Show cover of Combat Story

Combat Story

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.

Tracks

Unmasking China Intelligence Threats, Capabilities, and Structure w/ China Expert Nicholas Eftimiades, 34 Year Intelligence Professional
Today we have a fascinating deep dive on Chinese intelligence structure, tactics, capabilities, and threats with long-time China expert Nicholas Eftimiades. Nick spent 34 years in the US government with DIA, CIA, State, DHS and more with an intense focus on China and high tech space programs. 👀 Don't miss out! Check out our Combat Check-In for exclusive updates, fascinating historical snippets, and much more! Visit combatstory.com/newsletter. In the 90’s, Nick wrote the book Chinese Intelligence Operations, which is an examination of the structure, operations, and methodology of the Chinese intelligence services and widely regarded as the seminal work in the field. To give you an idea of how impactful this work was, Nick was immediately labeled by the Chinese government as an ‘enemy of the state,’ 100+ Chinese intel assets were recalled to China, and he was asked to appear before Congress and personally brief political leaders on both sides of the aisle.   Nick served overseas in Vienna, Frankfurt, Moscow, London, and Tokyo after studying in China and Taiwan in college where he picked up the language. His long career in DIA includes senior assignments as the Chief of Counterterrorism Operations, Transnational Issues Division, Futures Division, and Space Division. He has been awarded the National Intelligence Council Achievement Award and DIA Director's Intelligence Award - that agency's highest recognition of achievement. He is also a nonresident Senior Fellow at the Forward Defense practice of the Atlantic Council's Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security.   He is a professor at Penn State and a frequent lecturer and public speaker on future technology, space, and national security issues. His company Shinobi Enterprises offers confidential consulting and training with specific and in-depth expertise on China's domestic environment, national security, and commercial espionage operations and tactics.  With that, please enjoy this deep dive on all things Chinese intelligence and threat-related from an expert in the field. 🎙️ Find Nick Online: Professor Site: Visit Nick's faculty page at Penn State for more information about his academic work. Penn State Faculty Page Shinobi Enterprises: Explore Nick's consulting company for confidential consulting and training on China's national security and espionage operations. Shinobi Enterprises Books by Nicholas Eftimiades: Chinese Espionage Operations and Tactics: Dive into Nick's detailed analysis of Chinese espionage. Chinese Espionage Operations and Tactics on Amazon Chinese Intelligence Operations: Discover the seminal work that examines the structure, operations, and methodology of Chinese intelligence services. Chinese Intelligence Operations on Amazon 🌟 Stay informed and connected with Nick's expertise on Chinese intelligence and global security! 🎙️ Connect with Ryan & Combat Story:  🔗 Ryan’s Linktree: https://linktr.ee/combatstory 🛒 Merch Store: https://www.bonfire.com/store/combatstory/ 📸 Instagram: @combatstory https://www.instagram.com/combatstory 📘 Facebook: @combatstoryofficial https://fb.me/combatstoryofficial 📖 Learn more about Ryan: https://www.combatstory.com/aboutus 🎵 Intro Song: Sport Rock from Audio Jungle   ⏰ Show Notes: 00:00 Intro 01:04 Guest Introduction: Nicholas Eftimiades 03:05 Nick's Career Journey 05:14 Language Skills and Early Career 14:13 Writing the Seminal Book on Chinese Intelligence 20:04 Challenges and Investigations 25:39 Understanding Chinese Espionage Motivations 42:40 Google Engineer's Espionage Case 44:22 Nick's Childhood and Early Influences 45:42 Overview of Chinese Intelligence Organizations 47:59 Internal Politics and Purges in China 49:28 China's Global Influence and Espionage Tactics 01:04:19 The Threat of TikTok and AI 01:13:43 Nick's Career Reflections and Advice 01:24:38 Conclusion and Listener Comments  
88:17 6/8/24
How to Live a No Shortcuts Mentality w/ former Marine and Navy SEAL Kevin Seiff | Vet Collective | Helping 100K Vets
In today's Combat Story, we sit down with Kevin Seiff, a former Marine officer turned Navy SEAL who now leads the Vet Collective and co-hosts the Harder Not Smarter Podcast with Green Beret Greg VanDyne. 🦅🎙️ 👀 Don't miss out! Check out our Combat Check-In for exclusive updates, fascinating historical snippets, and much more! Visit www.combatstory.com/newsletter. In this episode: Kevin's relentless journey to become a Marine and Navy SEAL 🪖⚓ Two attempts to get into the Naval Academy and BUD/S Hell Week 😲🏊‍♂️ Must-read books and the no-shortcuts mantra 📚🛡️ Overcoming swimmer-induced pulmonary edema 🏊‍♂️🤒 The bizarre ritual of Climbing Herndon Monument 🗿🤸‍♂️ Tips on avoiding chafing in sensitive areas 🩳💡 Navigating tough transitions from military to civilian life 🎖️➡️👔 We dove into several challenges in Kevin’s route to become a Marine and SEAL, including two attempts to get into the Naval Academy and two attempts at Hell Weak in BUD/S. We also dive into great reads, why there’s no such thing as shortcuts when it comes to BUDS or Selection, overcoming swimmer induced pulmonary edema, the strange and slippery ritual that is Climbing Herndon Monument at the academy, stronger mindset, how some SEALs to stop chaffing in the more sensitive regions, and tough transitions out of the military into civilian life.  Kevin’s Vet Collective is making waves with 80 members and a newsletter boasting over 6K subscribers! 🌊📬 He's on a mission to help fellow vets find purpose after service. Kevin spent 12 years in service ‘chasing the dragon’ as he calls it trying to find his way into combat which can even be a challenge within the Marines and SEALs. That said, he’s been undeterred in trying to help other vets navigate the transition out of uniform and find renewed purpose. With that, please enjoy this episode with Kevin Seiff. Join us as we dive deep into Kevin's story of determination, resilience, and dedication to helping others. 💪 🔗 Links: Connect with Kevin on LinkedIn: Kevin Seiff LinkedIn https://www.linkedin.com/in/kevin-seiff/ Listen to Harder Not Smarter Podcast: Harder Not Smarter https://www.collective.vet/podcast Learn about Vet Collective: Vet Collective  https://www.collective.vet 🎙️ Connect with Ryan & Combat Story:    🔗 Ryan’s Linktree:  https://linktr.ee/combatstory    🛒 Merch Store: https://www.bonfire.com/store/combatstory/    📸 Instagram: @combatstory https://www.instagram.com/combatstory    📘 Facebook: @combatstoryofficial https://fb.me/combatstoryofficial    📖 Learn more about Ryan: https://www.combatstory.com/aboutus    🎵 Intro Song: Sport Rock from Audio Jungle 📢 Don't forget to like, comment, and subscribe for more incredible Combat Stories! 👍🗨️🔔 #CombatStory #KevinSeiff #VetCollective #HarderNotSmarter #NavySEAL #MarineCorps #MilitaryTransition #Veterans #Podcast Show Notes 00:00 - Intro 00:52 Guest Introduction - Kevin Seiff 02:08 Kevin's Mission to Help Veterans 02:35 Challenges of Military Transition 05:17 Kevin's Post-Military Career 06:44 Starting a Business 08:55 Building the Vet Collective 11:02 Kevin's Military Background 13:08 Journey to Becoming a SEAL 22:48 Life in the Marine Corps 31:10 Leadership and Training in the Military 39:21 Transitioning from Marine Corps to Navy SEALs 40:10 Pivotal Lessons from the Marine Corps 43:46 Surviving BUDS and Hell Week 46:58 The Mental and Physical Toll of SEAL Training 55:49 Leadership and Command in SEAL Teams 01:03:27 Transitioning to Civilian Life and Entrepreneurship 01:11:28 The Importance of Mental Health in Veteran Communities 01:16:22 Final Thoughts and Reflections  
81:25 6/1/24
Inside the Iron Triangle | Vietnam Combat in Pictures (from the time) | Kent Hillhouse Rd 2
Today we have a round two Combat Story with Kent Hillhouse where we recorded the episode with a screen available to look and talk through some more of his combat experiences with maps and photos from his time in service. Kent is a retired Major General who spent a year as a Platoon Leader and Tank Commander in Vietnam from August of 1967 to August of 1968.  👀 Don't miss out! Check out our Combat Check-In for exclusive updates, fascinating historical snippets, and much more! Visit www.combatstory.com/newsletter. We wanted to do a Round 2 with Kent after I spent some time with him following our first interview looking over some of his photos from his year in ‘Nam and bringing some of the stories to life. In this episode, we dive into the Tet Offensive, which Kent was a part of as his platoon was sitting close to the Cambodian border when it kicked off in late January 1968. We cover Kent’s months fighting in the Iron Triangle - an area notorious for being controlled by the enemy in dense vegetation and triple canopy jungles. We also hear a story of a fellow platoon leader who would go on to become a member of the storied SOG outfit following their initial rotation. If you didn’t catch Round 1 with Kent, he grew up in California and Georgia and attended San Jose State while part of ROTC. He ended up in tanks (Armor) thinking he’d see little combat given how challenging the terrain in Vietnam was for tanks. Little did he know he’d be in a fight for his life, emerging on the other side with a purple heart and two Silver Stars. He would go on to become a two star general and continues to support the veteran community leading our local Veterans Memorial and Support Foundation of Los Gatos. If you’re just listening to this episode and not watching on YouTube, you may want to take a peak at the video version on YouTube to see some of the images we talk through to get a better feel for what it was really like. With that, please enjoy this second round discussion with Kent Hillhouse. You can support the Los Gatos Veterans Memorial & Support Foundation at https://honoravet.org/ Thanks to our sponsor - Mad Rabbit for taking care of your tattoos : For 25% off your order, head to MadRabbit.com/COMBATSTORY25 and use code COMBATSTORY25.   #vietnamwar #veterans #army #combat  🎙️ Connect with Ryan & Combat Story:    🔗 Ryan’s Linktree:  https://linktr.ee/combatstory    🛒 Merch Store: https://www.bonfire.com/store/combatstory/    📸 Instagram: @combatstory https://www.instagram.com/combatstory    📘 Facebook: @combatstoryofficial https://fb.me/combatstoryofficial    📖 Learn more about Ryan: https://www.combatstory.com/aboutus    🎵 Intro Song: Sport Rock from Audio Jungle ⏰ Show Notes: 00:00 Intro 00:58 Guest Intro Round 2 w/ Kent Hillhouse: A Combat Story of Valor 03:13 The Tet Offensive: A Firsthand Account 05:29 The Journey to Saigon: Combat and Camaraderie 16:04 Inside the M48 Tank: A Detailed Look 21:50 Inside The Iron Triangle Encounter 26:35 Navigating the Dense Terrain: A Combat Story 27:29 Radio Station Assault: Strategy and Challenges 28:13 The Heat of Battle: Survival and Tactics 35:47 Aftermath and Reflections: Leadership in Combat 37:56 Reconnecting and Remembering: The Story of Lou 44:04 Closing Thoughts and Viewer Engagement   Vietnam,Vietnam War,SOG,Special Operations,Tanks,Silver Star,Purple Heart,Cavalry,M48,M109,Veteran,Stories,Action,Adventure,Images,combat story,Tet Offensive,Cambodian border,Iron Triangle,platoon leader,tank commander,Major General,veteran community,combat experiences,RPG,AK-47,screen available,maps and photos,Nam  
46:46 5/25/24
FBI Hostage Rescue Team (HRT) Operator | SWAT & FBI Agent | Drug Squad | Bicycle Bandit | Operation Black Widow | Shaffer Security | Greg Shaffer
Today we have a Combat Story first with Greg Shaffer, who spent a career in the FBI as an Agent, SWAT member, and Hostage Rescue Team (HRT) operator. He also started his career leading a patrol boat team in the Coast Guard before moving over to the Bureau. 👀 Don't miss out! Check out our Combat Check-In for exclusive updates, fascinating historical snippets, and much more! Visit combatstory.com/newsletter. In this episode, we talk about the selection and entry process to both the FBI and HRT, the origins and mission of the HRT - which numbers fewer than 500 members since its inception in the early 1980s, one of the most successful surveillance and bust operations you’ll ever hear against the Bicycle Bandit, Operation Black Widow, border security, taking down targets and the hunting the deck of cards in Iraq with Delta Force and more.  Greg now runs Shaffer Security Group that provides executive protection, active shooter response, investigations, firearms training and more. He also wrote Stay Safe: Security Secrets for Today’s Dangerous World, which provides practical lessons on mindset, situational awareness, and self-defense. It took us too long to have our first Bureau agent and HRT operator on the show and we’ll absolutely be looking to have more. With that, please enjoy this hilarious but inspiring discussion with former FBI Agent and HRT operator Greg Shaffer. 🎙️ Find Greg online: Shaffer Security Group - https://shaffersecuritygroup.com/our-founder/ Stay Safe: Security Secrets for Today’s Dangerous World https://www.amazon.com/Stay-Safe-Security-Secrets-Dangerous/dp/1948484579  🎙️ Connect with Ryan & Combat Story:  🔗 Ryan’s Linktree: https://linktr.ee/combatstory 🛒 Merch Store: https://www.bonfire.com/store/combatstory/ 📸 Instagram: @combatstory https://www.instagram.com/combatstory 📘 Facebook: @combatstoryofficial https://fb.me/combatstoryofficial 📖 Learn more about Ryan: https://www.combatstory.com/aboutus 🎵 Intro Song: Sport Rock from Audio Jungle ⏰ Show Notes: 00:00 - Intro 00:46 Guest Intro: Greg Schaefer's Journey from Coast Guard to FBI 02:27 The Threat Landscape: Border Security and National Safety 05:14 The Significance of a Special Painting: HRT Brotherhood 08:10 Choosing a Career in Law Enforcement: It's in the Blood 08:57 From the Coast Guard to FBI: A Path of Service 16:00 The Rigorous FBI Selection Process 28:34 First Steps and Early Successes in the FBI 40:10 The Dynamics of SWAT Operations 45:10 The Mental Toll of Law Enforcement Work 45:49 Undercover Challenges and Mental Separation 46:35 Comparing Military and Law Enforcement Stress 47:17 The Importance of Mental Resilience 48:19 Transitioning to HRT and Selection Process Insights 48:44 Sponsor Break: Mint Mobile's Offer 49:58 HRT Selection: A Grueling Process 54:26 Tactical Training and Surveillance in HRT 55:36 The Origins and Mission of HRT 01:01:14 Challenges and Operations with HRT 01:13:12 Public Perception of Law Enforcement 01:16:36 Writing a Book on Active Shooter Survival 01:26:37 Reflections and Advice for Future Generations Greg is a former FBI agent, SWAT team member, and HRT operator. Discover the intensity of his career, including in-depth insights into high-stakes operations such as the Bicycle Bandit and DC Sniper cases. Greg discusses the complexities of HRT selection, major national security concerns, especially regarding border security, and the adrenaline-fueled world of elite FBI missions. Learn about his background, transition from the Coast Guard to the FBI, and the indispensable qualities required in law enforcement. This narrative provides a compelling look at true crime, FBI operations, and military strategies.
90:31 5/18/24
Commanding Tanks in Vietnam | Silver Star Mission | Armored Cavalry M48 Tanks in 'Nam | Kent Hillhouse (MG, Ret)
Today we have a unique Combat Story where we hear about the armored cavalry in Vietnam from then Platoon Leader with the 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment Kent Hillhouse. Kent would go on to retire as a Major General in the Army Reserve and has continued to support veterans leading his community’s Veterans Memorial and Support Foundation of Los Gatos. 👀 Don't miss out! Check out our Combat Check-In for exclusive updates, fascinating historical snippets, and much more! Visit combatstory.com/newsletter. Many will likely be surprised to learn we had tanks in Vietnam given how the war has so frequently been depicted as a fight by infantrymen in the jungles. Kent’s firsthand accounts of commanding an M48 platoon from 1967 to 1968 provide an inside look at the way these tanks were employed, leveraged, and targeted.  In this episode, we get into battling for your reputation, pushing through complex ambushes, near death experiences, trusting and leaning on your NCOs, taking the initiative, the responsibility of command, and never giving up.  With that, please enjoy this amazing piece of history as we look at the age and employment of tanks in Vietnam with retired Major General Kent Hillhouse. #vietnamwar #warzone #combat #army  Check out the Veterans Memorial & Support Foundation of Los Gatos at https://honoravet.org/ 🎙️ Connect with Ryan & Combat Story:    🔗 Ryan’s Linktree:  https://linktr.ee/combatstory    🛒 Merch Store: https://www.bonfire.com/store/combatstory/    📸 Instagram: @combatstory https://www.instagram.com/combatstory    📘 Facebook: @combatstoryofficial https://fb.me/combatstoryofficial    📖 Learn more about Ryan: https://www.combatstory.com/aboutus    🎵 Intro Song: Sport Rock from Audio Jungle   ⏰ Show Notes: 00:00 - Intro 00:47 Guest Introduction Kent Hillhouse: From Vietnam to Major General 01:09 The Unseen Role of Tanks in Vietnam 01:30 Battling for Reputation and Trust in Leadership 01:59 A Personal Connection with Joe Galloway 05:22 Debunking Hollywood: The Realities of War vs. Movies 17:58 The Legacy of Leadership and the Importance of NCOs 18:20 The Path to Becoming an Armor Officer 22:37 ROTC Challenges and Leadership Lessons 34:43 Journey to Vietnam: Engagements and Expectations 36:55 Arrival and First Impressions in Vietnam 37:29 Adapting to Military Life and Unit Dynamics 40:43 The Technicalities of Armored Warfare 46:12 Experiencing the Heat of Battle 47:40 Learning Through Mistakes and Misfires 50:15 Navigating Leadership and Tactical Challenges 52:12 The Intensity of Night Convoys and Combat 01:07:28 Reflections on First Combat Experience 01:16:43 Recalling Vietnam: Maneuvering and Survival 01:17:11 Life in the Field: Challenges and Adaptations 01:19:25 First Contact and Leadership Under Fire 01:23:39 The May 5th Encounter: A Detailed Recollection 01:30:44 Overcoming Adversity: Tactics and Teamwork 01:41:52 Reflections on Leadership and Disobedience 01:44:32 Personal Mementos and the Value of Letters 01:46:15 Veterans Foundation: Building a Legacy 01:50:18 Listener Engagement and Closing Thoughts   This interview combines the compelling experiences of Vietnam War veterans, including Kent Hillhouse's leadership in armored warfare with the 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment and another veteran's close-quarters combat and survival instincts against the Viet Cong and North Vietnamese Army. It portrays the harrowing and unpredictable nature of the Vietnam War, detailing initial combat encounters, leadership challenges, intense ambushes, and the adaptation required to navigate the difficult terrain and psychological impacts of warfare. It also highlights moments of courage, quick decision-making, and the importance of camaraderie. Additionally, the narrative touches on post-war efforts to honor the sacrifices of veterans, weaving together personal stories of combat, survival, and the enduring bonds formed in the crucible of war.  
112:26 5/11/24
Operator Syndrome Impact on Vets, Active Duty, Law Enforcement and the Special Operations Community | Chris Frueh
This episode dives deep into the challenges and conditions dubbed 'Operator Syndrome' faced by veterans and active-duty members of the military, exploring both psychological and physical facets, including traumatic brain injury, PTSD, hormonal imbalances, low testosterone, existential issues, and more.  👀 Don't miss out! Check out our Combat Check-In for exclusive updates, fascinating historical snippets, and much more! Visit combatstory.com/newsletter. The episode features insights from Dr. Chris Frueh, a clinical psychologist with extensive experience treating thousands of veterans, on the complexity of these issues and the effects on individuals and their families. It also highlights the importance of a holistic approach to treatment, covering proper diet, sleep, medical care, and the support structures provided by organizations like the Warrior Health Foundation.    Additionally, it addresses the unique experiences of female operators and the broader implications of these syndromes across different nations and military roles.   Check out our interview with Derek Nadalini - former Delta Force operator featured in this video - at https://youtu.be/IjaGelOdV6U Special thanks to Mad Rabbit for sponsoring this video: For 25% off your order, head to MadRabbit.com/COMBATSTORY25 and use code COMBATSTORY25.   🎙️Find Chris Online:    🔗 Website https://chrisfrueh.com/    📘 Book Operator Syndrome https://www.amazon.com/Operator-Syndrome-PhD-Chris-Frueh/dp/1962202070    📖 White Paper https://chrisfrueh.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/11/Frueh-et-al-2020-2.pdf    📸 Instagram: drchrisfrueh   🎙️ Connect with Ryan & Combat Story:    🔗 Ryan’s Linktree:  https://linktr.ee/combatstory    🛒 Merch Store: https://www.bonfire.com/store/combatstory/    📸 Instagram: @combatstory https://www.instagram.com/combatstory    📘 Facebook: @combatstoryofficial https://fb.me/combatstoryofficial    📖 Learn more about Ryan: https://www.combatstory.com/aboutus    🎵 Intro Song: Sport Rock from Audio Jungle #veterans #operatorsyndrome #ptsd #specialoperations  ⏰ Show Notes: 00:00 - Intro 01:11 Unveiling Operator Syndrome with Dr. Chris Frueh 01:22 The Science Behind Operator Syndrome 02:01 Chris Frueh: A Life Dedicated to Veterans' Health 04:36 The Power of Music and Connection 06:20 Understanding Operator Syndrome: A Deep Dive 14:58 The Personal Journey of Dr. Chris Frueh 25:43 Insights into History of Suicide in Active Duty Military since the 1800s 36:27 Why do we call Operator Syndrome a Syndrome 42:18 What exactly is TBI (it's not what I expected) 50:36 The Hidden Impact of TBIs Beyond Physical Injuries 53:29 Diagnosing and Recognizing TBIs: Challenges and Approaches 55:04 The Signature Injury of Modern Warfare: Research and Realities 55:41 Innovations and Adjustments in Training to Mitigate TBI Risks 01:05:51 The Psychological and Existential Effects of Operator Syndrome 01:14:31 Addressing TBIs: Medical Insights and Personal Stories 01:15:31 The Global Perspective: Operator Syndrome in International Forces 01:16:42 Women in Combat w/ Operator Syndrome 01:24:56 Three Things to Change if You're Dealing with Operator Syndrome  01:29:56 Closing Thoughts and Listener Comments   What is Operator Syndrome?   From Chris' Research paper: We identified a consistent pattern of health-care difficulties within the special operation forces community that we and other special operation forces health-care providers have termed “Operator Syndrome.” This includes interrelated health and functional impairments including traumatic brain injury effects; endocrine dysfunction; sleep disturbance; obstructive sleep apnea; chronic joint/back pain, orthopedic problems, and headaches; substance abuse; depression and suicide; anger; worry, rumination, and stress reactivity; marital, family, and community dysfunction; problems with sexual health and intimacy; being “on guard” or hypervigilant; memory, concentration, and cognitive impairments; vestibular and vision impairments; challenges of the transition from military to civilian life; and common existential issues.   “Operator Syndrome” may be understood as the natural consequences of an extraordinarily high allostatic load; the accumulation of physiological, neural, and neuroendocrine responses resulting from the prolonged chronic stress; and physical demands of a career with the military special forces. Clinical research and comprehensive, intensive immersion programs are needed to meet the unique needs of this community.  
93:52 5/4/24
Last Great Tank-on-Tank Battle | Battle of 73 Easting | Armored Cavalry | M1A1 Abrams | Tim Gauthier
🔥 Dive deep into the heart of armored combat in this gripping interview with Tim Gauthier, a Platoon Leader during the iconic Battle of 73 Easting in Desert Storm! 🎖️ 🚀 From the tactical viewpoint of both a scout platoon leader and a tank commander, discover the intense preparation, reconnaissance, and combat strategies that shaped this pivotal tank-on-tank clash. 🛡️ 🤝 Experience the high-stakes world of M1A1 Abrams and Bradleys as they faced off against Iraqi T-72s and armored vehicles. Learn about the tactics, challenges, and crew dynamics that define the fierce realm of armored warfare. 🌍 💥 Uncover the critical lessons in leadership, speed, and initiative that emerged from the battlefield. Reflect on the broader impact of this battle on modern combat doctrine and the enduring bonds forged in the fires of conflict. 📚 👥 Join us as we explore the real stories of courage, strategy, and teamwork that secured a decisive victory, and delve into the profound human elements of warfare, from handling POWs to the deep camaraderie among soldiers. 💪 #tankwarfare #combat #military #M1A1 🌟 Don't miss out on this powerful recount of history and heroism! Show Notes: 00:00 - Intro 00:36 Welcome to Combat Story: Insights from a Veteran 00:55 Tim Gauthier's Journey to the Front Lines 03:44 The Making of an Armor Officer: Early Influences and Decisions 11:54 Choosing the Armor Path: A Decision at Advanced Camp 13:53 The Rigorous Training and Preparation for Combat 33:58 Introduction to HR McMaster and Leadership Dynamics 37:04 The Formidable Leader: Setting the Stage 38:30 Preparation and Training: The Road to Combat 40:48 Deployment and Anticipation: The Desert Beckons 43:31 Adapting to the Desert: Training and Tactics 48:04 The Eve of Battle: Tension and Strategy 56:05 Engagement: The Battle Unfolds 01:02:10 A Moment of Triumph: Overcoming the Enemy 01:15:13 The Devastating Power of Depleted Uranium Rounds 01:16:00 Tactical Challenges and Advancements in Tank Warfare 01:16:32 A Detailed Account of a Rapid and Decisive Battle 01:18:22 Reflections on Combat Dynamics and Teamwork 01:25:06 The Importance of Training and Adaptability in Combat 01:29:01 Handling POWs with Humanity 01:31:05 Post-Battle Reflections and the Importance of Leadership 01:36:48 The Emotional Toll of War and the Value of Brotherhood 01:39:24 Insights into Modern Warfare and Leadership Lessons 01:49:57 Personal Reflections and the Significance of Mementos
114:41 4/27/24
Navy SEAL Sniper | UNSEALED | Hardest Experience Losing a Fellow Frogman | Enlisted & Officer | Mark Greene
🎯🔥 Today's Combat Story Features Mark Greene, an Elite Navy SEAL Sniper! 🔥🎯 Join us as we dive deep with Mark Greene, a courageous former Navy SEAL who has experienced the sharp edge of battle as both an officer and enlisted sniper. 🎖️💥 Mark's extensive service spans the pivotal moments of our time, from the intense pre-9/11 missions to the high-stakes post-9/11 operations where his sniper skills were put to the ultimate test. 👀 Don't miss out! Check out our Combat Check-In for exclusive updates, fascinating historical snippets, and much more! Visit combatstory.com/newsletter. In this gripping episode, Mark shares heart-wrenching stories of loss and thrilling near-misses that define the SEAL brotherhood. 🌊🔫 Plus, get a sneak peek into his compelling book, "UNSEALED: A Navy SEAL's Guide to Mastering Life's Transitions", where he offers invaluable advice on navigating life's many challenges, whether in military or civilian life. 📖➡️ Grab your copy here! 🏈🏊‍♂️ From tackling college football to conquering the grueling BUD/S training, and from surviving close calls to engaging enemy targets as a lethal sniper, Mark's journey is nothing short of extraordinary. 📹 Enjoy this expansive discussion and walk a mile in the boots of a true warrior with Mark Greene. 🌟 Find Mark Online: 📸 Instagram: @TheMarkGreene 🌐 Official Website: themarkgreene.com 📘 Check out Mark’s Book: Unsealed: A Navy Seal's Guide to Mastering Life's Transitions 🎙️ Connect with Ryan & Combat Story: 🔗 Ryan’s Linktree: linktr.ee/combatstory 🛒 Merch Store: bonfire.com/store/combatstory 📸 Instagram: @combatstory 📘 Facebook: @combatstoryofficial 📖 Learn more about Ryan: www.combatstory.com/aboutus 🎵 Intro Song: Sport Rock from Audio Jungle ⏰ Show Notes:  00:00 - Intro 00:31 - Welcome to Combat Story 01:41 - Guest Introduction 02:10 A Grandfather's Influence: Baseball and Beyond 12:43 Transitioning to Military Life: The SEAL Path Begins 17:09 The Rigors of SEAL Training: Overcoming Challenges 27:46 Deployment Realities: Facing Combat and Brotherhood 34:36 Surviving the Unthinkable: A Near-Death Experience 46:28 The Loss of a Brother: The Reality of Training Risks 46:44 The Heartbreaking Loss of a Brother-in-Arms 48:05 A Solemn Duty: The Hardest Task of All 51:33 Reflections on Mortality and the Bonds Forged in Battle 54:40 The Sniper's Craft: Precision and Peril 01:09:03 Teaching the Next Generation: Lessons from the Field 01:19:13 Leadership in the Shadows: Commanding SEALs 01:26:25 The Journey to Authorship: Sharing a SEAL's Story 01:35:49 Final Thoughts: The Weight of Service and Sacrifice 💬 We value your thoughts! Drop a comment, like this video, and don't forget to subscribe for more unmissable stories from the front lines! 🌟📽️ #NavySEALs #MilitaryStories #CombatStory #VeteranAdvice
99:03 4/20/24
Epic Medal of Honor Battle Description | Marine Force Recon | Army Special Forces | Earl Plumlee
Today we have a once in a lifetime Combat Story with one of the few living Medal of Honor recipients from the war in Afghanistan: Earl Plumlee. Earl was a Marine infantryman, Force Recon team leader, and Special Forces Weapons Sergeant in the pre- and post-9/11 era. Earl would deploy multiple times with the Marine Corps and the Army, to include combat deployments with Force Recon and a historic deployment in 2013 with the his ODA where he would earn the Medal of Honor.  In this episode, we touch on both of Earl’s Recon deployments but spend a considerable amount of time walking through the battle in which he earned the Medal of Honor and in which his fellow Green Berets earned other medals for valor. It’s an amazing story to hear firsthand that includes a coordinated and lethal attack of a US installation in Ghazni, Afghanistan; suicide bombers; injured Americans; and several Green Berets who had never fought together operating as one element to repel the attack.  Earl’s work during this assault is amazing and almost impossible to imagine he didn’t get more gravely wounded. He had over 300 rounds of enemy fire directed at him from very close range, dozens of grenades lobbed his direction, and suicide vests detonating meters away. He now speaks out about civic duty and service and provides motivational and public speaking for customers around the world. Please enjoy this selfless story of a rare and living Medal of Honor with Earl Plumlee. Join hundreds of others with our weekly Combat Check-In Newsletter (www.combatstory.com/newsletter) to get a short email from Ryan each week about the show, life, and the military. For 25% off your order, head to MadRabbit.com/COMBATSTORY25 and use code COMBATSTORY25. 🔗 Find Earl Online: - Guest Speaker Website www.earlplumlee.com - Instagram earl_plumlee_official https://www.instagram.com/earl_plumlee_official/ 🔗 Find Ryan Online: - Ryan’s Linktree https://linktr.ee/combatstory - Merch https://www.bonfire.com/store/combats... - Instagram @combatstory https://www.instagram.com/combatstory - Facebook @combatstoryofficial https://fb.me/combatstoryofficial - Send us messages at https://m.me/combatstoryofficial - Learn more about Ryan www.combatstory.com/aboutus - Intro Song: Sport Rock from Audio Jungle Join hundreds of others with our weekly Combat Check-In Newsletter (www.combatstory.com/newsletter) to get a short email from Ryan each week about the show, life, and the military. 👇 Show Notes: 00:00 - Introduction 01:02 - Guest Profile: Earl Plumlee 02:25 - Start of Interview 02:33 - Life As Medal of Honor Recipient 07:02 - Childhood 12:38 - Military Family History 14:07 - Deciding to Serve 16:33 - Recruitment Story 22:26 - Basic 24:58 - Mad Rabbit Tattoo Ad 26:22 - Graduation from Marine Corps. 31:14 - First Time Down Range 39:14 - S.E.A.R. School 39:42 - New Guy In Recon Unit 43:04 - First Time Outside The Wire 45:08 - Give Legacy Ad 46:30 - Formative Moments 53:38 - Losing Teammates 55:35 - Hindsight Advice 59:49 - Second Deployment 01:0:52 - Second Deplyoment Difficult Moments 01:01:52 - Special Forces 01:07:21 - First Special Forces Deployment 01:12:36 - Having Kids At Home While Deployed 01:14:25 - Medal OF Honor Story 02:06:58 - Battle Afterthoughts 02:16:49 - Sentimental Items 02:17:35 - Would You Do It All Again 02:19:33  - Listener Feedback
142:03 4/13/24
F-15E Pilot and Weapons Officer | Teaching Fighter Weapons School - Tom Moser and Mike Benitez
Today we have a Combat Story where we bring two F-15E Strike Eagle aviators - a front seater and backseater - together to talk about what it was like flying at the same time and some of the adventures that come with that life. Both Tom “Gunny” Moser and Mike “Pako” Benitez are decorated aviators, both Fighter Weapons School qualified and both former Marines (Tom an 0311 and Mike a helicopter aircrew member and door gunner). We interviewed both Gunny and Pako individually if you’re curious about their other near misses and danger close shots (or the origins of their call signs…Pako shared his call sign origin story with us on air for the first time!). Pako now distributes The Merge newsletter that provides an inside and more fun look at the defense industry with over 20K subscribers and hosts The Merge podcast. Gunny is now a commercial airline pilot flying domestic routes across the US.  Special thanks to Ryan “Stinger” Fishel for connecting us with these two vets and with that, please enjoy this rare opportunity to hear from two combat aviators together! Join hundreds of others with our weekly Combat Check-In Newsletter (www.combatstory.com/newsletter) to get a short email from Ryan each week about the show, life, and the military. This episode was sponsored by Give Legacy. Listeners can use the code COMBATSTORY to get 10% off everything on the site You can find out more by going to www.givelegacy.com. That’s givelegacy.com.  🔗 Find Mike Online: - The Merge https://themerge.co/ - The Merge Youtube https://www.youtube.com/@TheMergeMedia 🔗 Find Ryan Online: - Ryan’s Linktree https://linktr.ee/combatstory - Merch https://www.bonfire.com/store/combats... - Instagram @combatstory https://www.instagram.com/combatstory - Facebook @combatstoryofficial https://fb.me/combatstoryofficial - Send us messages at https://m.me/combatstoryofficial - Learn more about Ryan www.combatstory.com/aboutus - Intro Song: Sport Rock from Audio Jungle Join hundreds of others with our weekly Combat Check-In Newsletter (www.combatstory.com/newsletter) to get a short email from Ryan each week about the show, life, and the military. 👇 Show Notes: 00:00 - Introduction 00:55 - Guest Profile: Mike Benitez 00:19 - Marines Becoming Friends 03:28 - Mike and Tom First Meeting 10:32 - Teachings in Fighter Weapons School  22:25 - Mike's Close Calls 31:09:12 - Tom's Close Calls 41:44 - Flying Together Down Range 51:16 - Working With Foreign Forces 01:00:56 - Dropping Bombs  01:28:09 - What Do You Miss Most 01:36:48 - Listener Feedback
98:22 4/6/24
Senior CIA Officer on Russia | Legendary Case Officer and Chief of Station | Glenn Corn
Join our weekly Combat Check-In Newsletter (www.combatstory.com/newsletter) to get a short email from Ryan for people who love and support our veterans, service members, and their families. It has info on a significant event in military and/or intel history, a funny military joke, an update on a current event I'm following, something I'm doing that week in my life, a book I'm reading, a look at an upcoming interview, a reflection on a past episode and more! Today I’m so excited to share this Combat Story with a legend from the CIA spanning the First Cold War battling the Soviet Union, to the fall of the Berlin Wall, to the Counterterrorism refocus, and then the second Cold War with Putin’s Russia: Glenn Corn.  Glenn recently retired after 34 years of US government service that included time with the Army and State Department but, primarily, was with the CIA as Case Officer, Russia expert, and multiple time Chief of Station in some of the most important countries in the world for America’s security. In this interview, we delve into Glenn’s experience at the Agency, to include close calls, lessons learned, his command of foreign languages (Glenn’s a fluent Russian speaker) and where the Agency is going today, but we spend the entire second half digging into everything Russia, to include Putin’s motivations, Navalny’s death, the experience of the Russian people from the late 1980s until today, and what it would take for Putin’s reign to finally stop and give the Russian people a just leader. I’m good friends with Glenn’s brother, Gavin, who was sitting just off-screen during this interview, who also spent many years in government service with the Department of Justice. They come from a family that has given so much to this country and I’m so excited for you all to hear Glenn’s story for the first time. Join hundreds of others with our weekly Combat Check-In Newsletter (www.combatstory.com/newsletter) to get a short email from Ryan each week about the show, life, and the military. 🔗 Find Ryan Online: - Ryan’s Linktree https://linktr.ee/combatstory - Merch https://www.bonfire.com/store/combats... - Instagram @combatstory https://www.instagram.com/combatstory - Facebook @combatstoryofficial https://fb.me/combatstoryofficial - Send us messages at https://m.me/combatstoryofficial - Learn more about Ryan www.combatstory.com/aboutus - Intro Song: Sport Rock from Audio Jungle Join hundreds of others with our weekly Combat Check-In Newsletter (www.combatstory.com/newsletter) to get a short email from Ryan each week about the show, life, and the military. 👇 Show Notes: 00:00 - Introduction 00:56 - Guest Profile:  02:13 - Start of Interview 2:43 - Getting Out of CIA 04:46 - Thoughts To Return To Russia 06:09 - Interest In Government Service 10:00 - Learning Languages 15:29 - Time in Soviet Union 19:55 - Challenging Moments 22:19 - Bolotor Ad 23:32 - Experience During 9/11 27:26 - Children Going Into the Military 29:00 - Mentorships 33:10 - Losing Teammates 40:37 - Planning and Executing 45:25 - Misunderstandings of the Agency 47:18 - First Time Outside the Wire 50:44 - Give Legacy Ad 52:05 - Aftermath of the First Mission 59:27 - Pre and Post 9/11 CIA 01:05:31 - Toughest Moments 01:08:34 - Thoughts on Russia/Soviet Union 01:23:47 - American/Russian Proxy Wars 01:29:50 - Second Cold War 01:34:11 - Russian Propaganda 01:41:50 - Putin's Motivations 01:45:29 - Theoretical Changes in Russia 01:56:04 - Glenn's Book  02:01:54 - Sentimental Items 02:030:06 - Would You Do It All Again? 02:04:57 - Listener Feedback
128:19 3/30/24
F-15E Weapons System Officer | Distinguished Flying Cross Recipient | Mike “Pako” Benitez (Round 2)
Join our weekly Combat Check-In Newsletter (www.combatstory.com/newsletter) to get a short email from Ryan for people who love and support our veterans, service members, and their families. It has info on a significant event in military and/or intel history, a funny military joke, an update on a current event I'm following, something I'm doing that week in my life, a book I'm reading, a look at an upcoming interview, a reflection on a past episode and more! In this second round interview with Mike “Pako” Benitez, we dig deep into a series of combat experiences in the air that you won’t believe, including a low pass to danger close strafing run covering two troops-in-contact almost simultaneously to Pako’s description of the operation where he earned his Distinguished Flying Cross (you’ll feel like you were in the cockpit with him). Mike now creates and distributes The Merge (themerge.co) newsletter - which has 20K subscribers - and podcast - which has 40 episodes as of this airing. The Merge brings defense and tech news and insights in a more lighthearted and interesting approach that I’m confident most listeners of Combat Story will appreciate! We only found Pako thanks to former guest Ryan “Stinger” Fishel who was a beneficiary of the tough love and tutelage of Pako (listen to the end to hear Pako’s commentary on Stinger - it will come as no surprise to those who listened to Stinger’s interview). Stay tuned for a follow-on episode next week with Pako and Tom “Gunny” Moser interviewed together about their experiences in Afghanistan and Syria leading units. Join hundreds of others with our weekly Combat Check-In Newsletter (www.combatstory.com/newsletter) to get a short email from Ryan each week about the show, life, and the military. This episode was sponsored by Give Legacy. Listeners can use the code COMBATSTORY to get 10% off everything on the site You can find out more by going to www.givelegacy.com. That’s givelegacy.com.  🔗 Find Mike Online: - The Merge https://themerge.co/ - The Merge Youtube https://www.youtube.com/@TheMergeMedia 🔗 Find Ryan Online: - Ryan’s Linktree https://linktr.ee/combatstory - Merch https://www.bonfire.com/store/combats... - Instagram @combatstory https://www.instagram.com/combatstory - Facebook @combatstoryofficial https://fb.me/combatstoryofficial - Send us messages at https://m.me/combatstoryofficial - Learn more about Ryan www.combatstory.com/aboutus - Intro Song: Sport Rock from Audio Jungle Join hundreds of others with our weekly Combat Check-In Newsletter (www.combatstory.com/newsletter) to get a short email from Ryan each week about the show, life, and the military. 👇 Show Notes: 00:00 - Introduction 00:55 - Guest Profile: Mike Benitez 01:52 - First Fatality During Deployment 13:20 - Tough on New Recruits 20:47 - Harrowing Flights 28:23 - Give Legacy Ad 29:45 - Earning The DFC 01:00:57 - Time in Syria 01:09:54 - The Merge Newsletter and Podcast 01:15:10 - Sentimental Items 01:16:32 - Would You Do It All Again? 01:16:55 - Story About Ryan Fishel 01:18:20 - Closing Thoughts 01:18:49 - Listener Feedback
80:53 3/23/24
F-15E Weapons System Officer from Marine Helo Mechanic | Mike “Pako” Benitez (Round 1)
Join our weekly Combat Check-In Newsletter (www.combatstory.com/newsletter) to get a short email from Ryan for people who love and support our veterans, service members, and their families. It has info on a significant event in military and/or intel history, a funny military joke, an update on a current event I'm following, something I'm doing that week in my life, a book I'm reading, a look at an upcoming interview, a reflection on a past episode and more! Today we hear Round 1 of a two part Combat Story with former F-15E Strike Eagle Weapons Systems Officer (WSO) Mike “Pako” Benitez. In this episode, we follow Mike’s very unlikely path to the cockpit that begins with a career in the Marine Corps as a helicopter mechanic and aircrew member in the very first push into Afghanistan to fighting in Iraq during Fallujah II. Mike’s path is anything but direct as he found his way to becoming an expert tactician and aviator in the F-15E. Since retiring, Mike has gone on to create The Merge (themerge.co) newsletter - which has 20K subscribers - and podcast - which has 40 episodes as of this airing. The Merge brings defense and tech news and insights in a more lighthearted and interesting approach that I’m confident most listeners of Combat Story will appreciate! We only found Pako thanks to former guest Ryan “Stinger” Fishel who was a beneficiary of the tough love and tutelage of Pako (Stinger mentions a crusty older Weapons Officer during his interview who made Stinger look info up as opposed to handing it to him - that was Pako). Stay tuned for a follow-on episode after Rounds 1 and 2 with Pako to hear both Pako and Tom “Gunny” Moser be interviewed together about their experiences in Afghanistan and Syria leading units together. Join hundreds of others with our weekly Combat Check-In Newsletter (www.combatstory.com/newsletter) to get a short email from Ryan each week about the show, life, and the military. This episode was sponsored by HelloFresh! Go to www.HelloFresh.com/combatstoryfree and use code combatstoryfree for FREE breakfast for life! Thanks to our sponsor, Mint Mobile. To get the new customer offer and your new 3-month unlimited wireless plan for just $15 a month, go to www.mintmobile.com/combatstory. Additional taxes, fees, & restrictions apply.  🔗 Find Mike Online: - The Merge https://themerge.co/ - The Merge Youtube https://www.youtube.com/@TheMergeMedia 🔗 Find Ryan Online: - Ryan’s Linktree https://linktr.ee/combatstory - Merch https://www.bonfire.com/store/combats... - Instagram @combatstory https://www.instagram.com/combatstory - Facebook @combatstoryofficial https://fb.me/combatstoryofficial - Send us messages at https://m.me/combatstoryofficial - Learn more about Ryan www.combatstory.com/aboutus - Intro Song: Sport Rock from Audio Jungle Join hundreds of others with our weekly Combat Check-In Newsletter (www.combatstory.com/newsletter) to get a short email from Ryan each week about the show, life, and the military. 👇 Show Notes: 00:00 - Introduction 00:52 - Guest Profile: Mike Benitez 02:13 - Start of Interview 02:37 - PAKO Callsign 07:45 - Finding Aviation 10:03 - Family Military Background 11:17 - Recruitment 13:43 - Bootcamp 21:29 - Time in Marines 23:43 - 9/11 33:23 - Hello Fresh Ad 34:37 - Time As A Mechanic 40:15 - First Raid Outside the Wire 50:25 - Reenlistment to Weapons Officer 01:06:30 - Mint Mobile Ad 01:07:51 - Transition From Marines to Air Force 01:11:12 - Path to Strike Eagle 10:18:24 - Welcome to First Air Force Unit 01:20:00 - First Operational Squadrant 01:39:07 - First Danger Close 01:42:02 - First Fatality 01:42:03 - Listener Feedback
103:51 3/16/24
Inside Look at The Unit (not Delta Force) from Operator Adam Gomal | Getting Shot | Taking Out HVTs
Join our weekly Combat Check-In Newsletter (www.combatstory.com/newsletter) to get a short email from Ryan for people who love and support our veterans, service members, and their families. It has info on a significant event in military and/or intel history, a funny military joke, an update on a current event I'm following, something I'm doing that week in my life, a book I'm reading, a look at an upcoming interview, a reflection on a past episode and more! Today we have an amazing Combat Story with someone from the very elite Special Missions Unit community who was part of an organization still referred to only as The Unit for operational security purposes: Adam Gomal. Not to be confused with Delta Force (which is also often referred to as The Unit), this SMU blended intel and special operations in combat and non-combat theaters and remains highly secretive and rightly so. Adam recently wrote a fantastic book - the first about this organization - titled “The Unit: My Life Fighting Terrorists as One of America’s Most Secretive Military Operatives” that details the experiences of someone operating in this shadowy, kinetic, and clandestine world so other fellow unit operators would have something they can point much the way DEVGRU and Delta can explain the great work they did by referencing other excellent books written about those experiences. Since the work remains so secretive, however, you’ll notice we’ve implemented some controls to protect Adam’s identity, including not clearly showing his face on camera and distorting his voice. We are able to vouch for Adam’s experience thanks to previous guests who know him personally and worked with him directly. Additionally, Adam’s book went through the lengthy publication review process with DoD, indicating his story is, in fact, legitimate. With that, please enjoy this amazing story from an epic and unlikely upbringing in Egypt to being ambushed downrange, shot in the stomach, surveilling HVTs, and delivering missile strikes that have a 90 minute time of flight, and more from one of the very, very few cleared to talk about their experiences. Join hundreds of others with our weekly Combat Check-In Newsletter (www.combatstory.com/newsletter) to get a short email from Ryan each week about the show, life, and the military. Thanks to our sponsor, Mint Mobile. To get the new customer offer and your new 3-month unlimited wireless plan for just $15 a month, go to www.mintmobile.com/combatstory. Additional taxes, fees, & restrictions apply.  🔗 Find Adam Online: - The Unit: My Life Fighting Terrorists as One of America's Most Secret Military Operatives https://www.amazon.com/Unit-Inside-Americas-Secret-Military-ebook/dp/B09Y457JN5 🔗 Find Ryan Online: - Ryan’s Linktree https://linktr.ee/combatstory - Merch https://www.bonfire.com/store/combats... - Instagram @combatstory https://www.instagram.com/combatstory - Facebook @combatstoryofficial https://fb.me/combatstoryofficial - Send us messages at https://m.me/combatstoryofficial - Learn more about Ryan www.combatstory.com/aboutus - Intro Song: Sport Rock from Audio Jungle Join hundreds of others with our weekly Combat Check-In Newsletter (www.combatstory.com/newsletter) to get a short email from Ryan each week about the show, life, and the military. 👇 Show Notes: 00:00 - Intro 08:36 - Connecting with Foreign Fighter Through Interrogation 16:26 - The American Dream: Coming to America with $500 and no English 36:04 - Mint Mobile Ad 59:59 - First deployment 01:05:15 - Close calls in an Arms Market 01:09:50 - Getting shot downrange and fighting your way out 01:24:16 - Deciding to stay in or get out after being shot 01:26:22 - Hostile counterintelligence environment and Embassy attack 01:31:07 - Tracking down a high value target and delivering a TLAM 01:46:15 - The Operator Syndrome 01:54:42  - Listener Feedback
117:45 3/9/24
Dropping Danger Close with F-15E Strike Eagle Fighter Pilot Tom Moser (Round 2)
Join our weekly Combat Check-In Newsletter (www.combatstory.com/newsletter) to get a short email from Ryan for people who love and support our veterans, service members, and their families. It has info on a significant event in military and/or intel history, a funny military joke, an update on a current event I'm following, something I'm doing that week in my life, a book I'm reading, a look at an upcoming interview, a reflection on a past episode and more! Today we hear round two of our two-part Combat Story from seasoned F-15E Strike Eagle fighter pilot Tom “Gunny” Moser. Moser would go on to be a Weapons Fighter School graduate (the Air Force’s Top Gun), in addition to a Squadron and Wing Weapons Officer, and Squadron Commander.  In this episode, we dig into several combat experiences from the F-15’s front seat and what makes this aircraft so lethal. This includes the very first strikes into Syria in 2014 taking on ISIS where Gunny helped plan these missions and lead some of the first attacks into theater.   If you didn’t hear round one with Gunny, he’s finally made it to his Squadron after three years as a Marine infantryman (hence the call sign!) and a stint as a Police Officer (something he loved). He’s got an incredibly supportive spouse who told him to not come home if he didn’t get F-15s because there are only winners in their house!! Gunny is good friends with both former guest Ryan “Stinger” Fishel and our next guest coming in one week - Mike “Pako” Benitez - another F-15E Strike Eagle aviator. Stay tuned after our interviews with Pako to hear Gunny and Pako interviewed together about their time downrange as a front seater and back seater as standard bearer Weapons Officers! Join hundreds of others with our weekly Combat Check-In Newsletter (www.combatstory.com/newsletter) to get a short email from Ryan each week about the show, life, and the military. 🔗 Find Ryan Online: - Ryan’s Linktree https://linktr.ee/combatstory - Merch https://www.bonfire.com/store/combats... - Instagram @combatstory https://www.instagram.com/combatstory - Facebook @combatstoryofficial https://fb.me/combatstoryofficial - Send us messages at https://m.me/combatstoryofficial - Learn more about Ryan www.combatstory.com/aboutus - Intro Song: Sport Rock from Audio Jungle Join hundreds of others with our weekly Combat Check-In Newsletter (www.combatstory.com/newsletter) to get a short email from Ryan each week about the show, life, and the military. 👇 Show Notes: 00:00 - Introduction 00:55 - Guest Profile: Tom Moser 02:17 - Start of Interview 03:10 - After Mission Debrief 06:06 - '07 Deployment 20:25 - Providing Cover for Marines on the Ground 25:54 - Home Life 29:24 - '09 Deployment pt. 1 32:20 - Verstreppo Inspiration 37:00 - '09 Tough Missions 51:34 - Moral After Losing A Teammate 54:40 - The Officer's Club 56:20 - '14 Deployment 01:15:00 - After The Last Deployment 01:20:50 - Cutting Edge Technology 01:23:49 - Deciding to Retire 01:29:04 - New Career Path 01:31:28 - Miss Most About The Military 01:32:03 - Most Courageous Act 01:33:48 - Favorite Role 01:38:42 - Sentimental Items 01:40:38 - Would You Do It All Again? 01:41:23 - Listener Feedback
103:18 3/2/24
F-15E Fighter Pilot, Marine & Police Officer | Fighter Weapons School | Tom Moser
Join our weekly Combat Check-In Newsletter (www.combatstory.com/newsletter) to get a short email from Ryan for people who love and support our veterans, service members, and their families. It has info on a significant event in military and/or intel history, a funny military joke, an update on a current event I'm following, something I'm doing that week in my life, a book I'm reading, a look at an upcoming interview, a reflection on a past episode and more! Today we hear Round 1 of a two part Combat Story from seasoned fighter pilot Tom “Gunny” Moser who flew the F-15E Strike Eagle, served as a Squadron and Wing Weapons Officer, was a Fighter Weapons School graduate (akin to the Navy’s Top Gun), commanded a Squadron, and more.  In this episode, we follow Gunny’s circuitous route into the military first as a Marine 0311 (Infantryman), followed by a stint as a Police Officer, followed by a very decorated career in the Air Force.  Since retirement, Gunny has gone on to a career flying for the commercial airlines which we should all be grateful to know that we’ve got this seasoned combat aviator at the controls on our regular domestic flights! Special thanks to former guest Ryan “Stinger” Fishel for helping us find Gunny! And with that, please enjoy this first round discussion with someone who found his way to his dream job. Join hundreds of others with our weekly Combat Check-In Newsletter (www.combatstory.com/newsletter) to get a short email from Ryan each week about the show, life, and the military. 🔗 Find Ryan Online: - Ryan’s Linktree https://linktr.ee/combatstory - Merch https://www.bonfire.com/store/combats... - Instagram @combatstory https://www.instagram.com/combatstory - Facebook @combatstoryofficial https://fb.me/combatstoryofficial - Send us messages at https://m.me/combatstoryofficial - Learn more about Ryan www.combatstory.com/aboutus - Intro Song: Sport Rock from Audio Jungle Join hundreds of others with our weekly Combat Check-In Newsletter (www.combatstory.com/newsletter) to get a short email from Ryan each week about the show, life, and the military. 👇 Show Notes: 00:00 - Introduction 00:59 - Guest Profile: Tom Moser 01:57 - Start of Interview 02:26 - Callsign 'Gunny' 04:02 - Growing Up 04:55 - Path to Military 11:26 - Love of Flying 12:25 - Choosing Enlistment Route 16:46 - Exiting the Marines 20:40 - Law Enforcement Career 23:02 - Path to Aviation 28:52 - Law Enforcement to Pilot Experience 31:08 - Family Life 35:09 - Close Calls 39:00 - Mindset during Dangerous Jobs 41:29 - Flight School 47:25 - Getting Assigned Strike Eagle 51:52 - Responsibility as an Aviator 57:40 -  Strike Eagle Mission Set 01:02:05 - Weapon Loadout for F-15 01:08:53 - Hazing Stories 01:12:11 - Schedule for Pilots 01:14:24 - Weapons Officer 01:21:06 - Why Not Marine Corps. 01:22:17 - First Unit 01:26:58 - First Deployment 01:30:30 - First Flying Operation 01:38:49 - Listener Feedback
101:12 2/24/24
Two SEALs Talking Combat Operations
Join our weekly Combat Check-In Newsletter (www.combatstory.com/newsletter) to get a short email from Ryan for people who love and support our veterans, service members, and their families. It has info on a significant event in military and/or intel history, a funny military joke, an update on a current event I'm following, something I'm doing that week in my life, a book I'm reading, a look at an upcoming interview, a reflection on a past episode and more! This is our first JOINT Combat Story where we bring two combat veterans on the show to talk about combat operations they were part of together. This time we’re fortunate to have Sam Mackey and Joel McGuire, both former SEALs, who speak about some of the toughest moments they had deployed to Afghanistan.  I always wanted to have two guys who fought side by side to see what they remember, where they each have gaps and to watch the bond firsthand that was forged in those difficult moments downrange.  For those who listened to the individual interviews with both Sam and Joel, you’ll recall that Sam was somewhat of a free agent SEAL being shipped to various teams to support operations for weeks or months at a time given his unique sniper skill set. Joel was leading a team at a smaller FOB that needed all the help they could get and welcomed Sam with open arms. Please enjoy two seasoned vets get down to what actually happened on particular ops when they were downrange together. This Combat Story was sponsored by Factor, America’s #1 Ready-To-Eat Meal Delivery Service. Use FACTORMEALS.com/combatstory50 and use code combatstory50 to get 50% off!   🔗 Find Ryan Online: - Ryan’s Linktree https://linktr.ee/combatstory - Merch https://www.bonfire.com/store/combats... - Instagram @combatstory https://www.instagram.com/combatstory - Facebook @combatstoryofficial https://fb.me/combatstoryofficial - Send us messages at https://m.me/combatstoryofficial - Learn more about Ryan www.combatstory.com/aboutus - Intro Song: Sport Rock from Audio Jungle Join hundreds of others with our weekly Combat Check-In Newsletter (www.combatstory.com/newsletter) to get a short email from Ryan each week about the show, life, and the military. 👇 Show Notes: 00:00 - Introduction 00:42 - Guest Profile: Sam Mackey and Joel McGuire 01:40 - Start of Interview 02:13 - Joel and Sam post deployment relationship 05:50 - How Joel and Sam met 21:28 - Factor Meals Ad 22:45 - Deploying A Sniper in Battle 31:40 - Sam and Joel Reminiss Same Gun Fight 42:12 - Hairy Engagements 47:29 - Deployment During Bin Laden Raid 49:54 - Favorite MRE 51:59 - Favorite Part About Teams 01:02:44 - Joel Grazed In The Range 01:10:31 - Advice to A Future SEAL 01:12:34 - Outsider Mugs 01:13:08 - Listener Feedback
77:26 2/17/24
Black Hawk Down - Setting the Record Straight | Silence and Light Musician - Brad Thomas Catchup
We sit down with previous guest and former Ranger and Delta Force operator Brad Thomas as he sets the record straight about what happened back in Mogadishu and how his recollection of one event (as he shared back on Episode 58) was different than what another person remembered.  Join our weekly Combat Check-In Newsletter (www.combatstory.com/newsletter) to get a short email from Ryan for people who love and support our veterans, service members, and their families. It has info on a significant event in military and/or intel history, a funny military joke, an update on a current event I'm following, something I'm doing that week in my life, a book I'm reading, a look at an upcoming interview, a reflection on a past episode and more! In the former interview, Brad describes a "jackass lieutenant" running around during the battle collecting fastropes because they were an accountable item. The individual in question listened to the interview and contacted Brad to explain what was actually going on. Being the standup guy that he is, Brad immediately wanted to acknowledge this new information and share that we often don't recall things as they were. Many will recall 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. We sit down today to discuss misinterpretations on the battlefield and clarify a situation discussed in Brad's interview from two years ago (Ep58). 🔗 Find Brad Online: - Instagram @bradthomas_official - Silence and Light Website https://www.silenceandlightmusic.com/ - Silence and Light Merch http://www.silenceandlightmusic.com/ 🔗 Find Ryan Online: - Ryan’s Linktree https://linktr.ee/combatstory - Merch https://www.bonfire.com/store/combats... - Instagram @combatstory https://www.instagram.com/combatstory - Facebook @combatstoryofficial https://fb.me/combatstoryofficial - Send us messages at https://m.me/combatstoryofficial - Learn more about Ryan www.combatstory.com/aboutus - Intro Song: Sport Rock from Audio Jungle Join hundreds of others with our weekly Combat Check-In Newsletter (www.combatstory.com/newsletter) to get a short email from Ryan each week about the show, life, and the military.
28:55 2/13/24
Navy SEAL Sniper | Almost Getting the Longest Kill in Combat | Sam Mackey - Round 2
Join our weekly Combat Check-In Newsletter (www.combatstory.com/newsletter) to get a short email from Ryan for people who love and support our veterans, service members, and their families. It has info on a significant event in military and/or intel history, a funny military joke, an update on a current event I'm following, something I'm doing that week in my life, a book I'm reading, a look at an upcoming interview, a reflection on a past episode and more! Today we have our second round Combat Story with Sam Mackey, who overcame a challenging and rebellious youth to successfully earn his SEAL Trident, carrying him to SEAL Team Eight where we left off at the end of round one. In this second round interview, Sam’s deployments continue as he faces defining moments, including the loss of a close friend in a helicopter crash and intense firefights in Afghanistan. This includes a brief morbid but hilarious story of Sam nearly breaking the longest sniper shot record. Transitioning from the military, Sam partnered with former pro-football QB Jay Cutler to launch Outsider, focusing on high-quality outdoor lifestyle products. This venture reflects his entrepreneurial spirit, shaped by his time in the SEALs. Sam's story, from a troubled past to military excellence and business success, is a testament to the power of resilience and adaptability. It's an inspirational tale for those who admire the military, combat, and life's challenges. For those who heard our recent Combat Story interview with Joel McGuire, you’ll recall Joel mention that he and Sam served together in Afghanistan. Stay tuned next week to hear Joel and Sam interviewed together talking about the same battles and what it takes to earn the trident (and recommendations to aspiring SEALs and Special Operators). Many thanks to Ari for connecting us with Sam!  And now, please enjoy this wide ranging discussion with retired Navy SEAL and entrepreneur, Sam Mackey. 👇 Show Notes: 00:00 - Introduction 01:04 - Guest Profile: Sam Mackey 02:33 - Start of Interview 02:40 - First Hairy Operation 11:26 - Specialties Within Teams 13:13 - Sniper School 14:35 - Respect In Teams 18:33 - Challenging Moment 1  20:31 - Mint Mobile Ad 21:38 - Challenging Moment 2 32:54 - After Op De-Brief 34:07 - Working With Lithuanians 39:03 - Lithuanian Operation 48:06 - Most Courageous Act 51:20 - Responsibility For The Team 52:09 - Marriage Throughout Teams 55:07 - Outsider Company  01:08:25 - Entrepenurialship in Teams 01:21:58 - Sentimental Items 01:23:10 - Would You Do It All Again? 01:24:47 - Listener Feedback 🔗 Find Ryan Online: - Ryan’s Linktree https://linktr.ee/combatstory - Merch https://www.bonfire.com/store/combats... - Instagram @combatstory https://www.instagram.com/combatstory - Facebook @combatstoryofficial https://fb.me/combatstoryofficial - Send us messages at https://m.me/combatstoryofficial - Learn more about Ryan www.combatstory.com/aboutus - Intro Song: Sport Rock from Audio Jungle 🔗 Find Sam Online: - Outsider https://shop.outsider.com/ Thanks to our sponsor, Mint Mobile. To get the new customer offer and your new 3-month unlimited wireless plan for just $15 a month, go to www.mintmobile.com/combatstory. Additional taxes, fees, & restrictions apply. 
87:30 2/10/24
The Making of a Navy SEAL Sniper | How to Overcome Struggle & Find Success | Sam Mackey - Round 1
Join our weekly Combat Check-In Newsletter (www.combatstory.com/newsletter) to get a short email from Ryan for people who love and support our veterans, service members, and their families. It has info on a significant event in military and/or intel history, a funny military joke, an update on a current event I'm following, something I'm doing that week in my life, a book I'm reading, a look at an upcoming interview, a reflection on a past episode and more! Please leave us a 5 star review at Apple podcasts or Spotify to get these amazing stories of valor and sacrifice to more people. Today we have our first of a two round Combat Story as we delve into Sam Mackey's extraordinary journey from a rebellious youth to a Navy SEAL and, after retiring with 20 years in the service, to a successful entrepreneur. His early years were marked by selling drugs and legal troubles, finding purpose in a love for boxing and eventually joining the military. This decision, fueled partly by a need to escape legal issues, led Sam on a transformative path of discipline and self-discovery. Sam's time in the military was challenging yet formative. His first attempt at BUD/S training was unsuccessful, leading to a stint in Italy where misadventures and personal growth went hand in hand. However, Sam returned to BUD/S more mature and focused, eventually joining SEAL Team 8. His first combat experience comes in Iraq, where he first grappled with the harsh realities of warfare with an intense gunfight marking a significant shift from training to real-world operations, highlighting the need for quick, tactical decision-making and adaptability.  Stay tuned for Round 2 where we cover even more of Sam’s time downrange and the entrepreneurial skills he develops in the teams that translate into his current work on Outsider, an outdoor lifestyle brand with high quality products, alongside former NFL QB Jay Cutler. Many thanks to Ari for connecting us with Sam! And now, please enjoy this inspiring episode with retired Navy SEAL, Sam Mackey. 👇 Show Notes: 00:00 - Introduction 00:31 - Guest Profile: Sam Mackey 01:48 - Start of Interview 05:32 - Fighting Growing Up 10:31 - Legal Troubles 14:17 - Joining the Military 16:50 - Mentors 21:46 - Hello Fresh Ad 23:09 - Taking Accountability 24:03 - Deciding Branch of Service 27:47 - Boot 33:26 - Path to Teams 41:00 - BUDS 49:47 - Time In Italy  01:01:45 - 2nd BUDS 01:04:29 - West Coast Team 01:15:29 - First Call After Making Teams 01:23:12 - First Time Downrange 01:29:51 - Loadout Advancements 01:32:25 - Feeling Coming Back Home 01:33:08 - Listener Feedback 🔗 Find Ryan Online: - Ryan’s Linktree https://linktr.ee/combatstory - Merch https://www.bonfire.com/store/combats... - Instagram @combatstory https://www.instagram.com/combatstory - Facebook @combatstoryofficial https://fb.me/combatstoryofficial - Send us messages at https://m.me/combatstoryofficial - Learn more about Ryan www.combatstory.com/aboutus - Intro Song: Sport Rock from Audio Jungle 🔗 Find Sam Online: - Outsider https://shop.outsider.com/ This episode was sponsored by HelloFresh! Go to HelloFresh.com/combatstoryfree and use code combatstoryfree for FREE breakfast for life!
97:20 2/3/24
Navy SEAL Combat Operations | Maritime Interdiction Ops | Platoon Chief | Iraq/AFG - Joel McGuire
To help us support our Veterans, Subscribe, Like, and Comment on this video. It helps us get more people to watch and bring more guests on! Join our weekly Combat Check-In Newsletter (www.combatstory.com/newsletter) to get a short email from Ryan for people who love and support our veterans, service members, and their families. It has info on a significant event in military and/or intel history, a funny military joke, an update on a current event I'm following, something I'm doing that week in my life, a book I'm reading, a look at an upcoming interview, a reflection on a past episode and more!  Today we hear a Combat Story with former Navy SEAL Joel McGuire, who completed multiple combat deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan, in addition to deployments to Europe and South America over a 20 plus year career. We were introduced to Joel when scheduling an upcoming interview with Sam Mackey, another SEAL. Sam was deployed with Joel and we’ll have a combat story with both individuals together talking about a few of their battles they fought in. In this episode, Joel goes into detail about his multiple attempts to finally get through BUD/S, his battlefield experiences, managing short-term memory loss, sleep deprivation, and emotional challenges of losing close-knit community members in action. Joel also talks through the challenges of Maritime Interdiction Operations (or MIO), which many have likely seen in the news recently as an MIO tragically claimed the lives of two Navy SEALs in the past month, and it’s helpful to better understand what goes into these operations and what makes them so risky. With that, please enjoy this conversation with Joel McGuire, a tough old frogman (stay tuned for a future episode for our joint interview with Joel and his fellow SEAL, Sam)! 👇 Show Notes: 00:00 - Introduction 00:43 - Guest Profile: Joel McGuire 01:51 - Start of Interview 02:22 - First Time In California 03:49 - Childhood 05:47 - Javolina 08:05 - Fighting As A Kid 17:29 - Path To Teams 26:37 - NordVPN Ad 28:14 - BUDS 32:39 - Teammates in Teams 35:32 - Team 2 Reputation 43:36 - Maritime Interdiction Operations 52:20 - Specialties Within Team 53:53 - Leadership and Platoon Relationships 59:18 - FIrst DA Op. 01:04:27 - Being A Parent While Deployed 01:11:33 - Team 10 Petty Officer 01:14:33 - Relationships With Squad 01:19:30 - A Memorable Op. 01:23:34 - 2011 Deployment 01:39:34 - Post Deployment 01:51:49 - Losing A Teammate 02:08:10 - Deciding To Get Out 02:13:05 - Sentimental Items 02:14:25 - Would You Do It All Again 02:15:42 - Listener Feedback 🔗 Find Ryan Online: - Ryan’s Linktree https://linktr.ee/combatstory - Merch https://www.bonfire.com/store/combats... - Instagram @combatstory https://www.instagram.com/combatstory - Facebook @combatstoryofficial https://fb.me/combatstoryofficial - Send us messages at https://m.me/combatstoryofficial - Learn more about Ryan www.combatstory.com/aboutus - Intro Song: Sport Rock from Audio Jungle   Get Exclusive NordVPN deal here → https://nordvpn.com/combatstory. It’s risk-free with Nord’s 30-day money-back guarantee! Link is in the episode description.
142:23 1/27/24
Fighter Pilot (French Mirage 2000), Special Forces Pilot, French Intelligence Officer - Jack Beaumont Round 2
Join our weekly Combat Check-In Newsletter (www.combatstory.com/newsletter) to get a short email from Ryan for people who love and support our veterans, service members, and their families. It has info on a significant event in military and/or intel history, a funny military joke, an update on a current event I'm following, something I'm doing that week in my life, a book I'm reading, a look at an upcoming interview, a reflection on a past episode and more! In this second round Combat Story with Jack Beaumont, we pickup with Jack being forced to walk away from flying jets after wrecking his back in a hard landing. His back was too injured to handle the Gs and an ejection from the aircraft, making him a liability to his fellow fighter pilots.  He found his way over to fly planes in the French COS or Special Operations Command in some amazing circumstances, to include evading radar and landing to unimproved runways at night in bad weather (it’s really amazing piloting), followed by a transition into the very secretive world of the French External Security Service or DGSE, which is the French version of the CIA and a very capable service.  In this episode, Jack shares some of the challenging experiences in the cockpit and in the shadowy world of the intelligence community, including the unthinkable moment of losing a human source and his family. This tragic story forms the basis of the book that Jack wrote - The Frenchman - which was picked up for TV by the people who delivered True Detective, The Night Manager, and A Most Wanted Man. His next book, Dark Arena, comes out in February 2024. Please enjoy this very insightful Combat Story that goes deep into the experiences of a French special operator and intelligence professional! Join our weekly Combat Check-In Newsletter (www.combatstory.com/newsletter) to get a short email from Ryan for people who love and support our veterans, service members, and their families. 👇 Show Notes: 00:00 - Introduction 00:52 - Guest Profile: Jack Beaumont Round 2  02:14 - Start of Interview 02:44 - SOCOM and Life After Plane Incident 12:46 - Serbian Mission 19:06 - Jack's Books 25:53 - Nord VPN Ad 24:33 - DGSE Reputation and Rainbow Wire 32:04 - Getting Accepted To DGSE  46:40 - Factor Ad 48:05 - Spy Training 01:08:24 - Truth To The Frenchman Opening 01:18:50 - Toll of Intelligence Officers 01:26:25 - Sentimental Items 01:27:19 - Would You Do It Again? 01:28:24 - Making of The Frenchman 01:31:48 - Listener Feedback 🔗 Find Ryan Online: - Ryan’s Linktree https://linktr.ee/combatstory - Merch https://www.bonfire.com/store/combats... - Instagram @combatstory https://www.instagram.com/combatstory - Facebook @combatstoryofficial https://fb.me/combatstoryofficial - Send us messages at https://m.me/combatstoryofficial - Learn more about Ryan www.combatstory.com/aboutus - Intro Song: Sport Rock from Audio Jungle 🔗 Find Jack Beaumont Online: - Website https://jackbeaumontofficial.com/ - Purchase The Frenchman or Dark Arena https://www.amazon.com/stores/Jack%20Beaumont/author/B0034O2UHA Get Exclusive NordVPN deal here → https://nordvpn.com/combatstory. It’s risk-free with Nord’s 30-day money-back guarantee! This Combat Story was sponsored by Factor, America’s #1 Ready-To-Eat Meal Delivery Service. Use FACTORMEALS.com/combatstory50 and use code combatstory50 to get 50% off!
94:38 1/20/24
French Combat Fighter Pilot & DGSE Intel Officer | MIrage2000 Pilot | Author of The Frenchman | Jack Beaumont Round 1
Join our weekly Combat Check-In Newsletter (www.combatstory.com/newsletter) to get a short email from Ryan for people who love and support our veterans, service members, and their families. It has info on a significant event in military and/or intel history, a funny military joke, an update on a current event I'm following, something I'm doing that week in my life, a book I'm reading, a look at an upcoming interview, a reflection on a past episode and more! Today we have round one of an incredible two part Combat Story and our first from a member of the French military and intelligence services, Jack Beaumont. Jack was an elite fighter pilot in the French Air Force flying single seat Mirage2000’s, designed for dog fighting, in combat operations.  Join our weekly Combat Check-In Newsletter (www.combatstory.com/newsletter) to get a short email from Ryan for people who love and support our veterans, service members, and their families. He would go on to fly Special Forces aircraft in unbelievable conditions (blacked out, bad weather, to unimproved runways), and then found himself running covert intel operations across the globe with the French DGSE (the French version of CIA and an incredibly capable service as I know very well!). He went on to write a spy thriller called The Frenchman that was recently picked up for a TV show by the people who delivered True Detective, The Night Manager, and A Most Wanted Man! In this first round interview, we hear about Jack’s storied family military history that goes back to Napoleon’s generals and a member of the French resistance in WWII. Jack would carry that lineage forward by competing with 3,600 other would-be fighters pilots and becoming just one of only three men who made it through that gauntlet. We also hear one of the most challenging experiences for any recruit during training in terms of loss that really hits home, followed by an unprecedented hazing for someone arriving at a new unit that I’ve ever heard that will leave you crying with laughter.  We end this episode when Jack wakes up in a hospital after a very hard landing with a surgeon telling him he’d never fly again. He was back in the cockpit three months later.  Stay tuned for Round 2 where Jack has to change flying roles as he moves into the secretive French Special Operations aviation community doing things in the air you can’t imagine and eventually finding his way into the French DGSE. With that, please enjoy this very interesting and unique Combat Story from our close partners across the pond! 👇 Show Notes: 00:00 - Introduction 01:05 - Guest Profile:  02:48 - Start of Interview 04:26 - The Frenchman and Dark Arena 06:20 - Childhood 21:52 - Path to the Military 28:22 - HelloFresh Ad 29:35 - Flight School 43:18 - Tough Part of Flight Curriculum 52:11 - Induction Into First Unit 01:03:46 - Timeline of Career 01:04:29 - First Combat Flight 01:20:16 - The Crash 01:38:42 - Continuing To Fly 01:39:55 - Listener Feedback 🔗 Find Ryan Online: Ryan’s Linktree https://linktr.ee/combatstory - Merch https://www.bonfire.com/store/combats... - Instagram @combatstory https://www.instagram.com/combatstory - Facebook @combatstoryofficial https://fb.me/combatstoryofficial - Send us messages at https://m.me/combatstoryofficial - Learn more about Ryan www.combatstory.com/aboutus - Intro Song: Sport Rock from Audio Jungle Join our weekly Combat Check-In Newsletter (www.combatstory.com/newsletter) to get a short email from Ryan for people who love and support our veterans, service members, and their families. It has info on a significant event in military and/or intel history, a funny military joke, an update on a current event I'm following, something I'm doing that week in my life, a book I'm reading, a look at an upcoming interview, a reflection on a past episode and more! Go to www.HelloFresh.com/50combatstory and use code 50combatstory for 50% off plus free shipping to get delicious and healthy meals that you can make at home with your family in no time and add some variety to what you serve! Our family has used Hello Fresh for years!
102:28 1/13/24
Delta Force Operator Shot on Mission | Starting Coffee and Cigar Company | Brent Tucker - Round 2
Join our weekly Combat Check-In Newsletter (www.combatstory.com/newsletter) to get a short email from Ryan for people who love and support our veterans, service members, and their families. It has info on a significant event in military and/or intel history, a funny military joke, an update on a current event I'm following, something I'm doing that week in my life, a book I'm reading, a look at an upcoming interview, a reflection on a past episode and more! 🎙️  🎙️ Today we hear the second round of our insightful two part Combat Story with former Green Beret and Delta Force operator Brent Tucker. In this episode, Brent runs through deployments with The Unit, including what it feels like breaching a door on an objective and earning a Purple Heart (the last one on his team to earn one), after being shot and hit with grenade shrapnel. Since leaving the military, Brent founded First Responder’s Coffee Company, which uses the tagline ‘Coffee with a purpose’ because it supports the First Responder community. We dig into the intent behind it’s sister entity, First Responder’s Cigar Company, and Brent’s recollection of cigars and coffee in the military. Please enjoy this deep dive and wide ranging discussion with a former Tier 1 operator and all the ups and downs that come with that career…and maybe listen to this with a cup his Bourbon flavored coffee from FRCC! Join our weekly Combat Check-In Newsletter (www.combatstory.com/newsletter) to get a short email from Ryan for people who love and support our veterans, service members, and their families. 👇 Show Notes: 00:00 - Introduction 00:54 - Guest Profile:  02:02 - Start of Interview 02:09 - First Responders Coffee and Cigar Company 10:37 - Smoking Cigars in Uniform 21:21 - Celbrating After A Mission 25:41- Mint Mobile Ad 26:53 - First Near Death Experience 38:42 - Losing a Teammate and Grief 46:54 - Loss of Purpose After Service and First Responders 01:05:02 - Getting Shot Story  02:02:02 - Existing Outside The Military 02:08:11 - First Responders Coffee Company Future 02:10:36 - Sentimental Items 02:15:01 - Would You Do It All Again? 02:17:47 - Listener Comments and Feedback 🔗 Find Ryan Online: - Ryan’s Linktree https://linktr.ee/combatstory - Merch https://www.bonfire.com/store/combats... - Instagram @combatstory https://www.instagram.com/combatstory - Facebook @combatstoryofficial https://fb.me/combatstoryofficial - Send us messages at https://m.me/combatstoryofficial - Learn more about Ryan www.combatstory.com/aboutus - Intro Song: Sport Rock from Audio Jungle 🔗 Find Brent Online: - First Responders Coffee Company https://frccoffee.com/ Thanks to our sponsor, Mint Mobile. To get the new customer offer and your new 3-month unlimited wireless plan for just $15 a month, go to www.mintmobile.com/combatstory. Additional taxes, fees, & restrictions apply. 
139:58 1/6/24
Brent Tucker - ADA to ODA to Delta Force | Operations at the Tip of the Spear | Round 1
Join our weekly Combat Check-In Newsletter (www.combatstory.com/newsletter) to get a short email from Ryan for people who love and support our veterans, service members, and their families. It has info on a significant event in military and/or intel history, a funny military joke, an update on a current event I'm following, something I'm doing that week in my life, a book I'm reading, a look at an upcoming interview, a reflection on a past episode and more! Today we have round one of our two part Combat Story with an elite member of the Tier 1 community, Brent Tucker who completed over a dozen deployments with Special Forces and 1st Special Forces Operational Detachment - Delta (or more commonly referred to as Delta Force). Brent is now the founder of First Responder’s Coffee Company and First Responder’s Cigar Company, which uses the tag line ‘Coffee with a purpose’ because it directly supports the First Responder community.  In our first round interview, we cover Brent’s unlikely path into the military, to include bringing along his brother and somehow going from Air Defense Artillery to Special Forces to Delta. In this episode, we also delve into Brent’s first deployments with 20th Group, which sounds very similar to a former guest who many will recall who went from 20th Group into Delta: Bob Keller. Brent is what many of us expect when we think of the Delta Operator as his experiences downrange, book recommendations, friendships, and approach to life show. Please enjoy this wide ranging discussion with a former elite operator, Brent Tucker. 👇 Show Notes: 00:00 - Introduction 00:52 - Guest Profile:  01:55 - Start of Interview 03:45 - Childhood and Sibling Relationships 10:23 - Fear Bfore and During Enlistment 14:44 - Family Business and Raising Kids 24:08 - Factor Meals Ad 25:27 - Family Discussions on Enlisting 27:11 - Recruiter Experience 30:45 - Deciding To Go Special Forces 38:01 - 1st Deployment and Going to Selection 52:52 - Raising Kids and Missing Missions 01:01:25 - Time in 20th Group 01:10:08 - Thinking of Quitting 01:18:34 - First Time in Combat 01:32:10 - Recommended Literature 01:51:35 - Experiences with Apaches 01:53:56  - Listener Comments and Feedback 🔗 Find Ryan Online: - Ryan’s Linktree https://linktr.ee/combatstory - Merch https://www.bonfire.com/store/combats... - Instagram @combatstory https://www.instagram.com/combatstory - Facebook @combatstoryofficial https://fb.me/combatstoryofficial - Send us messages at https://m.me/combatstoryofficial - Learn more about Ryan www.combatstory.com/aboutus - Intro Song: Sport Rock from Audio Jungle 🔗 Find Brent Online: - First Responders Coffee Company https://frccoffee.com/ This Combat Story was sponsored by Factor, America’s #1 Ready-To-Eat Meal Delivery Service. Use FACTORMEALS.com/combatstory50 and use code combatstory50 to get 50% off!
116:04 12/30/23
JSOC (Regimental Reconnaissance Company) OMEGA (JSOC-CIA Hunter Killer Teams) Expert Breacher and Free Fall Mike Edwards Round 2
Join our weekly Combat Check-In Newsletter (www.combatstory.com/newsletter) to get a short email from Ryan for people who love and support our veterans, service members, and their families. It has info on a significant event in military and/or intel history, a funny military joke, an update on a current event I'm following, something I'm doing that week in my life, a book I'm reading, a look at an upcoming interview, a reflection on a past episode and more! Today we have the second round of our two part Combat Story with Mike Edwards, a former Regimental Reconnaissance Company (RRC) operator and longtime Ranger with 18 combat deployments. Mike was one of the few to serve in the Omega Program, which the Washington Post described as “units comprising CIA personnel and troops with JSOC…using co-mingled bases in Iraq, Afghanistan and Yemen” and “mostly designed against specific high-value targets.” Effectively, Omega was some of the best and most elite operators and intelligence officers paired up downrange to bring the full weight of both JSOC and the Agency.  Mike served alongside former Combat Story guest Rodney Brown, a former Navy SEAL and member of the Navy’s Special Warfare Development Group (or DEVGRU which is often referred to in the press as SEAL Team Six). In this episode, Mike describes an operation taking on an entire Taliban camp with Rodney that Rodney also described in his interview. Be sure to go back and listen to Rodney’s and Mike’s account of this same operation to get a more complete picture of the event from two vantage points! If you missed round one I would highly recommend listening to hear about Mike’s start as an 11M and transition into Ranger Regiment, his combat jump into Iraq, and how he earned a Purple Heart and Silver Star.      Once again, special thanks to our brothers Jack, Dave, and Dee at the Team House for introducing us to Mike! And with that, please enjoy this second interview with Mike Edwards. For more information on the Omega program, check out the Washington Post (https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/checkpoint/wp/2015/06/06/seal-team-6-the-cia-and-the-secret-history-of-u-s-kill-missions/) or Wired Magazine (https://www.wired.com/2011/09/cia-killing-machine/). 👇 Show Notes: 00:00 - Introduction 00:57 - Guest Profile: Mike Edwards Round 2 02:33 - Start of Interview 02:41 - Route to Regimental Reconnaissance Company  06:43 - Tough Ops. in Rangers 07:51 - Training and Selection for (RRC) 12:30 - Difficulties During Selection 20:14 - Skydiving and Freefalling 23:31 - Human Tracking 28:23 - Relationship with Rodney Brown 37:30 - Mike's MI-47 Helicopter Crash 41:54 - Interrogations 44:08 - Difference Deploying With A Child 46:39 - Mike's MP7 Op. 58:06 - Challenges With Mental Health and Religion 01:04:40 - A Tough Op. 01:12:15 - Battlefield Interogations 01:17:20 - Most Courageous Act 01:20:58 - Post Service Recovery 01:23:46 - Religious Community 01:26:54 - Exedous Relief 01:30:01 - Plans for the Future 01:34:18 - Sentimental Items 01:36:00 - Would You Do It All Again? 01:36:38 - Listener Comments and Feedback 🔗 Find Ryan Online: - Ryan’s Linktree https://linktr.ee/combatstory - Merch https://www.bonfire.com/store/combats... - Instagram @combatstory https://www.instagram.com/combatstory - Facebook @combatstoryofficial https://fb.me/combatstoryofficial - Send us messages at https://m.me/combatstoryofficial - Learn more about Ryan www.combatstory.com/aboutus - Intro Song: Sport Rock from Audio Jungle 🔗 Find Mike Online: Project Exodus Relief Afghanistan https://www.proexodusrelief.com/
99:14 12/23/23
JSOC (Regimental Reconnaissance Company), OMEGA (JSOC-CIA Hunter Killer Teams), Expert Breacher and Free Fall, Plus Earning a Silver Star in Combat - Mike Edwards Round 1
Join our weekly Combat Check-In Newsletter (www.combatstory.com/newsletter) to get a short email from Ryan for people who love and support our veterans, service members, and their families. It has info on a significant event in military and/or intel history, a funny military joke, an update on a current event I'm following, something I'm doing that week in my life, a book I'm reading, a look at an upcoming interview, a reflection on a past episode and more! This episode was sponsored by HelloFresh! Go to HelloFresh.com/combatstoryfree and use code combatstoryfree for FREE breakfast for life! Today we have part one of a two part Combat Story with Mike Edwards, a former special operations soldier and leader with 18 combat deployments with the Ranger Regiment, Regimental Reconnaissance Company (RRC), and as part of the Omega Program where JSOC and CIA personnel were paired together to form lethal operational units downrange. The Washington Post described the Omega Program as “units comprising CIA personnel and troops with JSOC…using co-mingled bases in Iraq, Afghanistan and Yemen” and “mostly designed against specific high-value targets.”   In this first interview, we dive into Mike’s entry into the military as an 11M and his first round of deployments with Ranger Regiment post-9/11, including earning what is often referred to as the mustard stain on his jump wings after a static line jump to seize an airfield at the outset of the Iraq war (he ends up very much like Shrek did on his first combat jump!). We dig into hunting the deck of cards, earning an EIB, then CIB, losing friends to a female suicide bomber, and then the intense operation in which Mike was awarded a Purple Heart and Silver Star.  Stay tuned for part two with Mike where we dive into some of Mike’s more intense combat experiences, low vis tactical work, and fighting in Omega and RRC. Special thanks to our brothers Jack, Dave, and Dee at the Team House for introducing us to Mike! And with that, please enjoy this first episode with Mike Edwards. 👇 Show Notes: 00:00 - Introduction 00:48 - Guest Profile: Mike Edwards 02:06 - Start of Interview 02:38 - Childhood 05:15 - Serving with Family 09:53 - Path to the Military 10:55 - Decision to Enlist 14:50 - Start of Career and Korea 22:35 - HelloFresh Ad 23:50 - Switching to Ranger Battalion  27:06 - Overlap of Special Forces and Regiment 30:35 - Welcome into the Ranger Community 36:40 - Welcome into the Unit 41:42 - First Deployment 47:57 - First Combat 52:30 - Coming Back After First Deployment 54:07 - Injury During Operation 01:08:25 - Realizing Invinciblity  01:15:25 - Learning from Gunfights 01:17:25 - Strykers 01:18:30 - Snot Story 01:20:46 - Listener Comments and Feedback 🔗 Find Ryan Online: - Ryan’s Linktree https://linktr.ee/combatstory - Merch https://www.bonfire.com/store/combats... - Instagram @combatstory https://www.instagram.com/combatstory - Facebook @combatstoryofficial https://fb.me/combatstoryofficial - Send us messages at https://m.me/combatstoryofficial - Learn more about Ryan www.combatstory.com/aboutus - Intro Song: Sport Rock from Audio Jungle This episode was sponsored by HelloFresh! Go to HelloFresh.com/combatstoryfree and use code combatstoryfree for FREE breakfast for life!
82:55 12/16/23
Day of Infamy | Pearl Harbor Attack Stories and Background by Parks Department Tour Guide David Kilton
On today’s Combat Story we dive into stories of a handful of the brave men who were at Pearl Harbor during the tragic December 7th, 1941 attack that changed the course of history. These are stories of action, selflessness, and courage that few of us can imagine, but sound right at home with the stories we often hear on Combat Story and should not be forgotten. [Join our weekly Combat Check-In Newsletter (www.combatstory.com/newsletter) to get a short email from Ryan for people who love and support our veterans, service members, and their families.]  This episode includes Joe George, who was locked in the brig of a ship when the attack started and was released to save himself and then became a hero when he disobeyed orders to save the lives of other sailors. We also hear about a long term friendship between a US sailor (Richard Fiske) who was attacked and a Japanese service member on the other side. Then we hear about a family member of a longtime Combat Story listener who was there at Pearl Harbor during the attack. In this episode, we start by setting the context for the events of Dec 7th and the lead up to the war so we can better appreciate the very unique stories of service members who step up when the attack starts. To help bring these stories to life, we went to the Pearl Harbor National Memorial in Hawaii and sat down the National Park Service’s David Kilton, who is the Chief of Interpretation at the Pearl Harbor National Memorial (his job is to bring these stories to life). Prior to the Pearl Harbor Memorial, David worked at Rocky Mountain National Park, Carlsbad Caverns National Park, Bryce Canyon National Park, and Golden Spike National Historic Site, and Little Rock Central High School National Historic Site (which memorializes the desegregation of that school). Please enjoy these intimate stories of service and sacrifice in one of the most momentous days in American history. Find Ryan Online: - Ryan’s Linktree https://linktr.ee/combatstory - Merch https://www.bonfire.com/store/combats... - Instagram @combatstory https://www.instagram.com/combatstory - Facebook @combatstoryofficial https://fb.me/combatstoryofficial - Send us messages at https://m.me/combatstoryofficial - Learn more about Ryan www.combatstory.com/aboutus - Intro Song: Sport Rock from Audio Jungle Learn More About Pearl Harbor Online: - Joe George and Don Stratton https://www.nps.gov/perl/learn/historyculture/joe-george.htm - Pearl Harbor Background https://www.nps.gov/perl/index.htm Show Notes: 00:00 - Intro  00:49 - Guest Introduction (David Kilton) 01:53 - Interview begins  02:15 - WWII Political background  05:22 - Japanese Preparation for Pearl Harbor attack 11:10 - Sunday morning on Oahu 16:00 - Pearl Harbor Geography 17:29 - Security before Pearl Harbor 21:26 - Pearl Harbor Attack 27:12 - The Joe George Story 31:41 - The Richard Fisk Story 43:14 - The Walter Sealock Story 49:50 - Closing Thoughts 51:23 -  Listener comments and shout outs
53:59 12/9/23
Ambushing the Taliban; Four BUD/S Attempts; SDV, DEVGRU and ASOT III; Protecting Tom Cruise; Kingsman Anti-Human Trafficking - Rodney Brown
Join our weekly Combat Check-In Newsletter (www.combatstory.com/newsletter) to get a short email from Ryan for people who love and support our veterans, service members, and their families. It has info on a significant event in military and/or intel history, a funny military joke, an update on a current event I'm following, something I'm doing that week in my life, a book I'm reading, a look at an upcoming interview, a reflection on a past episode and more! 🎙️ Today's Combat Story: Navy SEAL, SDV Team One, and DEVGRU  🎙️ Today’s Combat Story focuses on both Navy SEAL, SDV Team One, and DEVGRU member Rodney Brown and his connection to an upcoming guest, Mike Edwards. I asked Mike, in preparation for a future interview, who I could talk to about Mike’s time downrange. Surprisingly, Mike, an Army Ranger, referred me to Rodney, a Navy SEAL. After talking to Rodney, however, it’s easy to see why and how this brotherhood was created. Rodney spent years with SEAL Delivery Vehicle Team One and then several years providing intel support and advanced special operations techniques with Naval Special Warfare Development Group (or DEVGRU and what the press will often refer to as SEAL Team Six). During his time downrange, Rodney fought side by side with Mike and a host of other international and national forces, and other government agencies (or OGAs). He would go on to handle sources and provide tactical HUMINT for coalition forces, at times rolling outside the wire with just an interpreter!  Rodney was one of those who went to BUD/S multiple times, persevering to earn his Trident on the fourth attempt. He would support DEVGRU, work with the elite in the special operations community, create his own company, provide security for Tom Cruise and other celebrities, and give his personal time to help fight human trafficking.  Be sure to stay tuned until the end for a few rapid fire questions and outtakes with Rodney and, of course, listen in for his stories about Mike Edwards ahead of our upcoming interviews with Mike where we’ll ask Mike about the same events to see how two operators remember these events. 📸 Visual Aids Thumbnail is Navy Divers and Navy SEALs Conduct PRODEV Training [Image 19 of 19], by PO1 Trey Hutcheson. 👇 Show Notes: 00:00 - Introduction 00:52 - Guest Profile: Rodney Brown 02:49 - Start of Interview 05:16 - Childhood 05:59 - First time with a weapon 12:10 - Time in Alaska 16:53 - Path to the SEAL Team  29:16 - Responsibilities During SEAL Training 31:02 - Lessons learned in Training 32:55 - BUDS Reputations 40:10 - Meeting Mike Edwards 42:47 - SEAL Delivery Vehicle Team 1 48:25 - First Deployment With SDVT1 51:22 - Advanced Special Operations Techniques 56:12 - First Time Outside The Wire 01:02:18 - Time in Green Platoon Course 01:07:16 - A Challenging Operations 01:12:55 - Taking Life 01:17:57 - Experiences With Mike Edwards 01:19:49 - Clearing A Room With Mike Edwards 01:31:04 - Questions for Mike Edwards  01:38:38 - Relationship to Mike Edwards 01:40:10 - Most Courageous Act 01:42:00 - 53-26 Consultants 01:44:30 - Security Tom Cruise 01:48:15 - Kingsman 01:51:26 - Retiring Young 01:53:25 - Sentimental Item 01:56:36 - Would You Do It All Again? 01:57:27 - Closing Thoughts 01:57:45- Listener Feedback 02:01:23 - Bonus Content 🔗 Find Ryan Online: - Ryan’s Linktree https://linktr.ee/combatstory - Merch https://www.bonfire.com/store/combats... - Instagram @combatstory https://www.instagram.com/combatstory - Facebook @combatstoryofficial https://fb.me/combatstoryofficial - Send us messages at https://m.me/combatstoryofficial - Learn more about Ryan www.combatstory.com/aboutus - Intro Song: Sport Rock from Audio Jungle 🔗 Find Rodney Online: - 5326 Consultants https://www.5326consultants.com/
138:35 12/2/23
Rd. 2 | Surviving the Largest Naval Special Warfare Combat Operation | Mike Drop | Navy SEAL | Gifted K-9 Trainer | Warrior Dog Foundation - Mike Ritland
Join our weekly Combat Check-In Newsletter (www.combatstory.com/newsletter) to get a short email from Ryan for people who love and support our veterans, service members, and their families. It has info on a significant event in military and/or intel history, a funny military joke, an update on a current event I'm following, something I'm doing that week in my life, a book I'm reading, a look at an upcoming interview, a reflection on a past episode and more! 🎙️ Today's Combat Story: Training Dogs for SEAL Teams and Founding the Warrior Dog Foundation🎙️ Today we have the second portion of a two-part crossover Combat Story with former Navy SEAL, NY Times Best-Selling Author, Trikos Founder, and founder of the Warrior Dog Foundation: Mike Ritland. Many will, of course, know Mike as the host of the long-running Mike Drop podcast. I traveled out to Texas to interview Mike in-person and then he returned the favor.  For those who missed part one, Mike described growing up in Iowa and, while still undersized, was bullied at school and had to sit in the same class as his attackers. He vowed to never let that happen again and immersed himself in a Karate Kid-like experience in the martial arts studying under an old school sensei who helped send him on his path to the Teams. In the Teams, Mike would largest operation in the history of Naval Special Warfare when SEAL Team 3 Mike would contract an illness that would take him out of the door-kicking side of the teams but also allowed him to follow a passion training dogs for west coast SEAL teams. He followed this path to build a successful business in Trikos training working dogs for clients and creating the Warrior Dog Foundation, among other ventures. Mike has done so much to find purpose and continue serving after hanging up the uniform in a way that will, undoubtedly, be motivating to people seeking their own purpose and next chapter. With that, please enjoy this episode with Mike Ritland. 👇 Show Notes: 00:00 - Introduction 01:04 - Guest Profile: Mike Ritland 02:09 - Interview Begins 02:14 - Background of Navy Seal Dogs book 3:55 - Aftermath of Oil Rig Operation 13:36 - New Mission Cycles 15:52 - Gulf War Veterans for Iraq War 20:36 - First Leave and Becoming a K-9 Trainer 25:54 - Contracting Fungal Lung Infection  30:36 - Interest in K-9 Handling 32:51 - Mentors and Experience in K-9 Training 43:19 - Human and Dog Psycology 50:03 - Proudest Accomplishment 53:53 - Biases Against Former Warrior Dogs 57:16 - Sentimental Items 58:11 - Would You Do It All Again? 01:01:04 - Downtime 01:08:05 -  Listener comments and shout outs 🔗 Find Ryan Online: - Ryan’s Linktree https://linktr.ee/combatstory - Merch https://www.bonfire.com/store/combats... - Instagram @combatstory https://www.instagram.com/combatstory - Facebook @combatstoryofficial https://fb.me/combatstoryofficial - Send us messages at https://m.me/combatstoryofficial - Learn more about Ryan www.combatstory.com/aboutus - Intro Song: Sport Rock from Audio Jungle 🔗 Find Mike Online: - Warrior Dog Foundation https://warriordogfoundation.org/about-us/ - Navy SEAL Dogs: My Tale of Training Canines for Combat https://www.amazon.com/Navy-SEAL-Dogs-Training-Canines/dp/1250049695 - Mike Drop Podcast https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCNZR15cy3w1fzGXgI5oy5aA
70:44 11/25/23

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