Top of his class. Quarterback. Team captain.
John Faas' football coach had encouraged the natural-born leader to consider applying to a service academy to become a military officer, but Faas had decided in middle school that he wanted to become a Navy SEAL.
The 31-year-old from Minneapolis never wavered about his goal, joining the elite fighting force and becoming a chief petty officer.
"This is where John felt he was called," said Ron Monson, the football coach at Minnehaha Academy, a private Christian school in Minneapolis where Faas graduated as the 1998 class valedictorian.
The coach said Faas never showed bravado and didn't fit the Hollywood stereotype of a SEAL. Instead, the son of Gretchen and Robert Faas of Minneapolis, was the guy who always stood up for his fellow students.
"John was a man of unquestionable integrity and courage, as were those he served with," his family said in a statement. "He became a SEAL to serve his country and to make the world a better place for those less fortunate."