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Specops Staff Bios

We are proud to be working with an amazing group of men, each hand-selected and trusted by Specops Co-Founder Mykel Hawke to deliver incredible Specops Training Missions and Adventures. Specops team members are highly-seasoned and experienced Special Operations veterans. Each has been chosen based on his accomplishments, extensive training, real-world experience, personality and ability to instill confidence and convey information in a professional and intensely fun way.

Meet a few of the Specops Team Members:

HawkeHawke is Co-founder and Director of Operations for SpecOps Adventure Company. He's an experienced survival instructor in the jungle, desert, arctic, sea and urban environments. He's a published author with a bestselling book, and a public speaker and lecturer on crisis responses to manmade and natural disasters including WMD (Weapons of Mass Destruction). Hawke represents SpecOps on-camera and in creative program development during media productions.

Hawke has over twenty years of combined military, civilian and government experience. He has served as a senior enlisted member of the U.S. Army's Special Forces and as a Commissioned Officer as a Team Commander. He has been a U.S. Government Contractor and Country Project Manager abroad. Hawke has training and experience in telecommunications, intelligence operations, remote medical management, combat search and rescue, guerrilla warfare, counter terrorism, security tactics and languages. He has deployed to hotspots throughout Eastern Europe, the Middle-East, Latin America, South East Asia and Western Africa.

Hawke's Green Beret Survival ManualHawke has worked with the U.S. Department of State, the United Nations, Other Government Agencies (OGA's) & Non-Governmental Organizations (NGO's). His accomplishments include the establishment and operation of a Combat Medic School in Azerbaijan and a Combat Search & Rescue Program in Colombia. He has also served as a Project Manager in Haiti and Sierra Leone, conducting medical evacuations, troops & munitions re-supply, quick reaction forces and VIP transport. He has developed and controlled the international education and adventure for SpecOps programs based in Costa Rica.

Hawke most recently served in Afghanistan as a Commander of Mujahideen Militia against Taliban and Al-Qaeda Forces.

Highlights of Hawke's Official Military Training:

  • Special Forces Detachment Commander Course -18A
  • Combined Arms Service Staff School (CAS3)
  • Officer Advanced Course - Civil Affairs -38A
  • Officer Advanced Course- Infantry - 11A
  • Medical Service Officer Course - 70B
  • Anti-Terrorism & Force Protection Instructor (AT/FP Level II)
  • Government Detention & Hostage Negotiation (PGD/HD SERE 245)
  • Personnel Recovery (JPRA 102)
  • Survival, Escape, Resistance & Evasion (SERE, Level-C)
  • Special Operations Medical Sergeant Course (18D)
  • Special Forces Morse Code & Communications Course (18E)
  • Special Forces Intelligence and Operations Course (18F)
  • Advanced Non Commissioned Course (ANCOC)
  • Advanced Trauma Life Support (ATLS)
  • National Registry EMT Paramedic
  • Combat Anesthesia
  • Advanced Cardiac Life Support
  • Combat Chemical Casualty Care
  • Special Forces Jump Master Course
  • Defense Language Institute (Russian)
  • Blackbelt - Aikido
  • Scuba Diver

Note: Due to some training being classified, not all courses are posted.

Hawke is also a 3rd Degree Blackbelt in Aikido, 1st degree in Judo and well studied in Karate and various forms of Kung-Fu. He has been a skydiver, and currently enjoys scuba diving, shooting, climbing, hiking, camping, fishing and most outdoor activities.


  • Russian (advanced)
  • Spanish (intermediate)
  • French, Turkish, Italian (basic)
  • Serbo-Croation (basic)


  • B.S. - Biology and M.S. Psychology, graduated with honors (Magna Cum Laude)

TripTrip has been a member of the Special Operations community for over twenty years and has been serving on an Army Special Forces A-Team almost as long. Spending most of his team-time conducting counter-drug and foreign internal defense missions in Latin America through the nineties, recent years has found his A-Team shifting gears into more traditional unconventional warfare rolls such as counter insurgency and guerrilla warfare in the Middle-East.

In addition to his military endeavourers, Trip has worked with the State of Maryland Narcotics Task Force, The National Ski Patrol, and has volunteered as a Firefighter and an EMT. Most recently, Trip has added Safety and Risk-Management to his credentials by becoming a certified instructor through the National Safety Council and has been trained in OSHA compliance.

Training Highlights:

  • U.S. Army Infantry Training (11B)
  • U.S. Army Airborne Course
  • U.S. Army Special Forces Weapons Sergeant Course (18B)
  • Survival, Evasion, Resistance and Escape Training (Level-C, High Risk)
  • U.S. Army Special Forces Advanced Noncommissioned Officer Course
  • Mountain Warfare School Winter Phase
  • National Ski Patrol Alpine Rescue Course
  • Combat Lifesaver Course
  • Emergency Medical Technician - Ambulance
  • Emergency Medical Technician - Tactical
  • Ground Safety Officer Training
  • Defensive Driving Instructor
  • Gryphon Group Mobile Force Protection Course


  • He speaks fluent 5.56mm and 7.62mm


  • Bachelors of Science in Mass Communications

SamSam "the Man" is an expert martial artist and expert at survival and field medicine. He has over 10 years of military experience as a U.S. Special Forces Medic, an interrogator and a linguist. Sam has over 25 years of martial arts experience both as a student and instructor ranging in styles from traditional Chinese martial arts, to stick and knife fighting, to Mixed Martial Arts and grappling.

Professional Highlights:

  • Special Forces Medical Sergeant and member of Counter Narcotics Team
  • Military Intelligence and Interrogator
  • Gifted Linguist and Instructor for language
  • Trainer for Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms SWAT teams in Small Unit Tactics
  • Taught wilderness living skills for the Colorado Outdoor Education Program
  • Taught medicinal and edible plants for the Boulder School of Natural Medicine
  • Martial arts instructor: Wing Chun, Pentjak Silat, classic mixed (no-holds barred), etc.

Civilian Education:

  • B.A. Linguistics, University of Colorado, Boulder

Military Schools:

  • Interrogator School, Ft. Huachuca, AZ
  • Defense Language Institute (German), San Francisco, CA
  • Primary Leadership Development Course, Kitzingen, Germany
  • Airborne School, Ft. Benning, GA
  • Special Forces Medic School & Qualification Course, Ft. Bragg, NC
  • Advanced Leadership Development Course, Ft. Bragg, NC
  • Basic Thai Language Course, Denver, CO
  • Basic Chinese Mandarin Course, Denver, CO

Additionally: Sam is a fluent German linguist, Master Pianist, and Professional Programmer.

JayJay is the co-founder of Specops and has over eighteen years of military experience. This includes four years in a U.S. Marine Corps Reconnaissance Battalion (team leader) and fourteen years in the U.S. Army Special Forces (medical sergeant). He has extensive training in medicine, anti-terrorism and languages. Jay has deployed primarily throughout Latin America and served as a senior medic in Afghanistan and Uzbekistan during Operation Enduring Freedom.

Jay is also an experienced outdoor survival instructor, writer, and adventure tour guide. He has developed and implemented programs in wilderness first aid, trauma management, jungle survival, land navigation and waterborne operations. He has published numerous articles on outdoor survival skills and techniques, and has served as a technical advisor on a number of documentary and adventure filming programs, including The Learning Channel, MTV's Road Rules, Danish Television, and Travel on the Edge in Costa Rica.

Training Highlights:

  • U.S. Army Special Operations Medical Sergeant Course (18D)
  • U.S.M.C. Amphibious Reconnaissance School (0321)
  • U.S.M.C. Infantry Training School (ITS)
  • U.S. National Registry EMT-Paramedic
  • Special Operations Target Interdiction Course (SOTIC) level II
  • Special Forces Advanced Urban Combat (SFAUC)
  • Survival Evasion Resistance Escape SERE Level C (High Risk)
  • Individual Terrorism Awareness Course (INTAC)
  • Antiterrorism Instructor Qualification Course (AIQC)
  • Advanced Terrorism Abduction and Hostage Survival (ATAHS)
  • Force Protection level II
  • U.S. Navy SCUBA
  • U.S. Army Airborne Course
  • Special Operations Language Course - Arabic-Egyptian (6 months)
  • Advanced Trauma Life Support (ATLS)


  • Spanish (advanced); German (intermediate); Arabic and Pashto (beginner)


  • Bachelor of Science, Liberal Arts University of the State of New York

Mike"Mean Mad Mike" has been involved in the Special Operations community for over twenty years. After spending four years in the 1st Ranger Battalion, Mike decided to get out and explore the civilian world. He became a Washington DC police officer where he served five years working the DC streets during its peak of crime, violence and drugs. Mike worked in a patrol car, plain clothes and prostitution details. While serving the community as a police officer, he decided to reengage and to serve his country once again. Mike reentered the service, joining the Special Forces as an 18C (Engineer Sgt). Mike has worked in almost every Central and South American country assisting, training, and advising US Embassy personnel and host nation forces in subjects ranging from setting up basic training for foreign armies to CQB, marksmanship and breaching, to providing personal protection and conducting threat vulnerability assessments. Mike has also served four tours in Iraq as an 18Z (SF Team Sergeant) and is a member of "The Unit."

Mike is also an accomplished amateur boxer. He has trained and fought with some of the top fighters in the world and has coached at various boxing and athletic clubs in Washington DC, Miami, FL, and Puerto Rico.

Training Highlights:

  • Airborne School, 1985
  • Ranger Indoctrination Program (RIP), 1985
  • Ranger School, 1986
  • Primary Leadership Development Course, 1987
  • Metropolitan Police Academy Washington DC, 1990
  • Special Forces Assessment and Selection Course, 1992
  • Special Forces Engineering Course, 1992
  • Survival Escape, Resist & Evade (SERE), High Risk,1992
  • Basic NCO Course, 1992
  • Basic and Advanced Spanish Language Course, 1993
  • Target Analysis Course, 1995
  • Vermont Summer Mountaineering Course, 1996
  • Jump Master Course, 1996
  • Advanced Land Navigation Course, 1996
  • Special Operations Mountaineering Course, 1997
  • Special Forces Operations and Intelligence Course, 1997
  • Advanced NCO Course, 1997= Special Forces Advance Reconnaissance Target
  • Analysis Exploitation Course (SFARTAEC), 1998
  • Anti-Terrorism/Narco-Trafficker, Personal Protection Course, 2000
  • Applied Explosive Technology (AET), 2000
  • Anti-Terrorism/Force Protection Instructor/ Threat Vulnerability Course, 2001
  • B.S.R. Executive Driving Course, 2003
  • SERE 215 (Peace time and Non-Governmental Detention), 2003
  • SERE 250 (Restraint Defeat Course), 2005

Languages: Read, write and speak fluent Spanish

JoeJoe teaches a lot of the special tours where SPECOPS incorporates Special Ops planning and tactics for Corporate Leadership Training and for our Commando Adventures involving Paint Ball game scenarios such as rescue missions, etc.

Joe has served over fifteen years in the Special Ops community and has a wide range of experience, starting out in the Marine Corps Elite Force Recon before joining the US Army Special Forces where he served on a Scuba team.

Professional Highlights

  • US Marine Corps Infantry School
  • US Marine Corps Amphibious Reconnaissance School
  • US Marine Corps Reconnaissance Indoctrination Program
  • US Marine Corps Non-Commissioned Officers School
  • US Marine Corps Maintenance Management School
  • US Marine Corps Rappel / S.P.I.E. Master School
  • US Army Airborne School
  • US Army Master Fitness Course
  • US Army Engagement Skills Trainer (FATS) Course
  • US Army Basic Non-Commissioned Officers Course
  • US Army Special Forces Assessment and Selection Course
  • US Army Special Forces Qualification Course (Weapons)
  • US Army Special Forces Military Free-Fall Parachutist Course
  • US Army Special Forces Combat Diver Course
  • US Army Special Forces Advanced Urban Combat Course
  • US Army Special Forces Language Course (Spanish)
  • US Army Special Operations Target Interdiction Sniper Course
  • US Army Special Forces Anti-Terrorism Instructor Course
  • US Army Special Forces Detachment Delta (DELTA FORCE) Selection Course
  • US Navy SCUBA School
  • US Department of State Diplomatic Security Qualification Course

RickRick "the Viking" has spent over eighteen years in Special Forces. In that time, he has done nearly everything there is to do, from Special Forces schools and skills to operations and missions. He was the first ever to plan and conduct a counter-ambush against the Taliban forces in Afghanistan while on the skids of the Cobra helicopter, as seen on NBC News Nightline with Ted Coppel and also the Military Channel: Red Dog, On the Hunt. He is just about a one-man A-team, and his size reflects that. But he's a friendly grizzly bear, unless you try to steal his chow. Prior to that, he spent over seven years in Special Operations aviation as a flight engineer of Chinook helicopters.

Rick teaches many of the medical courses for SPECOPS since he is an SF medic and Paramedic as well.

Training Highlights:

  • Advanced Mountaineering
  • Primary Leadership development Course
  • Special Forces Assessment and Selection
  • Basic Non Commissioned Officers Course
  • Special Forces Engineer Sergeant (18C)
  • Puerto Rico Spanish Language School
  • Special Forces Operations and Intelligence Course (18F)
  • Survival, Evasion, Resistance, Escape (SERE High Risk)
  • Special Forces Engineer Sergeants ANCOC
  • Special Forces Underwater Operations Course
  • Advanced Land Navigation, Camp Dawson Virginia
  • Advanced Tactical Firearms Course
  • Military Free-fall Parachutist Course
  • Special Forces Medical Sergeant (18D / 91B)
  • Individual Terrorism Course
  • Special Operations Medical Sustainment Program
  • Special Operations Diving Medical Technician Course
  • Special Operations Medical Sustainment Program
  • Special Operations Medical Sustainment Program
  • Pre Ranger course (3 weeks)
  • Ranger School
  • Sergeants Major Academy Phase I

Military Skills Include:

  • Medium Helicopter Repairer (AIT, 67U)
  • Special Forces Engineer Sergeant (18C)
  • Special Forces Operations and Intelligence Course (18F)
  • Special Forces Medical Sergeant (18D/91C/68W)
  • Special Forces Operations Sergeant (18Z)

Military Awards:

  • Sergeants Major
  • Aircraft Crewman Wings
  • Basic Airborne Wings
  • Air Assault Wings
  • Military Free Fall Parachutist Badge
  • Combat Diver Badge
  • German Parachutist Badge
  • Honduran Parachutist Badge
  • Dominican Republic Commando Parachutist Badge
  • Expert Marksman Badge Rifle
  • Expert Marksman Badge 9 MM Pistol
  • Ranger Tab

Additional Civilian Skills:

  • National Registry of Emergency Medicine-Paramedic
  • National Board Certified- Diving and Hyperbaric Medical Technology

E-mail or call Incredible Adventures today
for further details: 800 644-7382


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