Pineland Underground

By USAJFKSWCS, Chuck Ritter, Bobby Tuttle

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The official podcast of the U.S. Army John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. Green Berets, Major Bobby Tuttle and Sergeant Major Chuck Ritter, embark on a journey to provide the best podcast in the military with bi-monthly relentless awesomeness. Real. Bold. Un-restricted.

Episode Date
Shenanigans | One man's journey from Irish Special Forces to a Mogadishu mercenary to U.S. Green Beret
Aug 05, 2022
Atomic Programming | Physical and Mental Fitness Programming for Special Operations (Bonus Episode)
Owner of Atomic Athlete, Jake Saenz, and United States Army Special Warfare Center and School Athletic Trainer, Aaron Craft, discuss how to train for Special Operation Selections, the Army Combat Fitness Test and life in general. We discuss physical and mental aspects of training as well as injury prevention. Jake is a former Army Ranger and has been training and teaching physical fitness for over 20 years. Aaron is a former collegiate level athletic trainer and has been training Special Operations Forces for over 9 years.
Jul 29, 2022
Ghosts in the Machine | Full Spectrum Special Operations (PSYOP)
What’s the deal with the new highly controversial new PSYOP recruiting video entitled “Ghosts in the Machine?” What are Psychological Operations? Are they really pulling the strings of foreign governments around the world? We sit with the creator of the Ghost in the Machine video, MAJ Lamb, and a PSYOP history expert MAJ Holzmann to explore the answers.
Jul 22, 2022
Full Spectrum Special Operations (Civil Affairs) | Rob McQueen
We sit down with Civil Affairs legend Rob McQueen to discuss how to properly use the entire toolkit of capabilities within the U.S. Army Special Operations construct. We deep dive into how to best combine Special Forces, Civil Affairs and Psychological Operations to achieve effects across the globe. We also dive into the current geopolitical game, Ukraine, and non-profit organizations.
Jul 08, 2022
Leadership in the Shadows | CSM (R) Kyle Lamb
Lessons in leadership from legendary Delta Force operator, and VikingTactics owner Kyle Lamb, COL (retired) Tim Ladouceur, CSM Sean Mullins and COL Stu Farris.
Jun 24, 2022
Medal of Honor | SGM Matt Williams. Valor, Texas and Special Forces.
Medal of Honor recipient SGM Matt Williams visits the Falcon Snail Pub to talk about growing up in a small Texas town, his road to becoming a Special Forces Green Beret, life on a Special Forces A-Team, and what it's like being an active-duty Medal of Honor recipient still serving at the tactical level. Matt served on a team within the 3rd Special Forces Group Airborne that had over 16 Silver Star recipients and two Medal of Honor Recipients. Matt shares his story with us as well as the leadership lessons he has learned and teaches in his daily life as a Special Forces Soldier.
Jun 10, 2022
War Machine | Living Tissue Over Metal Endoskeleton CW2 Nick Lavery

CW2 Nick Lavery is an active-duty member of The United States Army Special Forces. On his second combat rotation to Afghanistan he and his Detachment fell victim to an insider attack ultimately resulting in the loss of his leg. Following a year of surgeries and initial recovery including the use of a prosthetic at Walter Reed National Medical Military Center, he returned to his unit. Refusing a military medical retirement, Nick set his sights on returning to operational status. At the conclusion of a brutal assessment designed to evaluate Nick's abilities to operate, he returned to his Detachment and was subsequently deployed once again to Afghanistan conducting full spectrum combat operations. Nick is considered the first Special Forces operator to return to combat as an above-the-knee amputee. He is also the first amputee to complete the Special Forces Warrant Officer Technical and Tactical Certification course, the Special Operations Combatives Program Instructor course, and the Combat Diver Qualification course in military history.

May 27, 2022
E-Tool Nation | #ISIS_SurrenderOrDie - John Wayne Troxell

E-Tool Nation host and SEAC(R) John Wayne Troxell joins us on this episode discussing topics ranging from serving as the most senior enlisted member of the United States Armed Forces to the moment in time that will forever bond him with an entrenching tool. With over 37 years of service in the United States Army, Troxell shares his experiences with leadership at every level. 

May 13, 2022
From Officer to CEO | Hibbett Sports CEO Mike Longo and Author Mike Lerario

While Bobby is off doing “Officer things” Chuck sits down with retired SOF West Point alum who are crushing it in life after wearing the U.S. Army uniform. From best hiring practices, changing the culture of a business and the aftermath of consuming an entire pitcher of Harvey Wallbangers, Hibbitt City Gear CEO Mike Longo and author Mike Lerario provide world class information for anyone entering the civilian workplace with military experience. 

Apr 29, 2022
Ranger Roach | No $hit There I Was

Bobby and Chuck take a special trip back to listen to their very first recorded podcast together with special guest COL (R) Jim Roach. Hold on to your seats for this one. The Legend Ranger Roach takes us on an adventure through Vietnam and special life events. You don’t want to miss this one!

Apr 15, 2022
Brackforce #1 | I Thought I killed Bin Laden and the dangers of misusing myself

On today’s episode we are joined with MSG Chad Brack from the Non Commissioned Officers Academy. We take a personal look into the story of one Special Forces soldier’s accounts on the importance of education, teamwork, deployments to Afghanistan, and the time he thought that his team killed Bin Laden.

Apr 01, 2022
Robin Sage and Unconventional Warfare | The real story of the Special Forces culmination exercise

On today’s episode we are joined with the SWCS Chief of Staff COL Stu Farris, and MSG (Ret) Chris Rogers. We discuss unconventional warfare and how it applies to the Special Forces culminating exercise known as Robin Sage. We address some common misconceptions that typically are associated with military exercises that occur within the local  population to help inform and educate the public.

Mar 18, 2022
Applied Design for Innovation | Graduate Program for Warfighters and Innovation Brokers

On today's episode we are at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, CA and are joined by Dr. Leo Blanken, MAJ Shawn Redding, MAJ Scott Rowan, and CDR Justin Davis. We discuss applied design for innovation, defense analysis, and the importance of technology to our SOF and partner forces.

Mar 03, 2022
Back to the Future | LTG(R) Tovo Reflects on the Cold War and the Future of Army SOF
We had the honor of having LTG(R) Ken Tovo back at the Falcon Snail Pub to record a new episode of Pineland Underground. We discussed the modern geopolitical battlefield, the daily, and weekly life of a general, life lessons and his thoughts of the fundamentals of leaderships that transcend the tactical to strategic levels. His precision in speech never ceases to impress.
Feb 25, 2022
Forged In Fire | SGM Chuck Ritter. Mindset, Recovery and Perseverance

On today's episode, we are joined by SGM Chuck Ritter, SGM Jimmy Dauteuil, and MAJ James Blackburn. In this episode, we hear the story of SGM Ritter's actions in combat, his road to recovery following his injuries, and his drive to get back into the fight. We discuss 'shifting mindset' - from failing Bowling Class at community college to leading Green Berets in battle. Stories to Robin Sage, it's never cool to be ignorant and knowing the difference between Army Special Forces and other Special Operation Units.

SGM Chuck Ritter currently serves as the Deputy Commandant of the Army Special Operations NCO Academy. SGM Jimmy Dauteuil serves as the Command Sergeant Major of 1st Battalion, 3rd Special Forces Group and MAJ James Blackburn serves as the Language, Regional Education, and Culture Director at the Special Warfare Center and School. 

Chuck Ritter contact and social media:

Chuck Ritter (@charles.p.ritter) • Instagram photos and videos

Chuck Ritter (@ChuckRitter7) / Twitter

Feb 04, 2022
Silicon Valley and SOF | Driving Innovation

On today’s episode of Pineland Underground we sit down with Mr. Bill Warner, member of the renowned Naval Postgraduate School Foundation Advisory Council. We discuss the drive for innovation through collaboration across Silicon Valley and Special Operations. We dive into Applied Design for Innovation at the Naval Postgraduate School, thoughts on Cyber and China, and the “innovation engine” as it applies to startups, Stanford, and SOF.

Jan 21, 2022
Creating the next generation of SOF leaders

The MSG David K. Thuma Noncommissioned Officers Academy - NCOA is tasked with training disciplined NCO’s capable of executing full spectrum Special Operations in complex and ambiguous environments. In this episode we are joined by three NCOA instructors from each of the Special Forces, Civil Affairs, and Psychological Operations regiments.  They discuss what it’s like to work at the SWCS NCOA and teach soldiers in order to develop competent and adaptive ARSOF leaders through progressive professional military education. 

Jan 07, 2022
Digital Dunkirk | Exclusive insight into the Afghan Evacuation

In this episode, we are joined by COL(R) Fred Dummar, a retired Special Forces officer who commanded at every level in Special Forces from Captain to Colonel, with multiple combat deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan. Having spent a significant amount of time in Afghanistan himself on active duty and as a defense contractor, COL(R) Dummar discusses the evacuation from Afghanistan and how he aided in the efforts to help get Afghan SOF members out of the country amidst all the chaos.  

Dec 17, 2021
Talking Trash & Special Operations | A Look Inside this Human Phenomenon

In this episode we are joined by Rafi Kohan, the author of “The Arena” which is a deep dive into wide ranging and interdisciplinary examination of the modern American sports stadium. Rafi is currently researching for his upcoming book on competitive banter a.k.a. talking trash, a human behavioral phenomenon that has existed throughout time, across cultures, and across the world.

Dec 15, 2021
A Warrior’s Journey | From Surviving Oppression to Freeing the Oppressed

Today we are joined Green Beret Master Sergeant (Retired) Tu Lam, the inspiration behind Call of Duty: Modern Warfare’s Operator Rōnin (浪人) and founder of Ronin Tactics. Tu shares his story of escaping oppression in communist Vietnam and his road to earning the coveted Green Beret, his time serving as a Special Forces soldier, his post-military career and his return to the JFK Special Warfare Center and School, and sharpening the Warrior way of life.

Nov 24, 2021
Countering Misinformation and Disinformation

Today we are joined by Colonel Bobby Sidell, the Command Psychologist for the John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School to discuss finding clarity and critical thinking through malign Misinformation-Disinformation (MISDIS). Colonel Sidell discusses SWCS’ new curriculum focused on developing sharper awareness and recognition of MISDIS platforms and the environments which nurture it, means to inoculate ourselves against the rising threat, and the execution of proven countermeasures to mitigate its influence.

Oct 22, 2021
Information Management in the Production of Special Operations

Today we are joined by Major Stu Gallagher, Special Operations Forces Management Information System or SOFMIS. The mission of the John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School (SWCS) is to produce our world-class Army Special Operations Force Soldiers. The discussion centers around how SOFMIS improving how the organization it collects, manages and analyzes information to allow the organization to see itself and the Soldiers that it trains. Major Gallagher explores how SOFMIS is illuminating efficiencies in the organization, and driving decisions focused on cost, quality and output in the production of Special Operations Soldiers.

Oct 08, 2021
(Knowledge Wins) The Kill Chain | Defending America

Today we are joined by Christian Brose, author of “The Kill Chain - Defending America in the Future of High-Tech Warfare.” We open with Mr. Brose explaining how his time on the Senate Armed Services Committee led him to author this book. He discusses with our host how the changing nature of conflict has eroded traditional U.S. military supremacy. The twin problems are the slowness of the US military to modernize and incorporate new technology and the growing military threat posed by rivals, such as China.  The conversation is rounded out by discussing the steps the US government can take to redress this problem.

Jun 18, 2021
(Knowledge Wins) Defeating ISIS in Syria | Lessons Learned from the SOJTF Commander

Today we are joined by the commander of the United States Army John F. Kennedy Special Warfare and School, Maj. General Patrick Roberson to discusses the lessons learned in Syria. A key theme is the complex nature of fighting in Syria, both to win the war on the ground, and to win the narrative battle. Also covered is the increasing Great Power Competition between the US, Russian and Iranian governments, each attempting to expand their influence in the region. The conversation is rounded out with MG Roberson contrasting Iraq, where SOF CA teams were not allowed by the local government, to Syria where SOF CA teams were welcomed by the Free Syrian Army.

May 28, 2021
(Knowledge Wins) SOF Resources for a Healthy Family

Today we are joined again by Colonel Robert Sidell, the Command Psychologist for the U.S. Army John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School to discuss the SOF family programs seminar, and the importance of family wellness. COL Sidell opens by explaining the necessity of a good work-life balance and allowing service members to bring their best performance to work. The conversation is then expanded by discussing support resources for family members or Soldiers who have lost a team member. The conversation is rounded out by COL Sidell weighing in on the second and third order effects of these programs, not only healthier families for the service member, but higher retention rates for the military.

Apr 30, 2021
(Knowledge Wins) SOF Resources for Mental Wellness

Today we are joined by Colonel Robert Sidell, the Command Psychologist for the U.S. Army John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School to discuss executive coaching, professional wellness and development. We open with COL Sidell on why he established the Soldier Wellness and Family Wellness series. We follow this by discussing the traditional stigma attached to seeking mental help and how the new initiatives have built momentum. The conversation is rounded out by giving out information for listeners to enroll in these seminars. If you can’t find a pamphlet, slide or business card, simply find COL Sidell on outlook email, his door is always open for anyone seeking to improve themselves.

Apr 16, 2021
(Knowledge Wins) Clear Skies | An Exclusive Look inside the Special Forces Military Free Fall School

Today we are joined by Major Derrick Taylor, commander of B Company, 2nd Battalion, 2nd Special Warfare Training Group (Airborne), Yuma Proving Grounds, AZ. MAJ Taylor discusses Military Free Fall (MFF) school and what it does for SOF. We first begin with the history of MFF in the US and the tactical benefits it brings. We then discuss the components of MFF Operations at the school house, beginning with students jumping in tandem with a trainer and progressing to jumping solo with equipment. We close out with the MAJ offering tips and guidance to future MFF applicants, “the #1 thing you can do at the free fall school, is relax”. MFF is a mental challenge requiring all jumpers to be calm and collected.

Apr 02, 2021
(Knowledge Wins) SOF Civil Affairs in Modern Conflict

Today we conclude our podcast with Major Travis Clemens, a Civil Affairs Company Commander, discussing his article about Special Operations Forces and Civil Affairs in Great Power Competition. MAJ Clemens opens with discussing the modern forms of Armed Conflict, such as foreign sponsored insurgencies or the construction of military infrastructure in politically disputed locations. A key theme is how 21st century conflict is often, but not always, defined by asymmetrical clashes between the Great Powers in lieu of conventional conflict. Civil Affairs teams must compete with hostile foreign powers by combating their social, economic and political pressures against the populace in a third country.

Mar 19, 2021
(Knowledge Wins) SOF Civil Affairs in Great Power Competition

Today we are joined by Major Travis Clemens, a Civil Affairs Company Commander, to discuss his published article about Special Operations Forces and Civil Affairs in Great Power Competition. MAJ Clemens opens by describing what motivated him to write this article and explains how the joint concepts (integrated campaigning, operations in the information environment and human aspects of military operation) provided the foundation for his research. In discussing how the U.S. should counter China and Russia, he emphasizes how the histories of those respective countries plays an enormous role in the decisions of their governments and the actions they take. The conversation is then rounded out by MAJ Clemens mentioning some of the tactics used by Russia and China to expand their influence abroad, such as controlling restricting resources and economic manipulation.

Mar 05, 2021
(Knowledge Wins) Transitioning from Military Service

Today we are joined by SFC Andrew Stamp, the program director for Project JANUS, an initiative designed to help Soldiers transition from military service. In SFC Stamp’s experience he has seen Soldiers have 2 years to transition, and others with only 4 months. In SFC Stamp’s experience, the more time the better, because it allows the Soldier to receive more help from JANUS; resume assistance, survivor benefit plans, life insurance options etc. SFC Stamp and his team are committed to helping the Service Member find their footing by connecting them with any of the 40,000+ Veterans Service Organizations (VSOs). The VSOs cover a wide range of occupations and help ensure the Service Member can start a new career they are passionate about. This podcast is not just for service members but is also a great resource for family members supporting a retiring or transitioning Soldier.

Feb 19, 2021
(Knowledge Wins) Dominating Selection | How to Prepare & Perform at ARSOF Assessment and Selection

Today we are joined by the Commander of the 1st Special Warfare Training Group, COL Stuart Farris. The COL discusses selection for anyone considering joining Special Operations, both the content purpose of ARSOF Selection are covered. Key points include that ARSOF doesn’t look for the “best” people, ARSOF looks for the “right” people. To be selected a candidate must have a healthy combination of physical and mental attributes. The COL also urges that Soldiers who are not selected don’t think of themselves as failures, rather they are in the “top percentile” of the Army and he commends them for applying themselves.

Feb 05, 2021
(Knowledge Wins) From Merchant Marine to PSYOP

Today we are joined by the commander of the 8th Psychological Operations Group COL Mushtare to discuss the path that led him to becoming an officer in PSYOP. We open with the COL’s transition from the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy to becoming an Army Engineer Officer. After meeting a PSYOP MAJ at a FT Bragg ARSOF Fair, he became interested in PSYOP and decided to pursue it as his career. PYSOP was initially not on his mind, but after doing deeper research into their tasks and functions, the COL decided it his branch of choice. His main recommendation for aspiring leaders is to check up with HRC and see all the opportunities out there.

Jan 22, 2021
(Knowledge Wins) From Engineers to PSYOP

Today we are joined by the commander of 7th Battalion, 4th Psychological Operations Group LTC Engelmeier to discuss the path that led her to becoming an officer in PSYOP. We open with the LTC’s early career as an engineer in Korea and then FT Belvoir, VA. She then shares her experiences on how key-leader engagements in Afghanistan got her interested in the power of information and using discussions to set the stage for success. What ultimately influenced her to join the PSYOP Regiment was her experience working with HRC and seeing how a small branch is better at managing talent.

Jan 08, 2021
(Knowledge Wins) Cross-Function Teams

Today we are joined by the new Commander of the 2nd Special Warfare Training Group, COL Josh Raetz. The COL opens the discussion listing his command initiatives and how 2 SWTG is preparing Soldiers for future conflicts. The discussion then develops to how cross-functional teams are better able to provide innovative solutions to complex problems than core teams without the organic expertise. Rounding out the discussion, COL Raetz offers his thoughts on the perception that a SWCS Cadre position is considered a punishment and not a sought-after job, and offers his insight on continuing to bring in high-speed talent to train Soldiers in the ARSOF Qualification course.

Dec 08, 2020
(Knowledge Wins) The Growth Mindset

Today we are joined by Dr. Rick Dietrich and Mr. Bob Jones of the U.S. Army John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School's Human Development Directorate (HDD). We open the discussion by talking about the Growth Mindset, challenges to performance and how SMs can work to self-improve. The Doctors mention how there will always be stress, but that the way forward for students is to seize what they can control (nutrition, PT, sleep etc) to help lay the mental groundwork for success. We also discuss how the SOCEP and HEAT programs assist our students in reaching their best performance throughout each of the Regimental Qualification Courses.

Oct 02, 2020
(Knowledge Wins) ARSOF and Dynamic Teams

Today we are joined by Dr. Preston Cline (Mission Critical Team Institute) and Ms. Cecilia Craft (Special Operations Cognitive Enhancement for Performance  - SOCEP) to discuss team dynamics, the “growth mindset,” and cognitive capacity to think differently about problem solving. An ARSOF Assessment and Selection team is often used as an example. We explore how a newly-made team of individuals can pull together to achieve group goals. Key to success are group trust and group cohesion. MAJ Aguilar rounds out the discussion by expanding on the importance of ARSOF personnel having a mature-mindset and being able to methodically plan their career both for betterment of themselves and ARSOF as a whole.

Sep 11, 2020
(Knowledge Wins) Winning the Great Power Competition

Concluding our special on Great Power Competition we discuss the importance of consolidating battlefield gains to support long-term U.S. interests. COL Bryan Groves discuss how the Army develops “measures of effectiveness” to provide a long-term plan of winning on the ground. These measurable set of metrics allow Commanders to see where resources need to be deployed. MAJ Steve Ferenzi follows by explaining how ARSOF leaders can support the U.S. in the Great Power Competition, not only by maintaining unit readiness, but by fostering discussion within your circles. Such discussions would not only bring familiarity about the U.S. Defense Strategy, but also encourage new ideas and innovative solutions.

Sep 04, 2020
(Knowledge Wins) Great Power Competition Strategy

In this podcast continuing our “Great Power Competition” discussion MAJ Steve Ferenzi from USASOC G5 Strategic Planning Division offers examples of the expanding competition between the U.S. and near peer competitors such as Russia and China. He extolls the importance of building strategic alliances with partner nations to face down threats together, but cautions that the “U.S. Model” for defense may not be ideal for the region. COL Bryan Groves expands on this theme by stressing the necessity of interagency cooperation to overcome obstacles and bring strategic gains.

May 19, 2020
(Knowledge Wins) ARSOF and Great Power Competition

Today we are joined by COL Bryan Groves and MAJ Steve Ferenzi from the U.S. Army Special Operations Command G5 Strategic Planning Division to discuss "Great Power Competition" and ARSOF's role in support of the National Defense Strategy. MAJ Ferenzi leads by defining “Great Power Competition” and explaining the different components thereof. He follows by explaining how the U.S. can expand their influence within the Competition and set the stage to achieve strategic aims. MAJ Aguilar closes out the conversation by noting the increased importance of the information sphere of modern conflicts and ARSOF’s role within. Parts 2 and 3 of this podcast will be uploaded soon!

May 11, 2020
(Knowledge Wins) Walking Through Fire | Conquering Adversity & Getting Back in the Fight

In 2006, Ken Dwyer was a young Captain leading a Special Forces Operational Detachment - Alpha in Afghanistan. During his tour of duty he was struck by a rocket propelled grenade and nearly killed.  In this episode, now LTC Dwyer gives an inspiring lesson on conquering adversity and the great personal cost of returning to active duty to continue his service as a member of the U. S. Army Special Forces. LTC Dwyer cites the unwavering support of his family and peers as key to his recovery. He also emphasizes the need to keep moving forward when faced with adversity.

Apr 28, 2020
(Knowledge Wins) Leading Through COVID | Wellbeing & Resiliency

Today we sit down with several members of the SWCS staff to discuss various ways for Soldiers and Families to stay resilient during the ongoing health crisis of COVID-19. The podcast opens with command Psychologist, COL Bobby Sidell offering technical definitions for the audience, allowing them to better understand the nomenclature. The COL is followed by Ms. Ceci Craft, a SWCS Cognitive Performance Coach who talks about the importance of maintaining a positive attitude and maintaining healthy daily routines. Rounding out the podcast is Command Chaplain, LTC Brad Lee speaking about the need to have faith during times of adversity and the necessity of maintaining strong bonds with your spouse, family and friends.

Apr 21, 2020
(Knowledge Wins) The Value of Mentorship

MG Patrick Roberson, Commanding General of SWCS, joins us to offer his take on one of his biggest initiatives; mentorship. General Roberson establishes the importance of trust, respect and interest when attempting to successfully develop subordinates. Also discussed is the General’s philosophy of keeping an open mind and an “I have a lot to learn from everybody” mentality. He extolls the virtues of the ability to learn not only from your mentor (superior) but also your mentoree (subordinate).

Apr 08, 2020