CAPT Peter Igor Wikul, USN (Ret.)


U.S. Navy (Ret.), BULLFROG 13

CAPT Pete Wikul served in the U.S. Navy over 39 years and 38 as a Navy SEAL.  He was the thirteenth U.S. Navy SEAL BULLFROG. BULLFROG is an honorific title bestowed to the longest serving US Navy SEAL while he is on active duty.

CAPT Wikul enlisted in the U.S. Navy at 18 years old in June 1970 volunteering for the UDT/SEAL Program and graduating with Recruit Company UDT-4 and then Fire Control Technician “A” School at Great Lakes Naval Training Center.   CAPT Wikul graduated from UDTB Class 7102 (re-designated Class 52 East Coast), which was the last east coast UDT/SEAL training class at Naval Amphibious Base Little Creek, Virginia, and from the last Underwater Swimmers School class for UDT/SEALs at Key West, Florida.  He also graduated from U.S. Army Airborne School, Fort Benning, Georgia in November 1971.

CAPT Wikul served in the enlisted ranks for nine years before being commissioned as an Ensign in 1979 from Officer Candidate School at Newport, Rhode Island.   He served in two Underwater Demolition Teams, three SEAL Teams, two SEAL Delivery Vehicle Teams and two Special Boat Units.  He commanded SEAL Delivery Vehicle Team TWO and the Kennedy Irregular Warfare Center at the Office of Navy Intelligence.

Mr. Wikul is widely recognized throughout the special operations and naval intelligence communities as a visionary.  His reputation as an “agent of change” was never more evident than during his final assignment in the Navy when he served as special advisor for special operations to four Directors of Naval Intelligence.  During this period of extraordinary operational activity, Mr. Wikul led the most profound transformation of special operations intelligence in the history of naval intelligence.  In that role, CAPT Wikul, in support of the Global War on Terrorism, conceived and created the TRIDENT Program, which became the Kennedy Irregular Warfare Center, one of the four pillars of naval intelligence, at the Office of Naval Intelligence, of which he was its first Commanding Officer.  He advocated and instituted far-reaching and permanent changes in how naval intelligence provides strategic, operational, and tactical combat intelligence support to special operations forces worldwide.

During his military career, CAPT Wikul had two combat tours to the Middle East and deployed to all Combatant Command theaters of operation.  As Chief, Counterproliferation Branch on the Joint Staff, he was the primary author and coordinator of the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (CJCS) Concept Plan 0400, Counterproliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction.  He edited all key classified counterterrorism plans and policy documents, and regularly interacted with and briefed senior National Security Council members and members of the President’s Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board.  As the Commanding Officer of SEAL Delivery Vehicle (SDV) Team TWO and the most ardent agent of change for USSOCOM’s undersea capability, he instituted strategic and tactical policy shifts that fundamentally transitioned employment concepts for SDVs from a Cold War model to Information-Age relevance.  As Deputy Commander of Special Operations Command SOUTH, he was responsible for oversight of all special operations in SOUTHCOM, regional-and-national-level interagency coordination, political-military relations and major budgetary decisions.  As Acting Commanding General of SOCSOUTH for a four-month period, he was directly responsible to both the SOCOM and SOUTHCOM Combatant Commanders. 

In addition to his “Bullfrog 13” status, Mr. Wikul also enjoys unique prominence in the SEAL community as the only Naval Special Warfare (NSW) officer in history to qualify in all four NSW warfare disciplines from Ensign to Lieutenant: Underwater Demolition, SEAL, SEAL Delivery Vehicle (SDV), and Special Boats.  He is authorized to wear the UDT (Enlisted Silver) Trident, SEAL (Gold) Trident, Basic Parachute Badge, Navy and Marine Corps Parachute Insignia, German Military Free Fall Wings, Small Craft (Gold Officer in Charge) Pin, Joint Chiefs of Staff Badge, and, the Command at Sea and Command Ashore Insignias.


CAPT Wikul is a visionary leader and agent of change who has participated in the evolution of special operations from the Cold War and Viet Nam era into the Information Age and Global War on Terrorism.  He is an in-demand motivational speaker.


CAPT Wikul’s awards include the Defense Superior Service Medal, Legion of Merit with Gold Star, the Navy and Marine Corps Medal and others.   

CAPT Wikul shares the 1988 Nobel Peace Prize with all the United Nations Observers and Peacekeepers that served in South Lebanon from 1948-1988.

Upon his retirement CAPT Wikul worked with America Works to get homeless veterans back to work, into their own residence, and restore their dignity. He was instrumental in America works getting a grant and founded their Washington DC office as Vice President.

Currently CAPT Wikul is President of Imperium Global Partners, a world-wide trading company, Business Development Manager for Royal Power Energy, and Chairman of the Board and the Treasurer of the Work First Foundation.  He is on the leadership advisory board of V-1 Analytics as well as serving on the following boards: Companions For Heros, Operational Advocates Supporting Injured SOF (OASIS), and Women For Wounded Warriors.   


Mario Mangiameli

Secretary of the Board

Mario Mangiameli served in the U.S. Marine Corps leaving with the rank of Captain.  Mario began his service with with 3d Battalion 2nd Marines, where he deployed twice to Iraq’s al Anbar province.  Upon returning he received orders to Headquarters U.S. Marine Corps where he worked for the Director of Command, Control, Communications, and Computers (C4).

After completing his military service, Mario received a fellowship with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS).  He served as policy advisor in the office of Counterterrorism and Law Enforcement policy.  As a policy advisor Mario represented DHS at interagency and White House meetings.  His portfolio included various terrorist groups, weapons capabilities, the Middle East, and North Africa regions.

Mario continues his work in foreign policy as the Chairman of the Foreign Policy Initiative’s New York Leadership Network.  The Foreign Policy Initiative is a non-profit, non-partisan organization advocating continued U.S. engagement--diplomatic, economic, and military—in the world and rejection of policies that would lead us down the path to isolationism.  In this capacity he leads their policy discussions and fundraising activities. Mario has written on veteran issues and U.S. foreign policy for several publications.

Mario spent two years working in finance before his current position in the New York real estate industry, where he works while also pursuing other entrepreneurial endeavors.

Mario holds a B.A. in Government and Politics with a Minor in English from St. John’s University, New York, and a M.A. in International Policy and Practice from the Elliott School of International Affairs at The George Washington University, Washington D.C.


Dirrane Cove

Executive Director

Dirrane is the Executive Director of the Work First Foundation, a workforce innovation laboratory dedicated to the belief that employment is the most important first step towards lifting people out of poverty. As the daughter of social entrepreneurs, Dirrane has seen first-hand the positive impact of work throughout her life.  She fundamentally believes that employment promotes upward mobility, reduces poverty, and fosters positive mental health and overall stability. 

In her role as Executive Director, she overseas all programs operated by the organization, including ensuring ongoing programmatic excellence, rigorous evaluation, and consistent quality of finance and administration, fundraising, communications, and systems, while recommending timelines and resources needed to achieve strategic goals.

Prior to joining WFF, Dirrane served as Director of Corporate and Foundation Relations at Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT), working closely with FIT Leadership and faculty to retain and increase corporate and foundation support. Before working at FIT, Dirrane served as Director of Institutional Giving at The Cooper Union, managing all foundation, corporate and government grants for the college. Dirrane holds a Bachelor of Arts in Government from Connecticut College and a Master of Science in Fundraising Management from Columbia University. She is also a native New Yorker, a classically trained singer and an equestrian.