DEVGRU Troop Commander LCDR Jonas B. Kelsall, 33
SWO Chief Petty Officer (DEVGRU) John W. Faas, 31
Kelsall was one of the original members of SEAL Team Seven, which was formed in San Diego, before being transferred to SEAL Team Six in Virginia in 2008. A rising star in the special warfare community, Jonas was appointed troop commander of SEAL Team Six and was awarded the Legion of Merit and two Bronze Stars for combat valor. Jonas’ Parents have started The Jonas Project, which works with Veteran Entrepreneurs on their quest to become tomorrow’s high-impact business leaders. Once accepted into The Jonas Project, Veterans are provided with a number of critical resources, mentors, business leaders, market innovators, and successful Veteran entrepreneurs, for the first two years of their business launch.
SWO (DEVGRU) Chief PO Kevin A. Houston, 35, West Hyannisport, MA
SWCM (DEVGRU) Master Chief Louis J. Langlais, 44, of Santa Barbara, CA
"Hi, my name is Kevin. I'm going to be a Navy SEAL." These were the words Kevin Houston used to great people we he first met them - when he was 12 years old. Kevin broke his back in a motorcycle accident as a senior in high school but nothing was going to stop him from becoming a US Navy SEAL. Kevin would eventually be selected to the elite DEVGRU unit known as SEAL Team Six. Kevin was a force of nature. He made people feel safe and good and you just wanted to be around him.
Lou was a hero among SEAL Team Six and had a striking ability to suppress fear. He was known for leading his comrades into dangerous situations with a sense of calm, confidence and even fun. Over a 25-year career, Master Chief Langlais rose to become a troop leader of the elite Navy squad known as SEAL Team Six. He was an avid rock climber who scaled cliffs, sometimes without a rope, and precision parachute jumper. One Lou's more infamous parachuting moments moments had nothing to do with hunting and killing ben Laden or his other adventures as an elite Navy SEAL team leader where he was awarded numerous accommodations including four Bronze Stars with Combat ‘V’ device for valor.
On April 1st 1997, opening day of the Miami Marlins baseball season, Lou lost the head of the beloved Miami Marlin Mascot "Billy the Marlin" 6,000 ft above Pro Player Stadium. The incident occurred as Lou was parachuting towards the baseball field dressed in costume when a gust of wind ripped the head off of Billy. At this moment Lou's initial thoughts were not of his safety, but, "Oh my God, I just decapitated the Marlin's mascot." Lou landed safely outside the stadium as not to traumatize the little kids as the regular mascot came running onto the field. Of note, Billy's head was later found two months later on the side of the Florida Turnpike in good shape, apart from a scratch to the neck, and rejoined with his body.
John earned his Black Belt in Tae Kwon Do at the age of 12 was Captain and Quarterback of his High School Football Team, and graduated valedictorian in 1998. In January 2001 John was a US Navy Seal and in 10 short years rose the rank of Chief Petty Officer earning 3 Bronze Stars with Combat Valor. John never showed bravado and didn't fit the Hollywood stereotype of a SEAL. In memoriam, John's family has joined with the 31Heroes Project to remember the fallen (30 + Bart the German Shepard) though various extreme frogman challenges and motorcycle rides across the nation.
SWC (DEVGRU) CPO Matthew D. Mason, 37, Kansas City, MO
The Navy SEALs Ethos reads like a Matt Mason narrative. Not because the Navy made him into that man, but because Matt already embodied many of those characteristics even before he became a Navy SEAL. Matt possessed admirable values like trust, honor, humility, and integrity. The SEALs provided Matt the outlet he needed to further grow and to let so many of his great qualities shine. Matt’s example of service reminded us to always do for others that cannot do for themselves and to pick yourself up after each time you fall.