5 Fast Facts: The First Commandment

November 16, 2018


We learn in THE FIRST COMMANDMENT about Scot Harvath’s acceptance to the U.S. Navy’s Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL school (BUD/S) as well as SEAL Qualifying Training (SQT). The grueling BUD/S training takes place at the Naval Special Warfare Training Center in Coronado, California and includes: 8 weeks of physical conditioning, 8 weeks of diving, and 9 weeks of land warfare. The 26-week-long SQT is a specialized advanced tactical training program in the core skills required to complete SEAL missions. Upon graduation, successful candidates earn the SEAL Trident and are qualified to join SEAL platoons.


In THE FIRST COMMANDMENT, Philippe Roussard longs to return to “his brothers,” in the Islamic Army of Iraq and his duties as Juba, a most feared and elusive assassin who terrorized and murdered Western soldiers with his rifle. In fact, “Juba,” was the name of a suspected insurgent sniper who claimed to have shot dozens of American soldiers during the Iraq War. His remarkable precision and range were revealed in a series of videos released online, and his existence remains unconfirmed, though his legend endures.

US Freestyle Ski Team

Roussard watches the aerialists of the US Freestyle Ski Team practice in advance of his next planned attack in THE FIRST COMMANDMENT. Freestyle skiing includes aerials, moguls, and dual moguls, and was named for the creativity infused into traditional alpine and Nordic skiing. The US Freestyle Ski Team practices at Utah Olympic Park in Park City, where Brad lived for several years and his wife was a team physician.

Congressional Country Club

The venerable Congressional Country Club is the backdrop for an unexpected meeting in THE FIRST COMMANDMENT. Harvath surprises Director of Central Intelligence James Vaile after his weekly golf game, in pursuit of answers to questions critical to his mission. The club is renowned for its Blue and Gold golf courses and less well-known for its role as a training center and housing facility for OSS agents during World War II.

Gordy’s Boathouse

When, in THE FIRST COMMANDMENT, Rick Morrell and his team arrive in Fontana, Wisconsin, their first stop is Gordy’s Boathouse. Gordy’s is a casual and lively waterfront restaurant and bar in the Lake Geneva area, where Brad spent his childhood summers. Brad’s first job was pumping gas for boats at Gordy’s Lakefront Marine next door.


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