After his arm healed, Kyle went to a recruiting office for the United States Marine Corps, with keen interest in special operations. Due to the pins in his arm, Kyle was rejected. But he didn't stop there. Next Kyle met with a U.S. Army recruiter, who briefed him on Special Forces and Army Rangers. Ultimately Kyle became a member of Charlie platoon of SEAL Team 3 (a sniper element) and deployed to Iraq.
After landing on the al-Faw Peninsula at the war's outset in March 2003, the SEALs joined the Marines on their march north toward the capital city of Baghdad. Stationed on the rooftops, Kyle and fellow SEALS protected Marine squadrons from insurgent ambushes.