« Jocko Podcast

207: Live a Life Worth Fighting For. Medal of Honor Recipient, Kyle Carpenter

2019-12-11 | 🔗

0:00:00 -  Opening

0: 06:24 - Kyle Carpenter.

4:30:24 - Final thoughts and take-aways

5:00:30 - How to stay on THE PATH.

5:33:00 - Closing Gratitude.

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This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
This is a joke gas number two o seven with ECHO Charles and me Java, willing bidding me echo good evening. Now, on Cast to over three. I had the honour of. Having on some members of Kilo company, three seven Marines. Corporal Kelly Miller Sergeant Wild Bill, Wm Hamilton. First sergeant job further Ferguson and lieutenant Trent Gibson. When they came on the podcast too,. Share the story of their brother in arms. Their fellow Marine Jason, Dunham. Who sacrificed his own life by smother?
a grenade to save Kelly Miller and Bill Hampton on April, fourteen two thousand for when he died. Of his wounds eight days later on April, twenty second, two thousand and four. And obviously that was an extremely hard podcast to record. I know it's hard to listen to his hard for them to rig Their memories of Jason. End of his life and of His death as well when it was hard for me to. Watch as their emotions came to the surface of the sea,. The anguish.
In their faces in here. The sorrow in their voices as they spoke. It was also hard for me because I was thinking about Mikey monster. Because on September, twenty nine two thousand six in the city of our remedy. I rack Mikey Who is one of my guys in task The browser, it's your team three, also jumped on a grenade. To save three of our teammates. When he was also killed. From this ultimate act of selflessness,.
In both of those men posthumously received. The medal of honor. And the stories of. Jason and Mikey, were I mean they were definitely similar stories. And what the men of three seven Kilo company went through war. Similar to what we experienced in tasking Boozer from The morning of our brothers to the writing of the award citation, to the ceremony at the White House to the christening of. U S! Navy warships! One named the! U S, s Jason Donovan! One named the! U S s! My. Mom sore.
And there's another similarity. That's their that. That can't be denied, and that is that We all wish that we could have Had one more. One more conversation with these heroes. One more chance to tell them. About our lives now to tell them that we are not wasting the gifted, they have given us one more chance to talk and smile. Offered with them again. One more chance to say. Thank you.
But we will not get that chance police, not in this life. Because, even though we remembered them, they are gone. And we can only imagine what they would say to us now where they would be. How they would explain their actions what kind of miracle could have allowed to survive. And to survive, something like that, it adopts we would take a miracle
Miracle, on top of a miracle, on top of the miracle, on top of a miracle to survive eagerly Blast at point, blank rage. Well, fortunately, miracles do sometimes happen and tonight on the broadcast. We have someone here with us, that is the result of many miracles. Miracles that unfolded after you, did the same thing, that Jason Dunham did the same thing Mikey months, or did he smiled? a grenade with his body to save his friend. S name is Kyle Carpenter
And it is an honour, and it is a miracle to have him here with us tonight. Kyle thanks for coming on, to ask me to meet you, please Billy, He too and to say it honour and privilege to be here- would be an understatement. So I do appreciate this opportunity. Yeah I debts. And through the podcast, I had and one of my guys MIKE's marks on he's one of the guys at my command sore saved in you notice. Would sitting there with the guys from Kilo company and you just use thinking the whole time that man, if I could just Still have one more conversation with your bro, you know just one more conversation. And you know what went on without reading your story. Mina I'd obviously heard about your story, but I was reading about your story. You know it's like I
I kept smiling myself insane man. This is this. Is chance. You know this is the chance to talk to somebody that for all practical purposes, there's no possible way that you should survive. There's an there's just- This doesn't make sense. I mean the That's why I use the term miracle. I know you used in your book as well. But to have you here sitting and be able to talk to you it's it's just that it's amazing hasten to to sit here. So thanks for. Making the journey and making the trip and come out here. Can I just mentioned your book. You got this. I just came out called. You are worth it and didn't. Whenever I have someone on, I was kind of like to start. Is to start at the beginning? You know, can cut figure out what people's backgrounds were where they came from and you do.
A good job that you know you actually you your second chapter in the book is called. It starts at home. And you go into your history, so Pre sounds like you're. Pretty let's just say the energetic kid like a little five year old Marine yeah, you start off here my I will tell you that I have our confidence in any little any look here in history when I was- tat. The rights is, he draw Superman Logo on my chest with a marker and not some weak washbowl marker that would come off in the bathtub know. I'd be the main of steel and permanent marker and I wanted the logo redrawn every time the ink started to fade aside from my secret superhero identity, I was exactly like every other little boy Mississippi. I was fearless restless, reckless and relentless a tiny blonde ball of energy climbed up leaped from played on rolled in, ran around or found
a way to destroy whatever I possibly could in my dad and more We're thrilled about a truly from the start My parents, german Robin taught to believe Tommy to believe in myself. Of course, protecting me and worried about me at times, but they also made me believe that anything was possible. They both. Up and wonderfully stable and loving homes that had also been a little bit sheltered my mom it set a go to make sure her kids expanded their horizons. My dad said my dad made sure he didn't just spend time with his kids, but made quality time with them, gauging with us in meaningful and deeply personal ways both of them hit their pay, Ngos squarely on the head, so that's it. That sounds like you had in a very ideal upbringing. I did in an absolutely gave me, the a nation that I needed to be
the person I wanted and needed to be. And also, I believe, played a huge part in that nation now allow me to be the marine and the friend that I needed to I'm so thankful and proud. That I was in that moment stepped up. When I was needed by talking about that chapter, the book I was hesitant actually turn to rights. So much about my parents, how amazing they are and how much they did for me, because I wrote this book too. Transcend all boundaries, and I wanted to write a book- that anyone in everyone could pick up and understand, but also take lessons from but what they said. I dont want to shut anyone out either
and I know that. There are so many out there that we're not his fortune is me now born into this, able, loving, can a textbook perfect home. But as I thought about it, and through the two years of riding, sided that hopefully put it in there, and hopefully it will. Turn anyone away. If anything, those that may be dead. Get that example, that don't know not only how great of apparent can be, but also in those trials and tribulations com. What you can make it through- Is everyone? Was their kids wants to help them in and make them great by? I wanted to use my parents as an example of of the hardships I can make
it through with your child and what you can battle three together new else's. It's interesting when you come out from that angle. Because, as I was reading this thought- goes in your brain right of like well. Oh, he had this perfect childhood right No wonder he ended up good here's, the thing there's after kid, after kid in the world that have the most perfect situate, that they grow up in and it turns out backfire on. I mean what's the difference, the line between being a spoiled kid- I mean the fact that you join the Marine Corps right Have a nice I'll bring you had no reason to to say: oh I'm, I'm I'm not! I'm outta! Here, College. I want to go in the Marine corps him to be a grant them report like that's. There's a fine line right with reason: kids for kids there's a fine line between pay supportive and I'm helping and I'm gonna
I'm gonna be there for them. And turning them into spoil brats. It seems like your parents found the place where that line existed in and didn't go overboard, but at same time. You know they they provided you with sport. That makes sense Absolutely that makes perfect sense yeah. I think All the way up until working at that, can plant for tee summers wow. You know where my potentially being spoiled ended yeah I can the entire book about my parents also thank for that then there from the moment I was born and from the moment that I woke up again to this beautiful bonus round that I'm living now awesome continue along with the book. Desperately wanted siblings, but that proved
Taking the elusive goal marked with a lot of loss, the hardest was still born baby boy when I was for I've, been over the moon about getting a little brother and crushed when it didn't happen, You can imagine how devastated my parents were too. A child and feel completely powerless, as is happening, has got to be one of life greatest agonies fight we two months after my six birthday, my mom birth, two twin boys name, they named pray and Peyton and I were smitten. I cannot imagine anything in the world more special in getting to siblings at once. I could not. Been prouder way I have three older kids and when when my youngest was so, they were seven like seven, nine and eleven, or something like that, or six eight and ten and we were we found out that my wife was pregnant, we're having a another kid in. It was hollow weed and we decided we're gonna tell him you know Halloween, then we can go out trick or treating it be fun. So we set
kids down and we say we ve got some really exciting news for you all year you're, going to have another baby, brother or sister at the rear, action. The eldest daughter literally stood up and started crying and ran to a room that made my little daughter stand up. Encoder rest, I cried. I been my son's started, cried right there on the spot, it was likely delivered in the eye was caught his head. While that was exactly what we were loaded for, what we expected, I was hoping for their Kyle Carpenter reaction. My day this is also but though the whole big, I dont, know what it will. I still haven't quite figured it out. I don't know if they were jealous I think they might. I think, my oldest daughter, who is very Sensitive about like money And you know I was in the Navy, we have a ton of money. We lived in southern California should don't have. My name is not a lot of money in southern California. I think she thought to herself, How can it be older, afford the Z free, Download dismayed the other did freaked out, but
The author for a kid, that's legitimate concern- and I might the elder related Anna and we'll get to it? But you know after drowse injured at Walter Reed. Specially being Junior Marie NET, one dream, not the point you want to call it that before I went to Afghanistan and you get these pre deployment breeze by son, the ring course side of things at a time, and hopefully this book helps Canada educate. And maybe change things up a little bit as far as protocol goes, but ah in these pre deployment, breezes, It's kind of light. They tell you okay! Well, here's what's going to happen. If you come back, thankfully, okay with your unit or here's, what is going to happen and how it's going to go come back in a box and there is not really between so
ignorant or military medicine, especially that some of whom were going to down the road. Some of my best doctors are saved my life and my whims and kept me here. There can be wearing Camouflage AIR Force Army. Navy doctors, but to wake up not know that military, medicine world is out there, along with the injuries, disorientation and the medication which I was there. No one factor I had a really hard time trying to come out of I see you fog and hallucinations thinking that no, my parents, lost everything had spent everything curtain provide those meal in food on the table for my brothers and, of course, everything they boy was covered. I think it costs a little a little bit
humpty dumpty back together, again yea, and I think it as a kid For some reason you worry about this crazy. Why situations, but thinking that sort is gonna, go a little bit better of him, and you know what my daughter did realises that an extra Pack of ramen noodles didn't cost that much all right. So getting to you a little bit, I was obsessed with any kind of physical challenge, so sports became a major part of my childhood. Aside from the birth of my brother's. The thing I was most proud of was making the Brandon all stars in Brandon Mississippi when I was in first grade with coach pitch baseball league and my dad was usually throwing the balls. And then you start getting into football. You- and I was say this. So an unwritten chunks of this book for everyone, that's listening, I am obviously not reading the whole entire book and there's this only worked all kinds of
details in their great storytelling and how much you thought about that. Cause. You wrote this, but by just story, telling capabilities great, it's great story to read and But I'm jumping around, as I read this, so you know you only get part of it that way after by the book. You are worth it so here we go you're gettin, your ear in a football now he wriggle. Finally, as some are practices between my sophomore junior years came to a close, obviously just jump jumped ahead and the starting line up was posted on the door, the football field house. There was my name: Kyle Carpenter, strong safety, and what did you say at this point? be one for now, the most I had done it. I had accomplished the thing I dedicated the last three years of my life to pursuing I was a leading- and I was all it was- a new also incredibly deflating. We do learn that my family was move
To South Carolina in a matter of weeks, so your day I worked in the. Poultry industry, poultry, industry and just with a lot of them, business world out there, you move up, do good things. Given oceans, and sometimes that comes with moving around which ah every other time before that moving across the southeast in Greece we make in South Carolina area time before that was an adventure, There is always the then I guess nerves and kind of dread of going and walking into that has the new kid, especially in in our middle school years, but this time just not only knowing that I was gonna have to restart
in a way halfway through high school, but also I high school football now and the grass chemo. Why is it they'll breaker by any means? But at the time just being committed devoted every out myself? It was either class aroused working towards that goal- is starter from eighth grade until tint grain in some rapture tenth grade, and that was that those hard on just that, in addition to knowing I was gonna start over, not only that the school that our starting over at was the first to story. High school I had ever seen. I mean nad fake, fake painted doors on the wall saw the dumb pressure can walk towards those, and, yes, it is a massive school, so nine hundred thousand class. So that was done.
Being in itself, but you not to have have a move right after seeing that strong safety posted on the door, ill stuff yeah, you kind of went from you also kind of went from the small, the big in the small pond The medium sized fish small happened to be in a tiny fish in a giant pond, is it felt like here go back the book. The reputation at work so hard to cultivate with my coaches back and Savannah meant nothing here, A guy would always show up ready for practice. Give a hundred percent somebody didn't get into fit fights or get put on academic probation, No one knew how hard I worked or how delicate our, how dedicated I'd been over the past few years to develop as a leader. Basically, no one of my new school knew my character. It wasn't anyone's fault, he was just Where the chips fell, I starting from scratch is a guy with a hundred and thirty five pounds trying out for football at one of the largest high schools in the state.
I'm rarely someone who gives up at that moment. I just couldn't see the point. It wasn't worth it to me to continue making it my life's mission to earn a starting spot on the team were none of it. Coaches even knew my name. I've He's been an optimist, but doesn't mean you can't be a realist to realistically I knew I would graduate before I ever saw the field earlier than the fourth quarter, so I quit. And the following months. That decision. And the following months following that decision remit, to this day one of the lowest periods in my life I hadn't just lost. I had given up the odds If who I was for the first time in my life I felt like I didn't, have a purpose. Yeah, you know you said it seems like no big deal. Your high school football or whatever this. One of the reasons that I reverend Butkus Books, one of the reasons that I wrote a bunch of kids books is because one when I was talking to my kids, what am I about something and
What I realize you I was like in the military and we had wars going on and I was worried about. You know big things like that life after the war and I was talking to my kids about something I forget what it was, but I realized that for a kid What's going on in their world is the biggest thing in the world is the biggest thing in the world and when you, when you worked out, to play, Highschool Forborne, you make the starting team You can't even play anymore that you're home world, your whole world and that's the situation, Europe and you dad notice that He recognized that there was opportunity that there was a little one, a I would go out in the middle of nowhere and he asked you if you want to go visit it then so you went out and checked out Wyman King Academy tiny Kay through twelve christian school. How small? How small like we are we talking twenty five kids in a class we're talking.
Three wants ladys handmade for every student in K. Through twelve, we prepared the football field, the baseball fields we painted the lines we the ends on we bill the New Football field House we built the new way room and then anything but properly because I was one hundred and thirty five lbs- bring all the weights in so hot, but no it was. It was amazing and just good small town, genuine patriotic people everyone. In other words, those are trot row in the end zone in the games where the Girls- be set in the guy's with awe camouflage still turn
blood all over their pants Eliza Game. On Friday night You know I've time and you I've been a big public schools. My whole life and you know everything from the uniforms to clear backpacks. So I get to the scorn- and I feel like I did in right away and it was amazing, but at the same time it was a very different worlds. What I had experienced in what I thought was was normal school. I remember one time it was weird who started the day. We are kind of in home room and his kind incur comes in bigger. Had been turkey hunting that morning before school, and had a big knife on him, in a current. You can't
have that year. Take it back out to your truck while he is turkey. This morning Now- time to start the day, so it was different experience, but one forever thankful, for the time you know I was just I guess you could say in such a bad place. I just thought it was. Moreover, you know are not there. No. I want to go check this out. I think it could be good for me in over one I did I immediately felt how kind and loved in that family and from day one I feel like I thrived in just again some really amazing people there. I still keep in touch with today, and that still show me that. Same amount of woven support, as I did on the first day and is actually not in the book, another example how small it is. Ah,
and through the riding in the contract, we have seventy thousand words, but we went along through the two years. You really dive into deep thought and self reflection cancer branch off remembering different stories and and examples in the stories you already given and we took out. Ham sandwich story by a nickname to these three amazing. What Ladys was ham sandwich because it has in the mornin our seek in there in the back of the kitchen and make me a couple of it that does indeed they met are small Because he sandwich again, should I get breakfast base of the two hearsay answers on how pay a later, but my dad did you did you transfer? Did you already start at the other big school and go? Therefore, weeks and then leave. I did. I wear
First semester of junior year worker- and then I too, third, I guess, during Christmas parameters, as I have spent a year and a half a king, the great year and a half year, that's awesome so so that means you were going to show up with only one more year to play football as well cracked cause. You got a couple, other cool Things to in here, you'd get guest speakers would come in, and you say this one who had the greatest impact me on me with Vietnam. Better named Cleave Mccleery must end the right. Yes while serving the Marines and nineteen sixty eight cleave took heavy shrapnel from a grenade, the costumes left eye and is left at the elbow. Now, he and his wife run and profit focused on helping military families navigate. Stresses and challenges of deployment and combat injuries. At the time I wasn't as take with the fact that he had been a marine or wounded in battle, as I was with the fact that he was someone who really understood how to live. Despite
advancing age and significant injuries. He was still active, engaged and dynamic If ever there was someone who had an excuse to throw in the towel, it was clean, but he didn't I was in all his spirit that someone who had been through so much could create an incredible life, not only in spite of, but because of his experiences So that's obviously some that stuck with you and then you had a football coach coach do little was a great teacher and was really funny with the students, but he was also absolute. He would also absolutely destroy you in the past on the practice field. Push you beyond what you thought was possible so that you ended up capable, stuff. You never saw you imagined you could do. And here's how you wrapped up. I finish the season with over twenty two hundred yards and orphans. More than twenty touchdowns and three kick off returns for touchdowns. It was kind of game from playing at a big school, but I loved it. In fact,
The euro is able to play for King Academy, my senior year we went to the state championships used losing in the finals in double overtime day they get on, it was really get on. And. Yeah I'm I mean I'm just I'm thankful for their experience. I wish out of her longer, but you know, late than never so it was. I was good, yet it's an interesting called decision to leave the big score and got a little school. That's the tough decision for people to make right and. It's one of those ones while mad this close to being done. Forget about it, but you you know you made that tough decision as a kid. That's tough decisions make it was wise maybe, thankfully, at the time I was so. I guess bomb now that it helped me made that
decision, but also looking over my wife, especially that time period and moving around like with awe gray and four lessons in life a lot of times those come from the hardest and darkest days and so now, looking back and my dad has as struggled before and maybe No there's a little with the fact that no maybe moving me around so margin and the fact that I was unhappy during that. Ah, Your time in my life that that kind of lead me to join the military but, as I told him in and as I truly feel, I believe,
that moving around and and you're being forced to meet new people being forced in new uncomfortable situation. Circumstances. Now I feel like all of those times Condition maybe as the right word, but they prepared me for a life of service, for life of service, which. No really means a life of the unknown to join, and I don't think until you know you go through the things Data on a life of service you can fully comprehend or get mentally prepared, are ready for so just to know
hey. I know what I know I know who I am. I might not know what's coming next, but I'm going to confidently step forward anyway, so I am thankful for all those moves and and all those good and bad days, because I do believe it all. It gave me essential tools to step into the unknown and join the Marine corps. Yeah you know, go on, go your parents again here, the example, my parents that was instrumental in shaping who I became and how I engaged the world. Everything in our home was about developing character, humility and resilience. My parents focused on raising my brothers and me to be functional, rational contributing members of society.
Even as they let us enjoy amazing childhoods. They always had an eye on what sort of adults they wanted us to become short. Arts and church trips were given. We were spected to take responsible from responsibility for making the house run smoothly, and were encouraged to be involved with our community. Life was more about life was about more than what we could take out of it, it was making a difference not necessarily on some global scale, but by. Improving someone's day or help to lift someone up. Those are like the values you were just talking about and then you say this new- you kind of talked about this already, but you say I realise there are many people out there who want is for I fortunate to have a kind of stable, loving parents that I was blessed with, which which is why don't take my family for granted?
something to be said for the so called all merit. In childhood. But your father love your Mama stick I too your brothers or do your best always be honest and never talk back. Like any family, Ares wasn't perfect, but an absolutely gave me the foundation I needed to become the Oh, I wanted to be. As the saying goes, my pair gave me routes and wings. They, none of us have any idea how important both those gifts would prove to be. Actually never heard that term before routes and wings. But that's a good one that's a good little dichotomy. There now give him routes and wings the other things that is awesome about this. It's kind of like Let's talk about earlier here, you are from this. You know picturesque family love and support yet you still
were raised in a way that you were willing to. You noticed up and make a sacrifice, and I'm not talking about you- know, jumping to grant me start about joining the Marine corps just that right there, you others. But the I guess what I'm thing about the stereotypical spoiled kid. That's never gonna do anything like that. Didn't doesn't have to be that way right and the The other thing I like about this is respect your spent your father love your mama. Stick tight, your brother's always do your best, always be honest. Never talk back, there's, kids There's kids that look at you like that and they they all that decades, a whimper that kids, you know what's the word lookin, for kids, you know a good twoshoes screener, a square, something like that and what you're proof that that's wrong you know that this that you can be raised that way and you can be tough as nails cause.
I think the reputation of someone that would say those things level, pretty this ragged a sixteen year old son. He wouldn't say those things because he'd take all out. I want my friends to think I'm? U no soft, I'm done, deal, that's the way it is. You know you say: love your mama! Maybe what a little bit but- What kind of sounds like? Oh Persons justa a square, a goody tissues and it's like, oh what anyone I've. Actually, plainest people before. Cuz! You know in a military we get people from every background in life. Every From background and live everything kids from the Gatt Kids from the hood kids from the farm and here's the deal, kids for good, families, kids from no families, kids, I don't have a family at all and they all up in the military- it's you still even with all those diverse backgrounds, it's hard to predict
what a person's actually gonna be like one. That person is actually gonna be like annually. Need some kid from the hood and. Versus some kid from a farm somewhere versus some kid that went to a private school is whole life and you don't had a fantasy about being the seal team, so he enlisted, even though his dad, you know, has ten houses, but that's what it does and you just tell what that person's characters can be like based on how they were raised. That's that's just the way it is out of you notice that absolutely absolutely from every background, and you get you might have. Rich kid, that's a total loser in your team. Or you might have a rich kid. That's great I had a guy Who was? He was wealthy beyond wealthy right. He had more money, his family had more money. Then you, oh Then a family could ever need in. Twenty generations like we're talking
generational wealth and I didn't know it. He was he was in. There is a hard somebody asked me about this. We think this guy of this guy. I said great those hard workers, great new guys, put now these make us happen, and they. Weird and howls. I isn't what weird and they said it just so weird that he's like that, and I say that What why is it weird and he said well, you know His last name is right, and I said yeah but I didn't connects the last name with ass name and it turns out. Yes, he said this guy. He he's got, We need money, basically, and I never would have known it millionaires cause he was just a hard work and head down guy. That was you had listed in the Dang seal teams. That's awesome, and you never know that so, it's what I think this this call. Out to me, you know, is that this type of attitude gets frowned upon.
And I guess that's a little bit of what you know what you were saying. You don't even know if you want to write about this stuff. That's what it's not like you saying I on and off right about this, because it's a little bit but some people might you know not connect with it's like hey. It's ok, you should connect with you. Can you should what people to do is look the positive look at the past if things behind this you know that's what I think and I think it's also that you did write about it and What did you say here? You actually you used. Yes, he said that there is something to be said for it right: coal, green. That's amazing that you to take that from you and I pretty telling me this because and I've never talk about this before by I always just to myself in my head battle with the classic the nice guys finish last argument because
for my entire life. My mom always, I said, know your your biggest weakness and it this was not in a negative way, but more just just wanting to look out for me. You know being too trusting people being too nice, and so you know I kind of plan off this. You know, should I be a little more hardcore, a little more aggressive, a little more, not me because you know I need to be in this world, but not I've
I believe, learn and realize overtime. That- and this is just me personally, but you know what I do and I deeply care about people- and you know I do feel like. Maybe I am a little too nice at times, but You know for that one time every once in a while, I am, I get walked all over. You know there's a hundred times that I am thankful, and I am proud of myself for always in a really striving to treat every single person, no matter what the circumstance with love and respect
And now start to go over the gray just turn. Thirty two over this long, you know sought the eye looking man, you know I do feel like now. Finally, starting to get to a place where looking back, I do realise that it's not a bad thing in all to be, if you wanna, say soft or a square or you know whatever it is, and you know when the times as a marine in Afghanistan when I needed to be when I was called upon when that was appropriate for that situation. In that mission, I feel like going into a room first with the saw- taken in the door.
Well, hang UNAIDS, Alma, Omar plate carrier You know that was me at that time, but now I do feel like I've gotten, as far as I have in life and done Well, as I have obviously with the amazing support team in the people that pick me up when I stumbled, but aside from there, I do feel, like my softness, I guess, has got me. You an incredible place in life. You know this. There is a saying which I was thinking of. As you were talking. That the saying Is- and I know you ve heard it before, because I know I have the saying is: don't mistake, kindness for weakness. And if you think about why that saying exists, saying exists for two reasons: one big.
As people do mistake, kindness for weakest people see someone it's nice and kind, and I think all that persons a pushover So that's one reason that that statement exist. The other reason That statement exists. Is there saying don't do that because it's a mistake because, kindness is not weakness. In fact, kindness takes strength. And when you have that person that has that internal fortitude. And they have the self assurance that they don't need to know what makes someone walk around with their chests. You know put pushed out actin like there too, Most of time, those tough geyser act like their tough because their insecure about something that that's going on and so when people actually have when people are kind. It's is there secure? I can do like I try. I turned you do too, I'm way nicer. I would I started training jujitsu. When I was. I started tree twenty something,
became nicer and nicer and nicer the more I train trained jujitsu, because I realized We're gonna need to act like a tough guy early to walk around my come, some intimidating notes I go notified somebody wants bother me than I can handle it, but I really don't want to cause our need to write. So I think that idea of mistaken kindness for weaknesses. There there's a reason why that term get said and there's a reason why you you best heed that any other. As you know, when you just talked about well I'll say this: Kindness may have a negative impact in the short term. Sometime right. I think that's what you're talking about like hey, sometimes oh, this person kind of got what they wandered in that immediate short term thing. You know somebody You know somebody cut in front of light and instead of maybe like hey, you know back once you don't want to market anything, it's fine I think myself represent progress, be somewhere. You who knows
They ve got going on in their life, whatever they got, kids and whenever so fine, they they might we in that situation right there, but over the long term be being I know people and help be blossoming. Look at this support, network that you just talked about those people were supporting you obvious, they're doing it cause they're good people. Due to cause you're a good person, No, that little extra effort with they say a disguise good human being this guy said, hide me. This guy was nice to me this guiding flip when I made a mistake like ok, the the long term, everyone just she's gonna, win every single time longer legacy. Short term. There's gonna be some some jerk That's gonna walk around and push around its like. Ok, everyone just saw what just happened. Come back here into the store into the situation, and you want to know extra help from somebody. It's just you're, not gonna, get what you want.
Why are you still? I was the admiral's aid for a while, and I used to have to book us travel no pressure, no pressure and use it to see me back. I write off the island. We are not logistical plane tickets are going. Are you a ragged hard? But here is a great guy, a nice guy, but you know you wanna, take care of the bosses guidance in charge of all the seals, and I want to make us life easy, so I would be. Looking travel and we'd, get bad seats like on an aircraft. And I would call up the Dang help desk of delta or America, whoever whatever airline- and I spend at least the first like two minutes, of saint hey. Are you do your? They say? How can I help you, and I say I do not just set up some travel and I'd, make some little small talk and I'd be nice to give Don t you like the chances of success when you were just nice to people just just just be nice. I may say well
the date of the first response, but no the seats are about. Like I'd, say you know, wow Is there anything I could do I've? I got my boy, I don't usually complain about my boss, that's how connect with em you know my boss, he's gonna. I work for His guide he's can be a bit horse which is actually not true, so down a little white lie for they relate here as soon as I was soon as they related to me as like someone that was just a work and not like they were they say. Ah, you know what I can get you an upgrade right, let me get you a window or whatever they just take care of me just by being nice. You know where I was guarantee you you get phone with someone at our airlines and you start say, look I booked issued to rescue. You need to give me that shit. I want theirs pass your accident on the next, why there are even now now you're on the next wonder of middle, see forty seventh role here in the cargo, but you know that you're exactly right, a kidney set it better and
with. All that said always cannot forget light the biggest to this end. After yet heavily grenade nets. So gay people are taken, I have to I hopefully that in a cell gives me a little bit of credit that gives you some credit guess. How many hammer on your parents a little bit more, will not hamper on them, but bring a muddle of, but more my parents did not believe in short cuts. I always claimed I believe, the same thing until I was Eighteen to my dad got me a job at that in processing plant where he worked. I figured I would get some kind of an errand boy starting the coffee in the mornings may be feelings and paper worker answering phones in the air conditioned office dad. Didn't pull the though
and I was definitely not the bosses son. I was Kyle the new higher you go into that it's. Obviously it's it's real hard work, real hard work, very hard work, then this is this what you get out of it! This is again looking at life of what can I learn? Can you know you were saying earlier that all these different situations that you've been in that prepare you for the future in this is one of them as awful as I thought that job was, I developed a whole new appreciation not only for the value, but also the importance of hard work. It was sobering for me to realise first hand how many hard working people do a job that allows us to grab food at a store with giving a second thought to how it got there. So you you're learning about work. You know this is. This is what it is. And also learn to appreciate once again you want when we talk about being raised in a shell, situation, you know that's it's. What that is you don't understand what goes into that choice?
in Patty, that's coming onto your plate at night. You know we have Factory up and main and there's where we They close. You know any when people don't realize. Oh some somebody made that somebody so that you don't you people did their fingers in danger themselves just trying to make a pair of genes or time away from their family exact course. It's a job, but still there, there is real sacrifices out there in the world and its and that's it mark made of by the way, That's what America is hard working, people that that put in paddies on your plate, and put a pair of genes in your drawer. And then you also start in some leadership. Skills your also gained an important and important enter in my supervisor Rodney Taylor. He was in charge of of invitation for the plant and a leader like none. I had met before he was rough around the edges. Inauthentic you
although the sleeves and worked alongside his team, whenever an extra set of hands was needed, he wasn't above grime or hard work. Since workers at the plant were from various walks of life, he to relate to his people in order to be able to indicate effectively with them, rather than getting frustrated at the differences in everyone's backgrounds. He believed that his workers would respect him more if he was to connect with them directly. He all I believe that they will do their job own job more efficiently, if they were afraid to ask him for clarification, that's look decentralized command. You know, hey boss, why are we doing this? Can you explain this to me yeah, absolutely add, by the way we communicate to you in a way that respectful that you'll, understand that you can relate to these are so really good lesson learned from the jacket factory, yeah also two more things he had this guy
It worked on your kind of his right hand, man and I I did see him get out, get dirty get down on his hands and knees. Work show us how to do certain things, and provides. For every one time he left his office. Guy his right hand, man came in fifteen twenty times a day. And so now. After Ernie met title becoming a marine, seeing how in core military is as far as effective communication and a gating. What was going on there now and also a big portion of the workforce at Chicken factory was from hispanic community, Mexican Americans and. After he got that position he would
his workers in while he was working on learning spanish himself, bring in a man all day, just asking questions. Had you conjugate this? How do you say this and he. To where you completely fluid, and he did that now I realize, because he needed the most effective communication. He didn't need anything he could afford to have anything. Lost in translation just because and learn second language know Joe a course you could a guy in his right hand, man in their got. You know any number of people out of the plant to help him out with that, but he wanted to do that. You wanted to take ownership of that position and those under him, and so through that and and just those simple lessons and him telling me just story which now don't seem anywhere near as crazy, but
where's from his service and many of them were but just then that unless you enter our world you know on the other side of it are not only powerful by incredible to listen to to think about to try to you not thank you effectively can but to try to visualize or put yourself in those situations like John TAT of a plane and broke your wagon picture, shoot up and kept run into your objectives. What are you talking about right now? but just things like that. That is leadership along with those stories of of your perseverance and just aggressiveness and determination, all of that together
made me not only realise what a leader could be also. You know, planet that seed, sorry, that fire in kind of game me that burning of of of knowing that is more out there and And seeing what maybe, with hard work and dedication I could become not has perfectly, but just how he carried himself and that the way he even as sanitation supervisor at a poultry process sing facility. You know that we shit that he brought every day and how All of those under him were not only structured by extremely effective in I never.
Hung out off. So I probably because I got so many call stories, but in never end, they wouldn't have. Come in and reprimanded hammered talked him about business in front of me anyway, but noise heard about issues with Cuba. With you know: Go down the list of all the pieces that help make this company was never hey, we need to start from the beginning, sanitize the plan again, everybody knew what they were do and how to do it and they knew they worked hard and did it right and had that effective communication That error was gonna, not only complete the mission, but over get out of there at a decent time, but you. Conscious of these things, as it was happening, or is this? You look back You go while I learned this therein. I run this there or at the time we, you saying, hey, disguise
good leader hopefully at the time, but I think, like with things. I realise a lot more now, looking back than I did at the time but I knew that it was a special and different and it was unique. What else? Meriting and learning at that time and he was prior military marine out there. A hooker here? We, the now restart, put the pieces together, Also where the most creative swear, I've ever heard comes into play so The little shock, interiors yeah my little baby eighteen there, that's all some. People can do a pretty well and you can definitely get a good background in creative swearing in the United States Marine corps
impressive and, yes, you can get a PH d ya. Think I'm just you know. Maybe that's bachelor's masters level. I never sworn from my kids, but I would take my son too. Mining sites when I was sure turning guys in the team and tunes and- and I think the first time he listened to me- give a deep if we see opportune his eyes were as bigger sauce replacement, because I you know these are running away cry like my own emailing enemy, rather already thought that was like that that bus bids serious dark right there, you could see the look on his face was pretty funny camp. It just like we are talking about here- is a time and place for everything he ate. My pattern. Commanders are guys at work for me back, come over my house. And I ve never swear my house. You know not never front. Went on my kids in and they come over
like how do you do that here? It is out of sight. Now gets wherever you can have your kids run scratch. Your kids will imitate you get have that so? So um you start gettin done with you know, high school. You start looking at college and that sort of the expected path, but, You you're senior year was what two thousand and seven is that when you graduated, two thousand and eight thousand eight. So what How can the wars on I mean it's odd and Well. You say this in here look round. The world terrorist activity was increasing from the London Subway bombing two thousand and five to kill fifty two people and wounded about almost seven hundred to Mumbai train bombings in two thousand and six that killed nearly two hundred people and injured more than eight hundred every I turned on the news it seem like the world was in chaos.
War is awful and I believe it should be a last resort, but sometimes it can be only way to restore some kind of order and help those in need. It seems to me that the United States military had a mission to do exactly that and I fit the bill of someone who could contrive You too, that effort Young healthy, fit willing to be challenged and eager to be part of something bigger, myself, it was at last. Part that affected me the most as I suited. What my life might look like. If I took a different path, I found myself increasingly disillusioned with the traditional expected path. The more I looked around ecologista more detached began to feel detached I begin to fuel for, from the whole experience. I could definitely see the appeal for many people, but it wasn't where I felt I needed be at that point, my life, I turn ninety in October and had been sitting in classrooms. My entire life.
There were some major events in the course of human history going on in the world. At that time I wanted to get out and do something. So you start thinking about it. And you talk about with parents and that, how is that? your mom doesn't do stoked on that. Was it was a difficult to say the least part of my journey and You know too, for a couple of mines, sure I had initially tenor Bergman On what I was really thinking about, and considering Like you said, we were in a time of two serious complex
and who knows where things were going to go from there with all of these terrible feeling and just Real things happening around the world and for a couple of months she needs to see my mom in the morning I dreaded walk into the living room and seeing her eyes, red and swollen and knowing that she had been crying through the night yourself because she was so scared and so concern for I was going to do this at the time I think she's thinking, hopefully not, but if I was going to do this, no man, her sign, her oldest son, could be put in harm's way or kill. By in after a couple of mines. I sat down again
you know. Yes, I agree that one day I was gonna get my dog There's gonna go back to school that that was a priority, but now the priority that I could complete at that moment. Thirty years down the road in. I know- will say that and then eventually dont go and just kind of classic, I'm gonna do this, and then that really work out for whatever reason, but that kind of secondary. I sat him one day in and when I told them. And after are obviously took the time to think self. Reflecting in truly decide if this is not only what's right for me, but what meant? me when I decided that and I sat down- and I told them this is not
Were I want to do with my life, but this is what I need to do and I have to do and. Not only do I feel cod to do this by. No matter what happens, this is my decision, and this is the path, at least for now that deep down aside, I need for myself. No one. I told him that they always London supported me, but in that moment, as tough as it was they gave me a hug and, and from that moment on, they were serving with me and they have always then again, they boys always always supported me, but I guess
that moment that conversation in NAM hearing that I believed it was my purpose. I think that ended thee period, and maybe denials not the right word but the period of oh, maybe he's just thinking. This is cool phase for just a face. Yet just a phase miles you did your mom or dad have any military experience either themselves or with their parents, know. Well, no one in my family, except for my mom's dad, who unfortunately die when I was very young. So think I one picture with him in I've deathly, not remembering how was he a career military guy? Ah. He were Navy guy hooker. Yeah, I think he spent it wasn't just see, nor for your term he's he's pissed some significant time in the sea to me like
if in many cases it would be harder for parents, they don't like you MIKE if your kid join the military or my kid join the military. If I know what he's doing- and I was getting into, I know what it's like and what's going on, you know, what's going to happen, unknown of just thinkin cause. What let's face it, what Hollywood per can portray the military to be like is a lot different from the military, really is and not tariff. We must absolutely as even used some people I think that your they think that the twenty years in another, these twenty years in boot camp does what they think they, twenty years of people Yelena Scrimmage units like now, that's thirteen right or whatever its very short the time and then you become a response, human being that's doing stuff, but an thou, and also I mean the chances of going to war
chances of being on the front lines, the chances of being an actual direct combat and then the chances of getting action He heard wounded or killed r, r, r, relatively small compared to what it looks like in Hollywood movie, Hollywood movie, it's like everyone's gonna fight, everyone's gonna war, everyone's gettin blown up, like that's what happens in the movies. It's not like that in the real military, so had plenty people ask me about that, and and yet The bottom line is the other side the spectrum is people think all that will never happen me, but also in its like no it is what happens when you do join the military. You put your name on that line. That means you have the possibility of this happening in order to give you could be there. You could go to war. You fight, you can give will need you could get killed. That's what the that's all that's enough, That is, that is one of the things that can happen without question, and I feel it
that is a statement that you say maybe you're not at the ripe, ways to sign on the dotted line, you arrived I've told many young aspiring seals. Want to be in the seal teams and you know that don't ask me questions about. You know the work out in the you know that kind of thing, if you like, You dont join the seal teams to work out. Do you work out the Jim to work out a twenty four hour fitness? when you'd, when you join the seal teams, why you join the seal teams to do is kill people and then what, you're, killing people, there's gonna, be people that are trying to kill you by the way. Sometimes they do it, they could kill. You make a kill. Your friends they're, not gonna care about your six pack, your in your work plan. No, no, That's amazing that people come you and aspire to be something that you ve accomplished, but
how many times have you heard? I wanna be a seal. Definitely lots of times, and- and I was just saying that yesterday, you know it's the bottom line is most people quit. Eighty percent, people quit. And that number really hasn't changed. So cool. You want to do it, but how bad do you want to do it? You know how bad do you want to do? It is the quest Do you have the intestinal forth? You did you have the right mindset go into it again, I'll care you from care what background from I've seen every day. From cut type of person. You can imagine, make it through training and I've seen every different type of person. You can imagine quit through the treaty. Champion wrestlers champion athletes quitting you know the Ivy League people quitting don't know, and then you get some from a farm in Iowa makes it
How would you like nobody wanted? The reason I say that surprising isn't cause his former farm and I were but every group in a form and I what does a decent judge? You never seen the ocean before and here you can see so so yeah. It's definitely something to think about and I guess what I'm saying is from your mom's perspective there two wars going on edge. You know Did you tell me want to join the Marine corps out of the gate? Did you go straight home run to the marine corps? that probably I didn't help that would be infantry. I did it and so doubling put this in the book by and I will try to be open and honest no matter what situation in our kids. I recommend lying near parents by it. I just kitten,
I couldn't hit him with to haymakers in a row, so I pulled the I was. I was military or police to to start out and then he's them into it after boot camp not really use them at all, but they found out after a little bit of time to digest just the marine corps. Piece of air, do you get a choice of an adolescent marine corps. Now was a kid. You joined the Marine corps real, Were you joined the Marine corps and then you got whatever Simon you're gonna get everything's open conjure. As far as I could tell you again, man, I was not Zactly. Smart now would opposite. Tito was even double, but you God, I've, never soccer marine corps recruiter, and it was like you know I want to be here. I wanna be a machine gutter. You don't he's like well will you join the brink or ever was riflemen Unring or ok, we're gonna be machine gutter. Well, you, I'd be, but you know you need a joint marine corps and I never got an answer that made sense and not
the impression I got. Was you join the Marine corps and then you got assigned whatever you gonna get a sign. I think later on, they started saying. Ok, we need to start allowing people some say over where they end up, but thankfully things have changed the occurred. Sir you so did you did actually ever have military. This your other lesser, that just fabricated completely I use the word lie: aid yeah yeah, no, definitely not occasionally actually, but I did You know: cuz, nothing is really official until you going and raise your right hand and all the paperwork as official. So it was what I was going Or for a few months by as I thought about it. You know if I was going to do this, I was going to fully commit and I wasn't
Not the most important thing was was earning that title that Eagle Globe in Ankara and becoming a marine by it get his ad upon not be entreated myself here You have a section in here on. On being true to yourself in coming months and years, I would learn what an essential part of the Marine Corps leadership is being ones word. Your fellow Marines have to be able to trust you completely and you them. Each marine has no that everyone else will keep their word. Otherwise, you can't stay focused on the right things, even more that, however, seeing promises through his reflection of your character and integrity and in it natural part of integrity is respecting yourself enough to defend and follow through on your personal convictions. So this was this was a personal conviction of yours that you are. We need to move forward with so you'd
when you unlisted, we raised right here. Did you have infantry o three eleven infantry? I did get some help. I can never resist getting a little bit of boot camp at activity here back of the book as you near the gate of Parris Island, the bus driver tells you put your head between your legs. Then you ride with your head down until the bus stops and the doors open they do this. If you try and run away while Abu Camp, you won't know which direction the only exit is, it sounds crazy, but it also makes sense given what's coming next its to be a universal feeling for every marine I've ever talk to anyway, when that, when that job. Or door is jerked open on the bus and you step out onto the famous yellow footprints as a new recruit you are with a mixture of thoughts. Is it real? What's going on, what have I done? Oh no, this is the beginning of a for your obligation that can't get out of I know I absolutely had those feelings at first, but I also
was determined that this was what I suppose be doing so. I resolved to let anything get to me easier. Said than done at Marine Corps boot camp so very go you're. Did that? you didn't classic Marine corps its way. I mean how many times have you seen for metal jacket prior to this ah. Crazy answer: had not all mine I know that have you seen maybe camp stuff, maybe for the best known I. Have you ever seen a rate in our movie before you know I, GA. Ay
It didn't matter to me to do the research, because it, didn't matter what was going to be, run a mere what I was going to be put up against experience, and so My mindset going into boot can work well I join the military, likewise to commit, devote my life, in purpose and now my body to something greater then myself or any one individual. I join them Marine corps growing, by always welcomed and thrive on that challenge. And so I knew my limit at that point in up to that point in my life, But I joined the Marine corps specifically because I wanted something that We would push me past those limits that
I knew about myself, but when made me really look deep down inside myself to discover not only how far I can go and how hard I could push myself, but who I could become in the marine, I could become an so after a little time, exciting new too much research, ya, think see one or two raided our movies with permission. You know This thought about it as hey. I don't think any amount of research can prepare I for one am about to the endeavours about two to take on. And knowing that and that there is really no point and even trying to know or prepare.
My mindset was just I'm gonna. Do this, I'm gonna fully commit no matter what happens I made a vow to myself that I would never quit, and you know I even I couldn't prepare visualize what was coming. I just was always thinking to myself. Ok when those moments do come there never more moments where I want to quit, or I feel like a mad. Those limits that I just I can't get past.
I just thought. Okay in those moments right now remember remind yourself how you fell right now before you went in the how specialists is tee, how how much this means to you, your purpose of wanting nothing more than to earn the Eagle Globe and anchor and in a few poor, probably owl. Why haven't remind yourself or that you obviously already know that, but as we all know in this room? Aha, in those moments with remembering those things and mining yourself and self, reflecting about those things that's why I think it is he too, while not easy by,
It allows you to hang up that tell or ring the bell, and so it was not more specifics that were coming my way, the just thinking about when those things that I couldn't even imagine at the time when they do com How am I going to handle it? How do I want to handle it, and how can I learn and become better and try and strive to become the best version of myself hey. What do you want? Nineteen years? Oh, yes, I was Eighteen, when I joined the navy- and you are about five thousand times more introspective and far from here from a leg of city Leslie, do you just said something like the things that I can I imagine the things I can't imagine. I couldn't even imagine anything I was just like so dumb.
You heard that saying you're going to be stupid. You got to be tough. That was written about me. I was like oh I'm going to seal teams. That's what I'm going to do. What am I going to do to get ready? I don't know they run, I'm going to run. They swim, I'm going to swim. They're not going to quit what you said so such they say that party brain isn't fully developed until you're like twenty five. Maybe years was a low, but only or maybe might was a little bit later. Does your way more interest, spectre than I ever was I was they got knuckle, drag her and you know and even when you said, research you're, like right and duty research I didn't will do I wasn't. I don't watch for mental jacket to do research dick I ever research to anything, but do I've bristling thirty you're, just it was a movie, and I said all that looks the others, the cool warmer we I want. Every war movie I capacity watch and than that. Opening scene of The opening scene, which is forty five minutes long for mental jacket,
In my mind with I would thank all of you saw that you'd know what was coming right, you know like ok, these guys, you yeah scream to Sababa walk, and you just did you do in here that buddy, at these incredibly introspective thoughts about what could happen if these situate, unlike sitting here, baffled I was able to accomplish anything because I never felt ready of it to that level. It's crazy, thus giving, as you know, brains are known for being, smart technology, so I can hold it down. Somebody put her a meme up it's a happy birthday Marine Corps and A picture of a two hundred and forty golf and then for- and it said they had a picture of the two hundred and forty golf, and it said plus and head for crayons that he said you were this many today I was like yeah. That's that's pretty funny. Good humor. A couple of things about about leaders,
bananas. Talk about leadership all the time, and you got this. Book like any successful and efficient organisation. The marine corps emphasizes leadership at the foundational level, with every marine trained and ready to take over the job above them. If the situation calls for this appeal, to me as being a part of the military, the discipline that shapes recruits into leaders obviously the way the Marine corps does. It is not the most pleasant approach. But it has a remarkable success rate. Then you talk. At this. I was honoured to be named a squad. The early on and hold that position through good, situation. If the d I decide, you have earned the right to stay in that role and you graduate a squad leader. You will leave boot camp at the rank of private first class, rather than private is an honor, but it does come with its drawbacks. You help
maintain order, but you also have to share the punishment with any one in your squad. Who needs to be disciplined if one of your guises told yes do pull up pushups you be they're, doing them right alongside him. That was one of the best Lessons in leadership the Marine Corps taught me a true Leader is not someone who keeps themselves separate from the people they lead. He or she is right in the middle of what the team is going through, sparing seeing the lows as well as the highs with everyone else,. Then you go on here. There times, when I got in trouble for something that one of my squad members had or had not done, and I had to be willing to accept that ultimately the responsibility for the execution of any order, came back to me since I had been trusted with the job of seeing it through and you're gettin that in Marine Corps book. Then his soul, a jet. So again in its
Something did I mean. Obviously I wrote a book called extreme ownership, which means that you know you're in leadership position, you're responsible for everything that happens on a per cent and and their teaching you this with simple tool to teach. You called worships Taylor, whereas right out of my mouth, you made that connection, though that's that's I find pretty amazing about you that you're making these connections see for me, look back at my career I see where I learned things I learned from more like a dog learns right, like I learned like. Oh you know, if I will this to happen. I need to do that. Like I don't you know your dog isn't saying your dog isn't philosophizing about how to get another tree right there just performing an action. Does it worked, It's kind of how I learned. When I look back, My career Had a bad leader and I'd see what they didn't, not that doesnt work good market to do that then,
good leader. They all that work, good immunity, that kind of like a dog getting trained. That's how I felt an it seems like you were actually connecting. Legitimate leaders. Principles even that that young age Even we you're the chicken factory, you make an app, that's pretty impressive man, thanks man, I wish I would have pulled that off and make any light feel like kind of smart right now. I don't know what to think going on here. By the time we got to the crucible, the gruelling fifty four hour culminating event. The cap's off your time at boot. Camp opportune was one unit that felt as if we were to live or die together every obstacle in the crucible, his name for different marine. Who is aware, The medal of honor part of it, billions is learning their stories of bravery and low. Multi honouring the history of which were are all about to become a part as newly minted Marines ring. Where's motto is sent, prefer Dallas, meaning always faithful. I wanted
to be a leader who is always faithful to the people with whom I was serving. I paid special attention to the each to the story- Each medal of honor recipient as the Diys counted them as we move through the crucible. It felt profile and sacred and monumental. I wanted to understand what made a great marine. That was also the reason why, when it started raining just three hours into my crucible, my feet quickly, blistered beyond recognition, I decided to hike the ten miles back to the barracks, anyways. Because my feet were bleeding so bad. The hours offered a ride in the medical van at the end of the second day, but I refuse to take it. Why are you I can, on your tiptoes, recruit the Bijou yelled at me, but I was not. To take the easy way out, I'm gonna stay with me, two, no matter how much pain I was in. You end I know hike as the sun is coming up at the pre deck in front of the evil GMO Memorial.
It is there that you are handed your the global, Agar insignia or easier as it is factually called they play The EPA in your left hand and shake your right at that moment, you officially earned the title Marine chills, health. That's that's new, relatively new that you get your ego global hanker after the crucible in blue how many weeks in the book camp is it You're their total about thirteen and a half weeks and the crucible happens. A little less than a week before you run about twelve weeks, your right there right here at the end of it. Yeah- that's that's.
That's powerful and it actually stepped up a little bit. Here you go to family day. You have the graduation ceremony and then this happens. It was a relief no. The boot camp was over, but I broke into a cold sweat when d I drove them Billingsley pulled me aside and asked to talk to me alone for a minute behind the racks and a squad Bay Carpenter. Here, where's, your e g, a retreat, my e g from my cover and brought it to him. He took off his drilling. Doktor hat and his own insignia and here I want you to have this. He said he saw something special in me in that respect, my determination to complete the ten mile hike, even though I would have been medical excuse from doing so. As were the most surprising in their impact for moments of my thirteen weeks and boot camp. That's pretty crazy! It wise and I mean now looking backwards. And more crazy, because I've never heard of that happening,
anyone else, and maybe it has in just come up but yeah before we dig it behind the racks, though I thought was made homeless, get out here alive. Yeah was, I mean floored blown away and. Maybe in a way a little confused to say the least. When you talk to you do talk about, you had a little bit of relationship with them after that did he tell you what was his reason for doing that? That's a big deal especially when he was the one that. You know you always had those leaders, Joe instructors. There are extra hard on you and seen to always take on you pick you out and Up until that moment, I felt like it was his
mission everyday waking up even at the time. We don't even think that that those guys slept his mission. Waking up every day to destroy, recruit car and I wholeheartedly believe that any did a ah great job at it, so You know that That moment was very powerful and- also showed me that you're, not a a good and effective leader at times can seem very hard on you. But but journalist shorter at the time sergeant, weak Billingsley. I realise that.
At least from just what I knew, and in that moment and the past thirteen weeks, that in again my opinion, but the most effective, leaders. Yes are hard on you. Yes, bring the hammer down daily if they need to buy now to have that moment and they have leaders that, yes, they do this. Are you all day, but at the end of the day they say you down and they. A calm, we respectfully effectively and efficiently talk tee and and tell you hey. This is why I you all day- and I didn't do it because I don't like you- I did
Because I do see that potential- and I am in I know the risks- I'm a sorry- I've been in, I know what you could potentially be going into And so to give the reasons not only why there so hard on you, but also to tell you This is why- and I do it because. I care, and not only that they give you the tools to fix, whatever it was- that brought that pain and suffering initially and not only tools to fix it, but how you can become better and how you can a gate, those mistakes and make them less and less over time. So yeah
I think, probably because out of a nice mix of fear and just completely dumbfounded that this was happening. Ah, I, and I was at a loss for words but again and now we're or great friends. I saw a few months ago we had a beer together, Yeah, that was a that was an important lesson that I've always carried with me that you know people that care about you, the people that want to make you the best version of yourself x, have to be hard. I was so what the last job I had in the seal teams, was training. The waistcoat seal teams and I'd be put in place. Through these really hard training, evolutions and I was really harsh debriefing.
The training was really hard. We set up super hard training and then- and then I was in- credibly, horsing debriefs, and I actually A guy like too eyes that record these two there were they work for me, but they would record debriefs like I'd, be debriefing and they would record them. I've heard em and I'm like really harsh. I mean just one and just pointing out all these mistakes and just really horse guys and what I realized it up There's two things it made me realize it, but one as our eye works. Upon gas name. Movie Yama, who is a army guy, and he for David Hack Worth and anyways. Became a general, but he was like one at that. You should principles that he talks about is like the most important things that you care about your people, so I
that in the back of my mind, all the time right and it's what you just said like when you know someone who cares about you, then you, you're, willing to listen to what they have to say There's that and then I started ass. I started thinking to myself. You know what I was. People what you started off, saying like ok, be nice to people right, Be nice, you know how you know when you, when you're communicating someone be nice cause, that's how you get people listen to you. It's kind of contradictory or think yourself, that's kind of contradictory. The fact that I'm telling people to be nice- but I know for a fact enough, Kirk recordings of me being oh the top harsh on guys. And I said to myself: how is it that cause? I would get feedback those guys. You know, either six months later, two years later, five years later or or that day they be saying that thanks thanks exit, good stuff, I need to work on that. I myself, how our
what am I doing? That's a lot. What did I do at that time? That allowed me to be. Brutally harsh. With these deep. And I realize that general move. Yama, explain it to me, he didn't say it Likely to me at the time, but I came to understood- understand it. What it was when I was putting guys through training. All those guys knew that more than anything else in the world. I cared them and their men, and I wanted them to be able to go overseas, accomplish emission and bring guys home and I cared about that more than anything. And so they knew that They knew that. I wanted them to bring You guys home a knew that I didn't bring. My guys woman, I didn't want them ever, have to feel that they. New? I cared about and not allowed me to say: hey you screwed this This is what you need to fix. You need to do this better and they accept.
For the same reason that you listen to and learn from Billingsley this, because you knew that he cared about it. That's the difference in their every time. You not harsh you're, not really those lessons good could be inshore moment downrange is the couple months later that not for your trainees is obviously longer, but no it in the short for every mistake that no, you weren't so harshly for could be a life altering or life. Ending. No mistake, though, that could have been corrected before so yeah. Is only right that I remember coming back from remedy and I'd be doing. Urban were Orban combat training with guys
if I saw guy it, didn't happen. It happened for probably like six months. When would see like a young new guy seal standing in the middle of street with no cover I will get. I would feel sick to my stomach like a just a real lack of sickness. I would over because I would think that they're gonna get you know, and I'm gonna be However, we do wish to argue I'd like trying to teach them that lesson that man, if you An urban environment or Amy environment you can not be standing out the open you move cover to cover, that's what you do. Don't set up. You're gonna get shot, and I would I felt this sickness in myself, comic eludes us. It's the same thing that you'd feel you know patrolling in Almaty too. I can army Garcia. One of my guys, like standing in the opening of its like, makes you feel sick cause you're waiting for roused come out. And so yeah that absolutely has in and in a far timeline to your. U get guys that would go through
basics, your training, go to seal qualification, training and deployed if they got a sign to a that was on the planet. They go unemployment, so yeah like. You could have. We I had in Romania O walk. I shall over that were we beyond deployment they show up, and you know we wouldn't thrown into an assault drain or whatever, but hey be extra security, and we would we start to use em we needed bodies we needed. We need men so that it can happen password safe from training the author Ahmadi, yeah yeah. That's that that's an interesting way to get broken. The teams, especially because we are talking about earlier, like the to combat that you may or may not see in a career. You know if your first deployment is to remedy. That's gonna tell children an half way through it might do you agree with that
see their trained and you read what we did, what we did with them as we didn't have high expectations we weren't like okay, now you're gonna be driver of the lead vehicle like no yeah, we we would. We would continue- trade while we're there? They start off doing some really simple and then, if they did ok and we continue to work with and we'd get him up to speed and eventually they'd be the bureau. But your what's what what's crazy You talk to guys that in Vietnam guys we're in Vietnam. You you just get replaced so just come in Would you show up and going I wrote, you don't be your dear three hundred sixty five days up you're going home and here's a new got to take your place and that's it and there was no continuity, wasn't like work, like what we got the luxury of doing work up to. Together, lived together, then point together as a unit. Do our work and come home together site doesn't, did they didn't work that way? Vietnam, which undoubtedly that is undoubtedly bad. You know I had
Jim web on here. Who is the maybe Cross Recipient Marine Corps, but you know story he's like was finished? The naval academy goes the base. Your school goes to their little short in condensed infantry course, That's like eleven weeks long gets fourteen days leave flies to Vietnam, and then they take him out on a patrol they point up to a region in the wet year. Petunias up there go take it over. And then he walks up their use. Hey I'm here to take over for the particular gulped examiners dead. Welcome aboard. This is sergeant. You know Smith and he's been running things, and then that night they got. Out into a heavy contact and he was on the radio call Danger close fire sport that night twelve hours, stolen grand crazy, bad It is not that show how efficient the marine corps is that you could take a guy like that, and they
would actually be up to speed your that's incredible, that's incredible, and then I would we just had guy in the park gas that was army, range or a special forces officer and heated listed, but he got ve rangers Got to oh S got to special forces school and then volunteered to be inside in Vietnam, and I was, I said you know well It was hard to get selected and he was like Oh, he goes, it was Vietnam. You know the survival rate of an officer in Vietnam was like nothing, and he said if you want a volunteer for that, they were like oh yeah, come on come on over here. Oh you're, a volunteer for special forces. Go come on. Oh yeah be Reginald, they come on over you and no problem. There was no resistance whatsoever. It was just why open doors, because so many the casually rates were so high. We going to have a little bit of a luxury nowadays, the way that we do in the army, everyone does that went out pretty much you can.
You can lose guys sometimes or you can have guys replaced. You know in all branches I think, but you know they're not gonna. There are going to do what they did during Vietnam. Again, I think everyone recognises that was not a good plan you had often very go to school, veteran infantry as so- why which Is awesome, and you describe that here for the next two months, life consist of learning how to master various weapon systems. That would be vital for our service in Afghanistan that and take progressively longer hikes where you dig fighting holes, learn how to operate the radio or the middle. Nowhere in combat survival depends on finding the right place. The rate right balance between caution, inaction, for. Most of us, myself included, are wired for caution, but I knew in order to be the kind of leader I wanted to be one who would tat my guys and do what I could to ensure the success of the mission I had. Spawned automatically when my brain detected danger.
That became one of my main goals. It s. Why? Because we all knew that a deployment was coming where we gotta signed after graduation. That's what infantry does we fight so this is interesting. I wrote a book called the dichotomy leadership, animal, you talk about it, what that book is about. The differ finding the right balance between caution and action. If you, oh caution, the wind, you're gonna get everyone guilt. If you never take action, you're also not trot composition and also, in my opinion, can have a higher chance of getting everyone killed because inaction and standing there while or sitting there, while the enemy, maneuvers he's not gonna, turn out good. So finding that balance and then the other balance that you talk about his protecting your guys accomplishing the mission like that's it. Caught me that you have two boats so you're right in it. Right it. You figured that out, yet we ve thinking about that. You were thinking about that as
How old are you, nineteen, nineteen nineteen years old? You are thinking about that here to an extent Think these lessons are a little more complex than then. What I was thinking bout during boot camps. I think I realise these even I do at the time I realise them less then, and more later, on yeah the reflection when you look back and for me. I've been doing a lot of that night. I got this book that I just wrote: leadership, strategy tactics and I start off else wasn't that fast. I wasn't that strong. I was I why transition I dont use these words. I just thought is today, but how transition from learning like a dog which is due to cut out, started to saying, oh ok, this is what's happening, o o
It is for me, one of the reasons that I got focused on leadership was because I wasn't that great at anything else. Wasn't that fast! I wasn't that strong. I wasn't that smart I wasn't gonna win any the races so. What I could do was like a pay attention to what was happening, pay attention to how we can work together as a team out the whole team do a good job together could help with that more than I could help as an individual. Doing that asked because I wasn't the best, so I kind of naturally focused on leadership because it was the thing that ice could do better than I could do the other things that's what happened with me today also amazing that. You were they introspective, knowing like a eagerly realizing it meeting to yourself, which is sometimes the hardest thing to do. Your weaknesses and to emphasise
eyes different areas that you knew could be strength we wish, I would have thought about it now wake the reality was, I was like. Well, I'm not that great. If this, but just want a dog tree and don't treat for me wise, as we were maneuvering. If I took a step I could actually tell what we should do. I can figure out what we should do And assumes I realise that I was like oh I can. I can do this. I can. I can be I don't even think of it in those words, but I thought I can make the calls you know I can make calls. I didn't think of that word yet and then luckily well you kind of, went through a similar experience to me and we'll get to it where you got a bad leader than you transferred to a good leader or you had a good come in, and I had that happened to that was in the thing that really opened my eyes. Ray. You finish, you want to get back this. You finish the school infantry. When our assignments came down, I couldn't help but feel like we had locked out the four guys who room together Griffin,
Scott MIKE Jared Lily and I. Had all been assigned the Fox Company second battalion Night Marines a k, a hell when a helmet, it had a nice ring to it, in fact, to nine as a unit that is only activated in times of combat- and you say Here I could have been more excited. However, this enthusiasm quickly turned into fear when the Marines from Fox Company arrive to pick us up and take us to a new unit. Twenty minutes. After ESA. Why graduation? The guy's assigned to nine were loaded on a bus for the ten mile drive up the road to Camp Lagoon. I will never forget the first marine I saw when we arrived. He had more tattoos than anyone I've ever met before I distinctly remember that his right arm was covered with a skeleton wearing a top hat and holding a double beryl shot gun that seem to point righted anyone looking at it. You up. That was, staring down the end of that barrel for the next four years of my life. I owe
the door to my new barracks and experience them, one of the most intimidating mon moments of my marine corps career, the entire put. Of Marines, our new family, had line the halls in preparation for the new guys. They had just got back from Japan To Iraq and seemed like hungry caged dogs waiting to be fed, it felt like we. Their next meal, I am well aware that last week, like that, that seed right there is epic, those guys just come back from Iraq and here's the fresh new meets showing. From ass a. Why ready to get some. He had so not only united- that marine with tattoos, have the most and intimidating tattoos by it. Of more rockets, Gavi shirts, which I don't even know was allowed at the time so
a new things or get getting real when those no Skippy shared on under the cameras and then yeah we get to. I hope I have demolished sense, but the barracks at the infamous french Creek can't was use which were not I mean on apart it s kind of a given by They were so much, if not the last barracks, that the rooms were internal and in the hallways and not outside to wear You can, hopefully you could is someone a responsible someone. Maybe an officer was walking by, they can save you. If, if you were getting destroyed, but no end not by his right were, but you know we got off the boughs and of course we look like clowns
We got our sea bags are packed, whether he knows what they got all this stuff, and so we get up bison. Surely round big eyes. We got hit the perfect time Maybe there are just relax, maybe at the a chow hall were good. We at least got a couple buffer hours to get never get checked in our lovely sweet and you know it take a breather before the chaos begins and They were there just were not outside. They were patiently waiting for that, nor to open up and that the chaos began right there. But again, you knows hard as they were, honours. They would have us ten o clock at night running classes, in the hallway, taking no pudding tourniquets on and off
going through those nine lines. Learning about everything from air panels to let you I know where you are two to those nine lines to fighting holes in just every being an at first, there was no love song. So it was in that nice balance that we already talked about by. As we went through those first few initial minds after that first three month deployment and leading at TAT, Ghana Stan you started to realize that ass. They were hard on you, but the respect, Well, we started to come, now. Only hope we started to come because they saw us working hard and trying to be the best means we could. But also. Knowing that look,
When we gave our loved ones that last hung or potential last hugging out on those buses, it was just ass in a dream If you are a boot or you been in a year or ten years, you're going into the unknown together and just because I'm through ranks lower than you mean that I'm going to try to protect you any less or vice versa, inside you know that mutual respect started to grow. Thankfully, and you know it's a good thing, because you know it. I know what what was it nor for us just to have that true respect. Standing and that of working together as a team, it's, it's not only vital and essential, but is comforting
a new. When did you get a sign as a soccer was a during s, a lie that once you showed up once I showed up here yeah. I still don't understand why join and forty three pound me was one of the biggest weapons in the protein welcomed in the Marine corps right on yeah that's the way it happened, sometimes you you just mentioned you guys did a little flow and, while you're out on flow, you here Obama is same, like hey working to step up the game in Afghanistan. You guys kind and know what that means. Since you guys are prepared basically prepared for deployment. Cause you're on a little many deployments, you guys figure if there's troops Afghanistan for this, sir,
thing going on. It's probably be ass. You say here I was excited, as were most of the Marines. I knew this is the reason we are joined up after all, to be part of a mission bigger than ourselves. Found roused looking for the Marine Corps mission and meaning we had a clear, to flush the Taliban out of their home province, stronghold in southern Afghanistan, where they were growing, never ending fields of poppies. Regardless of the what at what inevitable dangerously ahead, I was excited too early Place nipple tune that motivation drive was quickly overshadowed, though, when I was assigned to my four member fire team. My fire team leader was a disappointment to be charitable everything I seen experienced and had been taught about. Effective leadership was suddenly being contradicted. He yelled without purpose gave way. Two no useful instruction and was one of the slowest guys in physical training every day how
trust someone to lead like lead us as a former fire team in combat, suddenly that leaders as a former far to combat he didn't we care about anything but his next cigarette and getting out of the military. The days weeks and months dragged on under his command. So there You got a bunch of little statements in there my favorite one out of that as he yelled without purpose, because people, think that oh well with military leader, they're, gonna, yellin scream it's just not true and I usually bring up the fact that I never yonder my guys, when I as a leader when I ve held someone I feel like I failed about forty eight. Times prior to me, having de L, if I take us to a situation where I have to tell the other thing. I was up talking to a tech company a few days ago,.
And when I got done talking with the guys that was working, there he's a bet he comes up. He came up to me. He said you know what I talk about luck. You know you got to explain to people why they can't understand you got to let them come up with all these things. All these principles and one of the things I said was sometimes and people hear me say: hey Your people should behave while they should want to know why we're doing something and that scares some bosses get some bosses. You know if Kyle comes to me and says hey. Why are we doing this? I say shut up and do what I told you to do and that's horrible leadership, and so I said this and the guy me afterwards messages you know when I was in. I had this my my this first sergeant. I asked him ass a why we do in this mission, and he told me you better shoulder. If you know if you would shut up- and you will do your spouse, new, do you're, told Adieu and he said, glad that the military doesn't have that attitude anymore He was in during the nineties an Eagle eye, Where is the lesson I appreciate it, but
that's not the way the military as the military, just like the civilian world has varied types of leaders. These levels of leadership and some Amr in summer bad. So here you are. In the modern Marine corps, and you still have Marines that haven't quite figured out that hey. Did you hear yell young people for no reason you dont want it? You want to actually instruct them on how to do things. You want to make sure they understand why they're doing what they're doing and you the guy here that was none of those things. Yeah and it wasn't even a disappointment. I was just dumbfounded to two and I'm I'm realised as I was even expose, the other rings and the pull to my joy instructors.
Every marine I encountered Ronnie up until that point, it was just baffling to me: dad. All of these ideals. I had and about heard about seeing first hand all the characteristics that I aspire to have as green and all of these things. I was working so hard and driving for to not only try to- but really grasp Stan in every way he went really solid. There. Anyways is It was. It was scary because.
I wasn't in this situation. I didn't get put with this leader leader. As a sergeant as staff sergeant after a couple of years- and I was first couple of months in the fleet and. Not only did I feel like everyday day using charger me, I was, I was not able to thrive and potentially reach mouth full potential. For that day. Or continue evolving is a marine. I do a few months or get me in Afghanistan in Europe. You're gonna be in charge of my life and I just destroyed. You MP, tee. I just didn't what to do. I don't know what to do and I just got to talk about a guy in the mindset of ok. He is
Not going to define HU. I am the marine. I am what I know what I can learn how I can be in Afghanistan how I can step up here- in a really and this was counter intuitive- to think what he really does it matter in the big picture, because your taught that every marinas so vital importance to the mission need every reason to be efficient and to reach their full potential and so it was scary by just decided there. I would green learn, bob on my own. And I would hope the two other guys in the fire team really just one case, because he had come After me, he was a lower we're same ring that he had been in his long as me. So even those
a few months different. You know you have to start somewhere best. The marine corps sounds there's three men and room one of the senior rare yeah yeah exactly, and so I knew that Nay coup. Then she was going to be on on top of that roof with me that day I knew that I could take care of Nick. We could look out each other we can learn, do classes together behind closed doors, to really worry about him, but what that said- and. And talking about once you get on that bus. There's no right to two degree. Everyone is go and everyone's lies are just as much on the line is as the person to the right left of you, but I n n it's kind of sad to say this, but I got to where I look forward to getting on that buzz and going on that appointment, because I thought I can tell you what's up and what's on my mind once we get in
Davis stand, and once you are in charge of my life, which I'm not really gonna, let happen once we get over there, but I can educate young on the things Ivan thinking about these past six or seven months. Since I look forward to that. Thankfully, as I talk about I didn't come to that. He arm politely got asked to leave the marine corps after not obeying the rules. So thankfully you know I can say, thankfully, but just for my son, Preservation sake and our far team- thankfully, ah he did Kennedy his own grave and make a mistake to where he had led. The marine corps, which leads into yeah end user, awesome situation. So so well, that's not the awesome part, but the fact is you stay here. We caught a break. The marine who'd fill our old fire team leaders boots would be his opposite in every way
Terran heintz that he's a farm from our very eyes and was an eagle scout and exceptional person in an exceptional marine antics. National leader and my saving grace He was exactly what I've been searching for. Opening the door to the barracks. Corporal Heights seemed more like a teacher, then a bomb leading us with patients. Understanding and calmness heights style can be summarised in. One sentence lead with action, any orders are tasks that high, gave us he had. They're already done himself or he was absolutely willing to do alongside us. He made sure we ate first he the one to work holidays and take less to take the less desirable posts. So his junior guys were taken care of in short, he earned respect. He didn't demanded. I wanted to follow him,
until my last breath his I will change the morale of our entire fire team, the bond of trusting commitment. We felt towards one another became unbreakable. As hard as my first experience was. I am thankful to have been exposed to poor leadership so early on it not They taught me what leadership is not supposed to be like, but it also showed me that, no matter what is going on around your who's in charge, you can still be your own leader and lead those Leader to those around you, I think, experience, helped bring the rest of our fire team. Together, we were We need that in the months ahead, there. You go you. This is a great contrast, and this is what I was saying. This similar thing happen to me: I'd Appleton, commander that got fired and edible leader came in to take his place and that was my second platoon and so I had just enough experience to like pay attention, and this is probably, when I see
Moving more out of dog learning mode into actually paying attention, but this of those two things. The contrast is what sort of joy to me into paying attention, you don't say: while this guy was horrible, we didn't like him. We had a mutiny and got rid of him, and then we had a new geike come in. Who was not a new guy, but he was Guy replacement. He was just the contrast of those two made me start paying attention. A lot and, as you said, your thankful to have it. I am thankful that have that that happened to me, same thing I saw my previous boss. I got fired. What not to do like. That's bad leadership or market. To do that. and this is another little dichotomy you talk about even from our first day as new recruits on Paris Island. We were Simon, simultaneously being trained to be leaders and also respectful of orders. So that's The dichotomy hate we're going to lead, but we're all going to respect the orders, sound illogical, but is actually a brilliant way to shape the character and outlook of the night,
generation of rates. What, witness in the first year of Service modeled me for the importance of the balance, confidence and humility. Initiative and patience action caution. So there you use named for economies of leadership that everybody has to pay attention to. And if you Too far in any of those directions, in any those characteristic they'll be bad. So if you have too much well it's bad too much. You motive bad too much initiative bad too much patience, bad too much action bad to worse, caution bat bounds every single one of those. And then you say, the best leaders aren't the ones who detached themselves from their people or use their authority to avoid responsibility, The leaders who have the most influence and ultimately earn the loyalty of their team are the ones who invest them. I in their people and who willingly shoulder the responsibility that comes with being in charge,
learned from watching the Marines more senior to me and from being entrusted with a bit of authority myself, a boot camp that being a part of whatever needs to be done, no matter how seemingly menial or unpleasant goes a long way towards strengthening the bonds of a group when you the person in front of you during drills- is also willing to be in front of you in a fire fight or next you scrubbing the squad Bay. You begin to view the entire mission and your role in it differently, a great leader Communicates his or her actions that you, Worth their time, effort, energy and sacrifice- That's when your people will trust you to lead them anywhere even into the heart of the fight. And that's exactly where we were headed so there you I mean these. These are just again, incredibly profound leadership attributes that you're picking up Of these dichotomy, I don't know I wrote about I'm glad I can make you pay.
Jackie, hey. What do you know if I would have stolen the idea? Put it in a book before you, you'd have another book I held already again, and this is it's one of things that, as I was teaching leadership to young seals, I re, I realized it. You doctor I'll bet, you're gonna be aggressive, and then they saw aggressive that it would be stupid and that's her well. You can't be over aggressive and then I'd say hey you got to take initiative, but then they take so much initiative that no one knows what's happening at eight. You need to still pay attention with the overall planets. You know so that's. What I realise in its true at everything, is strewn every characteristic and He wrote some stuff that you picked up You don't like I, we say ready invented. He, the stuff from leadership has been around for since human beings have been. Trying to surround the damn lying on the plains and killed right, somebody had to take charge that and Leadership has always been there, and even that
group, a guy's trying to kill a lie if they got overly aggressor veto to early they're gonna get get, but if they do right and if they and if they want aggressive enough well, then they would never catch that they so They have to find a balance to hear it. Did it right live to pass on those less united, ugly, exactly you're, hadn't deployment? Now in Afghanistan and again you got so much great information in his book I'm jumping ahead a little bit you're heading. Deployment as the bosses pulled out, we have good bye to our families. I looked back to my mom. I'd, never seen this look on her face before one of pure desperation. Then, we were out of sight how that here Senior more like ready to break down was it was. It was beyond, it was.
It was one of those looks where. Along with the thousand yards stare. Even though you know looking around there's nothin around that could help you, but you just listen. Because yours, laws and an insult Despair that that you You don't even know what to do in your brain. I think, is struggling to comprehend. It is really happening. Is reality. Is reality really reality right now? and so that it was devastating, but is in time. As I had so many times before, I had to remind myself this is my purse This is what I'm doing this
my mission, and even devastated me. I tried, and This is hard to say that I think I was in a way more successful than nigh attempting to not let those amounts. Actions carry on any further into that bus ride. I saw it. So tough at that moment, but how I knew that. If snap out of it get Immediately fully into mission mode there I might not survive to see.
Seven months later, when I could get off that buzz and give her a hug and see the complete opposite emotion. And and also new, looking around on that buys that. Not only were we all seeing those loved ones left together, but also to look around and wonder and not, I just wonder, but no hay. This bus ride home There's gonna be a lot of it d seats. And to know that and in no way your emotions in your attitude is going to potentially dictate or a fact How many a deceased there are on the way back. There was a heavy dose of Rio. He checked, yeah there's a line in the book and I didn't
He did earlier, but its weight when you're having discussions with your parents about about joining the military and unlike your mom says something online- you ve got the quarter there, I'm gonna butchered, I'm sure, but she says something along the lines of. I spent it. Oh my entire life trying to protect you and keep you safe and then set yourself up set you up to live a good life. And you're about to go, do something that takes that entire idea and froze, in the garbage. Can you alleges that about it, but just that far that's what a mom does right, a mom supposed to take care of her kids in here here, she's, he's done everything and you ok thanks for protecting me for, Ten years and now going go put everything a risk, everything you ve tried to prevent from happening voluntarily running towards it. You know a civilian aircraft. You.
You know you talk a little bit about your attitude going in and you know. You say this: it's not hard to feel invincible. First, the marine corps trains. You so well that you know your part of one of the most elite fighting forces on earth. It seems impossible that forty year. Old soviet weapons and homemade detonating devices of the Taliban could possibly pose a serious risk here in Europe. Eighteen or early twenties and the reward set of the brain- has not fully developed, for the possibility of danger seems thrilling rather than sobering its to think about death, when the world seems so full of life possibility and excitement, you feel invincible to be cut. Because up to this point you basically have been, Broken arm from falling out of a tree fort no problem, the doctors can fix you right up by putting you in a cat four month, concussion from a bad hit in football concerning, but you'll, be back in a few weeks. When that is your frame of reference, it's hard to imagine the degree of injury that might be waiting, you that might be awaiting you
If you can imagine it, it still seems like something that would happen to someone else. The problem is that you are everyone else's someone else I know you got a chance to listen to your, but I decided guy, a marine that was Guadalcanal, Torah, sigh, pan intention and yeah. I read this same exact conversation with a lot of Guys it had been a lot of extreme combat, but you know he was busy he's got yard and I'm sure some people die, but if not, we may actually be wounded. But it's not me and by the way he did it get got shot a tar wha. Meters out of the landing grid Well he's still at five hundred metres to get to the beach talk about miracles. He was able to survive but yeah that attitude of it's not Happen to me is a real prevalent one fur anyway,
under the age of like twenty three twenty four, twenty five, twenty seven. Insults already, and I think a lot of it is attitude and again can, like I said at the beginning, what even though we sign up for will we raised our right hand, you can do that research, you know we're in a time of too complex and too different on two different fronts in two different countries, and for your family, many more countries, He's in a lot of France that thankfully people have the luxury of not even knowing about, but with that said ah.
Even though we sign at the moment here think ah well, I could get my less blown off or the second I put boots on the ground. Sniper could take me out eighteen nineteen years old. I think those, even though you know it's a risk. You're not naive, about anything. Those things are just so surreal think, along with thinking, I'm not gonna happen to me also just not really being able to comprehend the possibilities that are very quickly and relatively coming. Your way, I think, in those two things is, is: are the two biggest contributors to that mindset,
I guess we should be thankful that that mindset- lists. Otherwise, I think you might go crazy right. Yeah, absolutely are jumping ahead. We didn't jump into patrols on day once so you you arrived Helmand Province autumn. Two thousand ten. We jump patrols on day one day a kind of leadership. Training down period The high ranking reads were not on troll first to get a feel for things before the patrols of their own. It was, a way to help everyone get acclimated being outside the wire, but our step, time to step into an active role came quickly enough. My first patrol took place for five days after we arrived. We stop that compound at the end of road, after pausing to talk to the owner about his family in the area and weather not he'd, seen Taliban near by you guys, security here and, as I learned my stomach behind my gun scanning the landscape, I remember thinking that the field before me was a perfect rectangle
as if it had been laid out with a ruler in a region, with their summits were so much is scatter shot adapted to the land? It was unusually to see something so precise. It was odd, be beautiful. All of a sudden it is as if the skies it opened and the clouds were dumping Hale, so many rounds were hitting the ground around me. I couldn't even see through my scope for all the dust they were kicking up. There was a funk, as bullet ricocheted off the side of a shed and at almost exactly the same time I felt thing hit by lower back about two inches to the right of my spine, just above my belt wine and Oh my body, armor, probably only an inch of skin, probably the only interesting that wasn't protected. I'm here, I yelled grabbing my gun and leaping about ten feet behind me to wear bodies were holding security. Two thoughts raised through my brain did bullet wounds really not heard as much as I had imagined, or can I just
So much adrenaline. My system that I was registering pain and after an hour We're outside the wire I already a casualty. I was furious that I wouldn't get to contribute anything to the effort and that if this stupid Taliban bullet sent me home, I couldn't imagine leaving my guys behind because of an injury on our very first patrol, as I bounced back another marine instantaneously move forward to man the end of the road security position. While the corpsman checked me out behind the compound. Amazingly, the bullet had not penetrated the skin, but it did leave a dark bruise, almost like a paintball fired at point. Blank range I was hurting but grateful. It wasn't a grateful tor. Wasn't over so quickly, so Your first contact that you the ricochet round day let's just say for the next four months. Every single day that we get in song,
That is the one, and only an last time I ever was in the problem position. Or a hundred rounds every single day item. I saw roughly era The Ngos were standing from that point on, and you know ah not only did I immediately phil more vulnerable than I I just in the opposition. I that's her the train as how we shot most of the time. And I had never really are- stop, let loose. The standing and- that really wasn't, even kind of an idea. My head suggest doing two things I can live
job in the military. You learn a lot of the most important lessons in Canada. The tricks of the trade as you go along and laying in the prom surrounded by Taliban, is not the way to do it. At least it wasn't for me during that appointment. So I learn quickly that the opposition at times on eleven positions on over watch again. At times that you know you can't predict it might be a little less kinetic than others know, maybe maybe our consider the proposition, but in that moment, in a not only could Anonymous year, my scope, but but weighing down and was a prison, my dear it was just no one rounds or coming down range you, even if at all
we takes two or three seconds to get. Grab that carrying handle and make moves. Boys have a lot faster than through a few seconds sailor. My lesson but Ultimately unjust, thankful that I was not taken out of the five, but it was surreal. To say the least and almost ink Principle that I mean, and our or may be less outside the wire, the time. You know I was You went out with a k, forty seven, but I mean I want you're, not the wake up, call I needed by the wake up, call that Out immediately put me in the mindset and.
Expectations and kind of frame of reference I needed to be from the second. I stepped out of the gate, and you said that It made you feel more vulnerable, because I see that going to ways one would be the attitude of like I just got shot and I'm good to go, bring it and the other one. Is I've been here for an hour and I've already been shot. This is going to be a long seven months and you've like you mean a little bit towards this, could be along seven months out they completely towards the ladder you say that meat or not every patrols, that exciting you know, but you were always prepared Jump it again. You're on another patrol you with Frazier. Then he said. Nick afraid you, my best friend, was out the canal supposed when all of a sudden bullet start to hail down on us. We begin
while we began manning the Vps VC p Taliban had set up three shooters, no more than a hundred yards away at different angles in what's called a bare Paul formation to try and triangulate and wipe us out. We could see their heads. They ran along the canals by the tree line. I happened to be positioned by the compound on the other side of the road landscape stringer, the team leader at the time period, over the edge of can now to see if our guys could safely return fire with his head, flew backward like he'd, been punched. It looked like a bullet had guns, straight into his forehead forum. But he sat perfectly still blinking in a daze. Then he shook off. Miraculously the bullet struck. His helmet and kevlar had done its job warping, the track of the bullet, so that saluted skimmed the edge of his helmet rather than lodging in his skull. I had a two hundred drum ready already loaded onto my squat automatic weapons, so I called
I get ready to move. When I turned a corner of this building, I prepare download, I turned The compound press much finger on the trigger and didn't let up, while the other guys ran and across position down The dried up canal before hopping out to cross the road and take cover in the compound into the fire. What fight was over? There is a classic example of cover move My friend told me later that are you could see the bullet striking the wall right now, to my head and body as at least one of the shooters returned turned his weapon on me. Nick who'd been lobbying grenades in the direction of the shooters in an effort to clear the area long enough to give you other guys a chance to run with a to our guys to cross exam, at exactly the moment when he made it across the road behind the wall. I ran out around four two hours we were engaged in intense fire fight until Motormen, Corporal Van wrath, awesome name
was able to respond to our radio calls back a base and drop moors on the Taliban with pinpoint pursuit precision almost two miles out after We confident that there were no active shooters left. We approach the shooters position to do a battlefield, damage assessment. Casings littered the ground. Guy's been busy. Incredibly, none of our men had been injured that day, but the incident shook us up. Our squads had already taken, an incredible beating that autumn, while that initial what an initially started as a politician of three fire squads broken up into four? what are cover more ground, but we lost so many guys. We had to reorganise and combined back down to three. No matter how men we prepared, you are, or you think you are, you will never be ready for that. First firefight, let alone the first casualty a guy gets. An apart by an idea or takes a bullet to the chest and suddenly everything you ve ever believed about the world collapses in a moment
on twenty one October, seventeenth but the day, really, Make me feel any older. My experiences in Afghanistan, however, felt like the age me years at a time. We left early in the afternoon on my birthday, and we will trying to make it back to patrol base BT by nightfall? it had been for our game of cat and mouse as we entered. One patch of woods are patrol frozen miss. Step as the dreaded sound of two or three fire echoed all around us a two or three as a grenade launcher that attaches to the bottom of rifle and when fired at me, the distinct from the sound, followed an anxious wait to see where that deadly thump impacts, immediately are squad leader gotten the radio to tell the other half of our squad to stop firing two hundred and three until we could get their exact location. We had intentionally split up to cover more ground, but during the intense fighting through the
tree lines and scattered villages. We had become unsure of our exact proximity to one another. Was crackled over the radio. That's not ass! Those are not our two or three in an instant. We went from Fort frozen to executing, quick maneuvers define cover for the time. In three months the enemy was launched. Grenades at us, happy birthday to me: yeah never spoke forces. What am I rules if you can avoid it? That's why has pulled it off, but it's it's so dangerous when you end of splitting forces, I know you you have to do it. I should say never split forces used, caution planned, think communicate. You continue on here maneuvering out of a tree line. We approached a compound on the outskirts of the village. We were nearing as used. Family. Livestock were hanging out at the home. To votes were tied up to a tree. The chicken structured around pecking at the ground. We slow down just in time to hear another dreaded fund from the two or three the scene,
have been scripted more perfectly. The grenade rip through the air struck a chicken vaporize get in a distant. I felt before the chicken, but pardon me laugh because I was just really. If that our latest casualty was another marine. Or that battle was over. I vividly remember crawling through the field with my weapon on my back holding. Barrel over my shoulder to keep his clean as possible crawling under the trajectory of incoming bullets. I couldn't help but think how strange it was that I might not even make it to enjoy my first legal beer. That's a! However twenty first birthday you got going on there I won't forget: that's for sure when you, when you're doing these missions, where were you guys, based out of where you guys, based out of afford operating based somewhere patrol Base a single as you know, mud hut compound types we had a few Afghan national army members attach to us, but
just myself am I platoon when we started roughly sixty Marines, Unfortunately, yes, we lost some and had casualties along the way, but it was just us and as a platoon, their patrol base BT. In The specific village in Marcia How often do you guys go in our own patrol they, every day, all day every day, so we have all day get just get your gear on Time we has gone out so with our four squads. We and now an early morning patrol late more slash early afternoon laid afternoon and a night patrol doing that too not only continue to disrupt. The activity operations continue to expand,
area of operation by pushing their enemy out, but also, and just as imported show, the civilian population that you really are there for them. That you're willing to sacrifice for them to do those patrols. Rid of that enemy that oppresses them, that kills them for wanting to learn how to read and so yeah? and you know. The mission and the pillar structure of your deployment depends on when you were there We knew there in time and when you're there in in the operational picture thing and with that sir, we were.
The second reason unit, and- of the First Marines to put boots on ground in that area. Potentially you know in history. As far as american forces No one had really been there, since the Soviets in the seventies and so ah beak. As we were there so early on. Looking ahead, the NGO is you want to in the big picture, give these people a better life help to wake up every day and not live in fear and a hope we see that better. A brighter future, but to get to that, you have to create stability and a foundation So if you're there more towards kind of the end of that, Billowy in that structure, nor Miss
in changes. You hold that tempo. You hold that stability, while roads are being built, schools or being Then first clean drinking water, wells or being done, but in order to get to that? You have to get rich of the instability, the bad guys, the enemy, the evil, people that arc aiding all of these problems so when we were there, led to say we had this profound mission And in a way it was by. Ah voicemail. What were why were? You really do already gone out there? What were you doing while you are outside of your base and the simple answer: is we would go out, every day I mean and is important to note every day from Sun
Two sundown was a constant and vicious fight for survival. Every single day was never a question of I wonder, we're gonna get shot at today it was I wonder when we're gonna get shot at today. Every single day I never walk outside. A friendly lines with less than a hundred round, from I saw and those, few times where I had do the hope, prayer walk back Two bays just hoping I have are all round She has please not. She does and after hours of fighting Yankee you, you. It's kind of wishful thinking. You think there's no way we're gonna make it all back to basics getting attacked again. Thankfully we do. During those times, but we then in the beginning- and our mission was to patrol and patrol just meant. Every day
all day, sending out patrols, leaving those friendly lines and why walking around until we picked a fight with the enemy. It is crazy. The sounds that was the most efficient way to do. It go out. You sit there Because, again, your trial to give this region these people a better life and I think in a way. Your showing them. People that they really are, and these brains, have to be here because you are such terrible and evil people as as both to be no and so that's all- we did all day every day- we'll go out and we'll walk round. Until we picked a fight with the enemy they came to us and we either continued stem further out or eliminated them. That's a hell over October, so How big is each patrols? Each patrol Squad Squad
Some would you guys rota you'd get so far a few days you'd be the morning patrol then you'd be than did the afternoon, control than you be the actual valued Rodya a few weeks to maybe a mind. You know we wanted that continuity air, if your night patrol, with those envy geez so he knew how to use them and am were effective with them by just keeping You know that that rhythm, that you knowing your comfortable with and then You know we would have those transitional periods where we might go for night troll early afternoon petrol by now to keep that presents an and strive for that stability. We always kept to patrol out. You say here again: a moist pressed with your perspective as a young
marine. There is, I think, a lot about the afghan people who were threatened with violence. If they didn't raise again against the Americans on the surface, it would be easy to classify them all as the enemy, but some of them just want to be left alone to raise their families in peace. How quickly did it Did I dismissed people based on circumstances? I didn't fully understand and what about the way people react to extremely high stress, high state. Situations previously, I might have regarded someone's panic out or coping mechanisms as a sign of weakness, but was before I ever. I never lived with this kind of pressure and trauma before. I know now how the horrific casualties I witnessed deeply impacted me, but what about the perspective of the guy who got hit? What about his family in an instant their lives, change forever in ways I couldn't fathom? I start Asking myself when I am having an unshattered dehydrated meal, far away from home kind of day,
How do I react? How do I view myself in What does it mean that there are still people out there mill some of them here? still got it worse than I do. They say there are no atheists and foxholes. I think maybe we all become philosophers in combat outpost as well so you'd. You're. Saying these things in your dear thinking about him. That's that's also that you that Perceived these things, even as young as young get. Thank you. I give you maximum credit for year and. What good that you know it. You write this stuff down and you look back and you see out affected you in it. Need to see the arc of the book again. Bigley gotta read this book. He can follow the arc of how you assemble these things,
You know you started off earlier in this conversation. Talk about what you went through kind of prepared you for what came, and you can, as you start as you read this book. Put those pieces together, you can kind of sea, it form Dawson Continuing on here were certain sounds. I never would have imagined that I could turn out like a forty seven being shot at me with the intent to kill, but at some point your brain starts right storing, certainly import as more of a nuisance than a threat Aids bullets were not our main concern. We refer, start, avoiding the ideas that were stretched across roadways walk. Pass an inside of walls. They didn't the tall on to nine months for thirty Lance Corporal Timothy M Jackson had been by an idea, then in MID November, ideas are taken out to more of our guys one of those remarkable Marines was our squab Zack Stance, who stepped on an idea that it
and placed under ground near a wall that separated two villages curious thing about the idea: is that without a metal detector well placed one can almost impossible to spot even in daylight, you lucky new placed the idea is in experienced or lazy cause. They will lead, leave red flags, light, disturbed her or small trash pile that looks. It might have been constructed to hide something out of one p m. We were walking on petrol, through one of the dried up irrigation, canals Criss crossed the landscape. We were skin, The train for Taliban and making our way towards the next town we need secure when enough, dreaded. Explosion went off shock wave of the blast rippled through our patrol. I was the fourth manner in the patrol. The cloud of asked engulfed me as the debris rained down MC wrenching. Curiosity of who had been here began to sink in it took
seconds to locate stance and because he had been blown about fifteen feet was on the other side of the wall of the canal. We found unfolded in half like a long chair. He was right His one remaining foot was up by his head and his legs were mangled Christopher. Doc, friend or corpsman we evaluated the scene, it announced, I think, stance in his dead. I did Seem possible, it didn't seem possible. Anyone could survive that incredibly stance and called out dad, I just can't move doc. Russian or to administer trio's care, while other Marines called in medical, evacuation helicopter and our squad move to provide cover. Just as we gonna position, insurgents open fire began their attack. They often attack after ninety blast because they know that our common will be with the cat What is leaving us exposed invulnerable doc. To pull Simpson stints and down a steep. Down to a safe location, why laid down fire to suppress the shooters? The other Marines rushed to help. The dock drag
dense and to safety. Behind the other canal wall as they did. They realise that one of his legs was no longer attached to his body. What was lit simply state on the ground as he was dragged round the corner when Doc I'd tourniquets stints and asked us to do the care of his wife back home, who was pregnant and he talked You us about our mission. Doc gave me Jackson of morphine for the pain, but it did not come out. He somehow remained conscious we remained under attack the entire time. We waited for the medical evacuation Halleck. Or to arrive almost fifty minutes. Was the worst thing I ever witnessed You pointed out that moment of this x lotion takes place. It's cold to you close enough that you're engulfed in dust at
point in the following seconds: you realize you're, ok and the very first thought the ghosts years through your head is like ok,. Someone is not ok. Don't even look around. Could someone had to have initiated that I d and so I have to. Obviously you are concerned. To say the least. You want to get there as quickly as possible to take care of them to comfort them, but you you don't want to look around and survey and look for and and discover who that is. Fifty minutes for their Iraq to get there. You continue on a few hours later this after the cash
evacuation. A few hours later after the sun had set. I was on my shift: is radio watch backup patrol base a beastly listening to information, as it came in from the Marines were outside the wire during the silence of breaks in the radio traffic? I couldn't help it. Let my mind wandered back to the hour before was still still alive how it is from family handle. The news. Would I be able to survive something like that if it, if or when it happened to me Brain race to compartmentalize the recent past at present. Reality suddenly became even worse loose dirt. Crumbled out the cracks in the wall as the room shook Second later, the sound of a massive explosion reached us more than a mile away. Lance corporal Quota Hughes had been making his way through the dark fields and tree lines with his squat on night patrol. They were moving toward a village to herself Taliban would flood fields in order to make it harder for us to advance quickly inundated fields didn't
hoedown, are tall guys much because the water was only about as high as their boots, but for shorter guys like the code and me, the water was up to our ankles and even our caps with x. Between the water or twenty, you pound squad automatic weapons, twenty, thirty pounds of machine gun, ammo and forty five pounds of gear. It was hard to move quickly and the Alabama knew that as use and his squad approached the village, he reached a goat path, a small trail that surrounds and agricultural field and allows locals to travel through the patchwork of land without your damaging their crops. Stepping on to it a few moments later. Nineteen year old, Dakota from Greenwood Louisiana took his leave, step.
In breath on this earth, so Do you find out immediately that you know that Kay I it was that could be gathered from the radio traffic and the fact that and I'm hesitant to go into detail just in cases his family. I ever listened to this, but at the same time I think I think that is important for people to know what really happened.
And sacrifices at a really made. And so, if we couldn't conclude that for the radio traffic when they got back to our patrol base, they Didn't call in a manner that day they couldn't even bring he's back, cause the idea had been so big and inflated so much damage that.
It would not have been wise at dark to start walking all over that field, to look for the pieces of views that were left and was at the was used. The first guy, from from your apart from your platoon, That was was killed, cause because Stevenson he'd been catches act and he survived. He survived and yells amazing now he's completely outnumbered by enemy forces with not one but two bay. Girls. How but he's doing amazing his crushing. Marathons on his hand cycle just finish his first, our man. Sunlight too, Take it easy and you really make an
what causes both our legs and and and healthy, look bad, but I yeah he's doing amazing and I hopefully, if I know he keeps he keeps all working hard, which he always has and eye keeps doing well, I hope that maybe one day sooner rather than later he will be representing our country, potentially the Paralympic, so he's an amazing and we recover together and really grew our relationship at Walter, Reed the years that we were there and I'm glad you rose story because, as we talk, About leadership is vital, obviously, and no marine is ever from the first day of boot camp as Recruit,
or a marine that's been an forty years compared to Marine. That's been in a week, no one lives. No marine is more important than those two to your right and left, but hence in was the highest ranking marine and leader. He is our squad leader on that patrol Leadership is, it is specially important and vital on the battlefield not only to communicate that strategic information to hire a swimming your chain of command, to keep that order and discipline the battle field and, arguably, most importantly, to direct true movements, daring engagements with the enemy. So, although is now more important his job, it could be argued, is more important and
Is the most vital roll out of our squad that needs to last as long as possible. So it that said from the moment that ideal off. I had I always wondered. Why did- happen, and not why did it happen is as why was there and I d there, but why was stance and specifically the casualty we took and when I speak to companies and incorporation I related stories. I think it is one of the greatest example The leadership years later we're sitting in his to read, wounded, Warrior Barracks room. It was they were. Nice is more not marine corps barracks, it was night, they were a little more luxurious. They had a couple
bedrooms and and your family could live there if you, while you were covered in and seek it, had that support system our sitting there and watches yes, paean and he's in his wheelchair, while Olivia his daughters and amazing moment elites just me out at sea anything but his daughter, he had in his what we thought were as final moments given us knows request take care, my wife and my unborn first child and baby daughter and she's Olivia crawling all over in all areas, will chair. You know what was left of his legs and in tat moment time pass, we are healed, we got to better places, and so I found The opportunity years later to ask him what I always wondered that question.
And his answer was very simple but very profound, and he said I'm just glad. It was me and not one of your eyes and so oh you have to know, is a leader that. Your responsibility is laced with risk. In that. If and when that risk comes to fruition, you, not only are obligated, but you are. You are expected to bear the burden for those that you lead and so since and taught me a very powerful lesson that I've always carried with me, and I'm very thankful that, of course, he not only survived, but he continued to be able to hear and teach me things along. The way as we were covered together.
The other said: that's that's what we talked about earlier. I mean he proved that moment. You know that about you guys more than you get about himself, which is one good leaders. Gonna do an arm. Last Corporal Dakota Hughes, we had an many casualties, but he was our second killed in action and twelve days later,. At our new US, troll base that we are living in operating out of named patrol base. Dakota is whereas injured about it. We can have later. Well, after after that, It happened after you lost used to the idea of going back. The book as ten days later, word came command that we needed to expand our area of operation to create more of a presence in the area. My squire,
got orders to help establish a new compound in the village to the south, the same. One were huge stepped on an idea because it was a Taliban stronghold in the region. So there you go we note the marine corps. Does that's it, they do. Oh, we got up coworkers actor problem the bill with tiny, no bigger than a hotel conference room and. A home we were occupying, was only too stories high though it was one of the largest. In the area, unfortunately, until we had received proved accurate that there were Taliban in the village and they weren't happy about arrival and the choice of landing spot. In skipping a bunch of stuff. You guys are now kind of in this. In this new position, as the afternoon Sun might start to fade, I was instructed get off the roof and keep post in the room directly blow. This is after you had spent a bunch of time and you too great job governess in the book of Europe. There, too, to build, put put some sandbag protection up
and there's a guy basically taken Cyprus, shots at you, and you're just stand up their stay in low people breathe and you have full sandbags your put a musician everything, but wouldn't opposition bo me ex off around to do so. Yeah. I was probably a really stupid assumption at the time that he had a single ball action rifle, but I thought that's what I gather. From the first couple shots, and so thankfully use nice enough. He didn't start shooting at me until I three sandbags high of a and a semicircle wall on that Ruth and around me. So when he does, shooting if I wait completely flat, was covered by their sandbags, but for the most part yeah that emerge by it was it was Eerie too be behind those sandbags weighing up against them and I can see fulfil right now when you
take those shots, no use the Taliban were extremely accurate, especially I mean we rarely if ever up until this point saw snipers and if we did they were not accurate ends. That was surprising, but it was just so eerie to lay behind those sandbags and when we heard the crack of the rifle to be able to feel because you so accurate, the thud of that round impacting sandbags hours weighing up against As you said, a may not have been the best decision stay up there. We live in Lord, so they didn't find the you do. You do get instructor to get off the roof and move to a room below, and then you said, if I gouged out a little hole in the wall, so I can get a better vantage point about forty five seconds later or rock.
Came barreling into the roof and the sandbag. While I just built completely obliterating the Position It was as if I stepped into the middle of a tornado. The debris cloud surrounding me was so thick that I couldn't see and couldn't breathe. My squad members immediately realise what happened to the roof and doc friend was scrambling for his medic bag, ready to rush and see if there were any signs of life. Somehow I wasn't injured and was able to get up and walk out of the room on my own They obviously don't want you. Their continued on wheat, officially lost the roof. Is a vantage point from this post we were now facing for major challenges. The first was we had previously. We that we had previously two positions in the compound on each of the two roofs, but now we only had one so we had a double up on the remaining roof. The second was that it wasn't a great position to begin with, since Couldn't see as far as we would have liked to from just stories up the third
was that we were now dangerously low on sandbags. Fourth, was that, because we only had enough sandbags forty three to four foot stack. We have to stand posting a somewhat recline position ordered and not be exposed. That meant the, we could sneak right up alongside the building and thrown explosive over the compound wall or fired us. Then darted away the wheat, from our position was proof almost immediately we fuck fuck fuck from the courtyard outside the building, as if someone were tossing something over the Wall Compound was just enough time to ask crews throwing rocks before the first round of explosions began. They weren't rocks, they were grenades, Brad Skip, had been sitting outside is cleaned his weapon and he took office for cover. As he took off running, for cover grenade exploded near him, he staggered the house skirting blood from a hole in his spleen I'd
outside in the courtyard of the compound helping dig a bone paid in Filmore sandbags. When I saw what happened, I took off after skipper reaching the house just a few seconds after him die who is inside stuck his finger into skippers, wound to stop the bleeding, while grabbed his supplies skipper kept pounding on his chest. To tell us you couldn't breathe, I kneel down next to his head, assuring him he was gonna, be ok and pretty soon. We have all the ice. Gaed have all the ice cream he could eat in the hospital die ground. What are needed are performed a needle decompression on skipper for collapsed long. It was the first one he had ever performed. I cringed watching the jam, the needle into the skippers into skipper side, but when he heard what's what, when we heard, what sounded like a balloon, letting era, skippers long Reinflame as skipper long, we inflated, we all wanted to high five doc, but he was a little busy Jake. Low tamer saying that right below Jake Blue who is
been outside the courtyard in the courtyard made his way to the house as well. Why does a sheet uncovered and blood from where shrapnel at him in the groin to, we're abundantly clear to me. Corpsman are worth their weight in gold and people Dakota was not going Be easily held so you get those guys out of their right Those guys got cash back, we did We also lost one of the few, it just a casualty, but who was also who was shot. No one of the few Afghanistan National Army members that had gone down on this mission with us and so right there immediately just from hunger. Not even leaving four walls of our patrol base. We were down, Three guys and we had only gone down there with a squad and and arguably Small Squad and our mission, and we
Did this to give people listening context. We were over the half way point of order point when you're always three months, but when you you can, the end in sight. You know that at seven months, whether you want to or not your time's up, you're going back home and another unit is gonna, come in and relieve you to prepare for that and to continue you keep the momentum going of inefficient mission. Just like with anything in live. Hopefully you want to leave it better than he found it. So you know Say in the end, this is random numbers. I don't know what what they are but say our area of operation was was to square miles. Looking ahead to the next we met and leaving things better for them than when you got there. You want to expand,
a of operation to continue. Pushed their enemy out and contain you that mission of creating stability which we ve we have already talked about so when that time frame Is drawing to an end you want to like we did push in those outer outskirt villages from AIR of and Doing that again those nothing sexy about this mission. It we were to go down there pack as much as we could in a bag and a day pack food, water, ammo and stick your foot in the ground. Don't move and try to survive for the next few days until we can get you reinforcements, and that is the first. But I was talking about earlier that you need to accomplish in
order for years down the road to have a school across the street. You have those fresh, clean, drinking water wells, and so that was our mission, getting down there. On November nineteen Rockets, multiple hand grenade attacks, multiple casual he's an hour numbers or strong to begin with, and now with those three casualties, we're already creeping towards not only Being combat an effective, but just for some of preservation needing reinforcements. He had a rough, Of how many people you have right now, like what are you down to.
And I should know this, especially after what I mean just like a Tascam. If you got your squad plus some Afghans, is it later eleven Marines with a Navy, Corpsman and then three or four Afghanistan, national review members to fifteen guys, roughly generously and with that said, you know, surrounded by villages and miles of enemy. How far away from you are. The are. How far are you away from the patrol base that you, let you left to get down here? Oh is like five hundred metres like three or four clicks click Two at the most, maybe a quick and a half where the rest earful is correct. Still at patrol based beetle, there we were setting up patrol base Dakota and did you guys have any vehicles there at all.
It was so than your feet. The marine vehicles no vehicles. It was primitive, and there was so little to no infrastructure and because. No paved roads. Vehicles could not get to where we were. Not only not having rose but not having roads leads to dirt path. If you take a seventeen truck on the side of that now collapses in you have for marine strapped into an armoured vehicle upside down in law. And so it wasn't worth the risk, and you know what that sad We are so far out Jaime lines and that enemy territory, that for them seven miles while before for that, I survive
anything and everything we needed from water. Food ammo medical supplies had to be brought in by aircraft a condors, and I even remember there were times where they brought things at night, because during the day lot at times it would have to. U turn and returned a base and bring it later because Don't want an hour crashing. In some random back field emerge. Afghanistan especially mean hopefully everyone surveys, but have an aircraft crash? No vehicles, no support. No, nothing and you're gonna potentially have by virtue of that aircraft crash immediately be premature. Black thou situation.
Rough rougher rough days as well as prepping. For this you know it's today's November twentieth, two thousand nineteen and what we just talked about was November. Twenty two thousand ten. Getting to the next phase out November. Twenty first two thousand ten. It's the next day here we go a solution to the visibility problem on p. Which was that we're gonna put to people on the roof. At the same time, this gave us an exercise of eyes to help evaluate the scene Nick Began our first shifted Nuno was quite almost early, so during the tar four hour shift because the sandbag walls were so low. We had to lean back propped up just enough to see over the edge with only head and shoulders exposed as we can scan. The weirdest island village, waiting for something to pop off at any. Second, we went through the different scenarios we might encounter. Okay. If this we can attack from this direction. You do this and I'll do this
but if the other direction will need to do this instead of gratitude. Employees with Nick, especially on that day, when something just felt off nickel started going over the one of scenarios again we haven't seen any grenades our entire deployment, that is, until day before previously. The enemy preferred guns and rockets, but Foreseen grenades thrown over the wall of the car, pound. Yesterday, we now knew they were a possibility. So Nick I Joe making fun of this crazy, strong Massachusetts action as best I could, what since, if they throw grenade up here. My ass his off this effing roof. He said I laughed dude, I'm right behind you So you guys rum through some scenarios that could unfold. Some want ifs, that's what's goin on so you guys were up there
we get here. Presumably there is a soft, sound and a puff of dust. Is something lands near our feet, but I dont remember it All I know is that my body reacts instinctively before my mind even registers. What it is then suddenly it feels like I've been hit really hard in the face, and I can't see a thing: Does if I'm looking at a tv with no connection just white and gray static, my ears are ringing extremely loud, but my body is numb, there's no connection No through line no logical brigade progression of events. I just remember he laughter and then a massive impact as of my senses. Go haywire for reasons I can explain. Last thing I remember clearly is laughing with Nick before starting to move towards something. And here's an official report for eye witnesses saw Lance Corporal from the rise up to a standing or kneeling position immediately prior to the blast. Multiple eye witnesses saw Lance Corporal carpenters body line directly over the blast whole immediately after the grenade detonator detonated, explosive organs, disposal staff
On commissioned officer attached to the opportune, provided his expert opinion that the grenade had to have been covered by the object to blast through the roof and that this if damage done to Lance Corporal carpenters, personal protective equipment, particularly his small arms protective insert savvy played carrier, was concerned. With the grenade detonating immediately under or in close. Proximity to his body. In other words, I threw myself over the grenade. Apparently I dont remember thinking about it and I said don't recall, actually doing it. I only remember the after effects a few seconds after the strange assault on my senses. I tried to shake it off off and push my body up, but I couldn't feel my arms with every ounce of strength I possessed. I, to push myself up. My body simply would not respond the decent work
the disorientation was overwhelming five seconds before everything seem normal? Suddenly I was Norman vaguely aware that I probably should be in pain, but I could feel nothing at all. I knew I was alive, so I must be ok but nothing. Made sense. Why couldn't I see what was that deafening roar that was blocking out every other sound? Where was I, and why was everything numb calm down and fair, the last thing I remember is being on the roof I reasoned in my head. I wonder what could have injured me this badly on the roof, or did I get off the roof and went on patrol and all this is just going on in my head? Maybe I stepped on an ied in the last thing I remember is being on that roof. Is that puzzling through these questions, all of them racing through my mind in a split second, my confusion grew even deeper, as I realise that some one was pouring warm water all over me. What was happening? Nothing! made sense made no context. Even try makes sense out of it. I was on the roof talking to neck, then this whatever this was, as I say,
for answers. My brain was fiercely putting the pieces together to create some kind of meaning and then click the wasn't water. It was blood. I was bleeding out At the same moment, I tried to call for help, but the only thing I could feel was that my tongue, searching for my lower jaw, no cheeks, no teeth, no jaw. It was as if the bottom part of my mouth disappeared, a seat of Power it started to grow inside me was. I. Just in shock was I really missing part of my face, corny reports- a great friend in one of the greatest Marines I've ever known Jared Lily. Had watching us from the stairs and was the first one to the roof just seconds after the explosion. He meeting scream for doc friend, normally Doc would have stayed downstairs until we had a chance to sweep the promoter and make sure that there was no one hiding in two ambush our medic, but jeered knew there was no time for that docking pound
up the shaky bamboo ladder from the room below and saw me lying face down on the sandbags with one glance he sized up the scene and realise that, even though in realized that, even though, was probably to wait for me. Nick had a chance here, good shrapnel the forehead that a blown up and under his helmet, not good, but he was still breathing well kind of Europe, We said it was more of a snoring sound as his body struggled to poor air into his lungs, so dark went to work stabilizing him, while the rest of our guys radioed format of acts and backup There it is. When I first saw an interview with some with you some time a long time ago- and I remember you saying the idle I don't really remember it. It is crazy to have this incredible amount of focus on your life story
Situation that you don't remember and I've been knocked out before I mean I imagine this is just like the absolute worst knock out. A person can can get. And you know you wake up and you go wait. Where am I you know, I've been knocked out and just you know come through going over wait a second. Where am I and that's basically what what yeah you're? Exactly right? Is it in the beginning, after five weeks later after I woke up after those, I thought or my final moments on that roof? It Stu frustrate me there I couldn't remember, and I don't I don't Thank you. It would if there were no external influences, but knowing that the Marine Corps, the military Department of Defense and in a way the whole country in world were looking into talking about. Examining.
Parts of your life that you can't remember was while- and you know but as with everything, I've tried to not only see Oh size, but really think through it and thankfully in events I just realized how wrong of a mindset that wise, and not only is it understood, Annabelle, I don't remember anything after taken a grenade. The maze But also I woke up and I'm still here and I'm so thankful and grateful to be alive like who cares, I can't remember not that they would have taken my I witnessed statement anyway, because you can't be injured and be an eyewitness just cause. The blast might have effect, in your memory of things.
And so we are, you know when, when everything can it started with the metal on, I'm going for a little bit weaken backtrack, but yeah- you know, they call me up first phone call in the hospital. I just said: I'm sorry, I know there's nothing that I remember that can help her assist in any way. With this investigation and NOME King for an officer, five reeves who was assigned to turn to nine second time night Marines, just two spearhead this investigation. Ah, thank me for my honesty and he told me no matter what happens, what this investigation turns up that were proud of you and the job. Your fellow Marines DIN
your thing for fear service, and that was really yet by yes, you're right. It was weird and fresh training to have this happen and has so much so many people so much time and effort going into these moments that were nothing but a dark abyss. I was actually surprised at how much you did remember. I mean and because I mean this- is dead stating injuries, but you, you know you regained consciousness and memory pretty quickly. I'm going back to the book your hears doc. You blood was on every inch. My body, my body, armors torment, torn mangled a huge portion. My face was hanging off my skull and onto my shoulder, which clearly had a trap and embedded in it
could suit. I was struggling to breathe, so we started putting an airway and before they took they took me off the roof he figured he could put humpty dumpty together again after they got me on the ground, but but he had a choice to make normally with it. Accurate face in RO affair and GEO would be the way to go, but he did, but I didn't have any jaw left to help create the airway, so he Pat only three choices, he could cut my throat open with his pocket knife to create in her way, which is what is even more terrifying than it sounds because you didn't have a mask or a bag to help me breathe, so he would have had to do the breathing for me through a rubber camel back tube from our hiking canteens or, good, cried through my nose and down back of my throat to create an artificial airway as I was choking on blood, but he didn't have a cry kid either or could somehow figure how to breathe on my own. But I was still joking soy relies who's. Gonna have to improvise with that same pocket.
I, from back tube and rig up a crack, that wasn't the sort of thing they taught we use preparing to be emetic, presumably because they never anticipated a fire team would run into so many casualties in such little time to exhausted our supplies, he put a device to my nose to support the tube and that sensation was the trigger that jerk me back to consciousness and made me start coughing doc needed maybe down to finish the procedure but he's afraid of all my tea fragments falling back into my throat so weak. Me sitting up right as he worked? I can, trying to talk, but only sounded like gurgling from gurgling water from all the blood and tissue blocking my throat, even though couldn't understand. A word might attempted speaking was a good thing, because I that my body was somehow still functional enough to keep me breathings. We decided not to risk the cricket after all, as you the blood from my nose, a huge stream of mucus and blood, came with it and I suddenly began to take more to do. In air more easily, so
I'm picturing this they, like, looking at you look now. Ok, you, you can tell you got dinged up, but this is. Catastrophic injuries is still I mean borderline unreal to even still working on this for two years obviously knowing for nine years now, what happened experience It myself It's just too till two surreal comprehend that it not only happen by I did survive it in Europe. I haven't really. It that way of forbid. It is amazing that I can remember anything at all, but. And think point now again. Looking back, I am thankful that. No besides in wine gray static in my ears ringing in and not be
disorient and not knowing what happen all those stars. Were only going on in my head and all, That really happen in just a few seconds. And the most profound the things that I do remember, at the time It was just too heavy. In my mind, I am with the blood lost, even halfway processor comprehend and is crazy to think about. Think back. What you thought were your final moments on this earth, but I'm so thankful that I did. It not down so hard that idea, to have those final moments where I truly thought that was it after I put the pieces together. Okay, this is water
Nobody's art messing with me: this is blood. Leading out, I knew from how I fell the casualties on four we ve seen so far on that appointment and just the basic medical training we get his marines. Once I realise that it was Warm water knows bleeding out. Use those last few seconds I thought about my family spaces. Queen my mom again and how devastated that she was going to be, and I did not survive make it home. I said a quick prayer for forgiveness and anything I'd done wrong and I faded from consciousness in the world. And I say that I am thankful that I tasted death and I went through that what I thought, those final moments because now
I know, and I can share with people- it sounds kind of cliche, but just how truly fine I and delicate and beautiful wife is- and I can tell people, thankfully, that have not tasted those final moment and have never had that reality check, which is great, but. I think a lot of times. We just again. Go back to the May, the the invincible conversation. And always thinking it's gonna be someone else that That's we always do things can be someone else and so too,
mind people and give them that reality check. Hey, really think about, and and really. Realize realise that. At any moment the military or as civilian with the terrorist attacks with cars. Play at any moment- You could be that someone else tasting those final moment so before you get to those. Not always strive to be a good person live your life, the right way and loving care about those around you buy. For yourself, don't get to those final moments, and we that you have more time state you add a few more seconds before the darkness closes in inside
It just is gave me such a profound, just appreciation. For not only waking up after that, but no being able to continue with my wife, knowing that it just makes us so much sweeter, but also the fall in negative side is won't you, tasted that or been around guys and has seen those final moments in their eyes, and I've heard those last breath. Yeah, you know not scared a dead now on an idle dreaded I don't think any more than I would have before, but just knowing and experiencing, that when those lights went out until I will
Five weeks later they were out and it wasn't, it wasn't even a darkness. It was. It was a darkness of nothing. And so before you that darkness. Enjoy, love and leave your life, but waking up. That's you know that is Really, what started this new path in, and journey of, recovery in and self discovery? I guess you could say that living now there's a bunch of things that went down all this is happening. I mean for one There happen to be two causes back.
That were near by that were there in a matter of ten fifteen, there are twelve this. What the actual number is. There was dark that was trying to give you a shot of morphine to to you ease the pain and ask they had wrapped somewhat gauze around you to try and prevent you from bleeding out there he's trying to give you a shot of morphine the needle breaks, and he can't give you any morphine his last morphine shot, So he broke that one. If you had it with you, one more to go to pulled out another one cleared some of the God's way and give it to you Craig, and they told me after the fact after I woke up that if I would have received a single drop of morphine, it would have to press my respiratory system to the point of being unrecoverable to where they could not recess. Amy and it was the combat gauze that
had that twelve minutes and it was kind of like okay, we had the combat gauze. We have a couple minutes, even though his legs just a minor tissue wounds compared everything else and I wasn't even bleeding out of my legs and they were a little tour, but I was a leading out of my legs because I wasn't it bleeding out of the hole and my carotid, because my break you artery, which had been blown open, was putting out so much blood, and so the needle call the combat gauze that wrapped around my wegg, which were no rest time. A paper cut compared everything else if there and so that just you know, I think you're getting into the just one of the few beginning. Those dominoes miracles that allow me to be sitting right here with you, You see this
There are two types of miracles: the first kind of miracles, one when one amazing thing happens and there's no explaining how or why the second kind is when there are. There is a massive line of down dominoes set up that off have to fall precisely the right way and at the right time for something look out This piece of my life is this: can kind of miracle, so number one, the the kazakh helicopters being in the area there. There pick you up and twelve minutes. That's a miracle I mean A few days earlier had taken fifty minutes, which there's no way you live. Fifty minutes. Then you are to talk about the the morphine They give you that morphine. Or had one more merit morphine it's? U with causes. One broke you. Survived it, wouldn't you would have killed you and, and then
You have this: workforce has formed a cap at Camp Bastion bastion Treaty by a armor army forward surgical team. My official ruling upon arrival was a with p pulseless electrical activity, meaning I had flat lined but medical staff. There restarted my heart and managed to stabilize me enough to send me on to Kandahar. So does another two. You got your flatland you're dead and they bring you back. Good, then, the last one of the morning of November twenty fourth, you flat lined again and you got revived again. So that's miracle upon miracle upon miracle desert sittin here and now than any. I mean what are the chances that doctor and could a loaded to extra morphine in his back right I mean it's just. There are so many different ways. This could
you get to launch tool the nickname four launched was half way home because once wounded military members there make it there, chances of survival rise drastically. The fact I'd survived long enough to make to launch stool was a miracle on Wednesday November. Twenty fourth master sergeant chocolate Chaplains assistance from South Carolina was reviewing the list of chocks expected that day. That's folks, it are coming in always checked for reservists and National Guard met guardsmen, since he served through the South Carolina AIR National Guard, but that day he was also scanning the list. For my name, he gonna call that the that there was critically injured young man from South Carolina arriving any thought. It might be nice for marine to hear a familiar accent, praying and his bedside. Master Georgia Williams had made sure that he was The group assigned to my flight arrival. He was ready to move the more
He heard my name called as I was unloaded and rolled toward the door. Hello Kyle, I'm Chaplain Williams and I'm here to help you with anything you need, while you're here longshore, he said Ellie leaning down next to my face, then he said a quick prayer for me, and I was waste away into the operating room, the next more he came into my room to talk with me again. What the Apple CORE calls Ministry of Power since. I wasn't awaken. I couldn't ask any questions or seek is council on spiritual matters, but he thought he would sit with me But I was not alone, as I fought for my life, I never heard that term before Ministry of Presence made, but that's just the the image alone of that using this is, is powerful and Again I hate to not do this book justice I mean
I can already tell you. I got you skip the entire notification process for your parents, which is a book in its own right it. As a matter of fact, I just I just stood upon guest on a book I'll knock at the door, the knock at the door right. Yeah and family, I mean that's one of the reasons I said you know what with Kyle, I'm gonna like not go depth airport, but you do a great job of explaining what that was like explaining the unknown in the end, the just then the complete, sorrow and fear and emotions that they're going through I mean it's. Just again, you gotta get this book too to get all that. You talk about the surgeons, physicians, the nurses. I mean they are all just doing incredible work and you go. You go into awesome, detail you're getting surgeries on your skull, your face your jaw and
this. This shocked me on Sunday November, twenty there was cleared the head home. As it turned out. However, mine was not a typical flight, so shocked me that we're Hawkins been a week and they not you stable enough to do to try and get you home, that's just phenomenal