Admiral’s letter answers little boy, 6: Ninja warrior vs. Navy SEAL?

It’s not quite “Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus.”

But for a 6-year-old from a military family wants an answer to the ultimate question, he writes to the ultimate authority.

For young Walker Greentree, that was Adm. William McRaven, commander of the Joint Special Operations Command (U.S. special forces), a Navy SEAL, and one of the brains behind the raid the killed Osama bin Laden.

Walker’s question?

Who’s quieter? A ninja warrior or a Navy SEAL?


Before we get to the answer, a little background.

Walker and a friend were playing in the yard recently and making a little too much noise for Walker’s mother, Vivian Greentree, who tried to shush the boys with an admonition: “Be quiet like a Navy SEAL,” according to the nonprofit service group Blue Star Families.

“Ninjas are quieter than SEALS,” Walker’s friend answered – obviously not getting the message.


In Blue Star’s telling, a “monumental debate ensued,” but considering it involved a 6-year-old and a 7-year-old, it probably involved a lot of “are nots,” and “are too” but that’s just a guess.

To settle the issue, Walker wrote to McRaven, who when he’s not overseeing hunts for the world’s most wanted terrorists, probably takes questions like this all the time.

This was his response:

“Thanks for writing me! You did a great job drawing the Trident, it looks just like my personal coin, which I’ve sent you along with this letter. I only give this to very special kids, so I hope you like it. 

To answer your questions: I think ninjas are probably quieter than SEALs, but we are better swimmers, and also better with guns and blowing things up. I can hold my breath for a long time, but I try not to unless I really have to.  

Remember, if you want to be a SEAL, you must do two things: listen to your parents and be nice to the other kids. If you do that then you can probably be a SEAL too.”

Admiral William H. McRaven


So young Walker did three things here he should always remember:

He got an answer to his question from an impeccable source.

He got solid advice that will not only help him in his aspiring career, it should help him life (and in getting along with his parents).

He got a Navy SEAL to admit someone is better at something than a Navy SEAL is.

That, as anyone who’s ever met a SEAL knows, doesn’t happen every day.


Congratulations, Walker. And good luck.

And remember, shhhhhhhhh.

H/T: Story and photos Blue Star Families

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