« Jocko Podcast

347: To Accomplish The Impossible, We Must Decide. With Nick Lavery, Green Beret and Wounded Warrior.

2022-08-17 | 🔗

Grew up in Boston. 2007 Army Basic Training. Green Beret, Nick Lavery.

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This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
This is jocker podcast number three, forty seven with echo charles and me jocker willing good evening, echo getting me simply put, Worn officer, nick labour is a warriors warrior. Selflessly and repeatedly risked his life for his nation is comrades in arms and, most importantly, he accomplished what our nation needed him to do. Every time left our shores. Nick is a here in the truest sense, nix Those profession requires and immersion into some of the nation most difficult challenges, often in demanding complex and especially on certain environments,. To answer the nations call we seek men and women who have the tenacity to achieve the impossible and the resiliency to do it again and again.
Nick liveries story is truly an exemplar of that and that right there is an excerpt from a book, the book is called objective secure and the book is actually written by nick lavery. And the words in that excerpt were spoken by lieutenant general francis. But francis bout dat, Was the commander of u S, army special operations and speech was given when nick received an award for his service and special operations, and I think anyone that here is. Here's next story will agree that nick is exactly what the general set He is a warrior who can absolutely accomplish the impossible. Andrews and honour to have nick with us here tonight to talkers.
well his experiences and share some of his lessons learned, nick thanks for coming down man thanks for having me that wanted the leadership really quick intro. So we could start talking and yeah man. That's where I'm at yet Can insane here what you, I've been kind of crazy, thus far, and we'll get into that. What's what's what start from the beginning? Normally, when you speak, can nine words. Everyone knows where you're from pretty quick boss, the mass why? Why claim home? I guess more accurately. Oh, is is a no mad of massachusetts and I moved every twelve to eighteen months as a kid all. The way up until eventually got to college and that's because you're what your parents were just moving around europe a lot of it was was
financially related economic, both my parents. They had me and my youngest sister, real young, so struggling as young parents and china just grind it out with also my father try I pursue his passion in life, trying to figure out what that is in, go after it. While he's got, you know too young kids in these two how old was even handicap and howled with your mom twenty and my mother's was twenty two: that's like old school yeah, my sister's two years younger than me. So you know they do that do and ah you know I. I love him and respect him for it, but that part of the story. That movement is deeply rooted in a lot of what we're going to get into here today, like those experiences particularly me, struggling socially troubling, to make friends and keep friends and being the new kid in school every year in today's world, what's known as bullying, you know back then, was
has looked at as it is today, so my my resiliency started from the time that I you know five years old and went to kindergarten think we saw him a about bullying yesterday, as a matter of fact cause. It is or a little like everyone gets boyd right. Well, at least back in the day when I grew up- and you grew up and echo group, we all got bully that was gonna to happen, cause cause no matter what we Ten there's going to be a twelve year old, that's bigger than you know, and when you're twelve there's gonna be a fourteen year old, that's bigger than you, and when, when I I got bullied and pushed around and shoved into lockers and all those things I kind of was just like. That's it to me. It was just sort of the way things went like oh yeah. Also, I'm all right now and not get get knocked out of bed because I'm smaller, I didn't think you would lose that big of a deal. I don't know I didn't like hit me in some big emotional way are now. Am I
now you're you're, just you brought your just? U I definitely shoulder with it more so you did a we, I became condition to atone which you know took a few years. then it then, then it became normal for me. I wasn't. I wasn't as understanding of it as the way you just put it, but I just my mind was conditioned to deal with the pain and discomfort and embarrassment, so the effect was was less and less and less overtime. Early on You know come home with tears in my eyes just about every day of school. You know and my parents are doing their best to kind of mentor me and be like you know, you're going to be good, and just you give me some guidance, but then you know eight months later, I'm at a new location and status all over again but the se I didn't I. I guess I never had that too cause. I, like basically grow up in the same town with the same people all the time, but knew who who I was and knew who my sisters were or whatever so I didn't have.
go into some new environments and a real experience that yeah stuff. But I look back now, of course, extremely grateful for that. because in a lot of people, in a way as to allow the question, is how do you do this how'd you do that I dont typically just dive straight into into that portion of the story, but if I extract this thing all the way down, that's deeply seated. Is there anything that you remember, do you remember like one kid, do you remember you know I, I wrote a book about bullying, there's a there's, a bully in there named Katie Williams. You know who's, just bullying, durham, Amber any specific, like things, happened where it really left the mark. I see the most clearest memory com. That was a kid who is maybe two years older than me a me you he would be just about every day and one day, god put dropped off the boss.
He gave me an exceptionally good baiting this particular day. So normally I come home. I wouldn't do exist like visibly beat up, and I would I would hide it from my parents so and let them know how often I was getting my bead on, because I even as young person I oh, I felt bad for them because their struggle, in agreeing to now, I don't want to add to their stress like we're going kicked out of this house from move to another house like their work in their balls off. I can see that as a young person, so I would hide it open You were data was now there was no hiding it myself. I busted up pretty good walked in, and you know my father the garden from work a little later and the kid live just down the street from us. So he grabbed me and like drug me down a steep and I'm begging on like none at all? Let's, let's not do this you're going to make it worse. Let's not do this. I was in third gear.
It's. I was probably I dunno seven or eight ish, my dad now he's like no, no, no we're doing this, not you know knocks on the door and this kid you know his his parents weren't all that put together. You know the father answered the door hippie looking dude, but like big, harry, Harry big mustache. You know a shortlist answer the door and hear my father had some words where it almost went. If the goal between the two of them right on this dudes doorstep. You know- and the kid I was dealing with is behind his father and he's now he's yelling at me about how I'm going to get it worse. I'm like this is not working out for anybody Ironically, though, however, it did. I do remember that it did tone down after that sewing. It reached the precipice of confrontation, but it did kind of level things off a little, but yeah, that's a that's, That's a little bit crazy. That's that's what the dad wants to do right. Echo, Charles
that was a that was a real strong road, did your dad get into it? Thank you well know, but I dunno I'm thinking like everytime. Like I hear a bully story, yeah, you know I have kids and other small, but if I you know you you imagine them coming home with visible damage Oh yeah, you wanna, go gonna, kill everybody Whoever was even a part of it. We had a kid. We had a guide, this Jim many, worker and he did sales. and but you know he he's still he's kind of you know like a like a loud mouth. You know always poking fun. Always you know that kind of guy and he he did. You do to the brown belt. You know and he used to roll with my son and he kind of like bullied my son. No, my son was a little kid. He'd, like you know, maybe around a little bit on the mats, know, maybe give the new geese right release
and I remember one day when my kid was maybe like ten or eleven years old, we're leaving the Jim and our opinion, like penny mind to you. You just get abused or whatever bullied whatever. While I was training or somethin by indonesia, trying to train in the scout grab and rough them up and one day we're walking out and in my son goes hey dad and I go hey what's up and he goes. Do you think that guy he's like do you think he'll be here when I'm like twenty hours like I don't know when I could see he's plot and while I mean he's plodding, found this dude so that guy doesn't work anymore, so he's probably get away with it. But that's the kind of thing where you think, like that left a mark on my kid like, oh, when the time comes, I'm going to train and I'm going to work and I'm gonna be bigger and stronger. That guy will come back when I'm twenty two. How old was he when it happened? It was probably like this happen.
for years, and we ve had this Jim since he were, since my son was like five, so this could have in anywhere between the ages of five and fifteen. You know why he was forecast than a decade down the road. This was when my son was like ten. I was thinking hey, he was Yes, he was forecasting by the time on twenty that guy's gonna be old. I'm gonna be ready in my prime he is about twenty these covered. Let the clock is ticking. I'm gonna book here give a little childhood background here. When I was around nine years old. My parents bought me a dumb bell said it had pairs of three five and eight pounders
I began costly working out my bedroom. Eventually I got to an age when I could join a gym, no matter where I was living at the time. I would scout out a nearby place to train, often my oftentimes miles away. I would ride my bike there and back the progress. Wasn't what I had hoped for. Neither did it have much of an effect on my social life, but the desire to be big. And strong remained. I caught the bug. Mother knew You're eventually bless me with a growth spurt. Shooting me up over six feet: five and my consistent work in the weight room paid off. I introduce different, combat sports and martial arts into my life. I was no longer picked on and, as my social skills also developed, I was no longer without france, so you started getting after it. I don't that connection. I don't have that was a pre planned segue with your son, but that's a menace perfect. Yes, I didn't have a specific dude in mind that I was targeting a decade down
road. It was really everybody I was targeting. By the grind began then, in order to build up to the conference said I wanted and needed, and so what? When did? You start wrestling high school? yeah Russell high school for my first three years up until my senior year, which is when football became the only sport that I would play. I had total head football coach was all the also the athletic director of the programme So I start again looked at to play football. My junior year by college scouts so come senior, he's like none at all. You doin you're room, mate football. You can run with the track. To help you with your speed and conditioning, but you are football, twenty four seven! Then you down for the cause on that right, absolutely that became my primary sport
earlier than high school, and then I saw it as as a way to go to college, because I was not an academic by any stretch you weren't talking about doing the bare minimum just to be able to stay eligible to play sports. That was me man, so how's my only route to college side. I was cool without adjustment. When did you grow? I was a peanut. Most of my life grown up I was a massive baby I was born. I was twelve pounds: nine out of eighty
and my mother: that's not a baby bro! That's like a small child. I said I set the record at the hospital which has since closed so I own that forever and my mother's, you know she's a hippie and she wanted to have this natural birth process and the doctor's like none and you don't understand like we have to go in and remove this human from you. He will split you in half, so that's the route I took and I was massive as a as a baby and then I became really really small. I got rustled, I one twenty three, my freshman year so little I was maybe five five five six little guy deal, it wasn't so I think it was between my sophomore junior year high school, that I hit this massive growth spurt and I shot up like six inches over the summer. My joints, we're all eighty in I had all goods, but it was called my horizontal slaughter had that go in and I was ganglia an awkward cause. I'd gone so tall came
my junior year, my full baccarat, my coaches, we're like what are we even do with you now you know cause your beer growing so tall between that I'm then the atomic I those two years was when I shot up. You know like over a foot of the course of two years. Let's say you're a wild man and it was even it was stranger because I, my birthday September first, which is coming up here pretty soon I went to school early. so everyone in my class was a year ahead of me, so I college. For example, at seventeen years old was my freshman year college. I was already a like a year behind everybody in terms my maturity and my puberty development through my buddies, they had done their voices a drop in they get hair and new places, and I'm still this little squeaky mouse right. You know tat, lift my pound dumbass runs like a stay. You know one that one of the cool kids. now, is related a game with all that stuff you either.
My parents hold their kids back, that's a big deal. Men holding the kids Baxter the dominators in wrestling. That's like the way! That's the way you know, at least in california, kids are getting. Kids are like twenty three or senior or senior year. You know you're in texas, oh yes, the same we can create see these scenes in high school, with full blown beds like madden, is that kids man- these are men, so you so you must start the light just completely shine in football cause. You get huge, I do it should body mass wise until I was in college. So but I graduated my senior year I was a strong safety, but I got so tall at the scouts started. Looking at me for linebacker in college, like you're, eventually going to fill out, that frame.
we just need to maintain the speed and and stack on some muscle mass to go along with your now new height that you have so I was recruited play, lie back up and then the muscle mass really came around in a sophomore year college. I said my first year and that some are just with the strength. Coaches in the nutritionists, all within the programme that we had at the school learn. How d learn, how to train and that's when I really feel Well, my frame. So my sophomore year college in I was eventually around like to twenty five to dirty, whereas if I was born, this or if my father had half a brain, he had done what he should have done right out a bit more than agri de wine full ride plan on sundays, and today I blame him for my current lifestyle, which we did they put
You won't make a straight up just dirty bulk. Is that the proper term? Wonderful dirty where we I mean, I imagine if you showed up to me and you're you're, a freshman in college, and you weigh whatever one hundred and eighty I pounds unlike cool dead, lift squat and just eat. Did they put you on that? Like you said nutritionist, I thought the nutrition is at. That point would be dominoes eat every. Let's eat everything I wasn't, it was more dial, then I have to add a regimented meal plan that I would you show up to the cafeteria and just give him my name and then they would give me the food, it was just like pizza and like hot pockets and shit. It was like real food. It was just a lot of it. Are there was a basketball player in a minute whoa who played for the university of bridgeport. He came from africa. He was seven ten or something crazy and that when he got here, he weighed you know, like some tiny amount, and I read some article that
it would likely have the desk. They were just pizza and beer like this, need this guy to eat everything he can to just get a little bit bigger cause. He was too skinny yeah. That is weird. I mean we're in the narration where the when they know a lot about nutrition nowadays, where even in our college, where, if they would have guys gain weight, it would be good good care of it. Yeah we had a program called training table where all the the football players would go and they'd eat separate and it'd be different food and it's all like good food. There's no pizza, there's! No. That kind like shake in bed. The data was saying earlier. There are a lot of potatoes, but that was willie where began learning about nutrition and that I was seeing the effects as it pertained to me on the field, and that was where I really fell in love with with training and fitness, and you know continuing that through today. That was the foundation of that. Which was at that point and then so, how did? How did it go? How to go into a football college career? It was good. You know I played
it played deter you mass and unesco, and my first freshman year in odin didn't get really any plan. Time well was still kind, grow and develop, and soft may I started play a little bit and then junior outstanding. I say- junior year because that's the way we normally break it down. But for me it was like more like my sophomore year two point now because I wasn't in line with the credits I needed to stay on track to graduate in four years right, so but my second or third, yeah of playing ball, my thirty in college I was when I was in the field and then my fourth year I took a took a pretty nasty injury to my back and act and my in a little early. That was your senior year. So what you was that that event, two thousand and four two thousand five? Ok, so
Well, where were you and what were you doing when September eleventh happened? That was my sophomore year yeah sophomore year or my second year of school was nine eleven We were you, but is that what focus you maybe a thing about being in an altar yeah I mean that was certainly. The tipping point for me was that I started looking at it in high school around my freshman, so Well, yeah no direction. I skipped school and then went downtown boston and I were the marine corps recruiter. Setting to be a marine and he's like perfect, finish high school and come back and we got it. We got. You broke great side like kind of an idea I hated school. I liked athletics, but I was tiny. There was no future anatomy.
I wanted to get. I wanted to be respected. I wanted to be feared in a lot of weight because I lived my life in fear. Most of the time in the marine corps was the route to give me what I needed he's a cool graduate highschool come back. Did he take your number or anything? I don't think so. It might be too far out, their window cause. They gotta get their quotas and all that, at the same time, like I made some. You walk in there take a going onto car dealership like they're, ready to take you. But I guess, if you were like thirteen he's like no come back when you graduate yeah, I don't. I don't remember a an exchange of information, the only thing, The attracted me from going out was was football was athletic, so went to college now kind of plan b.
and their sophomore year was god that was nine eleven and then at that point I struggled to stay in school because I was really angry and I wanted to be part of the response to that. I struggled to stay in school. Listened to some. You know family and friends and mentors and decided stay in and grind out the rest of my degree and then look at options to comment. Would you would you get your? we're criminology and then you so you know you're graduating. Would you what would you say, graduated two thousand and five? I graduated in two thousand and seven: oh, no kidding so yeah. You know. Normally, if you go to, for seven years, the hell you doctor- maybe this is neck, so a lot of different academic probations and having to redo semesters kiddo. It made it easy me to be eligible for football because its played in the fall. So all I need
to do was maintain. I think it was nine credits like three classes and just not fail any of them. If I could, I could feel all the rest of my classes after the season was over and I didn't care- and I was there, it took him. I didn't I didn't care, he asked I looked back now. Am I and know what if I just applied myself and now I enjoy reading and learning and studying, but back then I didn't. I didn't care. two thousand seven was finally received my degree and then, when you talk to recruit, Well, so now did you still look at the marine corps? Oh how deco I looked at the navy all current graduating college, the war was still going on. Now, Iraq is kicked off as well, so Afghanistan, Iraq, able surgeon as prime for someone
the winning guess gets on my mikey up. Here we got so I babies a week after a graduate college. I went downtown Boston and in the same building they had three branches: they the navy, the marines and the army, three separate offices and I added to the navy office first and I said I want to be a seal and I knew I wanted to be in special operations. I want to be right at the front of the fight and the seals can't comes to mind really fast today, as then of being the ultimate bad ass warrior. I walk ass. I wanna be a seal, so perfect let's get you enlisted in the navy and then you can request to go to buds and go out, and I said: ok thank you. And I left and I went out and marine corps recruiter, and I got the same answer when I went to talk the army- I got a different answer. They said we have this programme. Call the special forces recruit contract option known as the eighteen x ray which I'm sure you're familiar with, gets you straight into the army special forces
I passed the conventional ami, assuming you make it all the way through the navy recruits. The navy brings in a lot of people that water be seals. That aren't gonna be see us. I mean a lot of people, and it's it's interesting that you are able to identify that that that's what they were offered you wasn't, what you actually wanted and there is, there is a port there. There are programmes, I'm surprised there are programmes that you get like a contract to go at least get a shot at buds. Those things do exist when I came in that's what I did it was at. The time was called the dye fairer programme. I have no idea what that means button. It was like you are guaranteed opportunity to take to test to go to, but- and I was like echo assigned me up, but it like that guy was didn't even have that much to offer. You know and a man if he had chances are things look a little different
right now cause I would have taken it yeah cause. That was my goal. Was I want to be a seal bomb if you'd say hey, we got this option right here will get you into buds within the first six months, with whatever some kind of guarantee. Do I proud assigned to write down then yeah? He that's weird I wonder what was a black than the marine corps same thing the marine corps used to be like hey, you joined the marines and you don't even get any kind of slot you you're going to join. The marines will give you a job. That's the way. The marine corps it's better now yeah but the army has had that that eighteen x, ray programme has been freakin gold mine for them. They kicked off. You know originally back in the day and nah and then it went away for awhile and they turned it back on in two thousand to post nine eleven when the ot was getting requested to do a whole bunch of stuff that we need to. We need to get more quality candidates. Let's start this program back up: yeah, I'm dunno for some of the sa guys. A lot of those saw guys were off the street straight into SF and they'll, defend the aid
In extra there were all age we were basically eighteen x ray because they came right in when it went in and went an arm and got after it felt. So that's what happened so you end up Did you even think about an officer programme? Wars are just not happening. I mean sounds like your grades. Stellar grades were not stella. It was offered to me. It was brought up to me by my recruiter, but the actual eighteen ray contracts, not an option for offices, so immediately white that off the table. For me also, my interpretation of what offices due back then was a little off there's some retreat. We put it in my mind. Nan officers strictly sat behind a desk enlisted guys with actual guys that worked, and I wanted to be a work. I want to get my hands dirty and everything else I want to get into it may also want to be the guy tell the guy to do you think I want to be the guy doing the thing in sight:
That's, that's obviously not the case, but because the actual option didn't exist for owes that automatically made it an option for me. Would you parents think of nicholas but my father essentially tried to ground me when I brought this to his attention. You know how old I was twenty four twenty four, a lot of life experience, graduated college and I called him up cause I don't mind. at work. I didn't sign extra contract right there in any of that. I went home. I said. Thank you. I didn't know what green berets did I'd seen. Nato, rambo and John wayne, but I didn't know what s authority does what a green. By really does so I did some homework. I was drawn to the mission. I was wrong. Attracted by the timeline, that's what ultimately made me pull the trigger, But once I did my homework, may my decision and the guide signed the contract yet, but I call my father I said a data will not do any like no you're, not might listen dared. I love you,
if you do my best around the world. I might ask your permission from twenty four, but you know as in other new father now. My kids are also are also young. I can put myself in his shoes when he sees the news he she's what's going on. He knows what I'm trying to go and he's just scared for me, which is fine, but they were both totally against it. To begin with, now you described your mama's a happy like. Is that, like classic definition of a happy, She's a free spirit, she's, a free spirit. She's got her stones and she's got her crystals into crystals. She's got a dream catcher over the bed, custom incense, burning, okay, she sees in there yeah man season or something she must have been really freaking out, yeah she's less than father my father's much more like rigid and objective and scientific. My mother was still kind of like well, you need to you know you need to choose your own journey kind of thing
but I'd rather you not do that, but, like you need to be who you need to be kind of thing? Okay, we'll take it. I remember I just came home and told my parents yeah I just unless the navy you know and my dad He goes you're going to hate it. He said you, don't you hate authority and you don't listen to anybody and I said I'm going to be in the seal teams. It's a team, you don't know nothing old man yeah. You come for military military family. My grandfather was in the army my dad's dad was in the army for twenty years. My dad got kicked out of ROTC and he says that the military gene skips a generation, because my Dad'S- not a very militaristic dude, but I was a real, our a rebellious kid. So might I was just looking
but they were both like cool. You know get outta here, that's probably the best thing that could happen as you go in the military instead of staying around here, causing trouble being an idiot which I was doing a good job of yeah so rolled out, and that was that, but I yeah I didn't. I just came home and told them. I did it, so they were. I think they are overall. They were like. This is probably a really good thing that this idiot is getting out and getting off the payroll right Let's jump back to the book here, real quick august thirteenth, two thousand and seven was my first day in the united states army. He begin at the thirtieth. Adjutant general reception battalion located in for banning georgia. this is the first location us army, basic training recruits arrive prior to the actual start of basic training. It's purpose is to receive, prepare and train personnel for what lies ahead. While I am sure we were given some classes, the only things I recalled during my time at the thirtieth agee were doing paperwork eating our three meals a day and waiting lot of waiting, most of which was spin.
Standing information. We student formation four hours each day, while in formation waiting for what seemed like an attorney, we would sound off with several ankara's, the soldiers, creed, the army, song in the warrior ethos, or a few that come to mind at any point, a drill sergeant, a member, the command or any soldier in the formation which simply yell the warrior ethos. Then the end our formation of soldiers, would sound off with that mantra. The served purposes, wanna kill time. Even it was only thirty seconds of time. It gave us something to do too in a green. These monstrous into our heads, basic training in the is the army's method to break down and individual into human clay. In order to then be remoulded into a soldier. The same goal, rather branches, the military, the verbal association of monstrous is part of that process. The warrior ethos was wanted. The warrior ethos has four tenants one
I will always place the mission first too. I will never accept defeat three I will never quit, for I will never leave a fallen comrade. So it's welcome to boot camp how'd. You feel about bootcamp. When you got there, it was annoying more than anything else. I mean I was physically in an infant Well shape so physically it was. It was relatively easy. How long was it before between when you enlisted and when you left, maybe three or four months where you were did you shift your training to deep already for oh yeah, drastically hump and rocks and yeah so because I finished playing football at around two thousand and four two thousand and five, Would you way when you got done was max wait play?
ball? I would usually start the seas in around two. Fifty and I'd end up, usually around my two forty by the end, so I was play in boss, normal couch left I just wanted to see how big and strong I could get. I didn't need to be quite that letter as I needed to be as old as a football player. So I got more and a strong man and power lifting type stuff out no law, but a box animal, but a light wrestling was mostly just like us, get big and strong which worked for me because what I don't professionally, was vip security and nightclub security. So you know all my bosses, like you, know, a big yoked up dude in a suit at the front door. So you know it helped me with my what I was doing for work. And I enjoyed the training so by the time I decided to, but am I graduate college decided I was going to enlist. I was close to three hundred pounds. Yeah I mean I was doing like twelve thousand calories a day I mean it was it was just crazy, so there's no way. I was in a condition to go back to visit, to effort
for you to eat twelve thousand hours in the day. Tat is you got? It was hard work yeah. I was really. I really disliked it on my choking down in a chicken breast, and I have potatoes with a gallon of water. You know my my strength, coaches, I was going to take you know if you want an eight hundred pound deadlift. This is what you gotta do so I decided list enlist and pump huge three hundred pound bouncer yeah. Did you ever get a test as a bouncer that you had any trouble with Now I really got a guy like you. Do mistakes were five three hundred pounds you wrestled like you must. in a real, quick peacemaker in the scenario at that point man, you know I was so comfortable with losing fights, although it'd been a couple of years since that had happened at that point, I'm the biggest guy in the room had been boxing. Since I was a kid wrestling, you know some different martial arts like I was well
whipped. Do he turned around you turn to do through. Yet now just didn't come on. Until until I got it s ass actually know. Did you not to show people? Did you like it did? You know like this? sleeper hold yeah. I knew the joke yeah, I knew basic. I knew basic stuff back as a bouncer. You occasionally have to put somebody asleep, yeah, oh yeah, and I you know I wasn't the most mature browser. Until I got a little all that some of the places I worked, some of the people I work for their methodology was: let's make let's punish this person so that they don't think. Oh no one else thinks to attack a fool in my place again which I enjoyed a look back with you know some regret heard in some people upright and need to be heard. That way, but I mean that's just the nature, the business I was in the way I went about doing it so same boy. Yes, your three hundred pounds or almost three hundred pounds when you enlist
when I decide that the military is definitely going to happen. Okay by the time that I signed the contract and then my report date was like four months or so after that point was when I started my training program, it was a split a sixteen week program. I did where'd you get that programs, you. If I was working with a strength, coach, the same coach I work with today, actually one of them that I've been working with them now. You know close to fifteen years, he's a so he put it together for me, and obviously it was a away I shift from flippin tyres in moving atlas stones to run in rockin dynamic process, style, struck a train, and so I sliced myself down over about sixteen weeks from you know to ninety five to about two forty five, fifty pounds you came, off to forty five. Six. Five is a big person rag, but I was diced because I had so much mass on that. I just sliced everything off. So, by the time I showed up day one because in practice is no shit
They want to boot camp over a basic training, yeah you're, just a savage I'm a twenty four year old, six, four five to forty pounds, diced dude and surrounded by a lot of you, no seventeen, eighteen year old children who have never left the house before a now. You get your smoked right, of course, for the first several hours when you get there after me for five hours, just do a push option flooded, kicks set up some pumped up my muscles full and then they do they attach to inspection. We stay strip you down into your underwear and I just go person to person a person and I don't think they're really searching for. That is any. They just want to see like your physique, and expose you and make you feel uncomfortable all three june science are like surrounding you. When you stand there in your underwear and it's like look, you up and down and just like get india had wall, The tattoos I have on me. This is latin for strengthen otto. I didn't have a lot
other tat army at the time. So these studies stuck out and they look at me in there like. What's your deal and am I gonna not answer this question you know like. Why are you here not that they were messing with me in retrospect? I talk to these guys late, like two years later, they're, like we I thought you were like an actual government project that was going on like your creative lab or something like they didn't know what my deal was cause and then they ask people to tattoos. I say it says it's a strength and honor, and then they Look up at the wall and its engraved in the wall above the white boy. It's has strengthened on so now there wheels are really spent like up some kind of an implant you're from the movies, and I didn't pick up on us at the time. A venture we're edgeler instructor later on evening came over to and he's like. No really man like did someone
and you think I care what always have the right to try to play the game. But I wonder what game for plain right now Now it was more, it was more. I stay was more annoying and frustrating because I was babysitting the kids I always put in charge of my of my platoon on day, one like you're, the guy we're all going to leave for the night you're going to make sure that everyone that's in their bed right now we're going to stay in their beds I was very chasing kids like down down the stairwell that, with trying to just leave I am aware they they're going to go, but I'm like dragging kids back to their beds. You know it wasn't very like pact for my approach is very blunt: like get your ass back in your bed, this aid, or else so I was like sixty or seventy weeks and pretty much that that's colossal did you're, not a normal. That's friggin awesome! So you do you gotta basic,
and then you go to do you go straight to eighty after that will for us as eighteen extra you do the infantry program, which is called one station unit training, so they go basic and a I t back to back without any break okay, so it's bump on the bright straight through. Are you just happy I found this entire time. No nah it wasn't fun at all. I was just like staring at the clock like get me outta here. You know like the runs to workouts they weren't all that like stimulating and difficult. I was trying to play the game. I did play the game that wasn't like a rebel. I was like roger that I was a good soldier just like we get to the real work, which I know is a fort bragg, so like gimme audio and then so. If you make it through all this stuff that you're airborne school to Jaco, which finished basic or a t, and then you go straight down the street to airborne school, get your airborne shuffle on for three weeks, I'll yell, decent pls and the sawdust and then its then it's too are where'd. You go sovereignty
They have sovereignty. I regret at this point here than it was the subsidy and that to get you ready for us to get you ready for selection right correctly, your kind of ready for selection folio, were you in war shape now that you are when you entered just from being abou camp and stuff, or you may wish to maintain now is, I I lost, you know twenty twenty five pounds in basic trend just cause I didn't get. I wasn't getting the calories, I needed your. They were starving The freaking government project is very good. They will try to cut you out there. They wanted to tear me back down and have me sent back to the lab for for a refit, so I was in, I would say I was in worse shape for selection, specifically than I would have been if I had just gone straight to that without going to base training, but it was okay. Cause Tom. I got the saucy and forgot to bragged stats autopsy than I could eat like normal again, a mass back on so get back
two more anaerobic stuff, with some resistance to be ready for subsidies, was self critical and now see when you get. There is starting to be started up. approach. What you have in mind, yeah it it definitely was- I mean the way subsea was back. Then I think it was five or six weeks and you would stay at fort bragg and then you'd go down to fort Campbell on monday, and you would train and be in sop see monday to friday and then you'd come back to bragg for the weekend, and you would just do that for six weeks and it was what a pity the land now like not tying some s s history. Stop. It was mostly physical to get you ready for selection will at the end of the first week. So it's friday one. We week, one is done now. I feel like I'm playing the game with like with like the big boys. I got s f, guys that are now my catch rates of my first time being introduced to them, I'm surrounded by x rays from Iraq. I now feel at home in the game that first, ends and I leave instructor comes down. He says I check it out
The upcoming selection class has some when slots so we're gonna send volunteers. we're gonna just force those that are in the top. Ten percent perform its wise to go and its thoughts on Monday, I raise my hand, my you, I'm gonna, I'm ready like. Let's go my confidence, it was really high, so it gave me a weekend to just get my stuff ready. My equipment make sure I had everything I needed, which I didn't, because I was Potus OPSI, so my sobs, the experience was five days, and then I was in as far as the fall in one day and house. How is that selection. selection when I went through, was was fourteen days long now, it's back to twenty, or so it was, twenty twenty one for a long time, and then mine was the second class after they condensed it down into fourteen. I can't say: oh why they did that, but you would think that that meant they were moved like five or six days worth stuff, but they did it. They just rammed into a shoe
a window, so there was no like white space between staff. Everything was just. There was much more intense because you still had to check all these blocks, but just a week bless of time what percentage of attrition comes from that selection? Yes, all the time when we started with Ralph three hundred or so candidates and around a hundred made it to the end, and then they selected around forty or so I see that seems like a freak and crazy role of the dice. If your joined the army to bias, one SF guy, that you can go through the training and comes back at when you're you're? Not what we're looking for? Is that what it is yeah I mean they. I have some buddies that are selection, cadre now and some that I've been in now back to the unit. You know they make it as objective as I think they can, but it it's open to subjectivity.
Is there a human beings that are evaluating you and when, if you looking at purely physical capability like how fast did you run two miles? That's it that's objective and we we have to pull politics. What about when you're evaluating people for leadership and their ability to work in a team dynamic that gets subject, pretty quick. So it is a role, the dice to a degree, because you may just have a bad man bad day or about speak your saw, lita your assault performer, you just didn't perform when you needed to and that's what the khadra had to go off of so yeah. You didn't make this round, but come back in and try again how long do you have to wait before you come back and try again, I think it's states like six months that's not too bad. I think it's like six months, where they're guys that you thought were like oh yeah, that guy seems who I could go and he didn't make it didn't get selected, yeah yeah few. Few my bodies that were actually in basic with me that may
it all the way to stop see that came with me with that first chunk, because there were like ten of us that left stops the early thing. Maybe five of us got selected that first class and the other five, I would have said not always guys are these guys are going to be good to go. I was mostly looking at their physical performance like their rock times in their pull. Ups and they're, like these were physical stats, but for whatever reason they just didn't. The display, what they needed to do to the cadre de briefer guy and be like hey man, you, you are definitely not in the game over here. You fell short. Look like you. Had a big ego to the debrief guys know. Damn now It's the captured and selection or like robots there. It's not deny your face Then I screamed a yell. Add there's a couple times: discrimination login rife bt are two iterations where they are in your face and scream and china crack you physically and emotionally mentally, but the rest day like cyborg.
It's very just hears reduces your task. This is your condition. This is your standard. Germany, questions execute, that's it and if you, if you don't make it they're like okay, go to there's nothing that are tryna, then I try to get you to quit and they're. Also not there to tell you why you don't get picked up or why you failed an event. Yeah they're like cyborgs, that's wild because it seems like you're in buds really. The whole first phase is to weed people out, but most of it happens first, second, third, fourth week. The fourth week is the fourth or fifth week. Depending is is hell week. You know then they'll get rid of so many people, but yeah that objectivity. I guess it happens. A little bit different in buds. You know, like the instructors, will see some
last week and now kind of like that they'll start working on them and they'll just break him and that'll. Be that I was there anything that was a challenge for you in this stuff cause you're like a freaking government experiment. Was there anything that was hard for you and selection? Yeah selection was certainly challenging, and I think what I struggled most with was the team dynamic, aspects, although I grew up planting sports, you know you you get put in these in these areas we have a mission to execute as a small group and they'll rotate who's in charge, your jobs. This are in charge of that and that's where a set their assessing you as leaders, but there also assess and everyone else as a team player and their ability to support a leader, ripe kind of lead up the chain of command kind of philosophy. Well, as an aggressive,
younger person, as if a leader made a decision on organised, you somethin, I didn't agree with it. I made that no mike now, that's that's not our work. I don't want to win and these tasks that their given to us. There are essentially a possible that, within the standards that are given to you is no way it's happening, but they know that it's not about. Can you beat get from a to b in the allotted time? It's about. How do you work together as a unit? How do you lead? How do you communicate? How do you problem solve how to deal with stress now, they're? Looking at I wanted to win homeboy came back with some by crazy ridiculous strategy that I knew wouldn't work. I let him know that I'm like no, no, no, that's not gonna work, and now this dudes in a mega tough spot he's like dealing with someone who's. Bigger than I am and am angrier than having he's trying to do his job as a leader and, of course, he's been evaluated. The catholic address than a right there,
so I could do a better job of being supportive. Member at a team, I didn't have the same leadership, philosophy and methodology and tools that I have now So I struggled with that because even in the moments I could tell them that handling this very well, but I want to win men and this system. It superseded my ability to stay in a calm and tactful. Did they d brief you on that are used figure this out later. No, they did so. Would you get selected? You sit down with a cadre after and they go through your entire, your attire pack, with all your scores in all their inputs. So that was the number one thing that was told to me was: you need to learn how to be more supportive of a leader. It's legit now give you some legit feedback, and you were you humble enough to understand that at that
I was humble enough to to accept it there. I didn't have the same mentality towards leadership, then, as I do now, where now. I look as leadership as very much a skill like it's something that you can learn, but you have to deliberately train on it, then, even even at that point. So now, twenty five I just got selected whatever I looked at leadership as as a talent as something that you either had or didn't have, and that was it. So I guess took it like roger that sergeant. I appreciated but like this is who I am, and I don't have the leaders, like skill ingrained in me genetically I just don't have at some- have to get better other ways. You gonna, make up the difference now. Look you know my mentality towards it is is wildly different journalism. That's a lot of people, make that. But a lot of people have that attitude and you don't wet weather leadership, consulting company and explaining to people that they can actually learn skills? Just like I guess at the example I was used,
playing guitar or shooting baskets in basketball. Like you can't just pick up a basketball and beat think you can make free throws it's like not happening. You can't pick up a guitar and think you're going to be able to play your skill and leadership is the same way, Are there some people that have a little bit of a tendency that have better hand, eye coordination that they're going to able to pick up basketball little bit quicker yeah? Are there people that have a certain ability to recognize different notes when they hear them? Yeah, that's an actual thing you can be born with, but regardless you still need to learn the skills in order to get good at and leadership the same way you can have some natural propensity for it. This can be. In parts of it you ll be good at there may be some partial suck at you take advantage, once you get out you work on ones or not, but it's definitely. Everyone can get better unless there person that says I already know everything right and then they're going gonna be a problem
So then, it's off to q course after that you'll get selected going to course, and back then it's different today, but back then you know: you'd go through different phases, phase one two, three four and in between those you would just be waiting at fort bragg for there to be enough students they could lump together to start the next phase, so on a white space in between you know, phase when you go to download. Call your there for three weeks. Suddenly what I'll come back to brag and reset will sometimes those breaks to be a month or three months right would you do during those breaks work now he d formations MID July, smell pd stuff with some of the attacks that we're back their brag, the guys that were like in charge of us keeping accountability. So you do some like leadership type classes, but you are mostly just you waiting, try to stay out of trouble and that's were actually a lot of guys. That's the reason why the not green berets today is because of that downtown
you know, there's plenty distractions, faith or no care like one is planning that all actually all they're, all that all devices distractions, if you could want open, exist there, all the girls, drugs booze nightlife fights. That is what got a lot of guys removed from the programme cause. They just couldn't stay focused for that amount of time, because it took me just the q cause alone about eighteen months. Oh no, kid to get through it. Yeah and how much of that time was but let me just generally how much was actually turned it, maybe twelve yeah. Well, when you're going through. That was anything that was trouble for Yonah language school, jeff language schools? Are you not language? Did you learn? I learned russian in due course,
which is six months long, do they have ours in russian. They have the arts and the rushing cause. They do but dark passenger shit, and I talk about a confusing accent: you've mixed russian in Boston together literally no one knows what I'm saying, including me: everyone's left longitude. What did you just say? I don't think I even know that was tough. How long is the how with the russian core six months and that's? you do about it. They had set on freedom, they don't speak english to you. We have been shocked us so you're in a classroom would like six, seven other guys, eight hours a day, just learn in russian. and it was even worse because we we still maintain our jump status stern if you cross. So we get a job like the week before that language school and I broke my tailbone broke my boxes, I came nigh landed on the on the on the runway. Brothers. Shoots are not made for big
it's down, I come down like a like an asteroid. I always did to special equipment, especially with about is different. Disaster in a dirty how to free outside by the time I shoot opens at my stuff. I draw I'm dropping my equipment pretty much immediately and I'm smashing into the earth yeah with a vapor trail behind me. So I came down. I look at some wind. Couldn't stare couldn't avoid it runway? This is happening bomb broke. My tailbone thought I thought I parallel but those parts. First in horrible, your iscariot eyes have been paralysed from that type accident. There I could move, can breathe my girl cash This is the rest of my life. Fgm is just a broken. Tell them, which is. It is not a convenient injury and I've never had a book the summer. There's no great, you can't cast it. You know she's have to stay
off of it. Let account to heal the best they can, but merely going in a language school or when it is spending eight hours a day in a classroom. So my first three four months of language school, I was either on a knee. Standing because I could set a limit Doug was coming to class one of those doughnuts. You know of inflatable things as I was doing so I mean I also not an academic, trying to learn a new language which, I am convinced is in the same area of the us. is to excite of people's brains like if you can play music or if you can paint that's the odd form of learning the language. My wife's a great example she's, both he's a musician she's, a phenomenal honest. She get bigger foreign languages like that. For me that not it was. It was brutally, was just forced wraps like that's how you do it some in and you have to test out test out a yes level, yeah test that would you gonna test out at what I would say.
would be like a like, a hmm between a beginner and a novice level to have a working knowledge, I think, is the way they can describe it. Where, where is that language school for black jack what what? What were you? You were. Eighteen, bravo, bravo! Bravo and how was that part of the schooling that was great now? The bravo course was awesome. You know just learning weapons and and a little bit into tactics, but if playing with guns, or did you pick that is that what you wanted yeah, so I picked my I picked my emma west and my language, which determines your group. Everyone that gets selected at least back then picked those two two tanks request that I'm a western requested language and they would give. I think it was the top like fifteen percent of twenty of the performers would get what they want. They asked for in the rest would get whatever they know they needed to get so I requested
I one a russian I wanted to stay at that their group were made. You wanna, be bravo there. The aspect is on the team. stereotypically, but also in reality, cause you can't you gonna have to be man hairs. Why you're? Yes, you train on weapon and maintenance and trouble shooting, but you're. Also the primary taxation on the team. Are the primary tat tactical advisor to the team sergeant? Is that you that's your support function on a team to you put together ranges your executing training. Will every s f guy! Every soft guy thinks that he is a perfect tacticians and perfect maximum. The other still sets medics com, au demo. Those easier for those guys to teach their teammates because they don't have the pride associated with not knowing medicine
the protestant associated with not knowing how to use this? This radio, you woke up to a guy say you don't have to use your rifle that don't take that very well. So you have. Of an aggressive dominate personality to be able to break through that barrier that your teammates have be able to do your job here, they're gonna. Take that very personally then. I like that, like your mind, you can't shoot and you dont lose their tactics used. Without your green beret or sea or ranger, that is not gonna go well. The they're have stuff they're going can have a little bit of an eagle flash in those. And how was I was robins age rather, siege was good. aside from the infill, which is just the Hamid horrible. We didn't jump. Thank god. My buddies is a good buddy of mine. Today he was on one of the teams that a jump in
because you're everyone- and I on that team- is caring about a hundred and twenty pounds in their rock. You know sustain off of to conduct on conventional warfare and denied area at robys ages. The teams that have to jump in man and not a knot nodded. If I jump in without equipment I'm coming in here, I told punter twenty pounds on it. So the mark in the earth putting dent in the earth yeah so fortunate. I didn't have to jump, but you know the infill, the infill, tough, no matter whether you jump in or not you're hump and miles through north carolina, but once you get past that then you're actually operate with other molasses, which is the first time that you get to see that because it's the last thing you do and they bring so now you can see what medics do you can see what the eighteen charlie's do. You can see what the camo guys can. Do you see that the alphas you see that the team leaders and.
up until you go to Emma wes everyone's just a candidate, then you learn your job and then you come together to execute your job with the. Thirteen with the other molasses sar member just we're on in Phyllis that crap and up to date, short haul. Could I needed a stretch because otherwise it I was gonna go down and when my teammates yelled the word medic the first time I heard that, like in real life here, the movies but someone action, the automatic and then a medication? I would also like a real tat. We actually have you guys I haven't seen her before and also it was cool to see those current jobs and how they employ themselves within a team dynamic. So it was actually a lot of fun. Once you got past, you know getting to your and your site. How long has the freaking infill usually takes like two or three days? Oh damn, to get in yeah, I mean it every every routes different That's usually it's trains, planes, automobiles and a lot of walk it. So you know who
trail from here to hear you get there. You walk twelve miles through the wood line, link up overhead jumble of boat move down this river in its like a full on in Phil is you're going to actual denied area much of trying to replicate you did not without that's. That's it right. That's when you get year, your designation, green break. Did your parents come down for that or and your mom putting crystals in your should prove we did. As you blew some incense on me, do you have like one green beret that you got that one time like and that's the one that you get and the one that you keep the actual headgear yeah, so so we have the same. One is the one I graduated with red guards about reset pretty common. I think that that most common, unless a guy like loses it. We don't really where it that often now, so this there's no real need to upgrade because you like destroyed it. It's funny man
spend all this time thinking about becoming one and you want to earn this little green hat more than anything so, the top of this mountain it means everything to you. You want to put it all on the line and then you get it and then you never want to wear it, because it's just a pain. The ass to put on your head, We don't usually where uniform all at off in any way. But when we do it goes on so that part of the region Why most guys? The one that they had originally is the one that they keep drop, that korea no uniform is always not fauna. I remember I always thought myself MA, I'm like Michael thirty thirty five thirty eight year old dude I go to work all day. Don't have to wear a shirt man. This is the this. Is the life for good to go? Would you pull your parents came down to graduation and all that absolutely how they feel about that is now what years it two thousand and ten ok
So I rack is kind of chilled out by now. So you must just be eyeing afghanistan at this point, yes on this point. I know I'm going to third group, which is at brag, which is the one I wanted to go to because their group owned afghanistan for the for the groups for their sub groups. That's all third group did the other group with filtering and support, but their grip on Afghanistan, that's all where to go? That's why I chose that language, that's where I ended up going so from my parents perspective. Of course, they were proud of the work and happy for me for being successful, but also petrified because they knew what was coming, and this was two thousand and ten. You joined in two thousand and seven. Damn that's a long. Freakin pipeline now now that's a long pipeline. Now it's much more streamlined, so the current to coerce they ve cut that white space in between. So they give guys. Maybe it's a week or two are so off and at school at a much faster turn overrate on it now
so you get. How was it check it into two? The battalion it was a meme showed up never having been like a real europe of before others student and you don't get ahead what a guidance it's like report, the third group on this day. It's like over there somewhere among okay, so you find it. And then I walk into the group headquarters? Building and there's like some e five work in the cq desk, and I'm like I am here to report to the first battalion he's like ok,. over there. Like a right roger that commander over there and then one stories: the walking around the battalion to get all these little box checked off right, checking with s one, which is your admin section, checking with as to your until section like get yourself administratively within the unit I've never heard of for and in order it is okay. It's over here I find it. What do I need from you guys classic song me,
humphrey lost. Clearly I was like, because do comes out me and and he's like any help find something- and I might yeah man, I'm looking for this. Like a six that he's I get over there, and as soon as I talk are you from Boston, my yeah he's got a boss. I might go look it so we start talking about socks and Ads are moving away from which neighborhood, whatever I would just like, bullshit and then he's like come on. Let me show you something following this: guy have no idea who it is. He brings me into it to an office he's got red, sox pictures on the walls of this memorabilia, which were chopping up and I realize I'm in the
tank commanders. All day I haven't dropped a single sir. I have no idea who I'm talking to and it's like dawning on me and I'm like alright, but I'm just going to keep going with this cause like he seems cool with it. Maybe this is just the way it is. I dunno it's my first day in the eunuch and then I just hear this bellowing voice from the office next to it, and this sergeant, major sprat. commands sergeant major who had just left switch, which is where the queue course sluggishness and came back to their group, and he had some specific language about asking very politely, who was talking to the battalion commander that way? and he walks in the office and he's an old school s, afghan man, old school. I beg mustache, big chest right walks and yelling at me I look over the sack manner like you, gonna use,
I've been here and resist. Laugh. I thought we were boy, that's not where everybody is. He hates me out to dry completely, sprats like looking My name is a guy who use I can always it are you one of those combative guys right, you're, one of those I gonna may fighter type deeds and I was like I dunno if I should say yes to this. I feel like you may want to challenge me out back and I don't know how that will go. I'm like yes, yeah. That is me and he's like okay. Well, basically, I don't ever talk to the boss like that again, go find your company. What gave you that reputation as being an a mega cause? What just cause you wrestled or were you? Did you pick up jujitsu and stuff along the way, so I ended up getting mac peaches, the army combatives program cert, while one and two durham, basic training that they offered to just like guys that were proficient with combat sports I showed up to unit that with that and then or german
during the cucumbers and actually, when I was in robin sage, aren't you borrow whose god jujitsu blackball former group s after he was a catch ray for a different, feel team out robin sage, and he came over one night randomly and was Hey. You know I heard you're into like combatives and stuff like that. You know come check out my gym once you get out of here and you graduate and whatnot that was my intro into into jiujitsu, so I've been training with him a little bit before I actually showed up on day one. I just think. Maybe we're gonna just travel kind of quick, you know or whatever, but so that's a welcome aboard you free bro out with the battalion commander and then get your ass you'd stay. And how long does it take for you before you get into like an odia? I was on my steam probably play a week or two after that because the timing was interesting. My entire company ways forward
in afghanistan, but they only had about a month left before they are coming back. Every team, except for one of them, was forward and there was a team that was that deployed offset from the rest of the company in the battalion because was a specialised team, so it took my copy sergeant. Major, a little bit of time couple days to think about where to put me, because I, madame that day, the very first day. May, moreover, company medicine may change use himself. He said command well your goals, as I wanna get afghanistan like now he's like, of course you do, but like the entire company coming back, doesn't make any sense by the time you get there and get situated you're going to just be packing things up and come home. So the timing is not there, but I do have this team. That's set to go forward in a few months. am. I call congo allow when he's like. Well, it's a different type of team. So let me think about it. He did I, I sat down with the with the team sergeant of that team and this team
just on preparation of the environment is the task that that that whether we were signed so kindly left bank type stuff, which isn't exactly what I wanted to do, I wanted to go down doors issue baggage, bad face. This team was not designed to do that, but It was our design to find the bad guys that someone could go catch him in the face you decide, so tat the door kick, is to get to the guy or get to the area right, summon at that there was that type of work and as the very Senior team cause most guys would go span. You know few years on a standard o da and then they would migrate over into this type of stuff, so sr dudes, but eventually that's the route that I went when I was on that team. Within a couple of weeks of getting a group, I mean I'm just gonna say like your new guy, your checking and you get a chance to go to afghanistan and in a more rapid manner. They could pride, told you like hey, we need it.
Cook to go to Afghanistan a month. You'd have been like a man roger that at least I know I would have been of that cool where's, the freaking, a spatula and ladle yeah. Let's do this, did you Have any time to like prep was ernie's type? work up where they already done with all that now there was a work up. Maybe yeah. I guess I think I was on the table for months before you we unfilled. So I went and I learned diary, which is a prominent language of afghanistan side, I spent six months in the nicu course get. My ass kicked learn a russian show to my group and they're like welcome Gola dari mika kidding me. I can't get away from this language thing man, which I understand the value of it now actually, even once I was able to employ it so as three months of that and then some like preparatory collective training that we did, but it was pretty fast.
and furious before I was at the door and then you, how is that deployment? What what was it like when you got there? It was amazing, Initially I wanted to come in. Do my five year contract guess and pay back four nine eleven learn some skills and then get out, though this is not gonna, be like my profession or Michael. yeah, and then I got to the grog on the ground. In Afghanistan it was a nine month rotation, mostly down in Kandahar. We were mostly doing split team stuff, so one team was on the paki border on the other team was in like down I can't ask us- was a chance to see more rural and urban environment because of the team I was on. I was seeing the more overt stuff where we get in like mounted gun trucks, to go support a particular up to being in a soft skin corolla driving through downtown camden and spent close to. I was exposed to a lot of what oda
can do what s have guys can do. Aside from the thing I really wanted to do. You know we didn't get into a couple of things. Some by accident, but it was in that department. that I I can imagine doing anything else I decided like this is what I want to do for my career and I reinvested actually in afghanistan for like another six. I think it was beyond my current contract. I was on so it was great man. I would say that was the op tempo good, where you are working all the time busy busy yeah. I know you know like sitting around for long periods of time. You getting after it all the time, no, no, it was. It was super busy and oh that's cool. Would you get one get exposed to a wide spectrum of different things that happen. Good to see you lot now, that's a freak in great first appointment for you, yeah. I was again I was with all these senior guy saws need five and everyone else was a seven or eight or an officer. So I'm just learning.
these dudes that have been around for a really long time, and you know some of them are on their fifth sixth afghanistan pop. So I'm just I'm drinking from a firehose but just the knowledge that was coming in from these dudes that just got caught the bug, and I was like yeah. This is this is this is for me. you get down without deployment, You said, you've gotten us some thanks. Where did you get you get some gunfights, you guys gotten a few gunfights over there on that one yeah yeah, but not nothing. That like was too many no no, it was not the nice thing all that serious, but what's what's funny about his because the mission that we were on does not design for us to be in those environments, but you know there'd be like a first unit or like another unit over here? I was going out to this area for whatever mission they had and were like. Well, maybe this something out there. We can check out that is in line with our mission I dunno. Maybe I can talk to someone over there. Maybe this I dunno something
so you just get added on to their taught along and then some things will happen, but because of eighteen and our reporting channels it was different than the other units in the oh. So, even though we had bandies engagements, there was no reporting of it happening at once point the commander that we actually worked for heard about some stuff. Showed up to our site. We were working under nsw, so that was a seal o five that showed up and he's like. Has it been going? Oh bah, first time I met him, he's like okay, so Just so you know, I know what you got to win and you need to stop roger that roger that trying to
the boys, turkey, the boys doubt come out, so you come on from that point of what's next, a ton of schools and train and individual schools. At that time we were doin, usually with six months on nine months off before you re rotate for me It was ended up being around nine. Ten was back in states, but it was just individual school one after another and then on. I went back over on the end after him than for a short period of time, with a tasking from another unit that needed some support, and so I would ask for a quick little thing and came back and then But how long was that when you say a quick little thing, was it like monster, or was it months? Ninety days aka? Ninety, maybe one hundred and twenty days somewhere between three and four months or are you still with the the same ogier? The whole time Are you still are kind of focused on the same type of mission? Yes, until I get back
from Afghanistan and then my company sergeant major decides he wants to put me on a standard odia or a direct action, focused odia. So this is, after your second after that ninety day stint, yeah so on the ninety day stint you're over there. Or did you get some good lessons learned from that deployment? Ojo? Would you take back from that one? that there are other units within the so come enterprise that operate at an entire different stratosphere. which I could tell even as a junior green, berate workin on in know around ot guess there are other people out there that are really good at what they do and they know how to do it. So how is a I was at a riding on the side of this thing. They just needed some support. It was first psd, stuff, okay, they came over to their group because recall around four bragging and they needed like a bigger, combatives, psd type type do just like taking orders and not to
och or ask questions- and I was the gotta god man- I got this all day- no really what I was doin, I understood like yes de worker by who, I was with them what we were doing it took me like a while till I figure that out, but I learned a time and that was really with some my teeth into what my next thing would be post odious time did you? Are you What are you trying to do to all the time now? And so, when you go, back in what about when you're on deployment, training and all the time Joel you like make top. For every job I've been on a built, a bottle of wine or even a day like austere stuff, would get into the next actual rotation. We're in the mountains do a visa. When I built us a fine house up there so you come back from the ninety distant we're doing, ptsd type work and then you get
but now this, when you get and put it to like a dossier type oda, yeah yeah I get back in my deal, was I would do to rotations on the first him I was on my I committed to that because there's a lot of time. They spent in training, you know how to do certain stuff. So, as I get this whole problem sergeant major came in right after I got back and he's like, hey man, I'm going to talk to your team sergeant, but I think you need to be on. I could record d a team. You know your, but you don't fit in in this team you're on now you don't plan you, like you like anywhere near the worst low visibility guy in the history of freaking special forces yeah, then so it didn't make sense from that lens and I was young and hungry and he wanted to like. You know, maximize on that leverage that get me into the fight for more traditional stats. So he
mighty inside sees, as I command is what he wants. It was best for him roger that, so he let me go, and then I went to a d eighteen. Ah, this is now in like early two thousand twelve, and I was with them just in time to go through a full train nurse of that type of work before we went in and what was my second actual com: by rotation in the fall two dozen twelve angela, at present workin out it was. It was nine day man, my first pump dawn, but we would When we were living cash, we would live in Everyone had their own shoe. I had air conditioning, I had a full size bed. I had a plasma tv from day, one two different chow halls, two different gems, full blown fight else cause I, one of our camps with them, was like on the back end of a mass of a bigger, so we had all the fog stopped only on our own, our own stuff, in ocean
yea camp was right. Next to us, they had a whole bunch of google cool stuff. So I was, but that was not always was just the way it was for. My first trip. Yeah like this is the way this isn't living off the land. Behind me, I haven't had to kill a single snake snake eaters or get to chow halls choose from when I switched teams and went to the DA team. We went in to do the assaults, village stability operations and that by design mine is very austere, you actually have limitations on what you can do to build up your physical infrastructure to keep it within line with what you're, partner force or those with an area with how they live when we assimilate to them, which is exactly the mission we wanted, but when you get dropped off her in a mountain top helicopter deserve three and you're the first here that's occupied the site does nothing and it was like. Oh, this is what
odious do this is ok. This is what this is a nice day shift from my first trip to my second so now, you're out in the middle of nowhere Are you wardak years you're a severe and ward act, just your ot team in the middle, nowhere Three ts. They inserted award act along the chalk valley to once I won the other, but it was really just asked mutually support each other and you are starting with rach build. Now why you're gonna build out because there's no pre existing keen there at all, there's no turnover enough, and there was a turn, although only because the team that was it all on the ground- will meet got there. They had closed down their site, which is where we were originally planning on going, but Things changed operational. They shut that site down. They packed up all this stuff. they moved to this secondary location, they were on the ground
twenty four hours before we landed cells, so there's nothin, nothin? There was a team now, but they had been workin out of that site right. So then you go, our build now. Did you have a partner forced that's their? Yes, they handed over their partner forced to us, which was on a soft him, so the regiment, the army, special forces had created an afghan national army special forces unit in a blocked structurally, the same way as us same emma when the same breakdown and they had twelve guys, whatever largesse were twelve guys just like ours. If you show up there, you gets well and is the ale. How does is the harry was it was, I was busy, it was hot. We got off,
pray. You know we're like good patrol base activities for the first five, forty eight until we got some semblance of some fourth programming and then maybe day three or four we are. We went to drive down the street to afghan local police checkpoint. Would you could see from our camp was maybe form of meters down the road and, if we add a fourth vehicle convoy thousand old trail vehicle workin out of a hat and by the time I second vehicle got in a row. We were ambushed. So at this point we ve got like some ratty chain link fence in some half filled, hast go as like force pro there's nothin, you no other than guys that are up there with two forties, so tintint ten and unlike what I what's happened- kind of vehicles. We were matt fees. There are thirty, three thirty one, so I'm a bomb now they're legit, but even I've been around a couple engagements prior, it was nothing like this like we were like
ambushed. This wasn't some. You know moron, who got creative with an ak. Forty seven too wanted to get his jihad on for a second and then drop his gun and run away This was, I got, no shit, we're gonna. Right now, so This is you not even all the way out of the gate now, but it's all right there so were we. They dropped us off into a hornet's nest. You know which we kind of knew, although we were prepping for location a we ended up at location b, but there were relatively close, where a lot of our intention prep enter. Personalities and leadership and cells, and we would be targeting. We still consider the same. I didn't realize it's gonna be quite that level of of behind So zero whites base, which became up Primary mission was just to open it up, so every or every other day when we rolled it was just might move to contact like that's the destination. For that, that's what we're doing
Let's go find the ambush in like set it off and you're going out with your team, plus the afghan s left him You got like twenty twenty five guys, so we also have a tree squad, those There is an uplift about twenty twenty two, so I moved about fifteen dudes you're all be super young minus that their squad leader and most of them were just fresh out of basic right on young and hungry. Though how we can work with that all day you? How do you like canvas? I love me some blank canvas, so I was there with those starts like savages. Eventually we created some savages. afghan national army s f team was I was I dedicate upon a force of eventually within a set of first month, or so we started doing bigger ops and we bring in afghan national mommy, guys or another commando elements or afghan national police guys, and this leads do you know me may eventually,
had shot up with inside our attack it because when you start getting all these days, frank dude from different units, there's no practice away to establish a base line with these. With these guys, you live with somebody. You get to know that way. You can tell us something off, but the speedy sent can start to go off because different When you get new bodies as frequent has eventually we were, I had drastically opens up the risk for an inside a threat there You end up, didn't you get wounded early huh in this deployment? Is this gonna get wounded for for the first time yeah what happened there yeah? I eventually had to take some shrapnel to to the back of my shoulder. We were on the ground for just a few weeks. We would of the contact. We actually had an actual mission other than what like us, go, find a fight to get into. We do get ambushed on the way off when it up in
what we consider to be the taliban strong point village within our immediate media. It was the first time that we actually maneuvered into it, and I might sergeant would tell you himself like he made up. He made an aggressive, frazier. That's gonna peasant people off to go in there. Yeah and we were way overheads, we're outgunned, an old man, because he just took myself one of my teammates and then a handful of of upon a force guys and we maneuvered dismounted into the into the village. Just like the six of us, we had swore by far machine gun. From the trucks in some mortars, but like we were in a village now you're in a more urban environment, with three: u S, three partner for us. We down again. I'm just a few weeks in it, and initiatives at the regulars mistake me actually getting hurt may have made save that because we fought our way too a true story structure where we were taken disc, a fire from up to the roads, the guy
is your engage in that way, there's some the dudes on some rooftops and there six of us maneuvering through an urban environment and afghanistan, urban environment different than like iraq, but you still down buildings and multiple levels, structures, windows and doors and all the hallways and alleyways all the thanks right. So. I even notice that one point I might we shouldn't be here right now. You know we shouldn't be at right now. This is a mistake. I didn't voice. That was a grudge. That Michael, is, let's keep going and we made it to the structure that we were trying to breach to deal with the with the disco does come out a second story
An arm we had been receive in some some indirect that will come in and due to drop in grenades out of structures as well, so we're, after breach point to enter the courtyard into this structure. That is still active. We engaging and something just blows up by me measure grenade and it slipped into the back on my shoulder and it was I get. the sledge hammer. You do you think about shrapnel penetrating your body. You may think it's like this, like piercing, stabbing sensation like a piece of metal going into, but it's more just impact. So much is hit you with a bat and then I looked back and there's just like a lemon size hole in the back of my shoulder. Unlike oh ok, this has happened. So I mean you just like now: fine now adrenaline pumping it's a shot,
but there's no real pain that sets it might were good. My team sergeant comes over and he's like. None are now, so he grabbed my the teammate he's that put in some began to like a little strong point. He you got it out is the disc is still firing? Yes, that's good times so that's still going off the boy The trucks are really the ones that are getting it and our partners, was I dared send a separate dismount just themselves to stop moving in towards the building as well, so there there treat me some gauze comp. You know a pressure dressing, wrap it up, and my team suggest like we're. We're aborting this mission right now,
We're getting back the trucks and I'm like none and I'm fine like let's go. We just fought our way all the way to this door that we're in front of not like, let's, let's get in there, he's like no, no, no. This is we're in over it, so that was the that was the trigger for him to be like yep, let's detach and take a look at what I'm doing I saw a lot of ways I think I'm grateful cause. I dunno what was on the other side of that door, but those guys were still getting it and it could have been that could have been a lot of different decks. Yeah yeah, I sometimes the things just pile up where wise a joke. You know here no go criteria like hey. This is no go criteria. We don't have aircraft, we don't have this we're gonna vat. It's a joke into higher wages have go, go criteria we're fuckin going by that was I mean oh my attitude, but then this thing would happen something else would happen. Something else would happen and it would be like this is a sign like the ones
and I can overlook to signs maybe I'll ignore, but now we got three four things that are going on, that don't see right, hey we're getting out of here. This is a bad gall and it sounds like he came to that conclusion, which you know you got one wounded guy, you got it a bunker. Freakin disco, elements maneuvered through the city, yeah yeah go sideways rockwork, I mean how much different does that impact? Does that shrapnel have to hit you where all of a sudden you're not just a wounded guy you're, a dead guy or you're a severely wounded guy? I mean two inches freakin, it's ridiculous! How those little things can change the whole. The whole scenario
how bad, where you actually hurt once you guys pulled out it it wasn't, it wasn't bad. You know I get back to the trucks and we we itv and my medic takes a look at it and he's like do your good, but it's like a pretty good hole, hair man. So this was the first time anyone had been wounded. We'd have been in the ground, maybe just like a few weeks ago said, and so he he gets matter of fact out and I throw a potential, not the cap and like I'm not going anywhere and my team sidesa. Yes, you are like. I think I'm going to germany. I think I'm going home like he just got here. This is where I need to be. You know, I'm really childish. Response to that. But I do and I get back two. They sent me to one of the one of the outbreak It's where there actually was was a fort surgical team and they treated it in the way they treat that
is they pack packet with this antiseptic gauze because they can't just so it shot cause. It will leave this open cavity now to get for for so they packet and then then you just change that dressing out. You know three or four times a day, so it closes from the inside out it was it really wasn't a big deal? I was supposed to stay at that location until it was completely healed and then had the mid ahead. Doc who is at barbara, was made aware of my wound and he said we'll stay where you are until it closed to make sure there is no information how that work out after about three four days, I stuck in inches and the only rotary wing flights or going into my site where my team was was coming out of so either way ahead.
get a bargain before I could initiate movement back to jaw res, which is where we were. While I grabbed one of my buddies who's on that support team. That was there and, I said, bring me down to the tarmac which he does and I go from one c, one. Thirty, two another one. Until I find one that's going to balk just hitching a ride and I go up to the semi k you guys going to bathroom It's like the third plane. I walked on an ela, yet were taken off my ten minutes MIKE and I come with you really sure so I just jumped in the plane. I don't tell anybody where oncoming lane at Bagram I had been the bog run before that's where we originally landed when we got there, but I was only on bottom for like a day or two he's got about stuff together and there we flew out to our sight so wonderful, they would bugger, but all which back there is like a city. We borrowed huge So I land? I have no idea really where I am. I know that the special ops camp is in the vicinity of this, so I find my way over there and I walk into the shock.
and it was my first time actually being in like a real jock I'd seen them before with all the tv's and all the different staff sections and they're all wired, and it was like this has got to I've seen it before I walk in and the sort of command who's. My battalion level comanche they're, the ones that are run in the sort of special operations taskforce he's like hey. What do you want? donna- and am I a sir I you in on you to ride back to to georgia's this juice from Boston, he starts going off. He had actually brought in a bleach a seat share that he bought that used to be, and then we park, as he's like a battle chair, hell, yeah, so because they refurbish spend my pocket. I sold a bunch of stuff, so he brings this over with him to Afghanistan
so rather than focus on why I am there. He just wants to show me his chair. I like to look at a chair. I brought his greatest used to be out and you know fenway park whatever and I'm kind of like yet assertive. That's awesome! That's an awesome show. Well then the then the sort of command sergeant major walks over and he's like. No really don't you you can always snow the officers, the frequent and he dogs that are onto your boat. Now there was no any jedi thing happening with him. He's like. Why are you here and I'm like coming up with some bullshit that doesn't float and then the phone rings and he picks it up, and I hear the yelling on the other end of the phone, and it's my company sergeant major who is, at the location that I had just left from. I been gone, maybe three hours or something for us, and I am screaming and csf
It's like! Oh, no, he's right here in front of me and I'm like okay. Now I know this is about me. Am I going to get court martialed like what happens? I dunno. I know I'm in trouble, so he hands me the phone and my company measures is loses his mind on me and I feel like I mean it's just like roger that roger that a lot of that going on then at the end, he's like okay, dude, listen like I get it! I get I've been there before. I get it, but like don't ever do that again, Sir roger that hang up, well now everyone's gonna jochen about a little bit see assent, thinks it's kind of cool, but he's also try be professional. There's a lot of people around ride. Clearly just done something and support it. It was a user The commander eventually gets switched on he's like oh wait. What did you really just do that? Well, my team's on a mission right at that point, my first time in a jock I just got yelled at which is fine, we're kind of joking and
I look up red likes. That's going off, you know essential personal. Only inside the job people are leaving people coming to people against spun up. I can tell sums going on and it's my team on an up a team surgeon takes around to the admin and I'm watching this for the first time through the lens of what I as our feet. No, I see it. What ever it takes you a minute to realize what's happening, and I put two and two together and I have an emotional breakdown of like rage and I'm like drone chez immature completely. emotionally charged response reaction, and am I Can you guys need to give me ride now? I'm going back and I get pulled out of the jock and the the doc shows up, and I'm with the group or the
sort of commander and the sort of csm and the doc comes over and he's like why you here, you need to wait. Till you're healed you're not going back, and I start yelling at him and then the command is like listen doc. I don't think you want to tell this dude like no like he's. He just like jumped on a plane and flew here like he's like he's gone, he's gone back, so they overrode that decision, and I was back on the bird the next day or the day after that, beko with the team and what happened you wouldn't to to get wounded, would you say that was your team sergeant, so he came I was there to meet him at the hospital when he showed up the background, which is good. He went surgery, he was met of act out a country he was over in germany. I don't think he ended up going back to the states because you turned back in to the team. He was out of the game for a maybe a month or two, and then he came back over.
Do you guys have any kind of backfire plan? I only got twelve do some get when someone gets hit. That's like I'm freaking significant the force, yeah reduce, does play a big role. We didn't get out fitted with her with a new team side, Just the next senior guy and picked it up often time We will get augmented by by one of the support teams that error the axe. man, you got twelve guys like that's, that's a freaking important gun, just like lead yeah, like just gunnar clean vehicles like whenever you're doing that's freakin crazy. To think about that, you lose two or three guy you're almost you need replacement, sometimes so you get back up there. Now how often you eat? What's your optimal like like? How often are you guys going out? You were going out probably three four times a week band and most of the time do you have.
Things that you are trying to do civil affairs out there or you going out patrol the contact like what do you guys actually trying to do yeah? So our mission was to open up a whitespace open up maneuver so that some of the other units in the entire eo had the ability to begin their expo process. So this is two thousand going gonna, just thirteen The ratings on the wall that we're about to close down Afghanistan. So the units in the ground are making those preparations to be able to get men with weapons and equipment to back and cannot so. We need to open up some. Lanes. So does that mean you? Are you set up, combat outposts out there or you just go out clearing and then leaving? What are you doing now? So the afghan local police concept was built specifically for this, where we would build and or reinforce checkpoints allow
the major avenues throughout the ale. So there ask your local police, chuck rights that were all down. The major roads. So we rather building nose out there updating the ones that are already there, train in the guys that were there or bringing like resources and stuff to make them more effective. So, let's say Might oh, we got this checkpoint down there checkpoint for we're going to go out there today we're going to check their force structure we're going to meet with their people going to give us some pistol training and they were to come back. That's kind of like the type of stuff that you were doing, yeah that and then we were tied also into the local and regional government officials and to help them with their structure and they're building out and just gaining more control of the area from like a civil and diplomatic perspective which to talk to to do that afghanistan, so we mostly focused on afghan local police enhancement, visa checkpoints along
major roads with the local police, populous. Thank you. You had a mess in an area like that, you're really putting the local populace in a lose lose scenario. We come in big big white, guys, big american guys, tatted up with all the guns and the stuff, and we come in and be like you're going to help us. Were they going to say no a promise when they say yes, the actual deeds that run the show in that whole area. They're going come back, so you know it's tough and they know those those americans. They know that their leave someday the local papers. I go you're here now, but the talibans gonna be here forever. You tell it sits in impossible,
is it is the biggest threat on the ground ideas at this point. At this point, the biggest threat on the ground was ideas and then a close second would be the insider attack which, once that happened to us in what happened, in early, two thousand and thirteen on the same deployment, and that was kind of the catalyst that drove that threat up to supersede ids within that immediate area, because it was just so effective you and up getting shot again right. Are you shop shot yeah that what, in the face to face yup, I took a cab round, which sounds worse than it was a really just grazed, my cheek and in which little ripped a chunk, open, ended club clip an artery, so it blood a bit, but I didn't know that I have been shot for like an hour,
two after the fact, because it was as a result of a massive idea had I led vehicle, decimated the truck and when I showed up to that vehicle, There were some dismount that had showed up as well. This was a full on ambush, so we'll talk is through its or you're out. Tommy vehicles, governed, So we have the good for trucks and a couple side by side raises on that. We will return the base from the from the thing we just did like a kelly, a key leader engagement. How? How far away are you from like? What are these? Are these like four five mile transits are they shorter than that. This was a little longer this when we drove out along the main road, maybe nine miles ten miles, and we were on the way back when we hit this, and we had driven down this road multiple times before, and this thing had been in placed before all that they just they really
set it off led vehicle which has my team leader in it. He that dead, geopolitical death what do you call you and I'm a vehicle for workin out of a hat, and I see you go off in front of me, We had hit a bunch of small ids before toss familiar with with it, but this thing was that the biggest and most accurately timed it just bought it was perfect picks up the truck and just watches it off the side of the road down into this apple apple, orchard, after the side. Nose down slow ravine off the side of the road, and that was the initiation of a complex ambush, piquet ip g, some indirect or I'll, come in and you I know what react ideas we have that soapy established and I dont do my job
some important. No. Instead, I jump out of this hatch, the vehicle still moving, and I take off on foot towards the truck, which was now a couple hundred metres away from me not a tactical movement by me right rifle in hand and undistorted, desperate to the vehicle. slide down off the side of the road into this. In this orchard, I know that this is a solo, yeah yeah, I'm just gonna by myself, I know everyone yet at night, there's no way anyone survive that level of destruction and truck is its side so dry. The side door is pinned against the ground. Passenger side door would be facing the sky at a slut. After odin, I trip and fall and what I'd trip the that was my teammate, who was in the terms of that truck, who was adjusted and landed about thirty metres from the vehicle. I didn't see him a triple room, look back and attempt a life.
I can't believe it his leg snapped and have just below his knee he's a whole bunch of other like lacerations on his face, but he's alive is suffering from immediate, blast injury for sure is incoherent, but he's alive he's breathing he's not bleeding from anywhere profusely. So I do like a quick assessment of him and then I start hearing different rounds impacting the truck which is behind me about thirty meters and some dismounts had showed up and they would just kind of randomly shooting at the vehicle this they're shooting at the the blown up vehicle yeah. So just tainting thing I turn around. The three of them. So I smoked to the third one takes off running and this is and again an apple orchard, but it's in october or november. So there's not a lot. Education is just mostly treason, branches. You can, I can see kind, but there's a lotta saw maneuvering through this he's running away from me on an angle with him.
A k over his shoulder firing been my general direction while running away And next thing you know I'm looking up at the sky, for I felt an impact on looking up at the sky, and I thought that I had- On into a branch from a tree- and it must not be over so I pop up now- I can look around I'm fine and I gotta reengage on this dude and I noticed the vehicle is on fire and I hadn't checked the view. Oh I don't know, I've only see one of my buddies. Those bows I really want to go killers dude as ecumenical check the vehicle instead, so Fortunately, the passenger door, which, against face in the sky, had been blown off the hinges, because the truck had basically
collapsed on itself, so the turret was you can lose no access point inside the cap. Other than that door climb up the vehicle look in and my team leader, is buried, kind, o er, the drive a sea would be and he's trying to establish coms, which says a lot about like training and like to join what you need to do, regardless of how bad it gets. I mean he's. exploded vehicle and he's a mess both his legs or are nasty, is a blow than here. Tina. Both his legs are completely mangled. He's gonna kill you. We do as his face is completely riddled with small and he's on the radio in a destroy decimated truck trying to establish coms communicate to hire was go, not says a lot about that dude, while looking
inside this vehicle. You know we're still taking p km an rpg. Now our trucks have set up their return of fire. We got a couple of sixty millimeter mortars out. There return a fire team sergeant who are acting team sergeant. The time he's got a maneuver element, that's maneuvering on the ambush line. I don't think anyone really knew what, where I, What's because I'm in the middle of all this has happened, and I look. The truck I see him ok, trucks on fire. It on and from the back towards the cab. I look inside the right only from inside the vehicle I signed a pop off from the heat, so like looking into a like a popcorn bag, papa AP rounds are still ticking off the front of the truck from the enemy machine gun. Fire like this is a really bad day here and that this is where it ends there's no way either. One of us make it out of this
My team leader played off active line at west point big cat. This is the dude its legs or mangled europe. China. It comes on an on a radio, a captain, so he's jack, dude, big boy, I would say, jacked spoilt by just a hoss six seven got to nineteen to twenty five without kit, big boy with care. he's well with the reports. and we used to joke about this, which is ironic that he and I can never be the same vehicle because we the only ones big enough to move the other guy if we needed to, which is what played up so I see him in a big dude wedged in a pile of metal. That's on fire rounds outside the vehicle rounds inside the vehicle, anyone else inside the vehicle. Now, how is that so it? It seemed like two got a job,
did or three got ejected. There were two in the back, the guy in the turret and then the driver managed to scamper. Out of that. All of that doorway before I got there. were they afghans are americans? Was all americans all amounts except for one about terps. What about interpreters was in that truck guy? I can't believe these guys made it out of there yeah it's freaking crazy. It is. It is crazy cause there. They all lived, but I soon that everyone would be dead based on the level of damage, saw jump in the truck anna, gotta just what we like wedge him up a little bit out of the head of the area. He was kind of unprecedented into the dash, and then I climb self back out and then just grab this kid and just like dead lifted on out of this thing, just shocked him over
the truck, and, at this point, some about a force guys has shown up a couple. My teammates had showed up so they took him but that on a little began in a move him the truck pretty much bertz up completely. You know what then like a minute or so after we were both out Then we just circled around to find scoop up all the rest of the guys that were just in like random areas around set up a ccp and then you know, finished the fight and then went to you know I begged course of action. How far back was it to get back to base We were maybe three four miles out. So did you go back before you cause of Acta? Guys know we celebrate Josie right sharper arm bird came in we pushed out the dude state did launch a ground cureth element from one of the systems that was in the valley with us. They showed up. the ground? We met a vat
five or six guys that we're in that truck right from there and arm. Then, eventually, I got out of act out after he's. Gonna get blow that freakin truck in place, or do they burn so much that you didn't even have to do anything I charlie's they struck, couple charges to it, but it was pretty much destroyed anyway. They recovered some of the congo stuff and then get like the rest but I was treating one of the guys in the vehicle was established to see she paid his are one about, Judgments, one of our nerdy attachments, although important his I had come out of his head. So am I was like dangling downward. Cheek is so I was treating him in a put the I back in the socket and I'm wrap it up with gauze it's one of my teammates comes over and just slaps some guys against the side of my face, and this is like ninety minutes after initial contact and I'm looking up at him like what are you doing and he's like bro you're, like gushing blood
my guards so he's holding this thing is my face on putting this guy's I back in his head, and then I you know not by take a look at it, I didn't take a look at it might talk, and I am talking to him and I my medic was idea I think we're going to need to get you out of here to get that looked at, and you know I threw another childish, temper, tantrum right there I refused to leave until the other guys were out and then the cure showed up. So they showed up situation under control. They are going to escort them back to base, and there was bird that had come back in so I jumped on that, and then I was manifesto How is it was the result of that mean what they do, stitched up Now they a cauterize, it could cause a clip, an artery, so they similar our group, which is where the rest of the guys were at an hour. I wanted it. With those dates. I wasn't shrub some live
miss all right, we'll banged up, so I wanted to get them be with them. In a little bit of a situation with some of the army staff that were at the at the hospital have was protocol where they don't allow a kit grenades weapons that they secure all that stuff into like a separate area. I I've been in a hospital like this before and I just blasting in the front door, angry looking for my teammates and in two or three of these little, like e3 med kids were like physically like getting in my way to try to take my weapons and kit from me, and I do not appreciate that at all fortunately want em.
Another s ass guide I was there came over and grabbed me pull me real tight was like guinea to calm down man, so I gave him might my stuff, and ah there happen to be a ami. Reservist doktor was in backroom who, in his day to day, job owns a plastic surgery clinic, so his army doctor and then he's plus sturgeon, civilian life. He was the guy that treated me, so he pulls me over and, as I came out, I got to cauterize your wound and then I'm gonna, I'm a sewer backup and I'm going to get you on some pain management stuff like now like indra intravenously and I'm like no you're, not doing that and he's like now. It's like going to the unpleasant my doc do not listen. Doglike Jimmy was light again. If you want thus find some like numb it up, but you're not gonna. Put me out of my mind I'm not going to be stoned,
drifting around this place in pixels, two- a teenager and surgery, three other one. Or bedside right there. You need to hurry up and do whatever this is. So I can go. Do my job, which is to be next to those guys right now, so the sort of commander had showed up. because a six are now the seven of us wounded. He shows up in the dock, looks over him and sort of command is like just just gonna. Do it so I'm laying down on my side- and he this little. medical welder. It goes in and know like birds, it back together and sows it shut, and you know it suck, but I so angry and fill which is ray and concern that I really wasn't no big deal and then you said all the guys that got wounded. They lived and yet how many got cataract out a country of so now,
Guys you got left on your free, can t so added the god of this ex only two were as f gas ochre our captain an hour. I want to buy weapons guys another one another. Bravo, the guy was an attorney, so they replaced by our captain. They gave us a new, captain who was already in country. He was working at it as like a staff support officer in one of the other locations. They pushed him to us and then it's back to business. Yep you get back up and it's like a you got to adjust to this new
Captain you gotta work through the guys that you did lose the other guys that that left, even though they weren't they weren't attached to your da, but you gotta replace them somehow. So you can start to figure that stuff out how how long it take for us we're going back out on ops yeah. There was definitely a lag that was the end of november. So right around early december was when the snow came in any way and when you're at seventy five seventy eight hundred feet in the mountains. I mean that's like real snow, like feat of snow the timing was kind of good for us, because no one can move when you ve got. nine feet of snow outside the mountains, so everything just kind of goes on pause for a little bit from like december through like the end of january. That's where we got a new captain. We got plus talked with a couple more attachments to backfill the dudes that we had lost. So we had. You know eight nine weeks together, just to kind of get our stuff together bring the new captain
speed spots? Are we ready gonna get back into it? Come early said where he time frame he was, I was gonna, go and then you start doing optical yeah. And now your work and like you're talkin about earlier. You started in bigger ops- and you got a bunch of other afghans common in from different areas, different units and that to be sketchy now and you guys know it sketchy yeah. We we prefer to keep our task org with our internal unit, because we lit we lived with this. An sf team and we're talking about a broken down clay. You know structures like when I say were living together. I mean we were living together right. So you you, you gain that bond with the with those guys and you learn them. He learn their personalities, their character there there corks when he's got through,
when in a hundred random due to us, because we're gonna go, do some massive village clients, you know eighties yet we have been trained in home like randomly. within our training cycle, where we would run through I know a couple of days with the afghan national army a couple of days with the afghan national police couple of days with the ale pie, the local police guys are one guys. So there was a there was a a system in place, but they're still just sending us whoever they wanted to go to training day in. You know you said you mentioned the threat. I d threat started to be surpassed. the threat of an insider attack. So What was their and our tax before you guys had yours yeah, and so you guys full aware like this shit. Can happen yeah we were we
take it as seriously as we should have. We didn't prioritize it enough to instil greater mitigation criteria. We had some stuff in place, but we got we were sloppy. It s a detachment, it's not even you can prevent by any means, but we could have done about a job to mitigated
a lot of the lessons that have gone out from the event with us, which is still considered the most catastrophic insider attack since nine eleven is the lessons learned from that are being employed now really much as like as like, pretty much a baseline for all the guys that work with within ditch all right. So let's get there it's march, eleventh two thousand and thirteen, and you guys are getting ready for some kind of a big operation, we'll be doing a clearance. We what we planning to do, yeah, we were doing a larger village clearance. I bill eve. My memory is terrible during this whole timeframe because of me getting banged up that day, but I believe we were going to do like a forty eight hour.
Clearance with her with iran, and we will sit tight. I think it was more of an LP checkpoint establishment mission to like begin building something from nothing, and so this is one of those ops where you have a bunch of other afghans that you don't know. Maybe you've seen him sporadically, but I mean look. You get frequent group of one hundred afghans that you saw three months ago who you know like who knows who might as well just been right anyway. so you guys had some some standard operating procedures. As far as what you how you conduct these operations risks you knew it. You know it is a threat. You know that an insider attack is there's some level of threat to it. So you have some standard operating procedures about how you treat me: afghans, correct and keeping them keep it some kind of distance, and so
it's basically like you would only allow the leadership into the compound that was kind of the standard operating procedure yeah. So a compound had two layers to it: internal, which is where we lived and where op santa was, and then we had outside that perimeter was where our motor pull was. So we cannot be a gold fuel weapons are not weapons but other storage. So r s. O p was for an op the unit would show up, they would stay outside of arc entire perimeter. The leadership would come into our motor pool area, and so we could brief them on what we were doing. Standard practice is you want to keep that window? Will you notify your partner force where you're going as narrow as you can, because they they talk, and so in an attempt to reduce that word getting out? We would just tell him right there and then
we would role, and I worked for us. You know in the bravo section. Eighteen bravo section is responsible for based offence, to meet my team- and I are my my section- I were the ones that put this together team sasha, obviously the one that says yes, because we Oh within a worked harm that attire time. On this particular day, leadership comes in and a ford range a truck roles in and I immediately see it obviously sticks out to me because the violation of sophie that we developed. We been executing to three times a week for five and a half months. Is it like a technical december mounted machine? I would call a technical, but there was a mounted p came in the back. I think a technical. I wasn't.
Western africa is like different kinds of like mad max technicals yeah. So it's not an upgraded technical. It's like the lowest form of technical possible yeah. You know voted, but a mounted pkm in the back on percent, not a pkm in the back that a machine gun it, operate from standing position that thou roles in with two dates I see, and my first response wasn't yet. This is a threat. It was in. These idiots just can't follow instructions which is pretty comment, have guessed it. So my first response was just I'm annoyed that you did you doing this, and I'm at a crossroads man. It's either do dressed his problem right now, an err on the side, security, or do I let it ride? I go. The more diplomatic route were
My team sergeant talks at his leadership of my commander talks that his leadership and why we handle it. After a fact, I went with the more diplomatic options this way. and you ve been working. I mean you ve. Had this s o p, it's worked. You'd have been working with a bunch of afghans like all these idiots. It's all. Just can't leaning you in that direction of, like these people are stupid and ask whether we, when we're done with a brief yeah, you know in it, easier to look back in and judge which I do to myself. But how easy you can get complacent, which is true but when you ve seen so many things that could have gone wrong, that didn't you become condition to these types of mistakes of these types, does these types of acts by your partner force? Not they don't jump out as these glaring red flashing holy shit lights, but I know
estate and I'm, like you, know what I'll deal with this later. Let's just get through this just get through this mission and will address it after the fact and This is the perfect storm, because we do the mission brief get our panel force leadership up to speed on what we're doing, and they were doing we're own team, eternal contracts or in a circle, and you know you go around. You go on the circle right like alpha up We want our problem to upper was his check and coms. The trucks are all pretty much right behind me. They're all up and running comms a gun. The truck weapons are gonna. Try first thing we do well. When I got our vehicle set up, I had left my go bag, my rifle and then my screw serve all inside the vehicle. Important lesson to to note. I have my glock on me and I'm overdoing mission brief valor contracts
my radios due to go, and I immediately turns thou walk into my truck mighta insubordinate cause you're really supposed to stay there, to everyone's gonna go on. Like I'm good, I can hear you you can hear me. Alameda go get to my vehicle, and I'm walking away from the group and that's when I hear the rounds crack offer by me, am I first thought again was one of our afghan. as had just indeed their weapon, just negligently discharge their weapon, which also wouldn't be unheard of, but after the second our third round. Fourth round, you know I can tell it come from. Oh, that machine gun magnano someone's deliberately shooting at something, and I not my head around
and one of those guys sure enough had jumped upon the back it afore ranger and was just opening up into the crowd perfect set up for that we're all lumped together and he's. You know twenty feet away with a peak ahab written into the crow. So I see that and my first thought is moved to cover eliminate threat. I just reacting near ambush and, although play this game now infinite by the time my mind, I wonder If I had my primary weapons system on me, what I have done, what I am supposed to do, because I had cover right that there were four five armoured trucks right. next to me, technical steps over weapon system comes up, problem goes away and we move on with life what I see After I see the shooter is one of our aims. Three uplift soldiers who is
to be a driving force that day frozen and he's maybe eight feet in front of me and he's like it. You're an headlights in his staring at a guy with a machine gun shooting in his direction. Fifteen twenty feet in front of him. I see that and Although I know what I'm supposed to do my love of a t mate superseded me doing my actual job, so instead moving to some covered eliminated threat. I move towards this kid and attack maybe just like three for aggressive steps on common in pre hot, and I get my back to the gunnar and I get in front of this kid- and that's what I'm here for the first time just below my right, ass, cheek upper, I bomb knocked me down on top of the soldier
and then I feel another two or three impacts to my legs, so I not hit at another. I don't know the severity of it, but I've been here before and hit again. Ok, we'll do this here. In a second drag myself in this kid. You know maybe four five feet behind the front one hour of another truck: did they get us a little bit a cover? People are robin all around us. People are scrambling. I get this this next location I don't know my rifle on me- there was a rifle, on the ground. Next to me that our senior medic it was his weapon, he had been head around although I grab that I throw them into action on weighing on my back but with a couple horribly place rounds towards this threat, who stole engaging and Am I teammates comes in and and smokes this dude.
This was the initiation of a complex ambush, so we start taken machine gun firing rockets from outside of the outside of the cap, so immediate threats been removed. I can tell that, in a fire fight by I'm in no position to deal dress any of those problems. So I go to my next course action. I checked this soldier who I'm still kind of land on top of whose just in shock but there's no holes in them and he can breathe so no message him. No mass managing begun. Airway. Ok, we're good! I now look tat, lucy I'll bet my damages, so I rip. My pants leg open am. I wish my right leg is just mangled the doktor The maiden was by four five rounds. I took to that leg, I took one of my lower left leg, which I didn't even know about four weeks weeks later, the leg was dealt with the problem and the river of blood. That was
flowing from me to where I had initially been hit, was substantial So I know my for more lottery has been clipped, so time is, are is of the essence right. I know to the train- and I have probably maybe eight to twelve minutes- perform completely blood out, So I grab a choreographer tourniquet off my kid. I slept that on wretched down lock in the windlass bleeding and stop Second, one goes on. I put second one on myself put that down looks like the please slow down a little bit on, but I can tell don't believe in tee may gets to me and he's thy neuron batch it. I got the look on his face, set everything I needed to know he puts on a third tourniquet and then he gets ivy
access for blood from major whatever, and I was tryin up like get him away from me originally, like. I know, I'm dead, domini. expected category here. I dunno who's doing tree eyes right now, but I need to be with the group that isn't going to make it on with the group that you don't waste I am on because I know there's a lot of people that are down right now, and I know that I'm not one that can be saved to get like get away from me. He ignores me and does what he needs to do. third tourniquet ivy access and then his workers pay much done so he moves on well, I'm still coffin that I'm still bleed now some think it man had. I done everything I can do so. I decided grab some gauze out of my kid ball it up called or power ball just taken gauze and creating the this little ball out of it. I loosen when the tourniquets
and I just wedge this guy's up into my thigh, I'm kind of reaching up towards my hip, looking further to feel the pulse of the hotter, and we you train and to be able to do this by its on something else other than you know you, and when you're bleeding at that volume, All the blood starts to shot in words to your organs, to protect your body to survive. As long as you can, so my hands are real, nor my can really feel anything. I think I feel some an impression past broken fema, my FEMA was shouted so now the pay is really kick an end for the first time. stay conscious. I feel something I think I do wage down as hard as I can press that guy
and feed the rest, the guys and on top of it reset your attorney get on top locked at in and then on my work. There was pretty much done. You cover that in the book You say this is gonna hurt. I ran the power ball into my leg, reaching up toward my hip. It hurts I'm feeling for the four moral artery. It needs direct pressure to pinch, the bleeding off the problem is there being brought in my system is shunting away from my extremities to protect my vital organs, my hand, feel like meat, mittens, zero, dexterity, or fine motor skills in my fingers. The only way I can tell em brushing past my shattered femur is the shearing shockwave it sends through my body. Going unconscious seems inevitable. There. It is I think I feel a pulse inside my leg, no way to be sure, but the clock is ticking.
Only a matter of minutes, if that, until I am completely blood out and only matter of seconds before I pass out, I ran the power ball down as hard as I can. pain rips through my body, attempting to eject from my eyeballs I feed. We're gonna on top of the power ball, just as our medics taught us, I we secure the don't get on top of it. Tighten the strap twist the windlass. lock it in and pass out. I wake up what I think is just a few moments later. I was now for long. I look at my life can determine my work here is done all right. That's sleeping on the job, get back to work, be there for your brother's eye, drag self, maybe six feet to a t mate he has taken around through the calf, nothing life threatening, although certainly painful the guy, have applied some interventions already, including a tourniquet which seems to have stopped the bleeding, but he's in severe pain. No
tourniquet, save lives and essential tool, but that comes with some impressive pain for the patient. I do what, can't to distract him, provide some verbal relief. My fritz creed minimal effects, but it is what I feel to be the best use of whatever time I have left which aims, britain is not long at some point. I go unconscious again. When I come to I'm being carried out on a stretcher seems like they are marrying me formatted back. I am right. How long has it been How long was I am conscious? It doesn't matter I'm still alive still in the fight the bird just down my teammates load me on what them grabs. My face. Look me in the eyes and says I love you brother. My heart is full,
what an honour to have served with such men, what an honour to die, alongside such warriors. our raw are met a vaccine, our docks and arm medical, military, operations are so good that a lot of time like oh, if you get on the bird, if you're alive, given on the bird there's a really good chance, you're gonna make it.
It doesn't sound like you think. In that way, now I just here not you redeemed, might put me back in their place. Man I wasn't sure how long I've been stolen, I don't, but I knew it was. It was quite a bit of time, so I was surprised that I was still even alive at that point and I was convinced that that was as though that was where it was ended. Your boys podcast all over that valley by the way drop all kinds of bombs and you're on the first medivac bored out. Obviously you get,
to or be surgery clinic and- and this is this is freaking nuts you get. You need a blood transfusion because you ve lost a ton of blood and somehow you end up with the wrong type of blood run type of blood transfusion, which is horrible, Do you remember any of that you're, not you're, not conscious at this point? Are you I remember being at that aid station at spotty, but I do remember again pulled off the beard and getting thrown on the table and then just the no, the the match fast kremlin to work on me. So the next they get you stable enough, or at least they think they get you stable enough to get you
from the station to Barbara. They don't know what the problem is with me, then, on crashing hot, so they put me on a helicopter to semi to room where there's a full scale. Hospital at this location that I was at first was a forest surgical team that certainly has medical capability but once they put me on their transfusion, everything began shutting down. They didn't know why, but I knew I need to get a backroom immediately It was while I was flying a bog room, which was maybe a nine ten in a flight that they realize what happened with the blood because they were given. My t made my blood type and there were given me his. We have very similar last names with a bold. Both begins with l, a charade,
I switched up the names while they're pumping him full of o positive, which is my blood type, which is I'm a universal donor. I can give blood anybody so he's fine, but when they look to see what they were giving him, they were like wait a minute and they look to check to see what they just gave me, and it was like eight units a ton, that's what they mean, that's when they realise what happened swamp airborne and they call by roman, they say we just pop net full of a be negative. There's no way survives this flight. I was already in a critical condition. To begin with, no way survives. The flight just be prepared to receive his body when he gets there. And in a lot of ways they were right. I mean I quoted on that flight and to your point, the flight barracks organ real creative, with keeping me alive so panels in the whole thing is out. I think there were hit me with like.
shots of adrenalin and just like, whatever tools they had to keep me clinging on. Pull me off the bird gimme in surgery. They take my foot off. Media, we really mean it was, it was probably dead at that point. Has now we're talking. Ninety minutes close to two hours since the point of injury, but really was should try to minimize how much damage my body was trying to recover from and then ah innovated dialysis transfusion machines are just keep me alive. You know at this point, and that was the that was the case for like three four days, a pauper.
What's the first thing that you remember when you come back? Where are you I remember coming to epigram a couple of times and I was restrained to the bed because I been trying to rip the breathing tube out when I would wake up when you're when you're innovated? You know machine is breeding free for you, but when you try to breathe yourself against that it can throw off the timing of the machine, so it feels like you're like suffocating to horrible feeling. So I which I was trying to get this tube out of my mouth when I would come to, I don't remember doing that, but I just remember coming to and being like restraint,
to a bed and wanting to for someone to put me out of my misery and then when, when you come to again like what what's your next memory, when your first full, when do they take got a coma when they bring you back and let you start talking and thinking in yes, And I remember my now wife, who was deployed in working out a ballroom room, remember coming to a couple times and seeing her bedside. Ah, I remember sort of command ibm bedside a lot talking to me, but my last real member- is when they were moving me from Barbara to load me on to a fixed wing bird to fly me to germany, which took about five days for them to stabilize me enough to survive the flight to germany
maybe get loaded on that bird, which is wild? Those though she went duties that are outfitted? It's like a hospital on with wings american on that flight. I don't have a mushroom germany, our though I was only their day. Do you know what you lost your leg at this point now or your foot? No, no! No! No! election had no knowledge of that. They took my leg up to the knee at germany and then they flew from there to walter reed the next day and it's a water read my father was there my mother was there straight in the intensive care unit, which is where I spent the next like six weeks cause. It was still real touch and go and was around that Was there at that point that I realized my leg was: was gone or belize, a part of it was gone. did you think you're gonna be? Did they think? Was it when you realize
who had lost your leg? Was it above the knee or below the knee, by the time I realise there was already above the knee on they taken it above me, walter reed and the chief of auto came in to the intensive care unit. Anyhoo he looks at me and I'm whacked out I'm on ketamine and delighted. You know I'm a mum on a high cocktail of pain management meds. We looked at me and he's like hey man, I'm doctor so and so chief Ortho here's the situation you've been here about three or four days. Your leg, most of your leg is gone. What's left of, it is riddled with bacteria and infection. Any one of these things could kill you, so my staff wants to take you into surgery right now and amputate your
Egg at the hip and just get rid of this problem that could kill you and just get you on with life, but I think I can save more of your leg is just gonna be a street fight, and I need you like in the fight with me, and I just met this guy. You know he's telling me that this problem could kill me at any moment. But he wants the sluggish out with me. I don't think I really process medically what he was saying. I just heard like, let's get into fight together and do you want to do that, and I was like yes tom: we taken around. It grew sky, we take it hurts and people, and you can have asked me about it again, whose care with those that was it I think I just heard that I said: let's do that. He said okay, so that began my regiment of surgeries three or four times a year. And there were just going in and amputating more more and more cutting out dead tissue cutting
more bone monday. They friday was kind of my typical of routine, then flushing me with antibiotics, hoping that the infection would get taken care of, and then it was just rinse and repeat, like that, for you know a month or so five weeks, six weeks, something like that until the infection eventually stopped, which left me with pretty much what I have today. Yeah. Let's do it. You got a section in here where you're talking about as you begin as you begin rehab, so you get right into it says. On one particular day I was walking my labs around the tracks from fast forward a little bit right, obviously theirs, and when you get the book you can get some of these other details on fast forward. A little bit one particular day I was walking my labs around the track, one step at a time it was packed in
but in fact a bunch of new york yankees were their visiting service members. I typically avoided these meet greet moments like the plague. When I was work, Kelly knew this and kelly was your euro rehab personal airbus's government kelly knew this did amazing. Job of shielding me from unnecessary distractions are pretty sure she literally history dude one time like an angry cat. Given that, on this day, It was the yankees. I was even less interested go socks, in a good stride, my prosthetic had he had a solid fit that day and I needed to push it. I decided to hold a ninety lb barbell straight overhead in order to increase the difficulty off. I went others burning core burning, galoots burning, perfect. We were working, I picked up speed I didn't have a set number of lapse minded just planned on going until I couldn't go anymore. My body began to twitch uncontrollably fatigues it in. I was right at me.
no failure. I got one more lap in me. Let's go around at the corner of the track and lost my balance. I already knew how this is going to play out. My wipe out was of epic proportions. The barber with one way, my body, the other and my prosthetic. Detached completely the tall yard sale. The barber slammed on the floor clanging around looking for a targeted, found the legs of a physical therapist, whose coaching a patient through a stationary bike work. The therapists fell on her back with a but knocking the wind out of her? My body went flailing into a rack of medicine. Balls neatly organized according to weight, the heavier ones at the bottom, the lighter ones at top, all of which were now bouncing or rolling in all directions through the facility. The photo but the yankees stopped the stretches stop all conversation stopped everything stopped ass. I lay on the ground are conducted, a quick damage, assessment fingers, arms leg had everything seemed to be functioning the therapists I knocked over, we gained her breathing ability. I asked if she was all right
this fine and ask the same of me. I looked around the jim to see that nobody had moved an inch, nobody Kelly had made the slightest attempt to either slowly down before I wrecked or come to my aid once I did, it was business as usual. I strap my leg. Back on and staggered over to Kelly. The only damage was to my pride, you good. She asked yeah, I'm good think I didn't swing completely through and my foot hit the ground behind me yeah that sounds right now go pick up. Those met balls and meet me over the squat rack, so you're freaking get. How long was How long is it that you were like laid up you're getting surgeries before you got fitted for opera? static and all that yeah I got fitted for my first prosthetic. Probably ten twelve weeks have to get it now and which
You know a monumental step in the process, and unfortunately this is quite common. I needed a couple surgical revisions hafter that had happened, which is really difficult to deal with, because it pretty much put you back at square. One leg changes shape it the swelling setting Have to wait until you can get recasting from other prosthetic it conniston that clock over again. I d go through that twice, no setbacks. I talk about this. Often you know like that's what separates those that can continue to make the strides and oftentimes would just derails people they just can't deal with that with that setback. How long is this like a five week, eight week, setback, yeah, no I'd say maybe around three or four okra man, that's freaking Yeah, it's tough cause! You make an that! You can see the progress you make a bomb you back to where you were in this is like a revision. They do surgery they fit
with a prosthetic. You start walking on almost didn't like the way your bone is, is jacked up or sticking out or something, and they got to go in there and shave that thing down yup exactly that and then you gotta get all healed up and start again yeah. So what you just said It was probably around July timeframe, where I was done with surgeries and I was really making substantial progress working with my prosthetic. I got to the hospital and much so you know a few months after it. was when I was done with surgeries completely, and I was I was really get after freedom walking around with it, with a prosthetic with ninety pound barbell over your head. Go you're goin friggin art I was, I was he might my level of session
I can already see where I was going like. I knew what was in front of me was get back to the team that happened in the hospital. Even before I was on a prosthetic was like I'm going back to my lifestyle fashion, so these training sessions? This was this. Was my life yeah? You immediately knew you're going to go back to an idea, put a percent which, by the way in case this wasn't clear, you have no leg, greg and you're, saying I'm going back to an idea, People are actually trying to get you to freak chill out and try to be. No that's kind of Funny way of saying it put. People were actually trying to get you to adjust your expectations for your life, and you have section in here where it's one of those scenarios April two thousand
Pretty my father tells us story better than I do, as I heard it only second hand, but one particular day a psychic came in to visit me and I had just been wheeled out for surgery. My father told the dock the deal and they began talking a bit the psychic plain to my father that I was continuously talking about returning to my job on an s f detachment doing the same things I'd done before, etc. He further explain my father that he felt I was perhaps in a state of shock or denial, simply do the drugs not yet aware of the severity of my situation here. we warned my father that at some point I would be made aware of how badly I was injured and that the likelihood of me doing what I intended to do is extraordinarily unlikely, perhaps impossible, He simply wanted my father to be prepared to deal with what could potentially be a dramatic severe fall into depression. In hindsight, I may have had the same thought,
concerns as he did. After all, I was on an enormous amount of medication. I was in surgery three times a week and I express my intentions were on and my expressed intentions were unprecedented. Additionally I am positive. He had seen. This cause and effect happen throughout his medical career. So I get it no hard feelings, doc. My father, expressed his appreciation for the information and analysis before telling the site that he didn't like that. He didn't see that as likely to happen. My other explained that he felt I knew what was going on. I had amazing. We accepted that the reality, my situation and just as quickly had already focused on the next evolution he told the dock this is just to nick. Is My father knows me as well as anybody he's my best friend in this world. He knew that he knew that. I knew my current situation and that even while doped up with enough painkillers and anesthesia to kill a horse, I was all
formulating a plan friggin ready to rock man. You were there this mentally there I was at how long are you and want to read for about a year total and in that you just eat. You report in here that day was great, for you like The medical support that you got the people there are the people that were training. You were just freaking good to go amazing. How is it happening? How does it programme, like what happened in the chain of command here is that you want to come back. What do they say.
so I mean I was in communication with them. While I was in a hospital and then I come visit me every now and then and we will maintain comms, but it wasn't so much about tell me where your what your goals are when you get back, it was just how you do and you need anything. Has your fans wait right. That was the focus when I left walter reed got back to brag. I have reported back over to their group and I met with the group command team of the first day when their office, you know, and of course, they're like welcome back. You look great, I'm still early on in the process. I have been an amputee for about a year, so I'm no physical specimen, I'm still hobbling in I'm still limp, and I'm still trying to figure out how to live life with one leg and sit in their office. Eventually asked me, so I will your goals. Would you would you looking to do.
And I told them that, as I'm going back to the team- and they just said, okay- is there something that you think you can do now, and I said no, no! No! No! I have a lot of work. I still need to do, but that's where things are going in the in term and I need a job I need to provide value here. So I requested to go to the combat as committee to work as an instructor is a great fit in a long time I combat as dude and in a granted that they granted that request. I haven't talked to these guys. You know years later about this exact moment, Bilbil go well of all told me. We have to do everything in our power to hold back like the crazy
when I'd look like what did you just say or go down the expectation management kind of brief that I was getting quite a bit at the hospital they had to fight the urge to do both of those things and just steak cool and neutral, could they wanted to be supportive already right, but as a leader, but right like you, also want to be practical to a degree. So I I understand that, and they didn't think that what I intended to do was was possible. That indicated that that was going to happen, but They d grammy their quest to work as an instructor and that's when the game really. I went up significantly. because it's amazing, as the staff is a watery. Their job is to keep you alive and they get. U s function as you can be, to live the rest of your life, with whatever condition you deal with their not dare to train some one to go back to an audience s? Not their job, the guy's, a my unit, that is their job.
So I knew I needed to get back to brag a sap to begin train those guys and gals on first they needed a job which unit gave me, and then I knew I needed to fight this thing administratively, which I did know what that looked like, but news going to trigger a medical evaluation boyd, which I refer to as a military eviction. good, because it's really what they're like programme to do and in it their defence. Most of the guys are gals service members that they see are looking for transition out, so they do place lot emphasis on. Let's make sure we you, your a rating work needs to be all the documentation it may be an internship for what life looks like as a civilian. That's what they're do and I walked in and am I I'm going back to the team and the first person I got linked up with that kind of quarterbacks you through that process, just didn't get it. He just didn't get an eye
I find that guy, which I didn't know I could do, but I threw enough of a taboo tantrum and talked to his boss, and I was You either need to get me someone who's on the same page as me, or I'm just going to do this myself, so he was cool. He linked me up with the The girl, who is amazing, my name's rachel and she had worked with some SF guys that remained on active duty. So she was, she became a girl and she was on the same page as me. So ah the admin fight happened at that point which took eight months time, so I'm workin as an instructor day to day and I've We just taken the same mentality. I had a walter reed, which is in a lot of it is easier to maintain this because you're living in this bauble? Where are your only job?
is to go to these appointments. He like living out walter reed. When you get home, you got your friends Michael Myers this I had my girl, who I moved in with, like those deviant these other factors that part of your life that can distract you or detroit Act from the mission, so I had to take the same mentality I had in hospital and apply that to a normal living environment in which is within the first week of being home, I to make some real hard choices and eliminate anything that didn't need to be there. complete and total re evaluation of how I spend every single minute of my day and if you didn't need to be there, if it didn't need to be their full tasks and people it was removed and with tasks. I think it's it's easier to say: I'm not gonna watch netflix anymore, but when you start talking about removing
relationships from your life back and that can be real difficulty. Do I sat down with my now wife. in places like the courting phase of our relationship right likes you in afghanistan when I got banged up and what was what was she doing in afghanistan? What was her job she's, active duty and at the time she was doing psychological operations scott, but we hadn't spent any like real. Time together, you know, and then I move in with her and In the first week I set out with her. I say there is the deal ah come going online out this real quick when you're communicating with your significant. other odin good waited not start. This conversation is hey. Look. Here's the deal that we're getting off to a good start, rob here's! The deal is boosted The truth of the like? There was no alternative. This is the deal. This isn't like a course of action. This is the way it's gonna, be
wanted to be transparent. I'm going all in on this like complete and total burn the boats. I am either going to be successful, I'm going to die trying, that's it non negotiable. I have to do this and what that means on the tax to go level is that there are no dinners. There's no we're gonna. Go to this wedding, there's, no like nothing, nothing! Everything gone, gets, eat, sleep, train, repeat until I get successful or they kicked me out of the army and set, and I looked back that conversation now with the family, we have over mary now, six years to young kids, the highlight of my life most importing and in my lifetime
mile and all back in a very easily just non existed if she didn't have the the strength to be okay with the somewhat craziness that I was communicating to her. So I'm incredibly grateful that that happened. You know it's like it's. It can be tough to talk about because it could have all just not not been a thing. she was like a roger and I think would enable that was. She was also recipe pursuing kind of her next echelon, her next evolution in her career, so she was really doll dan professionally as well. So we were both gonna going down in parallel these a hyper focused roads towards our professional ambitions. At the same time which helped cause you know she had stopped
Do I still find it is you we'd become together when we could, but it was. It was interesting introduction to our relationship with. While this was going on so egmont month, process of board, I'm workin as an instructor, and I'm just I'm living just this completely in total dial, then you know minutes a minute how our our lifestyle, obviously a lot of physical training. Was involved, and ah no after after, but a month's med board complete the army alive. will you stay in an active duty, then that check that was checked, and then it was ok. Now I need to get back to the team, now need to figure out how to go about doing that and it sounds like, there's a really specific list of things that you needed to be able to do like a light? Is it some kind of test like fit for duty tests. Is that, like you,
certain tat. You had to be able to do and what where's that list come from. It was created in in real time by my children, there. There wasn't this late hour pipeline. It started off simple who is go. Do an army, physical fitness test. Ok, you did that and then they, through every army, physical, fit this programme of record at me, and once I checked all those blocks then they started just thrown other stuff at me, so they had reached. I was kin devalued it cognitive and proficiency there, we back over to the eighteen, bravo committee, which is where I learned how to be eighteen. Bravo, they threw me back over there for lack of one week to week. Train up evaluation to see better still do my job as a bravo. they put me in from sight screening which no one's admitted this to me yet directly. But I'm confident when I say I was
I was operating at such an insane pace in intensity that people thought I was legitimately crazy people, thought I like a diagnosis or problem. Why would I was delusional or like psychopathic? Why we need to get this guy, mental well being checked, Alex, I think, he's insane and needs like treatment. The site came back and was like yeah he's no clue. You than he was before so he's at this time, you're teaching combative, which is who you teaching combatives or it within your own battalion, or is it like who you teaching about of combatives group so that our group, so third group our teach, combativeness your and then you're just pity, and to try and get to be able to do this job? Yup pizza and doing a ton of jiu jitsu competing in jiu jitsu as well, which is a huge part of this overall journey, is what is that is that piece of it not just from a training perspective, but just mentality and structure and and like technical focus on what I'm doing adaptation to? How do I? How do I do this with?
one limb now one leg now: will you like a purple bonus thing kicked off? No, I would. A while ago. a blue and my purple after I lost my leg work, but you trained before you, Austria, I did yeah? I train I got into jitsu right after I graduated to coerce. I did that on two legs for a while and then might much get your journey as an amputee started, a watery. They had a local blackball, who owns a studio, downtown washington who had come to the hospital one day a week, poos jose a good psych, ortiz name good, on awesome. Dude. I met him at the hospital. And then I began training he invited me over to his and his dough jokes. I began training. Now, like three four nights a week, you know one thing that you
I forget if I'm going to cover this are not in a book, but I want to talk about it. He was you got this thing that really like struck a chord with me. So you explain that when you got a prosthetic when you put that thing on there's a clock that That's because you can only where, for so long and there's a bunch of factor, if a toss out what activity you're doing and it age, you that was one of the things that kind of drove this. This efficiency new cause. You go. Ok. When I get this thing on I have x amount of ours to operate walkin around and after that I gotta take it off. That's that was one of the things you said. Ok assumes I get this thing on. Here's where I gotta get done and that struck a chord with me. because, like that, the attitude you have regardless in life is like. Oh, wake up today. You only have so many hours, but that poorer put an exclamation point on that, for you yeah
say that in opium been in the military and special opts for for a bit before this, I was used to live in a structured, disciplined lifestyle but the forcing function of knowing I needed to be able to execute at the highest possible level. In order to do that, to be as efficient as possible. We said it goes about efficiency. How do I every moment I have upright on two legs and I got I developed a bit o c d on that because, if I would, if I go to leave my house- and I would leave something, walk twelve steps it before I realized. I forgot it. Thou would doubt irritate me cause now. That's That's twenty four steps: I'm not get back so does it does a glitch? My system is a glitch in my way, my protocol things out prepped where they need to be. This mistake can happen again because I just lost twenty four steps, so I mean was dissecting like where I put my phone.
My keys, my wife, ever to take to the edge with my life so that I didn't lose. before steps ever again, you're freaking committed to this thing, how was that what was the biggest challenge as you as they through all these different tests to you right to throw in the army. Pity tat statue. They throw this other test at you. What was something that, really was a challenger was hard at the end of the final. Final physical violation, which is my final overall evaluation, was that was by far the hottest one. This is at the end of about twelve weeks where I was doing one or two assessments are weak and third group again only operate in Afghanistan. They were dealing with a lot of india, so third group- took it upon themselves to create what He called originally the return to duty physical fitness assessment, and that was specifically for guys that were wounded that want to go back to operational status. They spent months.
But this thing together- this was while I was at the hospital and they were tell me about it a little bit and they developed it out. They ran able bodied guys through it to develop the standards, and it was more of more tasks that were more in line with a combat scenario, so, as opposed to just push up sit up and running, it was tactical tasks like move to cover type. Rills everything's done with a fifty pound, waited vest. Dissimulate kit most were done. With a rubber duck rifle so was more tactical tasks. Twelve events in total, or the day before I took my this- was like my suitable and my my training for about six weeks or so leading up to that point was mostly focused on those particular tasks the day before,
when in the gym, just to loosen up get some blood flow, get ready for my next for the for the test to happen the following morning and group such a major and another dude who had been shot to the hand who was trying to go back to the team, they both took it that morning to walk in the gym shut up and they're, both sprawled out on the turf drenched inexhausted group. Miss out your majesty s market. He just recently retired. He was the most recent uses. Socks, yes, m, he's a stud he's pity stud able bodied dude stud he's out on on the turks both of em I walk over such major saturday manager light. I'd brain has just kick my ass. His I do too, this thing morning. I said yeah, there's things no joke and I new was it was. It was brutal. I had never taken it entirety, in the in its entirety to standard
once, because I knew was news break me off, so my training of plant with different resistances, but I would just lump together different groups of them and go back to back to back in repetition. I said yet more mornings like okay, well I'll, be here. Good luck. I said. Thank you. So I show up next Could command team britannic martine company command team and about fifty other deeds are all there is a massive authorized? basically closed a gem, always normal training. It was just there to watch this. My teammates there and ah I knocked out and the final event on this thing is it doesn't sound bad, but it's it's actually quite miserable. The twelfth events- and I think you had there- was two minutes in between each of that. The final one, the twelfth one is, isn't a walk on an inkling treadmill and it starts off
lot and then every two minutes it increases in elevation. So at the final point, you're walking out of forty five degree angle, which a steep it's slow pace you know, it's a fast, a brisk walk so doing this. Fifty pound waited vest, twelve event, won't my issue, Similarly, the where wiped out their walter reed was because the lack of range of motion I have in my hip when the angle is that deep. I can't get my foot out in front of me, so how to develop a technique were once it had a certain degree of elevation. I wouldn't rotate my body laterally with laterally shuffle up hill. So my my My prosthetic is the trail leg. Might sound leg is the uphill leg and that's essentially just pulling me up some
when this little side, words lateral gallop up this hill, which looks crazy, so I finish when complete I'm on the verge of passing out, I'm on the verge of going to see the wizard, I'm losing peripheral vision, it's getting real sparkly around me and I'm standing there trying to look tough like I, Do it again if I needed to anna group cs outcomes over any says- and you know I just took tat yesterday in a kick my ass he's like, if I wasn't here to widen, you just do what you just did. I would never believe that that was possible, and this is at the end of twelve weeks and unlike arctic. Thank you but like what else do you need from me you know which my teammates were kind of laugh. I'm talking to the group commenced as your measure and I'm like uh thanks for the thanks for that, but like what like, what's next commandment, what else? What else is it going to take?
He looks over the drew commander and he just goes hey Mark this is your decision, but I dont know how we're going to tell this dude no after what we just put him through. So he mark akkad looked at me and he goes. I meant and you'll have your orders come monday and you'll be back back on the team you have a section here in the book. You got a few seconds like this in the book where you, where you have other people, that new you or that no, you chime in you got a section here about this- is by master sergeant Jimmy rooney and he writes. The o is extremely difficult assessment, even for able bodied men. Some events are argue, be arguably impossible for an above the knee amputee such as the depth drop in this event, Visual must climb up before foot platform wearing fifty pound, waited vest, jump off, making athletic landing without touching the ground with his hands mixed mechanic.
Knee was incapable of articulating in a dynamic fashion and prevented him from sticking the landing for weeks it drilled this event, starting on one foot platform, with no additional weight and gradually increasing height and weight over time. The method he developed to complete this event was to land in a pistol squat position, essentially a single leg, squat landing the guys,
watch them practice is over and over again, the mere thought of doing this. Myself made my knees and hips hurt, but nick insisted it was possible. He meticulously measured out the distance from the platform to where his heel needed to land marking it with tape on the ground too far forward and fall backward upon landing to close the platform and his knee may explode. He approach this event, like a science experiment, a problem that needed to be solved through trial, error and work on the day of nyc's final physical assessment, the o RT. It felt as if the entire unit was present. Nick was attempting to make history as the first above, the knee amputee to return not just to an odi a but to an odi, a set once again to deploy to afghanistan to conduct combat operations. Everybody was in all watching him perform when he completed the last. event with our entire commanded attendance. He was given approval to return to the team. It was one of the most memorable moments we shared. So how do
nick put his mind and body in such a positive, motivated and influential place to become so well known as not only one of the most aggressive warriors, but also a life coach teacher mentor. I believe next outlook on his environment is where it started. He had to determine what it was that he wanted in life and set a plan to achieve it. Nick could have eased We become negative and bitter and could have medically retired out of the military. Nobody would have far less of him for doing so. He had been through a lot instead nick chopper. to pursue, pursue what he identified. As his purpose, I feel the key next success is that he clearly stated his intent and gave him a reason to get out of bed every morning this he grew ass. He continued achieving glue, calls along the way and nick may not realize it, but he became a model for success in every aspect of being a phenomenal green bray and leader. His fur
his sphere of positive influence in capua encapsulates everybody. He comes in contact with complaining around neck is impossible. Giving anything less than one hundred percent around nick is not an option. His actions raise the bar for the rest of us to match. His presence makes us better. What did nick due to get where he is today. Plain and simple: nick embodies intestinal fortitude and cares about the men and the mission hell yeah freakin Same right, jumping off before foot thing lenin on one leg, come on man, that's region, savage. What was your
ok, max squat, when you had two legs. Do you know back in my when I was like big big before I came in the military and I was aroused in the six hundreds. What do you think one leg like? Is it stronger now than it was then, my one later, oh yeah yeah? That thing is just like a frequent savage as the most savage leg work and has asked it has to be so. In others does there's one more thing. I want to read about this before we get into some of your other moving on from here. Go on back, it's a little reflection on the whole scenario, but I think it's important thing to read. You saint Martin
seventy two thousand thirteen we were set to conduct a routine operation. As always, our partner force gathered outside our camp. The leadership entered a wire to receive the mission brief. Only this time a truck also drove in. I noticed him. You lie that it wasn't right. I was pissed Do I address this now? I thought to myself. It seems obvious that the answer was emphatically in the affirmative. Why wouldn't I the answer question is report. This is a tough balance arguably the most critical factor for an odious success. Fostering and maintaining relationships are the keys when conducting partnered operations I decided to hold off. I would address this my detachment commander after and he would address it with partner force leadership. This was a decision I must live with for the rest of my life. This truck was afford, ranger with mounted p m in the bed. This is the weapon that would moments. It or rip my body to shreds drastically altering the rest of my life.
But this result is not the reason for my regret. The loss of my leg is not why spring up sweating in the middle of the night. Leaving the rest of my life as an amputee is not why I continue to re analyze. My decision making process on that day are detachment commander. Captain Andrew petersen keel are in country, uplift squad leader staff, sergeant rex shad, and our military working dog back we're all killed in action as a result of my decision. It took years to be able to look at this event and extract positive value. The pain was too great. I couldn't see past my anger and the disappointment with myself, I couldn't he passed the faces of my brothers who paid the ultimate sacrifice, it took time. It took a lot of reflection. It was hard
but I owed them this effort, so their deaths were not for nothing. Gradually, I was able to gather the lessons learned in tunnels turkey s, o peas, partner force relationship dynamics and John boys. Outta loop cycle are just a few examples of what was extracted. We used experienced, better educate ourselves and those around us in order to minimize the likelihood of a future similar or tragedy. The loss these men brought value to those who remain in the fight. How many lives have been saved because of their sacrifice there's no way to ever know, but I am certain it is substantial. The insider tack on march eleven. Two thousand thirteen is considered to this day, the most catastrophic insider attack since the start of the global war on terrorism. These references
The walls and training events throughout the soft community, as painful as remains. We have managed to pull them positive value from this tragedy. We must get better. We owe this to the fallen there. You know you you and I were talking when we weren't recording you know for me. I had a blue blue incident in remedy that I was in charge of a friendly iraqi soldier was killed. Several more wounded. One of my guys was wounded and like what I did when I got home was debrief that event to every single team on the west coast that was goin on appointment, and I had many times guys come back and said.
hey. I was in the situation. We had this element over here that element over here I wouldn't have known and trained to avoid born boost the. One hundred percent, what happened and you. I was just saying to you that you're telling this story look manders, there's theirs, special operations, guys working around the right now, as we speak with countless partner forces all over the place and This is a lesson that everybody will will not forget, and I know that. The blue blue, that we had early and deployment save lives later in deployment cause. We would have you know what I mean So there's other things. I talk about extreme ownership and I had a freak bradley one to put twenty, No a meter chain gun on what they fought was enemy.
Enemy element on a rooftop and that our enemy element was actually my guys yoke leaf talks about there. He had Chris Kyle, identify haters theirs. I see a person with a scope weapon in this building. I do want to shoot him and lace chicken with army, you guys have anyone in this building and there like no kill that sniper and Christine comparable taken, the shot didn't take it. And luckily you didn't. Because we were so sensitive to blue on blue and and so lessons common away from this indeed you know, you say, don't know how many lives if saved and will never be able to know how many lives have saved, but no doubt the of caution- and making sure that assessment is happening all the time. That's what we gotta take away from these thanks for sure have to.
You know another thing that very high priest over a little bit is the fact that, as you, Are focused on you and your foot based on your goal of like hey, I'm gonna get back to nobody ot at at some wait along that journey before you took that final physical test, you look in the mirror, thought yourself. Wait a second. This isn't about me and you, know you're going over. If you can Do your job. It's not just about you. It's about the guys. You might let down it's about. Do they want me on the team? Do they want do do? Do they? like there's gonna, be slack that are that they're gonna have to pick up for me. Talk about that car some do. It's legit heart tart conversations with the guys that you would be working with about
the situation that you were in and whether you should proceed down that path, because it wasn't just about you. You got eleven other guys that are counting on you to be able to carry the weight and not just the eleven but their families as well and you're right I was, I was in a tunnel, my tunnel vision during that first, face about. It was about me being successful too. what I knew I needed to do proven the name They are wrong, prove myself right all that kind of stuff whose about me and one I began going through this assessment, I'm not in one hour. Bobo bomb writer on that time, I woke up in the middle of the night. In a panic. does that. I realized that moment that I was going back to a team and I hadn't thought thought about them once before and these are guys that around me either in the jam were training together. I've seen him all the time
but I was so target fixated on me doing what I needed to do that I didn't consider them at all it it you. It scared the hell out of me till the guard that did that day. At work, I tracked down a couple of guys that were our local, I had some phone conversations with some guys that were off site doing some stuff and I as as I apologise for having not even done this up until this point, but is this It's in the best interests of the team. You guys are supportive and you're my corner, but a huge doing that. Just because you care about me and you me to be happy, have you guys thought about this because I have an eye. I don't think I can give you an objective look because I'm so obsessed with success. I need you guys they to do that and this maybe for five different conversations, and I got in much the same answer from all the money said: listen did we are we ve
talked about this already amongst ourselves and the The high truth is we don't know if this is gonna work, but why, I can promise you as we want you to keep working towards it. We will be the ones to tell you if this isn't gonna work if you are able to make it back War assess the situation, then I'm a woman, that had call for you, so you don't have to sort of my trust into them into my teammates to be able to look at it objectively that way and Jimmy rudy just read about he was set to take the team as the team surgeon he may have art taken it at that point, but he and I were working together when I was working as an instructor. He was the headed, struck of our support committee, special forces, advanced urban, combat committee and we work at dark offices are right on how we work together that committee in the combative committee, so we had a working relationship and it wasn't all
much farther down the road that he told me he was going to take. Take two six take my team and I He was the last one. I talk to you on that day at work and we had a candid emotional conversation, and he said the same thing in here and it from him as the guy that I know is going to put the best interested the team above all else, because that's his job, I can t him and the guys to gimme that that no shit objective feedback So once I made that switch about wanting to pursue my own goal verses. who the reason behind that to it being about them, and when I'm walking into my fourth training session for the day and unexhausted, and tie it and beat up rather than king about taken those first steps off the plane in afghanistan with my arms raising the year. I was thinking about my
he made son hosting it about my teammates wife I needed to annihilate this work out right now. There's no other option for them for that kid or for that woman, and it took what was already an extraordinarily intense and rigid lifestyle to another level, and you could, I could even feel the additional energy searching through me. It was like electric now walk in these transactions? It was just how much easier to get up at zero. Three is now much easier to do those extra two three wraps whenever they get my boy to my mind is tell me to stop the image you're my teammates five year old is what fuel that tap freakin numb. I guess we get some of them.
beat into us. You know like you. Do you just never want to let down your friends and then you throw the family on top of that, that's heavy and you make it back. You make it back to a team. You end up going back to afghanistan and its august frightened season taught? What do you think? I'm sure thereby was it. You know there was a those, a quick celebration that had just for myself the boy collectively. We were was all business, but I did have that tat glorifying moment that I dreamed of taken steps off the plane that was will show lived because I realized how fast we were in the game and health. How many gaps I had so we landed is twenty fifteen we landed,
see seventeen lance its taxiing, it stops the tailgate hasn't even dropped yet and a sort of command team, is running onto the plant, which is unusual. they run over our team leadership and they have a little huddle on the plane so well look our we had a horrible and phil. I mean we went through like five different countries, delays and flights. It was a mass. It took us like a week to get any or all operate random timezone times come and offer ambien. You know, half us we like, but can we finally made it- and this led this meeting happening on the plane. We did we get equipment off and our team leadership site? We need to go into the and the medium and room like now we're going now and there was nineteen group team so army, special forces, national god team that was operating down an element that I had a real.
Bad situation going on with their partner for us that we use the term catastrophic loss of report as being admission abort, because we were do partner force? They were right at that point where the machine gun barrels would essentially being point in words with the commando elements, their work and with the sea was. It was buried Horrible, So we need to get spun up, even though on that trip we weren't falling directly under the soda. If falling under a separate task force for that deployment taskforce, gave us over to the service to be the answer to this problem. As I a temporary solution, so we would get spot the second, we literally the second we landed, and it was gain time on thirty august. Go take over for them. and take over, but we went down there and are assisted them to get the situation under control fer a couple weeks when you
get that from a leadership perspective. What was wrong when a piss, awful international god guys on this? But it is my opinion- is national god s. F teams provide an enormous value across the operational continuum. Were I've seen it work? The best is when they take national god s after as they attach them to active duty odious in two dozen twelve thirteen. We had a national god medic those attached to us for the duration of deployment. That always works. How great when haven't on organic, national god, odious anymore, into a combat environment is generally speaking, they just don't. Have time that they train together to the same level that we do as the active side. tat, bring that same level of tactical capability to fight and their hand, strong oftentimes, because they group these two
together cannot as of a hotchpotch of different due to the unit to send em over. So you don't, have that organic chemistry that you have an act on active duty side also from just a managed and operational perspective there, their fighting upstream because of that dynamic, and when you put it to a hostile environment like in Helmand and you're, given that type of mission it can be, or it can be, really tough, it can be hard for anybody, and if you haven't done a good work up together, it's going to be even harder. Yeah, you also You get over there and then there's like new jail which is for you one of them. You talk about getting in and out of an amrap and you go through this whole thing. You're like ok, if you don't know what an amrap is, it's a it's a mine resistant vehicle, but their frequent toll because they want them off the ground as high as they can be, so that the the explosion, if,
beneath it dissipates. So there there you view your climbing a ladder to get in there. You say I can recall one of the most frustrating tax was getting into and out of a mine resistant, ambush, protected, all terrain vehicle to get in and out of these trucks, one must climb up four feet with the use of a couple metal steps. As with most military vehicles, the m a t v is designed for function, not comfort or accessibility. Of course, getting into, and out of one of these was simple as a two legged dude, but in two thousand and fifteen it was anything but to say this was, frustrating would have been understatement. This is also something I did not even consider during my train up to get back onto a team, but it was a challenge. Nonetheless, I begin drilling over and over again in and out trying different foot placements, trying different hand placements how I shifted my weight, then I did the same with kid on then, with a rifle over and over and over again, I had a team, a videotape, my rep, so I could watch the tape and check for deficiencies or wasted movement. I put the add them put me
I stop watch over and over. I check my time against one of my teammates to compare. I focused solely on the task at hand. I wasn't thinking about all the other tasks I needed to master, and I certainly wasn't thinking about the bridge. Just this one piece of the puzzle focus rep after rep until the I've felt I was sufficient. I repeated this point this throughout the entire deployment. Even after I displayed enough capability to my leadership where they felt confident, confident putting me on me and more operations, that's like one little thing which no one Think about and its we can challenge for you and you had to figure out how to do it. Because by the time I got to the team and they were they were already past. Their collective training phase, they'd already finished, p m t. They were basically just getting gear, prep taken some leave and then head in the box. so I had just like six weeks on the team before back in afghanistan. So these tactical tasks- you know they were
fleshed out and train it. If I was with the guys bleeding up, I didn't. I didn't have that time, so things became real on the ground this time, I try to climb into a mad fee. Emerald, Oh MIKE, how do I do this at all? so. This is an example and in all it's just a list of tasks that I'd pay. I performed the same way and I you know downtime in between in arms. I would you say, If I wanted these things that I knew needed work and I would just like go crazy and do it a thousand times like If I do this a thousand times I'm going to, how did you If I do it a thousand times, I'm going to find a way to do it. Let's do it a thousand times so like. How do I do that I'll? Do it one hundred times a day, you know for one hundred dates or whatever ten days it was all your mission on this deployment. What are you guys doing? So we will run in the chaos which is an afghan commando unit. That's their tier one unit that was established by catch
years prior that they handed off to us to run so that's their premier dry. Jackson city force, because we were running those guys based primarily on up out of the cobbled area, not cobble proper, but in that vicinity. So we had, we moved around the the the entire I'll just run india's most like their job temple like it wasn't is busy, as as the diploma had prior. If they were just more specific point target grades based on higher levels of intel and higher levels of effects, whereas on the ground prior, we were just like going out and like paving the road a lot of the way. So this is more I too, like strategic initiatives and in directions So we may be have a thing. Maybe once a week as every couple weeks, but in that time there were couple, massive ops that we were a part of that took up good chunks, a time one of the,
I was was when can reduce the taliban took it over. Ah, we were potter as well, so we ended up shifting to that aol and we dedicated magda to three months to the response to that and then to the rebuild of that aid. How many guys were in that force, your worker worth? We, around a company size element, but one hundred one hundred and ten dudes and the craziest thing about working with these guys. So these guys were built. You know bye by keg years prior they had all like all the women that all the gucci stuff same uniforms, the rocket yes, thirty once like they got like high speed, stuff and they're all jus stop like they're, like their pumping, like it's just an on in there like daily, which you see that right when you meet these guys, I like very strange. It is even
the standard afghan commandos, they out that outfit. That way that I looked out way, we meet meet up with these due to the first time in their these yoked up have hence rock and cry precision I this is weird, but what made it at I never got to a point where I was comfortable was under nods. everyone looks the exact same, whereas normally I can L, a difference through my teammate and upon a force is the ten when you got guys that size rock in the same year, we are, I can tell who was her so you know, we are different, like markings that we use is thy our markets to try to help us figure out where we were. But I was we are comfortable when we were doing night stuff, which is a good portion of it, because I didn't know who was who yeah that's not feeling good. Now man, I didn't. I didn't I didn't like how were they? They were good in the field. They were good yeah. They got. There got me
You know, clarity about a force, but there were there were the most proficient that I've ever seen. Now there were good and so that that deployment pretty straight, or doing a bunch of da's any big lessons learned from that one I mean. I was driven to a five hours, because not only when my afghanistan, for the first time as an amputee I'll deal with all these tax, gaps, we were living on iraq, sacks most of that trip, so I didn't get a chance to really establish like a rhythm in one location one time because we moving around so much so I had to adapt my load out package for vehicles for half in phil opts for dismounted ops like where do I keep my extra legs? Where do I keep all my equipment? How do I care All this stuff and when a need, if and when something breaks down, it was a forcing function to about how I would go about doing that so for every deploy.
And I've had since its pills in comparison, because I jumped off, like the man, save cliff to begin with. So now, if I go someplace and I'm workin out of this, and location. It's like easy, quite simple, comparably where'd! You gotta bring an extra leg like what scenario we bring in an actual aid in the field. All the time these one I mean the technology in this thing is great burden. It breaks my legs, legs break and others he's got a little microprocessor in it got batteries. It's got an eternal battery, yeah, there's a little computer inside this knee. So I charge it and it runs like a computer, it doesn't matter how would rise rasper. It depends on the low lactating because it goes into like I have a nation more like a computer like right. Now, it's it's like sleeping so depending on how much a moving will determine how much battery life I have, but on an even on an active schedule, a fully dodge neo get me like three days her, and so your butt
in a whole extra leg in the field at least one year sometimes more than one. Yes, I usually carry one mechanical backup knee on my person in my rock and then I'd have back up. One of us, the mechanical ones, allow lighter cause, there's no technology built into it ethical me. Maybe now eight pounds, nine pounce guy this one ways: cricket nine pounds a lot when you're hopping around brow does not fun now rather have not after carry broken. So many these things that it's It's really. I considered a requirement so standard load out for like a vehicle type movement, a gaff would be mechanical leg in iran. an extra one of these that I'm now in my truck and an extra one of these in another truck a case. My trunk was disabled or blown up there? I have another way some way to go, get em. You put on your kind
sounds like a pain they asked, but it's also like hey. If you got it and you're freaking prosthetic you let go. Let me just put on the other: one was for a greater now one of the conversations have my crew command team. Ah there Wasn't that concerns like what happens if your prosthetic breaks in the field and I said I have. I can carry an extra one if your leg breaks in the field you're out and they kind of got a chuckle out of that. But that's true, so you got you got profession and they have good solid deployment. Yeah Yes well, and we had a lot of visibility on us that whole trip. I mean all the way up to like washington, because I knew approval from the uses, sock amanda to be able to go the so commander was aware of it. So no asset team, no soft. He wants a lotta people, checking yep checking in on them paying attention. What they're doing in answering
phone calls from you know three star generals, no ogier, teen leadership wants that mighty. We should deal with a bunch of that because it was almost like people were expecting and waiting for something to go wrong for them to pull me out and be like hey, we tried it. It didn't work, let's say get back to reality here and like let's find out like a real solution for this dude, but I didn't and we had a successful trip, no no issues, so it was just. It was a hectic because I was doing this vehicle type thing in all my free time. So after that six month pomp, I was the most tired I've ever been in my life. What's the I know you, you wrote about how there's a limited amount of time you can spend on it. What I want you patrol for, like a full patrol. So I've done. You know multi day missions. I just you know it's there. Does that
the tickets tall after a while, because, though be a point, we have to take it off at a minimum in a white down the sweat. Maybe through wants a man, a pertinent purse, print type stuff, get it back on again, go so on It just depends on those different variables, but there are times when it being field out on somethin. For for five days, and as long as I as you know, a couple to three hours during my rest cycle to kind. Let that fluid. back into the residual limb and cut a plump back up, strap it back on and then be good. Their will be Field for food as its freedom would yet that's awesome She come home from the deployment and what but go again. That's the deal yeah back from their trip,
standard trend cycle for us, individual schools, collective training and into pmt, and then the the next year, the year after that trip we were over in somalia on our next thing, which was a city mission as well see t d, a mission just different continent, but very very similar doing the same. They do instead that didn't have a partner force over there. We had five, oh damn, yeah. in a bunch of somalis. We had some canyons, we had some ethiopians and your train in them and you're goin out did their doing work. You do and work with them. Yet we were the words we were targeting AL shabaab says you know Al Qaeda affiliate. We were targeting those guys and it's good op tempo. It was busy and we were going out once, the two three times a week we were indeed is yet to india,
that we were down south of the union we are working with was was further up north than we were just like flip flocked to support each other. It was busy and are you? Do you get in a flow now? You said like hey what you did that first deployment to Afghanistan, where you're living out of Iraq? Are you in a pretty good flow? Now, where your your start, be able to deal with your leg. It's not that big of a factor yeah. So the two years I had I like since walter reed, you know the first trip to Afghanistan or the the train up Ghana stand now like to two and a half years post injury. I learned a lot o lessons and ways to maintain my prosthetic in my body. So I learned how to do this by time till the sixteen trip came around, I was. I was much more confident in my tactical prowess and in insertion within operations oh yeah, I know what's after that, somalia deployment another point, I was twenty sixteen, so
back from that, and that was when I transferred groups from third group to fit group. The reason I train because my wife, she went down a different career path. And got orders for four campbell. So I transfer group this point we're married so to stay with her. Obviously I transferred from thirty fifth one over there and then that integrated with those guys in my next trip was into lebanon act gear. Obviously still active duty right now. What kind of let that one will use our imaginations for that that deployment over there. At what point did you decide you gonna, try and get a commission become a warrant like I've or what you guys colony, army, chief yeah yeah in the navy, know this yeah a chief is an illicit guy and
We still have worn offs. We have chief warrant officers, but what what point did you want to become a warrant officer yeah? I I started looking at it actually, when I was in somalia, because I warrant had to go home on emergency leave and I kind of took up a lot of those tasks for the detachment when I got back from a from lebanon is when I dropped. That is when I dropped that packet and got picked up yup so we asked have worn offices. We go to fort bragg to go to a school where every other ami, worn officer goes down for russia and goes through the worn officer course we have our own. Our own programme has its. There s a one off size wildly different than all the other worn officer branches. We know the zone. To combat worn offices knows are aviators and then ass, F, gas. The rest, those are, those are manages like they re you run desk. Right
you're you're, an expert in that particular system in your job as the manager task on our side of the house. It's it's. It's different cause you're on the team, so we have our own schools, when did that thousand twenty nineteen five month muffin what costs a lot of writing and briefing officer stuff, and you love their executive, la salute to the army and special operations for this whole thing just for them keeping you on a path open in those things up you becoming too one. Also like that's freakin, just out standing that day that this happened. You know I mean look. This self could be easily be shut down like that. it'd, be some. Some senior officer is a guy. I don't think it's the right thing to do in bow. You know, so it's outstanding that you actually that the army allows is to happen. Do I believe it should? How yeah, of course, but I'm saying pen, you know some of these some of these bureaucrats. I don't think that way. They don't think like you think they ll think, like. I think so,
salute to the army into s, efforts for keeping that door open. Friggin, that's just outstanding, I don't have. One of my guys was right. Job was blind when he's blinded- and you know I have talked to the admiral- and I was like hey sir- he he wants to stay in, and the animals like whatever he wants, one standard peak. We got jobs for now as freaking outstanding you get picked up from warrant and in what's the next step, their step? going to my next attachment. As the assistance ass were commander and I was notified, the team I was gonna, go to it's about two weeks left of the warrant officer course, and the second I was told the team number. I knew the type of team it was going to patent, which was a a maritime ops team, a dive team right in SF, all the other teams that ended then
five. The directives are, I just completed. The worn ask firstly, amputees have ago is challenging as hell believe or not. It's there's a lot of physical stuff, but to go back a bit when I first got to group the worn off so that on the teams, stereotypically where the out of shape old guys that whenever around will the regiment realise that in a completely re altered the the actual costs too put a lot of physical gates that you had pass because they don't want these crusty got out of shape, guys on teams anymore during the war on team, you need better function, as a team in every odious has the assistant commander is a warrant, is right, every odious doesn't have a warrant, but because they are small community most do and that guy is the assistant attachment commando, because the
the forty eight twelve men construct is designed to run split team ops, it's not just rugged random number, so the captain takes one section and the warrant takes the other. If there's no more takes the other one. The sergeant would would be there too logical teams, our data senior, unless the guy, where does the captain it experience before before he's the captain of an a team. Is he coming from infantry? Is our he gets his initial experience as a leader like as a platoon commander, somethin yeah most come from the the of a tree. They don't necessarily have to have an infantry background, but they're I mean they're green, even like the most experienced new captain day. In today's world. You not seen it that much cause, there's not a combat, but they get may be one trip as a political leader in the conventional unit go to the cabin. Recourse voters, the queue course and then show up our level of experience is why the ass, if one officer exists because there to reject
they get two years on a team in and they're gone, so the most? senior cap and a team has been there for twenty four months, like that. I'd just barely figured out his job when an odious does We fit within the overall picture, and these are the next thing the warrant is there. You know what practice do five six years in the same detachment where they are to be. That's true physical, visor too, that leader that's written budget. So you get the dive team assignment. We're sorry, I cut you off, so you you were saying that worn off to school was actually there were some. There were some challenges and more an obstacle. Wasn't a walk in the park. No, no it was. It was legit yeah, it was tough, so I mean I got like two weeks left before my graduate and I'm just about the top of this ridge line my graduations inevitable. At this point, so I'm feeling pretty happy about my You know my performance and warm go in an excited, and then I got a phone call like you're going to this team right here and now,
I had the same response that everyone, every s f guy, gets when he's toying with dive team, which is shit. because everyone knows seated, you see the conduct of a qualification course. Everyone knows that is the hottest school within the army by a mile physically and mentally, and most fearful of it most don't wanna go down that road. You know the same aside the same response, it was ok. Well, my celebration here was short lived, because now I gotta figure out how to do this. Yeah. That sounds like a lot I was given all these props to the army. I guess we gotta give more props there, like cool, oh you're, going to be warrant cool. Oh you got one leg. How's dive school sound
I admit, it's funny, man cause. I got back to the group. I got to my new battalion and got assigned to my new team and I met with the company command team the next day and within the first couple minutes of that conversation, they told me that no one had any expectations of me going to dive school I had the same conversation with the battalion command team. A couple of days later and was told the same thing from them, which I found was interesting. You know, and I I looked at him kind of sideways and I said: listen. team. Is there a bunch of aggressive savages to seize them or see team? We haven't a battalion their hungry for combat. They haven't seen it yet We need a strong lead on that team. There. We too worn officer candidates. There. Only two of us unfit group that went me in my buddy mean a body mike had wildly different experiences
I did a lot of like interagency stuff and he was more on the technical side of things and did a lot of intel stuff. My experience was like all combat, so they looked at both of us. Packets and though we can't send this guy to dive team specialist, one he's gonna have to be now but it will work cause he's a strong leader, though respect on middle it'll help keep things moving in a general direction. Dive teams are are known for being in support aggressive. You know it's there, it's it's! The is the double edged. Sword felicia because you got a really high performing detachment, but you're gonna have to deal with their aggressiveness and keeping them within line in a garrison environment.
So they made it clear to me that that was the reason why I was going and yet they didn't expect you to be actually going through. Dives go like that wouldn't be a requirement necessarily is what their think in their eyes. That's what they were thinking. I didn't see it that way. You're, just like my fellow I gotta go, do dives cool. It's it's the one thing that separates dive teams from every other detachment is going through that extra filter and its. The relevant to the actual execution of maritime ups. It's just that fine filter. to be able to push yourself through that hell when you take twelve guys that have all been through that and lump them together, they are going to be a high performing detachment, no matter the mission where you are in the water. Much grown up a little bit, but not much Well, I grew up in new england, you know so yeah I mean spend time in the water, but I wasn't a swimmer but okay, you know never scuba dived before not that I'm sure this is not going to be fun. No,
referral, you gotta start training for right leg. You gotta start figure. Now getting comfortable the waters. A big deal. Do they know, pick guys that were have some comfort in the water or two guys. Violence does anyone volunteer for it? Some do it's rough for a new, a new do to show them they. I put me on a dive team. Most are happy with the little green hat on the head and they want to just like chill and just get to team stuff. It doesn't and it's not very often that it happens. I think the sergeants major they they do ask if there's an open slot on a dive team. Hey, you know, you've come from a water. You spend time swimming, you know which I think brings value to your success did you see, is more about your being comfortable in the water
in a sale, your ability as a as a freestyle, swimmer, oh yeah, that's definite comfort in the water. Why mean I haven't been through that school, but im in basic seal training. You go through some pretty significant dive challenges and people. It pays to be comfortable, you have to be so I did they day. They have their conversation, but if the answer is no and they needed a diver cook, I will you. one and you had to fight against the med board again to kindly get away where to go to this school: you. It wasn't a mere boy, but I did need a waiver approved to be able to go because of my physical profile so there has never been an amputee tv like consider gone and now I'm kind of back where I was where I had to fight the ad mid fight and then also prepare myself, physically and mentally. So the admin side. It worked out great for me because I went to my dive physical, which is the most in depth physical. We have in the army, they check you for everything cause it's just to such a high stress school. There's two phases
we get to both of those both are clean. Both are good to go, and then our med clinic sends up the waiver for me to be able to attend, ministries, lively one that needs to be approved by the swiss surgeon whose full bird colonel I psychical send it. I got a phone call about a week. waiter from some nine one, zero area code number, which is north carolina answer the phone. and there's just some dude and the other on the phone like yelling and he's talking about one legged guy who wants to go to dive school, and I think that someone had just dial my phone number by accident and I'm over here and a conversation about me, I'm going to low. Who is this? Do you just yellin talk and will address If we talk and real fast family stops mike. Who is this he's like nick? It's it's mike and ah, I said doc: hey doin, all mike Was the third group surgeon back when I was in Afghanistan? He was the first
I operated on me when I got flown into bagua hits has been. two o sex and was workin as the switch sergeant. So I knew each other real well, I didn't know that that's where his job was till. He calls me and I'm like. Oh no kidding His eyes staring at year your waiver differently right now so you're going to approve it he's like yeah already dead. I just sent it back cause like. I think you outta your mind that you want to go do this, but if you want to go, go ahead, like good luck, so you know ironic turn of events. If it was anybody other than him who knows If that would have been approved cosette. You are assuming quite a bit of risk, both as the medical, professional and then the commander, which he works on a neat like their assuming that rests December. You of course like that, has a student, the game it
light and then once I had that I had already been training. You know, physically my first day on the team who I was in the pool day want pledges met these guys. It's my first day His battalions, my first day at a worn officer and I'm in the woman to pull you gotta, get like thin legs or some shit yeah side. And I want my prostitutes and I said I need a finn and ah then, you know fins for amputees aside, not a new thing, a game you this one and things maybe I'll, know three feet in length: it small, And my teammates call them. I find a memo. Thing is just the difference between my leg in this thing, which is so different, but the concern was that you know it If it's a longer lever could places more force through the socket which actually attaching to me body, so we were concerned that If it was too long, I was generating too much force. It would ripped the prosthetic off my body, so we were
with a more secure option, even though it gave me less propulsion. So that was what I. Add- and you know I just said you know roger- that is my equipment, I'm just going to figure out how to make it work really had a term left leg and sir just an absolute tag, cause that's what was propelling me for treading and for underwater now for all the finning with my left leg. That's what I used in the pool. during our train up a you know, my teammates a phenomenal, but at the same time it was no one really new hadda Do this with a guy with one leg, so was a lot of trial and error, and, like figuring out, did that and I was in communication with the leadership down a seat. It you see how they reached out he once they were made aware that an amputee was gonna come down. It was a third group. who was actually undermine structures in the queue cos. was now the sergeant major down now, so he hit me up and was like her majesty key, be updated with if you're
modifying any specific procedure, I just need to know what that is cause my instructors, don't like know what this looks like you know. So you know maritime ops and especially in the schoolhouse. It's very procedural, like left foot here right foot here, it's broken down step by step by step to increase efficiency and reduce risk to keep it as safe as possible. Well, for me, some of those steps just don't exist. If it's like put your right foot here, while I gotta have why. So, what am I doing when anyone else's putting their right foot over there? So just no small little tweaks is what my team we're gonna play around with and then a mess. Got to the captured on narrow, was ultimately up to them to decide. If what I was doing would meet their standard requirements. couple adaptations with a couple different things, but, and then the sea to see ernie. What's the attrition rate at that's cool,
Varies from twenty percent up to sixty percent there are some classes they gradually like. Five guys can have just if you fail there to send you back to us, if you just can't beyond a dive to type thing You usually will get two or three attempts at which is quite common. Reference to take a guy may be twice how long is the school six weeks You got a section in here. You talk a little bit about this I had a lot of joy and laughter when I was reading it. The combat I recall vacation course or dives. School has several test. Students must success. We complete each design of the purpose. According to years of data collection and lessons learnt from jail, this is a previous combat divers, the most notorious is the one man competency exam during this
as students are required to wear a black, a blacked out mask to simulate nighttime conditions and then surge underwater for several currents once the surge phase is complete, the students are placed at the bottom of the pool and paired up with an instructor who systematically removes the students, air source regulator and in places a series of deficiencies. So how do I breathe without a regulator? You, don't you hold your breath is required to trace the air source line from its origination point to the regulator while on a breath hold in order to retrieve the air source and breathe. This process is repeated until the exam is completed, if this sounds awful. It is because it is just that awful the why man, competency exam is widely considered the most difficult test within dives school and is the reason why so many do not advance in the course. There is, however, a method to this madness, conducting underwear
operations is arguably the most dangerous task we do within the military. The ocean is unforgiving. A plethora of things go wrong and, as with more operations, something will almost certainly will go wrong, given the fact that we have humans require oxygen above all else. To live problems and water can quickly turn deadly during underwater for operations, it is just you and your team at times. Perhaps it is just you and your dive buddy, and if things really go bad, it's just you. When a problem presents itself, you absolutely must be able to correct it. At Depending on the severity of the issue, time becomes a critical factor. Every second counts pressure is at an all time. High. The stress of these situations can be incapacitating. The only way to work through the situation is to remain calm good times we have a test like that similar, it's called pool, competency, it's the same thing they're just going to freaking jack you up underwater, it's not fun
it's, not it's, not fun. You've got to find the demons every survival instinct because humans, you got to battle through that yeah, but you made it through yup you you made it through that that die things. Be failed a couple times I filled one and twice What about cancer? Three? Yes black! out from the water my first to go rounds and my black out experience that they tell you. You know you're gonna, say I just feel yourself going like, when you're being choked down, get soft and start to feel yourself getting comfortable like you're on the verge of blacking out yup. I that doesn't have with me mine is just altitude increase in pain, discomfort and then europe? and then I come to when I'm on the pool deck. What can or are using up like a normal regulator like the kind with one hose that you press a button and air comes out of it for this.
Susan open want attacks on your back with the standard regulator. We have this in seal training. They have this regulator for MIKE nineteen sixty eight or something and it's got to hoses ones in inhalation, hose in one's an escalation house, and it looks like you know, look at jock, cousteau, diving and nineteen. Seventy three like that's what he's using and it there's no button to press you have to drink the water. I just suck the water out of it when you put a pack in your mouth and they just take this big and freaky to its. It said the only reason that this regulator exists is for butts at this point this they still use it while they still use to this day, and it's it's crazy, it's crazy! Ever
yeah, but I've talked to some of the people that were at work at that company and they were like yeah. That's the only people we make for. I guess, there's, I guess, there's an occasional person that requested, if they're, an underwater photographer, because the bubbles are behind your back, but other than that. It's just these cars, no reason to use it. It's worst, it's the worst piece of equipment ever like for diving, like they probably made it in like a year later, like hey, this is dumb, but that's what we still use, not fun alright, so you get done You pass now you're one officer inside of a it's inside irradiating rack up, if the reform were to go on this one, the one after that we are in iraq, damn okay, you're doing a lot of diving in Iraq. Were you not much? What year was at twenty one, no kidding? Last year we went in
number twenty november twenty and twenty one I mean from what you can say without going into classified material like what was your general mission advise assessed timing, the iraq of today is much different than than the iraq of your days. How'd you like being the number two grand command I enjoyed it, we did a couple Aspartame scenarios, but then, because we were doing was pretty routine myself. and my actual team leader we would just swap out at times so I got some reps at the detachment commander thing. That was good and you like that in a leadership position very much. So it's it's difficult as warrant because away was, crap to me was it's a command lists, thankless, selfless position when you have
of that tripod of leadership, tat from commander to captain Yoshino list a guy and then the worn off. So you know that that is the task manager in charge of the tec. He runs the tape. The senior enlisted guy the team sergeant he runs the boys that they all work for him. The warrant exist kind of in between that and the way you in points as well as a leader is more done through your actions, then it is about having one on one leg: moulding sessions with the individuals can that's the job of the insurgent. So your approach to leadership as a warrant has to be a mature one. which is tat for a lot of us because we're aggressive Taipei pipe. It is who think we know that we were right looks like so have to stay back from that in lee through supporting others and led through more of your actions, then you're verbal mentorship can be tough. And then its worry were you are right now it is still a team
I just came off the team and you station now, I'm still for campbell not fit group I'm just took over as the company operations warrant for advanced skills company. So when I was workin the combative committee, it was underneath the advanced skills company so now, amongst the company level, leadership where work alongside a major anasazi major got it. Ah, you know that that brings us up to date for this, for where you rat right what you got going on. You know that This is the thing about this book. Is this book this book objective secure? It's not! It's not a memoir, of your life. There's not is not like hey here's a bunch of stories it's actually.
It's actually like, almost like a field manual of how you can overcome things and how you can achieve things in life, which is, is a pretty awesome it looks like. Obviously I read some of the stories out of it today. Cause you relate. Oh, this event happened. Here's you know what occurred here's. What caused me to do this? Here's where I learned this lesson, there's a lot of that stuff in there, but the actual book is I mean the the subtitle. The book is battle, tested guide to goal, achievement right, which is freaking legit like hey. Here's, a guy that, has gone through a bunch of obstacles and recall those obstacles and he did it not by luck, not by miracles, but by figuring out how to assess these things now to overcome. And you take the military.
methodology that you learned from being a special operations and you will find that your life and apply them to challenge we face, and you you outline that throughout this book, and that's why, if you know, if you're listening right now, just order this book right now, khazars so much good information in it to help anyone that's overcome at anything, that's reason any obstacles, but I've. I feel bad, if I didn't at least give people sort of a heads up sort of some of the highlights that you go over in the book so I want to crack this thing open and, like just like, I said, hit some of the high points of aid, of how you live your life. How you overcame these things? The book is called it.
Active secure, you start off an objective, secure a military brevity term used during the execution of combat operations, meaning the location or target has been isolated and contained. The assault forces eliminated all known threats, and the element is prepared to move to the next objective phase of the operations of the operation, reaching the directive secure during a combat operation is a good feeling. It means we have a foothold, a location to re, consolidate, established communications, prepare stage and, if necessary, fall back too, but this does not I mean the mission- is complete objective. Six in our context here is twofold: first, it is a victory, a milestone. It marks the success of achieving a necessary goal along the route to miss. accomplishment. Second, the tool, a system, a methodology, a process designed to manifest our reality objective, secure
is a philosophy and a blueprint that was created in real time. Refined then retrospectively analyzed following years of trial and error years of failure, years of obstacles and years of adversity, it was forged by fire and his battle tested literally objective secure. Did you have that name out of the gate for the book now? Not at all I mean I created this thing. The the original objective secure was about a nine page. Microsoft word document that I slept together as a result. Of being asked the same question hundreds and was how did you do what you did so rather than answering knows every single time What's your email address, yeah, I said you don't want to do I'm going to I'm going to answer that question put a little more
got into it and that way I can just attach and send whose about efficiency. I created the region, where these things a purely out of efficiency, to answer the question to provide information to those that were seeking it, it was until years later used it as such, for yes was until years later that a good body mine now my business partner at me I was actually still in dive school. I had about a week left and he called me out of the blue and said I think you need to write a book and I said: can we get outta here? but he thought I do, I'm clinging by a thread down exhausted and a key to have this conversation with you. We eventually circle back a couple weeks later, I gave it some thought This is in the middle of two thousand twenty covered. I got a lot of time and energy on my hands. Jim's closed. Tibet is houses closed
we're doing this weird half on half off work schedule. You know remote l, p d sessions. It was just a strange time. I had a lot of extra time, energy that I otherwise wouldn't have had so, speak to him. I gave some dot thought about how microsoft word doc. and I said I actually gonna have something he said just keep going with it and see what it turns into so I sent teeth into it. I became real obsessed with. There are really found out that actually enjoy writing, which, if you had asked me that week before this soda said no, no interest actually do enjoy it, but I didn't figure out the title until maybe at the half way point I started thinking about it and then it a kind of flipped yeah. You got what we you the way you on your life and its becomes really clear in the book I haven't touched on this part of the bookshop, like you're, you're, very calculate, in everything that you do this. What I need to get on here's, what and that's what makes the soul
directive and obviously to fork outstanding for you. the elder, pull off the kind of shit that you ve pulled off that comes across and one of the things that was one. The wizard breakdown the book as you use some of them well use with the way you weren't things in the army and when the things that you talk about his there, the ethos, the warrior ethos and here's part of it. It will always place the mission first now I realize the term mission has a strong military undertone, but this absolutely applies to everybody because everybody has dreams. That's what the mission is. It's a dream, the long term goal the mission is what is waiting at the end of the road missions are impact full often life changing, but for many the mission will remain just that a dream. Many do not reach mission success. Many do not turn the dream into a reality. Those who do are able recognized the need for something sacrifice. A sub
discipline, something we'll get into later. The active foregoing what we want. for what we need. So you break. These things down. So when we say fast boarding, so we I will always leave. I will always placed the mission first. What we are saying is, I will make the necessary sacrifices and I will prioritize my time, get em like jump, you ve got all kinds of applications of where people read it, be I guy. I think that might be me right there. I think he's talking about me over here or all I need to do. I need you better on that thing, so this does. This book is very practical. From that perspective,. the next section I'll read is. I will never accept defeat this
man has a somewhat obvious meaning behind it, resolve resiliency and toughness. The mentality is that if you knock down seven times you get up, eight, pretty pretty straightforward amid red one little section of this. Our egos do not digest failure easily our egos- want us to constantly project strength, ability and knowledge are egos can prevent us from asking questions and pushing ireland limitations human. What he requires, allowing ourselves to become vulnerable to expose our weaknesses, things that are extremely difficult for most and for individuals who work in the special operations community there next to impossible. Gotta stay humble! to be tough. So when we say I will never accept defeat, what we are saying is
strive for failure and when you reach it, learn from it, apply it and keep moving forward bunch of good examples. You phone here about this and all totally pragmatic. next week. I will never quit initially the sound similar to what we just talked about, but upon further examination will recognise the difference I will never quit is about us in complacency, It is not letting ourselves get comfortable, not celebrating too long, not accepting status quo and not growing stagnant. It is adopting principle that satisfaction doesn't exist and that now is the time to attack check these things have a lot more meaning when determining the appropriate rucksack. We need to think about the mission we need
choose the right size rucksack for the job choose one two small will not be able to bring the necessary equipment choose one to large. We tend to fill the extra space with things we want, rather than only the things we need answers, equal pounds. Next thing you know we're humping. Seventy pounds is that a sixty pounds at first This may go unnoticed, but as the miles continue, the extra ten pounds take their toll. This undoubtedly increase fatigue and reduce focus inability, leaving us less effective when it it's time to go to work and this woman, you want to read this same as with answers. Minutes become hours, hours become days days become weeks and before you know it, a year has passed with little to show for it, later in the book you got some year time. Like you got your day. We schedule right now like to the minute now
there's no time being wasted for breeding mick now next on emission man we're extractive fact. You know the a team there's not many there's not a second wasted, can't can't meet for one just to the the the gift of perspective with common as close to death. As I did driving in how precious life is and how time is our most limited resource and just to maximize the gift of we have of minute. Two minutes minute. Just add that perspective was given to me through it happened and then, when you ve got, you know big goals, that's when it takes as when it took for me or anyone I think that's actually just what it takes, not just for you, but our anybody. I will never leave off,
comrade I'll, never leave a fallen comrade. We know the obvious meaning behind this: the meaning reserved for the war fighter, the mentality that no matter what nobody gets left behind when we open the aperture a bit. However, this tenant is speaking to a commitment to doing whatever it takes the others not too many. To me saying that have the word never in the bright and that's what this is. This is like the commitment. you talk about this in the section on when we understand that everybody eventually hits a decision point and that way they do most. Give in our decision point becomes an opportunity. Man we're sorry about this. Either they like Your life, our lives, are just a bunch of decisions that they're just. They're just all decisions. What are you going to do what he can eat? When are you gonna get up? What are you going to do today? What progress you make? What time you gonna waste. you say it gives us a chance to either extend our lead or make up ground
on or competition. Through this understanding, we will begin to welcome these decision points. We will seek them. We will find ourselves intentionally pushing until we find ourselves standing at the crossroads and when we arrive when most would find themselves conflicted. We are not we embrace it. So when we, I will never leave a fallen comrade. What we are saying is, I will do whatever it takes to make it at times. We have to ignore the brain. Listen to the heart and take the risk it It's weird, how many decisions you make without even thinking about the fact that you have a choice. People just allow things to happen in their lives. Sure that just you know what what are you doing today, he's, gonna be what we know it today. You know like no, that's not part that's not part of the plan not going work does not gonna work nick knows what he's doing he knows
it is doing on sunday afternoon at thirteen forty, he knows. What's up In this way you break down how we're going to execute this, like you just kind of talk about the mindset through the warrior ethos now get until the execution of this whole thing. Phase. One is the mission. Here's where we identify the mission and again how many people are going through life. They don't even have their mission identified. I'd, say a lot. You know I I've. I've talked about the fact that I very lucky because when I was very young, I joined the navy and I just want to be a good seal what like tat, gives you even make so many decisions based on that you can make you You can do so much just on having a goal like that
were identify the mission. This is a long term goal the dream, the what we are trying to accomplish, the who we aspire to become there's a reason why this is phase one is x. It is exceedingly important if we bought this up, we may be making progress, but progress in the wrong direction. So if you're listening right now- and you don't know what your mission is you're already- you ought to get them up a significant problem get a problem going on cause. Where are you going? Where are you going right now? What is your mission. If you don't have a mission, you need to figure out what it is hundred percent and yeah. I think that the way that you. like had that mimi, you freaking woke up from a coma without a leg and were like cool, I'm going back to no deity or simply miss him like this. What I'm doing,
design. We must have a solid understanding of our current situation, our mission or obstacles and how we are going to advance this may sound intimidating, but don't let it overwhelm you and then you break out your nose. Another thing You talk about. We can talk about the fact that once you didn't have a leg. You like our. I I need to be an official to my team in other ways, beyond just physical yeah, you can go to hold this standard and I would say probably good- do have a lot better than the standard by you like hey, there might be some deficiencies that I have cause. I only have one freakin leg somewhere make up for that. You started going too some of the more serene brought parts of special forces. Sorry, Gonna schools to learn, you know operational art and design and in that way you had something else to offer. It was like almost like a backup plant feed, inevitable, physically, which again
to which I would say, you definitely have a physical, but if you had some slack there, you're gonna be able to make up for it. Yeah was a conscious decision that you may not know is tough to accept that grown up as an athlete in a fight. I and you know, being that door, on the team, is what my team wanted of me. It's what I enjoy doing spend time in the jam, the fight out on the range and everybody who is a win win I think the fact that, no matter how hard I trained, I was never going to be as physically dominant as I was with two legs. How can I make up difference and still be that asset, and this was in here, I was still an impatient status. Living in oz will go into surgeries when this happened and actually used saw commander time general cleveland. He showed up just to visit me and we had a conversation and that's when I open up my eyes to the other skills within
in an all encompassing green bay, ray or an effective ot, a kind of the softer side of our business. You know most of us come in because we want to kick down doors, a shoe bag as the face, but there's a lot of us skills and tasks that enabled us to go to happen. So I recognise the den and committed to it, in my own personal time, surrounded Reading about exercise physiology nutrition. I was reading about cultural dynamics in afghanistan. I was enhancing my foreign language skills. I hate doing this stuff man? I absolutely hated it. I loved the way I spent my time with two legs. I didn't want to do this at all, but I I believed that it would work, and I just forced myself to do it, man, which I'm preaching to the to the gospel or on preaching to the on. This is like the discipline to to accede. On the tasks that you know will bring value. Is the road
to success When the thing, whether you feel like doing it or not- and I note your europe jack matter expert on this. I've learned a lot of this from you personally during all this up. We're talking about it's like did research I know this will work on coffee. This will work yet socks, but, during the things that suck is what separates the average from the great so diving myself into this road operation, my design was a school. I went to. I needed a waiver to go because I was any six and it's reserved for more senior leaders who are going to be dealing with the campaign planning and type stuff, but I went as a as a pool to increase my cerebral and intellectual capacity overall, but then I was able to leverage what I learned and the course apply it to my mission, take the lessons learned and actually, who use those. Techniques, to outline my day to day life and my operational approach, those it was multi faceted. What I was able leverage by doing that incidents
like what we were talking about earlier with leadership and how leaderships scale wealth. You know planning its skill in designing mrs of action to overcome obstacles. It's not do something. You're born with you actually learn how to do it and that's what you did? You went learn how to do it, and here you look you plotted in the field, but here you are planted to your life. You go through this year. Through this phase diagram. You got his the all these diagrams and hear determine your current situation define the mission. frame the problem identify lines of effort. You go through this whole thing and then what do you figure out? What the lines of effort our talk about? How you gonna now attack those lines, got the next phase, which is research. Access to information has never been as readily available as it is today. Never, There is actually no excuse to be unformed.
I don't know. How is just that excuse, unavoidable reason we must set ourselves up for success. The key to this phase, however, is to move quickly. We cannot get stuck here. The research is solely to get the wheel spinning and provide some direction to advance, on our lines of effort to you. I need you examples of this. What is it The examples you gave his hey I'm living in Crappy house, I want to get a new house. Here's the thing. I can use the problem. Here's how I can make this happen is a campaign plant. Oh, I gotta get a cheaper rent right now I can save more money. I gotta get some additional income like you go through it in another. When you got an here's, what does it becoming a instructor right like like these are things that you're doing to you. You rat taking these methodologies and apply them to your life and is not complicated.
Next phases approach. This is where we create our approach. We have already determined our long term goal. Our mission are three hundred metre target. We have also identified or lines of effort the broad conceptual categories along which we vans in phase, for we are going to implement the list of tasks and considerations. We identified through research the series of what term goals that exists between where we are now and we are trying to go along our lines of advance this. These are our objectives. Are Five. Fifty one hundred and two hundred metre targets here is where prioritize, organise and correlate along the timeline. So again, there's another place. People can get caught up right. I created a good idea. I have a good plan and then they don't execute on it. They don't. They know well They don't actually when you get there, but they dont figure out. What do I need actually do to get there.
Ok, ass. Yet I want new house. I know I need money. How am I gonna get more money? That's what this is. What are you What do you do? What you can actually make happen here? Friggin again, These things seem obvious: it's really not that complicated take a lot of people, ask that question how to whoever they look up to learn from. wanting a complicated answer because it just enables the excuse What is it just to complex? Well, he's a seal he's a green moray like I can't I'm not either source thinks this doesn't apply to me. It's actually quite simple: it's not necessarily easy, but it is simple. Yeah the amount of times I've been asked. How do you get up early in the morning and my response is oh, I set my alarm clock or when it goes
off. I get out of bed this legitimately what it is they. Your no longer goes off you get out of bed, that's where you do. That must be with simple, not easy the three pillar pilgrims hold back or charles matching you'd struggle, but give her for a over there. It's very dangerous here the place people miss out. You gotta execute faced five execute dis. one. Discipline is controlled behaviour, in other words, is the combination of sacrifice and time prioritization warrior Ethan. one I will always placed the mission first with discipline. We are stopping ourselves from doing what we like or want to do, and we're forcing ourselves to do things we need to do.
as another thing I I'll use that answer. Sometimes, like you know, what you need to do Now you know what you need is not doing it like you, knocking it's better to do to not doing jiu jitsu you're not going to get in good shape by not working out. You know what you need to do like you said, I think, there's people that want you to say well, there's a big, complex thing that we need to discuss. That is actually not, but is actually not just that doing it. To start doing- ah focus to remain suppose we must remain focused. This right here is essential. Yeah if our plan is broken down into series of objectives. Each objective has a series of requirements and tasks that we must accomplish to reach an objective secure. We know there will be a host of challenges and obstacles along the way. We anticipate setbacks. We project failures we are prepared, but what are we actually focused
one during the process. The reality of it is it's our choice picture. You get your purple belt here by the way, two thousand and sixteen jack. How many times a week you train now, I'm coming off his shoulder surgery, so none, but usually to three days now we're on the shoulder told my labor doing today. To know this was just wear and tear, but it I completely dislocated it back in fourteen and a jujitsu tournament shredded, the labor put it back together in two thousand and fourteen isn't that when you were still a white belt he and the guy in this particular tournament. I just belted blue yeah, there's a lot of people that were unhappy.
the day they saw you in the freaking bracket, yeah your mom said. Well, I mean especially it's a weight class yeah support right, so I mean from from the waist up. If you looked at me versus my opponent's, like there's no way these guys are in the im weight, class shit way right now, right now and probably to fifteen Would you if you had your other leg to fifty at five pounds, a leg is just not there anymore, which you said right now. You wait. You wait what right now, but two fifteen to fifteen yeah. That's messing up some people's. Some people are bummed out where they see that bracket they're. Looking at you going, there's hey get a skin, well yeah, and I you know I went to the hospital. I learned a lot from anthony roadways. All american wrestler born with one leg at arizona state. I read his book unstoppable. Tell me with my training and it's funny, there's an exorbitant book from his
mother who talks about how, when he was real young, the other parents would be like and this isn't fair. He only has one leg like go easy on them. You know cause he was learning how to do it, so they they notice That is a disadvantage and they felt bad for him. Well, once you got real good and beefed up his up a body. It was to complete up were now the parents are going. This isn't fair because he's wrestling eighteen, o toole five, but really he's got the upper boy. You someone who's to thirty five villages. They went complete one, eighty psych, I can take advantage of this year day. But he got a section in this part, hard work now that we choose to stay on track, it's time to put in the work. Here's with it. And were gains, are made bottom line up front. Good things come to those who work hard. Great things, however, come to those who are willing to do whatever it takes
those who are willing to put themselves to a higher level little beyond hard work, we're home for you nick style, archer r d restructure informs us of what are we, what we are doing and when this is of course created based on many of the objectives, secure considerations and requirements and like any scheduled? This provides us with some structure a guide and, and you got some cool examples of viewer, freakin schedule and stuff, and here I wanted to point this out cost of ambition we can quit we disregard those who genuinely dont want to see ex us succeed. They are real and so there's no associated costs. The haters of the world suffer from security. They lack confidence. They look to tear down somebody rather than build themselves up, because it is your their weak, ignore and move on easy.
Our loved ones want our time because they love us in the onset. They are genuinely supportive of the goal. Cheering us on any way possible. Then the realization sets in that. In order to accomplish this mission, we are going to have to prioritize the tasks necessary to reach the objective along the way. This takes time time that is spent elsewhere. There's going to be some friction here now, especially those that you don't have Spouses kids ass his work. This is where this gets tough there. How would you kids, erna five? Sixteen months, that's awesome, freaking outstanding fear, they don't want to see us disappointed, manage your expectations. Don't get your hopes out up. This is out of love. Big goals are inherently a long shot. We we have accepted the fact that there will always be failures along the way we have accepted the fact that it's going to be painful resentment. It's always good to think about that resentment number, one to make sure that you're not getting caught up in it, because this thing it'll eat you alive.
Man and the biblical story of cane enable I've talked about this a lot Kane was so resentful of able that he literally killed his brother. This literally killed his brother right He used the term brother in the motor industry. longest bond, we can possibly have with another human and this guy killed brother cause. He was resentful, so you got watch out for yourself and you ve also gotta watch, for now the people when those around us see our drive our work ethic or dedication. They too may feel obligated to perform oftentimes deposit chain reaction, accepted with gratitude and resulting in output May I also, however, have a negative response. It is not a catalyst for performance they can. They cannot refuse to receive. Which results in a feeling of laziness or lack of ambition. Similarity some have also attempted to achieve
the goal themselves were defeated. Our success will affirm their inability do the same. In both cases, rather than being a source of motivation, we can become a source of resentment. We must also be aware of What are the same corn when our ambitions and determination are not reciprocated by those around us, our loved ones? It can result in all resentment towards them. Watch of our sneaky, the snakes up on your mouth. You know it's one of my bodies. trying to Seth stone was trying to go he's like hey. I want to go to. I want to go to princeton. There was like a program to go to princeton, while you're in the seal teams, and he asked me like Hey, do you think I should go? I was like hell, yeah man and he's like well, some of the other guys were telling me, don't go it's not going to be bad. For my career was like bro how's, it gonna be bad. career to be a seal after that went african princeton. It has a degree in internet
no policy, the cook who said that and I think the same thing people just Didn'T- want him to get that little extra, little thing going on his left little resentment coming for me, I tell for that one can you To put it bluntly, if we hang around with losers, will become a loser that once kind speaks for itself added to classic. Is you are the average of the five you spend? The most time with you know, which I think is a six statistically accurate, but anecdotally in common sense was that makes sense too. fischer for sure and buying again do you got all kinds of backing up data and stories and information to to splain these things, I'm just trying to hit the high points of people know that when they get this book, they're gonna get a legitimate guide on how to do how to live. Consistency. Unfortunately, it's easy. It's easy to be great for a day. Anybody can do it.
The other three hundred sixty four days. It make the difference, and this is truly the most challenging aspect of execution. Consistency catches, a lot of you