SOFcast

By US Special Operations Command

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Description

Listen to members of America's elite special operations forces gather to discuss leadership and current issues. Hear from special operations personnel like Navy SEALs, Army Green Berets, Army Rangers, Marine Raiders, Air Force Special Operators, pilots, medics, communicators, and more! Join our hosts, USSOCOM Senior Enlisted Leader Greg Smith and Green Beret Sgt. Major Matt Parrish, as they speak with special operations guests, past and present, about their experiences.

SOFcast is the U.S. Special Operations Command official podcast where we harness the power of storytelling to connect you directly to thought-provoking and unique perspectives from our force. The Special Operations Command Enterprise consists of special operations personnel and enablers from across all of the military services and this podcast is a rare opportunity to hear their stories directly from those that lived them!

USSOCOM comprises some of the best leaders in the world and SOFcast highlights and connects these leaders’ stories and lessons learned to our worldwide audience. SOFcast gives the Special Operations community a place to share authentic stories and adventures to make us better, safer, and more effective. Sharing our unique perspectives and experiences creates a distinct opportunity to shape current and future SOF through conversations. We believe that leadership is critically important at all levels, throughout every element of SOF and that leadership can be honed through hearing and understanding the trials and triumphs of others.

BONUS EPISODES - every few episodes our hosts will welcome a guest for a special “Shots from the Field” episode. These episodes feature real questions from SOF members about real issues within our force. Our panelists have 15 minutes per topic to give real in-depth answers that go beyond the Command talking points. These episodes are filled with back-and-forth debate and argument from the “devil’s advocate” side in order to get to the heart of some really controversial and relevant current issues. If you have a topic you’d like to hear discussed, please leave a comment!

This is the official special operations podcast. These are our stories. New episodes released every two weeks.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

SOFcast is the U.S. Special Operations Command official podcast where we harness the power of storytelling to connect you directly to thought-provoking and unique perspectives from our force. Listen to members of America's elite special operations forces gather to discuss current issues. We believe that leadership is critically important at all levels, throughout every element of SOF and that leadership can be honed through hearing and understanding the trials and triumphs of others.
_______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

#specialoperations #specialforces #military #sof #army #navy #marines #airforce #navyseal #sealteam #frogman #greenberet #ranger #marsoc #operator #tactical #theonlyeasydaywasyesterday #podcast

Episode Date
17. MSG Geoff Dardia & Chelsey Poisson, BSN - SOF health, performance, & exposures
5921
When you are not at war are you at war with yourself? Are you a quiet professional or a silent professional? Join Green Beret MSG Geoff Dardia and Chelsey Poisson, an emergency room nurse and Army veteran, with Green Beret SGM Matt Parrish, as they discuss the pace of operations and its effect on health and families. Also, they discuss the environment the military operates in and conditions like repetitive blast exposure, toxin exposure and their long-term effects.

Listen to the trio discuss admitting to a vulnerability is a sign of strength and being “ahead of the bang” is an important tenet to good health. They advocate taking ownership of health and action with individual responsibility should be life-long philosophy. We know you’ll enjoy hearing this important conversation about taking care of yourself. 
Apr 20, 2021
16. Navy SEAL Jocko Willink - Best-selling author, podcaster, entrepreneur, and leadership expert
5189
What is the best way to lead? Do you learn from a bad leader? Join retired LCDR Jocko Willink, a former SEAL, New York Times best-selling author and entrepreneur, with Senior Enlisted Leader CMSgt Greg Smith and Green Beret SGM Matt Parrish as they discuss leadership perspectives. A veteran of SEAL Teams ONE, TWO and THREE, his operational experience includes participation in the seizure of the Russian tanker Volga-Neft-147 in the Gulf of Oman when the tanker was in violation of a U.N. economic embargo and commanding Task Unit Bruiser conducting operations in the Iraqi city of Ramadi in 2006.

Listen to Jocko explain how his outlook on leadership was impacted by a leader he calls “Delta Charlie” and how extreme ownership is the foundation of good top-down leadership. Jocko’s leadership style is based on building relationships, asking good questions, being humble and empowering people. He talks about how he used these principles during combat operations in Ramadi. We know you’ll enjoy hearing this compelling conversation from this charismatic and inspirational leader.
Apr 06, 2021
15. Dr. Preston Cline - Expert on High-Functioning Teams
4014
Developing our people is our most important responsibility as a leader or instructor. Are we doing enough to develop those who will be leaders 20 years from now? Join Dr. Preston Cline, who has been a consultant on all the SOF Assessment and Selection courses, with Senior Enlisted Leader CMSgt Greg Smith and Green Beret SGM Matt Parrish as they discuss whether we teach our people to navigate uncertainty properly, whether SOF is transactional or transformational, and whether SOF has a gatekeeping mentality.  

Listen to Dr. Preston describe the dynamics of highly-functioning teams, argue why women have and should always be part of special operations, guard against placing cultural fitness above all else, and challenge the special operations community to build cognitive, social and family resilience throughout your career and not wait until the end of it. We know you’ll enjoy hearing this compelling conversation about leadership, resiliency, and the cognitive domain within the special operations community. 
Mar 23, 2021
14. Col (Ret) John Alvarez - Helo pilot & first amputee to return to combat flight duty
4130
What happens to the operator when he becomes badly injured while deep in the jungle of a foreign country? Join retired Air Force Colonel John Alvarez with Senior Enlisted Leader CMSgt Greg Smith and Green Beret SGM Matt Parrish as they discuss the formation of “Special Forces with wings,” counter-narcotics missions in the 1990s, and John’s experience surviving a catastrophic helicopter crash in a piranha-infested Ecuadorian river.

John describes his challenging journey back to the cockpit after becoming the first amputee to return to full combat flying status. He credits his family, teammates and generous civilian benefactors for his successful return to the Special Operations community. Today, he is a strong advocate for USSOCOM’s Warrior Care Program chartered with advocacy for the command’s wounded, ill, or injured service members and their families. We know you’ll enjoy hearing this compelling conversation about resiliency and the support network within the Special Operations community.
Mar 09, 2021
13. Leslie Babich - SOFWERX leader, innovator, and AFSOC Col (Ret)
3147
Do we need to fail forward as part of innovation? Is AFSOC the air arm of SOCOM or the SOF arm of the Air Force? Join SOFWERX director and retired MC-130 pilot Air Force Col. Leslie Babich with Senior Enlisted Leader CMSgt Greg Smith and Green Beret SGM Matt Parrish as they discuss SOFWERX’s mission of being a bridge for bringing industry-leading innovation to the warfighter.

Leslie explains the three pillars of SOFWERX's teamwork strategy; discovering new technology, engage and create solutions between industry and the warfighter, and accelerate the delivery of the technology to the operator. Additionally, she discusses transition strategies from military to civilian life. We know you’ll enjoy hearing this conversation about bringing cutting edge technology to the special operator.
Feb 23, 2021
12. CMSgt Jared 'Peaches' Pietras - USAF Combat Controller, helps answer hot topics across SOCOM
4579
Do you keep your best performers closest to you or do send them the farthest away? The COVID environment has forced us into a remote, advise and assist paradigm, but is it effective? Join CMSgt Jared “Peaches” Pietras as he explains how good leaders must have a “heart to give back.” The career combat controller discusses training as always evolving and the importance of putting out current, factual training information to potential to special operations candidates.

Additionally, SOCOM Command Chief Greg Smith, Green Beret SGM Matt Parrish and Pietras take shots from the field. They discuss work/life balance in the COVID environment, what makes a good officer in SOF, whether to let your best performers leave and is the SOF culture becoming risk adverse? We know you’ll enjoy hearing this conversation about these issues facing SOF.
Feb 09, 2021
11. COL Michael McLendon - Green Beret leader and mentor
4877
What does it feel like when you are in a room and no one looks like you? Is the leader-follower relationship in an organization the singular most significant relationship to developing the organization’s culture? Join Green Beret COL Michael McLendon as he discusses the importance of mentorship both as a mentee and a mentor. McLendon emphasizes a diverse force will motivate the best and brightest from across the country to take the challenge and succeed in joining SOF.

The 25-year Army veteran talks about the need for establishing partnerships at home and abroad synchronizing readiness in the battlespace. He stresses being a positive ambassador for SOF is essential developing these relationships. We know you’ll enjoy hearing his perspectives on leadership, diversity and strengthening partnerships.
Jan 26, 2021
10. CSM (Ret) Rick Lamb - Green Beret and Ranger legend
7303
Do tactical actions have strategic implications? Indeed, they do. Join SOF legend Rick Lamb talking about his experiences preparing for the Iranian hostage rescue mission, participation in the firefight in the Korean demilitarized zone, the Panamanian invasion, being wounded in Somalia during the Blackhawk down rescue and finally being a warrior diplomat in Haiti. The former Army Command Sergeant Major also opens up about how multiple deployments affected his personal life.

The former Ranger and Green Beret is a member of the Ranger Hall of Fame, USSOCOM’s Commando Hall of Honor and the 2015 Bull Simons recipient for lifetime achievements in special operations. We know you’ll enjoy hearing his historical perspectives on the special operations community and as he delivers his “Soldiers Promise.”
Jan 12, 2021
09. MGySgt Jay Root - Marine Raider and Joint Leader
3084
Do we do enough to understand differing perspectives? Join Master Gunnery Sgt. Jay Root, a former Force Recon Marine who helped stand up Marine Forces Special Operations Command, explore leadership topics and competing perspectives. The MARSOC plank holder discusses the challenges navigating friction points, the importance of interoperability with International Special Operations Forces, and the battlefield injuries leading to his Purple Heart. We know you’ll enjoy hearing from one of the establishing members of MARSOC.
Dec 29, 2020
08. Col Allison Black - pioneering Air Force Special Ops aviator, helps answer hot topics across SOCOM
5418
Air Force Colonel Allison Black, a pioneering aviator in Air Force Special Operations, is this episode’s guest. The former enlisted survival, evasion, resistance and escape specialist became an officer and AC-130H navigator. She discusses what it is like being a leader in special operations today, how a “mission-first” philosophy is the foundation of her career, and what brought her into military service.

Black, alongside USSOCOM Command Senior Enlisted Leader Greg Smith and Green Beret Matt Parrish, take “shots from the field” about standards, diversity and inclusion, roles of the senior enlisted leaders, the importance of being apolitical, and whether the word “elite” is an appropriate way to describe Special Operations Forces. We know you’ll enjoy hearing their philosophies on these issues facing SOF.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

SOFcast is the U.S. Special Operations Command official podcast where we harness the power of storytelling to connect you directly to thought-provoking and unique perspectives from our force. Listen to members of America's elite special operations forces gather to discuss current issues. We believe that leadership is critically important at all levels, throughout every element of SOF and that leadership can be honed through hearing and understanding the trials and triumphs of others.
_______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

#specialoperations #specialforces #military #sof #army #navy #marines #airforce #navyseal #sealteam #frogman #greenberet #ranger #marsoc #operator #tactical #theonlyeasydaywasyesterday #podcast
Dec 15, 2020
07. CMSgt (Ret) Will Markham - Air Force Combat Controller
4690
Do you remember where you were and what you were doing in the weeks following 9/11?  In October of 2001, Will Markham, one of the first Americans deployed into combat for the Global War on Terrorism, touched down in Afghanistan attached to a small Special Forces team. Listen to his first-hand account of how a joint team of adaptive special operators battled the Taliban.  

CMSgt (Ret) Will Markham served an incredible career as an Air Force Combat Controller and Senior Enlisted Leader, but he also continues to serve the community post-retirement.  He discusses what brought him to military service, then to special operations, and what motivates him to continue to serve others daily.  We know you’ll enjoy hearing his lessons learned, leadership ethos, and thoughts on mentorship and growth throughout this episode.



Thanks for listening and please like, subscribe, and review! Let us know in the comments who you’d like to hear from in future episodes!

_______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

SOFcast is the U.S. Special Operations Command official podcast where we harness the power of storytelling to connect you directly to thought-provoking and unique perspectives from our force. Listen to members of America's elite special operations forces gather to discuss current issues. We believe that leadership is critically important at all levels, throughout every element of SOF and that leadership can be honed through hearing and understanding the trials and triumphs of others.
_______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

#specialoperations #specialforces #military #sof #army #navy #marines #airforce #navyseal #sealteam #frogman #greenberet #ranger #marsoc #operator #tactical #theonlyeasydaywasyesterday #podcast
Dec 01, 2020
06. D.B. - Naval Flight Officer and Special Warfare Combat Support
3984
Special Operations Forces Truth #5: Most special operations require non-SOF support
How does a female Naval flight officer describe her time working with Naval Special Warfare units?

“I felt like as soon as I went into Naval Special Warfare ‘Do you perform? Do you put in the effort? Do you care?’ and if you have the tenacity and grit to make it happen people will respect that and so I knew I had to earn my place... The door might be closed for certain things, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t open it.”

Our guest shares her experiences with NSW as special operations forces enabler and how the SOF community encompasses the support personnel that are behind the scenes.
_______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

SOFcast is the U.S. Special Operations Command official podcast where we harness the power of storytelling to connect you directly to thought-provoking and unique perspectives from our force. Listen to members of America's elite special operations forces gather to discuss current issues. We believe that leadership is critically important at all levels, throughout every element of SOF and that leadership can be honed through hearing and understanding the trials and triumphs of others.
_______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

#specialoperations #specialforces #military #sof #army #navy #marines #airforce #navyseal #sealteam #frogman #greenberet #ranger #marsoc #operator #tactical #theonlyeasydaywasyesterday #podcast
Nov 16, 2020
05. Maj Frank Anello - Marine Forces Special Operations Raider
4867
Would you give up a day of skydiving to be a guest on our podcast? Major Frank Anello, Marine Forces Special Operations Raider did just that for this episode.

“I was 100% sure either the bad guys were going to come back up the mountain and we were going to have a bad firefight or we were going to die of exposure. I was very sure we were in a bad place.” Challenges aren’t just downrange. They can be with a leader you don't agree with or dealing with mental health issues.

Hear how these special operators dealt with the mountain top battles and the battles that are on the inside.
_______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

SOFcast is the U.S. Special Operations Command official podcast where we harness the power of storytelling to connect you directly to thought-provoking and unique perspectives from our force. Listen to members of America's elite special operations forces gather to discuss current issues. We believe that leadership is critically important at all levels, throughout every element of SOF and that leadership can be honed through hearing and understanding the trials and triumphs of others.
_______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

#specialoperations #specialforces #military #sof #army #navy #marines #airforce #navyseal #sealteam #frogman #greenberet #ranger #marsoc #operator #tactical #theonlyeasydaywasyesterday #podcast
Nov 16, 2020
04. SGM Nate Griffin, Green Beret leader, helps answer hot topics from across SOCOM
4259
Shots from the field: Three special operations forces leaders take questions from SOF members from different units. Some of the topics we dive into include toxic leadership, how to navigate the grey, alcohol use within the SOF community and more in this episode of SOFcast.

Join Command Chief Greg Smith, Sergeant Major Matt Parrish, and Sergeant Major Nate Griffin as they talk about how senior enlisted tactical decisions have a strategic impact on the ability to gain and maintain access and placement in the new and future operational environment.

Do hands in your pockets really affect our ability to lead? Listen to find out...

_______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

SOFcast is the U.S. Special Operations Command official podcast where we harness the power of storytelling to connect you directly to thought-provoking and unique perspectives from our force. Listen to members of America's elite special operations forces gather to discuss current issues. We believe that leadership is critically important at all levels, throughout every element of SOF and that leadership can be honed through hearing and understanding the trials and triumphs of others.
_______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

#specialoperations #specialforces #military #sof #army #navy #marines #airforce #navyseal #sealteam #frogman #greenberet #ranger #marsoc #operator #tactical #theonlyeasydaywasyesterday #podcast
Nov 16, 2020
03. WO1 Nick Lavery - Green Beret warrior and amputee
4606
“Members of the special operations forces community only complain when we have things really good. It’s when things really suck... that you are miserable and getting shot at all the time that you don’t hear a complaint.” - Green Beret Nick Lavery.

Green Beret Nick Lavery, while deployed to Afghanistan sustained multiple injuries and continued to return to the fight until he lost his leg. He didn’t let that stop him! Nick worked his way back to an operational Special Forces team and returned to combat and then became the first above the knee amputee to graduate from combat dive qualification SCUBA course.

Listen in for the behind the scenes stories.
_______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

SOFcast is the U.S. Special Operations Command official podcast where we harness the power of storytelling to connect you directly to thought-provoking and unique perspectives from our force. Listen to members of America's elite special operations forces gather to discuss current issues. We believe that leadership is critically important at all levels, throughout every element of SOF and that leadership can be honed through hearing and understanding the trials and triumphs of others.
_______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

#specialoperations #specialforces #military #sof #army #navy #marines #airforce #navyseal #sealteam #frogman #greenberet #ranger #marsoc #operator #tactical #theonlyeasydaywasyesterday #podcast
Nov 16, 2020
02. VADM Timothy Szymanski - Navy SEAL 3-star Admiral
4550
Special Operations Forces Truth #1: Humans are more important than hardware. Guest Vice Admiral Timothy Szymanski shares how he made the difficult decision to go to the Naval Academy, almost was removed during an academic board, faced a conduct board his junior year for misbehavior, and then changed career goals from being a Navy pilot to answering the call to become a SEAL.

Vice Admiral Szymanski explains how his experiences built a foundation of resiliency and determination. The ability of special operations forces to persevere mentally through the BUD/S and later transitioning to a leadership role. Mistakes will be made, but accountability and the idea that “failure is not final”, and “no is not terminal” is the theme of his story.
_______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

SOFcast is the U.S. Special Operations Command official podcast where we harness the power of storytelling to connect you directly to thought-provoking and unique perspectives from our force. Listen to members of America's elite special operations forces gather to discuss current issues. We believe that leadership is critically important at all levels, throughout every element of SOF and that leadership can be honed through hearing and understanding the trials and triumphs of others.
_______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

#specialoperations #specialforces #military #sof #army #navy #marines #airforce #navyseal #sealteam #frogman #greenberet #ranger #marsoc #operator #tactical #theonlyeasydaywasyesterday #podcast
Nov 16, 2020
01. Welcome to SOFcast - Intro to your hosts CCM Greg Smith & SGM Matt Parrish
3353
Join U.S. Special Operations Command’s Command Chief Greg Smith and Preservation of the Force and Family Sergeant Major Matt Parrish as they kick-off our official podcast from the headquarters of all special operations forces in the U.S. military. In-depth stories of their military careers and how they answered the call to join the SOF community are powerful and inspiring.
Command Chief Smith tells his experiences battling leukemia from a deployment to Afghanistan after September 11th and being exposed to microwave radiation. His experiences helped him to understand the importance of SOCOM’s Warrior Care Program and Preservation of the Force and Family.

Sergeant Major Parrish describes how he initially looked at joining the Marines, SEALS and then ended up enlisting as an 18X Green Beret. He walked into the Army recruiting office with a ‘Pantera’ goatee because he wanted to test himself. He went to Ranger school after becoming a Green Beret.

Both of these senior enlisted leaders share their experiences with answering the call to special operations, injuries catching up to them and the lessons they have learned about themselves and the SOF community over their careers.
_______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

SOFcast is the U.S. Special Operations Command official podcast where we harness the power of storytelling to connect you directly to thought-provoking and unique perspectives from our force. Listen to members of America's elite special operations forces gather to discuss current issues. We believe that leadership is critically important at all levels, throughout every element of SOF and that leadership can be honed through hearing and understanding the trials and triumphs of others.
_______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

#specialoperations #specialforces #military #sof #army #navy #marines #airforce #navyseal #sealteam #frogman #greenberet #ranger #marsoc #operator #tactical #theonlyeasydaywasyesterday #podcast
Nov 16, 2020