions with SEAL Marcus Luttrell". The Big Mac Blog. Dallas, Texas: Fort Worth Star-Telegram. Retrieved 5 June 2015. Medical papers went through in ’09. Came off the line in ’07.
  11. ^ "The New York Times Bestseller List, July 1, 2007" (PDF). The New York Times. Retrieved 11 April 2010.
  12. ^ Luttrell, Marcus. "Service". Little Brown & Company. Archived from the original on 2011-08-23. Retrieved 2012-03-06.
  13. ^ Luttrell, Marcus; Hornfischer, James D. (2012). Service: A Navy SEAL at War. ISBN 978-0-316-18536-3. Retrieved 2012-03-10
  14. ^ "Lone Survivor Foundation". Lone Survivor Foundation. Retrieved 2012-11-07.
  15. ^ "Help the Boot Girls support American soldiers by purchasing combat boots!". Boot Campaign. Retrieved 2012-02-13.
  16. ^ "The Boot Campaign Mission: Support returning US Soldiers through proceeds raised from Boot sales". Boot Campaign. Archived from the original on 2012-02-23. Retrieved 2012-02-13.
  17. ^ Slavin, Erik (7 June 2010). "'He epitomizes what a SEAL is'". Stars and Stripes. Retrieved 5 June 2015.
  18. ^ Alexander, Bryan (30 December 2013). "Marcus Luttrell: Dealing with 'Lone Survivor' wounds". USA Today. Retrieved 5 June 2015. as Marcus wanted his twin brother Morgan, also a SEAL, to return from duty in Iraq to attend the wedding.
  19. ^ Christine Mai-Duc. "Coming up: Marcus Luttrell, former Navy SEAL who previously endorsed Rick Perry for president". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 19 July 2016.
  20. ^ "Rick Perry 'Surrounded by Heroes' at 2016 Announcement - ABC Video". Retrieved 18 November 2016.
  21. ^ "Ex-SEAL Marcus Luttrell's entire GOP convention speech - CNN Video". Retrieved 19 July 2016. Speaking at the Republican National Convention, retired U.S. Navy SEAL Marcus Luttrell made a plea for better treatment of U.S. veterans and explained why he is supporting Donald Trump for president.
  22. ^ "Lone Survivor". IMDB. 2013.
  23. ^ "Lone Survivor True Story vs Movie – Real Marcus Luttrell, Mike Murphy". Retrieved 2014-04-14.

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