On the surface, Ray “Cash” Care is a picture of fine-tuned discipline and no-nonsense intensity.
He’s easy to peg as a former Navy SEAL even without being told. The confident way he carries himself, the peak shape he’s in, and the way he focuses on whatever he’s doing at the moment like a predator about to pounce on its prey can be deceiving. An insecure person may have a difficult time in his presence.
But underneath that exterior is a husband who adores his wife, a father who loves his kids, and a soul that’s been tested by every level of depravity known to mankind, only to come out stronger and more compassionate.
From the time he was a little boy to the time he spent in the military, Ray Care has been pushed to the brink of his mental, emotional, and physical capacity. He was abused as a child. His mother left him until his father was murdered and she was forced to take her young son in. Physically she accepted Ray’s presence yet she rejected him in every other way – he reminded her too much of the man who’d caused her such pain.
At first Ray followed the path he seemed predestined to take. Anger ruled his life. Alcohol and violence were its outlets. The physical tolerance he’d developed for pain and discomfort made him a threat to any challenger. The emotional and mental walls he’d constructed effectively numbed him to the consequences his actions had on himself or anyone else.
He was on a crash course with irreparable disaster when he picked up a book about the Navy SEALS. The pages of that book pierced through the shroud of anger and self-destructiveness Ray had wrapped himself in. Within that book Ray discovered the potential of his pain and anger as assets that could be harnessed to elevate himself out of the void he’d been plummeting into.
With the vision of what could be fresh on his mind, Ray mentioned his discovery to a friend. “You don’t have what it takes to be a Navy SEAL,” the friend scoffed.
It was a challenge Ray Care could not refuse.
It took Ray 3 attempts to pass the entry test. The ASVAB ( Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery ) test could have been the factor that defeated Ray. The first time he took it he failed to score high enough to qualify.
He had to wait a year in between taking the test each time.
The second time, he fell short of the minimum score by one point.
He was mad now. He knew he had the ability to excel as a Navy SEAL and wasn’t about to let a written test prevent that from happening.
Ray did the only thing he could think of to make sure the third time would be the charm : he asked for help.
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Ray doubled down on studying. He said goodbye to alcohol and cleared all the women except for one off his playing field. He worked out every day and worked hard in between his time at the gym. He worked with a tutor and came back a third time to take the test.
Three years and three days after he started his quest to become a SEAL, Ray was admitted into BUDS. He believes the effort and determination he’d had to put forth in order to stand alongside the others gave him an edge most of the rest didn’t have.
By the time BUDs ended only 16 of the 138 men were left standing. Not all of the missing men had quit. Men like his good friend Jason Redman sustained injuries that forced them to roll back into the next class.
Ray “Cash” Care is tight-lipped about his experiences in the military.
What he doesn’t say, though, says it all.
The transition from life as a Navy SEAL to life as a civilian was rough. He was used to being surrounded by men like him who were all-in all of the time. He was used to being on alert and living in a state of constant readiness. He carried the weight of close friends he’d lost and almost lost. He was used to being away from home.
All of that was a lot of energy and memories and mindsets to cram into a life that seemed much smaller and completely foreign to him.
Lots of military marriages succumb to the challenges involved. Fortunately for Ray his wife Tricia is a perfect partner for him.
“Tricia is the love of my life,” says Ray. “She’s a fucking Savage – 105 lbs and solid muscle.”
From the night they met, Tricia made it clear she was just as strong-willed and bold as Ray, who couldn’t bring himself to approach the woman he couldn’t stop staring at.
Tricia sauntered over to Ray’s friend and struck up a conversation. When Ray chimed in, Tricia teased him for not having the guts to talk to her.
It was game on, and they are still each other’s partner and best friend all these years later.
Ray’s badass, wise-cracking personality spins on a dime when he talks about his wife. The intensity is still there, but it’s a different kind. If you pay close attention you’ll even catch him smiling when he says her name or shares the story of how they met.
“We have a blast,” he grins. Whether they are in a friendly rivalry at the gym, or talking walks with their kids, or dancing in the kitchen, Ray loves the time he spends with his family. “Sometimes I like to take the intensity hat off,” he says, and just be a husband and a dad.
That’s not to say it’s always effortless.
Ray was deployed for much of their time together. When he’s home, “She wants to kill me,” he laughs. They have the kind of bond that is both unbreakable and needs a break sometimes. “Our relationship is so strong and she’s so independent – that’s why I love her so much.”
The Coronavirus was just sinking its teeth into this country at the time this interview took place. Ray admitted that it had him a little rattled, and laughed again when he shared that Tricia called him out on it, reminding him that he is a motivational speaker and supposed to know how to handle these things.
“She motivates the hell out of me every day, she’s my reality check and I love it.”
Ray makes sure to position himself to maximize every opportunity. He was in the right place at the right time when the actor who was supposed to play the role of a SEAL in Tom Hanks’ movie, Captain Phillips, got stuck on a broken-down ferry. That’s how he ended up face to face with Tom Hanks himself.
It should have been easy to step into the role. Or at least, Ray thought it would be easy. But he focused so hard on acting like he was the SEAL who actually helped rescue someone that he forgot how to be the SEAL who rescued someone.
Finally Tom stepped in with some of the best advice Ray has ever gotten from any mentor. He prefaced the advice with, “God, you are the worst actor I ever met in my life.”
Ray was taken aback at first, to put it mildly. Two words popped into his mind. One started with “F” and the other was “you.” But then Tom followed up with…
“Stop trying to be something you’re not,” Tom said. Without professional help, Tom told Ray, he’d never be an actor. Tom told Ray to stop pretending to be an actor and just be the SEAL he knows how to be.
“I loved it,” Ray says. The message he took from Tom’s constructive criticism is this : Stop trying to be something you’re not, and just be the best version of yourself that you can be. He took that lesson to heart and has been applying it to his own mindset every day since then.
Year later, another mentor would enter Ray Care’s life.
Bedros Keuilian is the founder and CEO of Fit Body Boot Camp. He’s a former refugee who endured enormous hardships before he built a multi-million dollar company from the ground up. He and Ray have shared experiences in terms of personal traumas and similar mindsets in terms of using that pain for a purpose.
Kicking in doors, getting shot at, getting blown up or stabbed – all those things are what’s “normal” to Ray. Tell him to open up Google Drive, though, and he was completely lost. So when Bedros gave him the opportunity to work for him, Ray had a whole new hill to climb.He was completely lost. He had no clue how to even begin learning the strange new skills attached to working on a computer. Day after day he’d call Bedros or others employed by him to fire rounds of questions at them.
“Dude,” Bedros finally told his friend and new employee, “You suck at this, but here’s the good thing- You can’t get any worse.”
He was pointed toward YouTube, which he began watching for 2 hours a day. Gradually, Ray learned the skills he needed to learn for the job. He improved to the point that Bedros told him, “You still suck, but you don’t suck as bad.”
That kind of review from a boss might make some people mad. Ray, though, took it all in stride and recognized it for the valuable critique he needed. Ray doesn’t care if something is hard or concern himself with potential embarrassment. What he does care about is pushing over, under, around, or through any obstacle standing between himself and whatever objective he’s set his sights on.
Bedros recognized that spirit and it’s what he values more than any learned skill set. “The reason I hired you,” he told Ray, “ is because you give more effort than anyone I’ve ever met. I can teach you how to be a 7 figure mastermind but I can’t teach you how to show up and give 100%.”
The “Never Quit” mindset is one Ray taught himself at an early age, honed during his time in the military, and uses as a foundation for all he does today. He’s partnered with his buddy Jason Redman to share that message on their Overcome and Conquer podcast. He’s a motivational coach for athletes and peak performers, and he’s got his own “Conquer” program to pull the potential out of his clients.
He’s aware he’s not a good fit for everyone. “You either love me or you hate me,” he laughs – “I don’t grow on people.”
The years of trauma and turmoil without a guided purpose, followed by years of training that pain to be an asset, to honing it today among colleagues who continually inspire and push him, have carved away the clutter in Ray’s life to reveal a driven man with a heart of gold who lives a life centered on gratitude instead of resentment.
He’s living his version of the American Dream that he personally paid for with his service.
“I’ve bled for this nation and I’d do it again, he says, “No questions asked.”
You might see Ray “Cash” Care stumble, but you will never see him quit.