The number of black Navy SEALs is less than other races. As of today, it’s hard to know some African American Navy SEALs’ names.
Except for Navy SEAL special forces, black faces are commonly seen in other United States armed forces branches like the Army, Marine Corps, and Air Force.
In this thorough article, we will see the list of black Navy SEALs and how many black Navy SEALs there are, as well as the first black Navy SEAL. So, let’s dive right in.
The list of African American Navy SEALs:
- David Goggins
- William Goines
- Jake Zweig
- Ty Smith
- Remi Adeleke
- BUD/S Class: 235
- Rank: Chief Petty Officer
- Unit: SEAL Team 5, SDV Team 1
- Years of service: 1994 to 1999 (USAF) 2001–2015 (USN)
- Nickname: Toughest Man in the World
David Goggins is the most famous black Navy SEAL who is well recognized as “The Toughest Man Alive” title.
Over the years, his several Guinness Book Records, achievements, and positive influence have made him also the most famous Navy SEAL.
Goggins is a retired Navy SEAL who retired as Chief Petty Officer in 2015. He started his military career at the age of 19. So, you can tell he was very passionate about defense work and still is today.
David Goggins was born in 1975 in Williamsville, New York. Before becoming a Navy SEAL, he was a tactical air controller of the United States Air Force.
He always wanted to be a Navy SEAL, but for gaining huge body fat, he couldn’t apply for Navy SEAL. Goggins took on the challenge of losing weight and finally succeeded and joined the SEAL.
Goggins lost over a hundred pounds in just three months to enlist in the Navy SEAL, which is quite a history.
As an athlete, he also has a long achievement list. Goggins has completed over 60 ultra-marathons, triathlons, and ultra-triathlons.
Now, he is also recognized as a top Navy SEAL motivational speaker. But he is also the author of The New York Times Best Seller book called “Can’t Hurt Me.”
David Goggins, the most influential black Navy SEAL, inspired other African Americans to become a United States Navy SEAL.
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- Rank: Master Chief
- Unit: SEAL Team Two
- Years of service: 1955 to 1987
- Nick Name: Fred “Tiz” Morrison
William Goines is the first black Navy SEAL. He is known well by his nickname Fred “Tiz” Morrison.
Goines’ interesting story of becoming military personnel is quite inspiring. As a high school student, he wanted to enlist as Frogman in the U.S. Naval Underwater Demolition Team after seeing The Frogman movie.
His childhood dream came true in 1955 by enrolling in the United States Navy. After President John F. Kennedy formed the Navy SEAL team, William Goines joined SEAL Team Two, and he was the only African-American member of the whole team.
In his military career, he served as a frogman in the Korean War and World War II. But, as a Navy SEAL, Goines served three tours in the Vietnam War with SEAL Team Two.
He served 32 years of service in the military. William Goines has received the Navy Commendation Medal, Bronze Star, Combat Action Ribbon, and other awards.
And needless to say, as the first black Navy SEAL, he received the honor from various communities.
William Goines was born in the city of Dayton, Ohio, in 1936. Now he is enjoying his retirement by traveling around the United States East Coast.
After retiring as a master chief from the United States Navy SEAL in 1987, he kept consistent in helping and motivating young people to join the U.S. Navy.
- Rank: Commando Officer
- Unit: SEAL Team 8
- Years of service: 1997 – 2001
- Nick Name: N/A
Jake Zweig is known as a football coach and motivational speaker rather than as a Navy SEAL. He is also a famous African-American Navy SEAL.
He served around six years in the United States Navy. Jake Zweig first enlisted in the Navy as a commissioned officer in 1995.
But, just two years later, Zweig joined the Navy SEAL in 1997 after graduating from the United States Naval Academy.
Since childhood, Jack Zweig has been keen on football. He started playing earlier in his life from his home town Steilacoom, Washington.
As a former United States Navy SEAL, he developed a tough mindset and fitness that helped him become a college football leader.
Jake Zweig runs a Navy SEAL fitness training program called “Navy SEAL Masterclass,” where he trains people who want to join the Navy SEAL. Zweig’s Navy SEAL training program is quite well-known around the community.
Through the Navy SEAL Masterclass training program, he teaches others how to pass Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL (BUD/S) training and prepares trainees mentally and physically.
Although Jake Zweig is not as famous as other black Navy SEALs like David Goggins, he is quite famous in the National Football League (NFL).
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- Rank: Senior Chief
- Unit: SEAL Team 3
- Years of service: 1996 – 2016
- Nick Name: N/A
Ty Smith is another African-American Navy SEAL who served over twenty years in the United States Navy.
Now, Ty Smith is a retired United States Navy SEAL. In May 2016, Smith retired from the U.S. Navy. He deployed in the Middle East several times.
During his career as a Navy SEAL, Ty Smith served in the Iraq War, War in Afghanistan, and other major wars in the Middle East.
For Ty’s heroism, he was honored with the Bronze Star with Valor, two Iraq Campaign Medals, three Afghanistan Campaign Medals, Army Commendation Medals, and four Navy Commendation Medals from the United States Navy.
Ty Smith completed his Bachelor of Arts degree in Organizational Management from Ashford University in 2015 and his Master of Business for Veterans from the University of Southern California.
After retiring from the United States Navy, he started his own technology company, CommSafe AI.
Ty Smith is the founder of CommSafe AI company which prevents online conflict and violence. And Ty’s company won the 2021 Black Owned Rising Star Company of The Year.
Currently, Ty Smith is employed full-time in CommSafe AI as a Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and enjoying his retirement from his long and fruitful service in Navy SEAL.
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- Rank: Petty Officer Third Class
- Unit: SEAL Team 3
- Years of service: 2002 – 2016
- Nick Name: N/A
Remi Adeleke is known for his various professions. He is a film writer, actor, memoirist, and former black Navy SEAL.
Adeleke was born in Nigeria to a wealthy family. But, his family became poor after the Nigerian Government stripped their wealth.
After going from rich to poor, Adeleke and his family moved to the United States because Remi Adeleke’s mother was an American.
But, to bad neighborhood effect, he became a drug dealer in the Bronx section of New York City. At the age of 19, Remi Adeleke decided to join the United States Armed Forces and became a Navy SEAL.
In 2002, Adeleke enlisted in the United States Navy SEAL. He served over fourteen years as a Navy SEAL.
Remi Adeleke ended his promising military career as a Navy SEAL in 2016. After retirement from the United States Navy, he consistently worked in various professions.
From the University of Charleston, West Virginia, he completed a bachelor’s degree in organizational leadership and a master’s degree in strategic leadership.
Now, he is pursuing a career in acting, writing, and speaking. However, like others, Adeleke is not a very famous black Navy SEAL public speaker.
A couple of years earlier, he published his first book “Transformed: A Navy SEAL’s Unlikely Journey from the Throne of Africa, to the Streets of the Bronx, to Defying All Odds” and is going to publish another book this year.
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As of 2023, less than 5% of black Navy SEALs are there. So, there are less than two hundred African-American Navy SEALs active now.
The number of African-American Navy SEALs is less than Latino. About 75% of Navy SEALs are white, while black Navy SEALs are less than 5%.
And, it’s hard to say whether the number will increase or decrease because we can expect the number of black Navy SEALs will increase in the near future.
William Goines is the first black Navy SEAL to serve over thirty-two years. He joined the United States Navy in 1955 as Frogman. He deployed in the Vietnam War and World War II as a Frogman. And after 32 years of service, he retired from the military in 1987.
Among black Navy SEALs, David Goggins is the most famous. Goggins is a The New York Times Best Seller author, public speaker, and an American ultramarathon runner.
But William Goines is the first African-American Navy SEAL who joined as a Frogman in the United States Navy.
As of today, the number of black Navy SEALs is way less than white and even less than Latino.
Since the Navy SEAL personnel are secured by the United States Navy, that’s why it’s hard to find all black Navy SEALs. But, in this list, you can find some popular faces.
Jeffrey Rogers has served in the United States Army for 18 years. Jeffrey served on overseas combat tours in Afghanistan and Iraq. Jeffrey Rogers was born in Norfolk, Virginia. He graduated in Information technology from George Mason University. Now, Jeffrey is the content head of Frommilitarybases.com.