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CTF-66 Deputy Commander Assumes Bull Frog Mantle for NSW

by MC1 Felicito Rustique, Naval Special Warfare Command Public Affairs
17 June 2024 Capt. Eric Skalski, deputy commander of Commander Task Force (CTF) 66, officially assumed the title of the Naval Special Warfare Community’s 19th Bull Frog on  May 1, 2024. Skalski succeeded retired Cmdr. Joseph Burns, who had served as  NSW’s 18th Bull Frog since Jan.19, 2023, until his recent retirement.

The Bull Frog, the longest continuously serving active-duty SEAL at the time of receiving the title from their predecessor, embodies key traits highly valued in the Naval Special Warfare and SEAL community: adaptability, strength, and leadership. The title also highlights the naval tradition of nurturing leadership within the community.

"Being the Bull Frog means having a wealth of experiences, but not all of them," explained Capt. Eric Skalski. "In my nearly 39 years with Naval Special Warfare and the Navy, I've witnessed significant changes. As an NSW leader, my role remains consistent: setting a positive example, sharing my experiences (including mistakes), and learning from diverse perspectives. I'll continue adapting alongside my teammates until I pass the torch to the next Bull Frog."

When a Bull Frog retires, Naval Special Warfare Command (NSWC) conducts a formal ceremony to officially transfer the title. During this event, the outgoing Bull Frog presents a specially engraved trophy to the newly recognized Bull Frog. The trophy features a small wooden frog on top and the names of previous Bull Frogs inscribed on the side. However, Skalski is currently stationed in Europe, helping to lead the U.S. 6th Fleet’s newest Task Force and the ceremonial fare was replaced by an enthusiastic email notification.

World events in Ukraine and the Red Sea have given warfighters valuable insights into the risks and dynamics of asymmetric warfare. The collaborative efforts of CTF-66, our Allies, and partners are key to perfecting maritime domain awareness globally, assisting our partners in the defense of predatory practices such as illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing, and defending our own infrastructure, ships, and personnel against a growing unmanned systems threat.

As a member of CTF-66, Skalski is thankful to be surrounded by smart, innovative professionals from many warfare communities to include space, cyber, SOF and intelligence. He’s also pleased that his current team works closely with and shares similar attributes with NSW.

“I may be biased, but I am very proud of NSW’s partnership with and contributions to CTF-66,” said Skalski. “Our ability to learn, adapt and innovate is critical to staying relevant and survivable. NSW and SOF in general are leaders in this arena as demonstrated over the decades. The actors remain largely the same, but the tools of the trade continue to evolve.”