Longest Serving Navy SEAL Bids Farewell after 39 Years

Story Number: NNS090927-04Release Date: 9/27/2009 7:07:00 AM
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By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Jacob Dillon, Naval Special Warfare Group 2 Public Affairs

NORFOLK, Va. (NNS) -- The longest serving Navy SEAL was piped ashore for the last time during a retirement ceremony Sept. 25 at Naval Special Warfare Group 4 on board Naval Amphibious Base, Little Creek.

Navy SEAL Capt. Pete Wikul passed the title of
"Bull Frog" to Adm. Eric T. Olson, Commander of U.S. Special Operations Command. The "Bull Frog" title recognizes the UDT/SEAL operator with the greatest amount of cumulative service following completion of Underwater Demolition Team Replacement Accession (UDTRA) or Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL (BUD/S) training, regardless of rank.

The UDT/SEAL Association, owner of the trophy and sponsor of the title states "... eligible candidates must currently be an active duty, and maintain continuous service within the Naval Special Warfare community."

Wikul was born in 1952 in Manhattan, N.Y., and enlisted in the Navy in May of 1970. He graduated UDBT Class 7102 (52EC).

Olson is a native of Tacoma, Wash. He graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1973 and qualified as a Naval Special Warfare Officer in 1974. He graduated in BUD/S Class 76. Now as a four-star admiral, he is the highest ranking Navy SEAL to hold the title of Bull Frog.

During his remarks, Olson said every current and former Navy SEAL has benefited from Wikul's longevity and solid leadership. He also pointed out that the people in attendance showed the most powerful tribute that can be paid to Wikul's life, service rendered, and accomplishments.

"I joined for adventure, but my reasons to 'stay in' always changed," said Wikul. "The first reason was to be a platoon commander and then it was task unit commander, and then commanding officer. I then woke up one day and said 'it's not about me,' it's about service to the nation and doing anything the nation asks of me."

Wikul said he will miss having troops under his command and mentoring them, and giving them everything they need to defeat the nation's foes. But Wikul is confident in his replacement as Bull Frog.

"Adm. Olson is the best four star in the country, the best four star in the world; he is the best four star one could ever hope to work for. The man is humble; he's courageous, and I would follow him anywhere. For me to give him the Bull Frog trophy is one of the highlights of my career," said Wikul.

It is uncertain, who will hold the title of BULL FROG in the future. One thing is for sure among those who wear the SEAL Trident warfare pin; the title is one of the most respected in the Navy. It is a title that can only be earned by living the SEAL Creed and earning the Trident every day.

For more news from Naval Special Warfare Group Two, visit www.navy.mil/local/nswgtwo/.

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