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Admiral William H. McRaven in conversation with Mark Harmon

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Admiral William H. McRaven in conversation with Mark Harmon

The Hero Code

Live Talks LA,

5 min read
5 take-aways
Audio & text

What's inside?

Heroes don’t need uniforms or titles.

Editorial Rating



  • Concrete Examples
  • Engaging
  • Inspiring


In this entry from Live Talks LA, actor and director Mark Harmon interviews four-star Admiral William McRaven about his book, The Hero Code: Lessons Learned from Lives Well Lived. In McRaven’s view, heroes come in all stripes and from multiple platforms, including the military, law enforcement, the medical profession and non-profit organizations. He believes society needs heroes as role models for the next generation. As role models, McRaven offers heroes who exhibited humility, a strong sense of duty, compassion and hope.


Every society needs heroes who exemplify “noble virtues” to inspire and guide the next generation.

In his 37 years in service in the US military and in three years serving as Chancellor of the University of Texas system, Admiral William McRaven says he’s been privileged to see American heroes doing great things.

He decided to write a book about the qualities and traits heroes possess that make them inspirational. Separating the book into ten virtues – such as duty and hope – McRaven demonstrates how people in all walks of life can be heroes.

Admiral William McRaven observed humility, a noble virtue, in John McCain and Charlie Duke.

When McRaven was about to achieve confirmation of his fourth star, he had the opportunity to meet Senator John McCain, whom he admired greatly for his commitment to his duty ...

About the Speakers

Retired four-star US Navy Admiral, SEAL and former Commander of US Special Operations Forces Admiral William McRaven wrote Make Your Bed, Sea Stories: My Life in Special Operations, Spec Ops: Case Studies in Special Operations Warfare: Theory and Practice, and The Hero Code: Lessons Learned from Lives Well Lived. Mark Harmon is an actor, producer, director and former football star, famed for his work on the television drama NCIS.

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