Honoring the Service and Sacrifice of the Navy SEALs

Griffin Catalyst has made the largest gift in the history of the Navy SEAL Foundation, to provide critical education, health care, and financial support to members of one of the U.S. military’s most elite special operations forces and their families.
The Navy SEAL Foundation provides critical financial assistance for memorial services, where fellow SEALs pound their Tridents into the coffin of the fallen in a sign of appreciation and respect.
Photo Credit: Petty Officer 1st Class Abe McNatt via DVIDS

With their roots in World War II, the United States Navy Sea, Air, and Land Teams—more commonly known as SEALs—are the naval service’s most elite special operations force. Officially formed by President John F. Kennedy in 1962, the Navy SEALs have been on the frontlines of every major American conflict since the Vietnam War, undertaking many of the nation’s most dangerous missions, including the nighttime raid that led to the death of Osama Bin Laden in 2011.

Known within the U.S. military as the “true tip of the spear,” Navy SEALs’ service and sacrifice in some of the world’s most hostile environments demonstrate the highest commitment to defending American freedoms. SEALs complete the military’s most grueling training, preparing them to conduct covert operations, collect crucial intelligence, rescue hostages, and capture terrorist leaders around the world. This “special breed of warriors” continues to answer the call of duty in service to their fellow Americans, choosing to place their own lives on the line to protect the American people and the American way of life.

WHO WE’RE SUPPORTING

Established in 2000, the Navy SEAL Foundation is a national nonprofit organization providing more than 30 programs for current and former members of the Navy SEALs and their families.

Its support falls under five pillars: Strength programs provide resources to assist Navy SEALs and their families as they transition out of the military; Resilience programs help Gold Star Families with assistance to cover the dignified transfer of remains, memorial services, and travel expenses; Health programs provide financial and logistical support for the healing of injured or critically ill service members and those dealing with the chronic effects of sustained combat; Education programs provide scholarships and support quality educational options for service members’ children in geographically separated duty locations. Community programs remember and recognize the feats of its warriors through legacy preservation and national memorials and monuments to preserve the rich history of its veterans and families.

WHY IT MATTERS

For generations, U.S. Navy SEALs have exemplified quiet service and sacrifice to the nation, executing high-risk, no-fail operations in some of the most dangerous places in the world. “A few have been publicized, but the vast majority remain unknown to the public,” the Foundation itself notes. “Through these clandestine missions, SEALs continue to sacrifice for our nation, maintaining their global presence and remaining ready. They are on the front line; right now, and always.” The SEALs’ proud tradition of service continues to defend American freedom, democracy, and opportunity.

For his support of these elite service members, the Navy SEAL Foundation honored Ken Griffin with the Navy SEAL Patriot Award in 2017.  “For nearly sixty years, the Navy SEALs and their families have made valiant sacrifices to protect our nation and defend our values,” Griffin observed at that time.  “I am proud to continue to support the Navy SEAL Foundation in its mission to care for these heroic men and women and their dedicated loved ones who put their country before all else.”

WHAT’S THE IMPACT?

Building on its previous support, Griffin Catalyst’s transformative $10 million gift—the largest the Navy SEAL Foundation has ever received—allows the organization to dramatically expand its health, educational, financial, and community programs for the SEALs and their families, with a special focus on children’s resiliency programs and a scholarship program providing tuition assistance to SEAL members seeking higher education.

Beyond the direct support for current and former SEALs and their families, the Foundation’s efforts serve a wider mission, demonstrating America’s deep and sustained commitment to its Armed servicemen and women and encouraging future generations to join the military and help defend the nation and its values.

Navy SEAL trainees on the beach at Coronado, California, in August 2010, during “Hell Week,” during which aspirants to the force are subjected to extraordinary trials, including jogging for miles in deep sand, lifting heavy rubber boats into and out of the surf (pictured here), and crawling through mud under simulated machine-gun fire.

Photo Credit: Charles Ommanney / Contributor

Read more from Crain’s Chicago Business: Ken Griffin gives $10 million to Navy SEAL Foundation

In Brief

April 22, 2023
A $20 million gift from Griffin Catalyst to Miami Dade College — which serves over 100,000 students — will establish the Griffin Scholarship Fund. This support, which represents the largest single gift in the history of Miami Dade College, will provide scholarships for more than 8,000 low-income students, most of them first-generation college-goers.
September 8, 2023
In 2022, Griffin Catalyst joined with partners to support the Organs Initiative, a coalition leveraging data to drive change with broad bipartisan support. The challenge: To fix a broken, inefficient organ donation system that leads to tens of thousands of healthy organs going unrecovered each year and contributes to 30 Americans dying every day for lack of an available organ. In August 2022, the group achieved the first major overhaul of the organ donation system in 40 years, projected to save over 7,000 lives annually. Almost a year later, in July 2023, Congress unanimously passed legislation to break up
October 30, 2023
Griffin Catalyst is funding the construction and programming of 50 soccer mini-pitches in underserved communities across Florida’s Miami-Dade County. The $5 million initiative, carried out with The Children’s Trust, the U.S. Soccer Foundation, and Miami-Dade County, will increase access to the game for young people county-wide, impacting over 30,000 local children over the next seven years, and help build community in dozens of neighborhoods.