Combat Story

By Ryan Fugit

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Subscribers: 61
Reviews: 1

JB
 Aug 2, 2021
I never get tired of hearing these stories.

Description

Real combat stories from the military's elite.

This podcast highlights the courageous, outrageous, crazy, and surreal experiences veterans recall from their toughest days in the foxhole, cockpit, and front lines. We interview JTACs, Special Operators (Delta), Special Forces, Jet Pilots, Combat Aviators, Infrantrymen, Marines, and vets from over 50 years of combat experience.

Interviews touch on the toughest missions these vets faced, how they handled them, their first combat experiences, how they found their way to the military, and how they managed after leaving the combat behind.

Episode Date
CS#75: The Real 12 Strong Green Beret | Horse Soldier | Special Forces HoF | Author | Bob Pennington
7123
Today we hear a Combat Story that I’ve been looking forward to for years. As many listeners know, I closely followed the war in Afghanistan immediately following 9/11 and revered the Green Berets who rode into combat on horseback to take America’s fight to the enemy.

[Call to Action: Please refer your friends to www.trustsafetyinstitute.com if they're looking for high paying jobs where they can still help people and fight bad actors.]

Today we hear from one of the very few men who was there, one of the Horse Soldiers as they’ve been called: Bob Pennington.

Bob spent more than 30 years in the service, much of that with Special Forces, including kinetic operations in the Gulf War to one of the first teams on the ground in Afghanistan and more. He’s a Distinguished Member of the Special Forces Regiment and in the Georgia Military Veterans’ Hall of Fame.

He and his Horse Soldier teammate Mark Nutsch have just released a book about their experiences in the days after 9/11 titled “Swords of Lightning: Green Beret Horse Soldiers and America's Response to 9/11.” And if his life can’t get any better, he and Mark are also principals in the company that produces Horse Soldier Bourbon.

I hope you enjoy this inside look into what happened from 9/10 (the day before the world changed) through the some of the first operations on the ground in Afghanistan (and enjoy some of Bob’s celebrity moments given his representation as a key role in the movie 12 Strong) as much as I did.

#military #veteran #greenberet #horsesoldier

Find Bob Online:
-Instagram - Horse Soldier Bourbon @horsesoldierbourbon https://www.instagram.com/horsesoldierbourbon/
-Bob’s Favorite Charities: Tunnels to Towers https://t2t.org/ and Land of the Free Foundation https://www.landofthefreefoundation.org/

Find Ryan Online:
-To support Combat Story and get exclusive insights, head to Patreon www.patreon.com/combatstory
-Ryan’s Linktree https://linktr.ee/combatstory
-Merch https://www.bonfire.com/store/combatstory/
-Instagram @combatstory https://www.instagram.com/combatstory
-Facebook @combatstoryofficial https://fb.me/combatstoryofficial
-Send us messages at https://m.me/combatstoryofficial
-Email ryan@combatstory.com
-Learn more about Ryan www.combatstory.com/aboutus
-Intro Song: Sport Rock from Audio Jungle

Show Notes:

0:00 - Intro
0:42 - Guest Introduction (Bob Pennington)
2:07 – Thank you for supporting The Trust & Safety Institute
2:45 - Interview begins
4:02 - Meeting Chris Hemsworth and Michael Shannon for the 12 Strong movie
7:40 - Growing up with a father in the military and early interest in Green Berets
13:32 - Starting his career in Ranger Battalion after college
24:37 - Being a Warrant Officer in SF community
34:51 - Combat Story - Experience in the Gulf War
50:10 - Where he was when 9/11 happened
59:48 - Mindset at the time of 9/11 and being one of the teams picked for the mission in Afghanistan
1:12:45 - Combat Story - First operations on the ground in Afghanistan
1:38:31 - Swords of Lightning book backstory and information
1:43:42 - Horse Soldier Bourbon
1:49:42 - What did you carry into combat?
1:52:05 - Would you do it again?
1:54:11 - Help connect those who served with meaningful and great paying jobs after service
1:56:49 - Listener comments and shout outs
May 21, 2022
CS#74: Special Forces | Green Beret | Ranger | Sniper | Larry Thorne Award | MOH Museum Foundation | Darrell Utt
8258

Today we hear the Combat Story of long-time Special Forces veteran, Ranger, and sniper Darrell Utt, who spent 26 years in the service, most of that in special operations across 10 deployments.

Call to Action: For former military, government and law enforcement, if you're looking for a high paying and meaningful job, check out our Trust & Safety Institute at www.trustsafetyinstitute.com.

Darrell tracked down PIFWICs (Persons Indicted for War Crimes) in Kosovo, was part of one of the craziest infils into Iraq you’ll ever hear, used a honeypot to lure out an HVT, developed a devastatingly effective HUMINT network, and led countless kill/capture operations, taking down dozens of HVTs and detaining hundreds of extremists and their leaders.

What’s great about Darrell is that he always put himself in harm's way ahead of troops, which is not always the case. His ODA unit earned the coveted Larry Thorne award which goes to the best Special Forces unit for the work they did during one deployment to Iraq. Darrell himself earned the MG Robert T. Frederick “Top Operator” Award, which goes to the top Special Forces NCO.

Since leaving the service, Darrell has taken on a role helping to build the future of the National Medal of Honor Museum Foundation, which is on a mission to deliver “education, leadership, and inspiring spaces for learning and reflection, to preserve, share, and harness the stories, lives, and impact of Medal of Honor recipients.”

I couldn’t imagine anyone better to represent the stories and lives of our Medal of Honor brethren than Darrell. I hope you enjoy this interview chalked full of creative and gut-wrenching combat stories as much as I did.

Find Darrell Online: 

  • National Medal of Honor Museum https://mohmuseum.org/

Find Ryan Online:

Show Notes:

  • 0:00 - Intro
  • 0:47 - Guest Introduction (Darrell Utt)
  • 2:28 – Introducing The Trust & Safety Institute
  • 3:17 - Interview begins
  • 7:04 – Growing up in West Virginia from humble beginnings
  • 13:16 – The significance of Camp Dawson training center in West Virginia
  • 17:02 – Wanting to join the Marines and what led him to the Army
  • 24:23 – Joining in 1990 as Light Infantry and feeling like he was missing out on Gulf War
  • 27:36 – Tracking down PIFWICs (Persons Indicted for War Crimes) in Kosovo
  • 39:04 -  The transition into Special Forces ODA
  • 42:52 - Combat Story #1 - Operation Ugly Baby in Iraq
  • 59:58 - Combat Story #2 - Operation Thor's Hammer
  • 1:16:04 - Combat Story #3 - Darrell’s “Happy to Be Alive” day story
  • 1:49:30 - Combat Story #4 - Toughest day in Adhamiya ,Iraq in 2006
  • 1:56:09 - Combat Story #5 - Carnage and violence in Adhamiya in 2007
  • 1:59:49 - His work today with The Medal of Honor Foundation
  • 2:07:08 - What did you carry into combat?
  • 2:08:37 - Would you do it again?
  • 2:11:28 - Help connect those who served with meaningful and great paying jobs after service
  • 2:14:08 - Listener comments and shout outs
May 14, 2022
CS#74: Special Forces | Green Beret | Ranger | Sniper | MOH Museum Foundation | Darrell Utt
8259
Today we hear the Combat Story of long-time Special Forces veteran, Ranger, and sniper Darrell Utt, who spent 26 years in the service, most of that in special operations across 10 deployments.

Call to Action: For former military, government and law enforcement, if you're looking for a high paying and meaningful job, check out our Trust & Safety Institute at www.trustsafetyinstitute.com.

Darrell tracked down PIFWICs (Persons Indicted for War Crimes) in Kosovo, was part of one of the craziest infils into Iraq you’ll ever hear, used a honeypot to lure out an HVT, developed a devastatingly effective HUMINT network, and led countless kill/capture operations, taking down dozens of HVTs and detaining hundreds of extremists and their leaders.

What’s great about Darrell is that he always put himself in harm's way ahead of troops, which is not always the case. His ODA unit earned the coveted Larry Thorne award which goes to the best Special Forces unit for the work they did during one deployment to Iraq. Darrell himself earned the MG Robert T. Frederick “Top Operator” Award, which goes to the top Special Forces NCO.

Since leaving the service, Darrell has taken on a role helping to build the future of the National Medal of Honor Museum Foundation, which is on a mission to deliver “education, leadership, and inspiring spaces for learning and reflection, to preserve, share, and harness the stories, lives, and impact of Medal of Honor recipients.”

I couldn’t imagine anyone better to represent the stories and lives of our Medal of Honor brethren than Darrell. I hope you enjoy this interview chalked full of creative and gut-wrenching combat stories as much as I did.

Find Darrell Online:
- National Medal of Honor Museum https://mohmuseum.org/

Find Ryan Online:
- To support Combat Story and get exclusive insights, head to Patreon www.patreon.com/combatstory
- Ryan’s Linktree https://linktr.ee/combatstory
- Merch https://www.bonfire.com/store/combatstory/
- Instagram @combatstory https://www.instagram.com/combatstory
- Facebook @combatstoryofficial https://fb.me/combatstoryofficial
- Send us messages at https://m.me/combatstoryofficial
- Email ryan@combatstory.com
- Learn more about Ryan www.combatstory.com/aboutus
- Intro Song: Sport Rock from Audio Jungle

Show Notes:

0:00 - Intro
0:47 - Guest Introduction (Darrell Utt)
2:28 – Introducing The Trust & Safety Institute
3:17 - Interview begins
7:04 – Growing up in West Virginia from humble beginnings
13:16 – The significance of Camp Dawson training center in West Virginia
17:02 – Wanting to join the Marines and what led him to the Army
24:23 – Joining in 1990 as Light Infantry and feeling like he was missing out on Gulf War
27:36 – Tracking down PIFWICs (Persons Indicted for War Crimes) in Kosovo
39:04 - The transition into Special Forces ODA
42:52 - Combat Story #1 - Operation Ugly Baby in Iraq
59:58 - Combat Story #2 - Operation Thor's Hammer
1:16:04 - Combat Story #3 - Darrell’s “Happy to Be Alive” day story
1:49:30 - Combat Story #4 - Toughest day in Adhamiya ,Iraq in 2006
1:56:09 - Combat Story #5 - Carnage and violence in Adhamiya in 2007
1:59:49 - His work today with The Medal of Honor Foundation
2:07:08 - What did you carry into combat?
2:08:37 - Would you do it again?
2:11:28 - Help connect those who served with meaningful and great paying jobs after service
2:14:08 - Listener comments and shout outs
May 14, 2022
CS#73: Lessons from a Delta Force Commander from Afghanistan to Panama | CEO | Author | Pete Blaber
6434
Today we hear a rare Combat Story from a long-time Delta Force Commander and operator, Pete Blaber, who served in Iraq, Afghanistan, Bosnia, Somalia, Colombia, and Panama.

Call to Action: For former military, government and law enforcement, if you're looking for a high paying and meaningful job, check out our Trust & Safety Institute. 

Pete is an understated, humble, and soft spoken warrior leader who applies a commonsense approach to all of his decisions, to include those in combat. His decision to join the military came from studying centuries of warfare and how seemingly brilliant leaders made senseless decisions and wanting to avoid making the same mistakes.

He spent most of his career in the special operations side of the Army from Ranger Battalion to Delta Force and then, after retiring, took on a role as a senior leader in a multi-billion dollar tech company.

He has since written two books (The Mission, The Men, and Me: Lessons from a Former Delta Force Commander, and, more recently, The Common Sense Way: A New Way to Think About Leading and Organizing) that share the lessons he learned from leading in some of the most historic and high intensity conflicts in the past 35 years.

I hope you enjoy this humble, understated, and unique perspective into the life and thinking of a Tier 1 operator and officer as much as I did.

Find Pete Online:
The Common Sense Way: A New Way to Think About Leading and Organizing 
The Mission, The Men, and Me: Lessons from a Former Delta Force Commander 
Instagram @blaberpete 

Find Ryan Online:

Trust & Safety Institute - Jobs/Careers, News, Training, Policies
Patreon Community
Combat Story Merch
Ryan’s Linktree
Instagram @combatstory
Learn more about Ryan
Intro Song: Sport Rock from Audio Jungle

Show Notes

0:00 - Intro
0:55 - Guest Introduction (Pete Blaber)
2:02 – Introducing The Trust & Safety Institute
2:54 - Interview begins
3:14 - Childhood and the origins of the common sense perspective
7:16 - Being obsessed with military history as a kid and the impact it had
22:12 - Using notes from when he was deployed or in service to write his books
28:19 - If the military wasn't an option, what would you have done?
31:50 -  Story of navigation skills at work trying to escape a wild animal in pursuit
46:37 -  Path including Ranger Battalion, Infantry Offer, and Delta
49:29 - Combat Story #1 - First time in combat in Panama as a company commander in the military five years
1:05:33 - Formative time with Rangers and how it informed tactics as Company Commander and later with the Unit
1:10:05 - Combat Story #2 - Afghanistan mission from a leadership perspective
1:28:56 - The most rewarding point along the journey
1:38:38 - What did you carry into combat?
1:40:02 - Would you do it all again?
1:43:11 - Help connect those who served with meaningful and great paying jobs after service
1:45:49 - Listener comments and shout outs
May 07, 2022
CS#72: Fighting Russia in Ukraine | Ukrainian Special Forces | Territorial Defense Force | Sergey Dyadkin
2651
Today we hear a very different Combat Story from Sergey Dyadkin, a Ukrainian patriot, Special Forces and Territorial Defense Force soldier fighting in Ukraine against Russia today. 
Help support Combat Story on Patreon. We have a special segement from this interview only available on our Patreon at www.patreon.com/combatstory
Sergey fought back some of the first Russian incursions into Kiev and was in the city of Schastia in eastern Ukraine just 20 miles from the Russian border when the shelling, tanks, and invasion began. He captured some of the first Russian prisoners of the war and, you’ll note in the discussion, treated them humanely, which we’ve seen is not the case for both sides in this war.
We found Sergey thanks to Ryan Hendrickson, who many will recall from two previous Combat Story episodes where Ryan described having his leg mangled by an IED only to return to combat and earn a Silver Star.
In true Ryan fashion, he voluntarily left the US and his life to help the people in Ukraine. While in Kiev, Ryan met Sergey and they connected over a shared Special Forces background. Sergey’s Special Forces operational tempo was so high that he was sent to the Territorial Defense Forces to escort humanitarian aid efforts as a break!
I hope you enjoy this important and unique insight into the experiences of a frontline soldier fighting against Russia who, at such a young age, can differentiate between the Russian people and a Russian tyrant, who can already forgive, and who just wishes people could go back to a peaceful co-existence.
You’ll notice we’re using a translator. Sergey speaks English but I wanted him to be able to express himself more in his native language. We’ve also got Ryan Hendrickson just off-screen for most of the interview helping provide some additional context as his and Sergey’s paths are now intertwined. For those listening and who aren’t watching the video on YouTube or Spotify, Sergey is sitting at his Army base and wearing his military fatigues with his weapon slung throughout the interview, reminding us that when the interview ended and we all go back to our lives, he went back to war.
This is one I’ll never forget and I hope you enjoy this as much as I did.
Find Ryan Online: 

Patreon Community
Combat Story Merch
Ryan’s Linktree
Instagram @combatstory
Facebook @combatstoryofficial
Send us messages
Email ryan@combatstory.com
Learn more about Ryan
Intro Song: Sport Rock from Audio Jungle

Show Notes: 

0:00 - Intro
0:51 - Guest Introduction (Sergey Dyadkin)
3:21 - Interview begins
4:27 - The role of the Territorial Defense Forces in the war in Ukraine
6:27 - Sergey as a kid growing up in Ukraine
12:40 - Training process to become Special Forces in Ukraine
16:12 -  Combat Story #1 - First time in combat with a reconnaissance unit
20:55 -  Combat Story #2 - Capturing some of the first Russian prisoners of the war
29:47 - What Sergey you like people to know about the experiences Ukrainian people
32:14 - What he thinks of President Zelensky
33:35 - We hear from Ryan Hendrickson
38:35 – Organizations that are helping and how to get involved
41:57 – Closing and special clip available on Combat Story Patreon
Apr 30, 2022
CS#71: Dutch Commando Corps Officer (KCT) | Dutch General Intelligence Service (AIVD) | Triangular Group CEO | Ray Klaassens
5855
Today we hear an international Combat Story from Ray Klaassens, a Dutch Special Operator in the Commando Corps (KCT) and former Dutch General Intelligence Service (or AIVD) officer who spent years in combat zones fighting our very same enemies alongside American counterparts.
[Join us on Patreon and become part of the Combat Story community at www.patreon.com/combatstory]
Ray comes from very humble origins and the other side of the “canal” as he likes to say, overcoming so much to reach the pinnacle of intelligence and military units. Both KCT and AIVD, if you ask any American who served alongside them (including myself), are elite units that many of us would happily go down range with.
Since leaving the service, Ray overcame even greater odds to create his company, Triangular Group, that provides de-risking and intelligence services for clients globally.
I hope you enjoy this international Combat Story from humble roots to true success in military, intel, and business as much as I did. 
Find Ray Online:

Ray's Linktree 
Instragram @rayklaassens 

Find Ryan Online:

Patreon Community
Combat Story Merch
Ryan’s Linktree
Instagram @combatstory
Facebook @combatstoryofficial
Send us messages
Email ryan@combatstory.com
Learn more about Ryan
Intro Song: Sport Rock from Audio Jungle

Show Notes: 

0:00 - Intro
1:22 - Guest Introduction (Ray Klaassens)
2:21 - Interview begins
5:11 Growing up poor in the Netherlands
17:47 The process for becoming an officer in the Dutch military
24:44 About the different Dutch Special Forces and the KCT
33:07 What it was like in the Netherlands on 9/11 and how his commando training changed
38:14 Leading a team down range with very little intel
54:01 Story of engaging with a drunk guy in Afghanistan in order to get some information
56:37 Leading a team to find someone placing IEDs on the full moon
1:05:45 Switching from Special Forces to Intel Services AIBD as a secret service
1:20:50 Exiting Intel Services, starting the Triangular Group, and what they are doing today
1:33:47 - What did you carry into combat?
1:35:01 - Would you do it all again?
1:36:17 - Listener comments and shout outs
Apr 23, 2022
CS#70: Navy SEAL & Marine Recon | DEVGRU | Skydiving Mt. Everest | Author | CEO | Mike Sarraille
5923
Today we hear an incredible Combat Story of Mike Sarraille, former Marine Recon and a SEAL Team leader who served 20 years in the special operations community, earning a Silver Star, multiple Bronze Stars with Valor, and more. He was also part of the Naval Special Warfare Development Group (or DEVGRU).
NOTE: We have just launched our Patreon. Join our Combat Story community at https://www.patreon.com/combatstory
Mike served in multiple leadership roles to include the Battles of Ramadi and Sadr City, to name just a few. Since retiring from service, Mike founded and is the CEO of Talent War Group, a specialized executive search firm and talent advisory; he’s co-author of ‘The Talent War: How Special Operations and Great Organizations Win on Talent’ and is the face of Men’s Journal’s ‘The Everyday Warrior.’
I stumbled across Mike when I saw posts about a recent expedition to the Himalayas where he did six free fall jumps over Mount Everest. Mike is a very, very humble but distinguished warrior leader and I hope you enjoy this insightful deep dive into the life of a Tier 1 and private sector operator and leader as much as I did.
Find Mike Online:

Mike’s Linktree 
Mike on Instagram @mr.sarraille 
ATTA Instagram @live_atta  
Talent War Group Instagram @talentwargroup 

Find Ryan Online:

Patreon Community
Combat Story Merch
Ryan’s Linktree
Instagram @combatstory
Facebook @combatstoryofficial
Send us messages
Email ryan@combatstory.com
Learn more about Ryan
Intro Song: Sport Rock from Audio Jungle

Show Notes:

0:00 - Intro
1:31 - Guest Introduction (Mike Sarraille)
2:34 - Interview begins
3:02 – Skydiving at Mt. Everest after retiring from the military
10:51 – Childhood in the Bay Area, joining the Marines, and what drew him to the SEALs
24:26 – How the leadership and examples set by the military motivated him and gave him direction
33:36 – Differences in BUDS and Marine Recon training
38:52 - Story of an experience with Johnny Kim and making a snap judgment while in training
45:10 - First experience in combat isolating and containing the Ramadi hospital where Abu Musab al-Zarqawi was
53:50 – Being a Marine liaison (LNO)
55:31 – The importance of preparedness in leadership
1:01:23 – A hard lesson learned after deviating from procedure
1:13:35 – What he is doing today with his different companies, his book, and talent development
1:23:40 Shared Adversity and After Action Reviews (AAR) in the corporate environment
1:34:00 - What did you carry into combat?
1:35:49 - Would you do it all again?
1:37:15 - Listener comments and shout outs
Apr 20, 2022
CS#69: Tanks and Bradleys in Iraq | Death Dealers | 2nd Infantry Division | OIF | Travis Norby
5563
Today we hear the Combat Story of Travis Norby, who commanded a mechanized infantry company in Iraq early in the war.  
[NOTE: We're launching on Patreon NEXT WEEK. Register to get notified at https://www.combatstory.com/patreon]   
Travis is a long-time Combat Story listener who reached out to see if his non-special ops story would be worth our listener’s time. As many of our most dedicated listeners know, as you write to me about this, we get many requests to share the stories of conventional soldiers and officers and what life was like for them while the Tier 1 and 2 units were running raids at night.   
This combat story delivers on what I believe is a very common experience for so many infantry officers in terms of how you lose soldiers and still show up, how you motivate people to keep going in the face of unending days of attacks, and how you lead with the soldier in mind and not your own career advancement.  
Travis’ stories of leadership and loss give us unique insight into the world of an Infantry officer fighting in the post-9/11 era and I hope you enjoy this raw and very real Combat Story as much as we did.
Find Travis Online: 

Instagram @travisjnorby   

Find Ryan Online:

Combat Story Merch
Ryan’s Linktree
Instagram @combatstory
Facebook @combatstoryofficial
Send us messages
Email ryan@combatstory.com
Learn more about Ryan
Intro Song: Sport Rock from Audio Jungle

Show Notes:

0:00 - Intro
1:34 - Guest Introduction (Travis Norby)
2:33 - Interview begins
5:45 - Growing up on a farm in Montana
12:11- How the military entered the picture for Travis
22:18 - Joining and early days pre 911
32:41 - Where he was when 911 happened
37:37 - Going over to Iraq from Korea and being a staff guy on the FOB
43:38 - What changed his mind when he was ready to get out of the army but took company commander position instead
51:46 - The company structure and equipment at his disposal
54:03 - Combat Story #1 - First combat experience and having to take over for prior leadership
1:02:22 – Combat Story #2 - A goose chase
1:06:29 Combat Story #3 - Emotional story losing one of his guys
1:24:11 - The historic significance of his deployment from Korea to Iraq and the importance of conventional officers
1:28:23 - What did you carry into combat?
1:30:17 - Would you do it all again?
1:30:55 - Listener comments and shout outs
Apr 09, 2022
CS#68: Army Ranger | Afghan Female Tactical Platoon (FTP) Special Ops Trainer | Patrick Kinsella
5951
Today we hear the Combat Story of Patrick Kinsella and his five deployments with 1st Ranger Battalion to Iraq and Afghanistan.
[NOTE: We're launching on Patreon soon. Register to get notified at https://www.combatstory.com/patreon]
Not only do we get to hear of Patrick’s first hand combat experience, which includes nighttime raids on HVTs and Mi-17 crashes, but he also gives us a glimpse into one of the most interesting and relatively unheard of group of special operators in the war: the Afghan Army’s Female Tactical Platoons (FTP).
Patrick spent years fighting in Afghanistan but found his time training and leading the brave women of the FTPs to be the most rewarding. The FTPs were Afghan women who volunteered to go through special operations training and selection programs, from basic marksmanship to fast roping to explosives training and more, and who would go out in the darkness with US Special Operations Forces on target.
Patrick continues to support the women of the FTPs who were evacuated from Afghanistan in 2021 to help them find a place in the US and share their incredible stories. We’ll share some resources to help these women who sacrificed so much for us to make a life here in the US now.
I hope you enjoy this selfless Combat Story about so much more than just one man as much as I did.
If you’d like to support these brave and selfless women of the FTP, you can go to www.sistersofservice.org.

Find Patrick Online: 
Instagram @pkins175 https://www.instagram.com/pkins175/  
Sisters of Service https://sistersofservice.org/

Find Ryan online:
Ryan’s Linktree https://linktr.ee/combatstory
Merch https://www.bonfire.com/store/combatstory/
Instagram @combatstory https://www.instagram.com/combatstory
Facebook @combatstoryofficial https://fb.me/combatstoryofficial
Send us messages at https://m.me/combatstoryofficial
Email ryan@combatstory.com
Learn more about Ryan www.combatstory.com/aboutus
Intro Song: Sport Rock from Audio Jungle

Show Notes
0:00 - Intro
0:57 - Guest introduction (Patrick Kinsella)
2:17 - Interview begins
6:26 - Growing up on military bases and an early love of wildlife
9:52 - Becoming interested in joining the military and choosing the Army
20:47 - Funny story of Patrick’s first operation downrange with 1st Battalion
29:02 - What the Ready Room was like where he was located
31:08 - Combat Story #1 - An ambush at an Iraqi checkpoint and feeling like someone was watching over them
39:49 - First deployment to Afghanistan working with a Delta team and the scariest thing that happened to him in his military career
52:08 - Combat Story #2 - A gunfight and a chase with dogs employed in Afghanistan
1:02:55 - The call to get out and knowing when you are not going to re-enlist
1:04:41 - Afghan Army’s Female Tactical Platoons (FTP) - Patrick’s experience fighting alongside and then later recruiting and training the women
1:17:10 - Why this experience was so rewarding for him
1:24:08 - How people can help and make a positive impact on these women’s lives today
1:29:05 - What did you carry into combat?
1:30:33 - Would you do it all again?
1:37:07 - Listener comments and shout outs
Apr 02, 2022
CS #67: The Battle of Actium and the Fight for the Roman Empire w/ Barry Strauss
3143
Today we take a historical look at the Battle of Actium, a huge naval battle off the coast of Greece that determined the future of what we know as the Roman Empire.   
We welcome Cornell University’s Professor Barry Strauss back to the podcast to bring another epic battle to life (listeners will remember him from our deep dive into the life of a well known Spartan warrior named Brasidas).   
Barry is a Professor of History and Classics at Cornell University, Series Editor of Princeton’s Turning Points in Ancient History, author of eight books, and a military and naval historian and consultant.  Professor Strauss is a recognized authority on the subject of leadership and the lessons that can be learned from the experiences of the greatest political and military leaders of the ancient world (Caesar, Hannibal, Alexander among many others).   
This particular battle and the lead up to it involved some of the iconic names we’ve all heard from history like Cleopatra, Mark Anthony, Octavian Cesar, and Julius Cesar. We also learn about Rome’s most decorated Naval Commander, Admiral Agrippa and how he defeats a numerically superior force. Barry’s newest book “The War that Made the Roman Empire” brings this battle and the personalities to life.  
Those who appreciate our combat stories will enjoy hearing about how battles were fought on the open sea at this time and some of the tactics that each side had to use. While some of the military tactics have changed, the overarching military, political, and diplomatic strategy have not, to include the use of information warfare.   
I hope you enjoy this combat story from history as much as I did.  

Find Barry Online:

Website https://barrystrauss.com/
Author of The War that Made the Roman Empire: Antony, Cleopatra, and Octavian at Actium 
Facebook 
Twitter @barrystrauss 
Podcaster, ANTIQUITAS: Leaders and Legends of the Ancient World

Find Ryan Online

Combat Story Merch
Ryan’s Linktree
Instagram @combatstory
Facebook @combatstoryofficial
Send us messages
Email ryan@combatstory.com
Learn more about Ryan
Intro Song: Sport Rock from Audio Jungle


Show Notes:
0:00 - Intro
0:19 - Guest and topic introduction (Barry Strauss)
1:33 - Interview begins
2:27 -  Working at Cornell and how this book came to be
4:25 – Background on the time period, the Roman Empire, and the part of the world the battle takes place
10:51 The historical personalities – Cleopatra, Mark Antony, and Octavian
26:12 - Can we trust the history books?
27:51 - The important military figure, Admiral Agrippa
31:09 - The naval battle and strategy of Naval warfare
38:16 - Tactical decisions made by both sides
40:26 - How the battle evolved and happened in just one day
46:52 -Surprising findings while doing research
51:04  - Listener comments and shout outs
Mar 26, 2022
CS #66: Bill Ostlund and The Burden of Commanding the Most Decorated Unit Post-9/11 | 3 x MOH Recipients
8313
Today we hear a special Combat Story of one of the military’s most revered leaders who many have never heard of (but should). This is the experience of retired Colonel Bill Ostlund, a beloved mentor and leader developer who served 35 years in the Army working his way up from a private and growing into combat command in some of the bloodiest fighting of any unit in the post-9/11 era.
[NOTE: We're launching on Patreon soon. Register to get notified at https://www.combatstory.com/patreon]
Bill’s command in Kunar Province, recounted countless times in dozens of books including Sebastian Junger’s War and the documentary Restrepo, resulted in over 400 awards for valor and three Medals of Honor (all living honorees).
This episode is an embarrassment of riches for those who want to know what real leadership looks like; what the Burden of Command actually means; how you show up after losing a soldier six hours into a 15 month deployment; or leading joint SpecOps task forces with Delta, DEVGRU, 160th, and other Tier 1 elements over thousands of operations.
Bill Ostlund will remind so many listeners of Todd Opalski in how he cared for and treated his soldiers and explains why, so many years later, his soldiers and officers still seek his advice as they step into greater roles of responsibility in the military and their personal lives.
I’m honored to have had a chance to spend this time with what so many think of as the pinnacle of battlefield leadership and hope you enjoy this Combat Story on leadership as much as I did.

Find Ryan Online

Combat Story Merch
Ryan’s Linktree
Instagram @combatstory
Facebook @combatstoryofficial
Send us messages
Email ryan@combatstory.com
Learn more about Ryan
Intro Song: Sport Rock from Audio Jungle


Show Notes:

0:00 - Intro
0:40 - Guest introduction (Bill Ostlund)
1:31 - Interview begins
3:44 - The jump into Iraq in March 2003 with almost 1000 paratroopers
12:09 - Bill’s perspective on the current conflict in Ukraine
17:32 - Childhood and getting into the military
42:19 - Combat Story #1 - Lightning in the Storm Air Assault and leadership lessons learned
1:06:49 - Instilling expectation in his soldiers and his love of soldiers
1:26:57 - Combat Story #2 – Troops in Contact 6 hours into 15 month mission after just taking command
1:37:08 - Awards process and how combat provides a unique opportunity for leaning and growth
1:49:30 Combat Story #3 - Battle of Wanat
2:08:48 – Feeling about now having a son in the military
2:10:09 - What did you carry into combat/interrogations?
2:11:41 - Would you do it all again?
2:15:23 - Listener comments and shout outs
Mar 12, 2022
Combat Story #65: Surviving Near Death with Marines in Vietnam | Silver Star | FBI Agent | Jim Horn
7045
Today we hear the Combat Story of Jim Horn, former Marine Corps Platoon and Company Commander and 25 year FBI Agent.
[We're launching on Patreon soon. Register to get notified at https://www.combatstory.com/patreon]
Jim did two tours in Vietnam surviving near death experiences on several occasions. He earned a Silver Star in a company on company-level battle on remote hilltops fighting suicide attackers, recoiless rifles, rockets, and calling in danger close rounds and air strikes.
After the Marine Corps, Jim went onto a fascinating career in the field as an FBI Agent that included work with SWAT, a violent crime profiler, and leading the Bureau’s trauma program.
Jim doesn’t hold back when sharing the special bonds he experienced with his fellow Marines holding the line in these profound but common battles so far from home and I hope you enjoy these down-to-earth and Oklahoman stories as much as I did.
Special thanks to Combat Story listener Terry B for suggesting Jim as a guest on the show.
Find Ryan Online 

Combat Story Merch 
Ryan’s Linktree
Instagram @combatstory
Facebook @combatstoryofficial
Send us messages
Email ryan@combatstory.com
Learn more about Ryan
Intro Song: Sport Rock from Audio Jungle

Show Notes

0:00 - Intro
0:40 - Guest introduction (Jim Horn)
1:31 - Interview begins
1:58 - How his dad’s guilt over not serving in World War II influenced his decision fight in the Vietnam War
18:57 - Shipping out to Vietnam and immediately becoming a platoon leader
35:01 - Combat Story #1- First time in combat and taking in the arm from friendly fire
38:27 - The three things that you need to lead Marines
44:42 - A tough first tour and survivor’s guilt
50:22 - The incredible leadership and Marines he fought with
1:00:57 - Combat Story #2 - Silver Star event
1:16:35 - The perceptual distortion that happens in combat
1:31:13 - Jim’s time in the FBI and what makes a great profiler
1:45:48- What did you carry into combat/interrogations?
1:48:30 - Would you do it all again?
1:55:16 - Listener comments and shout outs
Mar 05, 2022
CS#64: Interrogating Terrorists | HUMINT | Best Selling Author | Veteran Mentor | James Rosone
9366
Today we hear the Combat Story of James Rosone, best known as a bestselling author but who also interrogated terrorists in Iraq on the frontlines before picking up the pen. 
[NOTE: We're launching on Patreon soon. Register to get notified at https://www.combatstory.com/patreon]
James was “inside the booth” conducting tactical interrogations down range and feeding intel on dangerous routes, IED makers, and High Value Targets to coalition forces (up to Tier 1) on a daily basis. Like so many vets, he dealt with the deep regret of feeling like he didn’t do enough and, for years, accepting the blame when an American lost an arm breaching a target he developed or worse, losing a life on the objective.
After leaving the service, James found his calling as an author, in part as a way to handle his PTSD. We talk about his experiences with psychedelics and other treatment options he used to keep his demons at bay. He’s gone on to write 26 books ranging from a memoir titled Interview with a Terrorist to his well known military and espionage thrillers like the Monroe Doctrine. He’s now sharing his writing experience with other vets to help them become successful authors.
I hope you enjoy this deep dive into the world of an interrogator at the height of the surge to becoming a wildly successful author as much as I did.
Find James online: 

Books by James Rosone 
Facebook Rosone and Watson 

Find Ryan online:

Ryan’s Linktree 
Instagram @combatstory 
Facebook @combatstoryofficial 
Send us messages
Email ryan@combatstory.com
Learn more about Ryan 
Intro Song: Sport Rock from Audio Jungle

Show  Notes

0:00 - Intro
1:18 - Guest introduction (James Rosone)
2:30 - Interview begins
11:20 - Early experience in the Guard and the moment after 9/11 he knew he would go active duty
23:57 - The interrogation opportunity comes and training experience
39:09 -  Traits that make a really good interrogator
41:46 - What happens after an interrogation
48:59 - What an interrogator does to prep
54:50 - First interrogation experience
1:02:55 - The responsibility felt to people outside the wire
1:17:19 - The dynamic on the FOB
1:22:23 - The biggest case he ever had and false flag interrogation
1:30:23 - His toughest case interrogating a 15 year old kid
1:44:43 - Facing demons and PTSD after coming home
1:51:43 – His first book and how pouring himself into writing helped
2:02:21 - Trying alternative treatments like psychedelics for PTSD
2:17:02 - What James is working on now
2:22:51- What did you carry into combat/interrogations?
2:25:00 - Would you do it all again?
2:34:23 - Listener comments and shout outs
Feb 26, 2022
CS#63: Sniper Shots at Night in Combat | 20+ Years Green Beret | Tactical Rifleman | Karl Erickson
7368
Today we hear the Combat Story of Karl Erickson, a long time Green Beret, expert sniper, and retired Sergeant Major, who deployed pre- and post-9/11, including into Afghanistan just after the Twin Towers fell to hunt Bin Laden.
[NOTE: We're launching on Patreon soon. Register to get notified at https://www.combatstory.com/patreon]
After the military, Karl took his decades of teaching as a Green Beret into the civilian world and has a huge online following for his Tactical Rifleman brand and I can see why.
In this episode, we dive into the deep, deep details of being a sniper in combat, to include taking a sniper shot at night just before breaching a target (scopes, windage, aerodynamics, countdowns for simultaneous shots, round selection, and more), which is just a glimpse of what he shares with his followers online.
Karl is a natural born storyteller and I know you’ll enjoy this hilarious and deeply technical Combat Story as much as I did.
Find Karl online:

Instagram @tactical_rifleman 
Twitter @TacRifleman 
Facebook 
TacticalRifleman.com 

Find Ryan online:

Ryan’s Linktree 
Merch 
Instagram @combatstory 
Facebook @combatstoryofficial 
Send us messages or email ryan@combatstory.com
Learn more about Ryan 
Intro Song: Sport Rock from Audio Jungle

Show Notes

0:00 - Intro
0:38 - Guest introduction (Karl Erickson)
1:30 - Interview begins
6:15 – Making Sergeant Major and being an Operator at Headquarters
15:38 - Childhood as self-proclaimed “juvenile delinquent” and when he knew he wanted to be a Green Beret
30:3 - How the lack of mentor influenced his career path
40:31 - What makes a good sniper
44:15 - Feelings in Desert Storm
53:58 - Combat Story #1 - Gunfight in Afghanistan
1:07:20 - Technical description of shooting with a suppressor
1:10 - Shooting in the dark
1:14:38 - First time having somebody in a scope for real
1:20:42 - Combat Story #2
1:39:28: - About Tactical Rifleman project
1:55:11- What did you carry into combat?
1:56:24 - Would you do it all again?
2:01:14 - Listener comments and shout outs
Feb 19, 2022
CS#62: Flying into Enemy Fire ala We Were Soldiers | DFC | Silver Star | Aviator | Diplomat | Ed Fugit
8320
Today we hear a special Combat Story of Edward Fugit, my old man, who flew Hueys in Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia just after the Tet Offensive.
[NOTE: We're launching on Patreon soon. Register to get notified at https://www.combatstory.com/patreon]
This is a special edition for me personally as long time listeners have heard me refer to my old man and his stories and our similar career paths on several occasions. I wasn’t sure I’d be able to do this interview given how close it was to home and I’m so glad I did.
From a very young age I remember hearing these stories of my dad in the cockpit and vividly remember looking at his Silver Star and Distinguished Flying Cross on the mantle, wearing his green flight suit when I played Army, and then hugging him before I shipped out to my own war as a combat aviator.
His experiences in Vietnam will sound like something from Hollywood’s We Were Soldiers where green but determined young aviators flew into hot LZs time and again risking everything for their ground brethren.
We also touch on what it was like flying SOG into combat zones on operations nobody would hear about for decades and what it was like to be at the negotiating table as a diplomat with Kissinger at the height of the Cold War in Moscow.
I really hope you enjoy this close to home Combat Story with a real hero of mine that was then edited by his grandson.
Find Ryan online:

Ryan’s Linktree https://linktr.ee/combatstory
Instagram @combatstory https://www.instagram.com/combatstory
Facebook @combatstoryofficial https://fb.me/combatstoryofficial
Send us messages at https://m.me/combatstoryofficial
Email ryan@combatstory.com
Learn more about Ryan www.combatstory.com/aboutus
Intro Song: Sport Rock from Audio Jungle

Show Notes 

0:00 - Intro
1:06 - Guest introduction (Ed Fugit)
2:22 - Interview begins
2:59 - Growing up in NJ and early interest in political science
7:43 - A family history in the military
12:31 - When and how aviation came into the picture
20:10 - A “never quit anything” mentality
22:12 - Flight school experience
27:57 - Feelings going in to Vietnam within the units and that moment in American history
36:36 - Differences in how the Army was structured at that time vs. today
47:37 - The three kinds of missions in Vietnam
53:23 - Combat Story #1 - Silver Star operation in Vietnam
1:09:02 - Intense Special Ops missions with SOG and 1st Airmobile Division
1:31:12 - Combat Story #2 – Incident that made the front of the New York Times
1:50:08 - Combat Story #3 - DFC event
1:58:35 - Stories from time in state department
2:05:48 - Going back to Vietnam in 2017 and thoughts about sons joining the
2:13: - What did you carry into combat?
2:14:16 - Would you do it all again?
2:17:11 - Listener comments and shout outs
Feb 12, 2022
CS#61: Fighting ISIS in Syria and Russia in Ukraine Freedom Fighter | Fought ISIS in Syria | Fought in Ukraine | Ukraine Military
5685
Today we hear the Combat Story of Aiden Aslin, a UK citizen who deployed multiple times into conflict zones to fight ISIS in Syria and Russia in Ukraine.
[NOTE: We're launching on Patreon soon. Register to get notified at https://www.combatstory.com/patreon]
Aiden was not part of the British military. He simply decided the people in Syria being terrorised by ISIS needed more support and found a way to get down range to help.
During his multiple deployments into Syria fighting with other westerners against ISIS and nearly dying, Aiden had been following events in Ukraine. He again decided, instead of sitting safely in the UK, to step up and fight for people who needed help.
Today, Aiden is officially part of the Ukrainian military. We had to record this particular interview quickly before Aiden deployed to the frontlines again, where he is now.
His Instagram account (cossackgundi) is worth a look too where’s amassed 20K followers and describes himself as a “British guy Rocking it out in the Ukrainian marines” with what he calls “Warzone Photography” and “Conflict news”.
I hope you enjoy this humble and understated Combat Story of someone who left everything behind to help others in two vastly different conflicts as much as I did.
Find Aiden online:

Instagram @cossackgundi https://www.instagram.com/cossackgundi/
Twitter @cossackgundi https://mobile.twitter.com/cossackgundi

Find Ryan online:

Ryan’s Linktree https://linktr.ee/combatstory
Instagram @combatstory https://www.instagram.com/combatstory
Facebook @combatstoryofficial https://fb.me/combatstoryofficial
Send us messages at https://m.me/combatstoryofficial
Email ryan@combatstory.com
Learn more about Ryan www.combatstory.com/aboutus
Intro Song: Sport Rock from Audio Jungle

Show Notes

0:00 - Intro
0:50 - Guest introduction (Aiden Aslin)
1:56 - Interview begins
2:16  - Current location and mindset getting ready for another deployment
5:04  - Childhood and working with adults with special needs
11:55 - Leaving safety and social work to go to Syria
19:46 - Deciding to go to war and getting into Syria
34:19 - Training and first time on the frontline making contact with enemy
41:03  - Combat Story #1 First real contact and feeling positive after the outcome
45:52  - Combat Story #2 A friendly fire incident that left him with panic attacks
1:05:31 - Returning to Syria despite traumatic experiences
1:11:35 - Combat Story #2 Ukraine conflict and joining Ukrainian Marines
1:25:32 - What did you carry into combat?
1:26:13 - Would you do it all again?
1:28:47 - Advice for someone considering this type of path
1:32:57 - Listener comments and shout outs 
Feb 05, 2022
CS#60: Marine | Special Operations | MARSOC | Entrepreneur | FORWARD Podcast | Spinal Singularity | Derek Herrera
6120
Today we hear the remarkable Combat Story of Derek Herrera, a former Marine Special Operator who led Marines in Iraq, Haiti, the Middle East and Afghanistan.
While on a MARSOC operation in Afghanistan, he was shot and paralyzed.
[NOTE: We're launching on Patreon soon. Register to get notified at https://www.combatstory.com/patreon]
Derek is another one of these guys that just makes you feel lazy and that he has more time in a day than you do.
Rather than give up after being injured, he medically retired from the Corps and has achieved significant success while continuing to serve others.
He’s the President of the Board of Directors of the Marine Raider Foundation, Chairman of the Board of MedTechVets, founder of Habit Camera and UroDev Medical (formerly Spinal Singularity), a keynote speaker, and host of the FORWARD podcast.
Derek is the real deal who spends all his time putting others ahead of himself and I know you’ll enjoy his inspiring Combat Story as much as I did.
Find Derek Online:   

His Linktree has a ton of online links: https://linktr.ee/derekherrera
Instagram @derek_herrera https://www.instagram.com/derek_herrera/?hl=en
LinkedIN https://www.linkedin.com/in/derekherrera/

Find Ryan Online:  

Ryan’s Linktree https://linktr.ee/combatstory
Instagram @combatstory https://www.instagram.com/combatstory
Facebook @combatstoryofficial https://fb.me/combatstoryofficial  
Send us messages at https://m.me/combatstoryofficial
Email ryan@combatstory.com 
Learn more about Ryan www.combatstory.com/aboutus  
Intro Song: Sport Rock from Audio Jungle

Show Notes

0:00 - Intro
0:41 - Guest introduction (Derek Herrera)
1:37 - Interview begins
3:31  - Having an entrepreneurial spirit since childhood
9:32 – A military family and wanting to be a Navy Seal
13:28 - The Navy Seal selection process and not making it
21:08 - Mindset going into the Marine Corps
28:06 - First deployment primarily doing raids in Iraq
40:23 - A full-circle moment helping the Navy Seals as a Marine
45:11 - Deciding to go the Special Ops route in the Marines
53:52 - First and only deployment as Special Operator in Afghanistan and what his missions were like
1:04:58 Combat Story – The operation that changed his life and left him paralyzed from the chest down
1:12:58 - Reaction to learning he was paralyzed and how he found a way to stay in military
1:18:53 - Deciding to transition out of the military and finding passion and purpose in business
1:27:44 – The Marine Raider Foundation
1:35:18 - What did you carry into combat?
1:37:24 - Would you do it all again?
1:39:44 - Listener comments and shout outs
Jan 29, 2022
CS#59: Green Beret | Best Selling Author | "Rising Above" | Ultramarathoner | FNG Academy Founder
6383
Today we hear the Combat Story of Sean “Buck” Rogers, a former Green Beret who served multiple deployments with various units, including 10th Special Forces Group, after escaping an incredibly difficult and harsh childhood.   
[NOTE: We're launching on Patreon soon. Register to get notified at https://www.combatstory.com/patreon]  
Buck transitioned to 19th Special Forces Group and eventually joined the law enforcement ranks, including time with SWAT.  
Since leaving the military and law enforcement, Sean has written a best selling book titled ‘Rising Above: A Green Beret's Story of Childhood Trauma and Ultimate Healing’, became an ultramarathoner, founded the FNG Academy, and now produces content and leads a community trying to help other aspiring special operations candidates succeed in selection and the Special Forces and Special Operations worlds.   
Buck is working on getting his second book published and has several interesting irons in the fire that we touch on in this episode.   
I hope you enjoy this real and raw Combat Story with someone who’s overcome so much and maintains an overwhelmingly positive attitude as much as I did.  
Guest Online Information

Instagram @seanbuckrogers
YouTube 
Website 
Book Rising Above

Ryan Online Information

Ryan’s Linktree https://linktr.ee/combatstory
Instagram @combatstory https://www.instagram.com/combatstory
Facebook @combatstoryofficial https://fb.me/combatstoryofficial
Send us messages at https://m.me/combatstoryofficial
Email ryan@combatstory.com
Learn more about Ryan www.combatstory.com/aboutus
Intro Song: Sport Rock from Audio Jungle

Show Notes

0:00 - Intro
0:56 - Guest introduction (Sean Buck Rogers)
1:56 - Interview begins
2:11 - Origin of his call sign, “Buck”
11:30 - Sean’s traumatic and impactful childhood
27:59 - The events that lead to him signing up and his unconventional path to Special Forces Selection
41:39 - First time in Afghanistan at base but not yet in gunfight
46:36 - First time outside the wire and a glimpse of how Green Berets operate
52:43 - Combat Story #1 – Example of challenges Green Berets face working with commandos
1:03:35 - Combat Story #2 – High-pressure negotiation in the field with the Afghan commandos
1:07:13 - Combat Story #3 - Feeling like he’s being watched and narrowly missing an IED
1:11:09 - Combat Story #4 – The high speed action he signed up for
1:16:38 - The origin and mission of FNG podcast and YouTube channel
1:24:43 - Process for making an FNG video and Sean’s favorite videos
1:31:35 - Writing the book “Rising Above” and what his new book will be about
1:37:09 - Mentors and father figures
1:40:00 - What did you carry into combat?
1:42:17 - Would you do it all again?
1:43:31 - Listener comments and shout outs
Jan 22, 2022
CS#58: Delta Force Operator | Ranger | Black Hawk Down | Musician | Silence and Light
7252
Today we hear the Combat Story of Brad Thomas, a former Ranger and Delta Force operator who fought in multiple theaters from Somalia to Bosnia to Iraq and Afghanistan, including 12 years at the Unit in the pre- and post-9/11 era.
[NOTE: We're launching on Patreon soon. Register to get notified at https://www.combatstory.com/patreon]
Brad gave up a promising musical career to serve, first with Ranger Battalion and then finding his way into Delta Force. His first combat experience was in Mogadishu in what we know as Black Hawk Down as part of 3rd Ranger Battalion in a true baptism by fire.
Since leaving the military, Brad returned to his passion: music. He gathered a group of veterans who now make up the band “Silence and Light” and saw far more success than they expected on their debut album and are releasing their second album in the near future.
Since Brad can’t help but go all in on everything he does, he and the band donate their profits to two veteran-focused charities: Marine Raider Foundation and Warriors Heart.
It’s not often you get to sit down and hear directly from someone who spent years at the Tier 1 level and survived Mogadishu so I hope you enjoy this Combat Story and brief glimpse into that world as much as I did.
Find Brad Online:  

Instagram @bradthomas_official 
Silence and Light Website 

Ryan Online Information

Ryan’s Linktree 
Instagram @combatstory 
Facebook @combatstoryofficial 
Send us messages at https://m.me/combatstoryofficial
Email ryan@combatstory.com
Learn more about Ryan
Intro Song: Sport Rock from Audio Jungle

#military #veteran #deltaforce #specialoperations
Show Notes

0:00 - Intro
0:49 - Guest introduction for Brad Thomas
1:54 - Interview begins
2:09 - The prevalence of musicians and artists in the Elite Units
4:40 - What sparked Brad’s interest in music as a kid
25:18 - Joining and knowing he wanted to be elite
38:05 - The path to Ranger School
45:48 - Going outside the wire for the first time in Mogadishu
54:25 - Reaction to the Black Hawk Down movie and what it was like for Brad
1:09:04 - Going back out the gate again
1:16:18 - The days following October 3 in Mogadishu
1:23:30 - Transition after Mogadishu
1:33:59 - Going back into combat after Mogadishu
1:37:28 - Funny story about goofing around with the team
1:39:59 - What Brad is doing now with music
1:55:24 - What did you carry into combat?
1:56:40 - Would you do it all again?
1:59:05 - Listener comments and shout outs
Jan 15, 2022
CS#57: A-10 Fighter Pilot who Survived a Surface to Air Missile Hit | 100+ Combat Missions | DFC | "Killer Chick"
6456
Today we hear the Combat Story of Kim “KC” Campbell, a retired Air Force Colonel and A-10 Fighter Pilot. 
NOTE: Combat Story is launching a Patreon account later this month. Sign-up here: https://www.combatstory.com/patreon
Kim racked up over 1.8K flight hours in the Warthog; 375 of those in combat across more than 100 combat missions in Iraq and Afghanistan.  She also has one of the coolest call signs ever: Killer Chick. 
For anyone who’s been on the ground and seen an A-10 on a gun run, you can understand why so many ground pounders love this platform. For Apache pilots, the A-10 is our fixed wing cousin and we feel a very close affinity with this incredible machine.  Outside the cockpit, Kim led the Air Force Academy’s Center for Character and Leadership Development and, since retiring, has carried that expertise to the private sector where she provides leadership development training and team engagement. 
She’s also a keynote and motivational speaker.  Kim, like many fighter pilots, is driven, dedicated, and successful. She’s delivered rounds on target in heated battles and narrowly avoided death, including being hit with a Surface to Air Missile. 
I hope you enjoy this insightful Combat Story from the cockpit of THE Killer Chick as much as I did.  
Find Kim Online:  

Website 
LinkedIN 
Twitter @kchawg987

Ryan Online Information

Ryan’s Linktree 
Instagram @combatstory 
Facebook @combatstoryofficial 
Send us messages at https://m.me/combatstoryofficial
Email ryan@combatstory.com
Learn more about Ryan 
Intro Song: Sport Rock from Audio Jungle

Show Notes

0:00 - Intro
1:01 - Guest introduction (Kim “KC” Campbell)
2:10 - Interview begins
2:46 - Origin of her fighter pilot call sign
7:30 - Early years and what enamored her with flight
12:55 - Why Air Force Academy?
18:18 - Choosing her aircraft
22:14 - Where she was on 911 and how it changed her training
24:43 - Going to Afghanistan immediately after training
27:23 - A quiet first combat mission in Afghanistan
34:48 - Firing from the A-10 for the first time
44:05 - Combat Story #1  - First kinetic operation in Iraq
50:30 - Combat Story #2 - The mission that was a defining moment
1:18:18 -  Combat Story #3 - In combat as a flight lead
1:29:47 - Leadership development, team building, and powerful leadership advice
1:40:22 - What did you carry into combat?
1:44:31 - Would you do it all again?
1:46:07 - Listener comments and shout outs
Jan 08, 2022
CS#56: Apache Gunfights in Afghanistan | CIA Operations | Combat Story Podcast Host Ryan Fugit
7762
This is a special crossover episode where Combat Story's Ryan Fugit was interviewed on The Team House by Jack Murphy (Combat Story Episode #13 https://youtu.be/ScqnGbPSfhY) and David Parke (Combat Story Episode #53 https://youtu.be/CmmGixV06rc).
So many people have asked to hear Ryan's story and he was waiting for the right interviewer. It only seemed right to have the Team House do the honors and it did not disappoint!
I hope you enjoy this deep dive into Ryan's background growing up, combat in Afghanistan, and CIA ops.
Find Ryan online:

Ryan’s Linktree https://linktr.ee/combatstory
Instagram @combatstory https://www.instagram.com/combatstory
Facebook @combatstoryofficial https://fb.me/combatstoryofficial
Send us messages at https://m.me/combatstoryofficial
Email ryan@combatstory.com
Learn more about Ryan www.combatstory.com/aboutus
Intro Song: Sport Rock from Audio Jungle
Jan 01, 2022
CS#55: [Part 2] Counter-ISIS Ops | Surviving Suicide Bombers and Airstrikes | SDF & YPG Life | Firat Batman [Part 2] | COMBAT STORY
6219
Today, we hear the second part of the fascinating Combat Story of Firat Batman, a Swedish citizen from Kurdish roots who left his relatively quiet and safe life in Sweden to join the YPG and Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) to fight ISIS.   
[Sponsor: This episode is brought to you by Loansteady LLC. A small-by-design lender, Loansteady believes in bringing a much-needed dose of humanity to the mortgage process. They are waiving all lender fees for Veterans in 2021. Visit http://www.loansteady.com/combatstory to request a rate quote or start an application. Loansteady LLC, All rights reserved, NMLS# 1701910, (www.nmlsconsumeraccess.org/), Equal Housing Lender. For more licensing information, please visit https://www.loansteady.com/licenses-and-legal]  
We left off in Part 1 when Firat returns to Sweden from Syria following his first deployment just after experiencing the carnage of walking through a town that had been recently abandoned by ISIS, including the blood stains on the walls where groups were executed and rooms that reeked of dead bodies left to rot.  
In Sweden, Firat, like many veterans, has difficulty assimilating back into regular life and hears of a friend who passed away fighting in Syria.   
This second round is all about Firat’s subsequent journeys back to the frontlines and the experiences fighting an enemy that would rather blow themselves up then surrender. I hope you enjoy this Combat Story as much as I did.
Find Firat Online: Instagram @tactikurdbruh
Find Ryan Online: 

Ryan’s Linktree https://linktr.ee/combatstory
Instagram @combatstory https://www.instagram.com/combatstory
Facebook @combatstoryofficial https://fb.me/combatstoryofficial
Send us messages at https://m.me/combatstoryofficial

Show Notes

0:00 - Intro
0:50 - A word from our Sponsor (LoanSteady)
2:19 - Guest introduction (Firat Batman)
3:18 - Interview begins
4:29 - Emotions after coming home from first rotation
10:21 - News of losing his friend expediting his return to the fight
16:23 - What it was like to go back to the frontlines
19:28 - Difference in mindset coming back vs the first time
32:06 -  Combat Story #1 First engagement after coming back
39:19 - Hearing guys dying or close to it via radio
49:17 - Moving between lines to bring support and treat people medically
1:00:33 - Combat Story #2 Intense engagement while bringing support to others
1:15:50 - Funny story about talking to enemy from shelter across the line
1:18:48 - A direct experience and description of ISIS armies
1:21:25 - The only 2 people captured by ISIS and survived
1:27:40 - Protecting people you love from going into combat
1:3524 - What did you carry into combat?
1:37:01 - Would you do it all again?
1:41:41 - Listener comments and shout outs
Dec 18, 2021
CS#54: Fighting ISIS in Syria | Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) & People's Protection Forces (YPG) | Firat Batman [Part 1] COMBAT STORY
7418
Today, we hear the Combat Story of Firat Batman, a Swedish citizen from Kurdish roots who spent years with the YPG and Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) fighting one of the most vile terrorist groups of our time: ISIS.   
[Sponsor: This episode is brought to you by Loansteady LLC. A small-by-design lender, Loansteady believes in bringing a much-needed dose of humanity to the mortgage process. They are waiving all lender fees for Veterans in 2021. Visit http://www.loansteady.com/combatstory to request a rate quote or start an application. Loansteady LLC, All rights reserved, NMLS# 1701910, (www.nmlsconsumeraccess.org/), Equal Housing Lender. For more licensing information, please visit https://www.loansteady.com/licenses-and-legal.]  
I found Firat when his friend, another Swede turned freedom fighter named Mike, reached out. Mike’s introductory email sums up Firat perfectly:   
“I am writing you for a friend of mine who would never reach out but his story is amazing. He spent years fighting ISIS in Syria with the YPG. He is not a war tourist!! He left Sweden for Syria after ISIS murdered his cousins and uncle in Syria.”  
Firat fought alongside coalition forces on the front lines liberating cities from ISIS control. He did this, however, with very few resources, training, ammunition, funding, and support. What he witnessed in terms of ISIS brutality is horrific and has left its scars.  He has an amazing story that will inspire anyone who wonders how you can change your life and do something about the evil things in this world.   
I hope you enjoy this Combat Story as much as I did. 
This is the first in a two part interview with Firat to make sure we spend sufficient time in his multiple deployments.  
Find Firat Online:  Instagram @tactikurdbruh  
Find Ryan online:  

Ryan’s Linktree 
Instagram @combatstory 
Facebook @combatstoryofficial 
Send us messages at https://m.me/combatstoryofficial
Email ryan@combatstory.com
Learn more about Ryan
Intro Song: Sport Rock from Audio Jungle

Show Notes

0:00 - Intro
1:01 - A word from our Sponsor (LoanSteady)
2:27 - Guest introduction (Firat Batman)
4:01 - Interview begins
4:35 - Early family life living in Sweden with Kurdish background
10:03 - Being an immigrant and having family in Syria when ISIS formed
14:34 - The personal experience that draws you into the military
21:53 - A memorable ride to the airport to deploy
29:59 - Writing a letter to your mom in case you don’t come back
33:56 - Arriving in Kurdistan, the land of his people, for the first time
39:05 - Going straight to the Syrian border after just arriving in Iraq
56:34 - Initial training experiences
1:15:13 - The first time he was told to bring his weapon and be ready
1:21:18 – First time in contact and what it was like to see ISIS remains
1:27:18 – Lead up to his first major operation
1:34:14 - First conflict with ISIS
1:46:33 – The carnage ISIS left behind
1:57:39 - What it was like going back home to Sweden for the first time
2:01:40 - Listener comments and shout outs
Dec 11, 2021
Combat Story (Ep 53): David Parke | Ranger | Paramilitary Contractor | ODNI National Intel Medal for Valor
6551
Today we hear the Combat Story of David Parke, a former Army Ranger and Sniper Team Leader, Navy diver, and Paramilitary Contractor, who spent almost 10 years in Iraq and Afghanistan post-9/11.  
[Sponsor: This episode is brought to you by Loansteady LLC. A small-by-design lender, Loansteady believes in bringing a much-needed dose of humanity to the mortgage process. They are waiving all lender fees for Veterans in 2021. Visit http://www.loansteady.com/combatstory to request a rate quote or start an application. Loansteady LLC, All rights reserved, NMLS# 1701910, (www.nmlsconsumeraccess.org/), Equal Housing Lender. For more licensing information, please visit https://www.loansteady.com/licenses-and-legal.]
During his time down range as a contractor, he earned the ODNI’s National Intelligence Medal for Valor, which the ODNI describes as being given “in connection with an Intel Community mission to national security” and awarded on a “highly selective and rare basis.”  
David now co-hosts The Team House, which livestreams interviews with special operators, intel professionals, and more. I’m a big fan of the Team House and you can check out our Combat Story interview with David’s co-host Jack Murphy (Episode 13 https://youtu.be/ScqnGbPSfhY).  
David has written two books and appeared in several TV shows as an actor. I hope you enjoy this Combat Story with another battle-tested fighter as much as I did.  
Find David Online:

Instagram @d.parke https://www.instagram.com/d.parke/
LinkedIN https://www.linkedin.com/in/daveparke11b/
The Team House Podcast

Find Ryan Online:

Ryan’s Linktree https://linktr.ee/combatstory
Instagram @combatstory https://www.instagram.com/combatstory
Facebook @combatstoryofficial https://fb.me/combatstoryofficial
Send us messages at https://m.me/combatstoryofficial

Show Notes:

0:00 - Intro
0:41 - A word from our Sponsor (LoanSteady)
2:09 - Guest introduction (David Parke)
3:02 - Interview begins
3:27 - Getting attacked on a NYC subway in 2020
13:30 - David as a kid, his natural curiosity, and life before the military
18:08 - Why the Marines?
21:04 - From Marines to Navy Diver
26:59 - Going through Army boot camp at 27 years old
34:46 - His transition into linguist role
43:06 - Being in DLI training when 9/11 happened
46:49 - Fear of Missing the War
51:18 - What interrogations  at Guantanamo were actually like
59:32 - Early mission sets in Afghanistan
1:11:23- Combat Story #1 - An unexpected (and funny) outcome in Iraq
1:15:43 - Combat Story #2 - the mission where David earned the ODNI National Intelligence Medal for Valor
1:27:54 - Combat Story #3 – The lighter side and things you can’t help but laugh at
1:28:58 – Team House origin story
1:44:54 - What did you carry into combat?
1:46:02 - Would you do it all again?
1:47:27 - Listener comments and shout outs
Dec 04, 2021
Combat Story (Ep 52): Travis Hall | Green Beret (18D) | Ranger | Second Chance K9 | 18 Deployments
6079
Today we hear the Combat Story of Travis Hall, an Army Ranger and Special Forces Green Beret who survived 18 combat deployments post-9/11 to Iraq, Afghanistan, and Niger. You heard that correctly: 18 deployments.
Sponsor: This episode is brought to you by Loansteady LLC. A small-by-design lender, Loansteady believes in bringing a much-needed dose of humanity to the mortgage process. They are waiving all lender fees for Veterans in 2021. Visit http://www.loansteady.com/combatstory to request a rate quote or start an application. Loansteady LLC, All rights reserved, NMLS# 1701910, (www.nmlsconsumeraccess.org/), Equal Housing Lender. For more licensing information, please visit https://www.loansteady.com/licenses-and-legal.
Travis was an 18D (Special Forces Medic) and one of the first K-9 handlers deployed with the Green Berets in combat. He’s been in day long firefights, run both high and low vis ops, trained thousands of partner forces, and survived some incredibly difficult operations.
Travis founded Second Chance K9, which is a rescue organization that pairs working military dogs with special operations veterans suffering from PTSD. He also runs Second Chance Medical Consulting, where he provides private and semi-private training on firearms and medical aid.
After 18 deployments over almost two decades, Travis’ positive approach to life and his focus on making people’s (and dogs’) lives better is tangible.
I hope you enjoy this Combat Story of someone who spent many years deep in our wars (with and without a dog at his side) as much as I did. And if you do enjoy it, I hope you’ll subscribe and leave a positive review (it would mean a lot).
Find Travis Online:

Travis’ Linktree 
Second Chance K9 
Donate to Second Chance K9 
Instagram @secondchancek9 
Facebook @2CK9SD 
YouTube 

Ryan: Instagram @combatstory 
Show Notes/Time Stamps

0:00 - Intro
0:40 - A word from our Sponsor (LoanSteady)
2:10 - Guest introduction (Travis Hall)
3:16 - Interview begins
6:40 - Travis and a childhood WITHOUT (surprisingly) animals
10:56 - A family military history and a SEAL contract
17:46 - Why Green Berets?
20:04 - Fear of Missing the War
26:20 - Combat Story #1 - Arriving in country and immediately in a fight
30:21 - What’s a Low Vis mission profile?
39:27 - Combat Story #2 - Brutal fighting in Kandahar, Afghanistan
44:15 - Combat Story #3 - Lighter/funnier side of combat and being mistaken for a local
51:37 - Combat Story #4 - Life as an 18D Special Forces Medic
56:23 - Combat Story #5 - Treating himself downrange
1:01:45 - Travis’ documentary to support veterans
1:04:29 - Being one of the first SF K9 handlers
1:11:31 - Combat Story #6 - Travis and his K9 Bear in Iraq
1:25:59 - Origin of Second Chance K9
1:33:54 - What did you carry into combat?
1:36:12 - Would you do it all again?
1:39:44 - Listener comments and shout outs
Nov 27, 2021
Combat Story (Ep 51): Erick Miyares | Tier 1 Sergeant Major | Special Missions Unit | Marine | Echo9
6970
Today we hear the Combat Story of Erick Miyares, a retired Sergeant Major who spent nearly 30 years in the military in the pre- and post-9/11 era. Erick was a Marine, Marine sniper, part of 7th Special Forces Group, and then spent over 20 years in Tier 1 Special Mission Units.
[Sponsor: This episode is brought to you by Loansteady LLC. A small-by-design lender, Loansteady believes in bringing a much-needed dose of humanity to the mortgage process. They are waiving all lender fees for Veterans in 2021. Visit http://www.loansteady.com/combatstory to request a rate quote or start an application. Loansteady LLC, All rights reserved, NMLS# 1701910, (www.nmlsconsumeraccess.org/), Equal Housing Lender. For more licensing information, please visit https://www.loansteady.com/licenses-and-legal.]
Erick has been shot (with small arms and rockets), run singleton and low vis missions, operated in multiple theaters and countries, and cheated death (and capture and compromise) on numerous occasions.
He’s only recently separated from the service and stepped “out of the shadows” to where he can discuss some of the aspects of these clandestine and secretive roles and the toll it takes on a person.
Erick uses his experience and the hard lessons he learned to drive Echo9.axiom and Echo9.hopes with a specific mission to prevent the suicide of Veterans after having lost two close friends in 2019.
This is a fantastic interview that dives into what’s involved in the shadowy world of intel and reconnaissance at the elite level. I hope you enjoy this vulnerable and introspective Combat Story with Erick as much as I did.
Find Erick Online:

LinkedIN https://www.linkedin.com/in/erick-miyares/
Instagram Echo9.axiom https://www.instagram.com/echo9.axiom/?hl=en
Instagram Echo9.hopes https://www.instagram.com/echo9.hopes/?hl=en

Find Ryan online:

Ryan’s Linktree https://linktr.ee/combatstory
Instagram @combatstory https://www.instagram.com/combatstory
Facebook @combatstoryofficial https://fb.me/combatstoryofficial
Send us messages at https://m.me/combatstoryofficial
Email ryan@combatstory.com
Learn more about Ryan www.combatstory.com/aboutus
Intro Song: Sport Rock from Audio Jungle

Show Notes

0:00 - Intro
0:55 - LoanSteady - A word from our sponsor
2:22 - Guest introduction
3:28 - Interview begins
6:30 - Growing up in Hialeah (Miami)
17:13 - The idea of the military
28:00 - Once a Marine, always a Marine
37:08 - Combat Story in South America with 7th Special Forces Group
47:39 - The buildup of PTSD
55:40 - Invited to Selection
1:05:14 - Combat Story with an RPG in Ramadi
1:17:10 - Losing two friends from the Tier 1 community to suicide
1:40:44 - Echo9 Axiom and Hopes
1:49:32 - What did you carry with you into combat?
1:51:19 - Would you do it all again?
Nov 20, 2021
Veterans Day Tribute
300
A short tribute to the Veterans who spent years away from families to serve. In their own words.
And a thank you to the families that made it possible.
Thanks to our guests:

@kellergamutresolutions
@tipofthespearrmh
@mindfulfrogman @mentalkingmindfulness
@woundedbywar
@mark.a.wales @kill_kapture
@vansanttyrtactical @allsecurefoundation
@thisis.mikehayes
@danpronk
@drtonybrooks
@raymcpadden1

Happy Veterans Day!
Nov 12, 2021
Combat Story (Ep 50): Vincent Speranza | WWII Veteran | Battle of the Bulge | Airborne Beer | Author
7629
Today we have a special Veterans Day 50th Episode of Combat Story from Vincent Speranza, who was a paratrooper in the storied 101st Airborne Division in World War II. Vince was a machine gunner at the Battle of the Bulge where he and his fellow paratroopers held Bastogne after being encircled by the Germans.
[Sponsor: This episode is brought to you by Loansteady LLC. A small-by-design lender, Loansteady believes in bringing a much-needed dose of humanity to the mortgage process. With their experience, agility, and creativity at Loansteady, they offer better rates, a simpler process and a much stronger personal connection. They're here to find a mortgage that works for you, not the other way around. They are waiving all lender fees for Veterans in 2021. Visit http://www.loansteady.com/combatstory to request a rate quote or start an application. Loansteady LLC, All rights reserved, NMLS# 1701910, (www.nmlsconsumeraccess.org/), Equal Housing Lender. For more licensing information, please visit https://www.loansteady.com/licenses-and-legal.]
While fighting, Vince earned a Bronze Star and Purple Heart, but he’s gone down in history for being the GI who miraculously found and transported draft beer in his helmet from the last standing bar in Bastogne during the attack. This story later became the basis for Airborne beer, which can be purchased throughout Belgium and is designed to be enjoyed from a small ceramic cup shaped like a WWII helmet.
Vince, in the last 10 years, has written a book, aptly titled “Nuts!: A 101st Airborne Division Machine Gunner at Bastogne,” has jumped out of airplanes again, and speaks to soldiers and organizations about his experiences.
His story is nothing short of legendary and reminds us all why we refer to his as the “Greatest Generation.” I hope you enjoy this amazing combat story as much as I did.
Follow Ryan on Instagram @combatstory
Show Notes

0:00 - Intro
0:48 - A word from our Sponsor (Loansteady)
2:15 - Guest intro
3:22 - Interview begins
4:18 - Growing up an Italian immigrant
16:00 - Did you miss out on a “fun” or easy childhood?
18:20 - AWESOME Pearl Harbor story from Dec 7th,1941
22:21 - The Draft letter
23:43 - Shipping off to WWII (wait for his dad’s comment)
38:04 - Training to go to WWII
41:01 - Volunteering for Airborne
50:40 - Taking the Queen Mary over to the war
52:34 - The feeling on the boat on the way to WWII
54:28 - You’re going in!
59:29 - Battle of the Bulge - Basic numbers and the environment
1:01:41 - The importance of artillery at Bastogne
1:04:44 - Asking for our surrender
1:06:15 - Like the Colonel already said
1:07:10 - “Freedom in your heart” (you can’t help but smile when you hear this)
1:07:50 - How was I feeling at the Battle of the Bulge?
1:10:15 - The sobering moment comes after the shooting…
1:11:45 - German strategy going in
1:14:50 - Airborne Beer (INCREDIBLE story)
1:18:30 - Made myself a promise
1:33:45 - Combat Story (WWII Edition) Begins with description of digging into frozen ground and fighting from those positions
1:36:00 - “The whole world exploded”
1:38:48 - A machine gunner’s delight
1:47:16 - A once in a lifetime R&R
1:58:59 - Did you carry anything with you into combat?
1:59:57 - Would you do it all again?
2:00:09 - At the Eagle’s Nest!
2:03:26 - Not a hero…
2:05:23 - Listener comments
Nov 11, 2021
Combat Story (Ep 49): Ray McPadden [Part 2] | Ranger Ground Force Commander | JSOC | Purple Heart | We March at Midnight
7407
Today we hear the second part of Ray McPadden’s Combat Story. Ray is a former Army Infantry Officer who survived four brutal deployments. In Part 1, we covered his time with 10th Mountain in the Korengal Valley, a notoriously violent part of Afghanistan. [You can find Part 1 at https://youtu.be/uebr9kPuPLM or https://tinyurl.com/wfcat859]
In Part 2, we pick up just after Ray returns from 16 months as a Platoon Leader in Afghanistan. He immediately goes to ROP (the Ranger Officer Program) to be assessed for the Ranger Regiment.
In this interview, Ray provides some incredible detail about the types of missions and decisions soldiers have to make within the JSOC community and the stark differences between the special ops and conventional military in terms of resources, equipment, aviation, personnel, and more.
For those who want to know what it was like to roll out on a multiple hit night in Iraq with JSOC, this interview will make you feel like you’re inside the Stryker and on the objective. If you want more, check out Ray’s great book - We March at Midnight.
I hope you enjoy this second round of Ray’s combat story as much as I did.
Find Ray Online:

Instagram @raymcpadden1 https://www.instagram.com/raymcpadden1/
Book We March at Midnight https://www.amazon.com/We-March-Midnight-War-Memoir-ebook/dp/B08W2NQF4H

Find Ryan Online:

Follow on Instagram @combatstory https://www.instagram.com/combatstory
Follow on Facebook @combatstoryofficial https://fb.me/combatstoryofficial
Send us messages at https://m.me/combatstoryofficial
Email ryan@combatstory.com
Learn more about Ryan www.combatstory.com/aboutus
Intro Song: Sport Rock from Audio Jungle

Show Notes

0:00 - Intro
0:46 - Guest introduction
1:50 - Interview begins and returning from the Korengal Valley
8:15 - Did you get treatment for PTSD after the first deployment
13:00 - Coming straight back from combat to Ranger Officer Program
20:25 - Interesting model in the Ranger Regiment
27:57 - What’s a Ground Force Commander
30:08 - How hard is the Ranger Officer Program
33:43 - The Darby Queen
43:30 - Arriving to 2nd Ranger Battalion
46:52 - Big Boy Rules
50:57 - Combat Story #1 - Running ops Day 1
55:23 - JSOC Mission Briefs in combat
1:11:19 - Combat Story #2 - Hasty follow-on operation
1:18:45 - Couldn’t sleep post-mission
1:23:56 - Combat Story #3: Tier 1 HVTs operating in difficult spaces
1:45:28 - Combat Story #4: The reality of warfare and children on the battlefield
1:53:38 - Why choose the title “We March at Midnight”?
1:56:25 - What did you carry with you into combat?
1:59:25 - Would you do it all again?
2:01:28 - Listener shout outs and comments
Nov 06, 2021
Combat Story (Ep 48): Ray McPadden [Part 1] | Ranger | Purple Heart | Valley of Death | We March at Midnight
7489
UPCOMING EVENT on November 11th (Veterans Day): If you'd like to attend a Q&A session on November 11th with Combat Story's Ryan Fugit, please fill out this form (https://tinyurl.com/552ewmu5).
Today we hear Part I of the Combat Story of Ray McPadden, a former Army Infantry Officer who survived four deployments that included leading troops in one of the most dangerous valleys of Afghanistan with the 10th Mountain Division and as a Ground Force Commander in the Ranger Battalion.
Listeners really appreciate our interviews with Special Operators and it’s easy to see why. Many listeners have asked to hear a few more stores from the conventional side of the house. Today’s episode focuses entirely on the conventional side of Ray’s career and fighting that his Battalion Commander at the time promised would be harder than anything he would go on to do in the Rangers.
Ray’s experience in the Pech and Korangal Valleys will be eye opening to many who had no idea forces were fighting in this unforgiving terrain and in these isolated conditions. Many have seen Restrepo and the Hornet’s Nest and can appreciate just how difficult that fighting was. Ray and his men fought to build the positions and fortifications that would later become the backdrop of those movies and books.
We use Ray’s own fantastic book - We March at Midnight - as a guide to walk through the first half of his career and will pick up in part two with his time in the Special Ops community. I hope you enjoy this first of two Combat Stories and his fight in what was known as the “Valley of Death” as much as I did.
Find Ray Online:

Instagram @raymcpadden1 https://www.instagram.com/raymcpadden1/
Book We March at Midnight https://www.amazon.com/We-March-Midnight-War-Memoir-ebook/dp/B08W2NQF4H

Find Ryan Online:

Follow on Instagram @combatstory https://www.instagram.com/combatstory
Follow on Facebook @combatstoryofficial https://fb.me/combatstoryofficial
Send us messages at https://m.me/combatstoryofficial
Email ryan@combatstory.com
Learn more about Ryan www.combatstory.com/aboutus
Intro Song: Sport Rock from Audio Jungle

Show Notes

0:00 - Intro
1:11 - Guest introduction
2:03 - Interview begins
5:10 - Reenacting Sniper (the movie) as a kid
12:54 - Texas A&M and learning from NCOs for the first time
18:50 - “Actions not words” and leading by example
21:14 - Mood in the Army in 2004-2005 starting out
24:05 - A life in the mountains
25:12 - Donkey and mule training
35:43 - The real side of a military spouse - “They go to war with you”
39:30 - Afghanistan and the Pech Valley
42:00 - First Platoon Sergeant - “The key person” for new LTs
45:22 - Reality of Mountain Warfare
47:22 - Combat Story #1: First big fight
1:21:40 - Combat Story #2: The counterattack
1:27:37 - The Korongal (Korangal aka Korengal) Valley and Restrepo and Operation Red Wings environment (Restrepo Info for those interested https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zvUdruvbdmI)
1:30:01 - Combat Story #3: Initial fight in the Valley
1:44:04 - “War is Freedom”
1:50:13 - Delivering some of the hardest news possible
1:54:29 - Combat Story #4: The Last Firefight - “War is horrible”
2:02:10 - Conventions vs Special Operations
2:03:25 - Listener Comments and Shout Outs
Oct 30, 2021
Combat Story (Ep 47): Wes ‘H’ Hennessey | Australian Special Forces Commando | Fought w/ DEVGRU | Seven Horses Co | Brand Ambassador
8135
UPCOMING EVENT on November 11th (Veterans Day): If you'd like to attend a Q&A session on November 11th with Combat Story's Ryan Fugit, please fill out this form (https://tinyurl.com/552ewmu5).
Today we hear the Combat Story of Wes ‘H’ Hennessey, a retired Australian Special Forces Commando and 20 year veteran who deployed on numerous occasions to Afghanistan, Iraq, East Timor, Somalia, to name just a few.
He fought for years at the upper echelons of the Australian special operations community and was on joint operations with US-equivalents like DEVGRU in critical missions. 
He was later recognized with two US Bronze Star Medals, one with Valor, for his efforts, in addition to the coveted Australian Conspicuous Service Medal.
Since leaving the military, Wes has gone on to become a sought after brand ambassador, public speaker, and, most importantly, Veteran advocate.
He stands out from the crowd with a down to earth, honest, and truth-to-power personality and I hope you enjoy his combat story as much as I did.
Find H Online:

Instagram @seven.horses.co
LinkedIN https://www.linkedin.com/in/wes-hennessey-860b1235/

Find Ryan online:

Follow on Instagram @combat_stories https://www.instagram.com/combatstory
Follow on Facebook @combatstoryofficial https://fb.me/combatstoryofficial
Send us messages at https://m.me/combatstoryofficial
Email ryan@combatstory.com
Learn more about Ryan www.combatstory.com/aboutus
Intro Song: Sport Rock from Audio Jungle

Show Notes

0:00 - Intro
1:05 - Guest bio for Wes “H” Hennessey
1:55 - Interview begins
3:41- What US State is Queensland like?
6:24 - Aussie Commandos vs SAS
16:32 - Communication once in the elite units
30:14 - The Commando pipeline
32:46 - Kit check was a favorite
38:26 - Can you tell who will make it through selection?
47:28 - The weight of leadership
51:35 - First deployment: Somalia
56:59 - First mission outside the wire
1:03:29 - Left a boy. Returned a man.
1:12:57 - Sent to Kandahar
1:24:04 - Honing the American accent
1:27:56 - Surviving a helicopter crash
1:56:49 - When the near death experiences build up
2:01:06 - Seven Horses Co and H’s next mission
2:10:55 - What did you carry into combat with you?
2:11:45 - Would you do it all again?
2:13:07 - Listener comments and shout outs!
Oct 23, 2021
Combat Story (Ep 46): Tony Brooks | 2nd Ranger Battalion | Operation Red Wings Recovery | Author Leave No Man Behind
6747
Today we hear the Combat Story of Tony Brooks, a former Army Ranger with 2nd Ranger Battalion who fought in Afghanistan early in the war and in Ramadi, Iraq.
Tony’s first mission was significant, being tasked with the recovery of downed chinook helicopter, Turbine 33 and The Lone Survivor, Marcus Luttrell in the mountains of Afghanistan.
His book, Leave No Man Behind, is all about this experience as the primary search and rescue element that catalogues the mission from hitting the ground, recovering bodies, and hunting for every last man to bring them home.
In this episode, we also touch on the impact of a legendary man, soldier, Ranger, and American - Pat Tillman - who had a tremendous influence on Tony (and myself for that matter).
After the military, Tony went on to become a licensed chiropractor. He married the woman he refers to in the book as ‘the Unicorn’ who he met as a private while stationed at Fort Lewis.
I hope you enjoy his Combat Story, and the mission to bring everyone home, as much as I did.
#rangers #specialoperations #operationredwings #veteran #veterans #combatstory #tonybrooks #2ndrangerbattalion #rangerbatt #rltw
Find Tony Online:

Book Leave No Man Behind https://www.amazon.com/Leave-Man-Behind-Unrelenting-Afghanistan/dp/1635767350
Website https://www.drtonybrooksauthor.com/
Instagram @drtonybrooks https://www.instagram.com/drtonybrooks/
Facebook Dr Tony Brooks https://www.facebook.com/DrTonyBrooks/

Find Ryan Online:

Follow on Instagram @combat_stories https://www.instagram.com/combatstory
Follow on Facebook @combatstoryofficial https://fb.me/combatstoryofficial
Send us messages at https://m.me/combatstoryofficial
Email ryan@combatstory.com
Learn more about Ryan www.combatstory.com/aboutus
Intro Song: Sport Rock from Audio Jungle

Show Notes

0:00 - Intro
0:53 - Guest bio
1:40 - Interview begins
2:06 - Pat Tillman - One of the greatest Americans of our generation
10:35 - Finding Purpose
13:19 - Why go to the Rangers?
17:00 - The Unicorn and the long play
20:00 - Parents played it neutral
23:50 - First time in Afghanistan
30:33 - Context for Operation Red Wings
37:15 - How did you feel going into your first mission?
40:07 - Fast roping onto target
49:25 - First objective - get to the crash site
58:20 - Recovering body parts
59:22 - Finding a wedding ring that meant so much more
1:06:27 - Next mission post-crash site recovery
1:13:50 - A screech you’ve never heard before
1:17:06 - Next mission is BDA
1:24:04 - My first experience of war was “sh*@”
1:26:28 - Finding Marcus Luttrell
1:32:13 - How close was the movie scenery (Lone Survivor) to reality
1:39:14 - Hilarious story of one of those “guys” in the unit
1:46:15 - What did you carry with you into combat?
1:47:31 - Would you go back and do it all again?
1:48:30 - How does Tony think about recent events in Afghanistan?
1:50:45 - Listener comments
Oct 16, 2021
Combat Story (Ep 45): Dan Pronk Part 2 | Australian SASR | Doctor | Resilience Shield | Entrepreneur
4624
UPCOMING EVENT: If you'd like to attend a Q&A session in November with Combat Story's Ryan Fugit, please fill out this form (https://tinyurl.com/552ewmu5).
Today we hear the second round of our Combat Story with Dan Pronk, a former Australian SAS officer and medical doctor who completed four tours to Afghanistan.
In round one we covered Dan’s first calling as a triathlete until he found himself in medical school, and, eventually, SAS selection. We covered some of his initial deployments.
In round two we move into the more difficult deployments Dan faced when things started getting darker, as they so often do.
We also discuss Dan’s newly released book - Resilience Shield - which takes SAS resilience lessons and applies them to everyday life to thrive, much as Dan has.
Dan went on to found a multi-million dollar company - TACMED - and has written two other books: Arterial Tourniquets and Average 70kg D**khead.
Dan is the most unassuming doctor you’ll ever find and I hope you enjoy this second round interview Down Under as much as I did.
Show Notes

0:00 - Intro
0:57 - Dan Pronk intro and bio
1:52 - Interview begins
4:12 - The Afghanistan pull out
10:58 - Desperately wanting to get back into combat
15:00 - Find Fix Finish for Psychological Trauma
20:43 - Third deployment “hugely kinetic”
24:43 - The Suckmeter
27:38 - The build-up of PTSD
45:36 - How to make resilience insights to bulletproof operators
55:50 - Dan’s first classic car purchase and how not to make your wife happy
1:09:00 - The Unforgiving Sixty podcast by Dan Pronk’s Resilience Shield Co-author
1:09:46 - What did you carry with you into combat every time?
1:11:57 - Would you go back and do it all again?
1:15:43 - Listener Comments and Shout Outs

#combatstory #SAS #specialoperations #danpronk #deltaforce #jsoc #australianSAS #pathfinderjacket #killkapture #markwales
Find Dan online:

Website Resilience Shield 
LinkedIN Dan Pronk 
Instagram @danpronk 
Book Average 70kg D**khead 
Book Arterial Tourniquets 
Book Resilience Shield 
TacMed 
Delta Automotive 

Find Ryan online:

Follow on Instagram @combatstory
Follow on Facebook @combatstoryofficial 
Send us messages at https://m.me/combatstoryofficial
Email ryan@combatstory.com
Learn more about Ryan
Intro Song: Sport Rock from Audio Jungle
Oct 09, 2021
Combat Story (Ep 44): Dan Pronk | Australian SASR | Medical Doctor | Author | Entrepreneur | Resilience Shield
5633
Today we hear the Combat Story of Dr. Dan Pronk, a former Australian SAS doctor who completed four tours to Afghanistan. Do not be fooled by the doctor title, Dan was on the front lines conducting hundreds of operations with the elite SAS.
This is the first of two interviews with Dan.
Before the military, Dan was a triathlete and lived what he described as an average Australian upbringing. The military put him through medical school, but he wanted to be part of the elite SAS and fought for years for a chance to just get to selection, which he eventually did.
Since leaving the military, Dan has gone on to an executive role in medical management, as well as co-owning the multimillion dollar company TacMed Australia and founding several other entrepreneurial startups.
He’s written several books, including Average 70kg Dickhead: Motivational Lessons from an Ex-Army Special Forces Doctor, and Arterial Tourniquets: For Police Officers, Law Enforcement and other First-Responders. He just released a third book with two fellow former SAS operators called Resilience Shield.
Dan’s also a motorhead with a love of high performance cars, leading him to own a classic Ferrari and Lamborghini. He also created Delta Automotive that builds these limited edition classic sports cars.
Dan was referred to me by another SAS leader as “legend” in the community and I hope you enjoy this first of two Combat Story rounds with Dan as much as I did.
Find Dan Online:

Website Resilience Shield www.resilienceshield.com/
LinkedIN Dan Pronk https://www.linkedin.com/in/danpronk/
Instagram @danpronk www.instagram.com/danpronk/?hl=en


Show Notes

0:00 - Interview begins
1:07 - Dan Pronk bio
2:13 - Interview begins
9:00 - Tough schooling and getting beaten with a cricket bat (for both Ryan and Dan)
10:25 - Dan’s family military history and father who was an Army helicopter pilot
13:50 - Dan’s rebellious stage, triathlons, and tough cars
19:30 - Running and that release
24:50 - “Maneuvering” myself into an elite group
29:15 - Extrinsic motivation of being a triathlete rather than being an intrinsically motivated soldier
32:30 - Shifting from college and triathlons to medical school and the military
38:15 - The “lightbulb moment” to join SAS
43:50 - Why is SAS sending doctor’s through Selection?
47:10 - Motivational moment of being doubted
49:05 - Darker and harder moments of Selection
55:45 - What’s it like being a Selection-certified doctor in SAS?
59:20 - First deployment with SAS as a Task Force asset
1:02:35 - First mission outside the wire as a doctor AND the gunner on a vehicle
1:06:35 - First time I got shot at “accurately”
1:10:35 - Another mission and being in contact with snipers on quad bikes and more vehicles going against the Taliban
1:12:55 - No indication of PTSD starting to seep in
1:15:10 - Another deployment to Afghanistan in 2011 (reference to the Drug Enforcement Agency aka DEA's Drug Flow Attack Strategy Team or FAST)
1:16:44 - Difficult mission and a “turning point” for Dan. “We’re playing for keeps now”
1:26:45 - Dan’s background in the Emergency Room and working trauma
Oct 02, 2021
Combat Story (Ep 43): Mike Hayes | Navy SEAL | TF Commander | WH | NSC | Author | Never Enough
4931
Today we hear the Combat Story of Mike Hayes, a retired Navy SEAL Team and Special Operations Task Force Commander who fought in Iraq, Afghanistan, Kosovo, and Bosnia over a 20 year career.
His time in uniform brought to key points in U.S. military and diplomatic history, including intersections with Operation Red Wings, the Mersk Somali pirate kidnapping, and an international treaty negotiation with Russia.
While in the Navy, Mike was one of the very few selected as a White House fellow, where he served under both Republican and Democrat administrations and as the Director for Defense Policy and Strategy at the National Security Council.
Since leaving the military, Mike has gone on to senior roles at Bridgewater Associates, Cognizant, and VM Ware.
He’s written a fantastic book, Never Enough, that we’ll discuss during this interview and for which all proceeds go to Gold Star families.
Mike is a model leader and giver and I hope you enjoy his Combat Story as much as I did.
Find Mike Online

Instagram @thisis.mikehayes https://www.instagram.com/thisis.mikehayes/
Twitter @thisismikehayes https://twitter.com/thisismikehayes
LinkedIN Mike Hayes https://www.linkedin.com/in/mike-hayes-733688/
Book Never Enough https://tinyurl.com/ybv89rdh

Find Ryan Online

Instagram @combat_stories https://www.instagram.com/combat_stories/
More about Ryan www.combatstory.com/aboutus
Intro Song: Sport Rock from Audio Jungle

Show Notes

0:00 - Intro
1:10 - Bio on Mike Hayes
2:10 - Interview begins
2:53 - Gold Star Families
4:35 - Guam and Science Fairs
9:00 - Others Before Self
16:22 - Telling a General ‘No’
22:50 - What to do when you’re kidnapped
33:58 - Operation Red Wings
38:02 - When to pull the trigger and when to hold
46:55 - Holding people accountable
55:08 - The White House Fellow Program
1:00:20 - Working at Bridgewater Associates for Ray Dalio
1:07:50 - Building egalitarian teams in business
1:15:00 - What did you carry with you into combat?
1:16:45 - Would you do it all again?
1:20:10 - Comments from listeners (THANK YOU!)
Sep 25, 2021
Combat Story (Ep 42): Barry Strauss on Brasidas | Spartan Legend | Commander | Special Ops Pioneer
4396
Today we have a unique History Edition of Combat Story focused on Sparta. As you know, I’m fascinated by the experiences of warriors in combat and I’ve always wanted to better understand what the combat experience would have been like for veterans from history like the Spartans, Romans, or Mongols.   
On this episode, we’ll interview Professor Barry Strauss, an accomplished scholar, historian, and expert on ancient military history. Barry brings to life a very famous Spartan warrior named Brasidas as we dive into his combat story.  
Brasidas led warriors into remarkable battles employing conventional tactics but also leveraging special operations and psychological or hybrid warfare with great success. Barry gives us a front row seat of what it was like to grow up and live in this austere, militaristic, and aggressive society we know as Sparta.  
We could not have done this without Barry, who is a Professor of History and Classics at Cornell University, Series Editor of Princeton’s Turning Points in Ancient History, author of eight books, and a military and naval historian and consultant.  
Professor Strauss is a recognized authority on the subject of leadership and the lessons that can be learned from the experiences of the greatest political and military leaders of the ancient world (Caesar, Hannibal, Alexander among many others).   
He has a new book coming out in March 2022 titled The War that Made the Roman Empire: Antony, Cleopatra, and Octavian at Actium.   
I hope you enjoy this unique Combat Story and the dive into the world of Sparta as much as I did.  
Find Barry Online:

Website
Author of The War that Made the Roman Empire: Antony, Cleopatra, and Octavian at Actium, available March 2022 
Facebook 
Twitter @barrystrauss 
Podcast ANTIQUITAS: Leaders and Legends of the Ancient World

Find Ryan Online:

Follow on Instagram @combatstory 
Follow on Facebook @combatstoryofficial
Send us messages at https://m.me/combatstoryofficial
Email ryan@combatstory.com
Learn more about Ryan 
Intro Song: Sport Rock from Audio Jungle

Crew:

Guest: Dr. Barry Strauss
Host: Ryan Fugit
Editor: Owen Fugit

​​Show Notes

0:00 - Intro
1:46 - Interview begins
3:50 - Barry’s background
7:18 - Facts and Fiction about Spartans
9:14 - The Greek and Persian Empire
11:23 - Beliefs and Views of Spartans and Athenians
12:20 - The Peloponnesian War
15:57 - Brasidas, Son of Tellis
18:47 - Life of a Spartan
22:52 - The Hoplites and the Phalanx
34:08 - The Spartan Way of War
35:48 - The Athenian’s First Encounter with Brasidas
39:11 - The Defeat of Brasidas
50:58 - Brasidas’ Greatest Coup
56:30 - Siege Warfare
1:02:09 - Psychological Warfare
Sep 18, 2021
Combat Story (Ep 41): Chris VanSant [Part 2] Delta Force | Ranger | All Secure | TYR Tactical
5586
UPCOMING EVENT: If you'd like to attend a Q&A session with Combat Story's Ryan Fugit, please fill out this form (https://tinyurl.com/552ewmu5).
Today we complete the second segment of our Combat Story with Chris VanSant, a retired Army infantryman, Ranger, Green Beret, and Operator in 1st Special Forces Operational Detachment - Delta (1st SFOD-D). 
You can hear the first round with Chris at https://youtu.be/tdSA8O_T6mE.
We left our first interview with Chris at the height of his career: in the Unit, combat rotations, and close friends. We pick up in round two where things start to get more difficult and the optempo, intensity, and constant fighting begin to take a toll.
Chris describes how he overcame some very dark days that many can relate to and found new opportunities he never would have imagined.
He’s gone on to become the Chief Operating Officer of TYR Tactical and is a board member for Tom and Jenn Satterly’s All Secure Foundation, both of which continue to protect those in need.
I hope you enjoy this deep dive into combat and recovery from a very humble Tier 1 operator as much as I did.
Find Chris Online:  

Instagram @vansanttyrtactical 
Website TYR Tactical  
Board Member at All Secure Foundation (Tom Satterly’s organization) 
Instagram @allsecurefoundation 

Find Ryan Online:

Follow on Instagram @combatstory 
Follow on Facebook @combatstoryofficial  
Email ryan@combatstory.com 
Learn more about Ryan   
Intro Song: Sport Rock from Audio Jungle
Video Edited by: Owen Fugit

Show Notes

0:00 - Intro
1:00 - Guest bio
1:52 - Interview begins
2:37 - Chris’ thoughts on Afghanistan
14:18 - Where does the exhaustion come from?
17:18 - What are some other interesting fear responses?
17:24 - “Fight or flight is the first response when someone thinks they may die.”
20:11 - The next deployment
30:00 - Tactics and Procedures
32:40 - Different ways to attack a building.
36:23 – When did the trauma and stress start
43:33 – Early Indicators that will help others
48:25 – Pivotal moments during combat
57:39 - “You got to understand the individuals in your charge to get the best out of them; you got to know what motivates them, what makes them tick.”
58:48 – Starting to change
1:09:04 - Key things in your journey that you try to make sure a wider audience hears
1:10:05 - “Open up. Talk to the people that matter to you. It doesn't have to be a lot. It just has to be a few.”
1:13:13 – Getting fired from the Unit
1:18:53 – Pushing yourself
1:19:11 - “There are winners and losers. A loser is just a winner that tried one more time.”
1:22:40 – Pieces of advice
1:31:11 – Getting in touch with Chris
Sep 11, 2021
Combat Story (Ep 40): Ryan Hendrickson [Part 2] Green Beret | SF 18C | Silver Star | Author
8328
UPCOMING EVENT: If you'd like to attend a Q&A session with Combat Story's Ryan Fugit, please fill out this form (https://tinyurl.com/552ewmu5).
Today we complete Part 2 of the Combat Story of Ryan Hendrickson, the former Green Beret and Special Forces Engineer (18C) who served multiple combat deployments to Afghanistan and training deployments around the world, particularly in South America, as part of 7th Special Forces Group.
For those who listened to Part 1, you’ll recall that we followed Ryan’s unique upbringing in the Northwest that included moving frequently and, at one point, living in a tent for an entire year being raised by a single father who had a tremendous impact on Ryan’s life.
Ryan first joined the Navy, where he was onboard the first ship to respond to the USS Cole attack, then served in the Air Force loading aircraft with munitions, and finally achieved his dream of earning the coveted Green Beret.
On his first deployment to Afghanistan with 7th Group, Ryan was leading a patrol clearing the path of IEDs and inadvertently stepped on an IED that changed his life. 
At the end of Part 1, we left off as Ryan was coming to after the dust settled from the blast and he looked down to see two pearl white bones (his Tibia and Fibula) sticking out of his leg.
What happens next is nothing short of remarkable. If you ever felt sorry for yourself, this next session will help give perspective and an example of someone else who overcame tremendous odds to follow his dream, saving lives and inspiring others along the way.
Find Ryan H Online:

Website Tip of the Spear
Instagram @tipofthespearrmh 
Facebook Ryan Hendrickson(Rmh)
LinkedIN Ryan Hendrickson 
Book Tip of the Spear 

Find Ryan F online:

Instagram @combat_stories
Email ryan@combatstory.com
Learn more about Ryan 
Intro Song: Sport Rock from Audio Jungle

Show notes

0:00 - Intro
0:45 - Guest Bio
1:45 - Interview begins
11:46 - Ryan is back in the moment just after the IED blast.
25:48 - The flight out of country and multiple hospital visits.
37:35 - The decision to keep your limb or go for a prosthetic.
44:18 - When Ryan started recognizing the emotional side of his injury.
49:20 - The advice the changed Ryan’s perspective and his path.
58:34 - The program to stay in the Army.
1:09:21 - Returning to Afghanistan and the unlikely welcome.
1:23:20 - Taking the opportunities given (and how to escape the TOC)!
1:39:50 - Inserting into a big fight looking like a normal unit.
1:46:54 - An F-15 500lb bomb being dropped nearby.
2:01:30 - Going back for every man, including his Afghan brothers.
2:06:45 - Didn’t have to go back, but you did. “Had to be done.”
2:12:00 - Writing the book.
2:15:00 - What did you carry with you into combat.
2:16:35 - Would you do it all again?
Sep 01, 2021
Combat Story (Ep 39. Special Edition Afghanistan): John "Shrek" McPhee | Delta Force | SOB Tactical
5408
Improved episode. The original audio had some issues. Sorry about that. This version should be better!
This is a special and off-cycle edition of Combat Story.
With the recent attacks and chaos in Afghanistan, I wanted to sit down with someone who spent years on the front lines in that theater and who better than John “Shrek” McPhee.
UPCOMING EVENT: If you'd like to attend a Q&A session with Combat Story's Ryan Fugit, please fill out this form (https://tinyurl.com/552ewmu5).
Regular listeners know him well but for those who have not yet heard of him, John is also known as the Sheriff of Baghdad and spent 20 years in the Army’s Special Operations community, from Ranger Battalion to Group to Delta Force.
He retired as a Sergeant Major from the most elite unit in the US Military and now owns SOB Tactical.
As usual, Shrek holds nothing back and gives an operator’s perspective of what is happening and why this outcome was always going to be the case.  Most importantly, however, is John’s message to the thousands of veterans processing these scenes, emotions, and memories.
While I had Shrek, I took the opportunity to ask some questions we’ve received from listeners, we talk whiskey, and find out what Shrek watches on Netflix.   I hope you enjoy this third round Combat Story with Shrek as much as I did.
#shrek #combatstory #deltaforce #specialoperations
Find John Online:

Instagram @sobtactical
SOB Tactical
SOB TV
Booze N Views

Find Ryan Online:

Follow on Instagram @combat_stories
Email ryan@combatstory.com
Learn more about Ryan www.combatstory.com/aboutus  Intro Song: Sport Rock from Audio Jungle
Aug 28, 2021
Combat Story (Ep 38): Chris VanSant [Part 1] Delta Force Operator | Ranger | All Secure Foundation | TYR Tactical
5513
This episode is sponsored by BetterHelp (go to https://betterhelp.com/CombatStory for 10% off your first month of professional therapy or counseling).
Today we hear the Combat Story of Chris VanSant, a retired Army infantryman and NCO who spent time as a Ranger, Green Beret, and Operator in 1st Special Forces Operational Detachment - Delta (1st SFOD-D), aka Delta Force aka The Unit or the Army’s Special Mission Unit (SMU), and survived 11 combat deployments and hundreds of combat operations.
As you can imagine after so many years at the tip of the spear, Chris ended up confronting and overcoming (with tremendous difficulty) traumatic brain injury (TBI) and post-traumatic stress (PTS); he remains a committed Veteran and advocate helping others through these tough times.
Chris is now the Chief Operating Officer of TYR Tactical, which manufactures body armor and tactical equipment for the military and law enforcement.
He’s also a board member for Tom and Jenn Satterly’s All Secure Foundation, which assists special operations active-duty and combat Veterans and their families in recovery of posttraumatic stress. Listeners will recall our interview with Tom and the similar success he had and corresponding struggles he overcame.
Chris is certainly humble for all his achievements and I hope you enjoy his Combat Story as much as I did.
Find Chris Online:

Instagram @vansanttyrtactical
Website TYR Tactical www.tyrtactical.com
Board Member at All Secure Foundation 
Instagram @allsecurefoundation 
Article VA Article from July 2021

Find Ryan Online:  

Instagram @combat_stories
Email ryan@combatstory.com 
Learn more about Ryan   
Intro Song: Sport Rock from Audio Jungle  

Show Notes

0:00 – Intro
1:01 - Guest bio
3:16 - Interview begins
3:48 – Dangerous hiking experience
15:40 – A grandfather’s storytelling
20:30 – “I was a drinker at a very young age.”
23:38 – “I always felt like I could do whatever I wanted.”
27:13 – Finding your way to the military.
33:06 – “The goodness of one individual and somebody being selfless changed my life.”
33:49 – Did you plan to go into Delta from the beginning?
35:09 – Being a young Ranger and Blackhawk Down vets.
40:40 – “It was probably the first and worst thing that had ever happened to me.”
43:33 – Deployment to Kuwait: Operation Desert Thunder
58:46 – Failing Selection the first time and coming back again?
59:36 – “I felt like they were testing me. Like they’re going to send me home because I’m 23 years old, and they want to see if I’ll do it again.”
1:01:47 – 9/11
1:04:09 – Emotions after completing the selection.
1:04:58 – “I felt a sense of accomplishment and redemption like I stick with it despite all the things that happened.”
1:05:53 – First Combat Experience
1:15:23 – First Experience in Iraq
1:21:17 – Hunting the “deck of cards”
1:30:26 - Shout out to listeners.
Aug 25, 2021
Combat Story (Ep 37): Ryan Hendrickson | Green Beret | SF 18C | Silver Star | Author [Part 1 of 2]
5515
UPCOMING EVENT: If you'd like to attend a Q&A session with Combat Story's Ryan Fugit, please fill out this form (https://tinyurl.com/552ewmu5).
Today we hear the Combat Story (Part 1 of 2) of Ryan Hendrickson, a former Green Beret and Special Forces Engineer (18C) who served multiple combat deployments to Afghanistan as part of 7th Special Forces Group.
Before joining the Army, Ryan served in the Air Force and Navy, where he was one of the first ships on scene to support the USS Cole after it was attacked.
As a Green Beret, Ryan has a remarkable story in which he survived stepping on an IED that changed his life, but was unable to keep him out of the fight. After months of reconstructive surgery, he went back to the teams and Afghanistan, where he saved multiple lives and earned the Silver Star.
He is the author of Tip of the Spear and an adventure seeker who’s travelled most of the world. He still supports the war fighter as a contractor where he continues to save lives.
This is the first in a two part interview, covering Ryan’s life and combat up until stepping on the IED. In the second interview, we’ll touch on his recovery and several future combat operations, including the one in which he received the Silver Star.
Find Ryan H Online:

Website Tip of the Spear
Instagram @tipofthespearrmh
LinkedIN Ryan Hendrickson
Book Tip of the Spear

Find Ryan F online:

Instagram @combat_stories
Email ryan@combatstory.com
Learn more about Ryan 

Show notes

0:00 - Intro
0:35 - Guest Bio
1:36 - Interview Begins
8:49 - “I just buried myself in wrestling and football.”
10:37 - Ryan’s Father
14:22 - The story of two old men
17:17 - “You don’t control life, and you don’t control death.”
17:48 - “The beginning and the end of the book are already there. But what you fill that book with is up to you.”
20:03 - True Happiness
21:53 - The Hero
24:18 - Joining the Military
26:45 - Joining the Navy
30:05 - Traveling the World
31:18 - The USS Cole Experience
33:03 - “I saw death in that aspect, as in the enemy was killing Americans.”
35:14 - From Navy to the Air Force
38:53 - Trying to be a Good Husband
43:02 - Becoming a Green Beret
44:02 - Following his Father’s Footsteps
45:22 - Getting Scammed
47:29 - Making new friends in Vietnam
50:34 - “I have yet to prove myself.”
53:39 - What is an 18C
1:02:15 - “I was nobody because of the fact that I had yet to prove myself when bullets are flying.”
1:02:53 - Combat Story #1: First deployment to Afghanistan
1:11:11 - “We fought all the time.”
1:11:35 - The Addictive Rush of the Battlefield
1:12:45 - Combat Story #2: The Life-changing mission
1:21:05 - “I can’t go back and change what I didn’t do.”
1:22:10 - The IED that changed Ryan’s life.
1:29:22 - “I was like, ‘I’m going to die here today.’”
1:30:19 - End of Part One...To Be Continued
1:30:35 - Shout Outs to the Combat Story Community
Aug 14, 2021
Combat Story (Ep 36): Mark Wales | Australian SAS | Troop Commander | TV Personality | Author | Entrepreneur | Kill Kapture
5268
UPCOMING EVENT: If you'd like to attend a Q&A session with Combat Story's Ryan Fugit, please fill out this form.
Today we hear the Combat Story of Mark Wales, a former Australian SAS (Special Air Service) officer who spent 16 years in the Australian Military, including six years in the elite SAS. He led special operators as a Troop Commander and completed 10 deployments to Afghanistan, Iraq, East Timor, Lebanon, and the Solomon Islands.
After separating from the military, Mark battled depression and stress disorders but found a way to power through and turn his life around. Mark would go on to earn an MBA from the prestigious Wharton School of Business and then worked at McKinsey & Company.
He has since written the book Survivor: Life in the SAS, was on Australian Survivor (where he met his wife) and competed in the Bear Grylls’ World’s Toughest Race: Eco Challenge Fiji 2019, which I highly recommend watching on Amazon with your family.
And since all this isn’t enough, Mark also founded Kill Kapture, a tough-luxury ecommerce brand and is now a sought after keynote and motivational speaker.
I hope you enjoy Mark’s honest, self deprecating, and relatable Combat Story as much as I did.
Find Mark online:

Website
Instagram: @mark.a.wales
Book - Survivor: Life in the SAS
LinkedIN
Kill Kapture: Website | Instagram @kill_kapture

Find Ryan online:

Follow on Instagram @combat_stories
Email ryan@combatstory.com
Learn more about Ryan 
Intro Song: Sport Rock from Audio Jungle

Show Notes

0:00 - Intro
0:46 - Mark Wales bio
1:42 - Interview begins
2:32 - Combat Story (in a way): Going to a brothel at 14 years old
8:19 - What is the pipeline for an officer?
16:42 - The view of 9/11 from an Aussie's perspective
18:08 - Training on how to throw a grenade
24:35 - Combat Story #1: Mark’s first patrol in East Timor
30:20 - The road to SAS and Selection
42:45 - First time being deployed to the Middle East
45:45 - For a team of six SAS guys, how do they feel about doing executive protection?
47:04 - Two more rotations to Afghanistan
49:25 - Combat Story #2: Tracking an HVT in East Timor
51:40 - Combat Story #3: SAS Troop Command in Afghanistan
1:02:36 - The language of the "unconscious body".
1:05:00 - Combat Story #4: Dangerous experiences in Helmund Province
1:16:02 - Combat (Reality Version) Story #5: Getting on Australian Survivor
1:19:20 - Combat (Reality Version) Story #6: Completing World's Toughest Race Fiji 2019 Eco-Challenge
1:23:40 - Kill Kapture
1:24:24 - What did you carry into combat?
1:26:17 - Would you do it all again?
Aug 07, 2021
Combat Story (Ep 35): Jason Van Camp | Green Beret | Special Forces | Mission Six Zero | Author
3254
EVENT: If you'd like to attend a Q&A session with Combat Story's Ryan Fugit, please fill out this form.
Today we hear the Combat Story of Jason Van Camp, a former Special Forces officer (Green Beret) and Operational Detachment Alpha (ODA) Commander in 10th Special Forces Group who served multiple combat deployments.
Jason played linebacker at West Point and served a two-year LDS-Mormon mission to Russia, and upon graduation won the prestigious General Loeffke Award for Excellence in Foreign Languages, before starting active duty. As a Green Beret, Jason brought the fight to AQ and led soldiers through dangerous Special Forces missions that honed his leadership and team building skills.
Since leaving the military, Jason founded and is Chairman of Mission Six Zero, a leadership development firm, and is also Executive Director and Co-Founder at Warrior Rising, which empowers veterans in business.
Jason is a Wall Street Journal and 2 x #1 Amazon Best Selling Author for his book Deliberate Discomfort: How U.S. Special Operations Forces Overcome Fear and Dare to Win by Getting Comfortable Being Uncomfortable and was recognized as a Top Military Entrepreneur of the Year in 2020.
I hope you enjoy his humble yet impactful Combat Story as much as I did.
Find Jason Online:

Instagram @jasonbavancamp  
Instagram @missionsixzero 
Instagram @wearewarriorrising 
LinkedIN 
Website Mission Six Zero 
Website Warrior Rising 

Find Ryan online:

Follow on Instagram @combat_stories
Email ryan@combatstory.com
Learn more about Ryan 
Intro Song: Sport Rock from Audio Jungle

Show Notes

0:00 - Intro
0:54 - Jason Van Camp Guest Bio
1:48 - Interview Begins
3:44 - “I inspire other people to be the best version of themself.”
5:11 - Military history of the family
10:37 - The challenging West Point experience
13:14 - The football experience
15:52 - “You have to find a new purpose.”
16:29 - “Your worth as an officer is based on your ability to run a two-mile run test.”
22:33 - The Ranger School Idea
28:08 - “I love being an army, more so than ever thought I would”
28:19 - “I want to make an impact. I want to have a meaningful life. I want to have a purpose.”
35:39 - A rollercoaster of emotions
39:01 - “We had nowhere to go and nowhere to live.”
40:53 - “’ Peshmerga’ is translated to ‘those who faced death.’”
45:31 - “You’re in combat; you got to trust your gut.”
49:23 - “I wouldn’t trade that for Rob’s life.”
50:25 - Mission Six Zero
50:29 - “I’m happiest when I’m being selfish about being selfless.”
50:40 - The vision behind Warrior Rising
51:31 - Jason’s interest in giving back
53:48 - Outro
Jul 31, 2021
Combat Story (Ep 34): Kevin Flike | Special Forces | Green Beret Foundation | Wounded By War | Purple Heart
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EVENT: If you'd like to attend a Q&A session with Combat Story's Ryan Fugit, please fill out this form.
Today we hear the Combat Story of Kevin Flike, a former Green Beret and Purple Heart recipient who served multiple deployments, including two to Afghanistan.
Kevin was shot in the abdomen during his second deployment and took years recovering from the associated physical and emotional scars and has shown that it is possible to not only fully recover from such an injury, but to thrive.
He is a graduate of the MIT Sloan School of Management and Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, sits on the Board of Directors at the Green Beret Foundation, is a sought out motivational speaker, and shares his story of perseverance through a blog and outreach series called Wounded by War, which includes a documentary on his recovery.
Kevin was recommended to me by Beau Wise, a former guest on the show who lost two of his brothers to the war in Afghanistan, one of whom knew Kevin. Kevin and Beau have become like brothers. I hope you enjoy this inspiring insight from the brink of death to tremendous success as much as I did.
Find Kevin online:

LinkedIN https://www.linkedin.com/in/kevinflike/
Instagram @woundedbywar 
Wounded by War www.woundedbywar.com

Find Ryan online:

Follow on Instagram @combat_stories  
Email ryan@combatstory.com
Learn more about Ryan www.combatstory.com/aboutus
Intro Song: Sport Rock from Audio Jungle


#greenberetfoundation #specialforces #kevinflike #veteran #combatstory #army #specialops #specialoperations
Show Notes

0:00 - Intro
1:04 - Guest introduction
2:38 - Person in common: Beau Wise (as viewers will recall from a previous interview who was the sole survivor of three boys in the Wise family to make it home from Afghanistan).
21:03 - Decision to enlist out of college via the 18X program.
32:52 - Kevin’s strengths and perfect fit with the Green Berets.
34:50 - Learning to manage expectations when teaching, fighting, and working with others.
39:38 - Combat Story #1: Afghanistan (Kunduz) 2010.
46:11 - Combat Story #2: First firefight.
54:27 - How to process the “addiction” to war looking back now.
59:55 - Combat Story #3: The mission that led to Kevin’s significant injury.
1:09:55 - What goes through your mind when you’re shot and think you might die.
1:15:06 - Wounded By War (www.woundedbywar.com)
1:20:05 - Motivational Speaking to companies, communities, schools and the Green Beret Foundation
1:21:50 - What did you carry with you into combat?
1:22:40 - Would you do it again?
Jul 17, 2021
Combat Story (Ep 33): Jon Macaskill | Navy SEAL | Commander | Men Talking Mindfulness | Entrepreneur
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EVENT: If you'd like to attend a Q&A session with Combat Story's Ryan Fugit, please fill out this form. 
Today we hear the Combat Story of Jon Macaskill, a retired Navy SEAL Commander turned mindfulness and meditation teacher.  He spent a career in the Navy’s Special Warfare and military Joint Special Operations communities and served in Iraq, Afghanistan, off the coast of Somalia, and in Panama.
One story that Jon shares in this episode and which shows the burdens and gut wrenching aspects of combat, was his association with Operation Red Wings, which many will recall from the book and movie Lone Survivor.
Jon is a Naval Academy graduate, holds a Master’s degree from the Naval Postgraduate School, and, since retiring, runs a consulting business that brings mindfulness and meditation to high performing teams to aid in dealing with stress, anxiety, and depression, all while increasing focus, creativity, and productivity.
He shares the benefits and opportunities both on the show and on his own podcast, called Men Talking Mindfulness, which, as Jon described it, is what happens when you combine a Navy SEAL and modern day Hippie!
I hope you enjoy Jon’s honest, humble, and challenging Combat Story as much as I did.
#combatstory #SEAL #NavySEAL #specialoperations #specialwarfare
Find Jon online:

Website: https://macaskillconsulting.com/
LinkedIN: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jonmacaskill/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/mindfulfrogman/
Instagram Men Talking Mindfulness: https://www.instagram.com/mentalkingmindfulness/


Find Ryan online:

Follow on Instagram @combat_stories (https://www.instagram.com/combat_stories/)
Email ryan@combatstory.com
Learn more about Ryan www.combatstory.com/aboutus
Intro Song: Sport Rock from Audio Jungle


Show Notes

0:00 - Intro
0:55 - Jon Macaskill’s bio and guest introduction
2:00 - Interview begins
17:30 - SEAL competition at the Naval Academy
24:55 - Something most don’t know about BUD/S (Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL Training)
33:02 - Being an Officer in the SEALs
40:07 - Combat Story #1: Deployment to Afghanistan
51:03 - Combat Story #2: Operation Red Wings and the Lone Survivor connection. LinkedIN article on this event that's well worth the read: https://thriveglobal.com/stories/this-is-why-i-meditate/
1:00:50 - Managing trauma, guilt, depression and finding meditation and mindfulness
1:15:48 - Common difficulties for people new to meditation
1:18:13 - How to find Jon online
1:20:27 - The coolest thing Jon did as a SEAL (leaving a submarine on an SDV - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SEAL_Delivery_Vehicle)
1:22:14 - What’s one thing you carried with you on missions?
1:23:45 - Would you go back and do it all again?
Jul 10, 2021
Combat Story (Ep 32): Yonel "Yogi" Dorelis | CSAR Pilot | DFC (V) | 370+ Lives Saved | 5.5K Hours
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Today we hear the combat story of Yonel “Yogi” Dorelis, a retired and long-time helicopter pilot who served in the Marine Corps, Navy, Army, and Air Force.
While in uniform, Yogi flew a variety of aircraft and mission profiles, but spent a considerable amount of time flying Combat Search and Rescue for the Air Force in the HH-60, including early in the war in Afghanistan. In fact, during this time, Yogi earned a Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC) with V Device for his life saving efforts in Operation Anaconda, a mission that’s near and dear to my heart because I later went on to serve with several of the Apache pilots who were there at the time.
Beyond earning the coveted DFC, Yogi also accumulated 5,500 hours of flight time, approximately 500 of that in combat. He’s credited with saving 70+ military lives and approximately 300 more in his civilian flight career as part of an EMS crew, which he does to this day.
It was a blast to sit down with another aviator and a CSAR one at that, where it remains clear that no matter what airframe you flew, all pilots experience similar mishaps, near death experiences, laughs, and red tape along the way. I hope you enjoy this Combat Story as much as I did.
Connect with Ryan Fugit:

Follow on Instagram @combat_stories (https://www.instagram.com/combat_stories/)
Email ryan@combatstory.com
Learn more about Ryan www.combatstory.com/aboutus
If you'd like Ryan to interview you for the show or to have him interview a family member or friend in private (not for the show) just to have their story on the record for future generations, email him at ryan@combatstory.com.

Find Yogi Online:

IMDB - https://www.imdb.com/name/nm6260186/
Instagram - @yogifly60_ydorelis https://www.instagram.com/yogifly60_ydorelis/
LinkedIN - https://www.linkedin.com/in/yonel-dorelis-93982919/

Acronyms and Terms used in the show:

CSAR - Combat Search and Rescue.
Dustoff - Another name used for Army Medical Evacuation or MEDEVAC aircraft.
ETL - Effective Translational Lift. This is the point at which an aircraft basically takes flight.
FLIR - Forward Looking Infrared. One method of seeing in the dark that uses differences in the temperature of objects as opposed to amplifying ambient light (which is what Night Vision Googles do).
Autorotation - A fun and scary flight profile that’s practiced regularly by all pilots by which you either simulate or truly kill engine power and, which descending out of the sky, maintain a minimal amount of drag to slow your descent created by the main rotor blade and then, when very close to touching the ground, pull in a bit of collective to provide a slightly softer landing.
Mustang - A term to reference an officer who was enlisted before becoming an officer.

Show Notes

0:00 – Intro
4:05 – “I knew from an early age, I wanted to be a pilot and a military pilot.”
36:29 – Hovering and possible advantages as a fixed wing pilot
44:06 – Being stationed in the Philippines and trying to land on a ship at sea
1:21:24 – Operation Anaconda
1:36:57 – The importance of leadership
1:40:30 – Would you go back and do it all that again?
1:41:03 – “I missed the people, the mission, and that sense of doing something that means something.”
Jul 03, 2021
Combat Story (Ep 31): Robert Keller | Delta Force | Green Beret | Ranger | Gamut Resolutions
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EVENT: If you'd like to attend a Q&A session with Combat Story's Ryan Fugit, please fill out this form. 
Today we hear the combat story of Bob Keller, a retired Special Missions Unit (Delta Force) operator who spent his entire military career in the Special Operations community. Bob began his career as a U.S. Army Ranger and Special Forces Green Beret before transitioning to the Unit.
Bob spent several years as a professional golfer before finding his calling as a soldier. As an operator, he was in more than 400 engagements and 1,000 missions in Iraq, Afghanistan, and other undisclosed locations.
After retiring, Bob founded Gamut Resolutions, a tactical and practical shooting program that uses the Ready-Up training methodology to help students survive any situation. He also oversees a charity that provides elite shooting courses to police, for free.
In this episode, Bob provides fascinating insight into the confidence, training, and experiences of a Tier 1 operator. I hope you enjoy this Combat Story as much as I did.
Find Bob online:

Instagram - @kellergamutresolutions https://www.instagram.com/kellergamutresolutions/
Facebook - GamutResolutions https://www.facebook.com/GamutResolutions/
Website - www.gamutresolutions.com

Show Notes

0:00 - Intro
1:02 - Guest Introduction and Bio
2:00 - Interview Begins
4:50 - Relearning how to shoot after years of advanced and elite training
7:06 - Gamut Resolutions and the training classes that Bob references throughout the interview
10:45 - Where did your competitive nature come from?
12:01 - Life as a professional golfer.
13:43 - The decision to move into the military.
18:01 - “That was my passion.”
18:26 - Why was a Guard Special Forces unit so special?
21:49 - Combat Story #1: Running to gun fire. “Getting shot at isn’t scary, it’s exciting.”
25:01 - Everyone at the Unit is like this…
25:36 - “You can’t train liking to get shot at.”
32:17 - What would other operators say was your biggest strength?
38:40 - Combat Story #2: On the Ladder. This story is fantastic.
45:30 - The first time I realized “I could actually die.”
59:12 - Combat Story #3: Complacency and grenades.
1:03:44 - Combat Story #4: Shooting between your legs.
1:08:29 - Advice to a new soldier: “Don’t ever say I quit.”
1:10:37 - Advice to those who didn’t serve but still want to give back. Special Operations Care - Fund (https://soc-f.org/) and the Gamut Initiative (this is Bob’s charity organization which will be online again shortly).
1:15:04 - Gamut Resolutions and what’s coming with more CQB and fellow Tier 1 guest coaches. Also, Range Werx is a range shooting facility in Florida (find more at https://gamutresolutions.com/ and http://rangewerx.com/).
1:17:08 - What did you carry with you into combat each time?
1:18:27 - Would you do it all again? A bit of a surprise.
1:20:22 - How important your spouse and family are to your success.
1:22:09 - Golf. Then and now.
1:23:56 - How to share your own story.
Jun 26, 2021
Combat Story (Ep 30) + SOB Tactical: John "Shrek" McPhee (Rd 2) & Ryan Fugit | Delta | Aviator | CIA
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EVENT: If you'd like to attend a Q&A session with Combat Story's Ryan Fugit, please fill out this form. 
Today we have a unique episode where I (Ryan Fugit) share my own combat story as SOB Tactical founder and retired Delta Force Sergeant Major John “Shrek” McPhee interviews yours truly.   
Do not be fooled, however. Although John helps me tell my origin story growing up overseas, and going on to be an Apache helicopter pilot and CIA officer, we hear more amazing insights from John’s career as well.  
In this episode, John and I talk about combat, losing friends, growing up, and swapping stories about our experiences as a pilot and Delta operator that many outside the profession have never heard...such as ‘flying the bag’ and the ‘Mr. Goodbar’ test. John even takes a moment to put on a sweater that used to belong to Saddam Hussein.   
I hope you enjoy this wide ranging, real, and whiskey-filled interview as much as we did.
Show Notes

0:00 - Intro
1:21 - Episode preview
2:12 - Let the games begin
3:29 – Talking about whiskey
6:25 – Why Combat Story?
9:46 – Ryan’s origin story
14:00 – The little guy in southern Africa
15:44 – Living in Pakistan in the middle of the Gulf War
24:30 – Ryan’s experience with Channing Tatum aka Chan Tatum aka Magic Mike
26:10 – The problem with social media
25:06 - People don’t understand the premise of the American life.
30:10 – Keeping in touch with others
34:57 – “How great you were today, tomorrow they don’t need you.”
37:17 – The unfortunate truth
37:55 – The D-Day Jump
41:56 – “I believe we’re in the longest peace this planet has ever seen post World War Two.”
49:07 – What it’s like learning to hover
57:30 – Inherently dangerous training. “Injuries and loss happen every day, no matter what your level is.”
1:12:35 – Air Medals for ground guys.
1:19:21 – Importance of flexibility. “Flexibility makes you a formidable enemy.”
1:23:05 – Flying the “Bag“ and teaching yourself how to fly with one eye.
1:27:37 - The “Mr. Goodbar” Test at Delta where “If you do what has been taught to you, people won’t fight you when you walk out.“ John and one-on-one situations.
1:34:30 – Performance-based unit and how “Nobody cares as long as you’re doing your job in combat.”
1:40:20 – Ryan’s worst near-death experience story
1:47:50 - Defining failure, “acceptable failure,” and how “Wisdom is knowing better.”
1:48:51 – “You should be making mistakes. Mistakes teach you what works, what doesn’t. You got to make mistakes.”
1:55:27 – The Saddam Sweater
2:13:50 – Near death experiences. “You’re supposed to live through this near-death experience and feel like every day is a gift, but it’s not—it doesn’t feel that way.”
2:16:43 – John’s near death experience. “Never do a shoot behind, except when you have to.”
2:24:03 – “The unit in training will always give you scenarios that can’t be solved.”

Find John and Ryan Online:  

Instagram - https://www.instagram.com/sobtactical/
Instagram @combat_stories https://www.instagram.com/combat_stories/
SOB Tactical - https://sobtactical.com/
SOB TV - https://watch.sobtactical.com/
Booze N Views - https://watch.sobtactical.com/booze-n-views
May 29, 2021
Combat Story (Ep 29): Jeff Morris - Infantry Company Commander | Author | Legion 8 | OIF x 2 | BSM V
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Today we hear the combat story of Jeff Morris, a former Army Infantry Officer who commanded soldiers in Iraq over two brutal deployments fighting on some of the most well-known and infamous streets of Baghdad.  
NOTE: Stay tuned after Jeff's Combat Story to hear a Combat Story from one of our listeners!  
Jeff was an Infantry Platoon Leader on Haifa Street in downtown Baghdad from 2004 to 2005 with 1st CAV where his Platoon of 34 men were awarded 27 Purple Hearts. He describes a significant battle that he was a part of on September 12th, 2004, in which two Silver Stars were awarded and he received a Bronze Star w/ V Device.  He was then a junior but highly respected Infantry Company Commander in east Baghdad during the Surge from late 2006 to summer 2007, again with 1st CAV, where he lost eight men during fighting that saw almost every Bradley and M1 tank assigned to his unit destroyed by EFPs.  
Jeff went on to document these experiences in his book, “Legion Rising: Surviving Combat and the Scars it Left Behind” and established the Legion 8 Foundation to honor the lives of the eight men lost under his command. The Legion 8 workout is also a Hero Workout of the Day (WOD) done at hundreds of CrossFit gyms around the country.  He has previously been featured on other podcasts, including Mike Drop with Mike Ritland. I hope you enjoy this inside look at the burden of command in Iraq and Jeff’s combat story as much as I did.  
Find Jeff online: 

Instagram @jeffrmorris 
Book Legion Rising 

Show Notes

0:00 – Intro
4:26 – The book, “Black Hawk Down.”
7:07 – The desire to be a SEAL
11:36 – “If it doesn’t make sense, don’t do it.”
13:00 – Jeff’s childhood
16:59 – The desire to serve the country
18:46 - “After I stood up for myself and took that challenge on, I wanted more.”
19:30 – The fastest guy in school
22:22 – “Boys do what they want to do. Men do what they have to do.”
28:37 – “You can’t go and create a leader of men and women in 14 weeks.”
31:03 – The role of a Platoon Leader
35:48 – The Bradley Military Vehicle
40:40 – Battle of Haifa Street
49:24 – The beauty of war
53:00 – The breezeway grenade
54:19 - “There’s a fine line between valor and stupidity and just plain luck.”
56:25 – Communicating in Battle
58:53 – September 12, 2004 (The Haifa Street Incident)
1:00:41 – Coming back to base
1:02:01 – Jeff’s Second Deployment
1:04:46 – Quotes from other podcasts about Jeff
1:05:55 – Building Camaraderie
1:12:50 – How having a child changed Jeff’s way of thinking
1:14:05 – The difficult mission
1:16:01 - “You know in that environment that you’re probably going to lose somebody.”
1:18:24 – Losing comrades
1:21:21 – Taking the dangerous route
1:24:18 – “I’m making decisions that are putting other people’s lives at greater risk.”
1:26:26 – “I’ve never had a positive thing happen in my life that came from me sitting around, waiting for somebody else to make a decision.”
1:29:12 – The Catalyst to turn things around
1:31:54 – “There’s no background music playing in combat.”
1:33:39 – A conversation with a Vietnam War Veteran
1:36:37 – The Man in the Arena
1:38:00 – Would you go back and do all that again?
1:41:48 - NEW FEATURE: A New Listener's Combat Story from Yonel Yogi Dorelis
May 22, 2021
Combat Story (Ep 28): Elliot Ackerman - Marine | MARSOC | CIA Paramilitary | Best Selling Author | Silver Star
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Today we hear another Combat Story from Elliot Ackerman, a decorated Marine infantry officer, Special Operations operator, CIA Paramilitary Officer, Silver Star and Purple Heart recipient, and best-selling author.
As many will recall, Elliot was our first guest on Combat Story long before we ever did video interviews. That first interview remains one of my favorites and covers an incredible inside look at his role as a Platoon Leader in Fallujah II in 2004 and the true grit and determination it required. It was that battle that earned him the Silver Star.
In this second interview, we pick up where we left off from Round 1 as Elliot describes being one of the first members of Marine Special Operations Command (MARSOC) and his subsequent deployments with this unit.
We also dive into his National Bestselling book, Places and Names: On War, Revolution, and Returning, where Elliot describes revisiting, both in mind and body, his combat experiences.
It’s a fantastic read and in the interview he shares moments from the book that include returning to the very buildings he occupied in Fallujah years earlier and another experience having an unthinkable meal with a former Al-Qaeda in Iraq (AQI) leader as they shared their memories on the frontlines fighting against each other.
Elliot is a special Marine who survived five deployments and fought at the highest levels. I hope you enjoy this next set of combat stories with Elliot as much as I did.

Instagram - @elliot.ackerman
Website
Books

Show Notes

0:00 - Intro
1:01 - Elliot introduction
4:53 – Moving to Special Operations
6:16 – Talking your way to the military school
8:32 - Force Recon vs MARSOC
9:39 – Go to Ranger School or something else?
10:51 – Strategy session to lead the class
12:59 – “I never would have guessed how profound those relationships would be throughout my life.”
31:02 – We’re two teams
34:35 – Contribution in the military
35:44 – Being a great commander
37:41 – Going on a mission leaving your child
38:35 – “I’ve come to understand what it means to be a father to my own children.”
41:32 – Leaving the military and started writing
44:57 – First Book
46:16 – Hiring former democratic activists in Syria
47:42 – Story of Al Qaeda in Iraq
48:46 – Protesting in jail
51:08 – Out of translation
52:05 – “There will be an end-of-days battle and the Armageddon is coming.”
53:52 - "We've once chased each other around a rock and hands chasing each other around the map."
55:01 – “You can either try to see someone’s humanity, or don’t ever want to see it again.”
57:04 – “He went to Cairo on a Thursday, protested on Friday, thrown into the Egyptian prison on Saturday, and get evacuated by the State Department on Sunday.”
57:49 – “It’s an experience so large that you shrink to insignificance when you are close to that experience.”
59:05 – “Has my desire to have purpose diminished over the years?”
1:00:27 – “I am one who was able to repurpose successfully.”
1:01:27 – “What makes them more insidious is this purposelessness after having these immense purposeful experiences at a very young age.”
1:03:56 – “I want to stand on this rooftop where a friend of mine have been killed.”
1:05:08 – “I wanted to go this house where our platoon have been surrounded for a day.”
May 14, 2021
Combat Story (Ep 27): Eric Hollen - Ranger | Green Beret| Olympian | Inspiration
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Today we hear the inspirational combat story of Eric Hollen, a former Ranger in 2/75 Ranger Regiment and Green Beret with 2nd Bn, 10th Special Forces Group.   
This is a unique episode where we filmed in person for a change while Eric and I were in Graham, Texas, courtesy of Greg Coker, who many will recognize from the podcast, for an aviation hog hunt to benefit veterans and gold star families.  
In this episode, Eric shares what was going through his head when he sustained a life-altering injury on his horse farm in Tennessee and how he persevered through dark times to reach a level of excellence very few will ever see.  
Eric was awarded USA Shooting’s Paralympic Athlete of the Year two years in a row and competed in the Olympics as a shooter for the U.S.  Hollen strives to help newly injured veterans through a program called the Care Coalition which supports injured Special Operations soldiers. I hope you enjoy his inspirational story as much as I did.  
Stay tuned at the end of the episode for a short clarification from Eric.  
#specialops #rangers #teamusa #olympics 
Show Notes  

0:00 – Intro 
0:42 - Eric’s Bio 
2:34 – First time holding a Firearm 
6:11 – Eric’s left turn moment 
11:35 – Joining the military 
13:46 - “I thought I was cold and miserable, and then a snowflake went right into my ear hole.” 
14:59 – “We aren’t there to hang out. We all want that scroll on our right shoulder that follows us wherever we go.” 
16:30 – “I either pass, or I die trying.” 
17:53 – “We go to bed every night expecting to go to war the next day.” 
23:04 – Combat Story – Operation in Haiti: The mission where everybody came home 
27:21 – The Catastrophic Life-Changing Injury 
28:25 - “It took probably about ten years before I can talk about this without getting emotional.” 
29:06 – The “Come to Jesus” moment about Career and Family 
32:21 – The Injury 
35:11 – “I had kind of a looming sense of doom.” 
36:16 – Could you put into words the way that you felt at that time of the injury? 
38:43 – “Eric, if you try to move again, you’ll die.” 
39:46 – Eric’s conversation with the Lord 
42:06 – From a Good Place to a Dark Place 
45:15 – Eric’s Surgery 
50:34 - What was it that kept you from taking the step? 
50:48 – The Balloon Message 
55:14 - “It’s not necessarily fighting and dying with your boys. It’s like getting hurt so bad that you can’t function at a high level.” 
55:35 – What would you tell somebody who is having a similar looming sense of doom and a catastrophic life-changing event occurs? 
56:36 – “I wouldn’t trade the injury for all the good it’s done to me.” 
57:35 – What drove you to become an Olympian? 
1:25:24 - The Paradigm Shift 
1:27:32 - Is there something that you would say to people who do not have this type of injury who just see the wheelchair? 
1:30:18 – “Whatever that (injury) is, it’s a choice to allow that to define you as an individual.” 
1:30:38 – “Don’t let the injury define you.” 
1:31:24 - Was there something you carried with you when you were in combat or in the Olympics that had sentimental value? 
1:32:14 - Would you go back and do all that again? 
1:33:32 - Eric clarifies a point.
May 08, 2021
Combat Story (Ep 26): Patrick Moltrup - SWCC | Special Ops | Marine | CIA | Savage Actual
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Today we hear the combat story of Patrick Moltrup, a former Marine, Soldier, CIA, and Special Operator who served as a Navy Special Warfare Combatant-Craft Crewmen (or SWCC). Patrick served 25 years in the military, much of it in the Special Operations community.  
Patrick is one of the very few who has been a part of the Marines, the Army National Guard, Navy, and CIA. He spent most of his time with the Marines and SWCC where he worked on all kinds of boats from RHiBs to Mark Vs. As a side note, I was once picked up on these boats and, to this day, these rides remain some of the most fun I ever had, particularly the times at night (it actually reminded me of flying a Kiowa low level with the doors off)!  
Patrick was also a Navy Corpsman (medic) and attached to various units, including Gold Squadron, one of the assault forces SEAL Team Six, which we hear about in this episode.  
After leaving the military, Patrick collaborated with Jason Lilley, another former special ops warrior, to create Savage Actual, a YouTube channel and brand where Patrick and Jason discuss games, gear, and the military. They’re now working on a video game themselves, have been sponsored by a craft brewing company, and more.   
I hope you enjoy Patrick’s combat story as much as I did.
Find Patrick online at:

YouTube - https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCuCUwc_C7IxNToDXhR39HBg
Website - https://www.savageactual.com/
Instagram - @savage.actual
About - https://www.savageactual.com/about

Show Notes

0:00 - Into
2:57 - Growing up in upstate New York.
7:08 - Why the military and the Marines Corps? (Ryan’s note: After many interviews now, it really seems that mothers do NOT like hearing their boys are going to become Marines).
22:27 - Wanted to be an 0311.
26:26 - Deployed to Somalia just before Blackhawk Down.
28:45 - How to creatively truth tell your way into a cool job.
32:32 - Why leave the Marine Corps?
39:26 - Finding your way to the CIA.
1:02:08 - SWCC mission statement.
1:04:33 - Combat Story #1, imagine your first combat experience with SWCC was with the members of Operation Red Wings (https://www.google.com/search?q=operation+red+wings&rlz=1C5CHFA_enUS852US852&oq=operation+red+wing&aqs=chrome.0.0i433j69i57j0l2j69i61j69i65l3.2148j0j7&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8), known by many from the experiences recorded by Marcus Latrell in Lone Survivor.
1:14:57 - Combat Story #2 as an augmentee with Gold Squadron in Iraq (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SEAL_Team_Six).
1:21:33 - Turning down an offer from likely Special Missions Unit and how hard that can be.
1:25:25 - Combat Story #3: Having to help save an enemy combatant.
1:33:13 - Savage Actual and what Patrick’s doing now.
1:41:35 - What did you carry with you while deployed?
1:43:23 - Would you do it again?
May 01, 2021
Combat Story (Ep 25): John "Shrek" McPhee | Delta Force | Green Beret | Ranger | SOB Tactical
6424
EVENT: If you'd like to attend a Q&A session with Combat Story's Ryan Fugit, please fill out this form. 
Today we hear the combat story of Sergeant Major (ret) John “Shrek” McPhee AKA “The Sheriff of Baghdad,” who spent 20 years in the Army’s Special Operations community, from Ranger Battalion to Group to Delta Force.   
He is one of the handful of operators to have served in multiple theaters from Bosnia and South America to Iraq and Afghanistan. John’s one of a smaller group of operators to successfully execute raids in combat by himself during hundreds of solo operations.  
After leaving the military, John created SOB Tactical that helps people, law enforcement, and special operators improve shooting skills and security. He also hosts a channel called Booze N Views that talks about current events and new whiskey!   
John brings me to tears with laughter in this episode, which is just a byproduct of John’s sense of humor and way of life. I hope that like me, your jaw hurts from laughing by the end of this interview. Enjoy.  
From the website: SOB Tactical is a word of mouth based business. As such we stand ready, willing, and passionately able to serve anybody important to you. Giving them exceptional service, products, training and treating them in a very special way.
Find John Online:

Instagram - https://www.instagram.com/sobtactical/
SOB Tactical - https://sobtactical.com/
SOB TV - https://watch.sobtactical.com/
Booze N Views - https://watch.sobtactical.com/booze-n-views

Show Notes:

0:00 - Intro
0:49 - John McPhee’s bio.
2:46 - “Talking s&*% should be a PhD in school.”
5:16 - Growing up as the little guy.
10:46 - Military history in the family.
11:40 - “I’ve always been incredibly mechanically inclined.”
15:04 - Why the infantry? That was not the intended route.
17:59 - “You can’t follow my path ‘cause I didn’t have one.”
19:07 - “I want to win.”
23:48 - “Never seen anyone run like that.” A guy John couldn’t shake.
27:34 - Combat Story #1: Jumping into Iraq and why static line jumps are so bad.
30:29 - How not to lie to people.
39:22 - Feelings on the Q Course and the route to Delta.
41:47 - How hard was Delta selection? It’s a great response!
49:48 - Where does the nickname “Shrek” come from?
52:00 - Combat Story #2: The Battle of Tora Bora.
55:37 - “Chaos is my jam…”
1:06:23 - Combat Story #3: Solo operations with The Unit.
1:11:33 - Combat Story #4: Craziest thing I’ve ever done.
1:16:44 - How you get soldiers, including the elite, to decompress after multiple hits each night.
1:18:39 - What’s a “hall pass?”
1:25:26 - Tell us about the “Pornstache.”
1:28:04 - Sheriff of Baghdad aka SOB Tactical. Where the name came from and what type of training and work SOB does.
1:37:04 - Booze N Views. https://watch.sobtactical.com/booze-n-views
1:42:17 - What did you carry with you on missions?
1:44:09 - Would you do it all again?
Apr 17, 2021
Combat Story (Ep 24): Terry Buckler | Green Beret | The Story of the Son Tay POW Raid | Silver Star
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Today, we hear the combat story of Terry Buckler, the youngest of 56 Green Berets on one of the most dangerous and daring missions in U.S. military history, when they went 300 miles behind enemy lines into North Vietnam to rescue American POWs at the Son Tay POW camp. 
Terry is part of a rare group known today as the Son Tay Raiders.  The mission does not have the intended outcome (as you’ll hear in this interview), but changes the lives and morale for hundreds of American POWs for years to come.  
This is a story of true sacrifice, amazing bravery and selflessness, and some of the most impressive planning and execution you’ll ever hear. I know this sounds like hyperbole but I promise you, it is not.   
The stories you’re about to hear from Terry are detailed beautifully in the book Who Will Go: Into the Son Tay POW Camp. Terry wrote this book with Cliff Westbrook, who is also part of this interview and whose father was the Air Mission Commander for one of the aircraft involved in this incredible story.   
I sincerely hope you enjoy this front row seat to one of the most impressive, selfless, and expertly planned and executed operations in our military’s storied history.   

Book - Who Will Go - https://www.amazon.com/Who-Will-Go-Into-Camp/dp/164990150X
Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/sontayraid/
Website - https://thesontayraid.com/

#Special Forces #Son Tay #Veterans #combatstory
Show Notes

0:00 Intro
1:23 - Introduction of Terry and Cliff
6:36 - Terry’s childhood
15:25 - Aviation training and resourcing for the Son Tay Raid, including the new technology that made the mission possible: aerial refueling.
17:27 - Being selected for the raid.
25:46 - The situation and plight for POWs in North Vietnam at the time and the decision for a rescue.
31:45 - The Mission Statement, which is phenomenal, and the reaction of the 56 Green Berets will make your hair stand up.
45:45 - Captain Dan Turner and the relationship with Terry on the raid.
50:45 - Combat Story Planning and Son Tay Raid task organization and resources.
55:50 - Why choose 1,000 feet above ground level (AGL) for the flight route.
57:50 - What’s it like being 20 years old going into one of the most dangerous missions you can imagine for your first combat experience.
1:02:35 - Combat Story as the plan was drawn up (but did not go as planned, like any mission).
1:07:35 - Combat Story and what actually happened.
1:18:31 - This is why this mission was a success despite not finding any POWs.
1:36:43 - How do you find purpose in your life after such a significant event in your 20s.
1:40:25 - What did they carry with them in combat?
1:43:14 - Would you do it all again?
Apr 08, 2021
Combat Story (Ep 23): Robin Horsfall UK Special Air Service (SAS) | Paratrooper | Mercenary | Author
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Robin Horsfall is a former British Special Air Service (SAS) Tier 1 operator, paratrooper in 2Paras, mercenary, entrepreneur, and author.   
During his time in service, he deployed five times to Northern Ireland in brutal “Peace Keeping” operations, was part of one of the most storied and successful hostage rescue operations in the heart of London, and was part of a “one way” or “suicide” mission during the Falklands War.   
His combat is well documented in his first book, Fighting Scared, in which we describes his evolution from victim to Tier 1 operator to Warrior Poet (the title of his most recent book).  Robin’s lessons can be applied to soldiers, leaders, parents, and children, including how to overcome a difficult childhood of abuse and a lack of male role models to become a role model to others.   
His stories are brutally honest (being bullied for years) and lighthearted (such as SAS training with Delta Force or how he and the SAS helped Princess Diana with her hair) in a way that only Brits can manage.   
Find Robin online:  

Fighting Scared 
Warrior Poet 
Northern Ireland Vet Campaign
Facebook    
Wise Old Paratrooper
Speaking Engagements

Show Notes  

0:00 - Intro 
1:00 - Robin bio and introduction. 
1:51 - Robin  
5:01 - Difficult childhoods and the challenge of authority later in life. 
8:12 - Recognizing issues with authority in other people, particularly children, when building a Karate empire. 
18:58 - Why the military at age 15? 
22:37 - Who were the British military vets in the early 1970s? 
26:36 - The British “Paras” and what it means within the UK military. 
28:24 - First combat experience was Northern Ireland. 
31:57 - What was it like to do “Peace Keeping” after paratrooper training for years? 
33:09 - Combat Story #1: Northern Ireland. 
35:51 - Combat Story #2: “Encounter” with an IED. 
42:04 - Difference between SAS (Special Ops) and conventional military. 
44:55 - Team vs. Individual in SAS and the SAS process. 
47:21 - Death during SAS selection. 
53:48 - Combat Story #3(A): Setting the scene for an amazing hostage rescue operation. (Jump to next time stamp if you don’t want to hear the lead up to this operation). 
55:53 - Combat Story #3(B): Incredibly detailed account of an SAS high visibility hostage rescue in downtown London. 
1:14:09 - Combat-lite Story #3.5: Princess Diana supporting an SAS training operation. You have to hear the bit about her hair! 
1:16:04 - Combat Story #4: A ‘one way” or “suicide” mission during the Falklands War. There’s some great comedy in this and lessons about what not to do. 
1:25:49 - Delta training with SAS and some of the hilarity that ensues. 
1:31:06 - Why title the book “Fighting Scared”? 
1:32:19 - What Robin’s doing now: Veterans campaign and the Wise Old Paratrooper trilogy, plus a new book on poetry called “Warrior Poet.” 1:36:29 - What did Robin carry with him into combat. 
1:37:32 - Would you do it all again?
Apr 03, 2021
Combat Story (Ep 22): Beau Wise (Marine) | Jeremy (SEAL & CIA) | Ben (Green Beret) | Three Wise Men
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Today we hear a heartbreaking yet inspiring set of combat stories of three brothers, told by the only one to survive the post-9/11 battlefield: former Marine Beau Wise.
While serving in Afghanistan, SEAL veteran and CIA contractor Jeremy Wise was killed in an al Qaeda suicide bombing that devastated the US intelligence community (as you’ll hear in this interview and as depicted in this scene from Zero Dark Thirty and also in the book Triple Agent). 
Less than three years later, Green Beret Ben Wise was fatally wounded after volunteering for a dangerous assignment during a firefight with the Taliban.
Ben was posthumously awarded the Silver Star, while Jeremy received the Intelligence Star AND a star on the CIA’s Memorial Wall, which I can attest to.
Our guest, Beau, is the only known American service member to be pulled from the battlefield after losing two brothers in Afghanistan. This was a challenging interview but one that I’m eternally grateful that I was allowed to do. The account you’re about to hear is detailed in the incredible book, Three Wise Men: A Navy SEAL, a Green Beret, and How Their Marine Brother Became a War's Sole Survivor, written by Beau Wise and Tom Sileo. 
Show Notes

0:00 - Intro
0:47 - Beau bio.
1:50 - Interview begins.
3:05 - “My mom was a walking encyclopedia of American conflicts.”
5:25 - Introducing Ben and Jeremy as kids.
10:12 - Life shaping event for Beau and his brothers.
12:25 - How on Earth do three brothers choose three different branches of service and become a SEAL, a Green Beret, and a Marine?
18:30 - How your mom might react after signing up for the Marine Corps.
22:10 - Beau’s description as an 0331 Marine.
27:57 - The loss of the first Wise brother, Jeremy, who was one of the seven CIA personnel killed at FOB Chapman in Khost, Afghanistan on Dec 30th, 2009.
33:28 - Mindset after a devastating loss and being sent back into the breach.
35:55 - Advice on how to handle the loss of someone close in combat.
40:18 - Beau’s experience identifying an IED emplacement in Marjah.
47:25 - A phenomenal training and then combat story from Jeremy Wise in his time as a SEAL.
49:55 - A combat story from Ben Wise during his time as a Green Beret medic and sniper.
54:15 - What happens after Beau learns of Ben’s passing.
56:48 - What did Beau, Ben, and Jeremy carry into combat for good luck.
1:01:30 - Would you do it all again, after all the pain and suffering?
Mar 27, 2021
Combat Story (Ep 21): Eddie Penney - Naval Special Warfare Development Group (DEVGRU) | SEAL Team 2 | Marine | Entrepreneur
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Eddie Penney is an elite Tier 1 operator and entrepreneur. Eddie was a Marine, Navy SEAL (in SEAL Team 2), and member of the storied Naval Special Warfare Development Group (DEVGRU).
This is an incredible inside look at the mind, perseverance, experience, and journey of those who serve at the very tip of the spear, including the moments that seemingly broke Eddie and made him who is today. Eddie shares insights that many would not, including the loss and courage that those of us who were never part of the Tier 1 community can only imagine.
Since retiring from the military, Eddie founded and runs The Contingent Group, which provides risk mitigation services and executive protection to clients. He also created the UNAFRAID mindset and has an app called The Den where people can gather to share inspirational stories and seek motivation from others. You’ll be excited to learn that Eddie is releasing a book with Keith Wood about Eddie’s experiences that’s sure to be an incredible read.

Instagram @eddie.penney 
Unafraid and The Den 
The Contingent Group

Show Notes

0:00 - Intro
0:43 - Eddie Bio
1:55 - Interview begins
2:17 - Where did Eddie’s ambition come from?
5:02 - Hard to believe that Eddie ever quit anything. It’s a great lesson though.
16:52 - A key loss in Eddie’s life: his swimming coach Larry Lyons (who still has an award given out each year to the best coaches in Ohio).
19:25 - Marine Corps “boot camp was awesome.”
21:28 - A life changing event (“a switch” from boy to man) at boot camp in Parris Island, South Carolina.
30:18 - Decision to move from the Marines to the SEAL teams.
31:57 - An experience that almost pushed Eddie out of the military trying to get to Marine Sniper school.
36:34 - Another great story of how one man can leave a lasting impact on you by just believing in you.
44:18 - A scary gang attack in Chicago that could have been much worse.
52:40 - Combat Story #1 with SEAL Team 2 going into a house on an operation.
56:03 - How do you find your way to Naval Special Warfare Development Group (DEVGRU)? A description of assessing into the Tier 1 world.
59:58 - Intangible quality unique to DEVGRU that operators from other SEAL teams might not have.
1:01:23 - Combat Story #2 and how combat became like “crack.”
1:06:20 - Combat Story #3 when moving to assault a building.
1:08:06 - Combat Story #4 when a mortar landed nearby in Mosul, Iraq.
1:10:33 - Combat Story #5 where Eddie is in the stack and he felt a need to move while on an operation in Iraq. This is a tremendous story for those who also battle with “survivor’s guilt.”
1:20:19 - Eddie describes “dark seasons” when he dealt with the emotional and psychological challenges that come from the Tier 1 community.
1:25:18 - “Unafraid” motivational mindset with a reference to the Skillet song “Lions,” the idea behind it and how to take on big plans beginning with Step One. 
1:30:52 - Contingent Group’s origins and focus now (spoiler...it sounds awesome).
1:35:32 - What Eddie carried on missions that had significant meaning to him.
1:37:11 - Would you do it again?
Mar 18, 2021
Combat Story (Ep 19): John Stryker Meyer MACV-SOG Operator | Green Beret | Author
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John Stryker Meyer was a pioneer in the special operations community who served two tours as a MACV-SOG operator and team leader in Vietnam. John led small covert Spike Teams “across the fence” on clandestine operations into Laos and Cambodia in what many now refer to as the secret war in the Vietnam conflict.
John shares what it was like signing up for this covert world, signing a 20 year secrecy agreement, and how the aircraft that brought him to his first FOB then loaded a small special ops team that was never heard from again. It was an ominous start, to say the least. In one unbelievable battle, John describes the enemy stacking dead bodies in an effort to get an elevated firing position on John’s team and in another, the enemy uses a tactic where they get so close to the U.S. positions that aircrews won’t be able to drop napalm rounds.
John has three books that chronicle both his stories and those of his fellow SOG operators (listed below) and he’s been featured in various interviews, including several with Jocko Willink, and is currently building his own podcast with Jocko to tell the stories of other members of the SOG community. John and Jocko are also collaborating on a video game based on SOG missions.
It’s amazing John lived through the experiences he shares with us and he’s a living testament to the courage so many showed in Vietnam.
Books

Across the Fence
On the Ground
SOG Chronicles

Show Notes

3:53 - “Pushing things a little bit” as a kid. The book, The Green Berets influenced John’s decision to join Special Forces.
6:21 - How an eye doctor changed John’s life trajectory and sent him from being a pilot to being a SOG operator.
9:51 - Glad he missed the Korean War because it was so hard. Referenced Pork Chop Hill.
12:45 - John’s path from enlisting straight to Special Forces.
14:57 - An “offer” to join the elite.
16:55 - “We go to the safe house that night…” (Reference to MIKE Force  and Project DELTA https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Project_DELTA)
27:11 - Description and composition of a “Spike Team” and the “One-Zero” call sign.
44:11 - First contact in Vietnam at “Echo 4”
55:55 - First confirmed kill.
58:10 - What is a “Covey” in this war?
1:07:55 - Blacking out while attached to a rope attached to a helicopter in flight.
1:13:47 - The relationship with the indigenous forces.
1:23:44 - A Thanksgiving mission to find THREE NVA Divisions.
1:42:57 - What did John carry for good luck?
1:43:56 - Would you do it all again?
1:46:34 - Exciting news for what John is working on now, including a new podcast hosted by John to interview other SOG members that Jocko will then share on his social media. Also a video game coming out based on SOG.
Mar 18, 2021
Combat Story (Ep 20): Jeff Depatie Tier 1 | Canadian JTF2 | Sniper | Special Forces Experience
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Jeff Depatie is a retired Canadian Special Operations Forces JTF2 sniper and assaulter. For those who aren’t familiar, JTF2 is Canada’s Tier 1 military force. Jeff deployed multiple times, both as an infantryman in the regular Canadian forces and again as a member of the elite JTF2.
After leaving the military, Jeff created a company called The Special Forces Experience, which is a highly tailored process designed for men who have achieved their own version of excellence but want to know how far they can really push their limits. Jeff shared that this is such a demanding course that one of the recent courses didn’t successfully graduate any of the candidates!
In this episode, we dive into some of Jeff’s combat experiences and also spend time hearing Jeff draw on his lessons learned from the Tier 1 military community and all the research that’s gone into creating the Special Forces Experience surrounding human performance.
The Special Forces Experience
Instagram @jeffdepatie_ and @specialforcesexperience
Show Notes

0:00 - Intro kick-off story.
0:20 - Jeff Depatie bio and introduction.
1:31 - Welcome to the show.
4:34 - Family military background included a Scotsman from WWII fighting from North Africa through Europe.
11:11 - JTF2 (Joint Task Force 2) description which is the Canadian military Tier 1 element (https://tinyurl.com/ac48x7c5).
14:27 - Description of Canadian military basic and advanced training (like US Basic and AIT).
18:48 - True cold weather training for the Canadian military.
27:51 - Using visualization techniques to improve your capabilities.
36:42 - Combat mission #1 - Jeff’s first combat experience moving from Kandahar.
49:38 - Combat mission #2 - Jeff describes a more difficult combat experience.
56:02 - Canadian Special Operations organization and units.
1:06:15 - Ailments and injuries from years in the Tier 1 community.
1:10:04 - What Jeff carried for good luck in combat.
1:11:13 - Would you do it all again?
1:13:58 - Jeff describes the Special Forces Experience (thespecialforcesexperience.com) and his life after transitioning out of the military.
Mar 13, 2021
Combat Story (Ep 19): John Stryker Meyer | SOG Operator & Team Leader | Green Beret | Author
6799
John "Tilt" Stryker Meyer was a pioneer in the special operations community who served two tours as a MACV-SOG operator (what many might call the original Tier 1 unit) and team leader in Vietnam. John led small covert Spike Teams “across the fence” on clandestine operations into Laos and Cambodia in what many now refer to as the secret war in the Vietnam conflict.
John shares what it was like joining this covert world, signing a 20 year secrecy agreement, and how the aircraft that brought him to his first FOB then loaded a small special ops team that was never heard from again.
It was an ominous start, to say the least. In one unbelievable battle, John describes the enemy stacking dead bodies in an effort to get an elevated firing position on John’s team. In another, the enemy uses a tactic where they get so close to the U.S. positions that aircrews won’t be able to drop napalm rounds.
John has three books that chronicle both his stories and those of his fellow SOG operators (listed below) and he’s been featured in various interviews, including several with Jocko Willink, and is currently building his own podcast with Jocko to tell the stories of other members of the SOG community (can't wait!). John and Jocko are also collaborating on a video game based on SOG missions.
It’s amazing John lived through the experiences he shares with us and he’s a living testament to the courage so many showed in Vietnam.
Books:

Across the Fence
On the Ground
SOG Chronicles

Show Notes

3:53 - “Pushing things a little bit” as a kid. The book, The Green Beretsby Robin Moore influenced John’s decision to join Special Forces.
12:45 - John’s path from enlisting straight to Special Forces.
14:57 - An “offer” to join the elite.
16:55 - “We go to the safe house that night…” (Reference to MIKE Force and Project DELTA )
22:55 - First “gut check” while flying in a South Vietnamese H-34 helicopter into his FOB. Spike Team Idaho gets on the helo as John gets off.
27:11 - Description and composition of a “Spike Team” and the “One-Zero” call sign.
44:11 - First contact in Vietnam at “Echo 4” that includes hours-long firefights against an enemy stacking dead bodies.
55:55 - First confirmed kill.
59:46 - Carrying a grenade as a last resort to avoid being taken prisoner.
1:20:00 - Being so close to the enemy that they “touched” John’s boot in the middle of the night.
1:23:44 - A Thanksgiving mission to find THREE NVA Divisions.
1:42:57 - What did John carry for good luck? 
1:43:56 - Would you do it all again? 
1:46:34 - Exciting news for what John is working on now, including a new podcast hosted by John to interview other SOG members that Jocko will then share on his social media. Also a video game coming out based on SOG.
Mar 06, 2021
Combat Story (Ep 18): Dale Comstock Delta Operator | Green Beret | Mercenary | Author | Entrepreneur
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Dale Comstock is a former Delta Force Operator, Green Beret, Paramilitary Operative, entrepreneur, mercenary, and author who has also appeared on prime time television. Dale has fought in almost all major US combat operations since Grenada through to Afghanistan, to include being one of the youngest members of 1st Special Forces Operational Detachment - Delta.
Dale has been involved in some of America’s highest visibility operations like the hostage rescue of Ambassador Kurt Muse (in Operation Acid Gambit) and dozens of missions in multiple combat theaters that will likely remain in the shadows for years to come.
He’s written three books, including American Badass (https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00DP619WE/ref=dp-kindle-redirect?_encoding=UTF8&btkr=1), and is writing a fourth on his more recent experiences. He’s created several successful businesses, including Tier1 Performance Coaching (check out this awesome performance coaching trailer https://youtu.be/3CKoGy8jTco) and Strategic Outcomes.
Dale is a force of nature who truly lives by the performance coaching mantras he preaches. I hope you enjoy his energy and stories as much as I did. Enjoy.

www.tier1performancecoaching.com
www.strategicoutcomesindonesia.com
https://daleamericanbadass.wixsite.com/mysite

Show Notes

0:00 - Sound bite
0:50 - Combat Story Intro
1:10 - Dale Comstock bio.
1:57 - Show begins with Dale Comstock.
6:51 - Staying engaged to stay out of trouble.
8:10 - The two personality types in The Unit or Delta Force.
11:40 - Dale’s military family and background.
14:23 - Breaking his father’s heart when he enlisted. His father, though, later evolved a mentor.
17:21 - What’s your purpose? Dale’s two performance coaching questions.
19:15 - Six mentors in Dale’s life.
35:00 - Dale’s first experience in combat in Grenada with the 2/325th Infantry in the 82nd.
38:01 - Two combat missions that Dale remembers most.
39:21 - Dale’s journey to becoming one of the youngest members ever in The Unit.
42:31 - Dale’s role with The Unit in the raid on Modelo Prison to rescue Ambassador Kurt Muse in Operation Acid Gambit.
49:50 - The dangers of being too close to a flash bang.
55:11 - Leveraging “Autogenic Conditioning” to improve himself as a kid and then using that with Delta.
1:03:33 - A great story of motivation that changed Dale’s life during a shooting course.
1:15:16 - How to use autogenic training in an office.
1:23:59 - How to know who will succeed at Delta.
1:27:57 - How Delta selection brought even Dale to tears.
1:32:00 - Dale’s two worst moments in combat in Iraq and Yemen.
1:42:22 - Being a mercenary in Yemen.
1:52:45 - The two items that Dale carried into combat for good luck (both are great).
1:53:50 - Reference to a “beta-male.”
1:58:45 - Would you do it all again?
2:01:20 - Dale’s upcoming work, to include another book, and work in Tier1 Performance Coaching.
Feb 20, 2021
Combat Story (Ep 17): Greg "Gravy" Coker | Special Ops 160th Aviator | AH-6 Gun Pilot | Author
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Greg “Gravy” Coker is a legend from the elite 160th Night Stalkers, the Army’s Special Operations Aviation Regiment (aka SOAR). He’s a long-time Tier 1 Gun Pilot who flew AH-6 Little Birds, AH-64 Apaches, and AH-1 Cobras in multiple combat theaters, providing direct support for 1st Special Forces Operational Detachment-Delta aka Delta Force, 75th Ranger Regiment, and other Special Operators.
Greg logged 7,400 hours in his career, including 1,500 hours of combat time across 11 deployments, and was in the first strike packages that went into Afghanistan and Iraq. Greg reached the pinnacle of the military aviation profession by serving as both a Flight Lead and Instructor Pilot in the most coveted and lethal rotary wing unit in the US military. He survived a combat shootdown while laying down cover for Special Operators in Iraq during the first daylight operation for 160th since Operation Gothic Serpent in 1993 (aka Blackhawk Down).
Since leaving the military, Greg has written a memoir about these experiences and more titled “Death Waits in the Dark” and has a children’s book coming out with his daughter called “V is for Veterans.”
Show Notes

0:00 - Intro
2:25 - Watching the “Helicopter War” in Vietnam.
8:54 - A “very kind judge” changed Greg’s life (this is a story Greg’s never told publicly and well worth the listen!).
13:30 - Flight School Class 89-15 and selected guns (Cobras and then AH-64 Apaches).
15:38 - First assigned to 5/17 Cav in Korea flying Cobras and then moved to A Co, 1-101st Spectres.
20:50 - Seeing “little black helicopters” flying around Fort Campbell.
21:16 - Comparison between flying Cobras, Apaches, and Little Birds.
23:09 - The “Standard” of being on target plus or minus 30 seconds with a map, a compass, and a clock. This is an incredibly difficult standard in aviation terms.
24:56 - This section is for the aviation nerds (like myself) comparing speed, maneuverability, and build of different choppers.
27:02 - The selection process for aviation’s Tier 1 element: 160th.
36:19 - First combat experience was 2001 in Afghanistan with the first boots on the ground and in contact within four minutes.
40:43 - Greg describes a classic AH-6 Gun engagement and what “target, torque, trim” means and why a grease pencil mark is important.
50:00 - The relationship between 160th pilots and Delta Operators and Rangers.
53:00 - Description of fighting at Haditha Dam in March 2003 supporting 3/75 Rangers. This involved continuous engagements for eight hours going through 11 loads of ammo.
1:05:18 - How to handle the torque of a GAU-19 (three barrel .50 cal gatling gun) on an aircraft.
1:06:40 - Living through a shootdown in broad daylight in Iraq covering Special Operators.
1:25:18 - Dealing with Imposter Syndrome despite being a legend in the community.
1:28:10 - How a long-time elite gun pilot can also have PTSD.
1:33:50 - What did Greg carry into combat for good luck (these are some good ones!).
1:35:28 - After all the gun fights, crashes, PTSD, and time away from home, would you do it all again?
1:36:01 - Greg and his daughter are working on a new book called V for Veteran for kids using military references to teach the alphabet. Also, Death Waits in the Dark will also be available soon on Audible (with Greg’s own voice narrating it!).
Feb 06, 2021
Combat Story (Ep 16): Thom Shea Navy SEAL | SEAL Sniper | Silver Star | Author | Entrepreneur
6430
Thom Shea is a retired Navy SEAL, sniper, and Senior Chief who served with and led SEALs in multiple combat tours from Kosovo to Iraq to Afghanistan, including brutal fighting in Helmand Province for which he was awarded the Silver Star.   
During this fighting, not only was he leading other SEALs through some of the most challenging combat engagements of our time, but he also had a fascinating sniper on sniper engagement in which he went up against a very accurate and capable foreign fighter sniper.  After Afghanistan, Thom oversaw the famed SEAL Sniper course. 
Since leaving the SEALs, Thom and his wife Stacy conduct intensive leadership events for fortune 500 companies. He has written two books, including an incredible memoir (Unbreakable) that gives a firsthand account of the life of a SEAL in combat.   His books and this interview are chalked full of lessons for leaders and soldiers alike. If you enjoyed Todd Opalski’s interview, you’re going to love Thom’s story and way of life.
Unbreakable Book & Leadership
Show Notes: 

2:16 - Starting out. Unbreakable.
3:40 - Growing up hunting, trapping, and outside in one of the ‘best times to be a kid in America’ making $6K at 9 years old.
9:09 - Training SEAL Snipers. Half arrived never having touched a gun, which is good for shooting.
11:41 - Thom comes from a “horrifically military” family drawing a veteran lineage through to the beginnings of America.
14:33 - How to deal with failing out of West Point and following a dream to become a SEAL rather than following someone else’s path.
18:15 - Perseverance in fighting to become a SEAL and failing BUDS four times.
23:45 - “Oh, you failed again,” from family after failing out of BUDS.
28:42 - If you ever failed in what you believe is your dream or been told no and need some inspiration to keep going, listen to this. After having failed out four times from BUDS, Thom would sit in the Admiral’s office for his lunch break for TWO years to request authorization to return. He eventually completed Class 207.
32:20 - What is the “Internal Dialogue” and why is it important? When you do difficult things, it’s not about how hard the thing is, but how you beat yourself down in the process.
38:32 - First experience in combat is the beginning of the air war in Kosovo doing a rescue as an E-5 SEAL Team 2 Sniper to rescue Chris Hill, the U.S. Ambassador in Macedonia. Described as a ‘comical series of the dumbest things that could possibly happen.’
42:18 - First time seeing the ‘atrocities of war.’
45:07 - What does it mean to be a “breacher” on a SEAL team?
47:08 - First trigger pull and kill in combat was described rather ‘insignificant’ and felt like training.
51:07 - Thom’s most difficult deployment was in 2009 when he was an E-7 Chief.
1:02:27 - Six MH-47s dropped 200 Special Operations and Special Forces into a single battle in Afghanistan.
1:09:57 - In the last moments that you live, you realize needing and being needed by others when you have nothing left.
1:12:36 - The A-10 is ‘the greatest combat machine in the history of combat machines.’
1:14:20 - How leadership can help operators after having lived through hell and killing 200+ Taliban.
1:31:50 - Sniper-on-Sniper engagement.
1:44:01 - Was there something you carried into combat that meant something to you?
1:44:41 - Would you do it all again?
Jan 23, 2021
Combat Story (Ep 15): Dan "Two Dogs" Hampton - F-16 Fighter Pilot | DFC x 4 | Author
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LTC (Ret.) Dan “Two Dogs” Hampton was a career fighter pilot who flew F-16s in multiple wars from the first Gulf War to Kosovo to Operation Iraqi Freedom over a 20 year career. He’s a fighter pilot to the core who earned four DFCs and eight Air Medals with Valor across 151 combat missions and is a graduate of the USAF Fighter Weapons School and Navy’s Top Gun.
Dan’s experience hunting SAMs and flying 500 knots below 300’ give a surreal perspective of life inside the cockpit. He describes his experience from a young, unafraid 25 year old LT flying in Iraq in 1991 when he first “saw the elephant” to the mature flight lead putting his own life on the line decades later, again in Iraq but against a more advanced enemy.
He easily balances the near death adrenaline rushes that come at Mach speed with the light-hearted post-flight activities we all expect in the elite fighter pilot community.
Since retiring from service, Dan has written a bestselling memoir (Viper Pilot) and multiple novels and other non-fiction books, including national bestsellers Lords of the Sky and The Mercenary. His most recent book, Operation Vengeance, came out in late 2020.
A frequent guest analyst on CNN, Fox News, and MSNBC discussing foreign affairs, military, aviation, and intelligence issues, he has published in Aviation History, the Journal of Electronic Defense, Air Force Magazine, Vietnam magazine, and Airpower magazine, and written several classified tactical works for the USAF Weapons Review.
You can find Dan on Facebook and his books here.

0:00 - Intro
1:00 - Dan’s bio.
2:14 - Aviation inspiration? Why become a fighter pilot?
3:36 - Why the Air Force and not the Marines like your father and grandfather?
4:53 - “It never crossed my mind to fail.”
6:04 - ‘Seeing the Elephant.’ A reference to seeing combat for the first time.
7:41 - Air Force Instructor Pilots and the ‘FAR Line’ (Fighter, Attack, Reconnaissance).
9:54 - First combat experience in the first Gulf War.
11:28 - Stationed in Turkey for the Gulf War.
12:52 - The F-16 role as a SAM hunter (SA-8, SA-6, by Srđan Popović).
19:54 - Post-first combat flight and antics that take place at an O Club.
24:56 - Description of an incredible post-9/11 mission in Iraq.
35:31 - Call Sign “Two Dogs.” This one is not PG-rated.
37:41 - Dan’s good luck charm/talisman that he carried on his missions is PRICELESS.
41:04 - Would you do it again?
42:12 - If you could fly any aircraft, what would it be? The Chance Vought F4U Corsair.
Jan 08, 2021
Combat Story (Ep 14): Todd Opalski Marine Force Recon | Delta Force | Scout Sniper | Zen Commando
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Todd Opalski is a retired Marine (NCO and Officer), Scout Sniper, Force Recon Operator, Delta Operator, Special Operations Commander, and entrepreneur. After 26 years in the military, he lived the startup experience in Silicon Valley before standing up Camp Zen Commando, a Costa Rican retreat to help people optimize their lives and be prepared for the uncertainties of tomorrow.
If you love the Marine Corps or The Citadel, you will LOVE this episode. In fact, the Marine Corps might just play this on a loop for potential recruits because Todd makes it hard not to want to sign-up.
Todd shares lessons that can be applied to young and seasoned officers, new recruits enlisting today, and civilian leaders trying to break through. He has an infectious positivity that makes you envious of his outlook on life.
He truly was part of the elite Tier 1 units, successfully completed Marine Force Recon selection TWICE, loved Ranger School so much he said he would do it again, crossed the berm into Iraq, fought in Fallujah II, and then lived in the special ops community for years in the post-9/11 era.
Todd is a true professional, leader, and inspiration.

0:00 - Intro
3:40 - “Hard work ethic. Show no emotion. Eat all weakness. That made me a perfect candidate for the US Marines.”
5:58 - “Very Tactical” fishing with dad. “First exposure to military ops.”
7:56 - “Fear of failure.”
8:20 - “Studied Combat...But I never studied Peace.”
12:00 - Marine inspiration and signing up.
13:40 - “You stupid kid.” Todd’s dad after hearing Todd was going into the Marine Corps.
19:55 - First look at Scout Snipers.
22:11 - Working for Colonel John Ripley, who promoted Todd to both Corporel and Second Lieutenant.
24:18 - “The more you sweat in training, the less you bleed in combat.”
24:54 - What makes the Marine Corps sniper training the elite?
30:08 - Acquisition of basic skills from Infantry to Scout Sniper to Force Recon.
39:44 - Going back to school at The Citadel.
40:40 - Marine Officer Training MCDP-1 Warfighting.
50:20 - First deployment going into 2003 Iraq.
53:56 - “Leadership is all about anxiety management.”
59:00 - Led Back to Special Ops
1:03:35 - Invited to Delta
1:07:44 - Create Relationships, Not Networks
1:11:00 - Spiritual Brokenness as the biggest blocker for Transitioning Vets.
1:18:23 - Building Camp Zen Commando.
1:20:45 - Learning a New Language and Skill
1:29:02 - The Challenge of Command. Pushing back on leadership and then being second-guessed by your team. How to lead through that.
1:30:45 - Marine jokes while at Delta Force.
1:34:57 - Hiked the Appalachian Trail
1:41:07 - Always carried an American Flag and his Ranger Tab.
1:41:27 “Tough times don’t last. Tough men do.”
Dec 26, 2020
Combat Story (Ep 13): Jack Murphy Ranger Sniper | Green Beret | Author | Journalist | Podcast Host
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Jack Murphy is an Army Special Operations veteran who served as a Sniper and Team Leader in 3rd Ranger Battalion and as a Senior Weapons Sergeant in 5th Special Forces Group, fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan. 
Since leaving the military, he’s broken stories on defense and special operations topics around the world as an investigative journalist, co-founded the website SOFREP, wrote four military fiction novels (Deckard Novels) and a memoir (Murphy's Law), and now writes for Connecting Vets and hosts the podcast The Team House. 
He nearly died in uniform, has been smuggled across international borders, was detained by a foreign intelligence service, met Bashar al-Asad in Syria, and more. Here's where you can find him:

Facebook - JackMurphyAuthor
Twitter - @JackMurphyRGR
Instagram - jackmcmurph

Show Notes

00:00 Intro
7:47 - Patriot Games movie propaganda!
20:26 - Army Sniper School - Ghillie suits, stalking, rifle, patience, but not like Vietnam stories.
22:30 - 1st Combat in Afghanistan - Landed in Bagram AFB 2004, then moved to Khowst. As a sniper, used the SR-25.
24:24 - Direct Action Sniper in a Ranger Batt.
26:53 - 1st time outside the wire. HVT op with C Co, 3/75.
30:58- 1st Combat Trigger Pull
39:48 - Close-in Firefight.
45:30 - I Don’t Have Anything to Prove
58:53 - Ops from a Little Bird (MH-6).
1:02:25- Ranger vs. SF Mentality
1:12:46 - SF Combat Ops - Mechanical vs Explosive breaching.
1:16:40 - Transition to Journalism
1:19:19 - Smuggled into Syria
1:23:12 - “Does any of it matter?”
1:30:17 - Would You Do It Again?
1:33:09 - The Team House Podcast. Books, Show, Articles.
Dec 23, 2020
Cesar "Rico" Rodriguez: F-15 Eagle Fighter Pilot | Three Air-to-Air Victories
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Cesar “Rico” Rodriguez is an Air Force Colonel (ret.) and former fighter pilot in an elite group among veterans: he is one of three pilots with three air-to-air shootdowns since Vietnam. His dog fights and experiences from the cockpit of an F-15C Eagle taking down MiGs in both Desert Storm and Kosovo provide a first-hand account of just how challenging aerial combat can be. In this Combat Story, Rico describes his journey from a kid in Puerto Rico to the Citadel to the Air Force and, finally, to his current life at Raytheon continuing to help the Air Force win the next air war.

2:11 - Where the call sign “Rico” came from. Unsurprisingly, it was coined at a bar.
6:35 - A description of F-15C aircraft tail number 114, an image behind Rico in the interview that you can see on the YouTube interview. Rico flew this aircraft for his first two shootdowns.
10:05 - Rico’s father - an Army Air Defense Officer - also had a desire to fly but Rico’s journey to fly had a different origin.
16:50 - Flying certain aircraft and profiles felt more like a team sport than others where you had to work as a team.
21:48 - Rico’s first aircraft was the A-10 but he then worked his way back to flying the F-15.
23:13 - Being part of a small group (Latinos Unidos) from Puerto Rico as an Air Force pilot and cadet at The Citadel.
25:15 - What was it like to be a fighter pilot in the Cold War?
31:14 - A description of Red Flag intense and real-world training scenarios as Nellis AFB.
33:55 - “Master arm hot” means all weapons are hot and raises the intensity factor.
34:23 - Transition from A-10 to F-15 personally and within the Air Force fighter community.
40:38 - The experience being part of the Panama Campaign in 1989 and it was the first time to have live weapons and open an Air Tasking Order.
49:14 - First hostile contact and shootdown on January 16th with Craig “Mole” Underhill southwest of Baghdad.
53:18 - Description of a Split-S maneuver.
1:02:00 - A classic “two circle fight” and the red baron’s description of a two vs one circle fight.
1:04:58 - The only course of action is to defeat the missile when it’s coming at you.
1:10:18 - A story of how lessons learned authored by those who fought it can change as it goes up the chain of command.
1:14:30 - The lethality of the AMRAAM missile and how it revolutionized fighting.
1:17:57 - First kill of the Kosovo War was at night and at long range and a lesson learned to not look at the missile coming off the rail when at night.
1:21:31 - Rico’s last flight teaming up in training with the youngest pilot in the Squadron going up against four Gen 4 fighters.
1:24:00 - Flying with a flag and a coin.
1:25:00 - Would you do it again and the next generation of fighter pilots?
Nov 26, 2020
Tom Satterly: Delta Force Operator | Command Sergeant Major (retired) | Entrepreneur | Author
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Tom Satterly is a Command Sergeant Major (retired) who spent 20 years in the Army’s elite Delta Force (aka “The Unit”). His 25 year Army career took him from the storied Battle of Mogadishu (Operation Gothic Serpent aka “Black Hawk Down”) and the capture of Saddam Hussein in Operation Red Dawn. He rose up through the ranks in Delta to leading troops through multiple OIF deployments executing multiple hits per night for months at a time. 
The brutal fighting and optempo took a toll on Tom as he lived and survived with Post Traumatic Stress (PTS) for years. After retiring, Tom and his wife Jen created the All Secure Foundation (allsecurefoundation.org), which assists special operations active duty and combat veterans, and their families, in recovery of PTS through education, awareness, resources for healing, workshop retreats, and PTS resiliency training. 
His book All Secure: A Special Operations Soldier's Fight to Survive on the Battlefield and the Homefront chronicles his trials and experiences from combat to treatment and provides some insight into the secretive world of Delta Force. 
He and Jen and their work can be found at: Website, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn.
Show Notes

5:07 - The decision to join the Army on the way to a John Cougar Mellancamp concert.
15:59 - Influence of a Hungarian Platoon Sergeant and exposure to unique training with the French, Germans, and Swiss.
18:31 - The decision to become a Green Beret with an unusual twist of stolen valor (17:54).
22:56 - Finding the way to Delta Force.
27:15 - The psychologists at Delta noticed the desire to keep climbing the next mountain.
30:26 - Handling missing Panama and the Gulf War and wanting to test your mettle.
33:10 - Surviving “The Long Walk” and Delta selection.
44:01 - First combat experience was in Mogadishu felt like the movies, until October 3rd (Black Hawk Down).
49:48 - Description of Battle of Mogadishu aka Black Hawk Down.
56:31 - Thinking “this is it” and coming to peace with the idea that you might not make it out alive.
57:31 - Running the Mogadishu Mile with no cover and no ammo.
1:02:04 - A description of the physiological aspects of PTS and the tipping point. How to stop being angry all the time (1:02:48).
1:06:51 - Resiliency training to help pre-combat SF recruits prepare for what’s coming in combat.
1:10:48 - Becoming a leader responsible for other’s souls.
1:14:20 - Still judge myself everyday. Making mistakes is even worse. 
1:16:41 - Starting to slow down and have the younger operators take a weight off.
1:18:32 - The reality of near death experiences and how luck plays into your life.
1:20:14 - “War is disgusting.”
1:21:41 - The future of the All Secure Foundation and moving to online content and virtual therapy.
1:24:03 - Would you do it again?
1:25:04 - Jen Satterly’s book Arsenal of Hope will be coming out in February 2021.
Nov 11, 2020
Combat Story (Ep 1): Elliot Ackerman | Marine Platoon Leader in Fallujah | Special Operator | Author | Silver Star
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This is the Combat Story of Elliot Ackerman, a former Marine who served five tours in Iraq and Afghanistan as an infantry and special operations officer, for which he received the Silver Star, the Bronze Star for Valor, and the Purple Heart. 
As a Marine, he led a platoon in Fallujah II during some of the most brutal fighting in the post-9/11 era. 
His story will resonate to anyone who fought in urban combat and, in particular, the leadership challenges small unit leaders face, especially newly minted officers. His platoon’s experience in Fallujah II is exactly what you think about when you hear stories of this operation and included losing half his Marines in less than 24 hours. After his time in the Marine Corps, Elliot also served as a paramilitary officer in the CIA.
After his time in uniform, Elliot became a novelist and journalist. He has published five books and his fiction and essays have appeared in The New Yorker, The Atlantic, The New Republic, The New York Times Magazine, Esquire, Ecotone and others. He is also a contributor to The Daily Beast. 
His books include: Green on Blue: A Novel, Dark at the Crossing, Waiting for Eden, Places and Names: On War, Revolution, and Returning, Red Dress in Black & White.  
Show Notes:

9:39 - Never understood war until I had kids.
14:22 - Why the Marines?
20:57 - The best advice I never took.
23:47 - Discussion with Doug Zembiec, who was later killed in Iraq, for advice.
31:35 - SGT Bonatie pushing back on a young PL.
37:10 - Description of Dean Long and the GPWD (Great Patriotic War in the Desert).
42:53 - Phase Line Fran in Fallujah (battlefield map ; Marine Corps' battle). 
48:35 - Sunny Risler led his mobile platoon through the battle to help MEDEVAC some of Elliot’s wounded out.
49:22 - Pushing back with leadership when your unit is exposed.
51:21 - Nearly hit by a PKM. “It’s suicide if we go out there.”
55:50 - Combat leadership sucker punch.
56:05 - Going from 46 to 21 combat effective Marines.
1:04:29 - The bravest thing I ever saw in Fallujah.
1:08:17 - One of the most challenging things: talking to a Marine who couldn’t go anymore.
Oct 25, 2020
JT Snow: AH-64 Apache Pilot | Standardization Instructor Pilot | Air Medal (Valor)
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This is the Combat Story of JT Snow, a long time and quintessential AH-64 Apache gun pilot. 
JT is a Chief Warrant Officer 4 (Retired) who flew over 5,000 flight hours, including 2,000 hours in combat across four deployments: two to Iraq and two to Afghanistan. 
From the cockpit, he supported conventional and U.S. and coalition special operations forces during intense engagements, often pioneering new tactics and technologies to lethal effect.
He finished his career as a Task Force (Battalion) Standardizations Pilot (SP) during two year-long combat deployments, where he was the Task Force's senior Pilot responsible for the standardization and execution of combat operations for all assigned to the Task Force, which included OH58D, CH47F, UH60L and AH64D aircraft. 
JT's children followed in his footsteps, including fighting from inside the cockpit as the next generation of aviator.
Show Notes:

3:13 - Flight school and wanted guns and got Cobras and then went into A Model Apaches the very next day.
4:16 - Why JT chose gun ships?
6:43 - Gun choice between JT and Mark Beechum.
11:17 - What was the Apache mission from the beginning?
18:28 - When JT felt he was a part of the brotherhood.
26:05 - A description of what garrison life life is like in a flight unit.
28:23 - JT’s experience on 9/11 and the fear of missing the war.
32:28 - Stanley Pebsworth and Not a Good Day to Die.
33:13 - How officers (commissioned and warrant) homestead in Aviation units.
34:07 - JT describes his deployment cycles: Iraq Oct 2003.
36:56 - JT describes being the BN SP when the unit received MTADS and advanced FLIR.
38:38 - Aviation as an inherently dangerous job. When did JT first realize that.
41:44 - JT being three steps ahead. How did you develop your ability to get ahead of the aircraft.
44:03 - By the 3rd deployment, JT was at the top of his game.
47:03 - Description of JT’s first flight in combat. Took place in Samara as JT was the Company SP.
55:35 - JT describes what’s going on in his mind after his first engagement.
56:47 - What was the toughest deployment and engagement.
58:37 - JT describes his experience in the cockpit during the worst engagement of his career.
59:43 - JT and co-pilot Adam Marik discussing what to do in the cockpit.
61:13 - “Adam, are you okay getting in between where the bad guys are and the Chinooks...”
1:01:58 - “Only time I’ve ever been scared in the cockpit.”
1:04:06 - Ground forces took an RPG to the face.
1:06:20 - F-15 popping flares without coordination at 700’.
1:09:39 - Recollection of a vehicle hit by an IED and what happened.
1:10:21 - The second deployment for JT to Afghanistan was with the Australian SAS doing a lot of deliberate operations.
1:16:52 - Any gear I had to have with me. Two good luck charms: a half broken Budweiser bottle opener; the other was a St. Michael card given to him by a Chaplain that JT’s son took to Mosul. JT also carried a folded American flag on all four deployments that his son took with him.
1:18:24 - The next chapter of JT’s life where JT steps out of the cockpit and then his son goes to the same war zone that JT fought in.
1:24 - Conversations between JT and his son before he deployed to get him prepared.
1:24:38 - Would you do it all again?
1:26:34 - JT critiquing himself over a mission in which JT and I responded to our base being under attack.
1:27:49 - Near mid-air collision. He almost lost me for a minute.
Oct 25, 2020
Chris Baity: Marine K-9 Handler | Non-Profit Founder | Washingtonian of the Year
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Chris Baity is a former Marine K-9 handler who served tours in Iraq and Afghanistan. 
During his career in the Marine Corps, he helped pioneer and shape dog handling tactics and training, not just for the Marines, but also joint efforts across the military. As a military working dog handler, he supported ground units throughout combat theaters, including trojan horse operations with sniper teams and door-to-door house clearings.
In one instance, Chris and his dog uncovered a weapons cache in a scene eerily similar to one depicted in the book and movie, American Sniper.
Chris and his wife Amanda went on to found the hugely successful Semper K-9, a non-profit that rescues dogs from shelters and trains them to be service dogs at no cost for disabled service members.
This special initiative has been featured in multiple outlets like People Magazine and the Washington Post. For his work, Chris was named one of the Washingtonians of the Year. Find out more at semperk9.org.
Show Notes:

3:57 - In Okinawa during 9/11.
5:00 - Assigned to Henderson Hall, Marine Corps HQS. Helped create the dog program at HQS Marine Corps.
12:10 - Helped create the first joint kennel between Henderson Hall and Fort Myer.
13:15 - Offered slot in first mass K-9 deployments to Iraq.
15:41 - Signed up for Iraq after two cigarettes and a red bull (and without checking with his wife).
16:40 - Trust your dog, watch your dog, train your dog. Make sure your dog knows what he’s doing and you guide him. The dog’s nose was the spear.
17:40 - The dog’s paycheck.
20:10 - The role of the “spotter” in a dog team.
21:06 - “How do I pay my dog without setting of a bomb.”
23:40 - Chris’ first mission with Adam Cann, who was the first Marine military working dog handler to die since Vietnam.
25:20 - Chris’ first combat experience.
27:38 - First female dog handlers in combat.
28:54 - Dropped off in Korean Village in western Iraq with 2nd Marines, 2nd Battalion, Fox Company.
41:32 - Pushing hard core missions in Ar-Rutbah.
42:33 - First experience on “missions” using interpreters.
44:05 - Attached to sniper teams and trojan horse missions going into enemy territory with snipers.
53:00 - Chris’ first real find.
53:56 - First “oh shit” moment.
59:40 - Mentality of you’re probably going to die but you’re going to save the whole platoon.
1:02:54 - This dog is a gun and K-9 handlers had bounties on their heads.
1:09:38 - I was there for the paycheck and the fun.
1:20:10 - Description of the work at Semper K-9.
Oct 25, 2020
Jordan Becker: Army Special Forces (10th Group) | Foreign Area Officer
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This is the Combat Story of Jordan Becker, US Army Lieutenant Colonel serving as a Foreign Area Officer (FAO) in Paris, France, as a liaison officer to the French Joint Staff. 
Jordan began his career in the 173rd Airborne Brigade where he led an infantry platoon in a parachute assault that opened the Northern Front in the Iraq war in March of 2003, followed by an 11-month deployment in and around Kirkuk. While in the 173rd, Jordan led a rifle platoon, a support platoon, and served as an executive officer.
Jordan completed the Special Forces Assessment and Selection and the Special Forces Qualification Course, after which he was assigned to 10th Special Forces Group. He served in and around Baghdad as the targeting and current operations officer for Special Operations Task Force – Center, and then commanded a detachment assigned to advise Iraq’s national-level Special Operations Force’s Reconnaissance Troop. In 2008, Jordan’s team operated in Mali in support of Operation Enduring Freedom Trans-Sahel.
As a FAO, Jordan served as a military assistant and speechwriter to NATO’s Chairman of the Military Committee, General Petr Pavel, and a Defense Policy Advisor to the US Permanent Representative to NATO, Ambassador Douglas Lute. Jordan has written extensively on NATO and transatlantic cooperation and his works can be found on Google Scholar.
Jordan's next assignment will take him back to West Point to teach the next generation of Army officers.
Show Notes:

3:45 - Watching an Air Force Colonel getting ready to jump into Iraq without a weapon or a ruck sack.
4:32 - Description of then-Major Mike Davis and his ODA team securing the 173rd DZ as an SF Team Leader in 2003.
5:28 - Where were you on 9/11?
5:38 - Mark Brzozowski bitten by a brown recluse spider in a ‘sensitive’ area during IOBC.
6:39 - Evan Kohlman was a fellow student at Georgetown on Jordan’s program who wrote a thesis pre-9/11 about the Arab threat. Evan went on to be a news analyst on terrorism and co-founder of Flashpoint.
9:20 - Description of Jordan’s “First time I’d ever bucked the system”
12:10 - Why did you sign up  for the Army?
15:50 - First combat experience at 173rd that Jordan saw was on the DZ after static line jumping into Iraq in March 2003. Front end of OIF.
19:45 - Jordan’s work on Team Repo in Kirkuk was referenced in a short blurb in Assassin’s Gate, a book by George Packer about the war in Iraq at that time.
22:00 - 23:45 - Jordan describes the best moment of his career: being invited to pin E-9 on his former Platoon Sergeant, Mike Barlett, who went on to become a Brigade CSM and recently retired.
32:20 - How do you determine which SF Group you’re assigned to?
49:15 - Jordan takes an SF team to Mali.
53:45 - Closest call or most dangerous experience.
1:00:50 - Jordan describes two moments when he felt like he was “in flow” and really doing what he was supposed to be doing.
1:08:08 - If you could only take one person with you into combat, who would it be?
1:12:46 - Jordan on writing, teaching and Google Scholar page.
Oct 25, 2020
Wes Bryant: Air Force Special Warfare | SOF TACP-JTAC | Author
5710
Wes Bryant is a U.S. Air Force Master Sergeant (retired) who served eight combat deployments in the post 9/11 era as a Special Operations Forces Tactical Air Control Party (TAC-P) and Joint Tactical Air Controller (JTAC). He co-authored the book “Hunting the Caliphate: America’s War on ISIS and the Dawn of the Strike Cell,” a first-person account of the war on ISIS written alongside the former commanding general of Iraq, Major General (retired) Dana Pittard. Embedded with Special Forces teams under a Navy SEAL task force, Wes was the tactical lead for a contingent of special operations JTACs to first set foot in Iraq to stop ISIS. He’s been a lifelong writer, amateur philosopher, and avid student of the martial arts. Today, he pursues writing and editing, and teaches Chinese Kung Fu and Tai Chi in his community in North Carolina, where he lives with his wife and their two daughters. (Twitter | Instagram | Facebook | LinkedIn: @WesJBryant).
Notes
2:05 Difference between TAC-P and JTACs.
13:50 Moving between PJ, JTAC, and TACP work finding what was right.
14:25 Pararescue Indoctrination Course.
15:55 Combat Divers Qualification Course.
20:00 Learning about TACPs when at Medina Annex.
22:40 Fought to get back to the CDQC to pass.
28:15 First foray into combat calling in an airstrike in combat.
32:13 First fight in Iraq with 1st CAV in 2004 after Fallujah calling in F-15s with 500 and 2Klbs bombs.
39:40 Being the odd man out from the Air Force dropped into new Army units.
45:20 Description of one of the most formative experiences as a controller in his first control in Afghanistan while getting shot at with 173rd.
58:13 The "most chaos on the battlefield" was early in the fight against ISIS in Iraq in 2014.
1:03:33 Part of the reason for writing the book was to show how deliberate each engagement was.
1:08:38 A tour to Korea in 2007 and finding a way to handle his PTSD. Went kicking and screaming to Camp Casey and was one of the best moves of his career.
1:19:42 Wes describes an experience at a shopping mall in Bahrain that changed his perspective on "the enemy."
1:31:20 Carrying the dog tags of his friend John Brown, a PJ who died in the shootdown of Extortion 17 in August 2011.
1:32:50 Appreciation for Army Special Forces (ODA) teams.
1:33:55 Favorite aircraft: A-10s for fixed wing and Apaches (AH-64s) for helos.
1:34:40 Would you do it all again? "Absolutely...would have done it all again."
Oct 25, 2020
Dr. Clyde Horn: Purple Heart Recipient | Vietnam Infantryman | Author | Psychotherapist
6300
Dr. Clyde Horn is a former Army infantryman, Purple Heart recipient, and Vietnam Veteran. He served in the 199th Light Infantry Brigade near Saigon fighting in the Iron Triangle from 1967-1968 and supported US forces during the Tet Offensive. After the military, he helped children suffering from trauma as a psychotherapist. Despite this work and his attention to other people’s trauma, he didn’t recognize his own PTSD until 2009. His compelling story of combat, helping others, getting help himself, and eventually returning to the Vietnam Memorial in Washington, DC, will ring true for many veterans. He has since written two books PTSD in Pictures and Words and Veteran Guilt in Pictures and Words and uses art as part of his own treatment (ArtLifting).

4:20 - Signed up for the Army without telling anyone in the family.
5:30 - Advanced training in Fort Polk, LA, in “Tiger Land.”
6:11 - The basics for any soldier: Don’t volunteer for anything.
6:33 - Drill Instructors, existentialism, and pornography.
16:51 - The “Iron Triangle” bounded by the Saigon River (W), Tinh River (E), Phu Cuong (S) just north of Saigon.
19:15 - Assigned to 199th Light Infantry Brigade near Saigon in 1967. 199th Facebook Groups (link, link).
21:31 - Description of first combat patrol in Vietnam.
26:15 - Field rotation cycle. Hot chow, shower, bed with a roof over your head,
27:59 - Moved to Cam Ranh Bay to watch President Lyndon Johnson speak. Footage from the time.
29:46 - First experience in the jungle in a movement to contact was an “out of body experience.” ‘The beginning of anxiety sets in that stayed with me for the rest of my life.’
34:00 - First time in contact walking into an ambush.
41:21 - “I will survive” mantra. PTSD starts early during a traumatic incident. Rather than let my acute senses and reactions hurt me, how can they help me?
44:50 - Never saw a ‘stone cold killer.’ Go to Hollywood for that.
48:00 - “Hell on Earth” description of one of the hardest engagements when the 199th had two to three companies ambushed by an enemy regiment.
48:45 - Fire starts coming at us….
54:24 - Description of engagement in which Clyde earned the Purple Heart.
57:34 - Observing a Platoon Leader being overly cocky and the perils of that mindset.
1:01:06 - Using night vision in Vietnam with an amazing observation made thanks to the new tech.
1:06:07 - Good luck charm: a gold cross.
1:09:50 - Supporting defenses during the Tet Offensive.
1:14:00 - Returning from Vietnam to - of all places - Berkeley.
1:20:55 - After retiring from psychology, Clyde has a ‘full blown’ attack of PTSD.
1:29:07 - Finally visiting the Vietnam Veterans Memorial aka ‘The Wall.’
Oct 25, 2020
Eric Brethen: OH-6 Loach & AH-1 Cobra Pilot | Vietnam Veteran | 3 x Distinguished Flying Cross
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Eric Brethen is a former US Army Chief Warrant Officer and OH-6 “Cayuse” aka “Loach” reconnaissance and AH-1 “Cobra” attack helicopter pilot. At just 19 years old, Eric found himself flying missions out of Cu Chi, just northwest of Saigon, in hunter killer teams in scenes reminiscent of Apocalypse Now. During his 19 months in Vietnam from 1969-1970, Eric flew 3,600 hours and was awarded three Distinguished Flying Crosses, three Bronze Stars, Air Medals with Valor, Army Commendation Medals with Valor, and the South Vietnamese Gallantry Cross.

4:10 - The Army recruiter asks, ‘Have you ever thought of being a pilot?
5:35 - Ending up in 3rd Squadron, 4th Cavalry (3/4 Cav) flying to Vietnam in first class with Field Grades landing in Ben Oui.
8:13 - Getting picked up by the nephew of then SecDef Melvin Laird.
9:40 - Hunter Killer teams (Loach and Cobra). 
12:24 - ‘Nobody volunteers for the Loach.’ 
14:33 - Watching a tail boom skid down the runway in front of the aircraft.
16:35 - The reality of an autorotation (video of MD-500 auto today).
24:50 - First flight outside the wire with a Pig (Loach) and a Snake (Cobra). 
30:59 - Based in Cu Chi and farmed out to support missions in Ta Ninh and Katoom (1st Air Cav).
34:04 - Shooting a control tower with a mini-gun. Eric’s crew chief and close friend Kenneth Taylor had the idea to mount a mini-gun on the OH-6 for the first time.
40:34 - First combat engagement at Boi Loi Woods near Godaha village.
46:46 - How to steal a helicopter (twice) for a night out to the President Hotel.
50:06 - Fighting Cobras at night lining up on a ground strobe light.
56:15 - Only time being afraid.
1:01:28 - Being shot down a couple times with a real autorotation.
1:04:58 - Picked up a Cobra crew (sitting on the skids) that was shot down.
1:09:25 - Close up view to a Cao Dai temple (example).
1:17:04 - Transition from OH-6 to AH-1 and a testament to control touch.
1:20:49 - The decision to get out.
1:23:57 - Always carried a St. Christopher’s medal (the protector of travelers). Got one blessed by the Pope at one point.
Oct 25, 2020
Hubert Yoshida: Marine Corps Platoon Commander | Vietnam Veteran | Operation Utah
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Hubert Yoshida is a Vietnam Veteran who served as a U.S. Marine Corps Platoon Commander from 1965-1966 near Chu Lai in the central part of Vietnam with 2nd Battalion, 7th Marines. He and his platoon fought in the bloody Operation Utah, a significant battle from March 4-7, 1966, which saw over 700 KIA between the North and South Vietnamese forces and Marines. Hubert has a fascinating story that begins as a child in a Japanese prison camp in the U.S., to leading Marines on the front lines, and then transitioning to an exceptionally successful career in senior executive roles in the private sector. Today, he’s writing a book about Operation Utah to tell the story of the hundreds of Marines who fought there and is looking for anyone who may have served in that battle.

2:20 - Growing up in a prison camp for US citizens of Japanese ancestry.
7:17 - Family history in both the Japanese and US military.
8:41 - Had to enlist to serve in Vietnam to then earn a commission.
9:15 - Gets put in a data processing unit.
10:56 - Parents were disappointed he joined the Marine Corps after a degree in physics and math from Berkely and not going to grad school.
15:17 - First sighting in Vietnam was an Army Sergeant in underwear drinking a beer on the beach.
18:06 - Gets permission from the CO to go on a mission to a nearby village in first contact.
18:34 - The unit is ambushed on their first mission.
33:17 - Lead up to Operation Utah. Intel on the 21st NVA Regiment moving into Chu Lai.
36:17 - Initial flights into the battle were shot down, including an A-4 Skyhawk and H-34 by fifty caliber machine guns.
39:26 - Call from Battalion Commander to support another company to close a gap in the flank and recover a separated platoon.
41:14 - A suicide mission.
49:57 - Guilt in leaving the dead behind to make sure the wounded were carried out.
50:55 - Secures perimeter one of his men gets killed they call in air strikes.
58:23 - Recognizing the importance of the battle in your life and something you think about almost every night.
58:59 - The story of believing he lost a radio man haunts him to this day and only later found out the radio man lived through the event.
1:05:41 - Returning home from Vietnam and assigned to Camp Pendleton.
1:06:19 - Having to notify a young widow of her husband’s passing in Vietnam.
1:07:52 - Leaves the Marine Corps after the death notification and joins IBM.
1:08:45 - Returning to Vietnam in 2016 to revisit his steps.
1:15:34 - Never provided direction to children in terms of joining the military.
1:17:45 - Would have done it again.
1:18:21 - Really proud to have been in the Marine Corps.
1:20:33 - Carrying a pocket bible through the deployment (one in English, one in Korean).
Oct 25, 2020
Jimmy Settle: Pararescueman (PJ) | Special Operator | Purple Heart & Air Medal (V) Recipient | Author
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Jimmy Settle is a retired Air Force Pararescueman (“PJ”) credited with saving 38 lives and assisting in saving 28 others in combat, in addition to saves in the Alaskan wilderness. He racked up over 270 combat search and rescue hours in Afghanistan, where he earned an Air Medal with Valor for his life saving heroics and a Purple Heart after being shot in the head (and returning to combat 24 hours later). Jimmy catalogues these and other near death experiences in his book, “Never Quit: From Alaska Wilderness Rescues to Afghanistan Firefights as an Elite Special Ops PJ,” where he shares the friendships, hardships, pranks, and events that changed his life, from being an elite athlete competing at the Naval Academy to completing the daunting PJ pipeline to live saving ops in the most austere environments.

5:47 - What is a PJ and the military’s pararescue.
13:33 - Introduced to PJ by Chris Robertson.
19:43 - “Cardiac Event” aka the first (of many) near death experience.
27:56 - “19 year old decision” to leave the Naval Academy after invasive surgery on the heart.
30:46 - The PJ “Pipeline” of elite training, INDOC (80%+ attrition rate), Combat Divers Course, Airborne, Free Fall, SERE, Pararescue EMT and Apprenticeship.
48:05 - “Cones” aka unfortunate trainees going through the pipeline (better than a Toad, not yet a Maroon Beret).
50:17 - Covertly free climbing Fort Benning’s 250’ Jump Towers for a prank.
52:48 - The “Green Feet” image used by PJs, an homage to Vietnam helos.
58:13 - The first time working on a live patient (intubation) in Philadelphia in a paramedic apprentice program.
1:05:51 - The first rescue from an aircraft as a PJ in Alaska at night in the wilderness to help a woman who had an accident with an ATV, chainsaw, and a scalping.
1:09:51 - Another near death experience while training in Alaska’s Cook Inlet at night.
1:27:29 - Supporting Operation Bulldog Bite in Kunar province, Afghanistan in November 2010.
1:29:21 - Another near death experience getting shot in the head.
1:36:29 - Going back into combat 24 hours after being shot in the head to rescue dozens of people.
1:48:48 - Saving two soldiers on a chopper and thinking, “This is my purpose in life.”
1:49:17 - Losing memory after getting shot in the head and how it creeped in “insidiously.”
1:53:12 - Describing the difficulty in transitioning from the service to the civilian world and the loss of identity.
1:56:36 - Living in a car in the Commissary parking lot until a senior enlisted airmen intervened.
2:02:06 - “Without hesitation” would do it again.
Oct 25, 2020
Vince "Snapper" Sherer: Retired U.S. Air Force A-10 Thunderbolt II "Warthog" Fighter Pilot | CAS SME | Instructor Pilot
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Vince “Snapper” Sherer is a retired Air Force A-10 Thunderbolt “Warthog” fighter pilot. Over a 20 year career, he flew 300 combat missions and logged 1,300 combat flight hours in the A-10 and MC-12 across four deployments to Afghanistan. Vince supported troops in contact at danger close range, at times without a wingman, over a decade of evolving combat and technological change. He’s the personification of the A-10 pilot and gives an inside look at what combat felt like from the cockpit. Another great set of stories from Vince can be found here on Task and Purpose.

1:57 - Call sign “Snapper” comes from the Sensitive New Age Pilot moniker (Urban Dictionary link).
4:57 - The inspiration to fly came from time with a sibling and watching Top Gun.
7:02 - A key tragic and defining moment with a significant accident in the family.
10:32 - Flying for the Navy or Air Force?
12:22 - Competition and path to get from college into the aircraft you want.
22:17 - Stereotype of the “Hawg” (A-10) pilots, F-16s, F-15s, etc.
24:20 - Hardest part of his Air Force career at Sheppard AFB.
27:22 - First flight in the A-10. “The better your preparation, the less your anxiety.”
31:50 - T-38 second hardest aircraft to land in the Air Force (hardest is the U-2).
33:24 - How to do a checkride in a single-seat aircraft?
36:52 - First combat flight was September 2005 in Afghanistan in a Squadron led by now Senator Martha McSally.
40:40 - Normal weapons load in combat on an A-10.
42:49 - A standard engagement planning and execution.
51:22 - First engagement while supporting a convoy that hit an IED in southern Afghanistan in Winter 2005.
57:01 - Engagement in 2014 on fourth deployment supporting Wing Staff at Bagram AFB and flying with 303rd Fighter Squadron from Kansas City.
1:01:01 - Near fratricide incident in combat until something didn’t feel right.
1:07:11 - Carrying an American flag on each flight.
1:09:34 - Being in a unit with the first female A-10 Fighter Squadron Commander who flew in combat (Martha McSally).
1:13:32 - Advice on when to start flying in your life.
1:15:21 - Would you do it again?
1:16:39 - A great story about an A-10, a photograph, and the “south end of an unneutered bulldog.”
1:19:51 - “I was so fired up that I got to go fly a jet again one more time.”
Oct 25, 2020