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from the Campaign

[Sentinel News Letter to the Editor] Master Chief Petty Officer Drew Sande, US Navy/SEAL (Retired)

It is my pleasure to provide my endorsement with confidence for a fellow career active-duty Navy SEAL who is a candidate for Kentucky’s 7th Senate District: Captain Edward (Ed) G. Gallrein III, US Navy/SEAL (Retired).

I am a retired career active-duty SEAL Master Chief Petty Officer (E-9) with twenty-six years of active-duty service where I served at all levels of SEAL enlisted leadership including as the SEAL Advanced Training Command’s Senior Enlisted Leader. I now serve as the President of the Underwater Demolition Team-SEAL Association, our SEAL alumni group that provides programs to support our Naval Special Warfare (NSW) service members, Veterans and their families.

I first met Ed as Ensign Gallrein in 1984 (fresh out of being commissioned at Naval Officer Candidate School) in SEAL training, famously known as Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL Training, at the Coronado Naval Amphibious Base, California. Our BUD/S Class started with over 130 students. We were a winter class that historically has a higher failure rate … and we did — only 18 of the original members graduated. Ed distinguished himself throughout BUD/S training through his exceptional work ethic, never quit attitude (including during Hell Week), leadership and teamwork. I fondly recall many after-hours sessions with Ensign Gallrein leading the maintenance and repairs of our BUD/S Class’s Inflatable Boats Small (IBS) fleet to keep them in tip top condition as our primary means of transport, a factor that was part of the BUD/S Instructor’s evaluation of our Class to determine if we had attention to detail and Teamwork to be SEALs. (These are vital characteristics for SEALs and SEAL Teams.)

Ed graduated from BUD/S and went on to serve as an active-duty member of the elite SEAL Officer community in numerous leadership positions for a career that covered three decades, reaching the rank and position of Commodore (a senior Captain in Command of an operational NSW/SEAL Group).

Ed continues to serve tirelessly as a leader after retiring from active duty. In fact, he volunteered to assume the role as President of the UDT-SEAL Association’s Mid-South Chapter (which includes Kentucky, Tennessee and Arkansas) when he got home to his farm in Kentucky. Additionally, evidence of his continued passion to serve is the fact that started an annual Navy SEAL Family Picnic and fundraiser at Gallrein Farms to bring SEAL Team Veterans throughout the area and surrounding states together for fellowship (and next year will be the 9th annual event). The event also raises funds from local area patriotic and generous sponsors to support programs much needed by our SEAL Team Veterans, widows, orphans, and wounded. Ed also stepped up to assume the role as the area Ambassador for the SEAL Veterans Foundation, our sister organization for fundraising.

Ed has demonstrated the ability to effectively lead and selflessly serve others, and he is certain to represent his Senate District in an exemplary manner. I invite you to join me and support Ed Gallrein for State Senate.

Regards,

Master Chief Petty Officer Drew Sande, US Navy/SEAL (Retired)
President, UDT-SEAL Association