KRISTEN RIPLEY EARHART

Kristen, very good to see you. Let’s get down to it then. Do you miss Miami?

Maybe it’s surprising coming from a Southern girl, but…I do really miss Miami. It’s weird though…landing in hot water as often as I do makes me miss any place you could slap a “home” label on. It’s an excellent way to learn how to appreciate things you might take for granted. Sentiment aside though, yeah. Miami is the perfect place for action.

And you seem to be wide awake this morning.

Just one of the pros of SEAL training, baby! There’s no such thing as sleeping in if you ask me…gotta be ready any time of the day, the early bird eats the worm or whatever.

Profile interview by Kristen Ripley for

JESPIONNE

So speaking of SEAL training, how’s it been like coming from West Point?

Saying you learn a lot at West Point is both right and wrong . You learn a lot, but you learn a lot of DISCIPLINE first and foremost. You’re not working for yourself. Day in and day out, you work your ass off for the little guy, the everyday citizen.

Could you compare yourself before training at all?

Not gonna lie, it’s not as big as a difference as you might think. My folks always told me I was really tough, and believe it or not, becoming a SEAL just allowed me to improve on what I already had.

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What were some of the craziest positions you’ve been put in through training?


Well, it’s funny you mention, I just got back from…ah…something in Afghanistan. Something too top secret to have on file, no doubt, but let me tell you, Linn, I really do lay my ass on the line for “the greater good.” Do you walk into a room of goons with knives held behind their backs, waiting for the perfect moment to jump you, eyes glinting like a bunch of hungry little cats? It’s quite the…thrilling experience. But like I said, hell if I’m revealing more than that.

Is that where the black eye is from?

I’m not THAT much of a pushover, sweetie. No, this is from another mission gone wrong, one that could’ve ended with me having my ass skinned. If it weren’t for my pals, I wouldn’t be sitting here right now…I’m fine with the shiner, all things considered.

…Ok then. So, Kristen what do you like to do in your spare time?

Killin’ bad guys! –


Really?

Nah, Nightclubbing is definitely up there on what I like to do when I’m not working my ass off at training or bartending. There’s something so loose and free about nightlife, y’know?. I like to kick it freestyle most of the time and play volleyball or some basketball to burn off steam, so I don’t go crazy, and on my quiet days, brush up on some history or tinker with some pretty little car if I can get my hands on one. Might not sound peaceful, but there’s something soothing about getting your hands gross and oily while trying to fix up some junker just to hear that engine purr again. Just between you and me…,I’m also trying to start up a gun collection and enjoy testing them if I can get the solitude. That’s not something I enjoy bringing up, because with my Southern roots and this political climate…don’t want the gals thinking I’m some kind of conservative whackjob.

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At least you’re not a Scientologist, I guess. And the bartender, you say?

Yes, sir, I mean ma’am. Sometimes, it’s really hard to stay up so late, especially with how hard-wired I am to waking up early because of my SEAL training, but earning that extra money…worth it. It helps me get through school, and some of it gets tucked away to help fund…my little secret collection. Sure, we get some real skin-crawlin’ creeps at the bar, but they know not to mess with me. Rub me the wrong way, and they’ll be lucky to walk away with just two black eyes and a broken nose.


Is there anything you wish you could be doing more right now?

Maybe not more, but I’d like to go back to Daytona to race again.

Interesting. What gave you the opportunity to race Daytona before?

See, one summer, I worked as a mechanic for a lot of those fine-tuned, beautiful machines that NASCAR’s famous for, and one of the drivers said he had a “good feeling about me” and let me behind the wheel. And let me tell you, that experience was second to none…a dangerous freedom that shouldn’t even be ATTAINABLE to us humans…He said I was a real natural, but I’d be lying if I said I was TOTALLY comfortable being known as a natural [laughs]. I’m still not too familiar with these race cars, and I don’t trust myself not becoming one of those fools who crashes, burns, and explodes. Especially if there’s a risk of bringing people with me, you know?. A lotta practice has to happen before I get behind the wheel alone, and honestly? I’m looking forward to my schedule just…clearing out in the hopes of being able to train up more.

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Do you miss Savannah?

Of course, I do. Seems kind of heartless to say you don’t miss a place your heart never really left but…I try to push it out of my mind. There’s people to meet. Places to explore. Missions that need completion. Training that needs to be done. There’s not really any time to let yourself be homesick, as awful as that might sound. You get used to this kind of lifestyle. I mean, it gets a little lonely here and there…but it’s rewarding. I wouldn’t trade these experiences for the world.

You get used to this kind of lifestyle. I mean, it gets a little lonely here and there… but it’s rewarding.

How is Law School coming along?

Hmmm…I’d have to say it’s coming alone “fine enough”…in the evenings I’m making overpriced and under-quality mojitos for faces I’ll never see again, and in the day, my face is buried continuously in huge, ancient books that I’ll…probably never see again either. You know how the saying goes, though. The tassel is worth the hassle. This’ll pay off, and I’m so excited to get my law degree. It’s such a tremendous honor, and like hell, I’m going to let it slip from my grasp.

You know how the saying goes, though. The tassel is worth the hassle.

Last but not least, how do you feel about your time over at the CIA?

The opportunities they’ve given me have been incredible, honestly. I love the thrill of the missions, and no matter how dangerous it may seem, I know that I can kick whoever or whatever’s ass good. Sometimes, it does feel kinda limiting, though. There’s only so much you can do when you have these huge, scary officials hanging over your shoulder to make sure you don’t do ANYTHING too crazy. And sometimes, it gets pretty hard to remind myself that this is a team effort…sometimes, it really.

feels like it’s all on me and I’m the only one pulling any weight here. Maybe it’s selfish to admit that, but it’s the truth. I’m used to it now.


Well, maybe Jespionne will have something to offer you that you didn’t have before.


More additions to my…secret collection? Yeah, Kristen, you could say that.I’m more than thrilled to join your team, sir, I mean ma’am.

LIVE FEED

PHOTOS

Alejandra Ramos / Rich Hyman / Danny Wild / Nascar Cup Series Photography / Faena Photography / Michael Fernandes / Pete Souza / Basilica of Sacred Heart at Notre Dame / Forsyth Park / West Point Graduation


TAGS

West Point / Navy Seal Training / Fitness / Nascar / Daytona Speedway / Savannah / Notre Dame / CIA / Central Intelligence Agency / Basilica of Sacred Heart at Notre Dame / POTUS / F18 / Marines / Forsyth Park / Ops Room CIA Bin Laden Raid / Mojitos / F14 Tomcat / Saxony Bar / Top Gun Miramar

January 15 th, 2018

INTERVIEWS