Chris Cassidy joins us on this week’s episode of the podcast. Chris is currently an astronaut that was previously a Navy Seal from the Naval Academy. Chris was an honor graduate of basic underwater demolition with the Seal Buds Class 192, and he received a bronze star for his work leading a 9-day operation on the Afghanistan-Pakistan border. He has been a guest speaker at the U.S. Naval Academy Combat Leadership Seminar, and you’ll hear about how the Naval Academy was a baseline and foundation for his leadership. In 2003 and 2004, he was awarded a second bronze star for combat leadership service in Afghanistan. He has also received the NASA exceptional achievement medal, and he has finished an Ironman World Championship Triathlon. He has done a lot during his 48 years on this planet and seems to have a desire to do work on other planets as well. He will talk a lot about the value of leading and serving other people in this conversation.
In this episode, they discuss what his childhood was like (6:10), what he was thinking about in high school (7:50), the value his parents passed down to him (9:10), his parent’s reaction to his decision to go to the Naval Academy (10:50), what it was like being at the Naval Academy (12:50), what he learned at the Academy (14:50), his thoughts on a great leader needing to know when to follow (16:20), what he knows now about leadership that he didn’t know back when he was 22 (18:10), what drew him to the Seals team (19:00), how being competitive plays into being an astronaut (21:10), what seal training was like for him (24:00), what it felt like to lead his team (28:40), what he did to survive training (30:00), what it was like going over and being behind enemy lines (34:10), his thoughts on the preparation vs. performance mindset (39:00), if he uses any meditation or breathing techniques (41:50), how he sets his mind up in space (43:00), why he does what he does (44:00), what’s appealing about being a basketball referee (46:05), how he handles emotion (47:00), if he’s a risk taker or rule follower (48:30), his thoughts on Mars and what that timeline looks like (50:10), how important it is for him to get to Mars (53:30), and how he thinks about his job in relation to family and others (55:10)
Thank you to Chris for coming on the podcast. Chris’s next mission is going to launch in 2019 which you can follow along on the NASA website, and he is on Instagram @astro_seal.
Thanks for listening.