Is Top Shot’s Jake Zweig Really an Ex-Navy SEAL?

According to Top Shot‘s pseudo-wikipedia “Mr. Zweig graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1995 as a commissioned officer. He served as a surface warfare officer for two years onboard the U.S.S. Merrimack before reporting for Navy SEAL training at Basic Underwater Demolition School. SEAL training is the most grueling and demanding physical and mental regimen in the world and Mr. Zweig not only personally excelled at the challenge, but mentored the other trainees through the program and was named the SEAL class leader. Following his SEAL training, Mr. Zweig reported to SEAL Team 8 in Little Creek, VA and attained the rank of Lieutenant.”  Cruising the net, we find that Mr. Zweig’s time in the SEALs had its “issues” . . .

Specifically, Zweig claimed he was the victim of racism. Here an excerpt from armytimes.com that was picked-up by the AP:

“It was like being the only black in a Harley Davidson gang, as out of place as you can be,” said retired Lt. Jake Zweig of his short, tumultuous stay in the SEALs. “It was horrendous.” . . .

“I knew you take a lot of extra punishment, but that was just normal for SEALs, I thought,” he said.

But soon there were nudges of harassment, some subtle, others less so, Zweig said. His portable radio mysteriously switched stations from hip-hop to country whenever he looked away. He endured “gangstah” gibes from instructors. An officer shouted “Stop thief!” at a black sailor jogging.

When he suggested more aggressive recruitment among minority sailors, Zweig said an officer retorted sharply: “What … do you want us to do, lower the standards, so more of y’all can make it in?”

Zweig filed a complaint.

A Navy investigator confirmed Zweig’s account of the meeting but concluded the remark was a misunderstanding and “not racial in nature.” The report expressed sympathy for the view that “any change in training is seen as an eroding of the standards.”

Here’s what else Zweig said about his time in the service to bleacherreport.com:

I will say this, I am not a very good conformist, so to say I didn’t fit in well at the naval academy is an understatement, I tried to conform but I am just not a good conformist. I played football there and wrestled til my senior year.

I didn’t get a Seal billet out of the Naval academy because I had been in a little trouble there, nothing big, just conduct problems. They said once you get your qualification on a ship we will pick you up, so I went there and got qualified in six months. It normally takes 18-24 months but I was working 100-110 hour weeks and eventually I got my Surface Warfare Officer Pin, and got picked up on the first lateral transfer board to Seal teams. I spent another year on the ship and reported to Seal training in 1997.

TTAG Commentator M B Norton may not know about Zweig’s alleged racial harassment, but he can see the chip on the contestant’s shoulder. Like many if not most if not all Top Shot viewers, Norton’s not impressed with Zweig’s character.

Yes folks, evidently Jake really was a Navy Lieutenant (O-3, same rank as Captain in the Army or Marine Corps) when the SEALS finally had enough of him and ended his apparently rather tumultuous 3-year “career.” Gee, I wonder who caused the tumult!

Obviously he has the skills or they wouldn’t have let him in. But would anyone out there who has seen Top Shop this year want to follow a guy with that attitude into battle, or in a covert operation? Trust him with your life, to have your back? Of course not!

The Navy values team players, and bullies like Jake are obviously not capable of that. To pout and be offended to be sent to elimination? He deserved it!! And calling other people out for “running your mouth” when he was the ONE running his mouth.

Hey Jake, you should be ashamed of yourself; a Naval officer is (usually) a man of character, and especially a SEAL LT, should be the Leader in the house, not the problem child. Watching Top Shot this week gave me the only moment of my life that I have ever been embarrased to say I am retired from the Navy (a full 20 years, not a mere 3 years like Jake)–thanks to your immature behavior, combative negative attitude, and what you represent yourself to be.

You are not even close to the high caliber of the quality officers and sailors I worked with. Your own bio on LinkedIn also claims you went to the Navy Academy. Really? Then you should know better!!

Clearly none of the superb training and expensive education you were given was able to instill a sense of the deep Honor and true Integrity that is so integral to the US Naval officer corps, or any of the SEALs I had the privilege of meeting during my 20 years on Active Duty. Grow up Jake! And please, until you do, stop telling people you were in the Navy. You’re an embarrassment.

I hope you are eliminated from Top Shot immediately; you don’t deserve it no matter how well you can shoot. Character matters in all things.

And what does Zweig’s selection as a contestant say about the character of the show’s producers? Clearly, they knew the ex-SEAL didn’t play well with others. Clearly, they selected Zweig for that reason. And the ratings are good. So I guess Top Shot figured the inevitable damage to the U.S. Navy’s reputation was worth it. The things we do for money.