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Stanley A. McChrystal

From SEALs to startups: Special ops drawn to Silicon Valley

Keith David spent years flying around the globe on covert missions, making life-and-death decisions and overseeing multiple units unleashing airstrikes against insurgents. The former Navy SEAL now realizes it was the perfect training for a career in Silicon Valley.

A growing number of U.S. special forces veterans are veering off the traditional path of working for private security firms and law enforcement agencies, and instead are heading into the tech industry. Companies are discovering their abilities to build teams and think outside the box make them a good fit for the innovative businesses.

"It's very adaptable and flexible, especially a startup, so it's kind of...

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