Richard “Dick” Marcinko Biography

Richard 'Dick' Marcinko (pronounced Mar-SINK-oh) – a.k.a. Demo Dick, a.k.a. Shark Man of the Delta – was born November 21, 1940 in Lansford, Pennsylvania. A Navy man for over 30 years, Dick’s military experience covered a wide range of billets requiring Special Warfare expertise.  The majority of these billets were in direct combat roles or crises management positions in direct support of the National Command Authority, which collectively refers to the President of the United States and the Secretary of Defense. 

Dick Marcinko

His experience began after he enlisted in the US Navy in 1958 where he worked as a teletype operator at the Naval Air Station in Naples, Italy. He eventually worked his way into the Navy's Underwater Demolition Teams. During two tours in Vietnam serving as a Navy SEAL, Marcinko was awarded numerous medals including the Silver Star, four Bonze Stars with a Combat V, two Navy Commendation Medals, and the Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry with Silver Star. Marcinko and his SEAL platoon became such a problem for the enemy that the Viet Cong posted a reward of 50,000 piasters for his death.

After his time in Vietnam, he took a staff position at Little Creek Naval Base, followed by a stint in Monterrey, CA where he earned his B.A. in International Relations from the U.S. Navy Postgraduate School. In 1973 he reported to duty as a Naval Attaché to Cambodia where he spent 14 months advising (and actively assisting) the Cambodians in their fight with the Khmer Rouge. He left in 1975 to become the commanding officer of SEAL Team Two.

From SEAL Team TWO he attended the USAF Air Command & Staff College in Montgomery, Alabama and earned a MA in Political Science from Auburn University. He was then stationed at  the Pentagon where he served as a special operations planner assigned to the Joint Chiefs of Staff. While there, he assisted in the planning and training for the Iranian hostage dilemma, was the primary action officer for the maintenance of special warfare/unconventional warfare plans worldwide, served as the Navy representative to assist in the establishment of Rapid Deployment Force (RDF), and handled the daily intelligence for the Deputy Chief of Naval Operations for Plans and Policy.

Dick Marcinko

From there, Marcinko sold the idea and was eventually tasked with creating and commanding SEAL Team SIX, the Navy’s first and only counter-terrorist command. SEAL Team SIX engaged in highly classified missions from Central America to the Middle East, the North Sea to Africa and beyond, and established itself as the world’s foremost counter-terrorism unit.

Marcinko later was named commanding officer and founder of a second counter-terrorism unit, Red Cell. Commanding Red Cell, Marcinko was directed to use his team to test the Navy's anti-terrorist capabilities. As a result he was able to infiltrate seemingly impenetrable, highly-secured bases, nuclear submarines, ships and other purported "secure areas", including the U.S. Presidential plane Air Force One. In doing so he reportedly embarrassed several superior officers, whom he accuses of involvement in his subsequent conviction for misappropriation of funds and resources under his command.

His experiences led to The New York Times best-selling autobiography Rogue Warrior, as well as subsequent fictional novels in a series called “Rogue Warrior,” nine of which he co-wrote with John Weisman and three, most recently, with Jim DeFelice. Additionally, Marcinko has written three management and leadership books. He is currently under contract with Jim DeFelice for two additional fiction novels with TOR Publishing.

Marcinko is a spokesperson for Zodiac Boats Maritime Training Academy, Oakley Sunglasses, and is currently designing two knives as a Rogue Warrior series for Strider Knives.

He is now Chairman of the Board of Red Cell International Corp., a private security consulting firm based in Washington, DC, whose clients have included the Detroit Metropolitan Airport, the White House Fellows, and the U.S. Army War College. He also serves as President of Richard Marcinko, Inc. and President of SOS Temps, Inc., a motivational and team-building company, which counts among its clients General Motors, AT&T, Domino's Pizza, Motorola, BellSouth, and several other Fortune 500 companies.

Through Eastern Michigan University, Marcinko also provides graduate-level presentations on topics such as terrorism, security, and the adaptation of modern technology. He also speaks at the National Defense University and at George Mason University, discussing the terrorism vulnerabilities facing the Nation. He now has a politically conservative talk radio show, America on Watch with Dick Marcinko after hosting a talk show on Talk Radio Network for three years.

Military awards

Legion of Merit
Silver Star
Bronze Star with Combat V (4 times)
Navy Commendation Medal (2 times)
Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry with Silver Star