The former U.S. Navy SEAL who claimed to have killed al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden will be the guest speaker at the Young Caymanian Leader Awards ceremony in November.
The Young Caymanian Leaders Foundation announced Tuesday that Robert O’Neill will speak at the event, which will be held at the Kimpton Seafire hotel on Saturday, Nov. 5.
On May 2, 2011, he was a member of Navy SEAL Team 6 when they raided bin Laden’s compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan. In a 2014 interview with the Washington Post, Mr. O’Neill identified himself as the SEAL who fired the shots that killed bin Laden.
Mr. O’Neill has reportedly held combat leadership roles in more than 400 missions and is one of the most highly decorated combat veterans of recent times. Other high-profile missions he has been involved in include the rescue of Captain Richard Phillips from the merchant ship Maersk Alabama. That incident was later made into the “Captain Phillips” movie, starring Tom Hanks.
Mr. O’Neill has been decorated more than 52 times with honors, including two Silver Stars, four Bronze Stars with Valor, a Joint Service Commendation Medal with Valor, three Presidential Unit citations, and two Navy/Marine Corps Commendations with Valor. He now works as a motivational speaker.
The nominees at this year’s YCLA are Kristina Maxwell, Brianna Ebanks, Alexandra Bodden, Shena Ebanks and Tedrick Green.
Chris Duggan, director of the Young Caymanian Leadership Foundation, said, “We are delighted to be welcoming Robert O’Neill back to the Cayman Islands as our special guest at this year’s YCLA gala. Rob is a truly inspirational man and in his line of work, instant, critical decision-making is a necessity for success.
“His mantra is ‘never quit’ and I know his ability to motivate and encourage leadership through translating his elite SEAL training techniques into actionable decision-making traits is sure to impress all of our attendees, including our five amazing finalists.”
Visit www.ycla.ky for more information.