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John Doolittle

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Captain John Doolittle, USN Ret., an English Channel swimmer and 25-year veteran of the U.S. military
Captain John Doolittle, USN Ret. (far right) with his graduating BUD/S class
John Doolittle co-organizes the Tampa Bay Frogman Swim that was nominated for the 2019 WOWSA Awards in the World Open Water Swimming Offering of the Year category
John Doolittle in the English Channel

John Doolittle is an American competitive swimmer, masters swimmer, channel swimmer, and a retired Navy SEAL Captain. A graduate of the United States Air Force Academy (1988 – 1992) and 25-year military veteran, he is a certified KAATSU Master Specialist who currently serves as the Chief Revenue Officer of KAATSU Global.

SEAL Inspiration

Doolittle was originally inspired by one of his early swim coaches, Mike Troy, an ex-Navy SEAL and 1960 Olympic gold medallist in two swimming events.

Open Water Swimming Career Highlights

  • He has completed the Tampa Bay Frogman Swim several times, both bioprene and neoprene.
  • He completed a 12 hour 24 minute crossing of the English Channel in September 2004. He crossed in memory of Petty Officer Neil Roberts who was killed during combat in Afghanistan. The charity swim benefitted the Naval Special Warfare Foundation which supports the family members of Special Warfare personnel killed.

Military Career

Captain John Doolittle, USN Ret. is from Walnut Creek, California. He graduated from the United States Air Force Academy in 1992 and has a Master’s Degree in Defense Analysis from the Naval Postgraduate School in 2005. After graduation from the Air Force Academy, he received a cross commission and served as a hard-hat Dive Salvage Officer and Surface Warfare Officer with the U.S. Navy from three years in Hawaii. In 1996, he transferred to the Naval Special Warfare community and became a Navy SEAL.

From 1997 to 2002, Captain Doolittle was assigned to Navy SEAL Team Two and served throughout Europe and Africa including a deployment in Kosovo during the 9/11 tragedy. In 2002, he reported to Naval Special Warfare Unit Two in Germany and conducted special operations in the Baltics, Levant, Bosnia and East Africa. In 2005, he was assigned to Naval Special Warfare Unit One in Guam as an Executive Officer. In 2006, he was sent to Fallujah, Iraq in support of Special Operations Task Force West.

In 2007, he served in the U.S. Special Operations Command headquarters and was the Deputy Commander for Combined Joint Special Operations Task Force for the Arabian Peninsula in Iraq. In 2009, he commanded the Provincial Reconstruction Team in Afghanistan. In 2013, he became a director for the Preservation of the Force and Family Task Force in Florida.

He has received a Bronze Star twice, the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, and the Meritorious Service Medal twice.

Naked Warrior Award

Doolittle is the namesake of the CAPT John Doolittle Spirit of the “Naked Warrior” Award given at the Tampa Bay Frogman Swim.

2019 World Open Water Swimming Offering of the Year Nomination

The Tampa Bay Frogman Swim was nominated for the 2019 World Open Water Swimming Offering of the Year award as follows:

Charity swims attract all kinds of open water swimmers, from passionate environmentalists and those who remember the namesake of the event to local athletes and those who are simply drawn to the cause. The Tampa Bay Frogman Swim is supported by a wide spectrum of athletes, working exceptionally hard to honor and support the event's beneficiary: the Navy SEAL Foundation. The 5 km swim in Tampa Bay, Florida is the world's highest grossing charity swim per swimmer that raised over $725,000 in its 2019 event with only 164 swimmers. Because 100% of the proceeds support wounded and fallen Navy SEALs and their families, the success of this event is off the charts. Its start is solemn with a dignified military ceremony that is reflective and dramatic. The swim is not easy with swirling currents and low water temperatures, symbolic of the challenges that Navy SEALs face. Its finish is festive and celebratory. For the all-volunteer professional organization of the event by retired military officers, for the safe production of a challenging swim that has since expanded throughout the United States, for the selfless and extraordinarily generous support of military personnel and their families, the Tampa Bay Frogman Swim in Florida is a worthy nominee for the 2019 World Open Water Swimming Offering of the Year.

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