BALTIMORE, Dec. 11, 2014 — US Lacrosse today announced Commander Rorke T. Denver, a 13-year Navy SEAL and current author and actor, as the keynote speaker at the 2015 US Lacrosse Convention, set for Jan. 23-25 in Baltimore.
Denver, who has run every phase of training for the U.S. Navy SEALs and led special-forces missions in the Middle East, Africa and Latin America, among other international hot spots, will kick off the lacrosse world’s largest educational and networking event at 7 p.m. Friday, Jan. 23, in the Baltimore Convention Center.
“I’m honored US Lacrosse has selected me to address lacrosse coaches and officials at its annual convention,” said Denver, who captained Syracuse as an honorable mention All-American defenseman and won two NCAA championships with the Orange in the 1990s. “Service to our country is something a number of lacrosse alumni have valiantly given, and there are lessons to be shared from both endeavors with the coaches and officials who play a leadership role for our young people.”
“We are in debt to Rorke Denver and others like him who put their lives on the line to defend the freedom of our country, and we’re honored to have him as our convention’s keynote speaker,” said Beth Porreca, director of special events at US Lacrosse. “Rorke is an American hero with unique insights to pass along to all of us. His presentation should be an inspirational beginning to our weekend of learning and growth for the lacrosse community.”
Denver spent 13 years as a platoon commander and training leader following his 1999 completion of the SEAL’s Basic Underwater Demolition (BUD/S). Among the hundreds of missions he participated in or led, Denver’s platoon completed 192 combat missions in seven months in the Al Anbar province of Iraq in 2006.
Denver has since authored the March 2013 New York Times bestseller “Damn Few: Making the Modern SEAL Warrior,” and he starred in the hit film “Act of Valor,” which is based on true SEAL adventures. He appeared on the November 2014 cover of Lacrosse Magazine as the publication paid tribute to the U.S. armed forces in conjunction with Veteran’s Day.
Denver’s full biography appears below.
Lacrosse coaches, officials and administrators can register for the convention at uslacrosse.org/convention for just $120 before Jan. 9 (a savings of $40 vs. walk-up pricing). Groups of 10 or more can register together for just $100 per person, also until Jan. 9. The convention registration includes free post-event access to audio/video recordings and PowerPoints of all convention presentations. Discounted hotel rooms for convention attendees at the Hilton Baltimore host hotel are just $135 per night plus taxes until Dec. 23 (market pricing thereafter).
The US Lacrosse Convention has drawn approximately 7,000 participants in each of the last three years. The convention also includes the US Lacrosse Fan Fest, which opens the convention center to the public Jan. 24 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Lacrosse fans can check out gear and apparel from some 150 exhibitors in the sport’s largest expo hall, watch live demonstrations, and get autographs from members of Team USA and other top players and coaches.
For information on schedules, speakers, hotel discounts for attendees, Fan Fest, and to register for the convention, visit uslacrosse.org/convention. Follow the convention on Twitter @USLaxConvention (#LaxCon). Membership in US Lacrosse is required to attend the full convention.
Rorke Denver Biography
Commander Rorke T. Denver has run every phase of training for the U.S. Navy SEALs and led special-forces missions in the Middle East, Africa, Latin America and other international hot spots. He starred in the hit film “Act of Valor,” which is based on true SEAL adventures. His New York Times bestseller, “Damn Few: Making the Modern SEAL Warrior,” takes you inside his personal story and the fascinating, demanding SEAL training program he oversaw.
After completing the SEALs’ legendary Basic Underwater Demolition program in 1999 (BUD/S Class 224), Denver began an action-filled 13-year career as a platoon commander and training leader with America’s premier special-operations force. As assistant officer in charge of BRAVO Platoon at SEAL Team THREE, he was deployed to SOUTCOM, the Central and South American Area of Operations, where his platoon was the “alert” SEAL team for maritime interdiction, hostage rescue, counter-insurgency and counter-narcotics. As SEAL officer aboard the USS Bonhomme Richard, Denver led his group’s response to a murderous uprising in the Ivory Coast nation of Liberia, launching advanced-force operations, conducting hydrographic beach reconnaissance and helping to get U.S. Marines safely ashore. At Special Boat Team TWELVE, he started the Maritime Capable Air Deployable Boat Detachment, which specialized in parachuting large assault boats from U.S. aircraft.
In 2006, Denver was officer in charge of BRAVO Platoon of SEAL Team THREE in Iraq’s Al Anbar Province in one of the most combat-heavy deployments of any regular SEAL team since Vietnam. Stationed in Habbaniya, his team conducted more than 190 missions including sniper operations, direct assaults, special reconnaissance and ground patrols. Two of his teammates were killed in action, including Mike Monsoor, who received the Medal of Honor for jumping on a live grenade to save his teammates. Denver’s team has been widely credited with propelling the “Tribal Awakening” that helped to neutralize Iraq’s Shia insurgency. Denver was awarded the Bronze Star with “V” for valorous action in combat.
After returning to the United States, Denver was appointed flag lieutenant to Admiral Joseph Maguire, commanding officer of Naval Special Warfare, traveling to Afghanistan and briefing Congress on SEAL operations. In 2009, he became First Phase officer of SEAL Basic Training including Hell Week, then rose to Basic Training officer. He went on to run all phases of training including advanced sniper, hand-to-hand fighting, communications, diving and language.
Denver is an honor graduate of the United States Army Ranger School. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Syracuse University, where he was an All-American lacrosse player and captain of the varsity lacrosse team. He earned a Master’s Degree in Global Business Leadership from the University of San Diego. He lives with his wife and two young daughters in San Diego, Calif. In his off-duty hours, he enjoys surfing, hunting, fly-fishing, reading and playing on the living-room floor with his amazing girls.