Travis Kennedy in military gear and clothing, seated

Born and raised in Southern California, I joined the Navy in 2006 with the goal of becoming a Navy SEAL. After graduating from SEAL training in 2008, I went on to complete the Special Operations Combat Medic course. From there, I was stationed at SEAL Team Four where I completed two successful combat deployments to Afghanistan. I went on to become a Basic Underwater Demolition/Seal (BUD/S) instructor and was able to develop and mentor future SEALs. Being an instructor was one of the most rewarding times of my career.

After my time as an instructor, I returned to SEAL Team Four and completed another deployment to Colombia serving as the Leading Petty Officer in charge of 16 other SEALs all while simultaneously completing my Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice.

Shortly after, I served as the leading Chief Petty Officer running the Special Operations Urban Combat training division. In this role, I focused on urban combat tactics, combat shooting and professional development.

Travis Kennedy on deployment with the US Navy SEALs

My greatest memory was when I got the Navy SEAL Trident pinned on my uniform after I completed the year and a half long rigorous training pipeline. This was a dream come true for me, having dreamed about that moment at such an early age. To finally accomplish it was a surreal experience. The key takeaway that I learned being a SEAL was “Mindset” and the power that your mindset has to produce either a positive or a negative influence on who we are. When I was a SEAL having a strong mindset meant everything, gave me that ability to perform in high-stress situations, deal with loss and defeat, push through the tough times and come out the other end even stronger than I was before.

In April 2019, I separated from the military in order to follow my next calling of giving back, teaching and mentoring others so they may grow individually and professionally. I do this by applying years of experience as a United States Navy SEAL to educate and train individuals on defensive shooting tactics and instilling the “Thinking Shooter” mindset. Right now I run my own small business called Kennedy Defensive Shooting. This company is focused on educating both the civilian and law enforcement populations on safe and proper weapon handling, a passion turned business for me.

I decided to pursue my MBA to gain a better understanding and knowledge base of business. I have always had a passion for business and finance, and I knew when I separated from the military I needed to get the best education I could to be successful in a post-Military career. I wholeheartedly believe that being an expert in business will not only add value to me but more importantly to the people around me and for the Kennedy Defensive Shooting customers. I’ve found multiple characteristics common to the military and students in the MBA program. Some examples are the dedication and commitment it takes to be successful, strong work ethic, drive, passion and a never quit attitude to name a few, which all are necessary for success in the military and the MBA program. Upon completing my MBA, I plan to continue growing my business while also pursuing a career in the finance industry.

For any fellow veterans thinking about pursuing an MBA, I would tell you “Do it! Take the leap and take on the challenge.” Many veterans may think they are not ready, or it may not apply to what they want to do in life. I’m an optimist and a true believer that an MBA program is a great place for any veteran to thrive in. All the real-life experiences that you get in the military can be applied to the MBA in a very impactful way. I always say to others to always be the student of the game, and constantly be learning and getting better every day. With hard work comes great success.