Marc Lonergan-Hertel

founder & lead presenter

Marc Lonergan-Hertel began his military career at 18, graduating from U.S. Marine Corps Bootcamp, Parris Island, South Carolina. He served as a Reconnaissance Marine with 1st Force Recon Company I Marine Expeditionary Force, 1984-1989. After leaving the Marines at the end of his tour he trained and worked as a registered EMT in Los Angeles. In September 1996, still drawn to the military life, he completed the 1st Special Forces Operational Delta Advanced Land Navigation Course (US Army Delta Force Selection) at Camp Dawson, West Virginia.

Via the U.S. Navy Bureau of Personnel he attained a four-year re-enlistment, attending Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL School (BUD/S) at Coronado, California, joined SEAL Team Four, then trained at SEAL Sniper School at Camp Atterbury, Indiana. He completed two overseas deployments with U.S. Southern Command as platoon sniper and communicator, after which he trained indigenous Special Forces Commands in Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Chile, Argentina, Brazil, Guyana and Venezuela, as well as Counter Narcotics Defense Forces for every Caribbean Island except Cuba and Haiti.

Following the SEALs, Marc joined Blakexpeditions from 2000 until 2002. After the death of Sir Peter Blake he worked for the Cousteau Society (2002-2004) where he developed the Cousteau Advanced Research Laboratory and Expedition Base at the University of Rhode Island. There he worked on planning and funding future expeditions for the organization, while restoring Jacques Cousteau’s original SCUBA gear and his remarkable Sea Flea submarine.

After the U.S. invaded Iraq Marc attained a Top Secret Clearance with the Central Intelligence Agency and was selected as team leader for protection details of leading counter-terrorism agents serving in Iraq, reporting to the President of the United States. He served in Iraq with distinction until he was selected as evaluator/trainer for the same entity with which he had been deployed.

Following Iraq, Marc trained thousands of soldiers for the surge and started a military gear company called Force Protector Gear. With his business partner and team, he has designed and implemented over 250,000 deployment bags and heat reflective Therma-Shield heat reflective blankets to US forces and allies across the globe. This includes the Replacement Seabag for every US Marine.

Over the last two years, Marc embarked on memorializing his experiences and pay tribute to those he owes the most to by writing and releasing two books, SIERRA TWO and ANGELS OF BAGHDAD. Both books are available on Amazon and book stores throughout the U.S.


Sareth Neak

executive director

Sareth Neak is a veteran of the trade media industry with over twenty years of experience in print and online media, events, and training. Since 2007, he has been heavily involved in the homeland security community through his executive management of the Homeland Defense Journal and his ownership of Homeland Security Outlook.

Over the last 9 years, Sareth Neak has created and facilitated numerous maritime security, emergency management and counter-terrorism training and events throughout the United States to assist federal/state/local government and industry in strengthening our homeland security and emergency management capabilities. In the successful implementation of these programs, Sareth Neak forged strong partnerships with the Weapons of Mass Destruction Commission, The U.S. Coast Guard, The Dept. of Homeland Security, The Center for Disease Control & Prevention, and numerous state and regional public health, emergency management agencies, law enforcement agencies and commercial ports.

In addition to the conferences and training, he also created Maritime Security Outlook, a web portal dedicated to the maritime security industry. Through these efforts, he has acquired a deep understand of homeland security and has built an expansive network of homeland security professionals and first responders throughout the country.

Prior to his work in homeland security, Sareth Neak served as the Director of the National Association for the Specialty Food Trade where he was a leading expert in tradeshow management, marketing and sales.


Hoyle Hodges

director of operations

Command Sergeant Major (Retired) Hoyle E Hodges served in the U.S. Army for 24 years, and retired on 1 January 2004.  He has served multiple combat tours, overseas tours, and has many assignments within the United States as well.

CSM(R) Hodges served in every Leadership position from Private to Command Sergeant Major and received numerous Awards and Decorations.  He retired as the Command Sergeant Major of the 2nd Battalion 505th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 82nd Airborne Division.

Hoyle Hodges joined the Washington State Parks & Recreation Commission as the Marine Law Coordinator serving the marine law enforcement community and citizens of Washington state in April 2014.