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Eric Greitens: The Heart and the Fist: The Education of a Humanitarian, the Making of a Navy SEAL

As a young man, Eric Greitens felt a call to service in his heart; years later, he felt a call to service with his fist, and came to realize those calls were one and the same.

As an undergraduate researcher, Greitens spent time in Croatia and Rwanda aiding war refugees, and covered even more ground doing humanitarian work in preparation for his doctoral thesis. But after earning his Ph.D. as a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford University, with lucrative opportunities in private industry ahead of him, Greitens took a left turn, enrolling first in Officer Candidate School to become a Navy officer and then Basic Underwater Demolition School to become a SEAL.

In The Heart and the Fist, Greitens describes his training as a humanitarian and a warrior, with lessons learned from a boxing gym at Oxford and the streets around Mother Teresa's house in Calcutta; with strength drawn from the grueling physical trials of SEAL training and his memories of orphanages in Bosnia and Rwanda; and with harmony between those two calls to service, because "the world needs many more humanitarians than it needs warriors, but there can be none of the former without enough of the latter."

Eric Greitens received awards including the Purple Heart and the Bronze Star for his military service. After returning from Iraq, he used his combat pay and the disability pay of two friends to start The Mission Continues, which is dedicated to helping wounded and disabled warriors serve their country as citizen leaders at home. He is also the author of Strength and Compassion, a book of photographs and essays that grew from his humanitarian work. He currently teaches public service as a Senior Fellow at the Truman School of Public Affairs at the University of Missouri.